for The Hobbit, which we saw at a movie theater yesterday. On any other Monday at 1:20 we’d be the only ones in the theater, but, unfortunately, I dragged us to the movies on public school spring break. The line to buy tickets wound around the lobby and there was just one poor kid working the ticket booth. The line for popcorn and soda was at least fifty people long, young kids and teenagers alike (we hurried past). The Hobbit has been running for fifteen weeks, so there were only six or seven other people in the theater with us; every other movie was packed. On to the actual film, with thanks to my parents for the passes.
I’ve liked all of the Lord of the Rings movies so far, and went to The Hobbit with an open mind. First off, New Zealand has moved to the top of my list of places to see before I die, the Shire looks like Xanadu to me. And Valholl, both. These are huge books to translate to screen, a very ambitious undertaking for Peter Jackson, the director. I read The Hobbit before I read Tolkien’s other three, when I was younger. I didn’t read the Lord of the Rings books until college when I had to write glorified book reports on them; so I hold The Hobbit a little more dear. And dammit, the movie is as epic as the book is. Its landscape, music, most of its cast, even the CGI: all are where they should be, as they should be. The soundtrack is really good, it fits the scenes just right. Slow, pretty and building sort of bars.
Ian McKellan delivers as Gandalf, Ian McKellan always delivers. Cate Blanchett makes an appearance as Galadriel, the ethereal elvin queen. These two are probably my favorite living British actors, and it’s grand to see them in fine costumes. Not that the guys playing all the dwarves, or Bilbo Baggins, are lacking; no, they’re all entertaining and real, and they build a credible traveling family. But McKellan and Blanchett are brilliant. And in this story, they used to be lovers, but: wizards age, elf queens do not.
My only complaint about The Hobbit: they did a random, cut it off for the sequel ending. After you’ve been absorbed for almost three hours, the scene ends abruptly and you’re booted out of Middle Earth. What to actually rate this movie? Four and a half stars out of five. Peter Jackson, I’m available to paint sets in your sequel, or be an extra hobbit, I’ll even gain a few pounds.