The Hobbit many years ago in Junior High School. I remember enjoying the story and having a lot of fun with the adventure though I honestly have few distinct memories from the book (which means it's time for a re-read, I suppose). What I do remember is that The Hobbit is profoundly shorter than The Lord of the Rings book(s). I remember this because although I read The Hobbit, I never did completely read The Lord of the Rings. It just seemed too daunting for me. So when it was revealed that this new live-action movie would span 3 movies, I was frankly a little confused and nervous. I was worried that the pacing and storytelling might feel like it was dragging its feet or filling the scenes with extraneous fluff that didn't really propel the plot. Now that I've seen the first film, I can say that I'm a little less nervous.
Lord of the Ring movies, The Hobbit does a gorgeous job of rendering the world of Tolkein's Middle Earth in a way that feels natural and real while being vivid and unique. The scenery. The countryside. The costumes. The characters. The entire world is filled with so many subtle and wonderful details that really paint a gorgeous picture (though I was taken a little aback by the portrayal of Hobbit feet…I don't recall them being quite as large in the other movies).
soundtrack. The music is entrancing and really helps to draw you into the scene. There's a scene early on (as shown in some of the trailers) of the dwarves singing about their home. The sad harmony is haunting and beautiful. My son just read the book and he's sad to hear that there isn't as much singing in the movie as in the book. I don't recall the songs from the book, so I can't comment either way. Though if they were done as well as the song in Bilbo's home, I would've enjoyed some more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. Part of me wanted to wait until the other two were released so I wouldn't have to wait so long. But in the end I'm glad that I saw it in the theater. This really is a great spectacle that deserves to be seen on the big screen. I'm looking forward to Parts 2 and 3.
4 out of 5 stars