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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Just Watched...The Hobbit Director's Cut

This time last year I went with my nephew Max and a friend with her son to see part 1 of The Hobbit movie. Afterwards, Max leaned back with a sigh and said he wanted to sit there till the next movie started.

I know how he felt. A beautiful piece of film making and if they added stuff and sneaked in Radagast the Brown with a chariot pulled by rabbits...well, it was Sylvester McCoy, who was perfect for the role and I could pretend he'd been in LOTR. And Thorin Oakenshield was a lot younger and sexier than Tolkien's, but he was brilliantly portrayed by Richard Armitage. So what? Aragorn was also younger and sexier-looking than Tolkien's and we ended up accepting him.  And the Dwarves all had individual personalities, well thought out. And the film was made by people who loved Tolkien.

But there were things that don't quite make sense. The second time around, I could see that they were there for a reason that will become clearer in the rest of the movie, if you think of it as one very long film instead of three. Better still, the director's cut, which I watched tonight, slipped in some more stuff that made sense of the rest. I won't issue any spoilers here.

Not that I mind some spoilers for myself. See, I bought a large number of volumes of the History Of Middle Earth, which are tons of bits and pieces Tolkien wrote but that didn't make their way into the novels. For example, Gimli mentions that he was around during the quest of Erebor(The Hobbit to you and me) but was too young to be taken along, only sixty years old. There's a scene from the meeting of the White Council, where Gandalf is having a smoko during a break and Saruman says rude things about his smoking this hobbit substance which is affecting his brain cells and Gandalf tells him to lighten up(which maybe he does, since Merry and Pippin discover that stash of Longbottom Leaf in his tower). And Gandalf describes his first meeting with Thorin at the inn in Bree - a scene I've read will be in the next movie, which I'm going to see on Thursday. Nice!

I know it's not quite The Hobbit as we know it, but there's quite a lot that is still Tolkien.

I, for one, can't wait.

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