20 December 2012

Hobbit postmortem

...or "All good stories deserve embellishment" (Ian Mckellen)

So I've had about enough of The Hobbit to last me a year. Here's what I've been doing hobbit-wise over the last couple of weeks:

On Dec. 10th, I hosted a "Riddles in the Dark Predictions Game" at LCCC, using The Tolkien Professor's "Riddles in the Dark" predictions grid. I had been listening to The Tolkien' Professor's hilarious, brilliant podcasts in preparation, which was quite a thorough Tolkien education. I recommend them most highly. He has also just published a brand-new book about The Hobbit, which basically presents the content of his Hobbit podcast in a smooth, professional format. It would make a great Christmas present!

 On Dec.13th-14th, I attend the midnight showing of The Hobbit with a few friends. This was wild fun (even though the movie isn't great).

Then I sat in a diner all night and wrote my two reviews.
My first review is in Curator, and it focuses mostly on the texts that get drawn into the story.
My second review is in Comment, and it is more of a cultural analysis of Hobbit-as-adaptation. Your thoughts on both of these are welcome.

Then on Dec. 17th, I offered a lecture on Tolkien to my students at Penn State (Lehigh Valley). Here is the video of my lecture. I hope you find it informative.

Then I took my students and others -- for a total of 222 people! (twice eleventy-one) to see the film. That was delightful, and only a little chaotic.

But what about the movie? I'm really pretty sick of talking and writing about it, honestly. I'll watch the extended edition when it comes out. I'll take people to see then other two films when they come out. But, sigh. So not a masterpiece.

Except for five bits. These five bits were worth the price of the movie, and I could watch these sections endlessly, over and over:
1. The opening sequence, in which Bilbo narrates the history of the dwarves of Erebor
2. Elrond's reading of the moon runes (actually, all of Rivendell)
3. The "Riddles in the Dark" sequence with Gollum
4. The ride on the great eagles
5. The very end (thrush-->gold-->dragon's eye).
Martin Freeman is spectacular. Amazing. I hope he wins an Oscar. He and Andy Serkis, both. 

Oh, and the biggest disappointment? No Benedict Cumberbatch. We have to wait a whole year for his appearances as The Necromancer and as Smaug. Good thing we've got Star Trek
in between, since I'm already suffering Sherlock withdrawal.

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