Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Hobbit the second time around

We went to see The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey for the second time over the weekend. Both my wife and I thought that it is a better movie the second time you see it.

The first time I saw it I was distracted by the additions to Tolkien's plot. A number of scenes were added that are alluded to in The Hobbit, suggested in the LotR appendix, or simply made up whole. The second time through I knew they were coming and could appreciate how they added to the overall story line.

It also made it easier knowing where the movie was going to end. The novel is one continuous narrative. Looking back at the first movie, I can see that there are some natural breaks. The escape from the Orcs is one. Not long after this Gandolf goes his own way and Frodo, now armed with the Ring, suddenly becomes the one the group depends on for rescues from tight spots. The next break will probably come after the company makes it through Murkwood and escapes from the elves with the final movie covering their time at the Lonely Mountain and the War of the Five Armies. In the book, a great battle was fought at the same time further south and the Necromancer driven out (and into Mordor).

My wife found it easier to keep the characters straight, especially the 13 dwarves.

All of this makes the movie seem much shorter. It kind of flies along the second time when it seemed a little sluggish the first time.

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