Musings on The Hobbit

I'm a little short on hobby-related ramblings today, so this will have to suffice.

I am an unashamed, self-professed Geek. I taught myself to write in runes when I was still in grade school. I drew dragons and horses and elves in the margins of my notebooks. I watched every single Lord of the Rings movie in theaters when it came out and read the books beforehand (it all started when I was the ripe old age of 11). I'm still a geek - the first thing I did when I received my Nook Color was root it, I've read all of the extra LotR material I can (I even made it through the Silmarillion), and of course - I own all of the DVDs.

Like any good Tolkien fangirl, I had to see The Hobbit. I'd seen some mixed reviews - "It's good but LONG," "Doesn't flow," "Too much extra stuff!" I'll admit - I was (am!) concerned about turning the light-hearted story of an unsuspecting hobbit into a trilogy of it's own. What was it Bilbo said? "Too much butter over too little bread," even with the added material.

I am not equipped to argue the finer points of the movie or continuity, but let me say first and foremost that I thoroughly enjoyed it. However: the film did not sweep me off my feet like the LotR trilogy did. Maybe I'm older, more cynical (my age has, after all, doubled since the LotR trilogy first appeared), but I doubt that's the case. Those movies still have the charm, despite hundreds of watchings. I have my favorite parts of each movie and even a favorite movie out of the trilogy.

The Hobbit was, at times, charming. It was also long, which really wouldn't have mattered except for the last, oh, half hour. There were at least two areas where I was just sure the movie was going to wrap up, but no - yet another Situation of Dire Peril had to be taken care of first. There were lots of long, complicated chases, parts of the Riddle Game were messed with (though not to any real harm, I think), and it felt a little too...Epic. There were, in short, too many climaxes in too little time.

Which brings me to my main beef with the movie: it felt like a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not a film version of The Hobbit. "Semantics!" you might say, but there's a marked difference in tone when you compare The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'll agree that the Hobbit could easily spread over two movies, perhaps even three, and I cannot wait to see Smaug in all of his CGI glory. I loved the dwarve's lament, Martin Freeman was perfect, Bilbo's house was perfect, the dwarves were charming (how had I never seen Richard Armitage before? Be still my heart!), and the scenery was breathtaking.

If you were interested in seeing it, I still recommend it. Skip the large drink and popcorn, though - you'll be in your seat for a while.

All of this is leading up to something crafty, of course.

Alas, I won't be keeping it for myself. It's a gift for a friend (who has no idea it's coming and fortunately doesn't read this blog OR my studio Facebook page!) who has been patiently waiting for me to send him some artwork. Kind of an early birthday/I'm-sorry-I'm-such-a-lousy-friend gift.  I had intended to write something on the back, but it didn't work out so well.

Here a couple of progress shots of the Hobbit Hole.

Initial sketch - doodled at work (bad me, I know!)

Door and frame (and knob!)

Drying before painting! I nixed the hinges - turns out Bilbo's door doesn't have any on the outside.