Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Review of Hobbit Reviews

I saw the Hobbit last Friday, and I must start by saying I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I must also say that I've found most of the reviews of the Hobbit done by Catholics that I typically trust to give good reviews of films have been, in my estimation, guilty of missing the boat entirely.

I've heard many Catholic reviewers talk about how the Hobbit is too long.  Really?  I thought there were a few points where the movie could have ended, but I certainly was glad that it DIDN'T end at those points and instead kept going.  The whole point about Tolkien's world is that it is a world that you don't want to leave, and I certainly found that to be the case with the Hobbit.

I was THRILLED that it continued on and on.  I would get the critique if it were coming from someone who didn't understand Tolkien, but Catholic reviewers ought to know better. 

I still remember when the Return of the King came out, and everyone was bashing the fact that it took several minutes to end.  Tolkien's (and Jackson's directing of Tolkien's) world is like a big pint of delicious ale that you are GLAD to see that it doesn't end right away. 

I also thought that the acting was fantastic, the cinematography spot on, and everything about Middle Earth has stayed the same while somehow also improving.  I must admit that the commercials gave the appearance that perhaps the Hobbit was going to be a bit more cartoonish in the special effects department and in the story telling, but that fear was put to bed. 

The Hobbit is a great movie, and it is very effective in bringing to the screen the world that Tolkien first dreamed up so many years ago. 

I can't wait for the next installment of the Hobbit!


  1. I loved it! I could not agree with you more in every way! I think everyone that went with me thoroughly enjoyed it. Suzanne McConnell

    1. Hello Suzanne McConnell, just wondering...are you related to Nick/Nicholas McConnell who goes to brownsburg east middle school in any way?

  2. I think this points to the American obsession with wanting to be about doing things. It has obviously infected the best of Catholics as well as secularists and protestants. This is nothing new. Priests are afraid to deliver sermons longer than 10-15 minutes. People will stop coming if he goes over time on a subject. Definitely we are not the Christians of early church who gladly spent up to 6 hours in church on Sundays as some Orthodox still do today on special feast days. Christians in general and Catholics as well have lost the sense of Christian community and want to run off to do other non=Christian/Catholic things. All is pretty much lost in the west.
    Oh, I saw it and loved it. Going to go back and see it in 3D. Don't know if I'll do the IMAX thing though.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation. I gave my word to my nine-year old that we would see it (we have already read the book together), and there were a bunch of negative reviews that were disheartening. I think this is part of the phenomenon I witnessed when I was in a Tolkien society at a college. There is a kind of cult of Tolkien among Catholics where one establishes their street cred by railing against Peter Jackson and his films. Apparently it is not enough to be seriously disappointed with some of the more egregious departures from the books, but that it is some kind of crime to watch them at all. It's as if Tolkien had an SSPX.

  4. It seems a bit ridiculous at times, when compared to The Lord of the Rings. It also doesn't follow the book nearly as well

  5. I've read some of the reviews and was embarassed for the reviewers. They seem to have expected the movie to send them into a religious estacy.

  6. Father, I was just wondering what you thought of people going to see movies on Christmas day at the theater. I heard some people were going to see The Hobbit that day and I just feel like going to the theater on Christ's birthday may not be appropriate.

  7. I thought the movie portrayed too much violence and disrespect for life, even if it was a fantasy movie and the creatures that were killed are fictional. I know Americans are used to violence and mass killings in the movies, but with the recent mass murder of the school children in Connecticut, I can't help but wonder if the young man who committed this crime had been influenced by violent movies and video games that portrayed violence and murder as fun, a form of entertainmnt, during his teenage years. I think it might be time to re-think what is entertainment.

  8. The chase scenes, particularly the escape from the underground lair of the goblins, were repetitious and could have been shortened significantly. Other than that, I agree with Fr. Howell: I would not have cut out any of the events, and that includes some that were not in the book. And I agree that it ended at a very good stopping place.