Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Hobbit has been in theaters for a month, and I’ve already seen it twice. I figured this movie would be something most people would go see, but there have been a spate of negative reviews, and I noticed that – to my utter amazement and disgust – a dumb comedy called A Haunted House nearly doubled The Hobbit’s box office take over the weekend. Granted, these are two very different films aimed at very different audiences, but I imagine there’s some Tolkien fans who are still sitting on the fence. I didn’t see the 48 frames per second version, but I did see it in Imax 3D, and that’s the version I’ll be reviewing.
I should point out that I’ve been a fan of Tolkien since I was about eight years old, when I first saw the animated film version of The Hobbit. It wasn’t long before I read the book, and a little while later I read the much longer and more intimidating The Lord of the Rings. But it was The Hobbit that introduced me to the hobbits, dwarves, elves, and wizards of Middle Earth. I quickly became obsessed with that world and its characters. There were no toys in any stores readily available, but I found some anyway – unpainted miniatures made for the pen and paper role-playing games – which I diligently collected with what little allowance I had. I suppose you could say I was something of a diehard fan, and while my interest has waned over the years, I anticipated a proper live action adaptation of the book.