There and Back Again… to AWESOMETOWN

I am so excited!  The Hobbit trailer was released yesterday and it just looks wonderful

I have heard some people complain about the appearance of the dwarves, especially if you compare them to how Gimli looked in the Lord of the Rings movies.  However, I felt like they really fit into that world and looked like what I imagine dwarves would look like.  If you recall, Gimli was the only dwarf that we really saw (that was alive) in the LotR movies.

Martin Freeman looks just wonderful as Bilbo Baggins.  I loved him in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, as well as in Love Actually, and I ADORE him as John Watson on the BBC’s Sherlock.  I wasn’t sure about him before that, to be honest.  I thought he was funny and cute and sweet in the previous two films but after seeing him in Sherlock, I have seen that he can be a BAMF as well.

John Watson on Sherlock is an Afghan war vet, and took some serious injuries to his shoulder and to his leg.  He’s amazing with a gun, and incredibly brave.  He’s also very smart, not just as a medical doctor but as an investigator.  And let’s be fair, anyone would look less than when paired with Sherlock Holmes.

When they announced that Martin Freeman would be playing Bilbo Baggins, I had recently finished the first season of Sherlock and was still in my initial “fresh and new” fangirl phase, which meant that I was all about anything having to do with the show or anyone in it, so I was doubly excited to hear about the Hobbit casting. 

Because while Bilbo is a hobbit, who tend to be a bit reserved and not particularly brave for the most part, he is also an adventurer.  He is brave.  He leaves his home with no guarantee that he will ever return.  I found that I could connect Bilbo and John Watson fairly easily and suddenly, I could NOT wait to see what Peter Jackson was going to do with Martin Freeman.

I was not disappointed.  I think the trailer captures a number of elements that are necessary for The Hobbit to work as a film.  It shows Bilbo engaged in his community, known around the Shire, and it shows his love and desire to stay at Bag End.

But it also shows his curiosity about the world beyond his home and his desire to get out there and see it.  It comes back to his desire to return home, always, but the trailer keeps pushing at us his interest in going out and seeing the world.

This is very different than Frodo, who leaves less because he wants to and more because he’s been convinced that he HAS to leave.  He needs to get the ring to a safe place (he does not yet know that it will need to be destroyed) and he is willing to take that journey in order to make sure that the evil the ring represents does not come to find him in the home that he loves so much.

I’m not sure who the braver hobbit is.  Frodo is in a bad position.  He must get the ring to someone that can handle it, because if he doesn’t, evil will find it and will find him, and all he loves.  Bilbo leaves because it will be fun.  At least, because it COULD be fun.  There isn’t anything chasing after him, no reason for him to sneak out of town, or to even consider Gandalf’s offer.

And yet he does.  He considers it, and he leaves the Shire.

I think that may be the bravest of acts.  Because there isn’t a repercussion if he stays at home.  No evil creature will come after him and hurt those he cares about.  He won’t lose anything, in fact, he may gain more if he chooses to stay put in his safe little life.

And yet, he decides that he can’t do that.  He can’t stay in his little house in his little community and be a little man.  He decides to leave with the gray wizard and change his life forever.

That takes guts, ladies and gentleman, and Bilbo has them. 

I will confess, I never read The Lord of the Rings books before they came out in theaters.  And I still haven’t read them.  I’ve tried to before, but I always gets stuck in Rivendell and can’t get and farther.  Nor have I read The Hobbit or any of JRR Tolkien’s other works. 

I have, however, fallen deeply and madly in love with the world that he created and the characters that populate it.

I mean, ARAGORN.  How can you not love Aragorn?  And while I didn’t want Eowyn to get Aragorn in the end, I still loved her and respected her and wanted to be her when she gets to her epic moment of “I am NO man!”  Holy shit, man.  That’s the kind of female character that teaches girls to be women and to not take any shit for loving who they are.

The LotR movies gave us a bearded, horse riding Karl Urban, looking fine.  They are also the only films in which I find Viggo Mortensen to be attractive in any way.  Orlando Bloom is so much fun, and Sean Astin just makes me weep with his love and devotion to Elijah Wood’s Frodo.

I’m glad that Peter Jackson finally was forced (I believe) to take the helm of both Hobbit films.  I think that he brought something to the original three movies that no other director could recreate or even hope to come close to.  And while other directors could have had great and interesting visions for this film, I kind of want it to feel like it exists in the same universe as the first three films.

That’s something that the Harry Potter films (at least the first two) don’t do as well as they could or should.  Those first two Chris Columbus helmed pictures just don’t have the same feel as the third movie and beyond, much to their detriment.  So, while I would have loved to see Guillermo del Toro’s The Hobbit, I’m really glad that we’re going to Jackson’s Hobbit instead.

There and back again, right?

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