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There and Back Again: Discussing the “New” Hobbit Trailer

The newest trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released earlier this week. This epic prequel, first of yet another trilogy from Peter Jackson, looks to rekindle the cinematic fire of Tolkien’s books. Christin and I decided to have a spirited discussion following a joint viewing.


Rachel: First thought: PREEEEEETTY!

Christin: Hahaha it is extremely pretty. Almost too pretty. Very very fantasy-ish. The Original Trilogy had more grit.

Christin: And just typing Original Trilogy gave me Star Wars prequels PTSD.

Rachel: I was thinking that! (About the OT, not Star Wars.) I felt my eyes widen and started saying “Ooooo! Aaaaah!” in my head. The other 3 had some beautiful scenery, but not like that. Maybe it’s because they’re doing it in 3D? They want to make it look as amazing as possible?

Christin: There were definitely a lot of swoopy shots and hairpin turns that make it look like it’s optimized for 3D motion sickness. But I guess that’s better than adding 3D as an afterthought.

Christin: When the fuzzy animals showed up, that’s when I really thought wow, this movie’s going off the rails.

Rachel: Awww, fuzzies! I don’t really remember any fuzzies in the book…..

Rachel: Sorry, back on topic, yes, doing 3D from the get-go was a much better choice. I think it’s going to be beautiful, and I will probably need to take some ibuprofen before I watch it.

Christin: I’m going to pack Dramamine and those pressure-point wristband. Because at the midnight showing of The Hobbit, I want to look the nerdiest!

Christin: They did actually shoot this with 3D cameras using some highly technical lenses and things that I really don’t understand. I just know it makes the behind-the-scenes pictures look really goofy with everyone watching the monitors in those Star Trek glasses.

Rachel: I watched some production clips a month or so ago, and I was fascinated by the strange camera work that goes into the 3D. I was also fascinated to see the makeup and costuming in completely off colors, due to the way it comes out differently in the film when you actually watch it. And of course, I thoroughly enjoyed watching people wear the glasses WHILE filming. It’s just silly to look at!

Christin: As a regular-glasses wearer, I prefer 2D though. I can extrapolate depth in my own mind, thanks.

Rachel: I agree about the 2D. I wear contacts, but obviously when I’m going to a midnight showing of something, glasses are necessary, and wearing 3D goggles (because let’s face it, they really are goggles) is not comfortable. I also don’t like leaving the theater feeling like I just stepped off a cruise ship.

Christin: LOL. And sometimes I steal the glasses.

Christin: My biggest takeaway of the whole trailer was that Bilbo displays some extremely poor judgement. Not a guy you’d want to take with you to a casino. He’d lose his shirt and then try to get out of there by reading a poem or something.

Rachel: RIGHT?! How is it “fair enough” that Gollum gets to eat him if he wins?

Rachel: Honestly, I thought that through the whole book, too. He makes a series of not great decisions…but somehow always pulls through in the end. At least he has that going for him! Although, I’m not convinced that the dwarves wouldn’t have been better off without him. Hard to say.

Christin: You read the book recently, I don’t think I’ve touched it since 8th grade. All I remember are the big troll scene and Riddles in the Dark. So… I dunno, how does it look, story-wise I guess?

It looks pretty good. I mean, that troll (it was a troll, right?) at the end looks scary enough. Clearly, Gollum is looking and acting consistent to the character we all know and love, so that’s good. I enjoyed the impression given that the dwarves aren’t exactly excited to have Bilbo come along with them, because that is certainly the case. There’s a lot of Gandalf yelling “Because I said so!” throughout the book with regards to choosing Bilbo to accompany them, and that was apparent in the trailer as well.

Rachel: The book itself isn’t that long, so dividing it into three movies leaves me wondering where they’re going to choose to pause between each one, and how they plan to fill up the holes that might be left by spreading it so thin.

Christin: Delving (too greedily and too deep) into the appendices. And spending time with those characters that true devotees love. Like Radagast the Brown… I could care less. And cutting Tom Bombadil from Fellowship was that best decision Peter Jackson ever made. YEAH I SAID IT.

Rachel: You can say it. I’ll agree. I found myself with glazed eyes as I was reading about Tom Bombadil in the book, the last thing I really wanted was to see it in film!

Christin: Also, the Necromancer, which I guess is Sauron while he’s lurking around Mirkwood. Which I also couldn’t care less about except it’s Benedict Cumberbatch so now I’m trilled.

Rachel: I don’t know what I read of the appendices (if I read them at all). I suppose this means I’ll have to now. At least I know that Peter Jackson isn’t going to lead me astray with some crap he just made up for fun. I trust that whatever he puts in is legitimate. So maybe I’ll just skip the appendices and roll with it.

Rachel: And of course, Benedict must come into the conversation!

Christin: He is the Necromancer AND Smaug.

Rachel: SMAUG! Yes, we must discuss Smaug, the grumpy old coot!

Christin: And of course he’s in Sherlock with Bilbo/Martin Freeman/John Watson. I wonder if those connections are going to be distracting. Maybe just to me because I’m laser-focused on him.

Rachel: Probably just distracting to you.

Christin: Smaug likely won’t make an appearance in this movie though.  I bet shots of a giant dragon are going to be kept under lock and key until the last possible second.

Rachel: I agree. I doubt he’ll appear in this first film at all. Or if he does, it will be right at the end, as a parting gift.

Christin: BLAZE OF FIRE! And a massive cliffhanger for half a year.

Christin: So what IS going to be in this movie? I bet they’re going to make Riddles in the Dark last forever since it’s so iconic and just cut between that and the dwarves battling… something. One riddle! Back to dwarves. Another riddle! And the dwarves again! For like an hour.

Rachel: Well that’s pretty much how the book is, so why not?

Rachel: We’re going to start off in the Shire, obviously, with Gandalf visiting Bilbo, and hardly giving him any information. Then the dwarves come in, and also hardly give him any information. I bet that first part is going to take about a half hour, maybe 45 minutes. Then they’re off on their journey. They do some prep work, head out into the countryside, see the sights, make their overall game plan. That’s another half hour, so we’re already up to at least an hours worth of movie. Now they actually hit the road, and there’s a lot more road to hit than necessary, I assure you. They meet up with the trolls, go chill at Rivendell for a bit, then head to the Misty Mountains, which is where Gollum is, so we know they at least get this far. After they get out of the mountains, they head into Mirkwood. If I had to guess, I’d say our first movie stops here, before they even enter Mirkwood. However, if they DO enter Mirkwood in this movie, I don’t think we’ll see them get out until the next movie. I doubt we’ll get to see Lake Town until number two, and therefore, no Smaug until number two.

Christin: Why does the world conspire to keep Benedict Cumberbatch off my screens for so long?!

Rachel: Because they know how much you love him and want to keep you on the edge of your seat! Duh.

Christin: They’ve already released pictures of Leggy’s daddy so they must venture into Mirkwood a little. Or someone does, since Gandalf is off doing his own thing or whatever.

Rachel: That’s good to know. I’d be shocked if they get out of Mirkwood in the first movie. That seems to be pushing the timeline too far ahead to make three movies possible.

Christin: They’ll just end the movie when they first arrive. Shot of Orly. CREDITS!

Christin: What did you think of the trailer overall? There seemed to be a lot of hype but it wasn’t really anything new and sorta whelming. Not underwhelming, just whelming.

Rachel: Hahaha, “whelming” is a great way to put it. I agree, nothing really new in there, but yet still keeping the interest, overall. If I was a person trying to decide whether or not I was going to see this movie, that trailer probably wouldn’t sway me in either direction. No, that’s not entirely true. I guess it would nudge me toward seeing the movie, since it DOES look so PRETTY! Just sayin’.

Christin: Kili and Fili look so pretty.

  • http://bustedmissive.blogspot.com Dave Summers

    I have to admit, it felt “comfortable”, like visiting an old friend you haven’t seen in some time, who’s nevertheless as happy to see you as you are him.

    Also regarding Martin Freeman, he’s a very “accessible” actor, a sort of new age British Jimmy Stewart.

    • Christin

      An excellent point. I’m ready to go back to Middle Earth. It’s only the trailer that’s underwhelming, I’ll certainly be at the movies opening day.

      • Rachel

        Absolutely like visiting an old friend! I failed to mention it in our chat, but watching the trailer yesterday made me want to spend my weekend having a LOTR movie marathon.

  • http://gosu.com Jeff

    Heh, every LOTR fan friend of mine would shudder at your dismissive attitude on Tom Bombadil. I don’t actually know WHY; just that he is worshiped in those circles.

    • Christin

      I also don’t like The Scouring of the Shire. Come at me!

      I read some blog post about how Tom Bombadill was totally evil that made me appreciate him so much more. He’s fine in the books I guess but it’s a weird side trip that has no place in a movie adaptation.

      • Elizabeth

        Truth. I’m one of those geeks who re-reads it almost yearly. (oh, it’s time to start isn’t it?) And I sometimes skip Tom Bombadil. Also the Entmoot. Seriously, how long does that shit go on?

        Haven’t read The Hobbit in years though. I’ll have to do that before the movie I think.

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