Some may say producer/director Peter Jackson’s latest J. R. R. Tolkien adaption is an unexpected disappointment of phantom menace proportions because Jackson himself has been corrupted by the power of the One Ring. Others may say this movie was a long awaited pleasant return to Middle Earth. A great many have commented at being duly dazzled and disoriented by the look and feel of watching super HD 48fps 3D on the big screen – especially when trying to sleuth the scatological origin of Radagast’s hair. But let me not get ahead of myself. A review should have a proper beginning.
In a hole in New Zealand there lived a hobbit. Not a dirty wet hole filled with the Enns of worms and an oozy smell of the ancient near east. Nor yet a purpose driven dry bare sandy hole. It was a hobbit hole and that should have meant comfort, not an over realized eschatological vision of Peter Jackson employing a “Bilbo-telic” hermeneutic of Middle Earth in the middle of Skull Island.
Thirty-four years after being violated by Ralph Bakshi’s cinematic cartoon “The Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) effort I sat down again in the arrogantly shabby Camelot Theater off Greenville, South Carolina’s Pleasantburg Drive to see the latest effort at making a Tolkien book into movie. Within seconds of hearing Howard Shore’s wonderful soundtrack come alive I was transported back into Jackson’s Middle Earth. It was a very comforting feeling. The sights, the sounds, and the feel of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was spot on. Deep down in my bones I trust Peter with the text and where he stuck to it he did an exemplary job.
Read the rest at Reformation 21