After nearly a decade of waiting, fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy have
finally made it: “The Hobbit” has arrived.
With Peter Jackson at the helm once more, a new journey through Middle
Earth has begun. Telling the tale leading up to the first installment of “The Lord
of the Rings,” “The Hobbit” is the story of Bilbo Baggins and his journey to help a
group of dwarves take back their home from a fearsome dragon.
For many, the arrival of this movie was a long time in the making. Junior Hollie
Malin is one such fan and has been waiting for “The Hobbit” since she was a little
“Reading ‘The Hobbit’ is my big family tradition,” Malin said. “My mom read it
to my dad, my dad read it to my brother, and my brother read it to me. I’ve been a
hobbit fan since I first heard the story in the second grade, and have had dreams
of Middle Earth since then.”
Yet this film was not one that came together with ease; “The Hobbit” found
itself in what is known as “production hell.” The near 10-year delay on production
saw multiple re-writes, directors and a legal dispute over copyright claims.
The structure of the film was originally one original to bridge the gap between
the prologue to the trilogy, and then became a two part film that incorporated
elements from both “The Hobbit” and notes by J.R.R. Tolkien. Finally, it was
settled on becoming a trilogy, a move that has been met with mixed reviews.
“Initially, I was kind of excited, but it seems to me like it could have worked just
as well as a two part series,” said Cory Lingerfelt, a senior at MC.
However, despite his doubts, Lingerfelt said that he still has faith it will all work
“‘Lord of the Rings’ hasn’t let me down yet, though, so I will wait and see what
they do with it,” Lingerfelt said.
The movie itself was everything a “Lord of the Rings” fan could have wanted,
and then some. The cast featured many old favorites, as well as some prominent
Martin Freeman acted the part of Bilbo Baggins to perfection, playing a fidgety
and nervous hobbit coaxed far outside his element. Ian McKellen was every bit
as wise and grandfatherly a Gandalf as we have remembered.
The 13 dwarves ranged from solemn to hilarious, with Richard Armitage as
Thorin Oakenshield, the battle-worn leader of the company. Filmed in iconic New
Zealand, it retained all the beauty of the “Lord of the Rings,” and Howard Shore’s
score brought the soul of the film to life.
Some critics found the film to be a bit childish at times or seem to meander for
too long in between action sequences. Lengthy films are trademark of director
Peter Jackson, and “The Hobbit” is no exception. With a three-hour running time,
the movie is anything but brief.
Jackson uses the added time to pack in extra details from “The Lord of the
Rings” universe, and many viewers may notice story lines they did not originally
read about, and will hopefully enjoy them.
“In my opinion, Jackson kept his good name with this movie,” Malin said.
“Even with the liberties and added story lines, I am still so excited to see the
magic that lies ahead in other two movies because I know that the greatest
adventure is what lies ahead.”
Pushing the bar in cinematic technology again, Peter Jackson has opted to
film this new trilogy in 48 frames per second or fps, double the standard 24fps.
This made for a superman level of visual clarity, although this resulted in mixed
“It was really nice, although sometimes things could look too real,” said senior
Some have compared seeing 48fps clarity to the first time seeing a blu-ray film
on an HD television. The clarity, however, can just be jarring. Still, the use of 3D
in the film was subtle and was put to good use by immersing the viewer in the
“I thought that ‘The Hobbit’ used 3D in a way that enhanced the visual
storytelling aspect of the movie,” Howard said. “It was less ‘Universal Studios
Ride,’ more of a story book with depth.”
It wasn’t just students that enjoyed the film. Assistant director of residence life,
Ben Wicker, is a self-proclaimed, die-hard Tolkien fan.
“It was extremely gratifying,” Wicker said.
Wicker even arranged for students to take the Maryville College bus to see
the midnight premiere in Knoxville.
“It was a big deal to me to get to see it,” Wicker said. “I had never gone to a
midnight premiere before, but with a movie this big, I figured it was something
that other folks would want to do.”
One of these students was senior Chris Bowen, who said that he loved the
“It was amazing to watch one of my favorite childhood stories brought to life,”
Bowen said. “The experience was made better by having friends there who were
as enthralled with the movie as myself.”
After long wait, it seems that many members of the MC campus were
extremely happy with the first part of this new trilogy. Hopefully, the following
sequels will prove that the wait was ultimately worth it.