Chow Bella

The Hobbit and Dinner at Cornish Pasty Co. in Tempe

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein's classic tale of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins' journey with a wizard and thirteen dwarves to fight a dragon and reclaim lost lands and treasure, received a bit of a lashing by critics and we're sure all the Tolkeinites are up in a rage over random additions to the plot line of the beloved children's book, but in the end it is just that: a children's book. The goofy quips, incessant singing and fumbling antics of Bilbo's dwarf company don't seem so out of place if you keep that in mind, rather than expecting the bleakness that shrouds most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Besides, if you recall Gimli's "that one counts as mine" gag throughout Two Towers, you'll see that dwarves were always used as comic relief, The Hobbit simply has more of them.

And yes, Peter Jackson did take the liberty of adding some Fellowship material into The Hobbit. He even added some elements that (GASP) conflict subtly with the Fellowship movie itself. We had to defend Zak Snyder's choice to eliminate a story line ending in an octopus monster in his rendition of Alan Moore's The Watchmen, so we're used to nerd rage.

At the same time, we also feel like this movie might be kind of boring and confusing for someone who hasn't read the book (but shame on them). The plotline of The Hobbit movie zips from far past to near future to past present, introducing characters and ideas like a machine gun. But for someone fully obsessed with Tolkein's world, it's totally exhilarating to see all of your favorite characters come to life in ways that make us feel like our creativity when reading the book was totally lacking.

In the end, like any classic book turned movie, we don't feel there's going to be any consensus reached. For fans, it's a sensory overload, jumping from one moment of sheer joy to the next. For obsessive fans, it's one disappointment and quibbling fact after another. For critics, it's too heavy on the cheese--despite the fact that everyone knows it's adapted from a book written for children. For Hobbit virgins, who may or may not exist, it's a confusing ride of new and old faces. For us, we can't wait for the conclusion of The Hobbit series of movies, but we would also totally see a Silmarillion movie (or three) if Jackson would make it for us.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch