The Geek Life: Hobbit Time -

The Geek Life: Hobbit Time

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The Geek Life: Hobbit Time

Fears, IMAX, and buying toys

By Robert T. Trate     December 05, 2012

The Geek Life is a weekly look at what is going on in the Geek Culture. Movies, Comics, Books, Video Games, and TV Shows encompass more than just release dates and reviews. This week the Geek Life gets ready for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
By my own opening statement, I am already going against the grain of what the Geek Life is about. Yet, as much as I like to write about other things, I can’t deny the impact of The Hobbit. Here it is, just days away and I am trying to contain my excitement and exorcise my fears. I know that many of you already have your tickets. This week I wanted to address a few things as we get ready to either ride the perfect wave to the Undying Lands or brace ourselves for Hurricane Hobbit. 
Fear and Trepidation 

I even hate to address it, but The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey could be this generation’s Episode 1. It probably has crossed your mind already, but what if it sucks? Obviously, the film will not meet the expectations of everyone who sees it. The story is smaller and not all encompassing like The Lord of the Rings. Yet, perhaps, that was the problem with the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Perhaps it was too big of a tale? Regardless, I sit here reminding myself of how I felt about The Fellowship of the Ring before I actually saw it. It looked good and something I wanted to discover. I picked up the book and familiarized myself with as much as I could without spoiling anything. The problem, now, is I am extremely familiar with the world that Tolkien created.
Buying is on Hold. I’m Not Some Blockheaded Bracegirdle from Hardbottle.
Already, the toys are everywhere. There are tons of books about the production and those damn maps of Middle Earth have returned. It probably doesn’t help either that I follow Weta on Facebook and get emails from them about new products they are releasing. Peter Jackson made me a fan of The Lord of the Rings so, naturally, all that goes into that world catches my eye. However, I remember buying tons of figures at a midnight sale, buying a novelization, and having every damn happy meal that was put out there. When that midnight show was over, I had tons of crap that all I wanted to do with was burn. No, I am not buying Hobbit stuff until after I see the movie. I will not Episode 1 my entire house again (really, you should have seen the bathroom). 
Premiere Night

Sadly, I am not near any theater that allows you to buy your seat ahead of time. This is a Los Angeles thing and one of the few things I do miss. Having a nice dinner and then heading to my seat would be great. However, this time, with my pre-purchased ticket, I am off to see The Hobbit at the local IMAX Theater. I will be arriving early to get where I like to sit and not be forced to watch The Hobbit at a crooked angle. This means I have to pack for the long haul, about 4 hours of waiting. Here are a few things I will be bringing:

iPhone and iPhone Charger - for texting, tweeting, and Facebooking. People will probably dress up and the excitement is going to be worth sharing.  
iPod - loaded with the complete Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as the expanded Hobbit soundtrack. All right, I did buy at least one Hobbit thing. I loved Howard Shore’s music before, so  what are a few more pieces even if the movie blows Balrog.
Poster Tube - which I hope will successfully carry home my IMAX exclusive poster(s).
The Hobbit Novel - nothing like cramming before the exam. I tried reading The Lord of the Rings and couldn’t get through it. Yes, I know I had three years to read all the books. I got to the point where I didn’t want the cinematic experience to be ruined by what was on the written page. I stopped reading “The Hobbit” a few weeks ago. Pagewise, I am at about the same place where I stopped on the “Fellowship of the Ring”. I see that as a good sign.
Home is behind you, the world ahead... 


The Lord of the Rings was one of the greatest trilogies of all time. Now, with its prequel about to be born, I have to fight that nagging feeling that its legacy could all turn to ruin. Perhaps I have to remember that there is some good in this world and it’s Peter Jackson taking us back to it.



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Wiseguy 12/5/2012 6:45:00 AM

LOTR is the greatest trilogy of all time, period end of sentence.

I was never as big a fan of The Hobbit as I am LOTR so although eager I'm not as excited as I was for Episode 1 so a small let down from the bar set by LOTR won't be a big surprise or disappointment. Plus some of the reviews have already tempered my anticipation.

I think I'm equally or more eager to see the HFR format in I-Max 3D than the movie itself

Wiseguy 12/5/2012 6:45:59 AM

Well maybe the first SW trilogy can give LOTR a run for the money but I still lean LOTR

Pendragon0 12/5/2012 7:01:10 AM

Not making comparisons are going to be impossible, but as Rob mentions, you have to keep in mind this isn't a story covering anywhere near the scope LOTR.  It's a lot more...personal.  Not saying that what the Fellowship went through wasn't, but there was still the overhanging, 'if we blow it, the world dies' sentiment.  This story, at least the parts of it we know about in the book (we don't know everything that's going on with White Council til Fellowship), is just about this little handful of guys dealing with their own problems (which admittedly are huge and seem insurmountable to them).

And the other thing to keep in mind is that The Hobbit was written as a kid's book, so of course it's going to have a much different tone.


Pendragon0 12/5/2012 7:03:15 AM

By the way, Wise, there's an article going around that the new 3d format is making people have motion sickness.  Better take your dramamin.

Wiseguy 12/5/2012 7:14:42 AM

I agree Pendragon with your first post. Plus this is a story about a bunch of greedy dwarves more than anything. LOTR is an epic good vs evil tale. Plus for me I read LOTR first having never read The Hobbit in school like lots of folk so the first time to Middle Earth in LOTR left a much bigger mark in me

As far as the new format goes I'm like steel when it comes to motion sickness or anything like that. While in the USMC I spent a good 6 months in an LSD and that's like living in a hammock with the non-stop rocking back and forth and never got sick, not even with the smell of vomit from some of my brethren

karas1 12/5/2012 7:20:47 AM

I'm not going to see it in 3D.  Of all the 3D movies I've seen, the only ones which were really enhansed by the 3D experience were Avatar and Prometheus.  Also, when you wear glasses, perching the 3D specs on the end of your nose over your regular glasses is uncomfortable.

I'm really looking forward to the movie.  So what if the story from The Hobbit isn't as earthshattering as LoTR.  Not everything has to be about the end of the world.  And plenty of films have made due with the quest-to-kill-a-dragon plot.  I expect it to be a fulfilling experience.

monkeyfoot 12/5/2012 7:36:48 AM

Robert, in order to fortify yourself for the long wait to see the Hobbit you know you'll have to stop at Denny's and get filled up on the Hobbit Hole Breakfast, the Shire Sausage Skillet, Gandalf's Gobble Melt, or Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies!

Pendragon0 12/5/2012 8:21:56 AM

Wise, I don't think I can 100% agree with calling the Dwarves 'greedy'.  Their home was stolen from them, of course they would want it back.  Their people were slaughtered, of course they'd want revenge.  Now, being dwarves, they do love their gold and gems, can't dispute that.  I think at the end, when they've got the mountain back, that's when greed rears its head.

TheStormrider 12/5/2012 8:35:33 AM

 I read that they story is intertwined with story from LOTR.

In the Hobbit Gandalf leaves for large amounts of time.  Supposedly this movie will follow him as he is investigating the events leading up to LOTR.

Based on tolkeins additions and explanations.

rogue188 12/5/2012 8:56:46 AM

Hmm, I don't know if this story is so much less epic as you think. The story of the Necromancer in Mirkwood is the big play going on between what is written in the Hobbit. That was kind of a big deal because it being the first time Sauron regained form, and the elves and wizards united against him to fight.

Another big deal is seeing this movie in 3-D is imperative. Peter Jackson is doing things with the format that have not been done before along the lines of Avatar. Its worth a gander.

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