Book vs Movie: The Hobbit


 Who loves J.R.R. Tolkien? (Come on Middle Earth fans, raise your hands).

Now, who has read the Hobbit book? How about seen all three movies? How about even both? I can tell you that I have both read and seen The Hobbit, and can personally tell you that they are NOT the same (as expected). However, there were some things that I was pleased and disappointed in for both the book and the movie.

Firstly, the first movie versus the first part of the book. This movie, subtitled “An Unexpected Journey,” was one that I was very impressed with. It followed the book extremely well (better than most movies) and those scenes that were added in, they were extremely funny and/or transitioned into an important scene better than the book explained it. In fact, I was very impressed when they incorporated the line that both one of the dwarfs and Gandalf say (“Out of the frying pan…and into the fire”), which is the title of the chapter that has the scene in the book. I was also happy when the movie makers also put in one of my favorite parts (the song) in the movie, and the scenes were very accurately dramatized. Although I hate the part of adding Orcs in (there are no Orcs in the book), it really accurately leads up to Lord of the Rings, which is what it’s supposed to do. However, Gladriel is not supposed to be the movie. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit before the Lord of the Rings books, but they were published the other way around. Tolkien also grew up in an all boys school, so he never was really around girls, and thusly never put them into his earlier stories. However, Gladriel does open up a scene in a later movie, so I’ll appreciate that. Also, in the book, the dwarfs seemed like they were parading around, so I’m glad that the movie makers changed it to the dwarves acting more secretive.

Next, second part of book versus the second movie, subtitled “Desolation of Smaug.” Many of the scenes do actually happen, although I greatly dislike the whole Kili and lady elf romance thing. First of all, there are no ladies in the book, and second of all, it wasn’t going to last because Kili dies at the end of the book. Also, the whole Gandalf going to the castle was made up, but it does make a lot of sense, explaining where Gandalf went and who was the so called Necromancer whose named popped up sometimes in the book. In the book, Gandalf just randomly says that he’s leaving, while in the movie, he’s actually got a purpose (although rumor says that the whole story of Gandalf going to the Necromancer’s place is actually a side short story that Tolkien just never published, along with some other fillers in the movies). But I also feel that some scenes were too overdrawn, such as Kili getting shoot with a poison arrow, and Legolas liking someone ( he also doesn’t show up in the book).

And finally, the third part of the book versus the third movie, subtitled “The Battle of the Five Armies.” Spoilers for those who haven’t watched it! Personally, after I watched the second movie, I was wondering how the movie makers were going to do a hundred pages in a two and a half hour movie, but it seems like they did. I’ll start with the things I liked. I liked how they really emphasized the dragon’s curse: greed. Especially with Thorin, who definitely has it in the book. Next, in the book, they just suddenly introduce Bard, and five pages later, he kills the dragon, whereas in the movie, they introduce Bard, and you get to like him, and then he kills the dragon, so I like the movie better. Also, the chapter in the book where Bard kills Smaug is titled “Fire and Ice”, but I didn’t get why it was called that until I saw the movie, where Smaug is raging fire over Laketown, which is in the middle of winter and has ice caps in the rivers. Also, I liked how they introduced Gladriel’s real side, because I never knew that about her (in case you guys are wondering, Gladriel’s usual look is magic; her real side is shown in the third movie, and she looks scary).  Finally, I liked that they used The Hobbit end scene with the Hobbits taking his stuff very well, and I also like how the battle was done, which is more explained in what I dislike.

Now for what I dislike: Although I like how they lengthened the battle and showed how the main characters who died in the book die (unlike the book, which gives the whole battle scene less than five whole pages), I dislike how they overextended it! The killing of Smaug only took twenty minutes, even though it was a whole chapter, whereas a five page battle scene took over an hour. Also, why did the orcs and trolls take two whole armies?! In the book, the five armies are the humans, elves, dwarfs, then on the other side, wargals and goblins. Although I liked it better as a battle for the strategic  placeholder (movie) then as a chasing after hobbits for invaded our territory (book), I want the five armies to stay the same, or at least bring back the goblins that you introduced in the first movie! Additionally on the too drawn out, we get it, it was a battle, at least SHORTEN IT! And finally, there is great part in the first movie where Nori and some other dwarfs bury treasure from the trolls in order to get it back later. This happens in the book, and in the end of the book, Bilbo and Gandalf do get back. I wish that they put that in the movie, maybe even by cutting down some battle time!

But anyways, if you’ve watched the movie and haven’t read the book, or vice versa, please do!

-Megan V., grade 9

Book Review: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

hobbit_coverHere is the story of Mr. Bilbo Baggins:

Bilbo, a creature who doesn’t really have a taste for adventure and never travels further than his cupboards, is greeted by a wizard, Gandalf, and fourteen dwarves.  Gandalf had chosen Mr. Baggins to join them on their adventure to The Lonely Mountains as the burglar.  He becomes very hesitant but agrees.  The visitors have a feast and stayed the night inside the hobbit’s cozy hole.  Bilbo wakes up and finds that he is alone. At 10:45 Gandalf comes by and tells Bilbo that the dwarves left a note saying to meet them at the Dragon Inn, Bywater at eleven sharp.  Mr. Baggins races there and arrives just in time.  With everyone on their horses their journey begins.

Along the way they get themselves into quite a few mishaps, such as being caught by trolls and goblins, almost being eaten by spiders, and many more.  Many months later, they finally reach the mountains.  The group is there for the treasure inside, but it is guarded by a fearsome dragon.  Will they be able to retrieve the loot they came all this way for?  Or will something else happen?

I really liked this book because it has unique places and page-turning chapters.  It has adventure, cliff-hangers, and a bit of fantasy.  I hope you enjoy this story.

-Samantha S., 8th grade

Book vs. Movie: The Hobbit

hobbit_bookmovieAs many of you have already, I watched the new Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, last week. I am a huge Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan and I was so glad when I found out these movies are based on books, so I went and read them and watched the movies to compare the two.

The movies were all really well done, because I know it is hard to incorporate every little detail from the books. I also read The Hobbit because I thought that a prologue to the story must be very interesting and it was! The Hobbit was, and still is, one of the best books that I have read, and I read a lot. In the book, The Hobbit, as in the other J.R.R. Tolkien books, there is a lot going on. First, the dwarves are travelling to their mountain while Gandalf is searching for the source of darkness in the world while the elves remain fortified and unwilling to help at first and the lake people believe they are saved from the dragon. Sometimes it gets confusing to keep your mind focused. For example, in the movie, when they switch to a different character and a different place, it takes time for your mind to register the fact that it is a different character and a different place. And by the time your mind registers that fact, the different character in the different place starts talking to another different character in the same different place about some different topic that takes a longer time to register in your mind. That’s the only problem with a lot of things going on, but I feel that it is sort of necessary in such a big world that having a lot going on is normal and when there is a lot going on there is more of a wide area to expect plot twists. This keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and wanting to know what happens next. Both the movie and the book kept me on the edge of my seat.

If you haven’t read or watched The Hobbit, I recommend both the book and the movies to you, but there are two different Hobbit movies at the moment and a third one on its way so make sure, if you would like to see them, that you watch The Unexpected Journey first, and then The Desolation of Smaug, so that you get the story going in the right direction and not backwards. Post a comment below if you have seen the movie or read the books, and just say to those around you how epic they are and how both the movie and the book can take your breath away.

-Kyle H., 7th grade

Book Review: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

hobbit_cover“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” And from this hole came my new favorite fictional character, Bilbo Baggins, the central protagonist in The Hobbit. With the release of the new Lord of the Rings movie, I decided to start reading the famous book. I had high expectations after I found it as number 3 on a list of books to read before dying, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

The Hobbit takes place in Middle Earth, a fictional world that contains wizards, elves, dwarves, goblins, and hobbits. Hobbits are small people who love peace and quiet, food, farming, and parties. They live in a land they call The Shire and most of them dislike adventure.

This prelude to the Lord of the Rings trilogy centers around a peaceful hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who has adventurous ancestors and lives in a lovely underground home called Bag End. The book begins as a wizard named Gandalf visits Bilbo and invites him to join an adventure he is arranging. Bilbo refuses immediately. The following morning, Gandalf visits Bilbo again, this time with thirteen dwarves. The dwarves believe that Bilbo can help them in their journey to the Lonely Mountain to gain back their ancestral treasure from a vicious dragon named Smaug. Bilbo is extremely reluctant to leave his cozy home and join them, but Gandalf manages to convince him to accompany them. The Hobbit follows their adventures as they head to the Lonely Mountain and confront the great dragon Smaug.

I found The Hobbit to be an extremely interesting book. J.R.R. Tolkien uses a conversational, light-hearted tone and uses humor to hook the reader.  The book doesn’t have much detail, and the ending is very abrupt. The author does not spend much time describing anything, which is really different from most fictional books I’ve read. However, I enjoyed The Hobbit immensely and I’m definitely going to see the second part of the film adaptation, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, when it’s released in movie theaters next week!

-Rabani S., 9th grade

Book vs. Movie: Harry Potter & Lord of the Rings

hp_bookmovie Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings are my favorite book series that have been turned into major motion pictures, and I think there can be an argument about which are better: books or movies.

The Harry Potter series is my favorite book series of all time, and I think the books have a lot more to offer than the movies. Movies can’t be too long or else your eyes would explode, so the producers and the directors shorten the actual stories and leave out some scenes, details, and even characters.

For example, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there’s a very exciting scene from the book when Harry and Hermione are on their quest to find the Sorcerer’s Stone. After making it through the giant Wizard’s Chess set, they come across a table with a variety of potions. With only a riddle for their clue, they have to figure out which potion would allow them to continue safely versus which of the potions would send them back or even kill them!  I was so disappointed this scene was not in the movie because I really like how Hermoine uses her logic to decipher the riddle.

lotr_bookmovieWhen I read these series, I imagine what the characters and settings look like, but when I watch the movies I am seeing what the director visualized. In The Lord of the Rings, I imagined Helm’s Deep is a big, magnificent castle in a big, prosperous kingdom. But, when I saw the movie, it was a long wall with only one tower, one passageway, and only offered the refugees one small cave in the mountain behind the castle.

With The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series, I love the books because I can use my imagination to create pictures of the characters and scenes in my mind. But I also enjoy all the movies because the action scenes are a lot more intense than I would have thought… which is a good thing! Plus, all the cool background music adds to the intensity!

Overall, both the books and the movies have their advantages. Personally, I always read the books first so I can have fun creating the imagery myself– but then I like to watch the movies and see how someone else looks at the books. And all the cool special effects and computer graphics are really awesome!

What do you think?  You can leave a comment below and tell me which you think are better: BOOKS or MOVIES?

-Kyle H., 6th grade