However, I ... crunch ... crunch ... nom ... nom ... nom ...
In case you're wondering, that's the sound of me eating my words, not me pretending to be a troll.
I went to see 'The Hobbit' at the weekend, and emerged from the cinema with a big grin and a lovely feel-good glow. It's a fantastic film. I should have known better than to doubt. After all, Pater Jackson is such a huge Tolkien fan that he's unlikely to do the book a disservice.
Inevitably, the film has a far greater sense of fun than the LOTR trilogy. While there's some neat 'portents of the doom to come', the story lacks the end of the world dread of the LOTR.
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, the dwarven prince, is wonderfully gruff and noble, while Sylvester McCoy was born to play Radagast the Brown, bird poo in his hair and all. It was also good to see Aidan Turner featuring as dwarven tottie, Kili. Some of us in the UK already know him from the original UK series of 'Being Human', (I can confirm that he's just as hot in person as he is in dwarven guise, having encountered him a few years back at a bus-stop - although I was rather distressingly dishevelled at the time, as I had just emerged from a yoga class!)
But I digress. I'm sure Tolkien purists will find plenty to gripe about, and certainly the gfilm was far from perfect, but frankly, there's such a lot to like about it that I don't care how far Pater Jackson has wandered from the original text, or how many holes you can pick in the story he has chosen to tell.
More than anything, it was such a pleasure to spend a couple of hours immersed in that world again after so long. Can you believe it's been more than a decade since the LOTR films?! I remember how delicious it was being able to visit the cinema each Christmas for three years in succession to visit Middle Earth as each LOTR film was released. And now I can look forward to doing so all over again with 'The Hobbit'. Woo hoo!
Seriously, if you haven't been to see it yet, ot-foot it to the cinema right away. And if you have seen it, I'd be interested in hearing what you thought.
Btw, I've decided I want to live in Rivendell. Or at least in the Peter Jackson/Alan Lee/John Howe version of it. Even if the elvish harp playing might wear thin after a while ...