Sam explains the alternate version of THE HOBBIT you almost got stuck with.

Pretty soon, you'll all be able to see my wonderful new film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on the big screen. Because of complicated rights issues, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to release the movie or not, so I actually filmed three separate versions.

The first version is the regular one. The second version was shot on a really nice camera my mother gave me for Christmas. It makes everything look like high school theater, but in brilliant HD! I was going to sell this to film schools since it helps teach children how movies are made by making every artificiality painfully obvious.

And then there's this third version, which is exactly like the regular one you'll see next week except all the names have been changed ever so slightly to keep me out of legal hot water. And so, with this cowardly preamble out of the way, I now give you The Habbit: An Unexpected Adventure! Watch out for spoilers!

The Habbit is about a Habbit named Ballbo who, like all other Habbits, does not like to go on adventures, most certainly not unexpected ones. But that's exactly what he does when his pal Gandoff the Gray comes knocking!

Excited about having company for the first time in over a day, Ballbo goes to the store, which happens to be owned by an Elf named Legolass. Ballbo wants a particular kind of tea, but Legolass says he's all out because this week's tea shipment was stolen by a Dwarf named Gimlee (helping to explain why Elves and Dwarves don't get along)!

This dismays Ballbo because he's determined to serve Gandoff the very best tea in The Share. Fortunately, Legolass tells him where he can find some of what he's looking for. The bad part is, Ballbo will have to walk across Habbiton to get it. "I did not expect to go on such a journey," he grumbles. But go he does!

Across town, Ballbo finds a new shop run by an Elf named Enron, and a wizard named Sourman. They have the tea Ballbo wants, but they charge more money than he has. As Ballbo is about to leave, Enron leans close and offers Ballbo a deal: He'll gladly lower the price of special tea if Ballbo can keep Enron's daughter, Airwin, from falling in love with handsome human ranger, Aracorn!

So Ballbo tries to find the two lovers and keep them from kissing. On the way, he gets lost in a cave where he has to play a game of riddles to keep from getting eaten by a sad, withered creature named Gollam, who says nothing but "My Beauty, my beauty!" all the time. Ballbo wins this contest simply by asking Gollam to identify what's in his pocket. "I don't know, my beauty." says Gollam. Unfortunately, that's the wrong answer. The right answer was "A hole." While in the caves, Ballbo also happens to find a pretty ring!

After besting Gollam, Ballbo finds Airwin and Aracorn in a forest clearing. She is about to give him a very special, very familiar necklace. But before Ballbo can say anything to stop them, two brothers interrupt them first. Baramar and Faramar stompt through the forest, each with a slain orck slung across their back, loudly talking to each other about which one their father, Daramar, likes best. Baramar thinks he's the number one son since he killed the bigger orc. Faramar agrees, adding that Daramar has grown increasingly distant ever since Faramar mentioned his desire to go to poetry school. Then they leave!

Suddenly, Aracorn grabs the distracted Ballbo and demands to know what he's doing sneaking around watching young lovers make out. Ballbo admits everything, and in thanks for his honesty, the noble and wise Aracorn gives him tea from his own personal stash and sends him on his way!

Poor Ballbo doesn't get far before he stumbles upon a fight between an Eliphaunt, a Ring Rathe, and The Ballrog. He sits down and watches the fight. The Ballrog wins. It's all very exciting!

Finally, Ballbo comes back to his house. But instead of finding Gandaff, he finds thirteen dwarves all waiting to be fed. They want him to go on a quest to slay a dragon!

The end. Well not the end of the story, just the end of chapter one of fifteen. See you next year!

(three stars)