Written October 13, 2015
So, the movie starts... I laugh many times, I cringe a few times, I get worried for characters many times, I remember parts of the LotR movies at various points, and then the credits start! I was completely involved from start to finish. I did not know I had been sitting for >2.5hours until I looked at my watch after the credits began. What more can you ask from a movie?
So, it's not Tolkien's The Hobbit. It's Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. Unlike the LotR, I was prepared to ignore (as much as possible) any and all changes. Not possible - Azog chasing after Thorin? Sheesh!) - but I was not allowing that to impact my enjoyment of the movie (also unlike LotR).
Casting, sets, art work, acting (mostly... Elrond is a bit better in this. Gandalf is, unfortunately, a bit "rehearsed"), interpretation of many of Tolkien's thoughts, all great!
Just a fantastic piece of work!
Written May 26, 2016
Ignoring the captivating aspects entirely, the film suffered significantly from too little situational development (more of the Bilbo - Precious type encounters needed), and too many/too lengthy battle scenes. Last it was about 20 minutes too long, but if it has been structured differently, and came with an INTERMISSION (what a concept), then we're talking talking some serious Hobbit hooch!
Written December 14, 2012
Although not quite up to par with the trilogy, The Hobbit still delivers a solid 3 hours of exciting, nostalgic entertainment back through Middle Earth- this time through the eyes of Bilbo Baggins. Beautiful cinematography, exciting 3D effects, intense action sequences, and a thundering soundtrack wrapped into the LOTR's original look & feel are the highlights of the film- with a 10-minute scene of a stunningly beautiful Cate Blanchett reprising her role as Galadriel to boot... *** That said, the storytelling is a bit slow and awkward at times- often seeming more like a Wonderful World of Disney film than a Peter Jackson blockbuster, per say. But, it never idles or stagnates on those scenes and quickly moves past them to keep the audience enthralled. Overall, The Hobbit is still a must-see for die-hard LOTR fans; a should-see for moderately interested fans; and a maybe for those indifferent to sitting 3.5 hours in the theater for trolls, goblins, and fire-breathing dragons.
Written November 01, 2014
The hobbit has a special place for me, it's the first real book I remember reading and so it has a sentimental touch. An Unexpected Journey is a great film. It has a much lighter tone than LotR but that is in keeping with the source material. I was especially surprised how the numerous songs which filled the book were actually included in a fairly seamless manner. Some parts with goblins and orcs may be a bit frightening for small children.
As you may expect from the length, there are several scenes not from the book. Mostly additional back story and scenes to tie this movie back to the LotR. There was a bit too much shakey cam during action scenes but the overall effect was fine.
I saw it in IMAX 3D. IMAX was worth it, the 3D was good but not necessary.
Written March 31, 2015
I read "The Hobbit" in the '70s. It was a pleasure to see this film of the book. It visualizes the story dramatically. The actual images of the monsters here are just amazing. I don't recall the details of the author J.R.R. Tolkien's descriptions of them, but my imaginations could never have invented what director Peter Jackson and his crew have crafted. It is just fascinating fantasy! It will hold your attention all the way.
I look forward to seeing the other parts of the book which are still in production!
The action scenes were thrilling. The 3D experience was at times like being on a roller coaster! Everybody will really enjoy it. I think it would be too intense for small children, but everyone else will really enjoy the ride.
Be aware that this is the first film of three and that an ending to the story is yet to come. I think the book was only two parts.