Written December 14, 2012
With expectations running high, the first part of the trilogy of the Tolkien classic The Hobbit did not disappoint. The casting was brilliant, the music was magical, the special effects were seamless, the scenery was stunning, and the 3D was simply mesmerizing. All of my favorite lines from the book were present, but there were some subtle shifts in the story itself. Unlike most book adaptations though, every deviation here succeeds in making this a better movie. Normally I would caution against having hopes set too high since even mild disappointment can ruin an otherwise enjoyable film. In this case however, even the highest expectations are met to great satisfaction. If you fail to enjoy this movie, you might as well give up on the silver screen entirely, or you simply hate hobbits. For the other 99.9%, I invite you to return to a world of magic and peril, of courage in the face of gathering darkness, and discover again the extraordinary strength hidden in the unlikeliest of people.
Written December 24, 2012
The story plays out very well, personally, I am pleased that they have chosen to stretch this out to three parts as this will hopefully allow for all the rich detail of the story to be told as it should be. The cast were all very good, and there were solid performances from everyone. The make-up looks a little fake every now and then when you're seeing the dwarves faces at this scale.
We went to the MAX 3D screening at AMC Lincoln Centre and found it a bit overwhelming at times. I don't think 48 fps bothered either of us too much; we both just find that fast movement in 3D is difficult to process.
The slower scenes are amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing this in HD on my TV as I think this is one of the most visually spectacular movies I have watched. The only thing I would complain about is the HDR, which at times makes the picture look very odd - less realistic - and grainy.
I look forward to the next two instalments, well done to all those involved.
Written December 15, 2012
I had seen early reviews indicating that the movie was slow-paced, that too much time was spent on character development concerning the dwarves. I found that to not be the case at all. As with any large cast, you do need to be introduced to the characters, but this was done at a good pace with the adventure beginning as expected.
I'm not a huge fan of 3D, but was able to watch without getting the customary headache. Some of the fast moving scenes were blurry, but that is the case with all 3D movies. Other than that, the 3D added depth to the majority of the scenes and there were very few gratuitous reaches into the audience. The reaches that were made were sensible and pertained to the plot.
Also being concerned about switching from Ian Holmes to Martin Freeman, I found that the transition used was an easy pill to swallow. I was able to quickly accept Martin as Bilbo and immediately become engrossed in the story without distraction.
All in all, I felt it was very well done.
Written December 24, 2012
From beginning to end we were on the edge of our seats! The story line, cinematography, characters, acting...it was absolutely the best movie I have seen in my life...and I am 50 years old! Two thumbs up!!!
Written December 17, 2012
An enjoyable, entertaining experience. Sure, it was a bit unnecessarily long, but that can be said for most movies. Just like to original trilogy, it had many epic scenes, stunning visuals, and good action.
Was it as good as the original 3 LOTR films? No. But they set a high bar. The overall storytelling wasn't as good in the Hobbit. But on a 1-10 scale, I'd give it a 7.5.