Written December 18, 2014
I'm never a big fan of 3D movies, but I saw this one in 3D in order to see the HFR version. I have to say, it wasn't worth the extra money for the tickets. It certainly did not add to the experience, if anything it was distracting. While it helped smooth out the CGI, the real actors, costumes, props and sets were all so clear that it was painfully obvious that they were actors, costumes, props and sets. In the first scene I could clearly see Bilbo's makeup and hair cream, and later on I could see Gandalf's contact lenses. Rather than making the action sequences appear more 'real', the HFR just made every scene look like an over-lit British sitcom.
As for the movie itself, as others said it was obviously drawn out excessively for fiscal purposes. It felt too long, and many scenes were superfluously extended. Others were changed from the book for no apparent reason, which confused the story more rather than adding to it (like the rock giants battling instead of playing football).
Written December 15, 2012
The best part to this movie for me was the HFR (48 frames per second). The motion was so much smoother. It also made things much sharper in detail. This should be the new standard as a minimum frame rate. Just fantastic. Absolutely the best visual movie experience I've ever had by far. 48 FPS will draw me into a theater every time from here on forward.
As far as the movie itself, they certainly put a lot of CGI special effects effort into this one. I'd say more than any of the other Lord of the Rings movies. As usual, this movie would not be suitable for children.
Written January 01, 2013
I enjoyed the movie. Several actors from the Ring Trilogy appeared in their character roles in this movie. The cinematography and scenery were pretty spectacular. This may have been enhanced by the HFR. The 3D gave a certain depth to the visual experience. There were many story threads woven in the movie to set up background and future events. Seems like this trilogy will be richer than the original story and will be better tied into the Ring Trilogy. The movie might not be suitable for young children, so parents be careful. the movie left me wanting the next installment right away.
Written December 14, 2012
the high frame rate is distracting. There is no place in the image display to suspend disbelief. Any physical inconsistency is magnified by it. Particularly challenging were Dwarves juggling dishes and Dwarves cave-goblin-city wall slaloming on a stretch of rickety carpentry that a. miraculously survives just enough to save our heroes and b. can be seen staying upright with our heroes aloft in eerie detail through the whole descent from goblin city height to craggy final depth. kind of reminded me of watching "Thunderbirds". The story is a bit slow getting started. There are really great parts. Andy Serkis's Golem steals the movie. The last 20 seconds are killer
Written December 15, 2012
I had no idea what a difference the HFR 3D would make. It was the most visually stunning movie I've ever seen, and of course that it was The Hobbit, was perfection! The movie was amazing, and lived up and surpassed expectations. I would not see this one any other way than the HRF 3D, it was like being right there in the movie the whole time. Awesome!!! We will definitely be seeing this one again!