Written May 23, 2015
If for no other reason than the opportunity to experience HFR in 3D The Hobbit is a must see! While the large shots where a lot was going on were dazzlingly crystal clear, the downside was in the close ups and scenes with more light where the particular look and feel of HFR seemed more like they were shot with a personal HD and the epic and nostalgic nature of the story was lost. The peripheral plot bits that don't get much coverage in the book were fun and interesting (except for the scene with the moving mauling mountain manikins). The acting was good but short on breadth. The story arc was a bit weak, especially in comparison with the first three films but overall, particularly compared to all other films trying to portray true fantasy fiction, this film was definitely worth the ticket price - the superb rendition of the Bilbo/Golem scene was so good that I would have paid just to have seen it alone - I would recommend this for families but not small children.
Written June 29, 2016
Really hurts to have to say it, but the greedy miscalculation to drag it out into 3 films is going to make all of them poor films where one could have been amazing. The pacing and tension is poor with interminable orc battle scenes and uninteresting filler that kills tension. Scenes added in to the novel storyline are disjointed, confusing, and uninteresting. Dialogue is stale, with poor characterization of phenomenally one-dimensional villains (not even Tolkien's) that come across like moralistic Land Before Time sequel fare. Peter Jackson really lost his way on this.
Written October 10, 2015
Was disappointed, did not want to be! The look, acting, effects were amazing. I was expecting more of an incredible journey through middle earth with the requisite twist and turns ( which it had some of) not extended orc battle scenes.
I overheard a ten year old sitting next to me saying he didn't remember the white orc being in the book--pretty much sums it up.
I will say the gollum scenes were the highlights for me--the riddle battle was very well done and smaug looks amazing!
I hope the 2nd movie picks up the slack!
Written July 29, 2013
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Written October 22, 2014
I'm not one to see a ton of 3D movies; however, I felt like the higher frame rate version really made the experience look smoother to me and didn't hurt my eyes, even after 3 hours of watching.
The story is really portrayed well and pulls from additional sources other than just The Hobbit, and they do this quite well. They also kept the action very solid and it helped the movie feel like it wasn't dragging on. It takes a little bit to get started, but once you're rolling its a very well built experience.