Written February 20, 2013
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Written February 17, 2013
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Written September 30, 2014
I had read the book and taught the book to 8th graders so I was familiar with the characters and plot. I truly enjoyed the movie from that perspective. If you go see the movie, you must see it in 3D. The special effects are amazing. There are points where the people look like they are actually in the theater. One of my concerns is that younger children will be scared by the brutality of the monsters. Also the scenery and action often reminds me of a video game. When, and it probably will be soon, there is a Hobbit video game children might lose sight of Tolken's message and the essential themes of the literary work.
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.