Written December 15, 2012
Breathtaking. Epic. Wanting the saga to continue immediately when the credits rolled. A must watch in IMAX 3D for multiple reasons. Sprawling landscapes, multidimensional battles/chases, scale and depth of friends and foes. The characters have a more human essence than the LOTR epic caricature-esque acting. It felt less deliberately epic, but no less epic in effect. MArtin Freeman was a natural for Bilbo. Great casting choice. Gollum's 'pre-prise' was very well done and exceeding LOTR performance. This prequel is a quest of Dwarves and battle with orcs, goblins and trolls. Oh and there's Smaug, an immensely powerful dragon that we get impressive glimpses of and hints of what's to come in the second installment of the trilogy. That covers a small portion of it. You have got to see this on the big screen. Like Avatar, this sets a new benchmark of 3D excellence as well.
Written December 17, 2012
This was a good 1 hour and 45 minute film buried under an extra 1 hour and 15 minutes of film. Some of the scenes are really drawn out and you really start wishing they would move along with the story. We saw it in IMAX 3D with HFR. The IMAX made it kind of fun and the 3D was pretty good. I really liked that panning and action scenes looked very smooth with the HFR. The movie had a very odd brightness though and my wife and I could not decide if that was because of the HFR or if it was the lighting. It felt like you were watching a stage play sometimes and like you were watching a documentary at other times. When things were out of focus it was very noticeable also and that was distracting. I will go see another HFR movie but if these issues were related to the HFR then I think Hollywood is going to have to work on making it more attractive and less distracting.
Written December 18, 2012
The Lord of the Rings was among my favorite movies of all times so I had high expectations for The Hobbit. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I hadn't read the book several times. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I hadn't read and seen Lord of the Rings several times. But I have.
My biggest complaints are that for some reason Jackson thought it was a good idea to add all kinds of goofy comedy to what was written as a rather dark story. He channeled George Lucas and managed to make the wizard Radagast into the Jarjar Binks of Middle Earth.
A lesser complaint is that he also altered content by adding his own extra spin on some scenes that just didn't work for me. There was nothing wrong with the way Tolkien wrote the book. Stick to it. I know you have to subtract from stories for time reasons but you should not be adding your own content.
I was excited about this new set of films. Now I am not even sure I will see the 2nd one in the theatre.
Written December 16, 2012
Loved seeing this in 48 frames per second 3D IMAX. It looks very pretty, the epic battles are crystal clear, and the vast expanses of landscapes are a sight to behold. As far as the story, I really enjoyed it. Lighter than LOTR, it was still a great journey (so far). And Gollum? Looks better and as a result has his best performance ever. Worth every penny.
Written December 16, 2012
Too many scenes in 3D looked very fake. It took away from the experience. I would probably have enjoyed a regular screen viewing more. Many scenes at the beginning seemed silly and I found my eyes rolling at several instances. The movie did have some good points but not enough to think the movie as grand and worthwhile as the other trilogy. Somewhat disappointing.