Sound Off: Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
by Alex Billington
December 14, 2012
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Bilbo Baggins, I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure… " It begins! In theaters everywhere is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first movie in Peter Jackson's trilogy adapting the J.R.R. Tolkien classic novel The Hobbit. Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo, who gets whisked away on an adventure with the Company of Dwarves lead by Thorin Oakenshield, played by Richard Armitage, plus Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen. So how is the first movie? As good as Fellowship of the Ring, or not? If you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on the first Hobbit.
To fuel these goblin fires, An Unexpected Journey (seen twice so far in 48FPS 3D) is a wondrous, massively entertaining fantasy epic. It's a gigantic, fun kids movie, completely realized as a trilogy with nothing but the finest cinematic adornments to fill up extra space. I initially praised and have fallen under the spell of 48FPS HFR after seeing The Hobbit for a second time, and I'm curious to hear how audiences respond. As for the movie, it does take a while to get going at first, the introductions in The Shire take forever… Lots of singing and dancing, then finally into some action. The rock monsters are completely awesome, one of the best parts (especially in HFR). I also really loved the final flaming tree showdown, especially when Thorin walks in and takes on the white orc. Lots of badass moments, some great action, an enjoyable story overall.
Here's the thing - I completely understand that this is just setting up a trilogy. We're seeing 1/3 of the full story, only 1/3 of the full character arcs of most of these people. Some of the best moments come near the end of An Unexpected Journey. When the group busts out of Goblin Town, and Bilbo catches up to them, that wonderful little conversation they have. Plus the way Thorin responds on the rock after they get saved. There are so many good characters brewing, and Peter Jackson is taking his sweet time setting them all up. Yea, it does feel a little stretched, but not at the expense of great characters that will build into something wonderful when this concludes two years from now. In the meantime, it's 1/3 of an adventure to get lost in.
What did you think of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit? Another epic achievement or big letdown? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!
Reader Feedback - 70 Comments
Think it was fantastic! After the end credits I could walked walked straight back in to the cinema and watch it again with joy! 🙂 That's a good sign in my book, but I would like to see it once more without 3D before giving a final verdict, but I think the story held together fine and the almost three hours passed away in an breeze.
harri manni on Dec 14, 2012
Just got home from it. Yup, it's good. Damn good.
ik on Dec 14, 2012
Excellent movie. The way it ties in the apendix and other lore info into the books storyline is well executed. I also really enjoy the scene in Rivendel and the discussion of the Morgul Blade, very cool how he is tying things into LotR with more than just the finding of the Ring of Power.
piemaster on Dec 14, 2012
OH MY GOD. Awesome and epic in the most literal sense of the words. And there are two more parts!
Molly on Dec 14, 2012
My fav film of the year!
cub on Dec 14, 2012
I really enjoyed it. It made me very glad Peter Jackson did end up helming this book too. I got a chance to see it in the 48 FPS also and didn't see what all the fuss was about. It was noticeably different from a typical movie at times but I thought it looked good.
Corey Ragland on Dec 14, 2012
Loved the film. Hated the frame rate.
Nick on Dec 14, 2012
Good film, enjoyed allot. A little close to close to fellowship in a couple of scenes and 48fps needs a 2nd viewing, but really enjoyed.
bart on Dec 14, 2012
inb4 people didn't like the movie because they didn't read the books and didn't understand it was written for a younger audience than LOTR. Tolkien even rewrote the "Riddles in the Dark" chapter making it more similar to LOTR and making it more in line with the LOTR story.
si1ver on Dec 14, 2012
The movie itself was great, easily on par with the Lord of the Rings films, and I was sold on the 48fps just minutes into the movie. No more irritating pans and blurry action. Can't wait to see more films take advantage of it.
Matt on Dec 14, 2012
Agree. My expectations going in a bit low because the story obviously ins't in the scale of LOTR but damn was I pleasantly surprised. I have no idea why critics are complaining of it being too long, I thought everything in the film was worthy of being in. And I have always been a fan of 3D and now count me in as a HUGE fan of HFR. The crispness, sharpness and fluidity is unmatched. I loved the way the cgi creatures popped and how real and smooth it all looked
rocky728 on Dec 14, 2012
I had goosebumps throughout most of the movie, seen it twice too in HFR and it looks breathtaking. I personally love that Peter Jackson is taking his time with it and I was enthralled throughout didn't get bored once, this is how Christmas is supposed to be, with a Tolkien/Jackson movie 🙂
Savage on Dec 14, 2012
Watched it in IMAX, and would love it watch it again! Could have been better (in PJ's standards), but was awesome nonetheless.
Rags 'n Ram on Dec 14, 2012
one word: EPIC
Pat on Dec 14, 2012
Dear Reader, For the last couple of weeks, my entire media-sphere has been filled with previews, reviews, opinions, press and chatter - all negative - about how bad, how boring and how disappointing the new Hobbit has turned out to be. Well I hereby declare my intentions to be in complete disagreement with you all! I decided to try to separate the classic analogue film experience from all the newfangled technological hoo-ha, in order to make my own informed opinion about the movie, not the technology… so yes, I ordered myself a round of good old-fashioned movie projection on a screen without any HFR, 3D or Rumble seats. And for all of you out there, who have yet to see this movie, I suggest you do the same, because that experience is a completely different beast, than what you unfortunately may have read about already. My theory is this. That most of the movie going public now expect “The World’s Best Movie” to be served to them straight away, preferably without any major thinking required. Simply because we’re now so used to what we got, when we first saw ‘Return of the King’. But don’t forget, RotK was the culmination of a magnificent piece of filmic work that took two entire movies to set up. When we went to the movies in 2001, the first LoTR was a leap in movie making on a scale rarely seen before. We had never seen such lush, epic and alien vistas, such scrumptious richness of creatures and seductive detail in set design. Our collective imaginations were high-jacked and taken on a joyride. We suspended our disbelief and lost ourselves completely in the magical darkness of the theater. That was then, this is now. Today 11 years later, we’re no longer that easily transfixed. We have seen it all. Transformers, aliens, knights, gladiators, super heroes, monsters, creatures of ancient lore and zombies – in such high volume, that we now expect this level of imagination and craftsmanship delivered to us every week - in our TV-shows. We have become somewhat jaded. We now judge the quality of the effect before we care to judge the quality of the story. Watching The Hobbit requires an old, but forgotten state of mind. It requires that we, as an audience, allow ourselves to return to serene storytelling - the slow burn if you will. The Hobbit is soul food, not Kentucky Fried Cinema. Compare it to the first 3 episodes of the next big drama series. It would spend the same time building up it’s universe, setting the scene for future conflicts and establishing it’s main characters and their reasoning – before the proverbial Shire would even begin to hit the fan for the remaining episodes of the season. The interesting thing is, that every time we invest ourselves in a new series, be it Game of Thrones, Spartacus or The Walking Dead we inevitably end up lively debating, whether or not we think the pace is to slow. This first ‘episode’ of The Hobbit is a travel account in much the same way Fellowship of the Ring was. Think back or re-acquaint yourself with FotR and realize how slow the pace of that movie actually was. How long it actually took for the Fellowship to arrive at the Elven king and obtain his blessing, and how little they actually accomplished before the credit roll. Most of that movie was a travel account constantly interrupted by various creatures and obstacles, long before they even started getting their shit together and figure out what to do. The Hobbit is no different. It’s an excellent movie. Another travel account filled to the brim with new epic landscapes and creatures we didn’t have time to explore properly the first time around during the first trilogy. And yes, I reluctantly must admit that today it does seem a bit harder to muster the same awe, when seeing yet more orcs, more trolls and more giant eagles swooping in at opportune moments. I guess one can’t help feeling like one has seen it before. So then - just because it’s been 11 years, and most of us probably feel like we’ve seen a similar story once before, and we’re no longer as impressed as we used to be – let’s all kick this piece of shit movie’s ass in the media, shall we?… It’s so easy. Especially since now we can all vent our collective unfulfillment and frustration towards the obviously annoying, unnecessary technological bling bling: “What the Hell do we need this modern crap for? I want my pudding!” Now I got to see the purely cinematic version of the movie, without any high-tech distractions and this was an entirely engaging experience. I will definitely watch it again, this time with all the 3D bells and HFR whistles… maybe even with divine SmelloVision… and I’ll most likely hate it for interfering with my precious suspension of disbelief – in much the same way that I now consider most 3D a dead dog being pointlessly beaten. But I refuse to hate the damn movie! I for one look forward to see how the story develops in the upcoming… episodes. So there you have it. My best advice to all of you so busy dissing it: Inhale something… Relax… Slow down your pace… Watch it in old school No-D… and treat it like you were at an exclusive three-episode premiere of one of this year’s best new TV-shows. Enjoy the movie… just saying! Media: Feel free to ask permission to reprint this article.
Månsson Morten on Dec 14, 2012
good stuf and i entirely agree, just saw here in NZ! loved the gollum-bilbo bit the bes tso far, very dark, and this is where the new film tech really works, ortherwise i could have left the 3d behind, but before i make full judgement i wanna see it in 2d! i take it the 2d is not in the 48 fps? im still not sure about it tbh, wide shots look great as do the cgi beasties, but normal shots have a wierd telly look to it.
LBR on Dec 14, 2012
Thx! In Denmark the 2D version is classic 24fps only. Only the 3D version is HFR. Hope this answers your question.
Månsson Morten on Dec 15, 2012
Just saw here in NZ! another great chapter in middle earth, loved the gollum-bilbo bit the best tso far, very dark, and this is where the new film tech really works, ortherwise i could have left the 3d behind, but before i make full judgement i wanna see it in 2d! Can anyone tell me if the 2d is not in the 48 fps? I'm still not sure about the 48fps it tbh, wide shots look great as do the cgi beasties, but normal shots have a wierd telly look to it. Another viewing is a must i think?
LBR on Dec 14, 2012
saw it in 2D - it was everything i'd hoped it'd be and more.....i'm really pleased at the use of appendix history - it really helps bringing the world to life.i can't wait to see (in next 2 films) what other additional info he ties into this 3 movie production. this movie is a perfect example of why film critics reviews should NOT be read as fact......they missed big on this one.
beevis on Dec 14, 2012
going to see. Read the book 25 years ago, so if this is set up as a trilogy, then I expect to see a lot of details brought out from the book. I wasn't disappointed with the lord of the rings, very much like the books.
ksue on Dec 14, 2012
its a trilogy the second is title 'Desolation of Smaug' and the third is called 'There and Back Again'
Jericho on Dec 14, 2012
Is that the order? I though TaBA was second, DoS third. No matter I guess.
Brian Sleider on Dec 14, 2012
LOVED IT. Like going home.
she oh her on Dec 14, 2012
The Hobbit was an amazing film and this is my review. If you still haven´t seen it and don´t like spoilers, don´t read further. A warning: My head is spinning from the sensory overload. I should sleep and write tomorrow, or even better after a second viewing, but by then I probably won´t be as excited as I´m now to write a full review. Lets start with the technical stuff. The screening was at 48f/s, it was projected with the Barco 4k projector and the theatre uses dolby 3d technology which imo is superior to reald 3d, which tends to make the picture too dark with grey tint or green tint depending on the glasses. Much has been said about HFR. What I discovered this evening surprised me, not because it was a revolution. It surprised me that it wasn´t. HFR is more of an evolutionary step towards a clearer image. It looks sharper than any film I have seen and that is all that matters to me. The best way to describe it is the jump from dvd to 1080p HD. If you like grainy dvd movies, watch it in traditional 2d or normal 3d, if you want HD watch it in HFR. End of story. All this talk about TV hd or BBC tv shows is bullshit. I have never seen a film on hd tv that look this good. TH did not have pacing issues imo. If the first hour of TH was slow, then the same argument could be applied on FOTR. Back in 2001 some of my friends thought Bilbos birthday party in FOTR dragged on for too long and was boring, but they were no lotr fans to start with. They just came for the action. Many internet critics have said TH started very slow. They didn´t write the same thing about FOTR (Yes, I have checked) although that movie took its sweet time until the quest got started. So what´s the deal? It´s like they didn´t like it as much as the liked FOTR but don´t know how to say why it wasn´t as good so they start talking about slow start and pacing issues. I honestly thought the movie was too short and that it didn´t drag one bit. It was very fast paced. There were moments in FOTR where i thought it dragged, not that it was bad, just that I wanted the quest to start. I never felt the same about TH. The setting up of the dwarves was essential to make the story work. I thought the ending was too quick and was surprised that the pinewood on fire sequence enden so quickly, which must have more to do with the decision to make two movies into three than anything else. In the FOTR the ending was perfect. Bormomirs death, Aragorns fight against Lurtz, Frodo and Sam. Here the ending is more abrupt. I suspect that a few scenes that were cut made the TH feel too short for me. I would not have minded another ten minutes. As an example Gandalf had the Morgul blade at the Whie Council meeting, but we never saw how he got it. Did Radagst give it to him? If so then I missed that part. In the first trailer and some of the official stills we saw clearly that Gandalf was in a dark place with his staff lit, searching for the Witch Kings burial place. That is never shown either. Characters and monsters and places: - Martin Freeman is my favourite Hobbit. Can´t wait to see his growth and his interaction with Thorin and the other dwarves. - Ian Mcellen was born to play Gandalf. Loved how he tricked the company to enter Rivendell. - Thorin was one of the main two heroes of the story. His background story was the stuff of legend. I know this will sound like fanboy hyperbole, but I thought that Thorin was even more badass than Aragorn or at least he was in the flashback. That is why I loved that he was beaten by Azog and was saved by Bilbo at the end. - Elrond was better than he was in FOTR. He had a sense of humour and was more nuanced although he had only a small part. Loved how he welcomed the company and how he recognized Thorin. - The seed of evil that would grow inside Saruman was fortunatley never hinted at. He was still Saruman the noble white wizard. But he was impatient with Gandalf and had some harsh words to say about Radagast and his mushrooms which was kinda funny. - The brown wizard was perfect imo. After reading all the negative stuff written about him I can gladly say he was very well written and acted. With Radagast it has become like with the long running time or slow start. Critics have run out of arguments. If you don´t like him fine, but comparing him with that highly annoying character from phantom menace makes you look stupid. He has a thrilling but very short encounter with the Witch King and the Necromancer himself and he survives. That makes him more than comic relief in my book. The humour was not ovedone and when Gandalf gives him his pipe so that he can calm his nerves with a smoke after we see him chased from Dol Guldor, the audience cracked up. Some even applaused. - The trolls: Perfect scene. The cgi was amazing and looks much better than the trailers. The trolls alone are another reason to watch it in HFR. In lotr the enemies were mostly dumb creatures. Here the trolls, still dumb, had so much more character. -The wargs: I loved the fantastical OTT design, the glowing eyes, their huge jaws, but I can´t put my fingers on why they weren´t perfect. The cgi was as good as anything in the film. I think the clarity of the HFR did hurt the wargs. The detail on the fur was so sharp but the design was so fantastical that in the end it didn´t look real. Same problem with the giant deer that is Thranduil´s mount. The design was perfect with a beautiful fantasy forest king feel, but the fur on the deer was fake looking. Would probably look better in 2d. So Weta needs to get furry animals right. They got it right with King Kong and Planet of the apes. I can live with the wargs, but if Beorn is not perfect, that would hurt my impression of TDOS. -Dol Guldur: Awesome. Can´t wait to see what´s in store. We get glimpse of the Necromancer. He looked very strange. Just a black 2d shadow of a man. No real shape. No smoke. It was too short to tell. Didn´t like it at all. Bats chasing Radagast from Dol Guldor. Nothing special. I had hoped for Man-sized vampire bats. Richard Armitage said Bats would fight eagles. Hope those Bats will be much larger. -Azog: Great enemy. Truly imposing orc chieftain. Don´t understand all the talk about bad cgi. Azog and his great white warg were frickin brilliant. Yes, they looked cgi but so did Gollum. I thought the cgi of Azog, Goblin King and Gollum were on the same level of quality and for the moment that is the best cgi there is. -Goblin King: The trolls and Goblin king and Gollum was the reason why I advice strongly on an HFR screening. I felt that that fat grotesque monster was present in the scene in a way I never experienced with cgi before. -The Eagles: A shame they didn´t talk. It would have been a great opportunity for PJ to make them more than Middle-Earths taxi service. Gandalf calls them with the aid of a moth, exactly like he did in lotr. Would have been much cooler if Radagast had contacted them and had flown in to rescue the company. That would have tied in his storyline much better imo. -The action was very good but not as good as in FOTR, which was a surprise to me. I liked the characters more than in fellowship but the action, although very good, was not as grounded and gritty. Hope that will change with the next two movies. - The score was better than in most action-fantasy movies but this is the one thing that I didn´t like as much as I would have liked to. Howard Shore needs to do some new themes. Too much recycling. The dwarve motif was used strangley at times, like when the dwarves attack the trolls it starts suddenly to boom and one must blame PJ, which is only a nitpick. - Smaug. Need to see it again, but i didn´t like his cgi eyes at the end. Too fake. He seemed to have four legs, or more correctly arms and legs instead of just two legs, like the fell beast. Giving Smaug arms was a great choice and will hopefully pay off in a great way in the most iconic scene of the next episode.
Gandalf´s Apprentice on Dec 14, 2012
We clearly saw that Radagast gave the morgul blade to Gandalf. And for the scene were Gandalf lowers his sword in a grave-like place(from the trailer) I think that trailer was released when the plan was to make 2 movies. When PJ extended it to 3 movies, that scene may have been placed into the 2nd movie.
Ege Sönmez on Dec 14, 2012
Damn. Totally missed it the first time. Saw it again today. But I was thinking about the scene from the trailer where Gandlaf is in a dungeon and his staff is alight. I thought they would show him down there searching for the witch kings tomb and finding the blade. Anyway we will know for sure next year with tdos or it could be in the auj EE.
Gandalf´s Apprentice on Dec 15, 2012
awesome review,,, yu just detailed everything like it is,,, from the initial reviews I also got a bad picture about HFR (BBC Series),, but as yu rightly point out, itz da next big step to an amazing era of visualization !!! It was a brilliant decision from PJ to make it in HFR,,, m/
Kiran Premlal on Dec 14, 2012
Thanks. See it in 2d if you can. Saw it in traditional 2d projected digitally and must say it was very sharp and clear. Gone are the days of 35mm film projections. This time I even loved the score. There is a lot of subtle work I missed the first time. Visually the only thing that was superior in HFR was the goblin town, goblin king and azog. The Rhosgobel shots didn´t have the same depth of field and felt a little flat compared to hfr. The wargs were actually better in 2d as I suspected they would be. It went even faster the second time, which means that PJ nailed the pacing wonderfully.
Gandalf´s Apprentice on Dec 15, 2012
Fun movie. I loved how he tied in the start of this movie with the start of the LOTR. But my favorite detail was when Bilbo finds the ring. Jackson captured the scene almost exactly from the intro to the Fellowship, except it was Friedman instead of Holm jittering when he hears Gollum (and we also learn what Gollum was crying about). I don't think the pacing was off, but in terms of negatives I think the FX at times looked off and the Radgast stuff was a little overdone at times. For instance, what was the point of him riding around in circles? Saw it in 2D, and I now can't wait to see it in IMAX 3d @ 48 fps this weekend.
dbucks on Dec 14, 2012
He was distracting so the company could escape? Was pretty blatantly obvious i thought.
avconsumer2 on Dec 16, 2012
Months ago when the first trailer came out I said that I had no interest in this movie but wished all the fans all the best and hoped for this movie to be everything U guys hoped for.... From the remarks thus far, its seems U guys go what U wished for... So although I still have no interest in this movie, I am very happy for all U guys that the movie U hoped for and more ( and a little envious.. come on Star Trek 2 !!! )
Tester on Dec 14, 2012
Smiled the whole way through. Those Drawves can get down!
RickyDipster on Dec 14, 2012
Also Martin Freeman as Bilbo is quite superior than Elijah Wood as Froto. I haven't read the books so I'm not sure if this a diss to the character of Froto or Elijah as an actor..or both?
RickyDipster on Dec 14, 2012
Who's Froto? Hmm, maybe it's time that you should see at least one of the LOTR's movies. But as for Froto, he's not in the book The Hobbit, neither is someone called Frodo.
Hattori Hanzo on Dec 14, 2012
Great post dude. Sorry for the misspell...
RickyDipster on Dec 17, 2012
And FRODO was in the beginning of the movie so..
RickyDipster on Dec 17, 2012
Great movie thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is. HORRIBLE adaptation of a book. WTF is with Azog? He died at the gates or Moria. at the hands of Dain. Now he is a central antagonist? I wish lil PJ could keep to the source more and meddle less. If you have never read The Hobbit there is nothing wrong with this movie. Having read it many times I am irked at what he did. Having said that I still LOVED the movie and enjoyed very much.
Brian Sleider on Dec 14, 2012
I think the movie just needed an antagonist, because there wasn't one. I see no problem with departing from the source material. The book will always remain unchanged.
Chris Purdy on Dec 15, 2012
I do not agree that it needed an antagonist, even if it did I would rather they Flesh out the "Pale Orc" that was ACTUALLY in the book instead of bring to life a long dead orc and fashion him into something he was not. I think that is one of the problems die hard Tolkin fans have with PJ, he makes changes to source material that really make no sense. Take the end scene. SPOILER, it took place in a clearing and the suspense came from the fact the the fires lit THEIR trees on fire not the tree falling off of a cliff(as their was no cliff) also they are remained in their own tress. There was already tension in that scene he didn't need to make more. But as I said I still LOVED the movie and plan to take my daughter to see it again, this time in 3D, when her Christmas break starts. The 2 parts I mentioned are the only real issues I have. There are other departures from the book but those I will not mention as they make for a better story on the Screen.
Brian Sleider on Dec 15, 2012
i've read it many times - and i loved the movie.
beevis on Dec 15, 2012
Less personal than FELLOWSHIP, but faster paced and more action packed. The chase sequence in the Goblin King lair is a cleverly sustained roller-coaster cinema. The score, special effects & cinematography are all more stirring than the one from the original trilogy but I feel like the movie is rushed with less emphasis on the emotional core - fear, doubt, hopelessness- of the characters.
Handy on Dec 14, 2012
I thought it was pretty good. It lived up to my expectations, I didn't feel it's length, and I was thoroughly entertained. But maybe that's because I saw it in 24 FPS. But jokes aside, it's got my stamp, looking forward to the other two.
Big Boss on Dec 14, 2012
Loved it. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is my all time favorite film (I count it as 1 film) and I couldn't be happier with The Hobbit. Can't wait for the next one!
Daniel_Plainview_Milkshake on Dec 14, 2012
I thought it was great. Freeman was excellent, as was McKellen. The 13 actors portraying the dwarves were all awesome. I wouldn't dare compare it to LOTR...because they are two completely different movies...set in the same universe. The humor of The Hobbit was fantastic. I for one loved the Shire intro moments, peaceful and fun. The action was great, the acting greater, the story much greater. I definitely cannot wait for the next two installments, eventhough I wanted the film to keep going...I will gladly wait. The White Orc was epic. Radaghast was awesome. Cannot wait to the Necromancer...havew a feeling it will be quite the experience to see what they do with this memorable character. The moment we see Saruman lay his eyes on the blade I got tingles, something tells me he started planning his betrayel then and there. The Gollum scene was amazing. The Goblin King was quite a sight to behold. The Dwarven battle scene was awesome, awesome, awesome. Definitely a must see.
Xerxexx on Dec 14, 2012
it was an extremely well made movie visually, but overall for me it just felt like reheated LOTR leftovers
Six Three on Dec 15, 2012
Absolutely loved it! Even more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy in my opinion. However... DO NOT WATCH IT IN HFR/48 PER SECOND. I MEAN IT! Within 5 minutes of watching it, I walked out and changed my ticket to watch it in regular mode. The difference was astounding -- I couldn't believe how something so glaringly awful could look so epic and cinematic in 28 frames per second. Even if you're curious to see what's like, just DON'T DO IT! Stick with the regular screening.
George Caltsoudas on Dec 15, 2012
You should have given 48fps more of a chance than 5 minutes. It did look very different at first, but after a while I got pretty used to it. For 3D it's a big improvement. No more strobing or blur as soon as the camera pans. It's not the look we're used to, but it's a very cool visual experience once you get used to it.
Andreas Climent on Dec 15, 2012
It is not a cool visual and for the mainstream crowds going into with no understanding of the technicalities of it will most definitely be frustrated. I think they should pull it from cinemas and the Jackson and the producers should issue an apology. That aesthetic has no place in cinema. It looks unprofessional. I didn't even need five minutes. Once can tell how appalling it is before the movie even starts just from seeing how cheezy the fluid motion of the Warner Bros and New Line Cinema logos look: Like those dated logo graphics I remember seeing as a kid that came up before the start of a Disney movie on VHS tape, or the awful 3D graphic you sometimes see used during infomercials. The opening sequence looked like those documentaries on the History channel where they have reenactments of historical events. And whenever the characters were in cgi settings it looked like when a person does the weather report on the news and they've got that fake map background behind them, but somehow in 28 fps it looked real like they were actually in those environments. If anything it's fascinating to watch it in 48 and then in 28 to see the difference.
George Caltsoudas on Dec 16, 2012
Dude, seriously. If you want people to take you seriously it's 24 fps, not 28. And just because you didn't like it they should pull it from cinemas? Get a grip, everyone else seems to be enjoying it.
John Boy on Dec 17, 2012
Saw it yesterday in IMAX 3D HFR. I thought it was great. I think Jackson did a great job of recreating the world of Middle Earth. It all felt so very familiar. I thought the story was great, with most of the additions and changes to the book understandable, if not beneficial. Martin Freeman was terrific, and you could tell he had studied Ian Holm. While we predictably could not be introduced to all of the dwarves, I thought Jackson did a great job of individualizing several of them, and the performances were mostly decent. I feel like it was hard to appreciate the format because I didn't have a baseline comparison. I've only seen three other IMAX 3D movies, Avatar, Prometheus, and The Avengers. But The Hobbit did feel a lot smoother. The action sequences were crisp. The smoke was as real as it gets. I did not ever think the detail was so much as to make the movie feel cheap or fake, as many critics have claimed. What I also noticed was that the initial discomfort I almost always feel throughout the first 15 minutes of 3D movies was absent. In fact, I don't really remember my eyes feeling uncomfortable at all. For me, that was definitely the most notable aspect of the HFR.
Schmendrick on Dec 15, 2012
Agree. Was the least intrusive 3d i've seen. Hate the 3d, but wanted the imax. This was the non-hfr imax.
avconsumer2 on Dec 16, 2012
AUJ is as good if not better than FOTR. I´m convinced that the first part of Peter Jacksons hobbit trilogy will be considered as a text book example of how to adapt a novel in the future. A lot of fans said it will be impossible to show any good character development for Bilbo if they end the movie after the warg attack. After I saw it today for the third time today I went out with a smile on my face, thinking about how much Bilbo has grown since we first saw him sitting in front of his hobbit hole. That alone was worth to me more than anything else. It was such a natural transition and so beautifully acted by Martin Freeman. He killed a warg which was by accident, but then he killed an orc hunter to save Thorins life and that was nothing but heroic. Before that he somehow escaped beeing noticed by the goblins and escaped and then survived the encounter with Gollum. The scene at the end was Jackson and his co-writers addition to make Bilbo more heroic and it worked perfectly. The gollum scene was from the book. With TH Jackson has proven again he can adapt material that exists but also add new material and make it work in the context of the film. That to me is a perfect adaptation.
Theobelia on Dec 15, 2012
I absolutely loved it, and can't figure out why the critical reviews weren't more glowing. This was as fun as a child's story with some great and weighty tie ins to the Lord of the RIngs movies. We saw it in standard 24fps 2D and thought it was georgeous. My 7 year old son approved of everything EXCEPT when Bilbo was the one doing the crafty delaying in the famous troll scene - he called a big foul on that one (but ultimately forgave the change since Galdalf was at least the one to actually caused the stoning!) A fantastic piece of whimsical fiction realized in a way I'd never imagined as a chlid. Kudos Mr. Jackson and crew, you still have the magic going in Middle Earth.
Mark on Dec 15, 2012
loved being back in Middle earth and the 48 HFR in IMAX was the 1st time I actually enjoyed a 3D movie. It was bright and crisp not dark like most 3D movies look. There were moments that I wanted the pace to pick up but 3 hours zipped by and Golum is AMAZING
watcher_skys on Dec 15, 2012
I know there's spoilers here and place to rant about how the movie was...though I haven't seen it yet (which I'm doing tomorrow), I only gotta ask....if the new Star Trek 2 trailer is suppose to hit with the introduction of this movie, does anyone know when it'll hit online? I'm surprised its not on here yet
JBrotsis on Dec 15, 2012
I saw it in IMAX 3D HFR and thought it was laughable (literally people in the audience did). Perhaps the combination of IMAX and 48fps was the main cause for all the CG (mainly the composted scenes like the wizard riding the bunny sleigh) looking straight out of the 80's in terms of realism. While scenes I know that will appear "juddery" in 24fps (all the areal sweeping shots following the characters atop the mountains) looked amazingly crisp and smooth, the majority of the movie didn't fare so well with the additional frame rate. To me it made the actors feel more amateur and blew holes in most of the CG's ability to blend into a live action scene. I thought the story was a little slow to start with, but overall good. I'm going to see it again tomorrow at the proper frame rate 🙂
50U7D13R on Dec 16, 2012
Saw this brilliant movie at the Arc light in la Jolla in 48fps 3d DolbyAtmos sound. It was definitely a movie experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Two aspects of the movie were the visual clarity and non existent motion blur. It took about 20-30 minutes to enjoy it. I feel the troll scene in the dark looked utterly amazing. From then on I was sucked into the visuals. As far as the story was concerned I was entertained and was sucked in. Many high points but the part at the end with the oale orc and the king going toe to toe was simply epic movie making.
dee on Dec 16, 2012
Wanted to add to previous post, the introduction of the movie in 48fps should have started with the dwarves meeting at the house of Bilbo. I say this because the dragon scene hit us too hard with seeing 48fps . I was turned off by it at first but once I was adjusted or used to it,or even accepted it,then I was able to really enjoy it. Just like watching HDTV for the first time. At the end of the movie I wanted to see the very beginning again, hence multiple viewings are needed. Am I alone with this statement or assessment?
dee on Dec 16, 2012
Terrific. Big reminder that some critics are really just trolls that get paid. Also, if the academy doesnt recognize THAT direction, they are dead to me.
avconsumer2 on Dec 16, 2012
agreed - and anyways - the film is tearing it up at the box office. the critics can hate and the academy can ignore....it doesn't stop the paying public from enjoying the hell out of this!
beevis on Dec 16, 2012
This is a review of the technology rather than the film itself. I've now seen the Hobbit twice, first in 2D and then we saw it again last night in IMAX 3D HFR. There was a clear difference in the experience of the film with the two technologies. Pros: - The HFR technology provides an amazing clear image. The scenes in the goblin kingdom were amazing in HFR compared to the 2D version. - Some scenes of CG were much better than in 2D. As mentioned above, the goblin kingdom was the best, but the scene with the eagles was made better with HFR. The eagles looked so much better in HFR. Cons: - My brain processed the HFR in high speed for most of the movie, which was very distracting and removed me from the movie. Couple of examples that stood out. a) when Froto and Bilbo walked around Bag End, I experienced it like they were on speed. b) Bilbo's voice was not sync'd with his lips when we sat down to write the story. c) I noticed if a character was sitting still and they would move an arm, the arm would move in high speed but the rest of the scene moved in regular speed. The same thing happened with body hair at times. At times Gandalf's beard fluttered at high speed while the rest of him moved normally. - The biggest downfall of the technology that I noticed was the camera movement. It was very distracting at times since there were scenes were I would experience the camera wiggle, even if it was a shot with the camera was sitting still. There was a lot of camera wiggle in the Bag End scenes. When a shot was filmed from a helicopter, I experienced the mechanical-like pan with the start/stops of the camera rather than the sweeping shot in the non-HFR. - I definitely experienced the movie as a BBC TV show at times. The scene that stands out the most in my mind was when Bilbo wakes up in Gollum's cavern. Most of the interaction between Bilbo and Gollum was experienced like this. Overall, the HFR technology was amazing and the clarity of the image was worth the cost of admission. I really enjoyed this portion of the experience. However, the cons listed above really distracted and removed me from Jackson's storytelling. The technical execution clearly needs to be developed further before HFR completely replaces the existing 24fps. If they improve the technical aspects of the filmmaking process to remove the camera wiggle and panning issues, I think this technology will be a fascinating addition to the movie theater experience.
dbucks on Dec 16, 2012
After seeing the hobbit I have noticed that there are some movies like Life of Pi where you have to it. But on the other hand movies like the Hobbit An Unexpected Journey is a movie to just rent or see it a couple weeks later. I'd give it a B- good acting by Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, and Ian Mckellen!
Jackmooney9 on Dec 16, 2012
Love, Love, Love it. Should have known that when I saw the dragon's eye, it would end right there. My mouth fell open and I was drooling for more!!!! I could have stayed for another 2 1/2 hours!!
Pam on Dec 16, 2012
Rottentomatoes(65%) and Metacritic(58%) VS a few days at the boxoffice: worldwide is at the moment(Des17th) $222,975,000. It will be even more fun, day by day, week by week as this one will go over 1 billion, hehe. Fuck' is up with all these critics?
David Banner on Dec 16, 2012
Loved it. Took my wife to it on Saturday, she is not a big LOTR fan but she loved this movie.
Mark on Dec 16, 2012
Sorry I was disappointed. I am judging it by the book which was much better. The beginning was nothing like the book. The dwarves meeting at Bilbo's house were crammed into such a tiny space and so much noise it got confusing... There was no note on the fire mantle to tell Bilbo to meet them at the pub. The meeting of the Trolls was nothing like the book although I did laugh at Bilbo being used as a nose wipe. The stone giants were very good and added a nice touch to the mountain pass. But Gandalf and co were not separated in the book... They had ponies with them ... AND Gandalf... where did Gandalf and the ponies go? The goblins were very disappointing unlike the goblins in LOTR. The hobbit goblins were just fat lumps of jelly with legs. The floor in the goblin caves were made from rock not wood. And Bilbo lost his buttons in the goblin door not whilst being chased by Gollum. Gollum made me and every one else laugh The wargs and goblins had a meeting in a clearing in a wood NOT on the edge of a cliff. Thorin did not jump down and fight the goblins or wargs and Bilbo did not save Thorins life by attacking wargs and goblins. There was no path down from the eagles eyrie but in the film there was? The film finished by showing Smaugs eye opening...Please tell me they are not going to cut out Beorn Mirkwood the elven king and Rivendale. It doesn’t live up to the exciting LOTR and I am sorry to say it didn’t do it for me. I actually fell asleep while Gandalf was talking to Galadrial....Comments from others at the cinema.... Was that it, confusing, nothing like the book, disappointing, hope the others are better... etc. In mho I don’t think so. I for one won’t be watching or waiting for the second part
Stan on Dec 17, 2012
Simply, yet another masterpiece from one of the best directors on earth. Words can't really describe how great this movie really is. Sorry Nolan, you are amazing too but Jackson is way beyond that, he is GREAT!
Ali Linx on Dec 19, 2012
What a let down. I had to put the first lord of the rings movie on when I got home to try to get rid of the bad karma from this one. King Kong was better. Just making money off all the LOTR fans....
frank on Dec 19, 2012
Went to see it this morning, quite enjoyed it, only saw it in basic 'flat' no fancy frame rate or anything. Found the creatures amazing and it was great to be in another world for a few hours. Really thought Gollum was getting scarily like Andy Serkis, his facial expressions were eerily like him, I suppose since LOTR his work on the Mo-cap has got better and better. Here's to more of Hobbitses.
Carpola on Dec 19, 2012
Marco just gave The Hobbit a C score because he thought the original sory was stretched too much read more on http://www.firstshowing.net/2012/our-complete-2012-christmas-week-now-playing-movie-guide-is-up/ It's funny that people think PJ's LotR trilogy was divided correctly into 3 movies for each book, and I have to side with Peter Jackson here because the only way he could make the Hobbit more than a "children's tale" and more like the original trilogy, which is funnily what every single person on the planet expected this film to be, was by adding those extra material aka what Bilbo did not see about Gandalf on his journey ergo he did not write on his book.
Ege Sönmez on Dec 25, 2012
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