The story introduces 12 new dwarf characters- Balin, Dwalin, Oin, Gloin, Dori, Nori, Bifor, Bofor, Bombor, Fili, Kili, and Thorin. In almost three hours of screen time most of these receive so little development that I doubt that most viewers could name them or distinguish one from another. Contrast this with FOTR where we are introduced to hobbits, elves, wizards, dwarves, men, and orcs and character gets as much attention as action. In order to feel involved in a story you must know and care about the characters. Endless running battles with orcs don't accomplish that.
The movie had charming sequences such as Bilbo's hobbit hole, but most of the movie was like the book. The book was very thick and detailed with the fantasy aspects. I think that about 30 minutes of the movie could be removed.
After reading all the reviews of The Hobbit I could find, I was prepared to be disappointed. But there was no way I was not going to this movie. It was the fasted 3 hours I've spent in a movie theater. I appreciated the idea that the appendices from the LOTR was added. It makes the whole flow from the Hobbit to the LOTR trilogy make sense. I found the inclusion of Ian Holm and Elijah Wood at the beginning well done. The dwarves were mistrustful (or more?) of the elves. This was better explained in the movie. Yes, a lot of action was added to the movie but it was very well done. Now, if we can just get to see Tom Bombadil and Goldberry at some point in the next two films, I'll be happy. I missed them in the LOTR movies.
The Hobbit is a visual feast, often stunningly spectacular. The movie starts out slow and silly, but then morphs into a 2-hr violent action movie. Not much of a story here, and little character development, but it holds your attention and leaves you wanting more by the end. Could have been edited better and shortened by at least half an hour, it is still a worthwhile spectacle. If you liked Jackson's LOTR trilogy, you will like this.
I went to see the movie with my husband (who has read the book 20+ times -- I tried to read it once but didn't make it past page 100), and we both came away disappointed. We both absolutely loved the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, so much so that we saw the first one twice, and I actually read all three books because I couldn't wait a whole year for the next one. To me, the problem was that the director was too focused on the special effects and 3-D effects and forgot that the most important part of the movie is the story. (George Lucas made the same mistake with "Phantom Menace.") I also had trouble believing that a Hobbit and a bunch of dwarves could outmuscle much bigger trolls and nastier orcs. I definitely won't bother to see it again.
Fifteen minutes of a decent movie lost within 2.5+ hours of Peter Jackson jerking at a blue screen. Every scene took 3 times longer than it needed to, they added pointless battle scenes, characters, exposition, and bookended them with increasingly gratuitous wide shots of middle earth with an unnecessarily over-the-top score to pad the run time. IThey tried to make it 'exciting' for audiences by adding ridiculous battle scenes under flimsier and flimsier pretexts. It's kind of hard to jump between bumbling, jokey, weeds-smokin' Gandalf and dwarves to scenes where Bilbo has somehow become a master-swordsman regularly stabbing things in the head. Afterward, I stumbled onto a pile of cash on the street, God subsidizing my experience
Go to this film and make up your own mind! We saw it in 48fps and 3D - no problems, great picture, great sound, lovely acting and spectacular scenery. Now, granted we all have pretty good bladder control and apparently far healthier attention spans than your average "professional" critic!
Perfect holiday movie for the family. The professional critics mostly hate it but in this case they have read it wrong and Peter Jackson has it right. Its not a profound movie trying to make a point just a old fashioned adventure tale well told and made with wonderful technical wizardry.
Here is a short list of the changes to events from the book that that bugged me and don’t help the story. If you know the book; these short-hand references will make sense. - Bilbo’s Tookish part waits till morning to wake-up. - Thorin hates Elves. - Thorin was in the mountain when Smaug attacked. - Trolls steal the ponies. - Dwarves have a battle with trolls - Chased to Rivendell by Orcs. - Sneaking away from Rivendell. - Gandalf is not with the Dwarves on the Goblin’s doorstep. - Bilbo gets separated from the Dwarves before they see the Goblin king. - Bilbo loses his buttons squeezing through a narrow tunnel. - Gandalf had not been to the dungeons of the Necromancer. - Bilbo falls and the ring flies up to land on his finger.
As a long-time fan of Tolkein -- my Dad read us "The Hobbit" in the early 1950's -- but not a worshipper, I found the movie entirely satisfying, on many levels. The way in which the writers expanded the story, to bring in the larger context Tolkein created in his later works, was marvelous. In the look of the movie, the story, the music, the characters, the landscape -- every detail -- the movie makers were creatively faithful not just to Tolkein's work, but to the Ring movies already released. They obviously had in mind creating a prequel that together with the later movies will form a cohesive single tale, start to finish. I cannot fathom the negative Post review; why have someone who clearly dislikes the whole genre to review it?
We went in with low expectations in large part because apparently critics are given movies that differ from those presented to the general public. Simply put, both of us loved it. The movie could actually have been a little longer to address a transition or two. The only other weakness - if one could call it that - is the fact that the fight scenes involving the dwarves are so violent it is hard to believe that all of them survive each scrape (as per the book). But these weaknesses are minor and hardly detract from the overall movie. As for the 3 movies instead of 2 argument, I reserve judgement until all 3 movies come out. I felt that the content was full in the first one with minimal filler.
The movie is good; it's worth seeing. However, I felt as if I was hoodwinked into seeing three films when a single film would have sufficed. Put it this way -- if you show up at 6:50 for the 6:15, buy the ticket, you haven't missed anything.
My recollection of 'The Hobbit' is of more than a series of battles - at least as written by JJR Tolkien. Yes, translation of novel-to-film requires changes, however, viewers surely are entitled to more than battle-on-battle-on-battle-on- . Many of the visuals are impressive, certainly - yet some would be equally so, if shorter: viz the diningroom scene/s of lush and luscious, glorious and guzzled soups, fish, crisp breadrolls, tankards of ale ... The floating-into-the-audience effect of 3D so wonderfully achieved by Burton in 'Alice in Wonderland' is mostly missing here, although the visual 'depth' in many scenes is achieved admirably. So, no Oscar material today - unless sfx makes it into the mix. Scenery is splendid, however - thumbs up!
The Post's reviewer and I must have seen different movies. I was so absorbed, I hardly noticed the length. The score is wonderful; I have been humming it ever since I heard it. Martin Freeman absolutely nails Bilbo's character, and Ian McKellan's younger version of Gandalf is also spot on with its mix of humor, pathos, wisdom, and foreboding. The Dwarfs are all such individuals. some so grim and some humorous. Gollum is even more expressive, more repulsive, and more sympathetic than in the previous films. The special effects and CGI are great, blending seamlessly into the plot, and the back story (which come from Tolkien's appendices to various works) adds necessary detail. One complaint-the Goblin King's speech was too refined!
A lot less music and a lot more CGI than I expected. The trailers (e.g dwarf song with orchestral accompaniment) were much more interesting. The movie was a letdown after being teased by the trailers for months. I'd rather watch the 'making of' video blogs, which were quite interesting and had more NZ scenery than the movie itself! Movie was full of cartoonish action sequences. A lot less CGI and a lot more music would have made this a great movie. It can still be edited though - maybe they will have another version for adults, and maybe add the missing orchestral score this time...
The whole point is that this movie is about the broader, incredible world created by Tolkein, and doing The Hobbit the way Tolkein would have done it if he had written it after LOTR. The movie is done by someone who understands the genre and is deeply understanding of Tolkein lore. This critic is neither, and I feel sorry for her loss.
I can't believe they are turning this little story into a trilogy of movies. I would have much preferred to see LOTR as a 6-part movie series. I recently re-watched the LOTR series and then refreshed my memory by re-reading the books. So many good scenes were left out, like the confrontation between Galdalf and Saruman. When LOTR first came out I overlooked the flaws, just happy to see in on the screen. But this is too much.
Do not be disturbed by the review by Ann Hornaday. She even complained about the 48 FPS technology making her dizzy when interviewed on WTOP. Please, go back to watching Charlie Chaplin films then... One of the big complaints of the original LoTRs trilogy of movies was the inability to including everything from the books as well as the license taken to highlight Arwen vice the relatively limited role she plays in the original story. Here, Peter Jackson is using the "space" of the three movies to be more true to the story. Yes, some of the effects are over the top (the Stone Giants are overdone), but overall it is full of action and life, and paints a great visual picture of the world Tolkien was trying to create.
The movie is better than the book, and I'm a big fan of the book! While Tolkien purists will be offended by Jackson's tweaking of the story, I'm a supporter of Jackson's changes because IMHO they make the story even better. An Unexpected Journey is far more action/adventure than either Tolkien's The Hobbit or Jackson's Lord of the Rings. The main benefit comes of the side story of the growing threat of the Necromancer and the pervasive feeling among Gandalf and others in the know that something is wrong in the world, and whatever it is is getting stronger. This growing dread gives Jackson's Hobbit an importance the original version did not have.
I never made it through the first LOTR movie, fell asleep and I have never read the books. Different with this one. The 3D & 48fps was amazing, I got pulled into the story - I liked learning about the characters and the back story. I liked the spots of humour, the scenery, the characters & the story - I really enjoyed it. Ultimately, it comes down to personal taste. You won't know until you see it for yourself. I sometimes agree with critics, other times I don't. Who cares? Seeing it again that's for sure.
After reading Hobbit and LOR and seeing the film trilogy f LOR I had a few things I wanted to see and a list of how the first film missed what I wanted to see. But I saw Hobbit in Imax 3D and it was everything I wanted in Lord of the Rings and more. I wanted longer scenes in the Hobbit town and better views of the travelers in the forest and all and got all of that. And the story elements from all the sources I have read were perfectly put together in a better Hobbit than the book. It is as if all the actors who were in Rings came back to perform better and more nuanced roles. There was not one minute that I thought was too much. Critics have there purpose. But this is Tolkien. If you know the Misty Mountains like the back of your h
The Movie is just good overall not great like the ring cycle. Where the first 3 left me wanting more and eager to purchase the extended editions, this one left me wanting less. I think it's failure is in the beginning. Instead of starting with "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit," The movie tries to force background info into the viewers brain in a seemingly desperate attempt to forgive what is to come based on the successes of the past. The movie would have been much better without Frodo, Saruman, Galadriel, Pale Orc, or other scenes that stretched the movie past two hours for no apparent reason. The two non LOTR additions are opposites in tone, making suspension of disbelief impossible. I did like Radagast scenes though.
Two comments on the review: "Walk talk fight" is Tolkein's structure, but I found it less oppressive in the Hobbit due to it's shorter length and lighter take on what was at stake. As for exposition, why would a filmaker talk through it rather than show it? Too much fealty to the book, perhaps?
Regretfully, I agree with the Post reviewer. The movie is well worth seeing for the fan of the books or the LOTR movies, but it is not as good. It supersizes what is fundamentally a smaller story than LOTR. For example, one reader here took issue with the Post's review, saying that the rock giant fight was in the book and integral to the plot. Well, yes, but not the way Jackson did it. A storm in the mountains is bad enough. Tolkien added mythic elements that embodied the terror of the situation. Jackson turned it into a cartoon. Characters repeatedly are cast or thrown hundreds of feet onto jagged rocks and suffer no injury. The Great Goblin's cave was shown as large as Moria, filled with extensive and flimsy wooden scaffolding.
Pssst... your article names the wrong actor as Bilbo Baggins
Ok, I saw a screening of this on Monday. It was in Real D 3D, XD, and 48 frames. Even though I did not read the book, I completely enjoyed the movie. To some the pacing in the first part of the movie could be slow; however, I took as a great way to really get to know Middle Earth and the characters. It set things up well plus it was visually stunning. It was like watching live theatre.
Newbies are going to get bored and not understand the attention to the back story. Purists are going to hate it because Jackson has added a lot of extra stuff to the original story. Did Ann really use the word "scrotal-". Very impressive and accurate.
This is just a comment. Peter Jackson's focus on battle scenes in LotR were a betrayal of Tolkein's intent to focus on the deeper concepts of courage, honor, loyalty, and ancient tradition. Ann Hornaday's review indicates that he has repeated this transgression in "The Hobbit," and my heart is sick over it. Tolkien's work is magnificent, truly great. Its use of the English language is absolutely nonpareil. The tale it tells is one for the ages, and the lessons it teaches serve well in life. It pains me greatly that I shall never see them brought to life on film in any way Tolkien would have approved. Jackson got so much right in the sets and casting, but alas that I shall not live long enough to see this done as Tolkien envisioned.
I don't know if this reviewer ever read the books, but if she had she'd know that the sequence with the rock giants is an absolutely necessary part of the plot--it's the only reason they risk entering a cave in a region known to be riddled with goblins. I don't think she ever read the book. Jackson brought the book to life and everything he added felt like it belonged there. I enjoyed how he brought new depth to the minor characters in the book and fleshed out the world's mythology. The story is simple but compelling--it's about a hero who's still an ordinary person, who longs to go home but has the decency to stay and help the people who need him. My one problem is that the intro sequence felt a little long and could have been cut down.
I was plesantly pleased with the visuals, score, and story but from my standpoint of having read the book, I know why the plot was designed the way it was. This one will be rewatched before and after the second movie is released. All in all, it left me feeling as though I got a taste into one of Bilbo's adventures.
I loved the LOTR, including the extended editions and I like the book. It wasn't that the movie was too long, it's that it didn't support its length. Stuff just felt shoved in, broke up any momentum the movie had and didn't contribute to any sort of plot. You felt as though you understood say, Faramir from ROTK better than you understood Bilbo. Ultimately "bloated" is the best way to describe it.
Yeah, it's long, like the other LOTR movies....I expected that, though. It's a fun, rollicking ride, with jaw-dropping visuals and another stunning score by Howard Shore. I wasn't bothered by the extra 3-D or frame rate.
The nearly three-hour movie flew by for me. It was a gorgeous and engaging spectacle.
Critics are like herpes. They are irritating and they never go away.