912 of 1,096 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the naysayers!
This movie is FREAKING AMAZING!!! I was getting really worried before going to see it because of some negative reviews, but there is nothing to worry about. If you loved the Lord of the Rings movies, especially the extended editions, then you will love The Hobbit too!
A little bit about me: I grew up on the animated movies, read the books when I was in sixth...
Published 5 months ago by Matthew Schenk
3,245 of 3,532 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait until Chrismas 2013
Almost clicked the order button, but due to my love of the extended versions of the original trilogy, I decided to do a little research before I made that mistake. in doing so, I discovered that the Blue-Ray/DVD set for release on March 19th will contain only the theatrical version of the movie. Warner Bros is including a teaser trailer containing Dragon Smaug with this...
Published 2 months ago by Home Brew
Most Helpful First | Newest First
3,245 of 3,532 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait until Chrismas 2013,
This review is from: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)Almost clicked the order button, but due to my love of the extended versions of the original trilogy, I decided to do a little research before I made that mistake. in doing so, I discovered that the Blue-Ray/DVD set for release on March 19th will contain only the theatrical version of the movie. Warner Bros is including a teaser trailer containing Dragon Smaug with this version in order to entice people to buy it. The extended version of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' will be released in time for Christmas 2013. As with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Warner Bros. is trying to stick it to the consumer again by hoping people will buy both versions. Sorry, WB... I can wait another nine months. In the meantime, I'll rent a copy to satisfy my urge to see it sooner.
912 of 1,096 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the naysayers!,
A little bit about me: I grew up on the animated movies, read the books when I was in sixth grade, and have reread them several times over the years. I'm a HUGE fan, but not a "purist", and saw each of the live action films several times in the theaters. I took a class on Tolkien in college (and knew more about the books than even the teacher lol), went to view the original manuscripts at Marquette University in Milwaukee twice, and borrowed most of the History of Middle Earth books from the library but just skimmed them. I'm pretty familiar with much of the appendices/deleted chapters/abandoned attempts at revising The Hobbit and sequelizing Lord of the Rings, etc.
I've been waiting for The Hobbit since 2003, and have been following the production online. When it was announced 5 months ago that Peter Jackson was splitting the story into 3 films (after already completing production on the 2-film adaptation), my heart sank. It's not that I was opposed to turning The Hobbit into a trilogy (despite that it's meant to be a children's story and not an epic), but I just didn't think there was enough story and it seemed like a cash grab that would probably destroy the pacing. But, Peter Jackson hasn't let me down before and so I held out hope. In fact the more I heard him talk about giving the dwarves a bit more character development and backstory and adding in all the stuff about the White Council, I began to look forward to it.
When a couple weeks ago reviews starting coming in saying that, as I had first feared, the movie dragged and the pacing was terrible, I prepared myself for disappointment. Even though hardcore fans on messageboards like theonering.net who had seen the movie early kept saying it was terrific, the negative reviews from professional critics kept coming in. The movie is "bloated" and "dull" and "misses the point", they said. And so I was VERY nervous going to see the movie this afternoon.
I'm pleased to say that not only is the movie incredible, but it's on par with the Lord of the Rings movies. I haven't felt this way about a movie since Fellowship of the Ring 10 years ago. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all night, and I can't wait till I can go see it again. I sat in the theater for nearly three hours with the biggest grin on my face the entire time. The movie didn't feel bloated or stretched thin to me. I was worried that there would be all these scenes that went on too long or belonged on the cutting room floor, but I can't think of anything I would have left out. It was like watching the book acted out on the screen in front of me with really great acting, music, and production values.
The cinematography has really improved in the last 10 years! Wow this movie is beautifully shot! Howard Shore's music is once again great, though there are some little deletions and changes from the Original Soundtrack -- the only one that really bugged me though was the use of the Nazgul theme over Thorin fighting Azog. There was better music there in the Original Soundtrack and changing it was a horrible decision.
I love the added stuff with the White Council/Necromancer. It's all there in Tolkien's appendices and in "Unfinished Tales", and (blasphemy for saying so) depending on how this continues to play out over the next two movies I may end up liking this even better than the book! Either the next film or the one after that will have the Battle of Dol Goldur and, from what I've heard, we will see Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, and Galadriel battling werewolves and giant spiders as they try to drive out the Necromancer. I can just imagine how awesome that will be if Peter Jackson pulls it off!
And, yes, this felt to me like a complete movie. One of the reasons I originally hated the idea of a trilogy was I expected to feel short changed by only seeing a small fraction of the story and then having to wait another year. But I felt like there was plenty of story and they got into plenty of adventures.
My only nitpicks are few: I liked the design of the Great Goblin but I thought he acted way too cartoony. My other is there were a couple times where Bilbo and the dwarves fell from a height of like 500 feet and just got back up. They would have been killed. I also thought the character Azog was fine, but why did he have to be all CGI? Why couldn't it have been an actor in makeup like Lurtz in Fellowship of the Ring? Those are really my only nitpicks though.
As I sat in the theater I had a feeling like this is one of the best filmgoing experiences I've ever had. I had the same feeling watching Lord of the Rings. As someone who originally hated the idea of making this into a trilogy, now I say bring it on!!!
UPDATE: I got to see the movie in 48 frames per second (HFR 3D) yesterday. I had only seen it in regular 24fps 3D before. 24fps has been the standard for film since the Silent movie days. The Hobbit is the first movie to be shot at 48fps to give it a sharper look. Unfortunately the technology is new so only a few theaters are equipped to even show it at 48fps. Many of the reviewers were saying they hated it, that it looks like a BBC TV movie. I was still curious to give it a try because it's new technology and it's how Peter Jackson intended you to see the movie, but I didn't want it to distract from my first viewing if I ended up not liking it, so we saw the movie first at 24fps 3D.
Anyway, I liked it and I didn't think it looked "cheap" or like a "soap opera" at all. It looked really sharp and there were some parts where the people looked like they were really right in front of you. In addition to that, motion blur is completely gone now and I've heard from other people who get headaches from watching 3D movies that they were fine watching this one, thanks to the 48fps.
Peter Jackson has confirmed that there WILL be an extended edition dvd/blu ray like they did with the Lord of the Rings movies. So you may want to hold out from buying the theatrical dvd when it comes out and get the extended edition.
269 of 334 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT CHARACTER DEPTH added to BEAUTIFUL CINEMATOGRAPHY,
"The Hobbit" is a step backward into the history of middle-earth. It is quite simply the adventure that Bilbo Baggins takes that leads to him writing his book, "There and back again". Peter Jackson is trying to do the unthinkable with this trilogy, duplicate the magic he pulled off before. Much can be told from this first installment and whether or not the magic is still there.
The movie, filmed at twice frame-speed as traditional film (48 frames) has many geeks talking about how it will look too real. Ultimately, at 48 frames, it could look as crisp and real as a soap opera. Well, first of all, with a film like this, it takes a lot of guts to attempt such a thing; a movie with such obvious special effects and makeup. Yet, the opposite could also be achieved; a level of escapism and realism that not only delivers a quality movie experience, but also sucks you into a world that you don't want to leave.
Peter Jackson has learned a few things from his first trilogy and you can see it in "The Hobbit". This world is even more realized. The characters are more fleshed out. Richard Armitage's depiction of Thorin is full of heart and passion. The faithfulness to the book itself is even more realized. More importantly, the journey is even more colorful and creative.
"The Hobbit" is a lot of the same. It's another journey full of adventure and trolls, dwarves and orcs, but again, it is a quality journey. The escapism you feel in this film is like nothing I've ever felt before. When it was time to go, at the end of the film, I didn't want to go yet. I was there, I was in middle-earth, ready to take the journey ahead with Bilbo, Gandolff and the band of Dwarves. I didn't care about length or how long I had been sitting there, I was invested. That, is really all any movie can do.
119 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie,
This movie was absolutely gorgeous. Costumes, effects, design, everything was amazing. The Radagast sections didn't need to be quite so long but I do appreciate that PJ's trying to get the Dol Goldur/Necromancer bits in. Similarly, Galadriel's comments about Angmar and Rhudaur probably will be incomprehensible to the average watcher but they do hold a deeper significance. (Elrond's 'watchful peace' comment, anyone?)
You can tell where the scenes slow a bit - in a more 'taking our sweet time telling the story' fashion - but it does take some energy from the Lord of the Rings in its battle scenes. It is a fresher, younger look at the world of Middle-Earth between Morgoth and Sauron and the environments and attitudes of the characters reflect that. Each dwarf manages to be unique (Bofur turned out to be my favorite, honestly, for his frank oddness) and makes an impact, and McKellen and Freeman are fantastic. There's a very Arthur Dent air about Bilbo, but it works wonderfully.
I hadn't expected Thranduil in this movie, so his appearance nearly sent me into a faint.
This is a MUST SEE.
48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Pleasure,
What movie did the critics watch?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (TH:AUJ) was the most fun that I've had at the theater in a long time. Yes, folks, I did use the f-word just now. Let me use it again: fun, fun, fun! I won't say that the first Hobbit movie was better than the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy, but I will say that it was more fun.
As a book, The Hobbit presented a challenge for being filmed: it's both a children's book and the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, the acme of high fantasy. Given such a source, a movie based on The Hobbit had to combine whimsy with high adventure without letting either overwhelm the other.
I'm here to say that Peter Jackson rose gloriously to the challenge. I fell in love with TH:AUJ from its introduction, intercutting bucolic scenes from the Shire on the eve of Bilbo Baggins's one hundred and eleventh birthday with majestic, marvelous, and tragic scenes of the Mannish trade center of Dale and the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. These scenes showed all of the loving attention to detail of the LOTR movies and beautifully set the scene for a sixty-year's younger Bilbo's adventures.
In the inimitable "perfectly faithful to the book, which I'm completely rewriting" Peter Jackson style, he pitchforks us moviegoers next into Bilbo's meeting with the wandering wizard Gandalf and with thirteen Dwarves led by the obsessive Thorin Oakenshield, heir to the lost kingdom of Erebor. Jackson captures beautifully the mirth and mayhem of Bilbo's unexpected dinner party as well as the dark drama behind Thorin's quest, on which the reluctant Bilbo is supposed to go as a burglar.
Soon, Bilbo is running out his front door without a handkerchief, and he and we are off on an adventure that won't let up. Some critics complain that each scene TH:AUJ is longer than scenes were in the LOTR trilogy, but what the critics call a fault, I call a virtue: we have a chance to see a whole storyline play out rather than watching telescoped bits and pieces of scenes that we got in the trilogy. The pace and the flow of TH:AUJ made it seem to me far shorter than its two hours and forty some-odd minutes of running time. For me, the movie never slowed down.
Parts of TH:AUJ are over the top, but, more often than not, gloriously so. I found Sylvester McCoy's portrayal of Radagast the Brown -- a portrayal in which he largely reprises his take on Dr. Who -- far less intrusive than critics have made it out to be. Even his rabbit-drawn sleigh had a mad logic to it. As for mad logic, the battle in the halls of the Great Goblin under the Misty Mountains won't be believed, but may well just be enjoyed.
Between scenes of adventure, there are scenes of Elvish wonders and of Middle-Earth's beauty that will bring tears of joy to Tolkienphiles' eyes. At its best, TH:AUJ is a visual extravaganza that makes the prequel-sequel look drab.
TH:AUJ goes only through chapter seven of The Hobbit. Purists may sniff at the enhanced role given to Bilbo in the movie compared with what he played in that part of the book, in which he was mainly baggage. My response is, "Hey, the enhanced role works!" Along with it, you get to see Gollum, as scene-stealing as ever,and even glimpses of the dragon Smaug, who must carry the next movie, and looks as if he'll do so with style.
I'll be the first to admit that TH:AUJ isn't as respectable as the LOTR trilogy. On the other hand, as Bilbo Baggins learns, it's not until you give up being respectable that you have adventures.
35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An epic failure.,
While in some respects the prototype for the later Lord, The Hobbit was a far more intimate, careful creation -- an epic but also a novel -- and the movie deserved its own distinctive vibe, its own pacing, its own production design.
But it's been treated as a second-rate Lord of the Rings mash-up. Jackson has simply pushed The Hobbit down into the LotR mold, trimmed off the parts that over-ran the borders and added new LotR-style material where Tolkien did not supply it. (Hence, the Giant Combat Scenes and the Powerful Nemesis and the omission of any useful sense of the delights of Bag End.)
Indeed, there's so much extraneous material that the story (originally as straightforward as can be) occasionally gets a bit lost. For instance, in the central section a fair chunk of time is invested in the wizard Radagast, but to no useful purpose beyond seeming inspiration for a "Return of the Jedi" speeder bike-type sequence in the inevitable video games.
Radagast has company. Jackson has needlessly freighted his movie with characters who never appeared in The Hobbit and one of the results is that, with less screen time (and few closeups), the core cast is harder to identify. If you're making a story with 13 dwarves, this is something at which you need to work assiduously. They should not be largely interchangeable -- and they are. (At the same time, a number of the dwarves barely seem like dwarves at all. Thorin Oakenshield in particular has been 'Aragorned' and wears a single disdainful look on his face throughout.)
The director also hasn't edited himself tightly -- this theatrical edition runs an exhausting two hours and forty minutes -- and this is his first Tolkien movie to try my patience at a basic level.
And even in the most basic terms, Jackson hasn't even made what I'd call a technically good movie. There's something distinctly and consistently "off" here. Too much of this feels as though it wasn't fully thought through -- as though Jackson didn't have time or inspiration or handed off critical issues of continuity and style to ADs or production assistants. But The Hobbit has none of the organic flow of the the LotR films, it's notably lacking in the artful audio-visual signposts that helped guide us through the trilogy and certain scenes are just botched. For instance, the one in which young Bilbo passes out under the pressure of too many uninvited guests is downright incompetent -- not well-acted or sweetly sad and certainly not funny. It plays as though Freeman either missed his cue or Jackson simply didn't have time to labor over the result. Similarly, Gandalf's appearance outside the hobbit hole's door and the trolls sequence, both so memorable in print, come across oddly half-baked in the reinvented versions here.
And it's all just so uneventful! Even the climax seems trivial and underdone (and oddly overdone at the same time) and at one point I found myself almost laughing. I could point to the miscasting of Freeman in the title role -- even Elijah had greater gravity -- or the absence of the rich sense of foreboding that was so much a part of the novel or the issues some allege with the high frame rate, but I suspect it's a deeper issue: the pressure to turn this unitary tale into a trilogy and the resultant overtaxing of the source material. (A far more sensible scheme was laid out by the director back in the '90s, when he saw The Hobbit by itself as the first film in a trilogy with LotR filling in the last two slots.)
This didn't need to be three movies. There was enough material there for one great one ... and that opportunity just passed us by.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh....,
This review is from: The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey (2012) (Amazon Instant Video)Almost 4 hours of movie and 30 minutes of plot. That about sums it up. Do you know how many of the dwarves I can name? None, because there's no character development at all. I can name Bilbo, Golumn and Gandalf, that's it. The rest of the cast might as well be a team of extras that could litterally be replaced with other extras half way through the film and I wouldn't be the wiser, nor would the story suffer for it.
Here's the movie in a nut shell: Shire - Walking - CGI - golumn - more CGI - the end.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?,
This review is from: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)The three films that comprised "The Lord of the Rings" were fun to watch, with good actors, creative dialogue, and breathtaking scenery. Then came the prequel, "The Hobbit," and a question: what happened? Elijah Wood and Ian Holm made wonderful hobbits the first time around, but Martin Freeman? No way. And John Rhys-Davies stole the show as a dwarf in LOTR, but the dwarfs this time around are awful beyond words. The film starts dreadfully slow, with some slapstick at Bilbo's digs that remind one of the old Keystone Cops. And -- save for that same, luscious scenery -- it's all downhill after that. Finally: the presentation in widescreen did not help. It's that "deep pockets" kind of widescreen that, even when zoomed on a huge plasma screen, is hard to watch. And the sound is atrocious! Much of the dialogue is no more than mumbles. Again: what happened? There's such a good story here, but the way they're putting it together (two MORE films?) I recommend that viewers read the book, and let it go at that.
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Read the book.,
This review is from: The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey (2012) (Amazon Instant Video)I love the books and was a big fan of the original movies. I had set my expectations pretty low for the Hobbit. Sadly I didn't set my expectations low enough and was still disappointed. This is supposed to be the story of a home loving Hobbit who goes on an adventure with some bumbling Dwarfs. This was Bilbo's story and he come how got lost in the shuffle.
Things I hate about this movie:
The Rabbit sled
The Albino Orc and all related subplots (35% or more of the movie.)
The butchering of the scene with the trolls.
The inept adaptation of the Goblin sequence.
The fact that they didn't sing 15 birds in 5 fir trees and replaced it with a stupid fight sequence.
The fact that they could have done the book in one very good movie if Peter Jackson wasn't out to make Tolkien into his cash cow.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad, very bad....,
This review is from: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)I've been an off and on fan of Tolkien for 40 years, but rereading The Lord of the Rings in recent years, I was even more pleased with the movies, where Peter Jackson took a somewhat wordy tome and streamlined, condensed, and actually improved the narrative.
I was really wanting to like The Hobbit movie, but I hardly recognized the book in it. Yes, the story line is the same, but there are the introduction of new subplots, episodes that were done so much more charmingly in the book, and an essentially pompous, unlikable Bilbo Baggins (he was pompous but sweet in the book). For my taste, there is way too much mindless spectacle and action, and too little of the book's humor that endowed the dwarfs and hobbit with charm.
A bloated effort, and I don't know if I will bother to watch the sequels.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) by Peter Jackson (Blu-ray - 2013)