Poll: What Did You Think of ‘The Hobbit’?

The first installment in Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘, opened over the weekend. Did you see it? Did it live up to your expectations? What did you think of the 48 fps photography? Vote in our polls today.

I haven’t seen the movie yet. While I like Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies, I don’t love them. I also feel like I should probably make time to rewatch that trilogy before seeing the prequel.

Honestly, my inclination is to just wait to watch this on Blu-ray. However, I’m curious enough about the 48 fps format that I may need to trek out to a theater anyway. I’ll probably wait until after Christmas for that, though.

We’re hosting two polls today. One is for your opinion on the movie itself, while the other is about the 48 fps photography.

What Did You Think of 'The Hobbit'?

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If you saw the movie in High Frame Rate format, be sure to tell us what you thought of that too.

What Did You Think of the 48 fps Photography?

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  1. I loved the movie, from start to finish, it was new while still feeling like I never left Middle Earth, dont care what was added or taken out, but as a movie it fantastic and it fits perfectly with the LOTR trilogy and I felt it was just as good as those, I cant say one is better than the other as I love fantasy like this and Peter Jackson is the king 🙂

    I’m going to see the HFR here this week probably, so I will vote after that, cant wait to see it honestly 🙂

  2. William Henley

    The 48fps needs a bit of refinement. I think the reason Jackson said to give it 10 minutes or so is because something really seems to be wrong with the first 10 minutes of the movie. It looks like it was shot at 24fps and speed up. After the movie kicks in, and we go from the whole backstory into Hobbiton, the 48fps looked FANTASTIC! By the time you get to the big battle in the caves, the 48fps just feels so natual.

    Now if there wasn’t something wrong with the way the first 10 minutes of the film was shot, then probably what should have happened is that you shouldn’t use that much motion and action in the first 10 mintues of a movie when you are trying to get people used to a new format. The first 10 minutes is REALLY jarring.

    48fps and 3D, however, seem to be a perfect combination for each other. It just feels so natual.

    As for the movie itself, I liked it. I felt a few scenes could have been trimmed down just a bit (did we really need to spend that long on Bilbo and Gollum?), but for the most part, I felt it was a really good movie. I do like that they brougth back the same actors for many of the rolls that we see in LOTR.

  3. Dom

    I have always had trouble with low refresh rates on CRT monitors. 60Hz would give me a headache. At the theater, I avoid action blockbusters, because the 24fps looks terrible to my eyes.

    The Hobbit at 48fps was a breath of fresh air. I could actually watch the action sequences. The clarity was astounding.

    I say bring on the 60fps.

  4. Ryan

    Saw it on Friday. The 3D, 48 FPS version.
    I really don’t think I can even fully judge the MOVIE because of the new technology.
    To say it took some time to get used to would be an understatement. It was very distracting…especially in the first half of the movie (up until they got to Rivendale really). At first, it felt like things were sped up, but that feeling went away eventually. I guess one way to explain it would be that it felt like watching a play…not a movie. It felt like I was watching people acting on a set. Sometimes it was very offputting (looking more cartoony than real…), and other times it was amazing (wide shots, etc). I really wish I had seen the movie in standard 2D the first time now…

    As for the movie itself, it was good…some spots were very good.

    Some thoughts:
    – the music was very good…lots of beats taken directly from LOTR…maybe too much. The new Misty Mountain theme is fantastic.
    – I’m not sure how the intro was as I was far too distracted by the new look of the high frame rate.
    – The stuff in Bagend took entirely too long and just seemed a bit silly (again, maybe it’d play better in normal 2D).
    – When the older Dwarf (maybe it was Balin, who knows!) tells the story of Thorin Oakensheild though, it was AWESOME. It was the first real highlight of the movie.
    – Radagast the Brown is a little silly for my taste, but nowhere near Jar Jar territory. The FX of his sled were not too good (because of the HFR?). But his flashback with the Necromancer was AWESOME.
    – The troll scene didn’t really work for me. It was a bit too cartoonish, and resolved in an iffy manner.
    – Rivendale looked amazing at the higher frame rate, and the stuff with Gandalf and Galariel was a definite highlight of the film. Loved it.
    – Riddles iin the dark was perfect as expected. Love Gollum.
    – The fight with the Goblin King was pretty cool…even though he did have a ballsack on his chin.
    – The escape from Azog the Defiler was pretty great as well. Especially when Thorin decides to man-up. Though the bit with the Eagles (pretty sure it was in the book though) was a little too reminiscent of the LOTR movies, lessening the impact.
    – I got the feeling they were kind of going for a “My friends, you bow to no one” moment there at the end, but it didn’t really work for me.
    – And the last shot was pretty cool……Definitely looking forward to the next movie, but hopefully the editing will be a bit tighter.

  5. Barsoom Bob

    Voted worthy successor to LOTR but can not vote on the 48FPS yet because I saw it Sat. night in 24FPS 3D. I am going next weekend to an early reduced price showing at 48FPS 3D to experience it that way.

    Considering that this will be about a 9hour tale in it’s 3 film total, the somewhat slow opening is about par for the course for set up and intoductions. The “first time” wonder of being in Middle Earth from FOTR can not be recaptured, so some of it does feel a little “been there, done that” but once the actual journey starts, it becomes it’s own thing. It builds to a very exciting conclusion by the end with the Riddles in the Dark sequence and the escape and pursuit from the Misty Mountains home of the goblins. Martin Freemen is just perfect as Bilbo and brings the character to life much more than almost any character from any of these films that I can think of.

    Story wise, this chapter is almost all foreplay as Smaug the Dragon, the destruction of Laketown, the assualt on Lonely Mountain and the Battle of Five armies is all to come in the next two movies, but it does reach a satisfying ending emotionally with Bilbo’s character and Thorin.

    Some other fellow commented in another thread about this in regards to the 24 FPS projection version and I have to agree. Although there was no sped up movement, or jarring video look to it, when the camera pans on some of the sweeping panoramic shots it looks much more blurred than it does in most movies. Also in outdoor scenes, there is a slightly over bright, washed out look to it, making the colors not look so rich and vibrant as you might expect. Neither is a deal breaker for totally enjoying the film in this format.

  6. Luis

    I watched this at the Regal E-Walk RPX screen. They were showing it in HFR 3D and, to my surprise, Dolby Atmos. In the Fandango website they only show that the movie is being played in HFR 3D and RPX, but when the main feature started, they showed a Dolby Atmos trailer. This room had ceiling speakers and two rows of surround speakers on every wall. The picture and sound were astounding. It was definitely the best 3D experience I’ve ever had. Once I got used to th 48 FPS, I found that I really loved the motion. The picture was extremely clear. The only movies that seemed clearer to me were The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, during the IMAX recorded scenes. I watched these two in 70mm IMAX. The sound was very enveloping and realistic. I felt that some things seemed to zoom right next to me. It was incredibly real. I hope this technology comes to the home in the next couple of years. Overall, this was probably the best 3D movie experience I’ve ever had.

  7. JoeRo

    Looks like I’m going against the grain here, but I did not care for the Hobbit. Not at all. I felt it was ponderous when it was attempting to build tension and chaotic when it wanted to be action packed. Also the introduction of a villain that just did not belong seemed forced. Then again if you’re stretching a mere six chapters of content into a three hour movie there are bound to be problems.

    If LOTR was criticized for having “too many endings” I will not be at all surprised if the Hobbit takes heat for having too many beginnings. That’s right, things go awry from the very start … I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but it takes way too long for the party to assemble and leave the shire. The lengthy introduction describing the fall of Erebor was extraneous and out of place. If you must show the fall of Erebor why not cut to those scenes during the song of the lonely mountain? You kill two birds with one stone and you get to mine the emotions created by the singing of that lament.

    Eventually everybody leaves the shire and things get moving. There are fights with goblins and trolls (but why no spiders?), and a visit to Rivendell. These scenes are okay I guess, but they lack the humor and – dare I say it – whimsy that made the Hobbit so much fun to read. The encounter with the trolls is botched entirely. Instead of capturing the dwarves one at a time in an hilarious show of dwarven incompetence, the dwarves heroically charge to the rescue. That … feels wrong. That encounter is supposed to be an hilarious dialogue-driven scene, but instead becomes dominated by physical histrionics that are desperately trying to inject a sense of excitement into the movie. So that scene plays out, then there’s a weird diversion to Radagast, a mini-Council of Elrond, fighting mountains, and eventually (thankfully) a fateful trip underground.

    The riddles scene works well and is probably the standout in the movie. The comedy is there, the tension of cold menace, but over it all still a sense of wonder and discovery for Bilbo. It’s great. From this point out the movie plays out more or less the way it should, except of course for the villain. This one really bothers me because Azog died at the battle to reclaim Moria. He is not alive. I’m fine with artistic license and bringing that character back, but it doesn’t serve the narrative. If anything it overly complicates an already convoluted plot, and for what? For the promise of future resolution? That’s the more worrying part, that this plot point is going to run throughout all of the movies, to likely be resolved at the battle of five armies. This is bad and here is why.

    Having sat through three hours of disappointing storytelling it became clear to me that the Hobbit could have easily been a single movie. I would even suggest that it could have been an excellent single movie. I was skeptical when it became known that the Hobbit would be split into two films, and stymied when the decision was made to split it into three. And I was right to be worried. Jackson and company have resorted to mining the appendices to shoehorn into the Hobbit content that does not belong. This wouldn’t bother me except for the fact that all of these side quests and diversions effectively fracture the narrative flow of the film.

    Do I think the Hobbit is bad? Yes. Is it Star Wars prequels bad? No. I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of LOTR. If you’re the type of viewer who can’t help poke at the holes and flaws in a movie, or if you’re a die hard Hobbit (book) fan you will likely be disappointed. But hey maybe there will be a special “redacted edition” of the Hobbit released on blu ray at some point.

    • Wow talk about a heavy handed opinion there, someone must be too much of a fan of the book to see past what was done with the film. I agree with none of this as you could probably guess and feel that anything that was added, simply added to the greatness of the film, The Hobbit to me was as action packed, dramatic and involving as Jackson’s original trilogy, to me he brought back everything that made those movies great, the epic feeling, the spectacle, the likeable characters, the evil villain (even if he wasnt supposed to be there), the comedy, its all there. Nothing felt out of place, nothing felt fractured, the flow was perfect even in the beginning of the film, the introduction of all the dwarves and the time the spent in the shire was just as good as the rest of the movie.

      I’m glad fantasy like this has hit the big screen and you should be too because it doesnt happen often, besides Lord of the Rings and a couple of older flicks like Legend and Willow, Fantasy sucks at the movies and Jackson IS the benchmark for Fantasy films and I feel sad that something this good in the genre that you obviously love as much as me, garners so much hate from you as well.

      To me this is a classic case of not being able to separate the book from the films and enjoy it for the medium its on instead of directly comparing them down to the last word like you seem to have done here….but oh well, if thats the way you feel there obviously is nothing I can say that will change your mind nor should it, but I can still feel bad that a fantasy lover such as yourself cant see past the book to how great the movie is on its own right

      • JoeRo

        I’m not actually particularly fond of the Hobbit as a book, but I appreciate it for what it is. I do love the Lord of the Rings though. I even like the extended editions of the LOTR films, but the Hobbit just didn’t work for me, and I outlined some of the reasons why above. I could get deeper into why I think the Hobbit doesn’t work well as a film, but I’ve already strayed far into tl;dr territory.

        I’d also just like to say that I’m not generally a stickler for book to film adaptations, as I recognize that they’re two different mediums and require different creative processes etc.. I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends on first entry in the Hobbit series, and we’re pretty evenly divided on the love it/hate scale. To be fair though I don’t actually hate the Hobbit, I just found it to be very disappointing, and I don’t think it holds a candle so far to the achievement that is the LOTR movies.

        Your experience with this movie obviously differed from mine, and that’s fine. Different people enjoy different things, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Hobbit just wasn’t my cup of tea.

        • William Henley

          I was a fan of the book (The Hobbit – never made it through LOTR – only got halfway through Fellowship, that is on my To Do list after I finsih the Dune series), but I really like what was done in the movies. Tolkin created such a rich and immersive world with Middle Earth, many times breaking away from the story for several pages / chapters at a time to lay in these back stories. What I have liked about the movies is that they do a really good job of keeping to the story while using the backstories to help create the look and feel of Middle Earth.

          I find the movies to be great adaptations – keeping with the theme of the books with little or no change to the actual story. The Hobbit seems to do a really good job building and expanding the world. Yeah, I feel that a couple of the scenes were a bit longer than needed to be, but I do appreciate what is being done here.

          Fantasy and Sci-Fi books and movies have it a bit tougher than just about any other genera, because you can’t just tell your story, you have to create the world. How much time is spent on creating that world should vary depending on how different from our own world something is.

          In The Hobbit, you are not just creating a visually different world, you are creating cultures for different species, laying out histories to explain your stories, etc. I appreciate how they are going into these side stories, defining characters, cultures, histories, and regions, rather than trying to have a character give you a brief overview in 30 seconds in a dialouge to each other.

          I could think of quite a few movies I would love to see rebooted in this style. I hope other movie producers and directors learn something by this, and stop trying to jam 400-800 page novels into 2 hour single-movies.

  8. dylansdad

    I was amazed at how clear and sharp the 3D presentation was at 48fps. You could make out every little detail and it really brought me into the film. My mom usually has trouble with 3D and the 48fps screening was the first time that a 3D movie didn’t bother her eyes and was actually enjoyable. So I give 48fps a big thumbs up. I would be happy if they continue to offer this alongside 24fps 2D and 3D so people can have a choice.

  9. Les

    I did see “The Hobbit” and liked it very much and will not hesitate to get the Blu-Ray whenever it is released. My only comment, from a movie popularity position, is that there isn’t an Aragorn or a Legolas for people to swoon over plus the variety of other likable characters that were in the original Trilogy. That is not to say that these Dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo aren’t likable but simply that they may not generate the level of interest and fandom that the original Trilogy characters generated. Plus, there are so many Dwarves, it is hard to keep them all straight.

    In any case, there are (2) more movies to go and I will go to them all!! We’ll see what new characters or old are introduced in the next (2) films.

  10. Deaditelord

    From someone who has never read Tolkien but loved The Lord of the Rings movies, I thought the first half of The Hobbit was kind of a chore to get through. Certain scenes dragged on for far too long and some of the film’s – ahem – comedic elements, were embarrassing. Also, who thought it was a good idea to film a scene involving a dung-haired wizard being pulled in a sled by rabbits??? It may be in the book, but some things are better left on the written page.

    Having said that, I did find that The Hobbit got better the further it went along and the ending makes me optimistic that the next 2 parts will live up to the original trilogy. If you forced me to rate I’d say somewhere 2 1/2 – 3 stars out of 4.

  11. Nelll

    Josh can you please try to go see it in a Dolby Atmos capable Theater? I would like to know your opinion. 🙂

    • Pyronaut

      I’m no Josh Zyber and I’m not an audiophile either, but I can say that it was my first experience with Atmos and I loved it. I went out of my way to see it at a theatre with Atmos, and I don’t regret it one bit (except for the fact that the HFR was broken there so I had to see it in 24fps).

      It wasn’t too “in your face” er, ear with stuff flying around you all the time, but there were definitely some scenes where it made a distinct improvement (especially with things happening overhead), and it was noticeable in other parts of the movie as well.

      I hope they make more films with Atmos tracks in the future since it takes cinema sound to the next level.

  12. nelll

    Thanks Pyronaut. I saw it too with Atmos sound. I thought I was exagerating but honestly that’s the best sound system I’ve experienced in a movie theater. The stone giant’s fight was one of the best scenes. I felt those low frequencies right on my chest. They could’ve have been very low. Probably Ilusion. I will have to ask dolby how low those Subs can go. The specs says anything below 100hz on surrounds. We could guess that those surround subs can go below 35hz or lower. Who knows.

    Thanks for the reply. It’s very sad indeed. I was looking foward to an article from you about Atmos. Anyways don’t you spend 4 hours driving for this movie. Not worth it. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  13. Pyronaut

    After finally getting a chance to see it again in 48fps, I had to come back here and comment on it. I have to agree with others in that it was truly a joy for me to see it in HFR 3D. I had watched Life of Pi the night before in 3D and the judder was just too much. Every time the camera moved it was distracting and made me almost regret seeing it in 3D. Perhaps that was one reason that I loved seeing The Hobbit at 48fps so much, but I feel like I can’t go back to 24fps 3D any more. It would be like seeing a Blu Ray film and then going back to DVD.

    With many 3D films I forget that it’s in 3D part way through the film, but the higher frame rate made the 3D that much more pronounced and I never stopped noticing the added depth, right up until the end of the movie. The smoothness made it seem more like I was watching the film actually happen through a window rather than on a screen (I don’t get that feeling with 24fps 3D).

    The action scenes were also much more clear and it was easier to keep track of what was going on. It also felt like the whole film overall was just more clear/sharp and a joy to watch. I think even Michael Bay’s action scenes might benefit from HFR :).

    As for getting used to it, I felt like the first minute or two seemed strange (like 24fps sped up), but that went away very quickly. Only couple shots with old Bilbo had that feel, but by the time Frodo came on that feeling was gone. There was also one shot where the camera was panning around Thorin where the background looked strange (the first real outdoor panning shot I think), but that was the last of the odd feeling and from then on it was smooth sailing (no pun intended).

    Now I have a love/hate feelings towards Peter Jackson. I love that he took a chance and ventured into unknown territory and brought the industry forward, but I hate that he has ruined 24fps 3D for me now. I just wish more film makers would use HFR 3D. I would be more willing to pay the added cost.