Sean’s review published on Letterboxd:
More like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Surprise amirite?
I was dreading this movie. There was no way that I was going to be able to enjoy another film series that was going to unnecesarily expand its story to be 9 hours long spaced over a trilogy of films that could probably be told in one 3 hour movie. I especially wasn't going to like this because I'm not a super fan of the Lord of the Rings to begin with. I enjoy the films enough, sure, but I wasn't really itching to go back to this world.
But damn if I didn't find The Hobbit utterly enchanting and changed my mind completely.
First off, and my biggest concern going in, was the pacing. With a long movie like this, the pacing is oh so important and I have to say I found it pretty perfect. Just when things needed to pick up, it usually did. The Hobbit is close to three hours, yes, but I did not get any sort of dragging sensation and never once thought about looking at the time. The beginning was a bit slow, but I found that time to be integral in adjusting to the HFR.
Speaking of which, I found the high frame rate to be quite wonderful. Yes, it was a bit jarring and weird at first, but after 15 or 20 minutes, I was completely adjusted and completely absorbed by the experience. Things looked a little stage-y, but even so it was gorgeous to look at. It was one of those experiences that only seeing the movie in a theater could provide, and I look forward to this technology in the future.
My biggest complaint with the film is that I had a hard time connecting with all of the characters. Outside of Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin, I only remember a few of the dwarves names and even with a full list I could never match a name to a face. We spend so much time with them in Bilbo's house in the beginning, yet we know so little about them individually. I wanted to know more, but was never given the chance.
I may not have been the target audience for the The Hobbit, but it sure did win me over and make me want to go back to Middle Earth, a feat which I thought would be impossible. Next year will be a different story as I patiently await The Desolation of Smaug.