I read The Hobbit when I was 11 years old. I devoured it. I loved the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (books and film). I was dying to see this, so I went to see it on the day after release and went for the 3D version with the new 48 frames per second HFR version – I wanted to see it in all it’s glory.
I was hugely disappointed. I don’t know what the new HFR technology did to the image quality, but the people onscreen look like they stand out against a series of backdrops that are clearly part of a set. The cast look like they are simply acting out their roles instead of becoming them. It horrifies me to say it, but it looks like a million dollar version of a crap Doctor Who episode from the 1980s. This is a great story crucified by its own technology. I noticed some motion blur – this technology is not fully ready yet.
I also fear for the next two films – from what I remember of the book, the story is aimed a lot more at children (hence why I enjoyed the book so much at 11 years old) and is a fraction of the length of Lord Of The Rings. Is there simply too little content for a trilogy of nearly three hour-long films? Why not keep it a two-part story? One of the good things about the Lord Of The Rings films was that they missed out some of the less necessary bits. In nine hours of the Hobbit you could portray every single aspect of the story – which may be overkill. The film went quickly enough for me, but it would seem that the company of dwarves will become tiring if it persists in the same vacuous manner as I have just sat through.
So, the bottom line is: go and see the 2D version of the film. In the meantime, I will wait for the Bluray version so I can watch it at home, where I can concentrate on the story.