'The Hobbit' stirs fan debate
December 17th, 2012
03:23 PM ET

'The Hobbit' stirs fan debate

Before "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was released, there was already controversy among hardcore fans and other moviegoers.

Would the decision to expand the adaptation from two movies and into three stretch the story too thin? Would it drag?

And how would audiences react to the new 48fps frame rate, which director Peter Jackson used on the film to make it look more realistic?

The first movie of the trilogy, which scored a record for highest-grossing December debut (and no wonder, as fans lined up to see it), received a mixed-to-positive response from iReporters.

Atlanta film critic Brett Martin thought that the movie was slow at times, and took about an hour to really get moving.

He also wasn't a fan of 48fps or 3-D, reasoning that the old-fashioned 24fps rate has worked for much of film history and should work fine here. Check out his video below to see what he thought of the movie overall:

Rajiim Gross, meanwhile, was wowed by the new technology.

"It makes you actually feel like you're right there during parts of the film!" the Ft. Thomas, Kentucky resident said.

Check out his A+ review:

Joyce Chow of Los Angeles tried out an experiment: she saw the movie in two different versions, and said it was like seeing two different movies.

For the first version in 3-D IMAX, "We were greatly disappointed in what we saw. It seemed to go on forever and the 3-D could best be described as 3-D gone wrong. People were restless going in and out of the theater and watching their watches."

But she felt quite differently about 48fps: "It was like we had attended a completely different film. Our intention was just to see what 48fps looked like, then leave. We found [that] what we saw was so impressive that we sat through a film that had us checking our watches for how much time [was] left before the film ended and never once looked at them during this screening."

Eric Lindberg, a Tolkien traditionalist who dressed as Bilbo Baggins to see the movie in Oak Park, Illinois, Thursday night, was critical of the idea of making the book a trilogy.

"This has resulted in some pacing issues and some questionable new additions. The end result feels, as Bilbo (and many reviewers) said, 'like butter scraped over too much bread.'"

Still, he enjoyed the movie because he was floored by the cast's performances.

"Martin Freeman is an absolutely perfect Bilbo. He has such understated charm and a flustered, very hobbit-ish quality. I can't imagine anyone else in the part."

Did you see "The Hobbit" this weekend? Upload your review or comment below.

Filed under: movies • Weekend reviews

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Hobbit Fan

    I thought the movie was fantastic! As a Hobbit Geek (I have read the Hobbit more than 20 times, I read LOTR every year (> 45 times?), I have read all of the Lost Tales and the History of Middle Earth,and the Silmarillion (many times), stood in line for all of the first 3 movies, saw them multiple times in the theater, bought the DVDs and watch then over and over), I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I saw it in 3D but not iMax. Although some of the scenes were not straight from the book, by reading LOTR (especially the appendix) and the Silmarilion the vast majority of the movie is straight out of mind of JRR Tolkien. The only odd thing in my mind was the "rabbit sled" of Radagast. On the other hand, there is no writing describing exactly how Radagast warned Gandalf about the return of Sauron to Mirlkwood so – how do we know? If you are new to the Hobbit, know that the story is highly accurate and the "slower" parts are required to develop the characters and background. As a Hobbit Geek, I enjoyed the time taken to show the "hobbit life" and motivation. Please see the movie! Can't wait for the next installment!

    January 13, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AliAnonymous

    My husband and I walked out of the High Frame Imax 3D. The High Frame pitcure made it look like you were watching a soap opera, and the special effects looked like just that special effects and not actually incorporated into the movie. Plus, the 3D version of the High Frame got both me and my husband nauseated (I have never had that problem before with 3D). We were shocked when we left that more people weren't walking out and demanding their money back I hope that studios don't switch over to that format, I am not a fan. We will go back to see the movie in a different version.

    January 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim in FL

      I got a headache from watching the movie (non 3D/IMAX) and had to take turns closing my eyes to prevent the headache from getting worse. I don't know if the theater I was in had the worlds cheapest video project or what, but I was constantly seeing motion blur. These included fast action scenes, rippling water, and especially the scene where the screen is filled with a field of tall grass blowing in the wind – the entire scene was a disaster! I was also completely disappointed to see the individual pixles whenever words were displayed on the screen.

      Now, I don't claim to have "super hero vision" nor was I sitting in the front row of the theater. I was sitting about 1/3 from the screen and in the middle of the row and it was the last showing of the day. I was SO disappointed in the quality of the picture that I did look for somebody to complain to but could not find anybody. Even though I won't be asking for my money back, I will be talking to the manager to complain. I will also be checking out other movie theaters to see if their projectors are as bad as this one.

      I'm all for advances in technology, but this reminds me of the (horrible) quality of the very first digital cameras which was a joke.

      January 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cliff Fiscal

    Opted for "Life of Pi" instead. Good film, I liked it.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. you have to know what your doing when your marketing

    a movie...800 is not the way to market.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Crush Down

    can't market the movie well producers will have to say goodbye.

    bad idea

    December 29, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Della Power

    say bye bye hobobit

    December 29, 2012 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Watch it fall to the ground....

    it just doesn't have the spark.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. the movie doesn't have the personality

    to pursue marketing–this will be crushed for bad behavior

    December 29, 2012 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. hobbit telephone---800, 973

    hobbit will be falling on its face soon.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. Thor Christenson

    Just AWESOME! LOVED every bit of the movie.

    December 29, 2012 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. The hobbit internet push has not gone well.

    we need to go back to the old fashioned way and promote personally. computer promotion does not work.
    personal is best.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the hobbit does not have the kick

    it once had....many viewers have been gone for years now. studies have shown profits will not grow. sorry hobbit truth hurts sometimes.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. many studies have shown...

    it won't last.... i would say bye bye by easter....

    December 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. experience...

    give the hobbit idea a little more time and wish it well....

    December 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |

    boring – i would not drag the pain on too much longer dear. its almost over.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  16. flabbergasted

    Why must Americans demand movies to be so fast-paced? I thought that the beginning was great. Sure, I already know the backstory (and could pick out the discrepancies), but I went with people who never read the Hobbit or LotR. They needed the explanation so that the rest of the film could make sense.

    A good movie will have a well laid out plot, character development, and memorable dialogue/music. If the trilogy was shortened into a single film that was all action, then sure, it could make money. People could still enjoy it. Heck, many people enjoy watching Transformers for this reason. But it wouldn't make the film good.

    So sit back, enjoy the story as well as the action, and just appreciate the film.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Internet has lost its novelty and viewers

    in the last 3 years...find another marketing tool

    December 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |

    December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not a Jerk

      Why would you even bother putting a post like this. Why is it even worth it?

      February 12, 2013 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  19. Margaret

    my boyfriend and i have been hysterical since september.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Sandra

    My husband and I saw it in non 3D format. We loved it. Beginning took time but was enjoyable and than followed by a lot of action mixed with "a-ha" moments dialogs in between. Similar to LOTR – Jackson's style.
    If you loved LOTR and wanted similar type of movie – you will not be disappointed

    December 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  21. I'm scared again.. the attention is off me

    and my millions...


    December 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Millionaire women are so independent...


    December 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. BelladonnaCove

    Saw it and liked it, for the most part. BTW, it seems that most reviewers didn't even read the book : The dwarves DID spend time eating and singing at Bilbo's house, and Bilbo DID worry about the dishes and unexpected company ! Bringing a book to life is going to have some slower moments. Glad the producers included moments from the beginning ; it helped to 'flesh out' Bilbo's character.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  24. codifex

    There were a few things that struck me as weird. No Prancing Pony, alteration of the Troll Encounter, alteration of the Orcs in the mountain encounter – I liked the king Troll though. Nice touch. The exit from the mountain and dwarves up in the trees section was drastically changed and didn't take advantage of possible tension as the wargs should have been closing in. Could have been even better. Weird but interesting stone giant fight.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  25. awards awards awards...

    its so much fun winning...i hope the hobbit wins.

    December 24, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  26. Does anyone pay attention to this production...

    not really because its gullible in every way shape for form...cheers

    December 24, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |

    Jar Jar wins he 4th recognition award from parents...did any blogger win anything this year for recognition by the public?

    December 24, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  28. SixDegrees

    Well, at least we got introduced to Jar Jar the Brown.

    December 24, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  29. Jill

    I loved it. I have never read LOTR, so I think I am at an advantage...I can just sit back and enjoy the movie without being tortured by comparisons to the book. I am pleased that they are splitting the story between 3 movies, because then I get to see more hobbit movies. 😛

    December 24, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  30. Miles

    It's quite amusing that some call a fantasy 'delusional.' But that's beside my point.

    Am I being really picky when a director takes the two most pivotal events of an epic literary fantasy and feels he has to change them for the screen? I'm talking of the destruction of the ring in The Return of the King, and Bilbo's 'finding' of the ring in The Hobbit. In the books, both events were understated but still portrayed as very pivotal; despite, and perhaps because of, their 'incidental' qualities. In my view, these incidental and understated qualities are the very character of Hobbits and one of the most essential themes of the books. For some reason, Jackson seems to think he has to 'mess' with these two events for the movie; and, in my eyes, leave these themes out.

    Other than this point, I loved the LOTR and 'The Hobbit; movies. They were way over the top.

    December 22, 2012 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  31. Miles

    It's quite amusing that some call a fantasy 'delusional.' But that's beside my point.

    Am I being really picky when a director takes the two most pivotal events of an epic literary fantasy and feels he has to change them for the screen? I'm talking of the destruction of the ring in The Return of the King, and Bilbo's 'finding' of the ring in The Hobbit. In the books, both events were understated but still portrayed as very pivotal; despite, and perhaps because of, their 'incidental' qualities. In my view, these incidental and understated qualities are the very character of Hobbits and one of the most essential themes of the books. For some reason, Jackson seems to think he has to 'mess' with these two events for the movie; and, in my eyes, leave these themes out.

    Other than this point, I loved these LOTR and 'The Hobbit; movies. They were way too much over the Top.

    December 22, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |

      my feelings are the same don't bother me and i won't bother you...

      December 24, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  32. andrew

    Confused and bored. I would of left the Theatre but had gone with a group so had to put up with the discrepancies, DO NOT WATCH if you read the book

    December 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Marsh

      From your name to your opinion I commend you. This movie misses the some key elements that make movies enjoyable. Unclear main character, confusing motivations, unnecessary thematic bridges, unrealistic and cartoonish scenarios. Why was "The Hobbit" so infrequently seen or necessary in the movie called "The Hobbit"? Remember the moth and eagles and the Gollum singing the crazy song on the rock while eating and the mountain being the overall goal thing and the..." ok Peter we get it.... And how about a case of Invincible Main Character syndrome? So much eye rolling during the Goblin cavern sequence. I don't know I just really didn't like this movie as a whole. Plus, was the Rivendell scene even in The Hobbit (book)? I'm just stating my opinion so no offense anyone I just didn't like the movie. I'm not trying to convince other people that liked it to not like it.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |


      December 24, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • codifex

      Oh yea, the elves had much fun at the dwarves expense in the book. singing, O' where are you going? With beards all a wagging etc.. Much mirth missed.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  33. RonMexico

    Saw the Hobbit in 3D and it was fantastic.

    Yes, slow to start but I loved it. Don't listen to the critics, it's already at $88M.

    December 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • they don't trash people all day...

      they need to make money–88 million is nothing.

      December 24, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  34. TimSul

    Amazing! All these self-professed experts... Please just sit down and enjoy A GREAT movie. And if you didn't enjoy the movie... Too Bad! ... Deal with it... and STFU...

    December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bostonmonkey

      Thank you for saying that! I loved the movie!!!

      Sure, there were some changes and adds in translation from book to movie (Radagast, goblintown rollarcoaster ride, Rivendell scenes, etc..) However, some added scenes like the background story of the dwarves and showing the fun but focused and driven of the dwarves at Bilbo's hole was great (boring for the non-fans I am sure).

      I can't wait for the other two! Lots of things to experience! 🙂

      People knew it was a 2:45 movie going in and then they complain?? What did they expect??

      January 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Meh

    enough gimmicktry...I like Jackson but just remake the animated movie and call it a day

    December 19, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  36. Asashii

    looks cheap and fake, did they slash the budget in half, is this like the phantom menace or something, will skip and see maybe one day, but looks like a live filmed soap opera cant watch it sorry, the first three movies were good!

    December 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Negative, the 48 fps does have some Soap Opera feel to it, but if you see it in traditional 24, you'll see it at it's cinematic best. Forget 3D. And while the story's points of action are spread out, if you are afan of the story, you won't have any issues with the dialogue and progression

      December 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  37. John

    great input...Im glad you took the time out of your day to repeat that it's delusional, or that I am delusional. Not that the term delusional is even applicable to a scenario based on the opinions of a movie. If you disagree, excellent! I'd love to hear your reasoning...but posting a one sentence response shows your ignorance to the point of comment sections. The Hobbit was excellent, and making it three movies is a great choice, in my opinion. Who cares if you don't like it, they already have your money. Served.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucklehead

      Dude, you have got to get out of your parents basement and start living in the real world.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  38. your going ayyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    an its dreaming all the time-thanks for the morning tv

    December 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  39. it imagines things that have never happened....

    its delusional

    December 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Nobody cares

    your a mental delusional mess....once was enough...

    December 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  41. there is no 3

    your delusional....

    December 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  42. John

    The Hobbit was excellent, and turning it into a trilogy allows them to fully capture the novel on screen. While LOTR did a fantastic job of telling the story, the fact that they were to a cover a book per movie prevented from the entire story being told. Now many may not wish to have the entire book put on screen, but I am one of many who would greatly enjoy it.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  43. There is the taste of nonsense.

    you have just witnessed

    December 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  44. you see? Nada


    December 18, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  45. MovieWatcher

    Saw the movie in both formats was visually good. I remember reading all of the tolkin books in school and a few years ago. I don't know if its me but this movie was like watching the LOTR 1 – same formula but more comical and why in heavens name does this story have to be told is 3 movies. I love SCIFI/FANTANCY by lets be real.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  46. hiruu

    Saw the movie twice this past weekend, and I thought it was great. The pacing was ploddy at times, but not that much more than the first film. There was alot of backstory invovled in this one, because it is complicated, and stuff needs to be laid out for most moviegoers, who likely have not read the books.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  47. Chucklehead

    Jackson is the new Lucas. A one trick pony that's wearing thin. Didn't you morons have your fill with those lousy Lord of the Rings movies? Yes, I said lousy and no, I don't care how much money they made. They sucked!

    December 18, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      chill out with the butthurt.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Oh, it must be difficult to be so edgy...I know you are one of those clowns who chose to hate Lord of the Rings because of it's success and following. You need to grow up, or get a better taste in movies, because the LOTR trilogy was incredible. No one cares how anti-establishment you are...

      December 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • its delusional.....

      in my observation...its delusional

      December 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucklehead

      Gee John, you have no idea how hurtful your comments are. LOL!!!!!! Anti-establishment? I don't think so. It's just that I'm not a sheep that follows the flock. You're probably one of those people that agrees with the critics that say Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind are great movies too, aren't you?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • DMowatt


      December 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Dragun

    I have seen it in both the regular non 3D with my parents and in the High Frame Imax 3D. While i will admit, there were some slow parts, i never thought to check my watch at all. The Back-story and how they tied it in with the LOR movies was superbly done, and the inclusion of the Appendices materials was great! I cant wait to see SMOG in all his glory!! And the battle at the foot of the Lonely Mountain in the third movie i have great expectations of. This series will rival the LOR trilogy and i cant wait to watch them all in order on Blue Ray!!

    December 18, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I completely agree! I've waited a long time for this movie, and I was not let down.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Rachel Johnson

    Watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Full Movie Online at: http://j.gs/1hck

    December 18, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  50. the usual

    she rang the phone..we opened the computer...same crap...

    December 18, 2012 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  51. Sanch

    I saw the film in real 3D, HFR 3D, and 2D.. all three gave me new experiences and since HFR is new i wouldnt criticize it and think it s a commendable effort by the studio ..

    Regarding the film i have no complains.. absolutely loved the 30 minutes shire scene with kitchen – dwarvish work which clearly felt like tolkien and at times elevating what tolkien produced in the book .. The narration of Ian Holm was beautiful and straight away immersed me into the film. The introduction of shire made me nostalgic and tears to my eyes..

    The casting was brilliant , Freeman , Armitage , Serkis and Mckellen were brilliant with a terrific script they were wonderful..

    I am particularly pleased by the score and i think Howard shore was brilliant as usual.. Overall the film is beautiful and i will give it a 4.5/5.. and i am waiting for the next two epics

    December 18, 2012 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
    • codifex

      Yeah, I thought the dwarvish kitchen cleanup and song by the dwarves was the best part of the movie. That's what Bilbo Baggins hates! heh

      Keep it real Peter. Tolkein wrote it right – resist changing things or you destroy the flavour.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  52. Dell Putz 1


    December 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  53. JohnnyAnonymous

    Saw the movie in standard 3D on Friday and thought it was absolutely fantastic. At times it did seem to have some pacing issues but the 3 hour duration seemed to fly by and was sad when it was over. Overall just really happy to be back in Middle Earth again and looking very much forward to seeing this one again and the next 2 movies down the road.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Gollum

    BAGGINS!!!!!!!!!!!! We HATES it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We Hates IT For EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |


    December 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Huffington Post Tool

    reported that december 13th....old news...we knew that days ago .. thanks for trying again.

    December 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  57. *** LiLo News ***

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    Sources close to Lindsay tell us … LiLo has fallen behind on paying her monthly bill … and now owes roughly $16,000 to the storage company.
    The account is now delinquent and the locker can’t be opened until the balance is paid in full…

    December 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |

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