After years of waiting it's finally coming to theaters -- Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
Bilbo Baggins, a kicked-back, happy-go-lucky Hobbit, joins Gandolf the Grey and 13 dwarves on a dangerous quest to reclaim their homeland and their treasure from Smaug the dragon.
The film is a staggering 160 minutes. But unlike any of the "Lord of the Rings" films, it takes about an hour for anything to really get going.
Once it does, though, game on, with non-stop chase scenes and action sequences.
On the journey they run into every kind of creature imaginable. The problem is, most of them are CGI creations. That was a big misstep, I think. In the "Lord of the Rings" films most of the monsters were just guys in makeup, and there was a sense of presence. I was hoping for the same here.
GCI does work with Gollum (played by Andy Serkis). Gollum and Bilbo's game of riddles is a nice piece of character interaction between battle sequences.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellen as Gandolf, and Richard Amitrage as the elf leader do a wonderful job of acting.
This film is a lot of fun to watch but it's not a great film as it never quite recaptures the charm of the "Lord of the Rings" films.
The Flick-O-Meter gives "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" a four out of five.
This film can be seen in 3D or 48 frames per second; it's really not worth paying the higher ticket price. Just go see it the regular way, at 24 frames per second. They've been doing it for decades, and it works just fine.
I'm eagerly awaiting the next two installments in the trilogy, and so should you.