The HFR 3D : This is one film I have seen the reviews for, and they were very mixed with a lot of the people complaining about it being over-long or stretched and also many more complaints about the new High Frequency (HFR) 3D making it look ‘too real’ and being headache-inducing. No headaches for me at all, but I agree that the film did look a little hyper-real at times, although this might have been more to do with the fantasy-setting than a problem with the 3D. Overall I found the new HFR 3D effect to be better than the standard 3D effect which could be a little unclear and often struggled to keep up during fast action sequences.
The Film : The film tells the story of Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit) who is employed by a company of dwarves as their ‘burglar’, and along with Gandalf The Grey (again played by Ian Mckellen) they seek to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from Smaug, a fearsome dragon. Martin Freeman plays the role of Bilbo very well, and the standout scene in the movie features him and Gollum (Andy Serkis) asking each other riddles in an underground cave. Gollum is a very fine piece of CGI, and the 3D works excellently here, managing to bring him to life as a real creature.
The main bad point for me is that this is a book adaptation – actually a quite a faithful one (so far as I can remember the book) but this does mean that too much is crammed into the almost 3 hour running-time (despite this being the first of three films). There is some emotional depth to the film but not enough – you don’t really care much about anyone beyond Bilbo and Gandalf. To be fair early on in the film director Peter Jackson does include quite a few sequences of the dwarves and Bilbo at rest or singing and conversing which does help you to get to know their characters but later in the film it can feel like there are just a lot of action sequences all strung together and not much else. These were enjoyable but at no time did I think ‘wow, that was amazing’! So a good film, quite close to the book, with lots of excitement but a little too long with just has too much crammed in 6/10