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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D: A Review

Updated on August 10, 2013

It is winter in West Virginia, and there's snow and freezing temperature to prove it! I like to be outdoors in friendly weather, so it can be difficult to find fun things to do this time of year. My partner and I decided to go see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D yesterday. Even though fantasy movies are not usually my cup of tea, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Have you watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

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What I Loved

  • The 3D experience is much better than it was when I was younger (plus the super-cool 3D glasses!)
  • Beautiful New Zealand scenery
  • Excellent musical score
  • Surprisingly good story that gives insight for the remainder of the Lord of the Rings trilogy

We make 3D glasses look cool!
We make 3D glasses look cool!

The 3-D Experience

I must say I really did not want to pay $2.50 extra to see the movie in 3D. Isn't it basically the same as the non-3D version, except you have to wear stupid glasses to watch it? Well, not really. 3D has improved dramatically since the last time I saw a 3D film. I actually even enjoyed the previews in 3D. Stuff really feels like it is jumping off the screen and changes the movie experience. I even yelled out loud a couple of times, frightening the elderly couple in front of us. I'm sure this is old news to the younger folk, but for anyone like me who has not seen a 3D film in a while, you may be pleasantly surprised! Also, silly as it may sound, I liked the big, bulky black-framed 3D glasses and opted not to recycle them after the movie. This was the first time my partner and I have been to see a 3D movie together, and I thought maybe someday, if we ever decide to have children, they might get a kick out of our 3D glasses and the movie ticket stub. I am sure that as fast as technology is changing by the time we have children old enough to be interested in the story of us, there certainly will be new and improved ways to watch 6D with some sort of mind-interaction.

Now I'm aching to go to New Zealand!
Now I'm aching to go to New Zealand! | Source

New Zealand Scenery

If you enjoyed the scenery in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, no doubt you will enjoy it again in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I love to travel, and being able to escape the dreary cold and snow for 3 hours to see beautiful New Zealand countryside was a nice change of pace.

Musical Score

Composer Howard Shore, who won 3 Academy Awards for the musical scores in the LOTR trilogy, continues his excellent work in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The London Philharmonic Orchestra is a joy to hear and accents the scenes very well. On Amazon, the reviews for the soundtrack are overwhelmingly good with an average of 4.5/5 so far.

The Story

*No spoilers.

I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, though it's not my favorite type of film. I typically enjoy comedies or dramas and an occasional straight-up chick-flick. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey fits right in line with the rest of the LOTR films and provides a lot of insight into some of the characters and the story line. Gollum-lovers likely will enjoy the additional role he plays in this film. However, if you did not enjoy the LOTR trilogy, I would not recommend you see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It is the same type of film, just an expansion on the plot.

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What I Wasn't Crazy About

  • Redundancy
  • Length of the film
  • Length of action scenes


While none of the scenes were exactly the same as the previous films, I felt I was watching a lot of it over again, especially in the first 30 minutes or so. Others may not find this to be the case, but I would prefer they jump into the meat of the new stuff a little faster.

Length of the film

At 169 minutes plus 20 minutes for trailers, we were in the theater for 3 hours and 9 minutes. That is a long time to sit still for me! I know Peter Jackson has a history of exceptionally long films, and I know there is a lot to cover, and I know he wants to do justice to the original Tolkien novels, but my bladder was about to burst twice and I was starving for dinner about 45 minutes into it. I had to send my dear boyfriend to the concession stand for nachos and cheese ($10? Really?). I suggest you take a large handbag with snacks packed from home and sit near the aisle so you can take restrooms breaks without having to climb over 20 different people, especially if you have kids in tow.

Length of the Action Scenes

Near the end, there is an exceptionally long, in my opinion, action scene. Again, I know Peter Jackson wants to convey the detail of the novels, but I got the gist of it about 10 minutes before it was over. I can do without all the extra sword fighting, gut-stabbing, face-punching, bridge-jumping, over-the-top action, but I guess the more testosterone-filled folk will rank this on the pros rather than the cons side of the equation. But, hey, whatever floats your boat...

© 2012 Leah Wells-Marshburn


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    • nurseleah profile image

      Leah Wells-Marshburn 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Thank you for your comment :)

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Thank you for a great review. I think most anyone would know what to anticipate after reading your review. I love the movie. Well done. UP and USEFUL.