So the pacing was fine, but what about the 48 FPS you ask? Again, I went in expecting the worst, but I have to say I was blown away. The best way to explain 48 FPS (frames per second if you didn't know) is as follows: if you've bought one of the newest brands of TVs over the past year, a Quattron for example, then you've experienced the overly defined, camcorder/soap opera 'look'. I'll admit it takes some getting used to, but I've grown to like it. The 3D 48 FPS takes that technology and throws it into overdrive with a smoother, much more colorfully-vivid transition that makes you feel like you're actually there. Seriously. When they were being chased under the mountain by all those goblins, it felt as though they could leap off the screen at any time. I highly recommend you see it like this, but sadly, if you haven't had the opportunity to 'get used' to this technology and are hitting it for the first time, you'll no doubt be a little bothered by it at first.
The next issue is the acting and or actors involved. The returning cast, led by the always awesome Ian McKellen, were a real treat. For years, continuations of films and TV shows have been plagued by new faces playing the original characters, and sure, ten years isn't that long of a gap, but I've seen it happen and it sucks. Not so here (for the most part) as Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman and Gollum are played the by same actors who all look fantastic (Cate Blanchett was looking especially delicious). Hell, we even get to see Ian Holm (old Bilbo) and Elijah Wood (Frodo) for a little at the beginning. This added tremendous flavor for me as a fan of the series. I particularly loved watching Christopher Lee (can you believe he's ninety years old) acting all innocent like he has no idea what's going on in Murkwood--priceless. I enjoyed Martin Freeman's Bilbo (especially his scene with Gollum) and the dwarves weren't nearly as annoying as I thought they would be, Thorin in particular was a cool as hell leader.
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY falls short by comparison to the original trilogy in only one department. The tone. I remember trying to read THE HOBBIT when I was in grade nine and after one page put it down thinking it sounded too childish. The movie isn't that bad, but at no point did I ever feel anyone was in mortal danger and considering some of the things they had to endure, I should have. This is only a minor complaint, as I'm not sure how this story ends or who dies (if anyone), but aside from that, the scenery was breathtaking (especially Rivendell, the dwarven city and the goblin cavern), the makeup and effects were stellar, the story was fun and the action scenes were epic. There isn't much to complain about here as far as I'm concerned, and I can't wait to see the next one. PS: It would've been nice to actually see Smaug.
Video Blogs: The real gem of these special features comes from two hours of video blogs—in case you missed them online—which cover every detail you could possibly want as a fan of the film and the series. A lot of time, effort and most of all, love, was put into these two fantastic hours and I highly recommend you sit down and enjoy them.
Previews: There are six different trailers for the feature film (loved that), some video game trailers as well as a DVD and Digital Copy of the film.