Well, the reviews have started to roll in and so far it’s looking like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is an unexpected disappointment, not that that will stop it from making shitloads of money. It currently only has a 65% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is alarming for one of the biggest, most anticipated films of the year. But is anyone really surprised at the bad reviews? They took a book that was significantly shorter than just one of the three Lord of the Rings books and stretched it into an epic three-part film, and a lengthy one at that–this first part has a running time of 162 minutes. That is OVER TWO AND A HALF HOURS, ya’ll. The only thing more epic is Hollywood’s ability to milk beloved franchises until they’re cold, dead and lifeless.
Not to mention Peter Jackson’s puzzling decision to shoot The Hobbit in 48 frames per second, giving it a weird, plasticky, fake look like something you’d see on television. Despite early negative feedback with test audiences and critics, Jackson defended his decision and basically told us all we were old farts afraid of change. This article over at IGN does a good job of pinpointing all the reasons why 48 FPS for a fantasy film is a bad idea.
Here’s but a sampling of the bad reviews, which are worth reading if only for the awesomely cheesy Lord of the Rings-related puns:
- CNN – Review: ‘Hobbit’ A Sluggish Misadventure with a TV Sheen
- LA Times – Review: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ lacks a certain ring
- SF Gate – ‘The Hobbit’ review: Chore of the Rings
- Wired – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Failure
- The Wall Street Journal – The Hobbit: A Middling Middle Earth
- Fox News – Review: ‘The Hobbit’ Too Little for Too Long
Full disclosure: I have not seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey yet. I was planning to go this weekend, but now I’m not so sure it’ll be worth it. Did any of you guys see it last night, and if so, was it in 3D and/or 48 FPS? Are the bad reviews warranted? Please let me know what you thought. A $15 movie ticket and nearly three hours of my life are at stake.