‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ – SR Underground Ep. 70

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:25 pm,

Screen Rant Underground Podcast Header The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – SR Underground Ep. 70

The Screen Rant editorial team is back with episode seventy of the Screen Rant Underground.

Join host Ben Kendrick as well as fellow SR editors Rob Keyes, Anthony Ocasio, and Kofi Outlaw as we review The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-earth film, and discuss the movie’s connection to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Screen Rant Underground is available on the iTunes Music StoreStitcher Radio, or the Windows Phone Marketplace but if you’re not near your home computer, check out our seventieth episode in the player below.

Also, Screen Rant Underground is an EXPLICIT podcast. We don’t go out of our way to say controversial things or use explicit language but it does happen – so use discretion when playing the podcast at work and around young, or sensitive, ears.


Screen Rant Underground: Episode 70 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

In episode 70 of the Screen Rant Underground podcast we review The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-earth film, and discuss the movie’s connection to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

[0:00] Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (read our full written review)

[50:02] The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey SPOILERS conversation (check out our full spoilers discussion)

[1:40:28] Listener E-mail, Twitter Handles, and Contact Information.

Hosts: Ben Kendrick, Rob Keyes, Anthony Ocasio, and Kofi Outlaw.



Next Week’s Review: Jack Reacher

Last Week’s Reader Box Office Battle Winner: Tune In Next Week.

Opening this Week in Theaters (Wide):

  • Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away (Concert) – 800
  • The Guilt Trip (Comedy) – 2,300
  • Jack Reacher (Crime Drama) – 3,200
  • Monsters, Inc. (3D) (Animation) – 2,400
  • This Is 40 (Comedy) – 2,900+

Opening this Week in Theaters (Limited):

  • Zero Dark Thirty (Thriller) - 5

Use the comment section below to continue our various discussions by weighing in with your own thoughts – or just to let us know what you think of the show. Also, don’t forget to vote in our weekly Screen Rant Underground poll:


[poll id=477]


We release one episode a week every Monday and while host Ben Kendrick as well as Rob Keyes, Anthony Ocasio, and Kofi Outlaw are standard fare on the podcast, we’ve lined-up plenty of guests for future episodes.

Subscribe to the Screen Rant Underground at your online digital store of choice:

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If you don’t use iTunesStitcher Radio, or the Windows Phone Marketplace you can still say up to date with new releases by bookmarking the Underground RSS feed – or keep an eye on the site for future Underground episode posts.


Follow 3/4 of the Screen Rant Underground team @benkendrick, @rob_keyes, and @anthonyocasio. Also, feel free to contact us with questions and other insights at underground@screenrant.com, by adding #SRUnderground to your tweets, or leave a message on the SR Underground voicemail line at (323) 522-5455.

Music by Omarie B. Williams (@OmarieWilliams)

Edited by Justin Vactor (@Vactor)

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  1. Would of liked to hear u all talk about some other problems that people had. But was a really interesting podcast to listen to.

  2. I also feel that something has to be said for fans reviews. Obviously fans of the series will like the hobbit, which is fine. But nobody can say it was good enough to turn a non believer.into a fan. People who didnt like nolans batmans probably didnt like dkr its just how things work. Im sure many people being angered about the hobbit being 3 films may have caused some to have a negative pre notion.

    • Yah, that’s kind of what I think too. Had they said 3 films from the beginning, I wonder if people would have been as put-off by the length and less-essential scenes. Not sure I have a concrete answer but splitting into three films definitely put a spotlight on that aspect.

  3. Thanks gents, I and a few friends here in the UK really feel this podcast is at its best when you all allow yourselves the time to really debate a single topic. Great job, like all the specials – that’s not to say that the regular weeklies are not top entertainment as well. Great team dynamic, long may it last.

    Ben, just a light-hearted general point(not related to this week’s podcast) – please stop apologising for your point of view and worrying out loud if it will upset some people! I realise you ‘ground’ the whole podcast, and do a great job of it, but there’s no need to say ‘sorry’ quite so much :)

    • Thanks for the compliments on the cast!

      • Either through fox-like cunning or happy co-incidence, the four cast members here really add up to be greater than the sum of your parts. The empty space is always really obvious when someone can’t make it, although the remaining cast members always keep the podcast thoroughly entertaining.

        I’ll let you into a little secret – I’m not really a great fan of movies and I dislike most US TV shows (sorry, not trying to be rude to our cousins across the sea – you just can’t do Red Dwarf properly and it’s annoying :)- I do love books though! I listen in to this Podcast every week without fail and have listened through the back catalogue (Where’s the green lantern episode you keep promising?) simply for the entertainment factor. I happily listen through your spoilers comments long before I ever see many of the films (same with this one). Having Said this I have actually been to the Cinema twice in the past 12 months or so! Twice! And both as a result of listening in here.

        One of my friends, who is now a listener here, loves movies and it’s still funn to debate with him (when I eventually see the film) as I go in to a movie totally fresh, with no expectations and having rarely seen any sequals/prequals and always judge the movie purely on how it holds up over 2 hours as a distinct entity. The Hobbit did not do it for me personally, it felt…..messy.

    • I’m sorry! Just kidding. I definitely do try to keep things grounded but I stand by my points. Unless I don’t. Sorry again. Kidding!

      • I’m sorry you’re sorry – group hug!

  4. I have to side with Ben and Kofi on this. I loved going back to Middle Earth, and it was awesome to see it in theaters since I was only 7 when Fellowship came out. And I think a lot of people will view it that way, especially if they are like me who didn’t get a chance to experience on the screen the first time around.

    I saw it in IMAX 3D and thought it was great, and I normally hate 3D movies. Really interested in the high frame rate-might go back and see it that way. My only major problems with the movie was how Smaug wasn’t really in it-wanted some Benedict Cumberbatch as well, and also how Radagast just kind of disappeared during that chase scene. I understand how he will probably be back in a later film, but felt they could have tied that up a little cleaner.

    Also, loved the character dynamics-I agree, Martin Freeman’s Bilbo is much more entertaining and engaging than Frodo, although that’s not to say I hate Frodo. That’s what is kind of tricky with this movie I think because everyone is going to compare it LOTR, obviously, but I feel they are completely different stories, even with all of the tie in. I don’t necessarily agree with the anti-climatic ending-Bilbo’s “I think the worst in behind us” comment sets up the second movie nicely because obviously the worst is not behind them at all, so that was kind of funny.And Smaug awakening was pretty cool as well. Overall, satisfying return to Middle Earth. I will say, though, that right after I got back, I watched Fellowship, and was kind of bored. I think you guys mentioned something about what that movie would be like after seeing The Hobbit. Anyway, great job as always with the podcast!

    • Ill side with the others, its definetly a film that is split which makes debates interesting.

      • Oh for sure. I admit there are problems with the movie, but because of that people are going to view those problems in different ways, which does make for some interesting debates.

        • Agreed, I would never make the claim that the film is must see – because it does have a lot of problems but, as you guys have said, I think a case can be made either way.

          For me, I enjoyed it and felt like it exceeded my expectations.

  5. Anthony, I don’t know where you live in Michigan but they were playing it in HFR 3D in Novi.

    • I’m on the other side of the mitten. Celebration Cinema is who I was referring to when I said that they only had one HFR projector.

  6. 1 – The Hobbit
    2 – This is 40
    3 – Jack Reacher
    4 – Monsters Inc 3D
    5 – Guilt Trip
    10 – Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

  7. 1.The hobbit
    2. Jack reacher
    3. Monster inc 3d
    4. Skyfall
    5. Lincoln
    10. Cirque de soilel

  8. Another good podcast.

    I’m in agreement on some of your points re: The Hobbit. And I disagree sometimes too.

    Prequelitis. Yes, The Hobbit suffers from it. Not as bad as Star Wars Episode 1. About on par with Prometheus……. IMO. I really felt the prequelitis rearing it’s ugly head during that awkward meeting scene in Rivendell, attended by Elrond, Gandalf, Saruman, and Galadriel who in particular was never in The Hobbit book. I like Cate Blanchett, but she was very under-served in Jackson’s Hobbit. Her scenes by comparison were intense in the LOTR trilogy.

    More streamlined than Fellowship? No. Just take Radagast the Brown for instance. A totally unnecessary character to the plot. He wasn’t in the books either. Why is he there?……. Padding. The White Orc wasn’t in the Hobbit book either, as you mentioned. That’s an entire subplot that’s been grafted on by Jackson. The Necromancer subplot too. I’m withholding judgment until I see how it all plays out in the later movies.

    And you guys mentioned the magic power scaling problem with Gandalf. This is a classic conundrum in fantasy fiction (and I hate when this happens). A character in a fantasy novel will have vague magical powers….. sometimes they will be helpless to do anything, and sometimes (depending on where the plot has progressed) this person will whip out some amazing potent magic that kicks ass and solves everything. Usually at the climax of the story (Deus Ex Machina). Leaving the reader to ask: “Why didn’t the good wizard do that earlier…..?” Tolkien does it quite a bit. With both good Wizards having weak powers in the beginning…. then strong by the end of the book. And bad Wizards the opposite.

    The Gollum set piece was fantastic. But if Jackson keeps true to Gollum’s story arc from the book, then that’s the last we’ll see of him in the Hobbit trilogy.

    I enjoyed the movie once I got over the fact that Jackson wasn’t going for accuracy regarding the source material.

    I think I would have given it 3.5 stars…… a little less than Ben.

    • I agree with everything you stated.

    • It’s totally true about fantasy with magic powers.

      If I had to score, I’d go 3/5 I think so close.

      • Yep… we’re close. And I agreed with your criticisms Rob. The Hobbit is weaker than all three LOTR movies.

        FYI – I also saw it in 2D.

        • So the people that don’t experience the film the way Jackson intended have lower scores than the people who did? Interesting.

          Again, what some people are calling “padding” is a bit short-sighted IMHO. The Radagast portions are a sub-plot that we ALREADY KNOW is going to pay dividends. I can’t wait for my 3-year-old nephew to come of age when I can show him all the movies in chronological order. Again, when viewed as a whole, I GUARANTEE it will be worthwhile and all parts necessary.

          I don’t even have to wait 3 films like Ben K to make that statement. I’m saying it NOW, let the record show…

          • I saw it in 48 fps 3d and i agreed with rob keyes. But its all an opinion.

          • If there is a story arc featuring Radagast, and you ALREADY KNOW about how it pays off then you have inside information.

            Radagast the Brown as far as I remember, is only mentioned once in The Hobbit book. No plot, no character development…. nothing.

            Radagast IS featured briefly in LOTR. The only part he plays In Tolkien’s LOTR, is he lures Gandalf unwittingly to Saruman’s tower where he is captured. But then Radagast accidently sends an Eagle as a messenger to Saruman, which Gandalf hijacks to escape. None of this is included in Jackson’s LOTR. No butterfly wrangling……

            • I assume that Radagast is going to take the place of Beorn. Plus, they’ll make more use of him as the “darkness” spreads – very likely in the third film.

              But that sequence does distract a bit from the core storyline.

              • Asher corrected me: Beorn is in the second movie. So, forget what I said about Radagast replacing him. But, they can still use him in the third movie: when the darkness really gets… dark.

                • Apparently Jackson used Radagast to discover his Necromancer sub-plot and tell Gandalf about it, who then reports to Saruman and Elrond.

                  It would have been more economical for Elrond to stumble across the Necromancer on his horse back ramblings and then drop the info at the meeting of powers scene. No extra character necessary this way.

                  Or…. Gandalf could have ran across the Necromancer at the point when he left the dwarf company during their trek. Again no additional character needed. We’ve already got too many with all those dwarves to keep track of.

                  Radagast started to look useful during his open field chase on the rabbit sled, trying to cause a diversion for the Orcs and Whargs……. but he failed at that.

                  Maybe he plays a big part later?

          • No doubt.

            But there was a lot of stuff in Iron Man 2 only there for The Avengers, and it was torn apart because of it, even though later the entire story looks better, but that film needs to stand on its own. We’re not reviewing the trilogy, just An Unexpected Journey. We’re also only comparing that one to Fellowship.

  9. I had and continue to have a problem with Harry Potter and the lack of magic he used in the movies. Even to the point where I started calling him “Pu**y Potter” because it was annoying me so much. I did feel the same way about how Gandalf refused to use his powers during the film, but then I remembered what he said to Bilbo when he handed him the sword: “True courage is knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.” This explains why Gandalf only used his powers when it was absolutely necessary rather than just using them at the drop of a hat and abusing his abilities.

    • Except in the potter universe you cant use magic as you want as its monitored by the ministry of magic.

    • Interesting point. It’s a good explanation for a plot-convenience in the storyline – even if that wasn’t on Jackson’s mind.

      I think, contrary to what most people are arguing, that they actually made Gandalf too powerful in this one – which led to the inconsistency. In the book, he’s a lot more helpless – so it’s a little more even.

  10. I will say gandalf could have used more Magic i mean he called a bunch a Eagles to fly them to safety why not make them take you the rest of the way lol

    • Eagles in the nick of time in LOTR and The Hobbit.

      All hail Deus ex Machina!!

      I could use one of those eagles next time I’m stuck in LA traffic…….. Here little butterfly!…….. come here. Land on my finger…… come on! No don’t pull my finger! You’ll make my wizard robes billow up in an embarrassing way!

      • Ha! The eagles are pretty cool though – even if it’s a redundant set-piece.

  11. Just came back to say Rob is 100% right, huzzah for objectivity, logic and films having to stand alone.

    I am Gandalf, master wizard of deux ex machina!

    • Check’s in the mail, Cody ;)

      • Cody:

        You’re beef is with Tolkien, not Jackson.

        Honestly, your beef is with pretty much any fantasy story that entails the use of magic EVER WRITTEN. Magic IS deus ex Machina by nature: Often has no clear rules or definitions and can be used as an acceptable excuse to advance the plot at any point with little explanation.

        • Agreed. It’s a consistency problem – but I’m not sure why everyone is picking it apart in this film as opposed to any other fantasy film.

          Again, I think expectations are too high – as a result, we’re toiling over things that we normally accept as suspension of disbelief.

        • but the way the film is framed its all it becomes
          trolls capture dwarves-gandalf saves them
          wargs corner dwarves-gandalf finds a hole
          dwarves fall into goblins mt-gandalf saves them
          wargs corner them again-gandalf has eagles save them.

          Thats the whole movie and as a film maker youd try to rework this or make it better or not split one book into three parts so that theres no real apparent plot, danger, or really anything interesting in part 1 of 3 as its just a wizard saving his troupe multiple times in uninteresting ways and things of most interest are easter egg/fan service appearances of plots of lotr.

          And magic can have as many rules and structure as you apply to it but gandalfs saving of the dwarves is more than his varying magic, its more of him disappearing, letting the group walk into danger and then showing up conveniently to save them. If your adapting a book into film you should probably make this less obvious or contrived or happen 3 times at key points in your first film.

          • I don’t want to give anything away, but it actually makes sense thematically for the first film to depict Gandalf as a savior who is always around to solve problems. I think this is a good example of a criticism that you might not have after seeing the entire sequence of films.

  12. 1. Hobbit
    2. This is 40
    3. Jack R
    4. Monsters inc
    5. Skyfall
    10. Wreck it Ralph

  13. C’mon Ben you know this had to be 4.5 out 5 stars. I loved this movie especially the cameos from Sauron and Witch King to Frodo and Saruman. Loved it! I greatly appreciated how they handled the dwarves and their fighting style. That was one thing that bothered me like Rob said that the Dwarves were almost absent in the LOTR trilogy. I loved the designs of the creatures except the goblins who I liked better in Fellowship. I absolutely loved Azog the Great White Orc captain. Lurtz could’nt hold a candle to him. So excited for Part II.

    • Azog is pretty great. Definitely a smart addition/expansion for the new trilogy. I wasn’t always sold on his CGI (looked a little cartoony sometimes) but I like the character a lot.

      • He reminded me of the god war guy, or prometheus dude. No idea if the guy in prometheus was cgi but he looked amazing.

  14. Box Office Battle
    1.The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    2.Jack Reacher
    3.Monsters Inc
    5.This is 40.

  15. 1.The hobbit
    2. Jack reacher
    3. Monster inc 3d
    4. Skyfall
    5. This is 40
    10. Cirque de soilel

    As far as the hobbit goes I am huge fan of the books but I just wasn’t a fan of Peter Jackson’s interpretation with lord of the rings. Yet to see the hobbit as I love that book too. I don’t wanna be disappointed.

    • Hopefully you enjoy it. I think it’s different, so maybe that’ll help make it more enjoyable. That said, it’s still very much Lord of the Rings-ish, so it may also be a letdown (if you weren’t a fan of the original trilogy).

  16. I was shocked that two of the podcasters liked “The Hobbit” so much. I agreed with the guy who was disappointed. It is not streamlined, it is stretched out so thin, messy, dull, meandering, cartoonish, and un-compelling. I love the LOTR trilogy, theatrical editions, and the character arcs work so well throughout. Everyone has the right to their opinion, I just have completely different sensibilities than the guy who said he loves Hobbit and thinks Fellowship is weak.

    • Dan – Out of curiosity, did you ever see the Lord of the Rings extended editions? I feel like this film is kind of like one of them, considering there’s a lot of world-building scenes that divert from the core storyline.

      I’m just wondering if you would feel the same way about those extended editions.

    • Yeah, I agree. I mean I thought the Hobbit was alright , but I could never say with a straight face that it was better than any of the films of the original trilogy in any way. I suspect it may be a generational difference between those who were old enough to remember the impact and the quality of those films and those who were too young at the time and to them, it seemed “Boring”. I suggest alot people go back and watch those films again .

    • I agree with that guy too. He’s the only one making sense ;)

  17. Aragorn > Thorin by a mile.

    “I see it in your eyes… the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fail; when we forsake all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. This day, we FIGHT!”

    That makes me want to run through a brick wall. Total badass moment in cinema.

    • Totally agree.

      The “King” in this film is a dude who makes bad judgement calls and bullies the Hobbit the entire time.

    • Bilbo > Frodo by a mile.

      “Chip the glasses and crack teh plates!
      Blunt the knives and bent the forks!
      That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates-
      Smash the bottles and burn the corks!
      Cut the cloth and tread on the fat!
      Pour the milk on the pantry floor!
      Leave the bones on the bedroom mat!
      Splash the wine on every door!
      Dump the crocks in a boiling bawl;
      Puond them up with a thumping pole;
      And when you’ve finished, if any are whole,
      Send them down the hall to roll!
      That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!
      So carefully, carefully with the plates!”

      In all seriousness, his quote at the end about helping them return “home” was better, in my opinion, than most of the Aragorn character moments in the original trilogy. I realize that not going to be for everyone but I cared about Bilbo way more than any of the Lord of the Rings characters.

      • Ben, I’m with you on this. I really did care for Bilbo more than the cast of LOTR. In LOTR I cared for the overall story, there was so much and it was so rich that the whole of the situation and the outcome was important, but I didn’t care enough for a single character. In The Hobbit I did care for Bilbo and the dwarves and wanted to see a positive outcome for them. LOTR seemed to approach the story beginning with a macro view (a larger story) and then a micro view (small interwoven stories), where The Hobbit began with a micro view (Bilbo and a journey) and then a macro view (dwarves reclaiming their home, finding their treasure, the rise of the necromancer, the coming wars, etc…). I guess some people just prefer one form of storytelling over the other.

        The one thing I loved about The Hobbit was how whimsical it was. It was just very enjoyable to watch and it seems that a lot of people have problems with aspects of the movie, such as how long they spent in the home before the journey (and other drawn out scenes), but this was a very important part of the book. If Jackson didn’t stay true to the book everyone would be saying he rushed it. The guy has broken the book into three movies, sit back, relax, and enjoy some truly artistic and imaginative movie making. I don’t feel you can approach The Hobbit the same way you can LOTR…it’s unfair to apply LOTR expectations to The Hobbit.

      • Oh, I loved that quote about helping them return home. In my opinion, since they’re splitting the book into multiple films anyway, it should have ended right there because that was a powerful character moment for Bilbo, who was considering leaving the company the scene before.

        There was a lot that I liked about this film. Martin Freeman killed it. Riddles in the Dark was awesome. I loved seeing the Shire and Gollum back on the big screen. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it again. Maybe not in the theater but certainly on Blu Ray when it comes out.

        The only real criticism I have of the movie is that I felt like I didn’t get to know most of the dwarf characters as well as characters from Fellowship. Half of the company could have been killed by orcs and I wouldn’t have really cared. If something happened to Merry or Pippin in Fellowship, I would have felt sad. Hopefully as the films go on, we get to know the other dwarves better. I know it’s tricky because there are so many characters in the company, but Lord of the Rings was able to make me care about more of the characters and better establish them than this film. I still liked it, but I didn’t love it and I wanted to love it.

      • Bilbo is the title character of this trilogy. The “fellowship” is the titular group in LOTR. I don’t think anyone’s arguing Frodo was the star of LOTR, because he and his arc is one part of it.

  18. My main problem with the Hobbit is that a lot of scenes felt like they should have been deleted scenes and were only included to make the movie meatier. It just veers off into so many different plot lines and random scenes that don’t help help move the story forward. You forget about Bilbo and the Dwarves’ main goal for a good length of the movie. It was also really weird seeing these sillier elements that you never would have seen in the LOTR movies, like the brown Wizard riding on a rabbit sled and the Dwarves bouncing dishes around.

    But despite the Disney tone and unnecessary length, it was still enjoyable and there’s some really stellar special effects and awesome moments. Hopefully Jackson can learn here and make better parts II and III though.

    • Yeap, I think you hit my thoughts exactly and that’s why I felt strongly this film was the opposite of streamlined.

    • But some of those moments are in the book. I’m not sure that it’s fair to say this should have been the same tone as Lord of the Rings. The books are different in tone. I’m actually surprised how close they are in terms of scale and tone.

      As for “streamlined” that seems to be the “binders full of women” quote of the podcast and I feel like people have different definitions of the term.

      In my case, and I can’t speak for Kofi, I was merely saying that the film focused more on the task at hand (with admitted diversions) than Fellowship which laid out some many core characters, races, locations, magic abilities, etc. that it was, in my opinion, overwhelming. This film, even with side-plots, wasn’t overwhelming to me.

      • Ben Kendrick- In regards to the sillier scenes, I’m not necessarily saying they SHOULD have been taken out, but for me it was just weird to see when the LOTR films sort of set up this more gritty world where that type of wackiness would seem very out of place. I think The Hobbit was just a much more fantastical middle-earth than what I was used to.

        The Fellowship could be overwhelming at times, I agree, but a lot of it was necessary, I think. The Hobbit, for me, felt like it was already the extended edition. There were just too many scenes that felt overly long, unnecessary, or just really random to the point where you weren’t exactly sure why you were watching that scene. The story just didn’t steadily move forward which is my main problem.

        I still enjoyed it though! Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of great moments and the visuals were pretty stunning. I feel like I really need to see it a second time. This time in HFR!

        • But remember that Gimli was often involved in really silly jokes in the original films that also felt out of place — like a joke about dwarf tossing in the middle of a tense moment in Moria, or him developing a big crush on Galadriel and asking to have a strand of her hair. Multiply Gimli by 13 and you are bound to have much more silliness.

  19. Box office battle

    1. Hobbit an unexpected journey
    2. This is 40
    3. Jack reacher
    4. Guilt trip
    5. Monster inc 3d
    10 playing for keeps

  20. This movie was awesome. All I could think towards the end was “please don’t let it end” and “why do we have to wait 2 more years to finish these movies” It was slow off the line but so was the book. It was spot on.

    • At least we’ll only have to wait 6 months after the next one comes out. Since part three is a summer 2014 film.

  21. Nobody brought up the horrible rabit sled chase scene? Worst scene ive seen all year absolutely silly.

    • I should have mentioned that one. I didn’t mind Radagast but that was a little nutty (and weird looking).

      • I don’t know Ben, most tree-huggers/woodsy people tend to be a bit…nutty :)

    • I liked the rabbit sled. After dinner songs, a rabbit sled is welcomed.

  22. Gotta agree with Rob… My review:

    Just got back from the 3D HFR screening of the Hobbit. I am disappointed to be frank. I really wanted to give Peter Jackson the benefit of doubt with the new 3D HFR technology but I can’t… The tech just didn’t help the story at all. I could never escape the feeling that I’m watching an over-produced soap opera on a HDTV; or I’m playing a computer game on a super high-resolution monitor. Yeah, everything was crisp and sharp, the action scenes were superb in 48fps, definitely without headache inducing motion sickness so common in 24fps 3D movies… I just don’t know, I really wanted to like it, but the ‘hyper-realism’ of the movie destroyed the ‘fantasy’ of the Middle Earth. I will go see it again, this time in plain 2D and see if I’ll change my opinion… And yes, it was a little too long in story and sloppy in editing, it could easily be compressed into 2 hours.

    • Jane – Email me at the underground address when you’ve seen it in 2D. I’d be really interested in your comparison.

      I liked the HFR format but realize it’ll be off-putting for some people. I encouraged everyone I know to see it in 48fps but mostly because I think people should form their own opinion on the format – whether they like it or not.

  23. Great debate, I think all parties brought up valid points. Two fact checks:
    1. Gandalf is holding up Dori and Ori with his staff while Thorin gets his a** kicked, which is why, in theory, he cannot help out
    2. Beorn is in the beginning of the second movie, played by Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt

    Most of the added scenes are taken from the appendices of the Return of the King book, such as Thorin’s back story,the Erabor opening sequence, The White Council (with Galadriel, Saruman and Elrond), The Necromancer, and other scenes.

    Whether including these notes is for the better or for worse is up to the viewer, but keep in mind that because The Hobbit was made AFTER the Lord of the Rings, it would have been difficult to shrink the Hobbit to such a small scale without connections to the trilogy. I personally wish, because of that, that The Hobbit was made before the Lord of the Rings.

    • Interesting… I thought they were taking Beorn out. Not sure where I heard that but good to know.

      It would have been interesting to see The Hobbit made first – then the Lord of the Rings. It is hard to go backward, given the difference in scale but that’s why I was so surprised at how well it actually lines-up with the trilogy. The events in the film are more “epic” than what is portrayed in the book.

  24. 1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    2. Jack Reacher
    3. Rise of the Guardians
    4. This is 40
    5. Monsters, Inc. (3D)
    10. Wreck-It Ralph

  25. 1.The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    2.This is 40
    3.Jack Reacher
    4.Monsters Inc
    5.Rise of the Guardians

    10.playing for keeps

  26. #1 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    #2 Jack Reacher
    #3 Monsters, Inc. 3D
    #4 This is 40
    #5 The Guilt Trip
    #10 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

  27. Everyone is saying that this movie was too long, drawn out, and that you could have made edits and told this story in less time. Well you know what, millions of people who enjoy this universe are so happy to be back in Middle earth and WANT the movie to be AS LONG as possible. Don’t make cuts! We want the extended edition of the Hobbit. Show us as much as possible!
    When there is a film that you enjoy and have payed to see more of, the average movie-goer does not want that film to end. A long running time is a selling point many times. The movie experience is enhanced with length for these type of fantasy/sci fi films where you want to see as much of the world as you can, even small details. It is only film critics that have a problem with the film’s length.

    • I don’t know about that Roderick. In my review I basically said exactly what you are saying (with regard to fans). They’ll want as much as they can get of the universe.

      However, I disagree that average moviegoers don’t want films to end. We constantly see studios encouraging directors to cut the length of their films down (after everything has been shot). That’s because casual moviegoers don’t want drawn-out, in-depth experiences. 2 hours is the sweet-spot for action-adventure moviegoers who aren’t invested in a franchise. There are several movies out right now, or about to be out, that are getting hit with criticism for being too long: The Hobbit, Django, This is 40, and Les Miz. Whether or not they could have been trimmed is up for debate and fans of the directors/source material will probably say NO, but that doesn’t mean that average moviegoers won’t tell other people that these films were too long.

      I completely agree that most fans want as much Middle-earth as possible but casual moviegoers, the ones who truly make or break the success of films, don’t typically want a lengthy production.

    • PS: I don’t think generalizing about film critics is as valid anymore. We’re not a bunch of high-brow academy-mouthpieces that take everything seriously. Especially in this case, as film lovers, why wouldn’t we also want lengthy films – if it was true that casual audiences never want a film to end? What’s so different about us?

      The whole point behind Screen Rant, and similar sites, is to give news, editorials, and recommendations with honesty and analysis but an openness to all kinds of experiences – hence why a gross-out horror film, raunch-comedy film, fantasy/sci-fi epic can get very favorable ratings here.

      If you disagree with our reviews and our analysis, there are more critic voices than ever before – and I’m sure a few of fit your perspective on film (and, in this case, the length of films). I’d love it if you kept reading our reviews but I also think that there are so many writers out there now and readers should find people they agree (and disagree) with – not just condemn all critics. It’s a subjective medium, so there’s room to disagree but generalizing about all film critics isn’t a compelling argument, it’s just dismissive (in my opinion).

      • No Ben, no condemnation to critics here. I especially enjoy and mostly agree with this site’s reviews. Just trying to be the “hobbit’s advocate” and and the flip side view of all the flack Hobbit is getting for being to long. Just putting it out there that you knew going in that hobbit would be long and a lot of people looked forward to that.

        • No worries Roderick! Anthony told me that my reply sounded harsh – which definitely was not my intention.

          I just hear commenters on our reviews dismiss thoughts/ideas a lot because critics “are out of touch.” I completely get that some critics have their heads in the clouds but I also truly believe that movie-lovers should be seeking out “voices” that speak to their own sensibilities (though it’s good to have some counterbalance as well).

          Glad we’re ultimately on the same page – and I do get where you’re coming from with The Hobbit. Actually just ran into a friend of mine today who isn’t a huge movie geek or LotR fans – and he LOVED it.

  28. Weekend Boxoffice:
    1. Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey
    2. Jack Reacher
    3. Monsters, Inc. 3D
    4. Rise of the Guardians
    5. Lincoln
    10. Playing for Keeps

  29. You can’t compare walking out of Fellowship with walking out of The Hobbit. Fellowship was a landmark of its time in terms of special effects and bringing fantasy to the screen. We are awash in fantasy films and amazing special effects now, so you really can’t compare those experiences fairly. And if you went into The Hobbit expecting to feel the same you did 11 years ago you were bound to be disappointed.

    By the way a very simple way to explain Gandalf’s lack of using powers – he had JUST done that big push in the goblin town, and only had enough MP for a little bit of fire.