Last night, I went to the midnight premier of The Hobbit in HFR 3D with a friend of mine, and I was truly blown away. I was so amazed by the how incredible every aspect of the movie was. First off, seeing it in HFR (high frame rate) 3D was sooooo incredible, it was literally jaw-dropping at parts. There were many times were I felt like I was in the movie. I can never watch a movie the same way again without remembering that experience. Below is my "review" of the movie.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
The movie starts off minutes before where "The Fellowship of the Ring" starts. It's the day of Bilbo's birthday, the day where he famously disappears, and Frodo gets entrusted with the ring. Bilbo is reminiscing and writing his adventures down so he can pass it along to Frodo. You see Frodo, and he talks before he runs off to go meet Gandalf, and Bilbo sits on his porch. Then the movie starts as a flashback 60 years before, when Bilbo and Gandalf meet before their first adventure.
For those of you who have read the book, you won't be disappointed. They stay pretty true to the book. Although the opening scene never happened in the book, it was amazing and gave a really good intro to the movie. There are obviously some subtle differences with the book and the movie, but the few "big" changes, in my opinion, did not hinder the movie at all. For example, there is about a 10 minute scene with Radagast the Brown, a wizard that is only mentioned in The Hobbit but never actually seen. It was a big change that I was at first a little uncomfortable with, but it wasn't a bad change. Radagast was very quirky and I instantly fell in love. Saruman and Galadriel also appear in the film, despite not being in the book, when the company stops in Rivendell. There is a meeting of Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Saruman, which foreshadows to The Fellowship of the Ring (FotR). I believe it was a great scene to help tie The Hobbit to the FotR.
END OF SPOILERS
The rest of the changes were again, minor and subtle; they weren't big "game changers". I've seen plenty of movies that were based on books that were very loosely tied to the book or had MAJOR changes that completely affected other parts of the movie, but there wasn't really any of that in The Hobbit. The casting was also really good. I LOVED Martin Freeman as young Bilbo. He did a really excellent job of portraying him. (I also really loved the casting of the Kili.... I never thought I'd be attracted to a dwarf but dayum! that guy is attractive.) Overall, I say it was an excellent movie and am excited about the next two parts to come to theaters!