Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers I just got back from it. I really wanted to enjoy it but I just couldn't get into it. I gave it a C and I think it would be generous to give it anything higher. To me, the editing/pacing of this film is what destroyed it. It's clear that Peter Jackson learned absolutely nothing from King Kong. It took 45 minutes to get to Skull Island in Kong and it took 45 minutes to get out of the Shire in The Hobbit. It was nice to see Ian Holm again but Elijah Woods had one of the most pointless cameos of all-time (although bizarrely, he actually looks younger here than he did in Lord of the Rings). His decision to turn a barely 300-page book into three, nine-hour movies was an awful decision. It was a decision made out of pure ego on Jackson's part and studio greed. This movie is filled with storyline bloat, best left for a special edition DVD. I found the first half of the movie to be boring and while it picked up in the second half, it still wasn't anything great. I also thought that the added stuff took too much away from Bilbo's story. The Hobbit isn't Lord of the Rings...it's the story of its main character Bilbo Baggins. Then there's all the CGI. Some of it looks great. Some of it looks very fake. WETA should be absolutely embarrassed to put something as bad as the Radagast chase on-screen. Jackson has become all-CGI, all-the-time now and that contributes to more of a fake feeling in Lord of the Rings. Sorry, fanboys, but when it comes to CGI, Jackson has become the very thing that you hate. That is George Lucas. Martin Freeman was terrific as Bilbo. I've a big fan of his from Sherlock and I'm glad to see him starring in this film. He's got great comedic timing. Ian McKellen is great fun once again as Gandalf. Richard Armitage is not bad as Thorin but his character does like more than brood personality-wise and Thorin doesn't have a shred of Aragorn's charisma. It was fun seeing most of the Lord of the Rings actors popping up again with Andy Serkis being the obvious standout. His Gollum is amazing in both look and performance. The riddle scene with Bilbo was definitely the best part of the movie and Bilbo sparing him as really well-done. The part where the trolls were trying to cook the dwarves was very entertaining as well. I liked the various flashbacks and the Necromancer addition could be very interesting. I have to admit, I ended up liking Radagast as well. It was cool seeing another wizard and I liked that bit of backstory where Gandalf said he couldn't remember the name of the two blue wizards. Neither could Tolkein. I'm annoyed that Azog wasn't killed because I DO NOT want to see this storyline revisited. I'm still going to go to the next two Hobbit films but my expectations are very low. Peter Jackson will not learn his lesson from this film (he didn't learn it from King Kong either) and will only make the next two movies longer and more bloated. He has absolutely no one around him to reign him in. I wonder who that sounds like...oh yeah! George Lucas! As far as I'm concerned, Peter Jackson stopped being a great filmmaker after he won his Oscars for Return of the King.