The first installment of Peter Jackson's fervently anticipated "Hobbit" trilogy ventures into cineplexes on Dec. 14. While "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" lacks the grandeur and scope of Jackson's last foray into Middle Earth, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", it cannot be said that the film lacks for entertainment value.
48 FPS was an inspired idea, but ultimately proves to be nothing more than a distraction. See the film in standard 24 FPS and the only downside to contend with will be the case of bloat. "An Unexpected Journey" clocks in a a whopping 2 hours and 46 minutes, while Jackson has never been known for his brevity, stretching a single volume across three installments was already asking for a lot of patience from audience; taking the individual films to the maximum length possible is asking for more than some may be willing to give.
Though Jackson expands upon his source material, much of this first film is still concerned with exposition. There is action to be found throughout, but the lack of plot progress can be wearing at times. Plotting issues aside, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a loving adaptation that is likely to make viewers nostalgic enough to revisit the entire "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, while they wait to see what becomes of Bilbo and company.