The HobbitFinally got round to watching the Hobbit, so here are my impressions. The Hobbit is a good Lord of the Rings film, but a bad adaption of the Hobbit. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. A film does not need to be faithful to its source material to be good, as the excellent Children of Men demonstrates. What is does mean is that people going into film expecting the colourful and simple Hobbit, a story purely about Bilbo Baggins, are going to be a bit disappointed that there is so much time spent on things that aren't about Bilbo.
It also means that the film struggles a bit. Certain set pieces clearly come straight from a children's book, modifications aside, which makes the boring discussions with Elrond Galadriel and Saruman all the more tedious. Its a film trying to be two things at once, and it doesn't quite succeed at that. I do think the film could easily have been half an hour or even an hour shorter and we wouldn't have noticed.
There is a lot of fun to be had though. Martin Freeman is well cast, and gives a likable performance that even manages to be a little different to his usual one. His encounter with Gollum is predictably terrific, and probably the best bit in the film. The fight scenes are fun and fine, and the Goblin King is really hilarious. The dwarves, despite there being loads of them, work well and you do end up caring about their collective fates, if not necessarily the individuals.
When you get down to it, if you loved the Lord of the Rings so much that the extended versions made you squee with glee, then you'll love this film. If you liked the Lord of the Rings films, you'll enjoy this film, and if you hated them, then the Hobbit is definitely not worth your time.