By the way, I see what people write here and I see the same things that were said years ago when LOTR came out. Fanboys were all around claiming how shitty LOTR movies are because "Elves aiding humans in The Two Towers? WTF?! 0/10 !!!!" "Nazguls flying on some weird dragons? -10/10 !!!!!!", so I don't feel any need to participate in those.
They will shut up in a while.
I will probably shut up about how I thought An Unexpected Journey failed when everyone else does too (probably pretty soon, when everyone has seen it).
But I also am not against the movie SOLELY because of the liberties that Jackson and co. took with the lore: that is a piece of not liking the movie, but that is the same piece in LOTR and I really like them as movies!
In my mind An Unexpected Journey was just a bad movie. Period.
I hadn't read the book in a number of years, but I think that the material that Peter Jackson added to it was appallingly bad. I could have understood if it simplified things or made the plot work better, but in all cases that I noticed, it stopped the action and made things boring.
He's got basically two movies tops that can be made from the Hobbit, and if my informal calculations are correct, at least 30 minutes of the first film was pure filler material, if not more than that. Not to mention how horribly convoluted the action sequences were.
I don't personally think that he needed to slavishly copy the source material, but if he was going to add rather than subtract, it should lead to a movie that was, well better. I was constantly looking down at my watch as there were scene upon scene in the movie that didn't serve any real purpose. And again, those were the ones that he added. We didn't need Smaug to have a backstory, IIRC, Smaug didn't have much of one in the original book, and that worked fine.
I liked the movie, but that' about the limit of what I can say for it. It definitely had a lighter feel to it than the LOTR movies, which probably helped with my biggest beef with it. If it had tried to be more serious then I don't think I would have been able to get past the absurd number of overly sensationalized life or death moments, the heroes kept miraculously escaping from.
Thing is, it's not really a movie at all. It feels and looks like, and pretty much serves the purpose of, an amusement park ride. Or more precisely, these "4D cinema" things, were you watch something crashing down a mountain or whatever, and the seats move accordingly. Only less cool, but much longer.
Judge it as a movie, and it's unimaginably ugly, plastic and crude, judge it as an "experience", with hordes of hideous 3D beasts jumping at you and careering tracking shots, and it's fine.
The Trilogy was ugly and, yes, cheesy in places (impressive in others), but ultimately those were still very much movies.
But yeah, who cares? Blanchett is achingly beautiful as Galadriel and pierces the ridiculous sausage festival going on around her like a beam of golden light breaking through dark clouds...
I didn't know they had 4D cinema outside of China. I didn't get to go in, but one time I saw a 5D cinema sign. Not sure what that extra D was for. Perhaps it was a 3D movie with DD women.