Like most fantasy aficionados I have been looking forward to this film ever since it was announced (and hoping for something like it since I was a kid); not just because I wanted to see it, but because I knew that my son (who is now eight) would be the perfect age to see it -- this could be his Star Wars. The Hobbit was the first "real" book I read to him when he was three. He saw the Rankin-Bass animated version at four (the same age I saw it when it originally aired). He got the graphic novel adaptation at five and the video game at six (the latter was like digital crack for him for a while). At seven he saw the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy and was blown away. Recently he's begun reading the The Hobbit on his own and his Christmas list is filled with various Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Lego sets. So needless to say, the debut of Jackson's film adaptation of The Hobbit has been looked upon with great anticipation in our household.
But then as the release date neared the negative rumblings began to roll through the interwebz and blogosphere. "He's breaking it into three movies unnecessarily." "The new 48 fps speed looks fake." Etc. As the first reviews began to trickle in the rumbling increased. "It's too long." "The 48 fps looks fake." Etc. The so-called online "professional" critics, most of whom seem to lack the ability to formulate original thoughts or opinions and who are desperately afraid to admit they like something that other so-called online "professional" critics don't like, began to parrot each other as they often do. This created the beginnings of the kind of negative echo-chamber effect that unfairly sank John Carter earlier this year. Unlike with John Carter, however, it doesn't seem like the movie-going public is buying it this time. And thank Ilúvatar for that, because otherwise they would be missing out on a great film.