WARNING: SOME MINOR SPOILERS
First off, I personally would have preferred a movie of The Hobbit that was the less adventurous and less epic children's story. However, I knew that would never happen, not after The Lord of the Rings.
Secondly, I really enjoyed the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I felt in many ways it erred closer to the book than any of the Lord of the Rings movies. There was a good bit added in from other works of Tolkien as well as Peter Jackson adding in something that was only mentioned as happening in the book- the purging of the Necromancer from Dol Guldur. Another aspect that Jackson added to the movie that ended up changing a lot of the feeling of the movie was the white orc. In the appendices of the Lord of the Rings it tells how Thorin kills the white orc after it killed his father. In the movie, they change that up a bit by making it that Thorin thinks that he killed the white orc but really it recovered from its wounds and now has sworn to have Thorin's head. Of course once Thorin discovers the white orc still lives he wants to kill him too. This instantly makes the movie darker. However, I don't mind too much the dimension this plot change adds. There are other little differences that I don't think really detract from the story and in some ways add. Overall, I felt most of the changes that Jackson made were good.
Other things I liked were of course the soundtrack (which is INCREDIBLE), the acting job of all of the actors in the movie (I felt everyone was perfect for their roles), and of course the gorgeous shots of New Zealand.
Really the only aspect of the movie I didn't like was the "kids' humor". Enough said.
Of course, when the movie ended I felt a horrible sense of incompleteness. I had known where it was going to break off but it still somehow caught me by surprise when it did anyways. I don't really mind too much that Peter Jackson made it into three movies, though I would have preferred two movies and I think it would have made more sense that way.
If you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies and books then I think you'll enjoy this movie as well.
Note: The facts I quoted to you from the appendices were actually information my brother quoted to me. So no, I am not really as big as a Tolkien geek as I just made it look like I was. I'm working my way up there. :)
Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.