I just got back from seeing the Hobbit, and while I have many other reviews on the go, I think that it's worth finishing this off while it's still fresh.
Okay, so this is definitely not the animated Hobbit I grew up on as a kid, nor is it completely original to the book. Peter Jackson's vision is to create a massive movie saga that works together, and the Hobbit is a part of that saga. As such, information and events depicted in the movie(s) may not have immediate obvious importance to new viewers, but works with The Lord of the Rings trilogy to create a coherent whole.
At least, that's the idea I'm getting. It's hard to tell with one The Hobbit movie out.
perhaps when the rest of the movies are complete i'd be able to review this better.
As it is right now, the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is an adventurous treat, full of action and humorous moments. I was quite pleased at what marks the beginning of the trilogy.
There is also the matter of the IMAX experience. People have been giving it quite a lot of different reviews. The image and sound quality in IMAX is magnificent! It truly brings the 3D medium alive. However, it is not without faults. Like early Real 3D experiences, I found myself having difficulty getting my glasses to focus properly all the time, and then to stay on my face so that they would focus right. Also, maybe it was the glasses plus the very crisp-maybe-too-clear images, but i did feel a little headachy and sick afterwards. I was able to stay for the entire movie, but my group noticed people around us who left in the first few minutes. Maybe perhaps technology has gone beyond human limits? Either way, for some people who get motion sickness, have sensitive stomaches and/or are not very experienced 3D moviegoers, the IMAX experience for the Hobbit can be unpleasant.
Of course, this does need to be tested out with other movies to see whether it is the Hobbit in specific or the commercial theatre system in general.