I made a special trip to the Zombie Serengeti (aka the Walmarts) to pick up a DVD copy of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
I’d read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit when I was in my final year of college. I confess, looking back on it now, it seems that particular stage of my life was a kind of daydream, peopled with characters not unlike a Tolkien novel.
But I digress somewhat.
I am going to presume that everyone reading this article knows all (or enough) about J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-earth trilogy, The Lord of the Rings and its ‘prequel’ novel, as it were, The Hobbit. It would just be too difficult explaining this vast, intricate and complex fictional world to a total newbie. Sorry. If you’ve never before encountered hobbits, orcs, ringwraiths, dwarves, elves or ents, that’s just too bad. If you’ve never heard of The Shire, Mirkwood, Lothlórien, Rivendell, Gondor, Moria or Mordor, I feel sorry for you. If you have no idea who Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, Smaug, Gollum, Galadriel, Lord Elrond, Saruman the White or Thorin Oakenshield are, you are all the poorer for it.
And… if you don’t know what The One Ring is or was… I pity you.
Now, on with the movie! Or rather, the first installment of what is to be the Hobbit film trilogy. 
OK, here’s the deal… as per The Gospel According to Warner Brothers…
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” …a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know. — (C) Warner Bros
Mayhem ensues when… well, pretty much from the start, really. As soon as Bilbo decides to join Galdalf and the dwarves on their quest, it pretty well goes from one frying pan into an even larger frying pan into the fire then into an even larger fire, and so on and so forth.
Visually, it is stunningly beautiful. The sets, costumes, props, CGI effects, everything is simply gorgeous. The cast is also well-chosen and well-played, including several of the cast members from The Lord of the Rings films. The novel The Hobbit was written primarily for young people and it shows in the film adaptation. Parts of it are silly and cutesy. There are songs in several scenes. I found them annoying in the book and I found them equally annoying in the movie.
The problem with films that are intended to be a franchise is that there is a burden on the first movie to set up the next two. Not that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the ‘Basil Exposition’  of the Hobbit trilogy. But still. Some things need to be laid out.
My two cents… Good movie. I really did enjoy myself. And even though I think that making The Hobbit (not the longest book in the world) into a trilogy may end up being a miscalculation, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is definitely worth watching and appreciating for its own sake.
The bottom line… Good movie. If you loved The Lord of the Rings movies, you’re going to like this one. Glad the next one is coming in December and that we only have to wait until summer 2014 for the third one. Let’s hope they match and exceed our expectations.
 The second installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, is scheduled to be released December 14, 2013 and the last installment, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is set for release in the summer of 2014.
 Ask your parents.