The long-awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings has finally arrived after numerous director changes and expansion into three more Peter Jackson films. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey begins as we are familiar, in the Shire, specifically in the house of Bilbo Baggins. The style of filmmaking is familiar and equally as seductive as the original Lord trilogy. However, an inherently weaker story in The Hobbit naturally translates into a less interesting film. That isn't to say, however, that the film is bad. It certainly isn't. However, by the end of Fellowship of the Ring, I was endeared to Aragorn, Sam, etc. The cast of dwarves, which is prevalent in The Hobbit, just don't meet with the same appeal. By the third film, I may feel different. However, there were elongated components of this film that could have easily been trimmed, namely the first 45 minutes and some of the battle scenes. I also thought the interaction between Gollum and Bilbo was entirely too long, which leads me to believe that stretching this out to 3 films may be unnecessary. Again, I may feel differently by the end of this trilogy, as I recently watched all three extended Lord films in succession and feel like the trilogy was PERFECT. It's possible I will feel that way by the end of this one, but my gut is telling me I won't. I am looking forward to the next one, though, so that certainly says something.