The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been heavily criticized for its intentionally slow pace and that fact that the actual adventure takes near an hour to take off. Well if patience were a virtue, I'd be shocked. The pace of the film was hardly problematic. Some scenes, particularly in Rivendell, dragged a bit but never enough to truly hinder the movie's entertainment value. The biggest qualms derived from Jackson's curiously streamlined take on the film-- much of the complexities I expected having read the book were hidden or nonexistent. The pale orc spoke cheesily, and I wish he wasn't all CGI because, leading into another issue, the realism was damaged in the overload of special effects. Then again, this is Middle Earth, and that fading realism isn't problematic to the more important aspects, the mystic and fantastical elements of Tolkienn's story. The visuals radiate with distinct colors, and despite their minor detaching effect, present the movie beneficially. I'm also impressed with how similar to the source material, the novel, some scenes were, especially the beginning scenes in the Baggins' home, which to my facepalming discontent, has been bashed for its length. That's a "problem" not to be overlooked nor forgiven, but understood. At times, Jackson nearly betrayed Tolkienn's work for dramatic effect, but never strayed too far long or out to really irritate book fans like myself. And lastly, I'd like to mention how well The Hobbit stands on its own feet, with an incredibly impressive lineup and portrayal of the dozen plus dwarves, especially the leader in Thorin who brings qualities of hardness and grit. Mckellen and Freeman also perform expectedly admirably. It's inevitable people will compare this to the triumphant trilogy of LOTR, and I can say that's entirely unfair because they're not apart of the same specific saga, but I can gladly affirm that The Hobbit is an ample prequel film that -- for the most part -- effectively sets the stage for two more heroic journeys that can truly compel and inspire.