Feast for diehards
first international reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are out – with high praise and divided opinions over director Sir Peter Jackson’s contentious 48 frames per second. ‘‘Spending nearly three hours of screen time to visually represent every comma, full stop and semicolon in the first six chapters of the perennially popular 19-chapter book, Jackson and his colleagues have created a purist’s delight, something the millions of diehard fans of his Lord of the Rings trilogy will gorge upon,’’ The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy writes. ‘‘It’s also a bit of a slog, with an inordinate amount of exposition.’’ Martin Freeman’s work as young Bilbo Baggins has been universally applauded. ‘‘Freeman wields the same sort of understated comic timing as Bilbo, a fussy homebody who decides that he needs a little adventure in his life,’’ Tim Grierson of Screen Daily says. US film critic Jordan Hoffman of ScreenCrush was unimpressed by the 48fps and its hyper-realistic look. ‘‘Anything shot in daylight looks like a BBC production from the 1970s. The movement is too smooth. And yet, when the camera moves, too, it looks somewhat jerky,’’ he says.