A brief movie review, left out from my last post:
I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with Film Club last weekend and enjoyed it. Not sure if the higher frame-rate adds anything, though the stereoscopic 3D is striking (if oddly flat in the middle distance; though I'm not sure I see stereoscopic 3D the same as other people, my depth perception is pretty weak). I can see why the movie gets such mixed reviews, though. It's clearly done with a great deal of love for the source material (he even includes the songs!). Making that book into a trilogy of three-hour movies is a bit absurd, but the reason for that is obvious (for the studios, a trilogy is almost guaranteed to make more money; for Jackson, he's presumably still sad about all the material that had to be cut to squeeze The Lord of the Rings into ~9 hours). The action sequences are pretty over-the-top in kind of a cartoonish way, much of the humor is (aptly) pretty children's-book-y. But the setting is beautiful and evocative, and the dramatic scenes (especially Bilbo's encounter with Gollum) are very well done. Martin Freeman does a great job in the starring role, and Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis reprise great performances.