I just got The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and so, like the little kid on the tricycle who gets to the park after all the big kids have had their fun and left, I shall write my humble review of the film.
-The overall tone was about what I expected. It certainly wasn't The Lord of the Rings, but I really didn't expect it to be. Even the books are very different. The Hobbit is a light read, almost bordering on comedy, as opposed the darker Rings trilogy. You could tell that the film makers tried to balance the lighter feel of the book with the grim epicness of the trilogy. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't.
-As a diehard Tolkienite, I quite enjoyed all the references to the Appendix and The Silmarillion.
-I thought Martin Freedman was terrific as Bilbo. Likewise, I was most happy with Richard Armitage. Having just finished watching North & South when I learned that he'd been casted, I thought he'd make a perfect Thorin and I was not disappointed.
-I really enjoyed the White Council scene. Saruman sounded like the Saruman of the book, perhaps even more so than in the LOTR films. He felt like the modernist wizard that Tolkien presented.
-Much has been made about the look of the film and I'm afraid I have to side with the detractors on this one. I thought the whole film looked rather plasticy (let's just pretend that's a word, okay?) and I found it rather distracting.
-Also, I really liked this scene and I think Tolkien would have liked the sentiment: