Visionary director Peter Jackson takes fantasy fans back to Middle-earth and beyond in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
. A visually sumptuous, frequently thrilling companion piece to the Lord of the Rings
trilogy, the first chapter of this new saga manages to maintain a satisfying sense of momentum once the proper introductions have been made, and rarely feels as cumbersome as its nearly three-hour running time would suggest. Although constant scenes of the questing group fleeing danger on majestic mountains, through sprawling fields, and in winding caverns occasionally dredge up a nagging sense of deja vu, Jackson’s kinetic camera work and flair for f...