I saw The Hobbit on Saturday [December 15] in the new High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D format on an IMAX screen, the way it was supposedly meant to be seen. As I left the theater, I felt that it was the biggest disappointment since Star Wars Episode 1. I was so disappointed in the film as a whole that I went to see it again Sunday on a traditional 2D screen just to make sure, and I’m so glad I did. Save your money and skip the 3D experience. The HFR is nice, but 3D is still terrible.

After seeing it twice, I can say that overall I’m disappointed. It’s missing the magic that made the original trilogy so great, and a few of the design choices are simply unforgivable. However, even with all its flaws, it’s still pretty good and I’d recommend it to just about anyone willing to sit through a three hour movie. If you haven’t read the book, you’ll enjoy it. If you have read it, you’ll wonder what the heck is going on because the movie so different, but you’ll still probably enjoy yourself. Hopefully Peter Jackson will listen to all the feedback going around right now and make some corrections in the next two films.

Here are a few of my biggest complaints, in no particular order: Many of the visual effects are sub-par, as if done by amateurs or video game programmers. The Dwarves are poorly designed; they had a plastic doll look and feel to them, and reminded me of a Jar Jar Binks in a few parts. The Orcs, Trolls, Goblins, and Radagast were no better. (Seriously, what’s with the rabbit sled and bird poo?). Some of the dialog was meant to be funny, but failed. It’s too long and filled with fluff; the action sequences drag on and have laughable physics, and at least 30 minutes should have been saved for the extended edition DVD.