New to release this month (April) The Hobbit shines through as one of the film events of the year. While openly a prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the film caters for both the fans of the series, with Sir Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis reprising  their central roles as Gandalf and Gollum/ Smeagol  respectively, while the film sees continuity in a host of other actors featuring in roles portrayed in the original trilogy, notably Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, among others. Aesthetically it also plays on many of the same features as the old trilogy, with the great landscapes the adventurers must face as intimidatingly wonderful as ever. This film is still for those new to the series however, the events of Lord Of the Rings largely not having any impact upon the Hobbit and where they are, it is easily explained, many after all read The Hobbit first, and the writing of Tolkien translates this easily to fans of the old, new viewers or fans of the books alike. 

If there was to be one departure from the original trilogy, it would be a change in the characterization. The Hobbit has a much lighter feel to it, as, with the exception of the ever brooding Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, the (largely British and Irish) cast features a variety of comic relief, both in their character and in the wide variety of fake ears noses and ludicrous beards distributed throughout the cast, making it both lighter and more childish to it, yes they may be running from Blood Thirsty ogres, but look at the conk theyve given James Nesbbitt. Obviously Martin Freeman is perfect in this role, playing the lovably inexperienced newcomer who slowly but surely learns, gaining Armitages respect slowly but surely, meanwhile the aforementioned Nesbitt as Bofur, and Aiden Turner (Best Know from his appearance in the first few series of being human) as Kili are particularly good examples of the light hearted, wise cracking nature of the dwarves partaking this quest. Ian Mckellen barely needs mentioning as he remains as brilliant as ever. 

With the only the first film of three, with Benedict Cumberbatch being promised to get more of a role as both the voice of Smaug and as the necromancer, the best way to view this film in high quality would be on high definition Blu Ray players and allowing the score and dialogue to shine through through the use of the absolute best soundbar available.