Recently went to see the above film with my good friend Chris and his mate Tim.
Was very exicited about it as I love the Lord of The Rings Trilogy and this film and Peter Jackson don't dissapoint - just felt like we had never been away from Middle Earth.
It had the same familiarity to the LOTR Trilogy with the same music, camera shots, New Zealand beauty and even cameo's from it's stars - Ian Holmes as original (older) Bilbo and Elijah Wood as Frodo.
And of course it had Ian Mckellan back as Gandalf and I like him even better here - he uses a bit more magic in this one and in most of the scenes. I enjoyed Sylvester McCoys performance as the brown wizard Radaghast also although having never read "The Silmarillion" which he and others appears in it threw me at first as I read The Hobbit a few years ago. This was quite welcome as it added to the story and everything bit unexpected.
The drawves were played well by their actors and the action was very good - I didn't even notice the difference of the new film rate Peter Jackson filmed it in and can't understand why there was a fuss about it - if anything the film looked very fresh and crisp.
Overall a very good start to a new trilogy (even if I do hate prequels made after the originals - aka - Star Wars), and I look forward to seeing the next two as a few surprises in store - like the new bad guy - the Necromancer.