Powerful visuals add size to 'The Hobbit'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One of the most groundbreaking movie franchises of all time returns to the big screen.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series – and part one of the three Hobbit movies.

It's also the first ever full feature film shot at 48 frames per second. This is double the normal 24 frames.

The Oscar winning franchise returns this year with the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who travels with a group of dwarves to reclaim his stolen treasure.

Don't expect The Hobbit to be anything like The Return of the King because it's not. It's far from the film that remains the co-holder of the most Academy Award wins with 11.

The visuals in The Hobbit are remarkable -- but the story drags on for the entire 2 ½ hours. Make sure to have a pillow handy -- you'll need one to stay comfortable for this incredibly long fantasy flick.

As expected, this film isn't going to get any Oscar love this season and it probably won't smash any records either.

The Hobbit fails to carry the same magical spark the $1 billion franchise did -- although its historic 48 frames per second is a sight you will never forget.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

Runtime: 2 hours and 49 minutes

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