Marching band plans new show

By Emily Thyrum

The marching band is planning a show called "Water" for the 2013-2014 school year. The show is based on the movement of water.
The marching band is planning a show called “Water” for the 2013-2014 school year. The show is based on the movement of water.

Normally, band camp consists of long and difficult work, but this year, The Penn Manor Marching Unit will flow right through it.

According to Mr. Tom Mumma, the band director, the marching band show of the 2013-2014 school year was originally going to be called “H20,” but now the name is “Water.” The music is called New Beginnings.

The show will have many different shades of blue out on the field with the backdrops scattered around the field. These backdrops will be the same as the last year, which will be turned horizontally to create a swirly blue background.

At the end of the band season of the 2012-2013 school year, the band staff met to pick the next year’s show. Everyone in the staff brought different possible shows to the meeting, and the list was then narrowed down. The show was decided on about a month later. Details are worked out a few weeks after that.

“[I am most looking forward to] arranging the music. I really like the music this year,” said Mumma. He is also looking forward to working with the students and performing the music, which he finds fun this year.

According to Mumma, the band will probably be five to 10 students larger than it was in 2012-2013. Some of the smaller sections from the 2012-2013 school year will now have more members, so Mumma expects that the band will move back up to the American division of the Cavalcade of Bands. This division consists of bands of a small-medium size.

“I like the drive and the impact of the music,” Mumma said. He also likes how the music flows, and he thinks the lyrical sections will be effective on the field.

Mumma plans to hand out the music on May 29. The band will try to put the general idea of the show out on the field for the first competition in September.

The music is rather challenging, and there are no pauses in the music, to emphasize the topic of water as the show. These aspects will be a challenge for the band for the upcoming school year.

Another challenge for the staff will be writing the show so some people will go out of view for some moments since there will be no pauses.

Band members are looking forward to next year’s show.

“[I’m excited for] being a positive role model for the younger students and the possibility to lead my section,” said Julia Yoder, a sophomore and flutist.

“I’m looking forward to seeing band members I can’t see anywhere else,” said Ashley Pfister, a freshman who plays the clarinet.

The forthcoming of Gatsby

By Abbey Bailey

The much-anticipated Great Gatsby movie opens on May 10.
The much-anticipated Great Gatsby movie opens on May 10.

From the mind and hands of renowned director Baz Luhrmann, known for Moulin Rouge, Australia and Romeo + Juliet, comes the retelling of the iconic story “The Great Gatsby.” The release date of the film is May 10.

Originally written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, “The Great Gatsby” is a book that many high school students are familiar with. Fitzgerald tells the story of Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and WWI veteran who gets a job in New York and moves to Long Island. He is immediately attracted to the lifestyle of his flamboyant neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Carraway meets and bonds with many people whose lives connect with his and Gatsby’s in different ways he can only dream of. The island holds many secrets.

There are many renowned stars in this film, such as Tobey Macguire and Carey Mulligan. Macguire is known for his role as Peter Parker in “Spider-Man” (2002-2007), and Mulligan for her debut portrayal as Kitty Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice.” Mulligan has also starred in many British television hits, like Doctor Who and Northanger Abbey. Macguire will play Caraway in the film depiction of Fitzgerald’s classic novel. Mulligans is to play Daisy Buchanan, Jay Gatsby’s one love. But the biggest star of them all is Leonardo DiCaprio who will portray the eccentric Jay Gatsby. DiCaprio starred as Romeo Capulet in Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” (1996), so the two men have worked together before.

The anticipation for the movie grew when Warner Bros. made the decision to postpone the release of the movie due to the original date in December being close to many other hits, such as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Les Misérables” and “Django Unchained.” Dicaprio also played Calvin Candie in “Django,” which also interfered with the making of “Gatsby.”

Penn Manor English teacher Tim Joyce , who teaches “The Great Gatbsy” in his 10th-grade American literature course, expressed his anticipation for the movie. Mr. Joyce enjoys the directing styles of Luhrmann, along with the soundtracks chosen to go along with his movies.

“I like the way he [Luhrmann] puts a modern spin on classic literature,” says Joyce. Luhrmann did this in the 1996 film version of “Romeo + Juliet.”

The film trailer was released in mid-March and caused a frenzy of excitement in movie goers and fans of the book alike. There will be a midnight premiere of the film at Regal Cinemas in Lancaster on May 9 starting at 10 p.m. for 3D and 10:30 p.m. for 2D.

Boring Friday nights are about to change

By Natalie Pavlovec

First Friday is held on the first Friday of every month in downtown Lancaster, Pa. Tonight's event is from 5-9 p.m.
First Friday is held on the first Friday of every month in downtown Lancaster, Pa. Tonight’s event is from 5-9 p.m.

Are you the one that usually has no plans on a Friday night?

Well, your schedule is about to change.

On the first Friday of each month, an event called “First Friday” is held in downtown

Lancaster. Galleries and art shops are open to the public to view all different kinds of creations. Also, if you’re hungry, there are plenty of places to eat.

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design usually opens their school on these nights to the public. Guests can go inside and view some of the students’ work.

Another art gallery to check out is The Liz Hess Gallery, located on 140 North Prince Street. Liz Hess is a local artist, and in all of her paintings, there’s a figure with a red umbrella. This figure will show up in paintings of places around the world, such as England, Ireland and Italy. The artist usually travels to all of the places in her paintings in order to paint them.

The Red Raven Art Company is an art gallery located on 138 North Prince Street. They are a gallery dedicated to young artists, and new exhibitions are displayed each month. The Red Raven Art Company is in the heart of Gallery Row.

Instead of just looking around, you can also go shopping. There are over 200 shops in downtown Lancaster. For example: Art & Glassworks, BellaBoo, and Details, Styles for Living.

Art & Glassworks is art such as stained glass panels, lamps, garden art and more. It’s located on 319 North Queen Street.

BellaBoo is a store for children. Located on 32 North Queen Street, this store is great for purchasing gifts for kids.

Details, Styles for Living is located on 30 North Queen Street. It’s shopping for home decor, gifts, clothing, bridal & baby registries and more.

With all this observation, walking and shopping – it can sure make a person hungry after a while, right?

Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie is located on 309 N. Queen St. They sell breakfast crepes, specialty crepes, dessert crepes and more. Also, if you have a sweet tooth for Nutella, this is the place to eat.

Another place that’s good to eat is at the Fractured Prune, located on 255 N. Queen Street. If you’re in the mood for a good doughnut, this place has a wide variety of doughnuts, including a french toast doughnut, peanut butter cup doughnut, caramel bliss doughnut, and lots more.

All of these shops, places to eat, and galleries are open everyday to the public.

If you’re looking for upcoming events at First Friday, you can attend The Echo Valley Art Exhibit on May 3 at the Ware Center. It starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. This event is open to the public and free admission.

Tonight’s First Friday events will take place in downtown Lancaster from 5-9 p.m.

Reality show World of Jenks inspires many

jenksBy Coral Consylman

MTV is known for crazy reality shows featuring pregnant teens or wild partiers. For its show World of Jenks, MTV took a completely different direction.

Andrew Jenks is a famous filmmaker who created a show where he lives with three different people with different backgrounds and struggles within a year.

 Jenk’s reason for this show is to make a show that’s not just filmed but where he experiences these peoples’ lives. He wants to film lives of the real heroes and survivors not usually shown on tv. On the current season of World of Jenks, he follows an autistic boy, a dancer who lost his brother to the streets and a girl who’s struggling with cancer.

Chad, 21, is just graduating high school and starting to live his life on his own, while struggling with his autism and trying to separate himself from his parents. He struggles with anxiety and the feeling of not being able handle things on his own.

On the show, Chad was having a hard time doing a speech for his graduation ceremony and has a hard time sleeping in his own room. As he grew out of that stage and started sleeping in his own room, he felt uncomfortable if Jenks wanted to sleep in his room too. Jenks was patient but finally helped Chad through that fear.

Kaylin, 23, is an aspiring fashion designer who struggles with two different types of cancer that were found six months apart. Kaylin had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone disease that she is battling once again. With her struggle she still is trying to make her dream come true by moving to New York and becoming a fashion designer.

D-Real, 21, is a hip-hop dancer in Oakland who grew up in the streets selling drugs. He got his brother into doing it, and his brother ended up killed in a shooting. D-Real then realized the streets were not for him and started doing his passion, dancing. He became YouTube famous by making a video with his crew called “Dancing in the Rain,” a tribute to his brother and all of his friends who lost their lives to the streets.

D-Real’s goal is to try and turn his town away from violence and try and pursue dreams through dancing. He holds friendly dance competitions as a sign of peace and enjoyment. Jenks follows D-Real’s life in helping him accomplish his dream for the better of Oakland.

Being one of the most popular and inspiring shows according to MTV, World of Jenks catches the eye of our generation of young adults. Some students of Penn Manor were asked why they watch World of Jenks and how they think the show is inspiring.

“I think World of Jenks is a show that our generation would benefit from because it shows that just because you have a physical or mental illness doesn’t mean you can’t live life and live your dreams. It is a great show for our generation to get into for the reason of showing that being different is okay and that people who are accepting are the strongest people out there. Andrew is an awesome example.”  says Katie Myers, junior and a fan of World of Jenks.

World of Jenks consists a season of ten episodes and airs every Monday at 11 p.m.

Seraphina’s civilized dragons lure a reader in

SeraphinaBy Emily Thyrum

According to, Seraphina is the winner of the 2013 YALSA Morris Award for Best Young Adult Debut Novel and a New York Times bestselling children’s chapter book. These awards are well deserved because the book absorbs the reader into its pages.

Seraphina tells the story of a teenage girl in a mythical world where dragons and humans live together in an awkward type of peace, the dragons taking form of humans. This awkward peace is at its breaking point, however, when the treaty that keeps the citizens of Goredd in line needs to be renewed. Seraphina takes on not only her position as court music composer’s assistant, but also an investigator of the death of Prince Rufus, along with Prince Lucian Kiggs. Along her way, Seraphina must face the problems of her identity and parentage, along with the lies that they have brought her to tell.

The book’s incredible length might push some readers away, but every page adds to the suspense that makes the reader forge ahead in the book. The beginning is confusing and a bit boring, but as the novel continues, the reader will realize that the slow beginning is worth the wait.

The development of the characters is a strong aspect of the story because you will find yourself wrapped up in the character’s relationships with one another. The characters, mostly Seraphina, are easy to relate to, which makes the story seem much more real.

The fictional world is also well developed for a fantasy novel, because of the details related to the dragons vs. humans feature of the story. All in all, the book was exciting and will make you want to continue turning the pages.

Safe Haven: hit or miss?

Safe Haven, a film starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel and Cobie Smulders, is based on the popular Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name.
Safe Haven, a film starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel and Cobie Smulders, is based on the popular Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name.

By Lindsay Terry

Safe Haven, a movie based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, hit the big screen on Valentines Day.

In the movie, actor Josh Duhamel plays local store and bait shop owner, Alex Wheatley, who is trying to forget his painful past while supporting two beautiful kids. Actress Julianne Hough plays Erin Tierney, a young woman who changes her name to Katie Feldman in an attempt to try to escape her painful past and a man she thought she loved.

Throughout the movie and the novel, set in South Port, North Carolina, the two develop a slow but steady relationship that all starts when Alex’s daughter helps Katie check out a few items at Alex’s local store. The rest is played out with suspense, romance and tear-jerking scenes as the couple fights their pasts together while creating a safe haven in each other.

There were mixed reviews on the book compared to the movie, and lots of controversy on whether Nicholas Sparks and his producers got the movie “right” themselves.

Freshman Julianna Cox said she enjoyed the movie.

“I think that it kept you on the edge of your seat, if you hadn’t read the book,” said Cox.

Cox is less positive about the comparison between the book and the movie.

“The book to the movie was a little disappointing. I expected a little more from the movie. The actors were exactly how I pictured them, but the book was 10 times better than the movie.” She also commented that the movie took a little too long to get Alex and Katie together, and didn’t quite explain the relationship between Erin and her “husband” like the book did.

Having seen the movie myself, I thought that the relationship between Katie and Alex should have progressed a little quicker. I also believe that the movie portrayed the character Erin as someone she wasn’t. In the movie, Erin is forced to stab her husband in order to escape him and her own death, but in the book, she leaves him while he is on a business trip and there are many chapters in the book with lots of detail explaining the time, patience, and hardship that it took for her to do that.

Like Cox and so many girls in Penn Manor High School, I was enthralled by every page in the novel, and would have recommended it to anyone who asked. Nicholas Sparks once again never fails to intrigue his readers from the very first page to the last one. The movie lacks some detail that the book had but it’s still worth seeing.

Penn Manor High School gets “All Shook Up”

By Allison Ulaky

In a Midwest town in the 1950s, Chad (played by sophomore Paul Harrold), a rock ‘n’ roll rebel who had been recently released from jail, enters a small town after his motorcycle breaks down. A young mechanic looking for love helps the out of place stranger and instantly falls in love with him. The mechanic, Natalie (senior Jess Hanner), wants to catch Chad’s attention, but he is too busy chasing after Sandra (senior Sierra Woodworth), who has no interest in him or Jim (senior Jared Bonawitz), another male falling head over heels for her. Natalie is also unaware of her friend Dennis (senior Cobi Kremer) loving her.

With the mayor’s strict rules, including no loud music or misbehavior, being broken each day, she knows something is up. When the mayor learns that her own son, Dean (junior Mike Dempsey), has been spending way too much time with Lorraine (senior Lily Ngo) and has even learned how to dance, she declares that it is the last straw.

Meanwhile, Sylvia (senior Katie Irwin) falls for Jim, who still wants Sandra, but Sandra is now interested in Ed (who could possibly be Natalie in disguise?)

As the story unravels, with everyone falling in love with each other, the real question is whether or not this small town can handle getting “all shook up.”

This is the story of Penn Manor’s spring musical All Shook Up. The show is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and it features some of Elvis Presley’s biggest hits, such as “Love Me Tender,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Burning Love.”

The show, directed by Melissa Telesco and assisted by Carole Shellenberger and Melissa Mintzer has been rehearsing and preparing since the beginning of January. The choreographer for the show, Donovan Hoffer, accompanist Jordan Groh and pit director Lauren Forbes have also been working hard at dance rehearsals, vocal rehearsals and all of the pit rehearsals to make sure the show is as perfect as it can be.

Parts of the show were challenging to learn.

“The dancing is extreme and very difficult to execute,” said sophomore Paul Harrold, who plays Chad. “The comedic timing is also kinda hard at points.”

Harrold also mentioned his favorite parts of the musical.

“One of my personal favorites is the opening number, “Jailhouse Rock,” which has some amazing dancing, but every musical number is a great moment to watch.”

All Shook Up will be performed March 1-2 and 8-9 at Penn Manor High School. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $7 for students and $9 for adults.

Downton Abbey Returns to the U.S.

DowntonAbbeyBeware Downton Abbey viewers — beware the Internet. Downton Abbey returned to PBS Masterpiece on January 6, 2013, several months behind the United Kingdom premiere last September.

The Grantham family is full of intrigue as ever, and so far the third season has surpassed the second in narrative quality. Those craving the pure drama that comes with both servants and upper class need not be disappointed.

Unfortunately, because of the long gap in airdates the Internet is rife with spoilers and plot details. Even a simple Google search for the online version of the show can be hazardous — spoilers can be found in the second or third links of most search engines. Not even Facebook is safe. Don’t trust your Facebook friends, don’t trust Tumblr, don’t even trust Pinterest. The spoilers are everywhere.

Fear not, dear reader, this review will be free of any major plot details or character developments. Some minor spoilers are inevitable, but don’t worry: there won’t  be any earth-shattering revelations. However, this warning only pertains to season three — since it has been several months since the air dates of season two, I consider anything before season three fair game.

My main problems with the second season were the series of improbable and slightly ludicrous plot jumps. Matthew is suddenly able to walk, anyone? There was also the little matter of the entire episode devoted to an officer claiming to be one of the Crawley’s dead relatives, which I found creeped ever so slightly into the soap opera territory. The cast itself stayed up to their standard excellence, but the plot writing was ridiculous at times.

Season three — so far — fails to have the shortcomings of the last season.

Despite the show’s best attempts to have Matthew be my favorite character, I cannot help but be fascinated by the footman Thomas. He has been handled quite cleverly, and whoever came up with his character development is a mad genius. Thomas is easily the most complex character in Downton Abbey. First introduced as That One Gay Character, then the scheming footman, then the soldier, then the medic, Thomas has become fascinatingly  sympathetic to the viewer. It’s telling that the one gay character on this show isn’t made The One Gay Character, or characterized by his sexuality. It’s just a detail of his character like the scar on his hand. He’s scheming, but Downton shows us why he’s scheming and how.

The airing of the February 3 episode marked the first filler episode yet this season, but it plays to good effect after the intense drama of the episode before. Even filler episodes have their place — but sparingly, few and far between.

The root of the popularity of Downton Abbey lies somewhere between the appeal of a soap opera and the intrigue of the British Royal Family. The writers of the show are very smart — they mix the two worlds of the upstairs noble family and the downstairs servants well enough that it doesn’t feel like an awkward transition at all. By all rights, there are two shows in Downton Abbey, but the smooth transitions and overlapping storylines make it work.

Downton Abbey has returned to the U.S. airwaves.
Downton Abbey has returned to the U.S. airwaves.

Downton Abbey is a show of small moments. Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham is meant to represent the old Victorian values, but instead show us a woman full of wit and vinegar, willing to compromise for family while still being Old World. Though perhaps my favorite Dowager Countess moment is from season one, when she says, “Your quarrel is with my daughter, Rosamund, and not with me. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

The old Victorian values are rampant through Downton Abbey. The first episode sets it up admirably, when the Dowager Countess treats the brand new electric lights with skeptical aversion. It still carries through to season three, with new technological advancements of the day making their way through the Downton house.

Season three: so far, so good. The only worry I have is for the rest of the season. The actors are at the top of their game as per usual, but the future writing and plotting in general is a reason to be uneasy, given the show’s track record. But as long as the roller coaster is going up, I might as well enjoy the ride — and the ride is good.

Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Seven Habits a helpful read for teens

By Emily Thyrum

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Most busy Penn Manor students probably don’t prioritize keeping positive attitudes and maintaining healthy relationships with parents and peers while they have homework, sports, and other clubs or activities to think about. When the Keystones came along, most students probably reacted as I did with fear and exasperation. However, the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens gave me new insight on how to handle these anno
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens was written by Sean Covey, whose father wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a popular book of advice on how to live well. In 2003, this new edition for teenagers was released by Running Press Miniature Editions, and many of its reviews are positive. A reviewer on says “Flip open to any page and become instantly absorbed in real-life stories of teens who have overcome obstacles to succeed, and step-by-step guides to shifting paradigms, building equity in ‘relationship bank accounts,’ creating action plans, and much more.”ying aspects of life.

The book explains that the seven habits all build upon each other, and each changed how I perceive things the world.

Habit #1: Be Proactive. This includes being positive and taking charge of your life. If the Keystones brought your general attitude down, or you were expecting to fail them as you went into them, rule #1 addresses this issue. Do not allow other people/things to ruin your day. Keep your expectations of how you will do on the Keystones high, and they are likely to be higher.

Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind. These days, college is quite competitive, so maintaining high grades is a necessity. Extra-curricular activities also improve a resume, so joining one of the many clubs in Penn Manor High School or being a member of a sports team can be beneficial. This school district has educated the students about not doing drugs and trying your best in school, so just listen to this advice.

Habit #3: Put First Things First. This habit is all about prioritizing. I learned about this habit during marching band season when my amount of work exceeded my amount of time to finish this homework. If I had caved into my desires to watch television instead of finishing my homework, I wouldn’t have done well in my classes. Although prioritizing over what you would like to do might be tiresome at the time, you will find that you will appreciate your sacrifices in the long run.

Habit #4: Think Win-Win. It is very common to think of school as a competition, but this is an unhealthy way of thinking. Class rankings enforce this attitude, but school should be about pushing yourself and not just beating your classmates on a test. I urge Penn Manor High School students to stop comparing themselves to others and focus on improving themselves.

Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Listening to your friends about their problems means much more to them than you probably realize. I spend time listening to my friend’s problems, and I try to really understand what they are going through, which makes us better friends. While listening to other’s problems, try to feel empathy for them, and then you can share your problems with them. You will be surprised at the benefits of listening to your friends.

Be prepared to face the classroom with these seven habits.
Be prepared to face the classroom with these seven habits.

Habit #6: Synergize. Synergizing is a method of solving problems between people without either side giving in to the other, without compromising. This habit may benefit you when you are about to have a difficult upcoming test; you can study with a friend from your class. This way, you both might have the chance to find facts from each other’s notes that you might have missed in class, so as a result, both of your test grades will be higher than if you had studied alone.

Habit #7: Sharpen the Saw. This habit is about renewing yourself by resting or taking part in activities you enjoy. Penn Manor High School offers many different clubs and sports, so joining one that you find pleasurable to be a part of can boost your inner happiness. Some of the clubs in this school are volunteer clubs, including Serteen, and helping others is beneficial for your health.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens  is a great book to read because it can help you improve yourself and your relationships. The setup of the book is worthwhile because the author provides many interesting stories from real teenagers related to the topics that make the habits come to life. The only negative aspect is that at times there are more analogies than are needed to understand each concept.  However, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens should be high on your list of books to read.

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey with Expected Quality

the hobbitBy Bennett Manning

The Hobbit, a three-part series directed by Peter Jackson, launched with its first release, An Unexpected Journey, on December 14. Director Peter Jackson is well known for his work with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it is no surprise he has decided to continue making films based on Tolkien’s work. Now, I found The Hobbit to be a very good movie, but is it as good as it could be?

First of all, there are a couple things I noticed fairly quickly into the film.

1) Obviously there were some heavy special effects put into the film. The characters look almost exactly the same in The Hobbit as they did in Lord of the Rings, despite a lengthy time difference. Also, the scenery and a lot of the shots in The Hobbit seem to be very spiced-up visually. Whether or not that was intended, it still gives off that vibe.
2) The Hobbit is lighter and more humorous than Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit had me laughing (or at least smiling) many times throughout the film, but it still had the action scenes that people love. Things like that are what make me really enjoy a movie.

For me, the more important criteria for a good movie is a good plot. Now, although Mr. Jackson and New Line Cinema and, well, anyone involved in creating this film are not responsible for the original story (based on the book The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien), most of everything from the movie is fairly accurate when compared to the book..

Next, what makes a great movie is some sort of action. Not needless, this-explosion-looks-cool, let’s-show-off-our-special-effects action, but action that is well-choreographed and makes sense with the film. The Hobbit does this well, but there is one thing that I didn’t like too much: the repetition. The main characters in this movie are constantly thrown from one near-death situation to another and somehow made it out alive. It became quite predictable by the third time it happened. That said, the situations were always nerve-racking and made me feel worried. They were also all pretty original for the most part.

Another contributing factor to a good film is the ending. Since The Hobbit is a three-part series, obviously the first movie was going to end in such a way that it makes you want to see the next movie. A fairly common way of doing this is using the cliffhanger technique, which The Hobbit uses. After watching a movie that seems almost interminable (The Hobbit is almost three hours long), I think any ending would seem abrupt, but when I saw it in theaters it was pretty obvious that the movie was coming to a close.

The last thing that a movie needs is an amazing soundtrack. Music is what sets the tone for the production. One of the reasons I’ve seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy more times than I care to admit is because it has one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard. In The Hobbit, they kept some of the same songs (which I loved) and added some great, new ones. All in all, the music is perfect.

So, after considering what I think makes a great movie, I can say that, yes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is as good as it could be. It’s a movie I plan to see many times in the future. Naturally, there are some things that could be fixed (the three-hour run time, maybe), but this movie is something to remember. Or see, if you still haven’t done that.