Finally saw this one...
Finally saw this movie called the Hobbit. Overall I did not enjoy it anywhere near as much as Fellowship of the Ring. I had several problems with this film, not the same ones mentioned. Mainly, I was unable to understand Bilbo's motivations clearly and I could not connect to the fact he just fumbles through the woods and stumbles on the sword.
I really wanted to understand why Bilbo is so obsessed with Mythril, how he gets the idea that there might be Mythril in the mines, relate to his connection to asking questions/riddles if they lead to treasure and connect to Bilbo's side of the adventure. It also felt very rushed.
In the book, these questions are all answered clearly and concisely. This is why I have to give Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers a nod for being better movies than The Hobbit was. Which is ironic I'm taking issue with this, because I actually enjoy the Hobbit novel more than twice over the LOTR trilogy.
There was certain things in the Hobbit novel that I just liked more and connected to more. It felt more whimsical, with Bilbo having to solve all these puzzles in the mines. Fighting a werebeast, a real fire-breathing dragon Smaug and a sasquatch like creature. Also his witty charm when he encountered the three trolls, forcing them into releasing everyone before being eaten.
I felt more connected to Bilbo, mainly because the creatures they fought were more fantasy like and there was even a Unicorn of some kind in the Hobbit book. In Fellowship of the Ring the novel, and then Two Towers, all I felt was a lot of political drama and humans arguing back and forth about the coming end of the world. That happened twice as often in the animated films too, so it got quite boring for me with those books.
However J.R.R. Tolkien's vision has not been translated to the screen properly, in my opinion due to a rushed script, and so the whimsical fantasy I love in the book is missing from the movie. I therefore enjoy both Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers, twice as much as I do The Hobbit movie. On the big screen, I feel more drawn to the conflict with Legolas as well as when they fight the hydra monster, cave troll & giant balrok demon.
And because I feel like I'm there, I connect much more to the werewolf monster fights, nazgul wyvern fights, major conflicts & wizard battles, or the life of Treebeards in The Two Towers. Also I felt very strongly drawn to Frodo's turmoil while I didn't feel any with Hobbit. Animation and casting in Two Towers is second to none, and so I give Fellowship of the Ring a 9/10, The Two Towers a 9/10 and the Hobbit a decent 8/10.
I didn't understand Bilbo's motivations for helping the dwarves either, to me being a missed opportunity. Also while there was quite a few flaws, what I did like in the movie was how many locations they visited, the huge battle with the Goblin King was done brilliant, and the fights with the werescouts and rock trolls captured the essence of the book. Seeing a glimpse of Smaug was better than seeing nothing at all, and it does get me primed for how they tie in the next chapter.
My biggest gripes: Film's pace is too slow, animation is choppy like a crayon when showing early battle, Bilbo's motives are very vague, no big fights with middle earth creatures yet. No explanation for how Bilbo got good at treasure hunting? No dungeon/palace puzzle for Bilbo where he acquires the gold treasure by riddles yet. This was all in the book and Jackson has omitted this. Also I have seen not a single piece of mythril.
My biggest gripe with the movie is there has been no mention of mythril almost at all. I really hope Desolation of Smaug busts the Myhril problem wide open, or that would be a major misstep for Jackson. This movie would have been best served as two films just like Harry Potter Deathly Hallows. That is my hugest gripe with the way they did this. I just hope 3 films isn't a mistake.