Cutter John wrote:
Why is everyone giving Jackson crap about this being a trilogy when that was entirely a studio decision?
Because, to hear Jackson tell it, he
decided to speak to WB about three movies after seeing the material he had on hand while cutting AUJ. It was a decision, Jackson says, that was entirely artistic in nature (for him). WB, of course, saw the $$$ and heartily agreed. Personally, I thought, for the most part, the film worked very well as a story about how Bilbo's personal journey fit into a larger tapestry of events on Middle Earth. To that end, I think the complaints about how long it takes to get out of The Shire are bunk. The film follows the beats of the book very closely early on (Ian-Holm-based scenes and Azog-flashbacks notwithstanding). You need that time to establish the dwarves, their story, their motivations - not to mention Bilbo, too. I don't see any of scenes inside Bag End as unnecessary. And in the book, there's no action until the roast mutton scene anyway.
some superfluous-feeling moments in the film, though. Azog serves as a foil for both Thorin and Bilbo, but was unremarkable in that role. The White Council felt awkward - mostly because it seemed obvious that Christopher Lee was filmed in isolation from the other performers. But they both serve a purpose with respect to the story Jackson is telling. And otherwise, I thought the movie was a lot
of fun and, outside the backstory sequences for Azog, well-paced. Jackson has created an interestingly hybrid movie - one that is more serious than The Hobbit
book, but more cartoonish and light-hearted than LOTR - fitting, considering his stated intent for these movies. Personally, I loved this film, can't wait to see it again, and am excited for the next two.
And as a side note, I saw this in 2D 24fps. I'll be going to the 3D 48fps presentation this weekend. My biggest complaint? How the ADR synced with the actors' lips. It seemed really