Samuel Walters wrote:
To the people that saw this: what if it was trimmed down to 2 hours? Still way too long?
In truth, the film only needs some minor editing and two hours would have been too short. First, Ian-Holm-Bilbo's monologue is a bit dusty, particularly with Frodo's cameo. I happen to like it, I enjoy the complete immersion, but it could have been left for an EE. And the tie-in with Azog was clumisily handled. Other than that, though, the film is fine. You could argue, I suppose, that they spend a lot of time at Bag End - but it's all in good fun, and necessary to boot. And Radagast, despite his awkward performance, is brief and instrumental.
On the flipside of that, consider the one scene getting the most praise: Riddles In The Dark. Jackson just lets that scene run. It takes several
minutes of screen time. It's barely edited. And it's brilliant. So there's an argument in favor of letting the book material have enough room to breathe on screen.
I could have watched even more of the riddle scene. It is brilliant, I completely agree.
I think having Ian Holm return as Bilbo to "introduce" the Hobbit was a good idea but that takes too long and so do the scenes in The Shire. That would have helped.
Another problem is this film just doesn't have the emotion of the Lord of the Rings. It's not supposed to. The Hobbit is a children's book, a fun adventure. Lord of the Rings is an epic and a more emotional book. There was more to work with. I still think one of the best decisions Jackson made with LOTR's was moving Boromir's death scene to the end of Fellowship. If he had shown it at the beginning of The Two Towers, it would have lost all its emotional momentum.