Saw the movie -- after reading some of the comments, I have come to feel that Jackson made a mistake by trying to match the tone and epic scope of his LOTR movies. While I enjoyed it, it makes me a little sad that we won't get a movie that really lets story The Hobbit shine for what it originally was (its own story and NOT a prequel to LOTR).
Here is a crazy idea --- what if Jackson based the movie off the first edition of the Hobbit (when Gollum freely offers the ring for a prize in the riddle contest). Gollum isn't an old hobbit that was corrupted by the ring, he's just some weird creature. He doesn't talk the way he does because of some psychotic breakdown from the rings corrupting influence -- he just is because that's what he is. The ring is just a magic ring. Elves are singing tricksters. When Gandalf leaves, no one has any idea what he's doing. In essence -- do an anti Lucas to the story. Let the Hobbit be mismatched and not quite fit into the LOTR trilogy. I am curious if people would have enjoyed this approach, or if they would have felt disappointed more than anything.
Well, what would you need Peter Jackson and the entire production crew from Lord of the Rings for if you wanted the film to be completely different? Let JJ Abrams do it.