50 Eggs: OK so first off, the decision to make this into 3 films was a bad one, undoubtedly driven by dollar signs. On the other hand I think anyone who thought this could be done in just one film was being hugely naive. The book of the Hobbit was written in an entirely different style to LOTR - a single page of the former contains as much story as a chapter of the latter. Furthermore, matching the tone of the earlier films necessitated bringing in exposition from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. This is what Peter Jackson has done really well, adding flesh to the bones of the story, giving it added purpose and emotion that isn’t evident in the standalone book (which was after all aimed at small children). I was pleasantly surprised by this.8.5/10
DonkeyB: I think I should declare from the start that I am a Tolkien sceptic, a denier if you will. Middle Earth is not my thing. In Primary school Matthew Mold was reading The Hobbit and suggested I try it. I don't think I got beyond chapter 2. I have never even started Lord of the Rings- the furthest I have ventured is having to find a reproduction of a map as some sort of test of computer literacy as a fresher at Uni. I didn't watch the first Lord of the Rings film, I fell asleep twenty minutes in to the Return of the King (which I believe is the second film - edit - its the third film) and I have seen part of the ending to the last film once when it was on TV: I say part because it seemed to have at least five endings and I honestly can't remember how many of them I sat through.
It is therefore safe to say that I was never going to like the film very much. But by any standards it is far too long. I think it could quite easily lose 40 minutes. Obviously I don't know what more lies in store, but it seems unlikely that there is six hours more material to make up the next two films. For a start how many more cliffs can there be for some or all of the band of 14 to hang over?
On the plus side apart from the length and [Bilbo?] Bagginess of the film there isn't much to object to. It looks stunning, the acting is fine, the script is adequate, as a fantasy film it is hard to imagine anyone doing one any better. I'm not sure what purpose the film really serves though except to provide the first of three more films for Ring nutters to add to their Lord of the Rings marathons. 6/10