We went last night. Still digesting.
Went to see it on 14th in 3D.Visually impressive once I got used to the high resolution and the swooping feeling in my stomach brought on by the aerial shots.Lots of the critics thought it overly long but I enjoyed it. I would like to see it again as I was too busy admiring the scenery and not fully absorbing the storyline(I'm a one thing at a time person : )).Have you come to any conclusion about it yet, Janny?
I loved just about everything - a few things just stopped my breath - the riddle scene was PERFECT!
I didn't want to talk too much (spoilers!) until I had a pretty good feeling most folks had gotten the chance to see it.
I did not mind the length, either - there was SO much to see, cutting scenes would have given much less chance to appreciate the details - but I am so heavily detail and visual oriented anyway, I never get impatient with that stuff.
We saw only the standard film - may try to find the fancier formats for a second go.
I really enjoyed it! I loved the way that the film makers managed to keep the colour tones true to the Lord of the Rings Films. I also think that "The Hobbit" was set up really well to be a true prequel to the three LOTR films.
And yes, the riddle scened was absolutely perfect! I think that's one of Peter Jackson's gifts - the ability to ensure that pivotal scenes are done so well.
I just recently bought the DVD and watched it several times, once in 3D, that's how impressed I was. The worgs looked even meaner and cooler than in Two Towers and amazingly enough all the special effects looked improved upon compared to the LoTR movies which I didn't think possible. I jerked when a pine cone got tossed at my face in the 3D version, haha! Good fun!
Radagast was awesome! I love that actor from Doctor Who days and he did a wonderful job.
I agree the riddle scene was perfect (and precious!)
Overall I felt that the way the story was told felt very much in the spirit of how Tolkien envisioned it - scary tales told around the campfire.
I absolutely LOVED the songs! Much better to hear them sung than me skipping pages of boring verse in the book (yes, I did this in all of his books.)
I am happy they made three movies for this and would love to see stories in the Silmarillion told because I know Peter Jackson could bring them to life like he did the Hobbit.
Oh well, I guess I need to weigh in. Firstly, the good. It was visually stunning. This is, imo, Jackson's forte. The opening scene showing Smaurg descending on the Lonely Mountain was great. The scene showing how Thorin got the appelation of Oakenbranch is right out of the source material.
Now the bad. I found many problems with the details of this movie. The troll scene lacked the wonder of how it played out in the book with Gandalf being the one who distracted the trolls long enough for dawn to arrive. The abbreviated riddle scene was ok. But, by leaving out some of the riddles we did not get to see who/what Gollum was before including how much like Bilbo he was before he found the ring. The whole gollum chase scene was unnecessarily long and the falling bridges was too much like Moria. This meeting of the White Council played out like one that had happened long before the events of this book. This particular meeting should have been the one where Saruman FINALLY relents to allow action against Dol Guldur. (I suspect we will see this second meeting in one of the other movies.) Oh, and when did Elves develop teleportation capability? Galadriel just simple blinked out at the end of the council meeting. In the first scene with Radagast, he tells Gandalf that something is wrong in the 'Greenwood'. People are beginning to call it 'Mirkwood'. From the source material, they started calling it Mirkwood about 1800 years before the events of this story.
As to the Radagast, I'm of two minds about him. Considering the he, like Gandalf, Saruman and the two blue wizards, is a Maia (a being descended from heaven with Valar to 'make of the world what they will') I found him a bit too frenetic and way too 'fallen' from grace.
I ran across someone's comment on all the movies:
When Jackson does Tolkien, it's brilliant.
When Jackson interprets Tolkien, it's good.
When Jackson puts Jackson in the movies, it's bad.
I have to agree.