Reading this excellent article about the recent Hobbit film, I finally took the time to put some thought together. Yes, there be spoilers, beware!
Apart from the fact that I have a major issue with the LOOK of this film and I was completely taken by surprise at how different it looked from the first film. While the first film was in continuity with the LOTR trilogy, and this very believable world, perfect props and minutely crafted backdrops. In this film everything looked like it was made of plastic (I know it was also fake before but it didn't show) things look fake and not in a good way, it's all bright colours and artificial.
I couldn't believe how completely different from film one *everything* looked, not convincing, more like an animated movie, not the same world at all, I'm surprised not more people say this, it looked like it had been made by different people with a different agenda.
Now since only few people seem to have noticed this change and only talk about the plot. There are of course plot "knots" that bothered me, some because I am confusing things (I stopped watching LORT films years ago because I don't want to forget the books) and some because I cannot understand why the deviations from Tolkien Lore were necessary in this case.
I agree with a lot of this well written article and it helps me put things into place. It's such a complex storyline and I've lived with the book storyline for most of my life so it gets confusing.
OK I had forgotten about the fact that Gandalf does confirm that Sauron is back when he goes to Dol Guldur a *second* time and finds Thrain (I hope this part is going to be shown in the last film because that really threw me off completely for a while). I would have seen this scene as an intro in place of this badly done encounter at the Green Dragon, as the writer of the article says it really didn't bode well and I nearly lost interest there.
Glad I wasn't the only one who felt that the tomb of the Nazgul wasn't working at all, shame as the place is well designed but too reminiscent of the Paths of the Dead IMHO, and worst it felt like a video game, well it would look great in a game but not in a film.
I don't understand where the need came from to change the lore so completely. Why is it so bad that the Witch-King was never entombed? What's wrong with keeping the lore as such and even mention the famous phrase “Do not pursue him! He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall.” (in any other character's mouth since Glorfindel was never integrated in the movie). It would have made a perfect tie with ROTK, or not?
Speaking of elves, I'm obviously not the only one to see the parallel between Thranduil and Thingol (and hating it absolutely) and I am not the only one fearing that this story with a necklace not being paid for by Thranduil could be a parallel with the Nauglamír (thanks for reminding me of the name I have the memory of a dormouse) which in turn would make this more confusing since the Nauglamír holds one of the Silmarils but they are supposed to have all disappeared completely by the time these events happen.
Yes the keyhole scene was completely anti climactic for me too, how can they just leave? Sit down and feel miserable ok, but just "ah then let's go find another quest, it's not really that important"? Excuse me? What was the point of the map then? And all the business with Elrond? And as the articles says we all recall the phrase that does mention the setting sun as the last light, so why is that suddenly gone now?
Agreed on Martin Freeman's performance it's one of the best I've seen recently, very convincing, I nearly found the scene with the spider wanting the Ring over the top, but in fact it's all cleverly done to show how the spiders were corrupted by Sauron, and maybe a hint that Sauron is starting to feel the Ring is moving. Very well done.
Cliffhanger? What cliffhanger? It didn't feel like one at all, it felt like the break before the intermission, in fact my first reaction was "what do you mean there is a second intermission?" [yes we always get one intermission in every movie around here] That was the most anti climactic ending I've ever seen, the complete opposite of the first film that left me with my heart pounding and clapping my hands going "yeah dragon!" Well, whatever.
Reading some of the other Hobbit blog posts on the Tor.com website (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/01/hobbit-8) I came across this comment By Gardner Dozois no less: "...I wonder if they'll even GET to the Lonely Mountain by the end of the second movie? I could easily see the second movie ending with them all staring at the Lonely Mountain looming ominously on the horizon. " You know what, that would have been brilliant. Why not, the Dragon thing is also a repeat of the first but not as good?
All in all, I got really annoyed with all the unnecessary parallels with the other trilogy? And I wasn't the only one, there were too many of them. Can't these films be their own animal? Please stop that!