I started watching the first of The Hobbit trilogy last weekend. Given I was distracted by a couple other things; however, it didn’t hold my interest. Since it would take me over twelve hours to finish the films, I think that by itself is a big turn off at this stage in my life (we have three children five or under). On the other hand, this guy’s 4 hour edit of all three Hobbit films into one movie sounds very manageable, entertaining too.
The prelude with old Bilbo is gone. As with the novel, I find the film works better if the scope starts out small (in a cosy hobbit hole), and then grows organically as Bilbo ventures out into the big, scary world. It is far more elegant to first learn about Smaug from the dwarves’ haunting ballad (rather than a bombastic CGI sequence). The prelude also undermines the real-and-present stakes of the story by framing it as one big flashback. ~ I have recut Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy into a single 4-hour film | The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit