I'm excited to see how Martin Freem does. Love him.
A lot of the critics have been complaining about the higher frame rate of the 3D. Most have said it's "too real" It's shot at 48 frames per second rather than the standard 24 so the motion should look smoother and more realistic but it's causing some to get a little nauseated.
But reading reviews that say its way too long and not enough content, has tempered my expectations. That might be a good thing, but I'm going to be watching it with cautious optimism.
I can't wait to see these movies. Length of the movie doesn't bother me because I love the setting of movies like this.
There are very few instances where runtimes over 120-130 minutes is acceptable, and probably 70% of movies should be 105 minutes or less. The Hobbit is not one of those instances unless you're doing a single film on the entire book (which they should have done). Maybe two 90 minute movies you could get away with, but the Hobbit is a slim book which is half the appeal. The LOTR books show all of Tolkien's shortcomings as a writer, and Peter Jackson did a good job displaying those shortcomings in his film adaptation. Nearly 12 hours (with extended version) for some guys to take a ring to a volcano? Please.
Also, if I recall correctly, they only own the rights to use stuff that appears in the Hobbit and LOTR. The reviews I've looked at have complained about runtime too, and like someone said most modern movie reviewers are complicit in this "long for long's sake" theory of not editing big Hollywood blockbusters.
As for the second, that's pretty silly. I'm sure you could get 12 hours out of "Lewis and Clark trying to get to an ocean", or "that Caeser dude trying to get to Britain". Did you feel those three movies were dragged out too much? I never had a problem with the pacing myself, and I feel like most didn't either. There were parts where it was a little slow, but it usually always served a purpose.
I trust Jackson's ability to do this right. But again, only time will tell.
Yeah, Tolkien can get long-winded, boring, with poor character development. It's basically the same shortcomings that haunt a lot of fantasy writers. They seem to overindulge their invented worlds at the cost of a consistently compelling narrative. GRR Martin got lavish praise because he didn't fall prey to this until books 4 and 5 of Song of Ice and Fire. Frankly a lot of the characters in LOTR are just bad, but it's okay because the story carries it well enough. The Hobbit, on the other hand, was quick enough to trick the reader - and why it's regarded as part of the canon while the rest isn't.
Of course most people here are going to be fanboys who will scream at the fact I have disparaged even one little bit of Tolkien or Martin. That's fine, just know that not everyone exists in the LOTR echo chamber.
As far as the LOTR movies, at least 30 minutes from each film is superfluous. The third one suffered the most, though probably because the third book is the weakest. Of course audiences are sort of cultured to expect longer runtimes from blockbusters now, so I guess that's why it's tolerated. It's just sort of silly when books like LOTR and the Batmans get the "epic" treatment when they're not really epics (I suppose LOTR is arguable but I still consider more an adventure story than an epic).
I think people are also forgetting that the Return of the King extended edition was 4 hours 11 minutes, and the Blu-Ray extended edition made that 4 hours 23 minutes.
Peter Jackson did an incredible job with the trilogy. I don't see how we should judge the runtime before even seeing the film. And since when is runtime an issue? If it's too long for you, I don't see that as a shortcoming on the director's part. I see that as the viewer lacking the will to fully maintain an interest in the movie they're watching. I just think that if runtime is one of the first complaints, then that means it's probably a pretty damn impressive film.
I'm excited. I know it's going to be long. And I'm excited.