I can't believe this! I was so excited for these movies but I'll be honest, DOS really disappointed me, it was so far from the book, it was out of control and there was so much CGI it was ridiculous. I completely agree with your post about it. And there were way too many instances where PJ was trying to put LOTR stuff into it (both movies actually). They are two different stories. Ugh! I'm feeling very unsure about the last movie, I'm almost afraid to see it.
I completely agree with you about DoS. I honestly had to try really, really hard to love it… because… well, as a film, it is pretty cool. It’s spectacular in the most pure sense of the word—meaning it’s a spectacle. Lots of CGI, lots of action, totally PJ’s forte. But I feel like while it’s acceptable to adjust a book to fit the medium of film, you should still attempt to stay as true as possible to the original material. And that’s where Peter Jackson went wrong—because The Hobbit ISN’T a spectacle. It’s the story of a 3-foot-tall middle-aged creature of faërie who very much enjoyed his comfortable little home life, and yet he rose to the challenge of this great adventure and ended up basically becoming better because of it. THAT is what The Hobbit is about—and PJ has missed that completely.
Regarding PJ putting LotR stuff into it, I think I disagree with you a bit on that. I feel like Tolkien would be pleased about the connections made there—the only reason that the thread of plot is not as profound in the books is because Tolkien didn’t intend on writing Lord of the Rings when he finished The Hobbit at all. He actually went back and retconned the original story so that Gollum was a more dangerous character; in the original version, Gollum gave Bilbo the ring. Obviously, that doesn’t work. So in my opinion, Tolkien’s works all belong to the same universe, and they should connect. So I was actually pleased with that.
But that aside, I am very, very nervous about the third film. Changing the title of the film isn’t just about the title. It’s about the focus of the movie. The Hobbit's complete, actual title is: The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again, A Hobbit’s Tale by Bilbo Baggins. There and Back Again as a title is perfect for the third movie because it focuses on Bilbo, who this story is actually about, after all. Changing it to The Battle of Five Armies places the focus on the battle that took all of two pages in the book and which Bilbo was actually unconscious for. We all know PJ loves a spectacle, and he loves a battle. As a film, it is necessary to not just black out the battle and leave it at that (especially as three of our dwarves die in said battle) but if it’s going to be 2.5-3 hours long, how much of it is going to be this two-page battle? Is that all there is? Because that would make a ridiculous movie. I don’t want to watch three hours of swordfighting. I’m not interested.
I hope Peter Jackson changes the title back, but if he doesn’t, I hope the focus of the film is better than it seems to be at the moment. That’s the core issue here—not the title, but the content of the movie. PJ has not been faithful to the book, especially since DoS, and I’m not sure how much I trust him anymore.