Seeing the Hobbit trilogy in theaters became a bit of a tradition with me and my cousin for the 3 years it lasted. I saw a friend do this and thought I'd do the same once I saw the finale (which I just did). Without further ado, here's my thoughts on the Hobbit trilogy.
Let me start by saying that these movies had a tough act to follow. A REALLY tough act to follow. The Lord of the Rings trilogy are undoubtedly among my favorite movies ever. Even though I really hate to make the comparison, the Hobbit trilogy simply wasn't as good. However, that's in no way saying they're bad. The Lord of the Rings movies were incredible. The Hobbit movies were... good. Very good, in fact. Just not as grand and epic as the LOTR movies. I've spotted out a few differences that what I feel are the true difference makers;***SPOILER WARNING***
- The Lord of the Rings movies had insane amounts of practical effects and sets. Nearly everything looked real because nearly everything was REALLY THERE. The makeup and effects look so real that you could literally forget you're watching a movie and truly become immersed. In The Hobbit movies, nearly everything is CGI and just simply looks fake. From the locations to the orcs to the fight scenes, you can clearly tell when you're looking at CGI and when you're looking at a real prop or actor.
- The Lord of the Rings movies seemed to be geared more towards older audiences while the Hobbit movies seemed geared more towards older AND younger audiences. Much like Jar-Jar Binks of Star Wars I, some of the dwarves often come off as too goofy or silly looking and make the more serious scenes hard to take seriously. LOTR wasn't afraid to show Boromir shot with arrow after arrow. In The Hobbit, every major character death zooms in so you can't really see what happens. That, to me, is a problem.
- The second movie felt completely unnecessary. I'd heard that the series was originally going to be just two movie. That would have been PERFECT in my opinion and made the series stronger as a whole. The whole second movie shows this big grand plan to stop Smaug which in the end just plain fails and the movies ends on that cliffhanger. The third movie opens and shows one man kill Smaug in the first 10 minutes; something all of the dwarves and Bilbo, AKA, the MAIN CHARACTERS couldn't do in two and a half hours. The friends I saw the movie with were bugged by this as well. The 2nd movie could have ended with the death of Smaug and left more room for the war in the 3rd. Or better yet, they could have just trimmed down everything and fit all the important stuff into two movies instead of making up new material like the romance between Gandalf and the elf or the dwarf and the elf.
- I personally really don't like high frame rate. At all. I think it makes everything look like it's being fast-forwarded and fake. As with the CGI, it reminds me that I'm sitting in front of a screen watching a movie instead of immersing me into the movie.
- I think the finale movie which should have been the big, epic, grand finale ended too quickly. Lord of the Rings too over a half hour to tie up every loose end and truly feel like a conclusion. In Battle of the Five Armies, the head orc is killed and the fighting just stops. They don't show how it stops, it's just like the leader dies and the other orcs just magically die with him on the spot. After that, everyone says their goodbyes rather quickly and Bilbo goes home. It just felt inconclusive to me, even though I know it's techincally not over since the Lord of the Rings movies come next.
I admit that I have a lot of complaints about The Hobbit movies and it truly, honestly pains me to be so negative. I want to love these movies like I do the LOTR trilogy. Though perhaps it's unfair to compare the two trilogies. As I started off saying, LOTR is a ridiculously tough act to follow. While they could have been better, the Hobbit trilogy was a valiant effort. I personally feel that I'd be much more positive towards these movies had there been no previous trilogy to compare it to. On their own, they're great. As a continuation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, they're not up-to-par, but still good. And good is better than bad. I'd rather just be a bit disappointed than just flat out dislike the movies. I enjoyed the Hobbit movies. While they could have been better, they were still pretty damned good.