He liked the film but said it lacked the humour of Lord of the Rings.
. . . . . . it's taken me until now to process that assessment.
It's an entertaining movie. My question "how are they going to turn this slim book into 9+ hours of movie" is now answered, and not in the way I feared most. Alas in French I didn't really benefit from Barry Humphries' performance, which I'm sure must've been one of the high points. And French Gollum was perfectly good, but Andy Serkis is irreplaceable.
But I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing how Bilbo will complete his transformation into a superhero, and the
inevitable love interest with Azog, the avenging orc-ogre-thing, from whom I think I saw some wistful moments out there under the burning trees.
On IMDB I see that under Azog it says "this character biography is empty." Happily people who care more than I do have rectified that lacuna from the Divine Dustbins of Footnotes. And so it is finally revealed (to people who never played MERP) why JRRT was such an obsessive-compulsive world builder - what his secret project (secret even to himself) really was: he wasn't just telling a story, obviously.
He was making a toolkit out of which you could tell all sorts of stories. Jackson, Boyens and Walsh have taken him up on that offer with enthusiasm and drive. And maybe one day the Baggins dynasty will rival the Skywalkers, Bond and Godzilla in their filmography.
What other stories would you like to see, once Disney buy the property and pledge to make a new Tolkien film every 2 years? Right now I'm envisioning a long line of bad lieutenant films starting with Al Pacino as Morgoth, who is gradually usurped by Ed Norton as Sauron, who takes on a brutish but cunning thug as his Witch King enforcer - Vinny Jones, perhaps. Or maybe the story of how Elrond gave up trying to keep all Middle Earth safe and instead just worked on keeping his valley on track, or how Arnor fell and how Gondor's really to blame.
No, I know: why do the eagles always help Gandalf? What do they owe him?
I've just realised what I want from the DVD super DJ extended mix:
so you know how Gandalf keeps going away and the dwarves all migrate straight to the cooking pot and he has to rescue them, like, 3 times?
He's so obviously testing or training them. I want to see what Gandalf's doing while that's going on. I want to see his facepalms when they charge the trolls and challenge the horde of goblins. His DM moments.
...if I were Peter Jackson, working with that budget, I would so film those scenes on the side. With no clear intention of how I was going to use them later. I kinda suspected that the footage of Bilbo and Frodo in the Shire might've been done like that during the filming of LotR, actually (no of course they weren't: instead they spent ANOTHER shit ton of money recreating everything for those shots, but I like to dream).