Let me start by saying that I enjoy many aspects of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Overall, however, I felt that the story was spoiled by an interminable running time, unengaging plot tangents and constant narrative filibustering. What especially saddened me was how Bilbo (the supposed protagonist of the story) was rendered absent for large portions of the final two films.
Now, I wasn’t at all engaged by the movie trilogy, not just for the reasons Tolkien Editor gives, but because of substantial silliness. The ridiculous (though charming) bunny chariot! I loved it, but it was beyond silly. That fight with the orcs in their underground city? Our Heroes would have been so, so, so dead. It was all spectacle, no believability. The elf-dwarf romance subplot? Oh, come on!
Tolkien editor cuts almost all of that and reframes the movie around Bilbo. It’s fascinating to read about the choices made in this condensation.
Apparently there’s a way to download the condensed movie. I’m curious enough that I’d try it, but my connection is awfully slow from my house, so slow that I doubt it’s possible. But such a fascinating project!