Jul 30 2012, 3:59pm
And will re-post my reasons for being pleased from another thread:
As you and many others here know, I have been a consistent critic of Peter Jackson's LOTR films, and continue to be one.
However, having accepted the reality of a Hobbit adaptation that goes well beyond the book, I find the possibility of three films more appealing than two. For me, there are roughly 5 main reasons for this:
1. Time: Despite the fact that two films would almost certainly mean at least 5 hours worth of story, I am worried that extended action and battle sequences will still crowd out a lot of material that's in the books. This comes from previous experience with PJ's films. He likes to linger for long periods of time on invented action scenes (see the stair in Moria), while painting quickly and with broad strokes over nuanced bits of characterization, dialogue, and cultural context. Three films might be enough for PJ to both include nuance in the narrative, and include his cherished action sequences.
2. History: I am intrigued by both the dwarven history (which IMO is very relevant, as I find the Hobbit to not be primarily about Bilbo, but primarily about the inherent conflict between Bilbo and Thorin), and the history of Dale (simply because I like the sets). Three films could give us a lot more of that history in flashback.
3. Satisfying film-making: IMO, PJ is at his best when he looks back. What I mean by this is that I love PJ's use of flashbacks, and wish he had done more of it in LOTR. In fact, I think they are his most evocative filmic device. The prologue, the conversation between Elrond and Isildur, the incredibly affecting vision of Aragorn's eventual expiration, and Arwen's grief, etc. As such, the more he utilizes this device - giving us dwarven and mannish history, the better. And three films means we will likely get more of it (though that's not guaranteed).
4. Meat on the bones: If you accept that this Hobbit adaptation is far more than a Hobbit adaptation, and a prequel for LOTR (and you must accept this, as it is certainly the case) then there is actually a whole lot to tell in this story. An interesting exercise for a writer would be to take all the Hobbit chapters, and add the level of cultural and character detail that exists in LOTR to that story, and see what you come up with. I have done this in my mind, and I end up with almost three books, that are only about a few chapters shorter than LOTR/
5. Pace and dialogue: Three films will likely mean a less hectic pace, and more coherent dialogue. One of the things that bothered me about PJ's films was the breakneck pace, which I imagine necessarily glossed over some of the more wonderful and thoughtful aspects of Tolkien's work, and neutered some of the great quieter scenes of dialogue. The Shire scenes in FOTR achieved a great sense of verisimilitude because PJ took his time with dialogue. People (such as Gandalf and Bilbo) had conversations that were real back and forths, as opposed to the "talking at each other, and not really responding to each other" that I detect in many a scene of dialogue in the rest of the films. I imagine that three films will give PJ more room to better flesh out such scenes of dialogue, and make it feel more like they are actual people having conversations, rather than video game characters spouting off their necessary scripted lines.