Saw it today in the Theater.
Not available even for pre-order yet, but you can find a “let you know when it’s available” link here:
Okay, I can get showing some of the stuff that was alluded to but “off stage” in the original, or alluded to as backstory from the LOTR might be interesting. I can get that the walking and walking and walking through Mirkwood might not play well on the screen and the reasons for compressing it. I can even see compressing Bilbo’s three trips down the whole to the Dragon’s lair into one as making a certain cinematic sense. But where did that romantic subplot come from?
Still and all, I liked this one better than the first. The two big battles–on the river and under the mountain–weren’t as outrageous as “falling with style” in the first one (if you saw it, you know what I mean), but they were still pretty over the top. Elves still appear to come from Krypton. There was a “fuzziness” in the image details of the first one that bothered me and was absent here.
All in all it was a fun way to spend a few hours.