So I went to see it at the Jax Jr in Littleton last night. Pretty full house seeing as the movie has been playing for four nights already. Lotta kids, lotta highschoolers with dates. It was in 3D, which I find somewhat annoying. Although they have improved the 3D process, the screen is sharper and in better focus this time.
As a Tolkien fan since forever I had to see this one, even though the critics have panned it. Actually the critics are onto something. The movies has a lotta fighting, lotta marching armies, Smaug the dragon incinerating Esgaroth-upon-the-Long-Lake, Bard the bowman shooting down the dragon on the wing. Vast armies of Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs, marching in step, pikes out. Sword fights on crumbling stone bridges.
Movie is weak on names. It opens with a glamorous red haired elven princess falling in love with a Dwarf. She survives the whole movie but I never did catch her name. Dwarf name I did catch, sorta, it was either Fili or Kili. The hairstylists went a little overboard on long and shaggy hair and beards for all the guys and Dwarves. The Orcs bring a lot of trolls to the battle, 12 foot tall, beer bellies like a filing cabinet, blue skin, capable of head butting their way thru stone walls. The ordinary sized characters like Thorin seem to be able to cut them down with just swords, no big problem.
We won't comment upon how well the movie follows the book. You have to enjoy the flick on its own terms.