I just saw the first one for the first time. It was OK, but I felt like they padded out the story way too much with stuff that just doesn't need to be there. It was sort of a victim of the success of the first trilogy because it is a story that isn't made to be a trilogy, stretched out into one with many references to the first trilogy that hardly amount to much at all. I also disliked much of the comedy and the CGI on the orcs this time around.
The stuff I liked was the stuff that is actually from the book. I liked Thorin and his payoff with Bilbo at the end. I loved the scene where the dwarfs came to Bilbo's house. I loved Riddles in the Dark with Gollum. That was my favorite scene in this movie, my favorite chapter in the book, and my favorite scene in the animate movie. It is just great creepy stuff.
So I don't want to sound like I am shitting on the first movie too much. There were just long stretches where I was like "Why is Saruman in there? Why is Galadriel here? Why is Radagast here? Why are they foreshadowing Sauron and a war that we already saw and has little connection to this story?". The one major addition I liked was the main orc baddy (I forget his name. Something the Defiler or whatever). It helps to have a main bad guy driving the story and unlike all the necromancer/Sauron stuff, he is tied into the actual story and character background of The Hobbit quite well.
It was still an enjoyable movie all around and I will try to see this new one since I didn't see the first one in theaters initially. Hopefully my complaints about the first movie aren't as intrusive this time around. There will have to be padding once again, but hopefully it is interesting. And hell, WE GET TO SEE SMAUG!!! That was another favorite of mine from both the book and the animated movie.
Yeah I'll be seeing it. I really enjoyed the first Hobbit, I just really love the world Jackson created for these films. Apparently the second is more like the LOTR movies in tone and pace etc, but I kind of enjoyed the more light hearted route they took with the first Hobbit. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it either way.