I can't decide whether to rewatch this or not: the more I think about the film, the more it hits me how bloated it was. I still think it was fun, but also highly exhaustive. There's a noticeable problem when every scene could, and should, be cut down. I think that by watching Deathly Hallows, it kind of struck me how problematic the slow pacing of this film ultimately is. Part II is almost an hour shorter, and yet 5x as much actually happens. An hour into the Hobbit and I think we've only just left the Shire. Jackson has developed far too much of a fetish for length, especially when he seems to only manage to achieve that length by elongating everything to the absolute maximum. Cool as they were, the Stone Giants really had no business being over a minute long. Even Elrond with the moon runes can't help but feel like it's taking its gruesomely sweet time to get to the point. The Goblin town was also very long, and the trolls, the warg chase, Rivendell. It all feels like it needs a good edit.
And as much as I wanted to see it, the White Council felt rather perfunctory, a way to introduce certain plot points and foreshadowing. This might have been less troubling if the writing had been better. It doesn't sit well with me how obvious they make Saruman's dual nature here.
On the other hand, there were some sequences that I loved. The last half-hour, with the Riddles Game and Bilbo's pity, Azogs pack, the chase, the fire and the eagles. It's fucking great. I loved the stuff at Bag-End. The prologue is beautifully melancholic. Why, oh why, does it have to be so divided?