I just saw the movie this evening. The color and 3D were very good. When the movie stuck to the book it was superb. Anytime the movie strayed from the book it broke the natural rhythm a bit but probably helped LOTR movie-goers who have never read The Hobbit since they are experiencing the movie as a prequel. All in all, I found it to be a most enjoyable movie. LOTR fans will not be disappointed. JRRT purists may shudder in a few scenes but they will recover.
A quote from the movie that left an impression upon me (from memory, so it may not be exact):
[He] believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay; small acts of kindness and love.
I am not sure why, from an epic fantasy adventure, that one line has stuck with me afterwards. Maybe because it is true?
That IMO was one of the main themes in all Tolkeins work, a practical application of the parable of the mustard seed if you will.
Maybe, just maybe, some small acts of kindness and love could have prevented what happened today. It is, IMHO, the coarseness of our popular culture and society in general today that allows evil to feel at home and comfortable with us.
Tolkein really had a good message for us through his fiction -- if we are wise enough to heed it.
>> but probably helped LOTR movie-goers who have never read The Hobbit since they are experiencing the movie as a prequel.<<
Makes you wonder what they would do with “Book of Lost Tales” or “The Silmarillion.”