Well, I saw the film, and I enjoyed it. There are characters who don’t appear in LOTR that don’t really have resolutions to their stories, so I regretted that a little, but maybe the extended edition will touch on that. Also, I feel the film lacks the punch of Revenge of the Sith and Return of the King, which really are great finales, but “Battle” doesn’t disappoint. Lots of it is straight from the book, and it’s quite fun to see pure Tolkien on the big screen. I’d say the characters the film focuses on in order are: Thorin, Bilbo, Bard, Gandalf, Azog and Thranduil, with the rest (including Legolas, Tauriel, and Bolg) getting less screen-time. The story is a bit drawn out, but there aren’t too many slow spots. Billy Boyd’s closing number is very pretty and a nice way to end this second journey.
Still, I miss that high from seeing The Return of the King for the first time and kind of wish this was more in the ballpark. At least I have LOTR on Blu-ray so I can reminisce. And when I watch both trilogies back to back, it will all end with ROTK.