So yesterday I drove my Mom and two youthful nephews to the theater in Garner NC (that's GAR-NER, not GARD-NER) to see the second of the three movies. My verdict? Better than the first, and nudging its way up into the greatness of the LOTR movies--maybe even better than "The Fellowship of the Ring". Here's why:
2. Gandalf. Gandalf is featured more here (again, to the detriment of the dwarfs) and he remains one of the most interesting characters of the series.
3. The Necromancer/Sauron. We're beginning to see more of him in this movie, which is another strong tie to the LOTR series.
4. Smaug. The dragon is a pretty damn good character, and his back and forth with Bilbo is good stuff.
I still find it hard to think that the book "The Hobbit" can occupy three feature length movies, but this one did a great job of convincing me that it might pull it off. There is a lot of action left for the third movie, and if it continues this trend, it will be a great one.