I went to see The Desolation of Smaug, having taken the precaution of watching The Unexpected Journey on DVD to help me remember what had happened so far.
My dad read the Hobbit to me as a child and I'm enjoying the films but, having taken the (ridiculous?) decision to film a 400 page book in three parts, the director's been forced to dwell overlong on some of the scenes, to the detriment of the narrative. I can't believe that we now have to wait another year to find out whether the travelers accomplish their mission.
It makes complete commercial sense of course. Witness my need to buy the DVD of the first film before seeing the second. And I'll undoubtedly have to the same again next Christmas.