So I'm finally going to see The Hobbit Part 2, because I'm a sucker, and it got my mind-grapes wondering: when is "The Hobbit" Part 3 release date? Turns out it's just around the caddy-corner, i.e., at the end of the year. "The Hobbit: There And Back Again" release date is set for December 17, 2014, a year and four days after the release of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which I'm finally caving in and seeing a month after the fact. UPDATE: I saw it, and I was wrong. It's actually pretty good. Ugh, I hate it when the haters are right.

I'm not super excited about "The Hobbit" Part 3 release date, and neither should you be. In fact, I'm a little annoyed at myself for seeing "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which is why I'm posting this article now: after I see it, I'll be very annoyed with myself, for falling sucker to those ol' studio tricks one more time. Because the first "The Hobbit" movie wasn't even close to good, with the exception of the long Gollum scene, and early reports from the movie's first month (and vast majority of revenue) suggest the new one, which has done well enough, is pretty much the same bag. But with more dragons (a plus), more Legolas (a minus), and more made-up love stories (a minus).

 

And there's no reason to think that "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" release date will be any different. Peter Jackson loves his story bloat, as most evident in "King Kong," and "The Hobbit" is less conducive to that than any other project he's worked on. The last third of the book wraps up very abruptly, anyway: if PJ is going to avoid a "Return of the King" situation, he really has his work cut out for him. And I don't know if he's up for it.

It's really unfortunate, because there's a story out there that's perfectly suited to Peter Jackson's outsize form of storytelling, where every little thing that happens must be both action-packed and epic. That's "The Silmarillion," the history of the early days of Middle-Earth, a thousand year chronicle (well, the main part) of the First Age and the war between the Elves and Morgoth, Sauron's old master. Thanks to Elves being immortal, it even has a few familiar faces, namely Galadriel and, later, Elrond. It also has Balrogs - plural. And dragons - many plural. But it doesn't even have the singular hobbit in the title of "The Hobbit." It has exactly zero hobbits, and much less name recognition, but it has what Peter Jackson actually wants to do.

An endlessly sprawling story with more fights and epic moments than even he can handle.

Instead I have to go watch him butcher "The Hobbit," and then I have to do it again on "The Hobbit" part 3 release date on December 17, 2014. Such are my burdens!