It's actually weird how bad The Hobbit films are. Peter Jackson is not a bad filmmaker; in his later years he has become indulgent, but he's always been a competent storyteller. And then The Hobbit films came, and he released three truly bad films in a row (I assume - I have actually never seen the complete Battle of the Five Armies because I simply had to tap out about forty minutes in). What the hell went wrong? According to a behind-the-scenes feature on the new Blu-ray release, Jackson was entirely unprepared and spent the shoot winging it, never having decent storyboards or a script that he liked.
I have never seen a BTS piece as honest as this one (at least for a new movie - usually honesty bubbles up about 20 years after release) and it's clear from the way Jackson talks that this trilogy absolutely defeated him. I recommend you watch the whole thing.
Perhaps the most shocking thing in this video is revealed between the lines: the two Hobbit films became three not because Jackson had too much material but rather because he needed to push the finale of the story back many months in order to figure it out. The production started shooting elements of The Battle of the Five Armies with nothing planned - they just put dudes in costumes in front of green screens and had them wave swords around. Jackson had no vision for the finale!
This is the worst way to make a movie, chasing a release date, and it's insane that a filmmaker like Peter Jackson was forced to work this way. If this guy can't get the studio to give him the time he needs, who can?
The release of this video is Jackson agreeing with us: these are bad movies, and he's trying to explain why they're so very, very bad. Maybe one day he'll return to these films and edit them down to the two movies he originally had in mind, perhaps try to figure out what he would have done had he allowed himself the time to actually plan this mad venture.
The Hobbit will forever be known as an Icarus story. Jackson thought he could just wing it, and he couldn't.
Thanks to Russ Fischer for finding the video.