You know the Hobbit movies could have been better, we know they could have been better, but it's refreshing to hear that creator and director Peter Jackson also knows that the results weren't quite up to scratch.
In a revealing and honest interview on the extras disk for The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson talks candidly about the huge task of taking on the new trilogy, especially after timing issues forced original director Guillermo del Toro to step aside at the last minute. This left the New Zealand filmmaker with little time to prep and three movies to release over a very short timeframe.
The whole video is a fascinatingly honest account from members of the production team, but Jackson's comments start in earnest at around the 1 minute mark.
He was coming into a movie that was being prepped by a director with a wildly different visual style, and this was while Jackson was still actively involved with Steven Spielberg's Tintin movie - which was also supposed to be the first part of a trilogy.
It's a huge change from the first film, which Jackson had been working on in some capacity as far back as 1996 - a full five years before the first part arrived in cinemas in 2001. And that attention to detail showed in every frame of The Fellowship in particular, in the gorgeously handcrafted props, the meticulous costuming and the impressive world building that created a universe just beyond the borders of the frame.
That sense of venturing into an entire world is missing in The Hobbit movies, and there's also an overwhelming feel of the cracks being papered over with all-too-obvious CG. Given the content of this video, it seems like a testamant to the skill of Jackson that he managed to deliver three huge movies. Officially, del Toro left the project in October 2010, and principal photography began in March 2011. That's less than six months to plan and prep a massive shoot which lasted until July 2012.
If you've never caught any of the special features on the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings disks you really should, they're a wealth of background information, including real thoughts from the brains of the creative sorts behind these films.
The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Cut is out now on DVD and blu-ray.