No, the reviews have not been great so far. Turning a 300-page children’s book into a three-movie epic still doesn’t seem like a great idea – you can’t just run to the store and buy more plot once you’ve run out – not to mention the fact that less-than-favorable comparisons with the first trilogy are probably inevitable. And Lord knows I’m not above a good old-fashioned nerd meltdown (ask me what I think about the upcoming Star Wars sequels and whether or not they should have been based upon the Timothy Zahn novels sometime!). That said, I remain hopeful. There’s a lot of great material to draw from in the Tolkien universe – who’s to say that the second and third films can’t find something more interesting to focus on than extended troll-argument sequences?

God, I hope the troll sequences are brief.

Here, in no particular order, are recommendations for Mr. Jackson, should he need any, when it comes to padding out the run time of the next two movies.

10. An hour-long and completely silent exploration of the socio-political dynamics of the spider community in Mirkwood. Watch the bleak ceremony as they select a new king. Watch the intricacies and intrigues of court life as traitors scuttle back and forth, laden with secrets.

9. A handcrafted stop-motion recreation of the Downfall of Númenor set to Wagner’s Der Erlkönig, using sand art.

8. Just show Return of the King again. It’s still good! People will like it.

7. All films should feature extensive narration voiced by the Silmaril brought back to the Valar by Eärendil the Mariner and placed as a star in the western sky. Voiced by Jiminy Cricket.

6. Every single poem and song featured in the book included in Pop-Up music Video form. Nobody doesn’t like Pop-Up Video.

5. The goblin kidnapping song (Clack! Snap! the black crack!) should be performed by 1970s-era Robert Plant, somehow. This might not add to the run time, but it should still happen.

4. Flesh out Radagast the Brown’s backstory. Where did he go to college. Likes/dislikes. Wake up Tolkien, get the details, I don’t care how. (Word is that Radagast, who does make an appearance in the trailer, will have an expanded role in the series. Excellent.)

3. A 45-minute cartoon of Black Númenórean Queen Beruthial and her cats. Also, she should be drawn to look like Queen Beryl from Sailor Moon.

2. Bilbo hits his head in the middle of the third film and has an extended dream sequence about Fastitocalon, last of the mighty turtle-fish.

1. Product integration with new Denny’s Hobbit-themed menu. “Second breakfast will never be the same now that we’ve got this authentic Bilbo berry smoothie!!”

Thank you for your time.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]