On the one hand, we have the fanboys, for whom "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" will be the "Best. Film. Ever.," as director Peter Jackson delivers a ginormously action-packed finale to his second Middle Earth trilogy. Kicking things off with a fire-breathing dragon razing the town of Lakewood, Jackson moves quickly into a supersized battle between elves, dwarves, men, goblins, bats, wizards and orcs, but alas, no winged monkeys. One film to rule them all . . . at least until "Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens" comes along.

On the other, we have Christopher Tolkien — son of author JRR Tolkien, who wrote both "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," and the man in charge of the Tolkien estate — who has said that director Peter Jackson has "eviscerated" the books by making them into juvenile "action movies."

"The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me," said Tolkien in an interview with Le Monde. "The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing."