You're right. Sometimes to movies that don't even agree with you on general levels, there are other things to look. The FX and ingenuity Lucas had in creating this world for this time is amazing. My view point is bias in the realm of not automatically complementing that because I am very young and from the world of "oh well, every other film looks like it." It is an amazing feat indeed to what Lucas did and as a craftsman, I will give props to that. With that said, I do still see the movie in failure to hold up for me admist all the special effects affairs out there now. Not that it is lesser than the others, but that I don't see the movie very credible in holding up as a story and a movie of quality beyond the technical achievements.
With LOTR though, I see many problems and don't really like the series at all. The first movie was an introduction of characters longer than needed to be and then a series of battles and location change that amounted to only another battle and location change. With my limited ability, from what others told me of themes feasible from the books, the movie has taken the physical narrative and focused more on the battles and what not than on a storyline trying to really capture the possibilities of the novel. All the battles and how they only came to lead to just another really was the worth of one battle and the story could have been about other things. With the second, it saw Frodo start and end in basically the same situation. Little progress when all said and done. I think the movie was just a build up to the final 30 minute battle only. A lil more rewarding than the first movie given it paces itself better in making the last battle more effective because we weren't knocked over the head with it, but its still a long movie for only that. I was underwhelmed and drained.