"I do like big battle scenes, and Jackson presented his in a manner which made them intelligible"
The big picture yeah, but when he got on the ground and came in close, all coherence was lost. He's not quite a good action director. A visionary, sure, in this case and in my opinion misguided and overrespectful, but not very good on action.
"I thought the Battle of Helm's Deep in "Two Towers" was handled exceptionally well in terms of cutting from individual action to mass scenes and back while keeping viewers aware of the status of the engagement."
The big shots were fine. The up close, yuck.
Check out, oh any samurai film of Kurosawa or Welles' Chimes of Midnight for great editing re: close combat; heck, check any recent Hong Kong filmmaker, from Tsui Hark to John Woo to Ringo Lam; their editing is crystal clear, no matter how chaotic it may look at first glance. Jackson doesn't even reach the level of Ronnie Yu."if I see Woo's doves or diving-to-the-side-in-slomo-while-firing-two-guns-slightly-sideways again, I'll scream"
Ever seen his Hong Kong work? I thought The Killer was silly, but Hard Boiled? Bullet in the Head? How about Lam's Full Contact, or Hark's Once Upon a Time in China series (the first three, anyway)?
I agree, doves and two-fisted shooting are silly, but look at the editing. There's a huge difference between their editing and Jackson's. David Bordwell wrote an excellent book on the Hong Kong action style called Planet Hong Kong, shows where Hong Kong does it beautifully while Hollywood mostly misses the boat.