Review Detail

7.8 4 10
FanFix June 24, 2012 2863
(Updated: September 04, 2012)
Overall rating
 
7.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
boon23 mar 7 2010

Prologue:
There have been many LOTR fanedits since the movies were released. Many of them were not approved on fanedit.org for having huge flaws or truly bad image/audio quality. Then there are the famous purist/book cuts, which I never was a fan of, because what I have seen of them always destroyed the mood of the movies for me. I for one simply don’t care if it is closer to Tolkien’s original idea, but if it works as a movie for me and keeps me entertained. I am a huge fan of the original movies and no fanedit will change that. Still from time to time I enjoy watching a different take, so I sat down and watched Spelledaren’s version of THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: EXTENDED EDITION. I did not read the fanedit info to see an unspoiled version and experience the movie as it flows. This is not always an easy task, especially not, if one knows the original really well. But I have made the experience that once I am getting into the flow, my comparisons stop and I can enjoy a present watching experience.

As for all my reviews: this is just my personal opinion of this fanedit. I cannot tell anybody else, if he or she will experience it in the same way or the opposite. So my review is not objective and does not reflect the opinion of fanedit.org.

!!!!This review contains heavy spoilers!!!

The edit:
Launching the DVD did not really put my hopes up, because the main menu is not great. It looks very simple and feels to me like the introduction to something amateurish. This continues, when there is a badly done title insertion that comes with a stutter. Then I was watching FOTR. Most of the things that were cut were very well done and I did not miss them at all. Audio edits are most of the time great and not audible. Same goes for most cuts. However, some cuts were obvious and I will point them out, where they came to my attention and whether or not they worked for me:
(Some of the editors intentions are pretty tough to pull off convincingly, so I am keeping that in mind)
1. Removed Gandalf running to several doors and them closing. It’s meant to heighten the excitement, but has the opposite effect.
2. Cut most of the battle between the wizards. It’s a kinda silly battle. Now Saruman is obviously more powerful.
The one time Gandalf fires back felt rushed. Otherwise this worked really well. Saruman seemed incredibly powerful.

3. The Nazgul does not sit right on top of the hobbits, nor do they distract it. Now it’s scary but not failed. Once the Ring is resisted the Nazgul moves off.
This scene did feel a bit choppy. It worked though.

4. Cut Nazgul finding hobbits in the forest. They are not slower than hobbits on foot anymore.
It worked very well for me, even though the riders have no introduction here.

5. Removed some of the sleeping hobbits and posing Nazgul. They seem scarier when they are more to the point. Also I don’t like this kind of tension-heightener that the interposed sleeping hobbits and Nazgul images are supposed to be. It was overdone here, and I’ve shortened it.
Good call. This scene really works better this way.

6. Removed scene with Saruman contacting Sauron. Saruman is more threatening as an independent player. That he starts building an army is because he wants the ring himself!
Again: good call. Saruman is in this edit much more than just Sauron’s servant.

7. Only 1 Nazgul finds them on Weathertop. And it’s damn scary! Thank you Kerr for providing a crucial shot of the lone approaching Nazgul.
It feels choppy and the image quality varies. Aragorn pops up from nowhere and the Nazgul is defeated really quickly. although I understand the desire to make the Nazgul stronger (and I agree that this would be needed), the new scene did not convince me.

8. Removed “What’s this? A ranger caught off his guard?”. Yeah, why is he? And it doesn’t make Arwen’s introduction more potent or interesting.
Arwen and Aragorn do not argue about who will ride. They just know who is the best suited. And I get a chance to add a little romance by changing the translation of the spoken elvish.
Removed “What are you doing? Those wraiths are still out there!”. Why is Sam so stupid?
No goo on Frodo’s face during the chase, and the Nazgul don’t come quite as near. The goo is gone later on, so…
Removed Nazgul claiming the halfling and Arwen challenging them. They are scarier when they don’t make demands like that.
The flood hits them too fast for them to move out of the way. They aren’t stupid anymore.
This all worked really well, with the exception of the flood. Event hough it comes a lot faster it still is a bit weird. But overall: great work.

9. Cut Arwen getting very upset that Frodo is dying. She still cries out, but the worst parts are gone.
Now that scene felt now particularly strange and incomplete and jumps to Rivendell. Didn’t work for me at all.

10. Cut any talk about Aragorn choosing exile. Men are not without power, and Aragorn is only waiting for his time.
Time change, the council of Elrond. Two reasons. It makes the revelation of Aragorns heritage more potent. It makes the next scene with Boromir and Narsil much more meaningful!
Boromir does not question Aragorn on who he is. Because he already knows.
I found this a bit confusing.

11. The Watcher battle at Moria is shortened. If it had more time it should have killed someone.
Troll action is drastically shortened. Nor do the hobbits kill any goblins. A little over the top in some parts, and I really don’t get why the hobbits get to be action heroes.
The goblins do not climb walls like insects. Do I need to?
All worked great, but the city part felt chopped.

12. A little less of Boromir almost falling down. Didn’t add to the tension.
The result is a choppy scene change. Very obviously cut. Not good.

13. They do not jump over a hole in the stairs. What an anti-climax! A long scene about jumping a hole when they are chased by a Balrog.
I always liked that scene kind of. It adds a bit if humor to a very sinister scenario. But it is not really missed, when it’s gone.

14. Removed Haldir telling Frodo that he is not welcome and carries great evil. Why does Haldir say this? If he knows, Galadriel must have told him. And she would want to help them. So either he shouldn’t know at all (good) or help them. Instead it is the arrogance of Gimli that makes Haldir reluctant to offer any help. I know that some have big issues with this scene, clothes, make up, etc, but I think the scene is good in other aspects and worth keeping. That parts are used again the Mirror of Galadriel only underscores her words “some things that have been”
Removed “The enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now lost”. Which enemy? And what do they know? This makes things more unclear and poses questions never answered.
Galadriel does not say that “he will try and take the Ring” The temptation is back! But this part isn’t very good, or at least I think so. It is enough that the Ring will break the Fellowship.
Galadriel does not explain about her Ring. No need to. Feels off.
All worked well.

15. Removed Celeborn telling Aragorn about orcs spotted, and changed his parting words. Once again his words aren’t properly explained. Followed by whom? (Gollum, yes, but let us know that then.)
Sam does not ask for a dagger. It’s not his character to question the gift of the mighty Galadriel.
Elvish translation change – Aragorn does not wish for Arwen to go to Valinor. Galadriel speaks of Arwen’s choice and what it will mean for her life. Because he accepts her choice and her love.
All good calls.

16. Cut some of the first blows Aragorn makes against the horde of Uruk-hai. He retreats instead to a better position.
Cut Boromir’s first intervention to save the hobbits. It’s not a bad scene, but a little odd, and has hobbits stabbing a couple of orcs too.
Removed Legolas killing orcs that fall over randomly. Why do they do that?
Removed Uruk-Hai felled by magic hobbit stones, and other orcs randomly dying near Boromir. They are strong and scary, not fluffy bunnies. And they have helmets for “#*^’s sake!
Cut short the execution aiming on Boromir. It just looks silly.
The Uruk Hai encounter felt very choppy and was one of the worst parts of the fanedit for me. I don’t think any of the cuts were necessary or did improve the tension.

17. Sam does not go limp with glazed eyes under water. That would mean too long time. This cut turned out better this time around.
Good call. It still feels unlikely that Frodo could have saved him without getting wet.

As you can see, there are quite a few inconsistencies for me. Most things worked great, others really did not. I was getting a bit bored in Lothlorien and think the theatrical cut is more to the point there. Overall I was mostly entertained and realyl impressed by some of the decisions of Spelledaren that worked great.

editing: 7 of 10 (some spottable unnatural scene changes, but most of all really well done)
entertainment: 7 of 10 (I was distracted by the things that did not work well for me, but always could get back into the movie flow without wanting to stop. (original: 10 of 10))

Image and video quality:
The video quality was in most scenes great. There were a few scenes with varying image quality in close-ups and a few stutters.
Video quality: 8 of 10

Audio editing and audio quality:
audio quality was great. I did not notice a bad audio cut, which is a great achievement in such a heavily scored movie.
audio editing: 10 of 10
sound quality: 10 of 10
resulting in a 10 of 10 for overall audio

presentation:
The fanedit comes on 2 SL DVDs, which is not a great choice for ONE movie. 174 minutes is long, but one DL would have been the better choice IMO, especially because the menus are not nice and look pretty cheap. The chapter selection menus have custom titles for each scene, which is a nice addition. Unfortunately there is a flaw on disc 1 that makes you click twice to go back to the main menu. The custom title was not well inserted and very obvious, especially because of the stutter that came with it. The end credits are cut super short and are not custom. There are no extras and no cover art.
To sum it up:
The presentation leaves quite a lot to be desired. For the presence of menus, custom title and chapter menus I am giving 4 stars.
4 of 10 for overall presentation

Final result: 7 of 10
There are some really well done scenes and it is an enjoyable fanedit and a quite well done and promising firstling. What I particularly like about it is that Spelledaren tried some truly daring cuts and alterations and succeeded most of the time. I was entertained by the fanedit, but will not watch it again probably.
Recommended for those who are interested in a fixed cut of LOTR other than the book cuts.
Thank you, spelledaren, for creating it.
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