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8.3 12 10
FanFix June 17, 2014 1893
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I loved Desolation of Smaug when I saw it in theaters. It felt more like a Lord of the Rings film than its predecessor did. I've read The Hobbit, but I didn't mind the additions Jackson made to the film, and for the most part, the film didn't really drag that much. However, as was the case with edits of Unexpected Journey, I never really noticed (or cared, take your pick) how bloated the film was until watching Ranger's cut.

Ranger skillfully cuts away the extra fat of the film without sacrificing any of the core story of the film. That's right, a little over 40 minutes cut and nothing truly important was left out. That being said, leaving out four of the dwarves staying behind in Laketown and the love triangle means that this version of the film probably won't mesh perfectly with the theatrical version of Battle of the Five Armies. Ranger has said that he intends to edit the entire trilogy, so there is certainly that to look forward to.

As a film on its own, though, this is a great edit and I can't find a reason to not recommend it to anybody. Keep up the good work, Ranger. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. We all are!

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