I’m sorry but this edit is not for me. Even though I liked a lot, I felt too much was cut.
First of all, the technical stuff. The video and audio editing was great, however the audio tone shifted from time to time and it was very distracting.
I missed the Gimli reference because unlike a lot of people’s beliefs that it was a badly shoehorned moment, it was the truth, Gloin is Gimli’s father. And that look of Legolas was a great moment; it was a great scene in my opinion.
The love triangle was executed great in the original movie IMO. It was about ignoring and destroying the two races' hate, and falling in love. This will be greatly explored even more in The Battle of the Five Armies. Removing that was risky, and careful watchers will say; wait, where are Kili, Fili, Bofur and Oin? Though it made no impact in the story's quality (since it was a subplot), it did make the movie a little less interesting to me.
You should have deleted stuff more carefully because you also deleted Legolas being Thranduil’s son. This made Legolas a badly shoehorned character, as if Aragorn was put in The Hobbit. It made no sense, unlike the theatrical cut. People will be confused. If you had left the Thranduil/Tauriel scene in (which I really like) we would have learned Legolas is Thranduil’s son, and it would have made sense. I understand that you deleted it so that the love triangle is deleted, but deleting the rest was enough, this scene had little to no connection to the triangle.
Another thing I disliked was since you removed Legolas, Tauriel, the four dwarves and Bard's family in the third act as well as the Laketown attack, the part where Bard takes out the black arrow and is never seen again felt very choppy and pointless.
Now we get to Azog and Bolg. Wow. Why you cut these I will never know. Here, after a chase scene in the beginning we never know what they are doing. Cutting the Azog/Bolg scenes makes it very confusing. Why is Azog no longer looking for Thorin? Why are Bolg and the orcs attacking the dwarves in the river scene? Why is Azog in Dol Guldur instead of looking for Thorin and Company? This is all explained in the theatrical cut but here? Nope.
Misty Mountains is a very good song, both the dwarf one and the credits one from AUJ. However, the reason for it not being used in DoS is because we got past the Misty Mountains and we don't need a reminder. A cue in some scenes don't even work, sorry! And then, the end credits. Where was "I See Fire" you ask? Thrown to the side for the sake of “Misty Mountains”. “I See Fire” is a better fitting song for the context of the film, and Misty Mountains doesn't work because of reasons I just said above.
All in all, the fanedit has a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. The narrative is slightly worse, and this edit is definitely not going to coincide with the Azog included edits of AUJ (like Kerr's). I do recommend it though, for people who dislike the Gimli reference, the love triangle, Azog and Bolg. But this isn't for me.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJune 24, 2014
First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to review my edit. I put a lot of effort into making it and any constructive criticism I get is always received openly with the goal of improving the edit.
A few notes on your review, if I may, is that all the criticism seems to be directed to the scenes I removed--namely a majority of the Tauriel/Thranduil/Legolas scenes, and Azog/Bolg. Your main point is that I should have left all this-- but if I had, wouldn't that just leave us with the theatrical version? I have the utmost respect for all the work Peter Jackson and his team have done to bring these stories to life, and I do not presume to say that this fanedit is anywhere near as good or took as much effort to make as the theatrical cut, so I certainly respect the fact that you prefer the theatrical cut to this. However, my goal was to create a version unadulterated by some of the more excessive inventions of PJ and his team-- something that I would enjoy watching instead of the theatrical cut.
The elf/dwarf triangle-- It is completely removed in the final cut (the version you have reviewed above is the first draft workprint and is no longer available). The final cut removes all references of triangle, and has even less Tauriel. I felt having Legolas in the movie was fine as long as he had a minor role-- I did not like too many references to LOTR in the prequel, that is why I cut the Gimli line. It didn't work for me. Once the love triangle was gone, all scenes of the elves interacting with each other are irrelevant, and that is why I cut them. Azog and Bolg are undewhelming characters who are also irrelevant to Bilbo's story. The best fanedits of Unexpected Journey completely cut Azog out until the last scene (and my edit is meant to be in continuity with those).'I See Fire' is back in the final cut.
All in all, I appreciate the criticism. My vision for the movie is one free of elements which I felt did not work. This edit is supposed to stand on its own, not rely on the theatrical cut for a viewer to understand it, and I feel that it does do its job. The best action scenes in the theatrical cut (barrel and dragon showdown) are intact. I myself made a second, even MORE cut version which follows the book as close as possible with the theatrical material ("Hobbit: Into the Fire", which I'll release soon).
I'm sorry you did not enjoy this edit, but I feel less is more in the case of The Hobbit, and as far as that philosophy goes, I made both 'Fire of the Dragon' an 'Into the Fire' to be leaner, meaner cuts of the original which work for me, and some other people too I hope. Thank you for your time my friend.