I just recently watched Desolation of Smaug, took me this long because I was let down by "An unexpected journey". Being a person who has read LOTR, Silmarillion, Hobbit and Unfinished Tales several times, I was very disappointed with the direction that Peter Jackson has taken with The Hobbit. It seems like he has gotten the same "sickness" as Lucas, CGI and action overload and bad narrative.
I must say that I enjoyed this edit much more than the original, even though I think even more could be cut (but here "Into the Fire" will be for me"). At a technical note this edit is very good, couldn't detect where the cut's was made.
When It comes to narrative an enjoyment I had to take some points away. Even though I liked it more than the original, the original film is such a mess that it's a difficult (impossible?) task to edit this into a really good film. But as I have read on the forum, some of the scenes I feel is over the top and included in this version will be cut and trimmed in "Into the Fire", so really looking forward to that one.
I don't think we will have a really good version of this film until "Battle of the five armies" is released in EE. Then the very talented editors will see all they have to work with, and how much they can cut in these films.
The disorienting introduction to the Hobbit part 2 is still present. Although I don't know how you could explain how our heroes got from the relative safety at the end of the Hobbit part 1 to the dangerous beginning of the Hobbit part 2.
The edits at the end of the film, namely the chase sequence in the Lonely Mountain and Laketown where welcome. They moved the story along at a far superior pace to the theatrical cut. The editing of the chase scene in the Lonely Mountain left me a bit spatially confused. I found it difficult to figure out where the other characters where that where off screen but obviously still running about. This was not a problem with the Theatrical cut of the film and possibly the reason for the unwanted extended chase scenes.
The only problem I had with the Laketown sequence being cut was I don't think you cut enough. At one point the action jumps from the chase in the Lonely Mountain back to Laketown. We get a scene with Bard's daughter saying something and Bard grabs his arrow from the ceiling of his home. Then the action jumps back to the Lonely Mountain chase.
As Smaug never actually reaches the town that scene could have been removed. Cutting that scene may have caused more continuity problems in editing than it was worth however. Regardless, it was a bit jarring going from the well paced action sequence of the Dragon chase to a man grabbing his arrow then back to the chase.
Overall this cut was better experience and I am happy that I had an opportunity to view it.
I mostly echo kellenpure. Overall there's a lot to like about this and it is certainly an improvement over the theatrical cut. That said, deeper cuts ARE needed IMO and, I'm happy to say, Ranger has provided those deeper cuts in his soon-to-be-released Into The Fire cut. That is my preferred version, but if you like the more over-the-top action, this is the one for you. I have never read The Hobbit, so I am not a "book purist," but I want these movies to work with the LotR trilogy and I'm afraid, for me, those scenes just don't fit the tone. I'm not an editor, but I didn't perceive any technical issues. Narratively, I'll stick to Into The Fire (and that one will get higher marks from me when posted), but that is merely preference and I do believe many will prefer this version. I was very happy to contribute in my small way. Great job!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJune 25, 2014
Thank you for the support Moe! Look forward to see what you think of Into the Fire :)
This was a pretty great streamlined version of The Hobbit Part Deux. I'm not as hardcore a LOTR fans as some of the other reviewers, so I don't have any nitpicks or complaints about what was and wasn't cut. All I can say is that this was much more enjoyable than the theatrical cut, it was a brisk 2 hour ride and a worthy sequel to something like Menbailee's edit of AUJ.
I very much look forward to the 90-minute Purist Cut when that's ready.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJune 24, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to review this Neglify. I am very glad you enjoyed this. And the 90 minute purist cut is coming soon! Cheers man :)
I posted minor feedback during the making of this fanedit, but I think I can nonetheless provide an unbiased review of the final product. I will start by stating I have been awaiting an edit of this movie like a dog waiting for a bone. And ranger613 was the first to throw me that bone, for which I am grateful. The theater version of DOS left me completely disillusioned with the Hobbit film idea, to the point I wished I'd never seen it. What happened to the realism and amazing writing that characterized the LOTR movies?
Yet I did not lose hope that underneath the ridiculous theater release there could be a salvageable movie. But I knew it would require some major cuts. With Fire of the Dragon some cuts were made that resolved glaring issues, such as orcs and elves in Laketown, and other smaller problems with dialogue. The transitions for the most part were smooth, and technical quality of the edit overall very good. But I do not believe the cuts went far enough. The barrel scene and dwarf fighting dragon scene are utterly ridiculous in my opinion. Because they were left in this edit, I can't rate it higher than a 7 in narrative.
I recommend this edit because it is a clear improvement over the theater version. Anyone not looking for a serious movie, closer to the book, will likely enjoy it.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJune 23, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review this kellenpure. Into the Fire is coming soon :)