This fan edit is fantastic! The quality of the editing was top-notch and the episodic format was a spark of genius! Having the flexibility to watch the fan edit in one-hour bite-size pieces was extremely convenient. Although there is some cringe that didn't cut and some narrative inconsistencies, this fan edit was a job well done overall!
What I loved:
- Quality of the visual cuts and transitions
- Quality of the audio cuts and transitions
- Feels like a complete story, despite removing the main villain
- 5-episode mini-series format
What I didn't love:
- The extremely cringey scenes where the Goblin King sings, I was very surprised that these were not removed from an anti-cringe cut
- I also cringed during the trolls scene where one of them was talking about boogers and other annoying dialogue
- Gandalf mentions to Elrond in Episode 2 they encountered orcs, but they didn't encounter any in Episode 1
- Kili is seriously wounded after the barrel ride, but we never see him get hurt
- Bard grabs the black arrow inside his home, but then later his son Bain has to risk life and limb to give it to him, which reminded me that the scene of Bain hiding the black arrow in a boat was cut
For the origination of the episodic structure golden stars rain down on this fan-edit (and editor) eternally. Not sure about the colours on the intro and outro screens but hey its cool enough.... Gold is just better!!
Never-the-less I score the narrative down. Of course inconsistencies and holes are going to be rife when trimming off and cutting down but one in particular stands out where at Rivendell there is mention of an orc ambush, yet the last scene was the trolls. And the Galadriel scene with Gandalf not followed by any Dol Guldur, is redundant (and it's cringy)..... We must accept this wizard simply comes and goes with little to no notice at all from time to time!! Too; cringy dwarf/elf love at the soiree seeps its way in; Goblin King's 'made in Rivendell... Second Age' throw away remark is cringy; company - by order of the king - attempts to break down their magic door like imbecilic cringemeisters; and the black arrow fiasco needs to be done away with in favour of straight up arrow shot, as it is a cringeworthy moment - better to let Smaug die by surprise (explains away Thorin's cringy madness as being shock, hehe)..... Seriously, if this is 'The Anti-Cringe Cut' these issues need addressing!!
It might be an idea to aim for 4 episodes at ~50 mins and 1 final episode at ~40 mins, with illustrative credits only, and a LOTR trailer/teaser consisting of White Council footage combined with some Frodo at Bag End shots. Calling it 'The Battle of Five Episodes'... if not 'Anti-Cringe' this cringe will be fine!!!
Really appreciate the quick intro title screens and outro 'To be continued....' not breaking immersion too much during back to back play-through. Video editing on the episode title blooms was great except for slight stutters here and there, and the final one that got a different font. Audio editing needs bass depletion at times (mainly durge at begining) as it may anger neighbours.
Oh and one final thought is on the transition between 4 and 5. Definitely difficult here as it gets frantic. To me it seems as though the best end point for 4 is on Thorin's face when he sees all the elf arrows pointing at him. Beginning 5 with Bard looking to Thranduil and the elves lowering their bows. With the 'There And Back Again' title blooming at the point where Bilbo goes to Gandalf if the panning shot looking at Erebor over the spears can be slowed down?!?
I watched the version with 5 episodes, which I thought was a great idea. I couldn’t fault the audio and visual editing for the most part, however the lurid colours used for the title at the beginning of each episode wouldn’t be to my taste, they looked a bit tacky to me. I also remember a pretty noticeable cut at the “out of the frying pan into the fire“ point, where the light changes quite suddenly. I do believe other edits have edited that part a little more smoothly. You correctly imo deleted the very cringeworthy Orc ambush/Radagast bunny sled sequence, yet at the beginning of episode 2, during the dinner scene in Rivendell, Gandalf mentions being ambushed by orcs. I was also disappointed to see several cringeworthy scenes retained in episode 2, namely some of the dwarves antics and the song number in Rivendell, the entirety of the sockem Rockem Stone giants scene and the Goblin King song. Good effort overall though.