Massive fan of Jackson's LOTR trilogy, but avoided the Hobbit films like the plague after enduring the first film's stupidities and self indulgence. And 3 films? Surely 2 would have done. So I come to this with a love of storytelling and familiarity with the book and Tolkien's world, but no intimate first-hand knowledge of the famously bloated Hobbit trilogy. I watched the 5-episode version of this cut, 1 episode each night, and was gripped to the end. Character development, pacing and technical quality are all first rate. I can't imagine any more footage being needed. I also don't care what was in the book and what wasn't, I care for the story and execution, and as a standalone film this cut is almost always internally consistent, save the slightly odd jump in narrative in a few spots (and the 5 episode structure cushions these bumps, like a TV show episode structure would - I can't speak for the 5 hour continuous version of this edit). The gentle tie-ins with the Lord of the Rings do not feel overdone either. My first Hobbit edit and possibly the last - because I found it so deeply satisfying. Well done DonKamilo.
DonKamillo does some crazy work to trim this trilogy down. Having read the book and knowing it is pretty light reading, I never understood the vast majority of the fluff in this series.
Never noticed any cuts, weird audio transitions, or anything. If you told me this was the official version and the official version was the hyper-extended cut that couldn't get greenlit by hollywood, I would believe you.
If you did not see the originals, you would never miss what is missing.
First and foremost i have never read the books, The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. I'm not much of a reader, only a movie watcher. The Hobbit movies are not as good as Lord of the Rings but i still enjoyed them a lot
So when i seen the movies in the theater i had no issue with extra stuff that didn't belong, like Azog, Radagast or the Necromancer. A lot of it seemed silly and unnecessary but i just went a long with it. That being said i didn't mind one bit having that stuff edited out. No more silly barrel antics, no more silly dwarf stuff in the final battle, no more love triangle, no white council meeting. It's trimmed down nicely. Also no more Legolas running/floating up falling rocks. In Lord of the Rings when Leolas flew up the oliphants it was real cool. So it was already established he could float around with ease, but here it seemed silly and tacked on. Also glad their time with the woodland elves was cut short, i just wanted them to hurry up and get on their way. Same with Lake town. It went on for too long, so glad it got trimmed.
Unlike some people i never minded how long the beginning of Unexpected Journey was. A lot of people said it took them too long to get out of the Shire. I loved the Shire stuff. But it was other stuff that seemed to drag on to me like Woodland Elves or the scene with the Trolls, Lake Town etc.
I was hoping while watching this that when we get to the final battle, that you did what is in the book and cartoon and trim the battle down by having Bilbo miss it all while knocked out and you did that very thing. Bravo, i loved it. And while i haven't read the book, i have seen the Cartoon and read some of the differences online.
I only have a few minor gripes but they probably couldn't of been helped. Like Alfrid has that look like he can't be trusted for 1 second but yet he can. Or making it sound like a big deal that Thorin needs to cut the head off the snake yet nothing comes of it. And i wish it was possible to see Kili dead on the battlefield, but i just popped in my dvd and see that it would not have been possible since Tauriel is in the only shots of him. Oh well can't be helped. Another thing it's not explained how Kili heals from his leg injury. It's another thing that can't be helped, since it once again involves Tauriel.
Overall, i loved it. I have not seen any other fan edits of The Hobbit, but i probably don't need to. You probably couldn't make it any better.