Review Detail

9.8 80 10
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FanFix November 06, 2021 10451
(Updated: December 06, 2021)
Overall rating
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
EDIT: I may not be quite as active on FE in the coming days so I wanted to revisit this review. After speaking with the editor, I know he will address the quality issues, so I have adjusted the rating to where I know it will be once those changes are accomplished. Thanks Stromboli Bones.

The Battle of 5 Edits takes many different ideas from the best edits of the Hobbit trilogy and combines them into a new storyline. I like the idea of this: building one edit to rule them all. Here's what I liked most about this edit: it did a good job of splitting up the story into a more easily digested series. The re-scoring effort took a lot of love and it shows. Also not seeing Gandalf for quite a while and then all of a sudden he steps forward to save Bilbo from Thorin throwing him from the ledge-- that was a superb dramatic moment!

As a personal preference, I enjoy little to no expository especially of the type where characters explain the storyline itself. Much of that was left intact in this edit. Overall, this is a good effort, but I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't distracted by the audio fidelity and many not quite seamless audio transitions-- and glitches.

The audio is in surround format so high praise for that alone, but it sounded rather compressed throughout all episodes. The lower audio bitrate of 384 kbps (for 6 channels) resulted in an overall slight muddiness of the voices, and during orchestral parts, a noticeable swirling sound of higher frequency compression artifacts. The rendered audio differs greatly from the original source in terms of fidelity.

The audio fidelity ranges from fair (6) to below average (4) depending on content, average rating of 5.

The video fidelity of the series ranges from good (8) to below average (4), depending on content, average rating of 7. So I gave the average of the audio and video which is a 6. The great disparity on video fidelity (ranging from good to below average) is due in part to editing the renders from other editors rather than ripping the original source and recreating what the other editors made. Also the final bitrate or encoder used for this edit appeared not to handle dark scenes well.

The visual editing I rated at good with a rating of 8, rather than excellent (9) or best in class/perfect (10) because of one flash frame and some jittery slo-mo, which are easily corrected (detailed below).

The audio editing I rated a 4 because of non-seamless audio transitions and various glitches. When watching an edit of a film, I don't want to know I'm watching an edit of a film, so audio anomalies really stand out to me. Audio is the most important part of fan editing really. More details given below.

Video artifacts below, listing just some examples to support the video quality rating given:
Ep 1 26:44 banding artifacts noticeable artifacts on chair
Ep 1 31m 29s major banding artifacts in background during song
Ep 1 31m 49s extreme banding artifacts in the night sky
Ep 2 8m 37s significant banding night sky
Ep 2 14m 39s background night sky blockiness and banding
Ep2 31:02 significant moving blocks on Gollum's arm
Ep 2 50m 45 much blockiness during bird rescue with night sky
Ep 3 5m transformation from bear to man - moderately blocky
Ep3 50m 9 extreme banding/blocking on Thorin's and Bilbo's clothing, night scene
Note Ep4 overall appeared to have mostly good perceptual quality
Ep 4 39m 28s extreme blocking/pixelation in out of focus foreground
Ep 5 20m 31s moderate blocking on close shot of Thorin
Ep 5 24m 48s blocking/banding in background when Thorin expresses a change of heart

And below are detailed comments for each episode:

Ep 1
Nice job on the opening titles The Hobbit Battle of the Five Edits for all the episodes.
4m 14s the tail end of some of Bilbo's cut dialogue is audible for a split second.
I like how we don't see Gandalf give Thorin the key, makes it seem later like they have a backstory together
30m 7s Thorin is still shaking the key but no longer talking
53m 42s audio abruptly goes out in right channels for a moment
55m 24s audio fade out at end stops abruptly

Ep 2
16m 33s disharmonious audio transition, notes here do not blend well because the pieces blended were in different keys.
48m 53s example of high frequency sound artifacts during music
50m 50s jarring audio transition. Sounds like maybe reverb was used to help blend it but the reverb effect abruptly stops???
52m 23s audio transition problem in quick shot from Thorin back to mountain. Sudden jump in EQ or content on a channel with no audio blending.
52m 51s as Bilbo peers over the rocks, very choppy slow-mo. I suggest optical blending mode.
Really nice ending on part 2 with the bear and the music!! Creates a sense of danger.

Ep 3
2m 5s audio skips for a split second just before Gandalf says, "there is a house."
Cool how the A Warm Welcome text disappears with the axe hit. I like things like that.
10m 9s audio sync is off for a few seconds, as Beorn speaks
10m 14s odd audio fade in happens mid-scene as Beorn continues to speak
13m 51s flash frame split second shot of Gandalf at a different angle
Audio fade out for end titles jarring/has an error. It starts to fade but shifts suddenly to port noises then immediately goes silent.

Ep 4
6m 34s music transition from Bilbo being surprised to Thorin ready to open the lock is a bit abrupt and could probably be smoothed out some
39m 16s as Thorin fortifies the mountain, ambient noise suddenly cuts out mid scene. Possibly center channel muted.
Overall Ep4 has the best video quality and fewest audio transition issues

Ep 5 (Note: much improved music choices for the end credits!)
18s audio glitches a little before the WB logo
6m 11s audio skips while the wind whistles around
38m 35s in the audio transition from battle to the flying creatures, can't tell if this is a clunky audio transition or just audio artifacts from low bitrate.
41m 26s un-smooth music change
1h 1m 7s disharmonious audio transition during end credits
End credits music ends long before credits end

Overall, I did appreciate this edit and will enjoy it more once it gets a little more refined. Thank you Stromboli Bones!

User Review

Format Watched?
Digital
Owner's reply November 28, 2021

Sorry you found so many technical issues! I'll definitely look into these ASAP and get them polished up!

I do have some less compressed files, I'll start including them as options for people who don't care that much about big downloads and have a more refined palette!

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