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9.8 109 10
FanFix November 06, 2021 15754
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This is a great edit. Combining the best of the top edits was genius, as was splitting it into 5 hour-long episodes.

Breaking into episodes makes it easier to digest the whole massive work. The breakpoints are pretty good. I was initially annoyed with the first one, continuing on until Bilbo sees Beorn in bear form, then I thought "aha, teaser 'coming next'" treatment.

Now, I haven't watched (or obtained) all of the five edits Stromboli based his on so I'm hitting many of the ideas fresh here. I'll definitely get my hands on the ones I'm missing, and watch the ones I've been remiss on. So many great ideas in there.

The excising of the side plots was masterfully done with no continuity issues that I could detect. I did miss Radagast a bit, but the story didn't suffer for missing him.

Cutting Azog down to "just that Orc general in the final battle" worked wonderfully well. If you hadn't watched the originals that is just who he would be. This added side plot was one of my pain points in the originals and it's fixed here.

Same with the love triangle. That's just annoying and distracting, good riddins I say.

In goblin town there's just enough silliness left in for the children's book origins, but not so much as to be annoying. It's a (tiny) bit of a shame to lose so much of the running fight in the dwarves' escape, but keeping the bad physics CGI would have been worse. Bilbo's Riddles in the Dark section is perfect; losing the added goblin and change to how Bilbo finds the ring resolved the little issues there.

The handling of Smaug was just as masterfully handled. Just enough of chasing Bilbo to maintain a good flow between the chat in the treasure room and Smaug having enough & leaving to raze Laketown. Losing the battle there was great; much as I enjoy most of the sequence, it is over the top an unnecessary. Smaug bursting out of the gates was an especially satisfying shot--no more gold! He looks right! Reworking the sequence and reactions of the dwarves was great--it makes more sense now.

Lastly the battle of the five armies was well handled. Just enough silly/over-the-top stuff for the children's book origins was left in. Reworking Azog/Bolg and the heroes' final fight at the summit worked extremely well. Before that, the handling of Thorin's dragon fever, Bilbo's actions, and the Arkenstone also worked very well. Lots of extraneous stuff eliminated and moving things along.

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January 04, 2022
It's worth noting that the re-coloring of Smaug was from M4's edit. I take no credit!

I'm glad you liked it :')
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