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9.7 77 10
FanFix November 06, 2021 17525
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I have never been a hater of the original trilogy. I liked Unexpected Journey, I loved Desolation of Smaug. The only one I had problems with was Battle of the Five Armies. That was the one I felt like had the most problems and was the one that felt the most 'shoehorned'. Despite me liking the movies overall, I could clearly see the issues. Bloated action, unnecessary storylines, just plot bloat in general. I saw that, I just didn't care that much. Now. Does the fan edit fix the issues?

Hell yeah. Fan edit DOES fix the issues. Love storyline? Gone, reduced to atoms. We lost Evangeline Lilly's character along the way, but it was the sacrifice the edit demanded. Interesting enough, you watch the edit and you realise how unimportant that whole plot was overall. Purely added to stretch movies into the trilogy from the original two movies plan. The same goes for any other storyline really. Any action scene. All of it was trimmed down, but in the end you don't feel like you're missing out. On the contrary, action doesn't drag, nor does the more quiet scenes take over and make you snooze. The balance is perfect. Which only highlights how the theatrical cut added too much. Did I personally enjoy Bombur's barell spin massacre? Yes. Do I miss it in the cut? No. Was it a right decision, then? Yes. And the cut is filled with similar changes

Narratively, everything falls into place, regardless of the scenes cut. Then again, it does not have a quiet perfect conclusion. The final episode is the only one where I would say there were some noticeable narrative leaps. Why are orcs at the mountain all of a sudden? Where does Thranduil go? He's just like 'I've spilled too much elvish blood, peace' and he's out. Legolas is there one moment to help Thorin, then vanishes from the story. The unusual orc kills one of the main dwarves and...he's gone? Where is his comeuppance? Where does Bard end up? This is the story about Bilbo and Dwarves, alright. But Bard has a huge part to play in the story, but in the end we last see him charging into the orcs in the city. Then the story doesn't tell us, what happens to him. Listen, I get that all fan-edits are limited by the footage they have. And if the original had those problems, then the fan-edits can't be expected to fulfill that void. However, I still think it's necessary to point that out

One of the other main plot points which ended up on the cutting floor was Azog chasing the dwarves through the movies. The story builds up their rivalry with Thorin, which goes into their final battle. Azog is completely gone from the edit, apart from him appearing during the final major battle. In the edit he comes off just like some orc general, who's leading the armies. The whole relationship aspect with Thorin is gone. I liked him being cut, but that's one of the things where you're like... maybe it shouldn't have been? The final confrontation feels less important, than it was in the theatrical cut

Overall, me and my wife, we enjoyed that edit very much. Technically I have nothing to say against it. Blended together perfectly, as it was meant to. Does it improve the original? Yes. It removes the redundant stuff. The stuff that doesn't make the movies better, but simply makes them longer for better or for worse, depending on your taste. So, the flow is much smoother and much concentrated. Apart from the mentioned Azog above, I think everything else was justifiably cut

Do I recommend it over the theatrical cut? Huh. That's interesting, because I can't say that I do for one hundred percent. If you hated the original, you may very well try this one, because it fixes many issues you may have had the first time you saw it. Did you like the theatrical cut and want some new experience? Sure, go for it. That makes it interesting to see, but I can't say that this cut will be your 'go-to' version of the series. Does this cut make it a perfect movie experience? Not really. There are still some fundamental issues with the story, which, honestly, I can't put into words and describe. It's more like of a feel, like something's just not right. In the end, the fan edit did its best and that what matters

I give out huge respect for everyone's sweat and second that was put into making the fan-edit. I surely enjoyed it. That's one of those edits where you see fundamental changes done well. Entire storylines are cut, and yet, the movie still works as is. That's the magic of the editing, and that's what makes it truly special

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