I will say upfront that I have never truly enjoyed any version of The Hobbit movies, despite seeing theatrical, extended, and multiple fanedits. So for me, a version that makes these films work is a much bigger ask than someone who just doesn't like the LOTR setup bits or hates a few select lines. I have massive problems with
the overall tone management, (https://boxd.it/4CcDTd)
the basic plot adaptation to film, (https://boxd.it/4CdoSr)
and the central performance: (https://boxd.it/4CdYA9)
So, no, this fanedit did not fix these issues for me, and did not turn the films into something I want to rewatch. I think this fanedit takes a very middle-of-the-road approach, combining elements from other edits to come up with a even-handed cut that will appeal to everyone. With nearly 200 reviews here and most of them glowing, clearly it works. Personally though, I think I need a much more severe cut. Maybe an absolutely brutal edit that streamlines these things to a razor and eliminates all goofiness would do it. Or more likely, one that embraces the "kids' bedtime story" approach and eliminates all seriousness and horror and gore. But the middle-of-the-road was one that I couldn't really get behind, as much as a lot of it worked seamlessly. Removals of whole characters and sequences were barely noticed, and the technical aspects of the edit are flawless. There are even subtitles! Much appreciated.
All in all, it seems unfair to bash the edit for not fitting my personal approach. I've sent my quibbles to the editor privately, but for here I'll just say: if you were fairly happy with a lot of The Hobbit and just wanted a less egregious telling of the original story, but with lots of the big blockbuster excitement, this could very well fit the bill. It's sort of Fast, Fantasy, & Furious!
This is a very well-done edit. Cutting nearly half the runtime from this bloated trilogy was insane. I really loved how well the "episodes" played out, especially the titles! "A Warm Welcome" worked on three different levels for that episode, it was really amazing. I loved how each episode was 1 hour but never felt cut-off too quickly.
The only things I had a question about (and maybe I just missed it) were the armies arriving at the end: how did the orcs know about the treasure; how did the humans and the elves know each other; how did the dwarves hear about the battle if Thorin&Co locked themselves away with no messengers?
If someone can answer these for me, I'll amend my review to a 10 for Narrative.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyAugust 02, 2023
Thorin & Co. barricaded themselves in, sure, but they could still see out the front gate and see the armies. The opening shot of Episode 5 is them looking out at all the elves.
I'm not 100% sure I know what you mean about the humans and elves knowing each other, the elves show up to help (although mostly just because Thranduil wants is jewels back) halfway through 4 where they then discuss their options.
The orcs knew about the treasure just because it was common knowledge, I suppose.
How did they know the Smaug was dead? Because uh.... Balin said "soon all will know.... the dragon is dead!" other than that, there isn't any other explanation. Birds or something idk XD
I absolutely loved it! There are some very clever cuts that totally eliminate the pain points for me in the original films. Several scenes with Smaug are handled very well. The barrel-riding scene is much improved. Azog is handled more appropriately in this edit. The pace of everything is just right, and I think the five-part format works incredibly well. The endings and lead-ins of each episode are nicely done. I highly recommend this edit!