Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Edits, The

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Well let it be known, I will not be taking a deep dive like the other reviewers did because I feel that is not my place. I have seen fan-edits before, specifically for The Hobbit but I have never made one.
Let me be clear, if there was “1 edit to rule them all” I’m sure it is this one.
StromboliBones has talent not before seen with making the Lore of the Hobbit as perfect as it should have been on the big screen. The way he turned it into different parts like a series is unbelievable.
I hope that anyone else who is really into Edits or The Hobbit watches this because it is phenomenal. For not having a movie budget and just using pure determination, skill, and love of the Hobbit I am very impressed with what we have here.

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(Updated: November 07, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.3
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
Here we have a HOBBIT FANEDIT - MASH-up of HOBBIT FANEDITS!

I am actually surprised it has not happened before, so here we are with Stromboli Bones (SB) first time edit. And it is a doozy folks!

BUT FIRST...
DISCLAIMER: I approved this First Time Editor Edit as an Approving Faneditor.
Does that conflict me...NOPE!
If it met all the srequirement standards and was bad...I would certainly be telling you all for sure HOWEVER, I am please to report this is a very well put together piece of work (light years better than my first submission).

Watching, let alone reviewing any HOBBIT edit is not easy for me having spent 4 years crafting mine, but over the past few months I have plucked up th e resolve, and dipped my hairy toe (they are hairy), into this pool of creativity, again.

It is a brave person who openly announced on the IN-THE-WORKS threads that he intends to mine over half a dozen other fanedits to create a "greatest hits" of Hobbit Edits.

"THIEF", I hear some cry....
##Get a life, I say to the naysayers. This site is build on repurposing, re-imaging and applying in many case extremely creative and complex new elements to existing filmakers material.

Ahh, but the naysayers might persist..."he just bolted bits together that he did not make"

HORSE FEATHERS! (look it up)

What is an EXTENDED EDITION, if not just bolting on some more bits...(and some are actually very hard to pull off if you are going to complete the deleted scenes etc)....BUT BACK to this MIDDLE EARTH Smorgasbord.

What SB has done here is spent COUNTLESS hours watching variations upon variations of scene after scene of material, over, and over. Judging what suits his vision, merits inclusion, is the best option, most agreeable (and some MUST GO regardless moments) to create a pot-pourri "one-stop-shop" HOBBIT!

So does it work?

I'm please to say it does, and drawing from such diverse visions, it works very well indeed.
And that betrays an important point; SB has also made many many changes to this from his own tastes and preferences. Sometimes switching mid-scene to another source edit, sometimes making his own changes from scratch. That, in my opinion, starts to really make this, another fanedit (albeit, others have put in their effort before...but that's the same as using The Theatrical Versions vs. The Extended Versions).

I go into all this so that I can reason that the score that follow are based on this edit as a whole, no differently than if a new version of Blade Runner had been created from 5 versions of Blade Runner (Theatrical, International, Director's Cut, WorkPrint & Final Cut)....

Philosophically, my view is we are in the same camp.

Audio/Video Quality - 10
I did not detect any issues viewing this on a 55 Inch TV on either.

Visual Editing - 10
Flawless execution throughout, paying particular attention to SB's de novo work

Audio Editing - 10
Although earlier verions of this had some VERY minor issues, they would not have changed this score since in % terms they were "stylistic" in nature and not flaws or errors (and a tad subjective in some instances)

Narrative - 9
It is EXTRAORDINARILY hard to pretend that one has not seen these when viewing them, and to that extent when minor narrative assumptions have to be made the real question has to be, what would someone who has not seen these (but is watching with a person that DOES own the source and who obtained the edit)...what will that newbie viewer make of it?

SB goes to great lengths in his write-up to explain certain choices. A couple that come to mind is the reveal that Bilbo did not hand over The Arkenstone, The Flash of Sauron's eye when Bilbo removes the ring in his encounter with Smaug, the absence of Gandalf's parley with The Elves, and a couple more. These changes are very well reasoned, but for me their presence (or not) do create questions and could be a distraction or confusion for some. That alone would drop a half point, and I believe in rounding up; the other half point drop comes from "Blunt the Knieves". My dislike of this scene notwithsatnding, is that it's presence creates an unnecessary delay to propel the narrative forward at a crucial time. This is especially true in a structure which is episodic. Further, if you are someone who dislikes these songs, you might think there are more to come, but thankfully there are no more. I believe that a disciplined approach, given that all other musicality is removed, would conclude removing this as well. in regards to Sauron's eye; I believe it would have worked better with Gandalf in Mirkwood so it's relocation is a gamble. It will for sure get newbies wondering.

Having said that, this narrative, at 9 / 10 is TOP NOTCH, and skillfully and crtitically judges very well the components to use, modify, removed and add...and SB adds MANY flourishes of his own throughout.

Enjoyment
Now we are in subjective territory; I did enjoy this, tremendously so. Given that I also scored Don Kamillo's (DK's)Anti-Cringe edit a 9 here as well, I feel compelled to allocate the same score for the same reasons, and NOT because DK's forms an important scaffolding for this edit. The reason is MY enjoyment...The only things that detracted from it were a hadfull of Cringe movements and modern idiom which REALLY pulls me out of the movie. This, coupled with a few minor such things mean's, at least 9/10.


But please be assured, this is a HUGELY enjoyable romp:

OVERALL:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
I wish my first submission was half as good, and I would encourage you to view this with an open mind and embrace it for SBs superb work and the homage that he has paid to the editors whose material inspired him, no, COMPELLED HIM to go where few editors have gone before. I for one am flattered that a few moments from mine, crept in.

Thank you for your trust, engagement and hard work.

BRAVO!
Owner's reply November 14, 2021

Wraith, I can't thank you enough man. You were integral to this process, and I'm flattered that you enjoyed my edit, especially considering you have your own!

I'll defend Blunt the Knives until the day I die because I love it! But I understand your critique of it haha.

As for the ring foreshadowing, I see what you mean, and I do think putting it in for Gandalf at Mirkwood instead of Bilbo with Smaug. The only reason I didn't was that it was a jarring transition to have the scene with Bilbo without it. Maybe I'll tinker with it some more in the future so I can earn that full 10 from ya ;)

You're right about it being hard to pretend we haven't seen them, too. I'll find some more Guinea pigs and see how they feel about the absence of those scenes. Maybe my parents will watch it.......

Anyway, thanks again homie. You're the MVP!

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Outstanding achievement. As someone who typically doesn't like to sit through long movies, I really appreciated and enjoyed the 5 episode structure. It is a literal best of the best edit -- Stromboli took the best things about different edits and combined them into one pleasurable view experience. We will be following your career with great interest.

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Owner's reply November 14, 2021

Thanks for the kind words Jasper, your artwork was essential to bringing this project together! Hopefully one day you'll join me here on the IFDB!

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(Updated: November 19, 2021)
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10.0
Just when you thought the world had gotten its fill of Hobbit edits, one comes at you demanding, literally screaming for your attention!

A stroke of genius in some ways, this edit is many edits in one.

I think right out the gate, people need to realize that this edit doesn't borrow from the edits of the legends that inspired Stromboli as much as it pays homage to those edits and editors. He makes that very clear in the first post of his thread. This is very personal to him. He loves all things Middle Earth...to such a degree that he married his wife on Bilbo and Frodos' birthday.

Stromboli, like Adam Dens before him, will likely only create one edit (we can hope for more). He will then go back to his real life with his wife. That's a shame because the edit is nothing short of a masterpiece. The magic lies in his ability to take the best ideas from the editors that he considers to be legends and use his own creative vision to bring them together as colors within a canvas of his own creation.

You can never say that this edit is not an original idea because to say that is to say that no edit is...because, we are all borrowing ideas from the original film makers. We have custody of nothing.

I have previewed this edit multiple times for several weeks while it waited for an academy member to review it.

Technically, the edit appears flawless. There are no drop-offs, no rough transitions in video or audio. The narrative structure flows without a hitch. That's obviously a subjective statement because one person will feel that this should be taken out or that should be left in. Another person will feel the opposite. I took one point for narrative because a lot of other editors' work was incorporated but I'm not sure that is even fair to Stromboli because he did assemble all of those choice cuts.

One thing that is very obvious is that Stromboli has an eye for the cool tricks that the other editors used. He incorporates most of them, like Spence's sword throw, L8wrtr's Smaug exit, Wraith/Spence Misty Mountain Theme as Thorin charges, M4's Thorin scar removal and many others, as well as, his own tricks, masterfully.

The five episode structure works perfectly, as well. He found the perfect places to hook you into the next episode. Never a dull moment. As much as I admire and respect the other Hobbit edits, this is one of the only times that I didn't think to myself while watching, that I wished the movie was a tad shorter. In fact, I anticipated the next episode.

The attention to detail in even a little thing such as a music cue or a third bell ring is impeccable.

The title sequence is one of the most creative I've seen in over 300 edits watched and the trailer is amazing, To quote one respected editor, "it gave him chills".

It is one of the better fanedits of The Hobbit. Give it a watch...you won't be Dissapointed. Very enthusiastically recommended!

Edit:

I watched these again with a friend of mine whom is a huge middle earth fan. She was speechless. I have shared Hobbit edits with her previously. Dustin Lee's and L8wrtr's edits sit in her bluray cases with the originals. She said, "This has to be the most original thing they have done with the Hobbit that you have shown me." Then I told her that it was an original idea to take one edit as a canvas and paint the other ideas from the other edits onto that canvas with some original ideas. She wanted to take all of the edits and make a game out if discovering which parts of which edits were used.

"This has to be the most original thing they have done with the Hobbit that you have shown me."

I got to thinking...

All of these Hobbit edits are really good, some genius in places, but they were all adding to or taking away from the originals, even with some creative narrative restructuring and digital alterations. Which is a master craft in and of itself for certain. Stromboli's edit brings the first truly original idea to come along in years. He admits to not being a genius editor like some of those he borrowed from but he did have a genius idea.

Unfortunately, he may have closed the book on what can actually be done with editing the Hobbit. It is the first truly original idea in years and it may be the last.

I gave the point back after considering her words.

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Owner's reply November 23, 2021

Couldn't have done it without you brother!
Thanks for the kind words, I'm flattered that you appreciate all the work I put into making my makeshift "Greatest Hits" version :D

You put in your fair share of work, too!

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9.9
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Highly enjoyable edit. Nothing felt out of place and nothing felt missing from the original cuts.

It all flowed nicely and gave the professional feeling throughout. Definitely worth a watch.

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