Now, I’ve been with Adam Dens’ edit for some time now, but it’s time for a changing of the guard.
Your edit is absolutely stupendous. I’m so used to the above edit it took me time to adjust to the “new material” or remember what was changed.
But I’ll be with this one for a while.
Btw, I loved the White Council. Excellent placement as an add-on.
I’ve expounded a bit on this film with Adam’s, so I’ll just mention a few things that really do knock this one out of the park:
1) obviously the 6-ep formatting made the viewing very pleasurable.
2) all changes from Dens’ edit make sense and improve upon those ideas.
3) bard = excellent character development
4) the story is so streamlined it truly should have been done this way. You say it’s not necessarily a book edit, ah, but a book edit it is. Beautifully simple story.
5) the crown achievement of your edit is thorin and bilbo. This was the most frustrating part of PJ’s original, because even at 11.5 hours it felt forced and false.
Allowing it to grow organically is exactly what’s needed, but your edit does one better: they never had time to develop a proper friendship. Thorin’s final scene is now rather poignant in this context. It also shows bilbo’s final line to be somewhat false, but “we get it”.
Bravo on this one, Stromboli!
6) the battle is so clear to understand, so easy to follow, that I’m amazed I was as confused as I was before. Wonderful work.
I absolutely hated the original Hobbit films. Yes, I get it, the big wigs wanted 3 films. How do you turn a couple hundred page book into 3 movies? Peter Jackson didn't know but he did his best. Amazing cinematography. Terrible plot. Not Jackson's fault per se, but he had to do something with it.
This person went through all of that and distilled it down into a watchable experience for those of us who read the book in our childhoods and made it palatable. This is an excellent attempt, and one worthy of praise. I think Jackson himself would love it, if he were allowed to say so. This is really good. It basically dispenses with all of the crap that isn't needed. Well done sir.
Makes the Hobbit Fun Again! The Battle of the 5 Edits offers a concise yet highly entertaining story and almost nothing is missing. I really loved the serialized approach which splits the story into bite-sized essential pieces. The editing is perfect, and I found the medium quality video looked very acceptable on my 65" OLED tv.
I watched the bonus extras as well, but aside from a preference for the alternative first episode (only because it includes the "Blunt the Knives" song,) I felt the 5 cuts were just about perfect. In fact, after watching the separate stand-alone piece on the White Council (episode 4.5,) I realized how completely unessential that story line is, in my opinion. I'm glad Stromboli Bones offered it as bonus material rather than including it as a core episode.
My only critique is that a few extra minutes of backstory here and there would have been useful for continuity, especially if someone was watching this as their first viewing of the Hobbit.
Overall, one of the most entertaining edits I've seen!
I'm not a hardcore fan of Tolkien's universe. As such, I discovered it with The Lord of the Rings movies. I enjoyed them a lot, but I enjoyed their extended versions a lot more, IMO they benefited from the added scenes.
The Hobbit however, even in its theatrical version, was far too long as a 10-hours long trilogy. You don't need to know the original story was only one book to notice the Hobbit trilogy is bloated with unnecessary stuff.
Battle of the Five Edits reduces The Hobbit to a 5-hour long story divided in 5 chapters. Only the essential is left, the story is streamlined and much more enjoyable this way.
Technically speaking, it is flawless. I didn't notice any abrupt cut, whether in the video or the audio.
There are, however a couple of "weirdness's"
One : because the editor removed Tauriel entirely but left Kili being wounded with a poisoned arrow, we see him feeling very weak and nearly dying to suddenly feeling better a few minutes later. The thing is, it was necessary to leave the poison arrow in the edit to explain while Kili noisily fell down the stairs which alerted the nearby guards. Removing the arrow would have made Kili's sudden weakness equally weird, so there was no way to avoid this without leaving Tauriel in.
Two : in the story Gandalf comes and goes between the dwarves and his investigations. In this edit we don't see his investigations (the story is supposed to be about Bilbo after all), and because of the removed scenes in the last chapter he simply "reappears" a bit out of nowhere in front of Erebor in the middle of Thranduil's army. This felt a bit weird as I watched it, however to be objective, it's no different than him coming back to rescue the dwarves from the trolls in the nick of time. I used to wonder why Bilbo tells Gandalf "you come and go as you please" in Fellowship, at least now I know :p
After proofreading I realize: I spent more time talking about the negative than the positive, but the truth is these little weirdness's are the only "negative" things I had to say, and I'm using the word loosely.
Overall, the positive outweighs the negative by a huge margin and the editor deserves praise for his work, especially given the source material they had to work with.