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9.0 3 10
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The Hobbit trilogy seems to be films asking to be fan edited. Initially planned as two movies, the first half was almost ready to go when Peter Jackson decided to split two into three. So, for the first one, we have a film that was originally edited as even longer (using some parts of the next film). Plus, on home video we were given an extended edition. Also, did I mention that The Hobbit trilogy is based on a single book? Basically, what I'm trying to say is that there are a lot of different ways this narrative can be messed with and changed. I believe (at the time of writing this review) that there are now three Hobbit edits on IFDB. They all have their similarities and differences. Soon there will be even more. Much like the edits for the Star Wars prequels, they're all good - you have to decide (as a viewer) what elements of the story you want to see.

So while the Expected Cut is not the version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that'd I'd like to see (I'll stick with either Kerr's Arkenstone Edition or the official Extended Edition, based on my mood), I'm happy to say that, if you look at this edit's cut list and you like what you see, this edit will certainly satisfy you. It's technically proficient and has no narrative issues. If this is the type of Hobbit you want to see, then go for it.

My one qualifying statement is that there is a scene in this edit that I'm not sure will work for everyone. During the dinner scene, the editor cuts back to Bilbo's narration (the prologue is interspersed into the dinner conversation, essentially). For me, this doesn't work. This is the only part in the film where Bilbo's narration comes back, and it just seems random. I know what the editor was going for here, but I just don't think it can be satisfyingly accomplished with the material.

Anyway, all in all, a great edit. Is it perfect? No. Will you enjoy it? Yes. Go watch it if you so desire.

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