Hobbit: The Original Two-Film Structure, TheFeatured
The Second film, There and Back Again, sees Bilbo and his companions tested as their adventure takes an unwelcome turn. Their quest becomes entangled in a battle for the fate of Middle-Earth. And yet, the greatest dangers may lie within. This high quality edit provides a more focused telling of the classic story, with completely restructured and even partially rewritten plot lines. It is heavily inspired by Tolkien lore. Each film has a clear beginning, middle, and end, both in plot lines and character arcs. The tone is more similar to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and it's color correction has been completely redone to create a visually consistent, five part saga.
- To create a tonally consistent five part Middle-Earth saga by re-editing the The Hobbit films into the originally intended two-film structure.
- To find the perfect sweet spot between being truthful to the source material, being consistent in tone with the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and presenting two exciting and well-balanced films in their own right, each with their own arcs, that engage the audience from start to finish.
- To present these films without any compromise in quality. Hypothetically, someone who has never seen the films should at no point realize they are watching a re-edited version.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Soundtrack
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Soundtrack
- The Fellowship of the Ring, Extended Edition Blu-ray
- several royalty-free and license-free sound effects
- Fully animated menus
- The Cutting Room: The Making of a Fan Edit
- Trailer 1
- Trailer 2
The subplot concerning the necromancer was kept.. I felt the filmmakers were on to something when they decided to include the story. All the Orcish dialogue has been rewritten, however. There is a much greater understanding of the Necromancer's plan, and the plot is connected much clearer to the lore of the Rings of Power. This way, it makes a worthy connection to The Lord of the Rings, as well as some references to TOlkien lore that the filmmakers did not have the rights to.
- Frodo makes a cameo, but his dialogue with Bilbo has been deleted.
- Blunt The Knives has been deleted.
- The Warg Chase to Rivendell has been deleted.
- The Battle Scene in the Goblin Tunnels has been deleted.
- The Eagle Rescue, sadly, has been deleted. No matter how I edited it, this scene falls at the 2 hour mark, and so it always felt like the film ended, and then restarted again afterwards. It has been replaced with an entirely new sequence that drives the film forward.
- The Fili/Tauriel romance has been deleted.
- The Tauriel/Legolas plotline has been deleted. They make cameo appearances in both films.
- Alfrid is still in the film, but only as an opposite actor to The Master and Bard. His story arc has been deleted.
- The clash between Smaug and the company is deleted.
- Some scenes are shortened to keep up the pace.
- All the dialogue in Black Speech has been resubtitled, and as such, rewritten. This allows for a deeper connection to Tolkien lore and a modification to the Dol Guldur storyline, to better fit the two-film structure.
- I have always felt that the opening 90 minutes of An Unexpected Journey are too slow. Every time the story picks up, we are presented with a scene that starts a new plotline and presents a new backstory, which slows the story down. And so, not only is the warg chase deleted, but the Azanulbizar flashback is moved to later in the film. This way the story speeds up considerably.
- Gandalf's inquiries into The Necromancer have been restructured and the timeline has been altered, so that he is captured at the end of the first film, at the same moment that the dwarves escape from the Dungeons of the Elven King. This way, the mystery of the Necromancer is a story arc entirely dealt with in the first film.
- Gandalf visits the High Fells before meeting up with the dwarves in the mountains, which makes more sense geographically.
- Azog is first introduced by the Goblin King, who mentions him and sends him a message. Thorin's reaction is included, but the audience is left in the dark. This way, this sideplot has a different structure. While in the original films, all plotlines follow the same backstory-development-climax structure, now the Azog storyline is introduced as a mystery for the audience, which is later answered.
- A new sequence was created to bridge An unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. After the Company has exited the Goblin Tunnels, we cut to Azog receiving the Goblin King's message and hearing of the Company's escape. He decides to give chase. Cut to the campfire of the Company, where Thorin is looking out over the wilderness in a pensive mood, recollecting the words the Goblin King spoke about Azog. Balin explains his worries by telling the Company about the Battle for Azanulbizar. As he finishes, the Company hears orcish screams and the howling of a wolf, and we see Gandalf sighing, clearly tired of bad news. Cut to the warg riders crossing the Misty Mountains. While I am still sad I had to cut the eagles, I hope this sequence keeps the momentum by building on plotlines and deepening the characters.
- Even though the Carrock scene is deleted, a soundbite of Thorin saying 'I'm sorry I doubted you,' has been placed in the Barrel Escape, right behind him saying 'Well done, Master Baggins,'. This, together with Thorin's trust that Bilbo will save them, creates a more subtle end to the character arc of Bilbo earning his place within the Company. Furthermore, Bilbo's polite dismissive hand gesture for the recognition he has wanted throughout the film seems very much in character to me.
- The Laketown sequence is now one, uninterrupted sequence at the beginning of the second film.
- The Dol Guldur scenes occur before Bilbo enters Erebor. This adds an exciting sequence in the beginning of the film that sets up the connection with The Lord of the Rings. Through the rewritten Black Speech subtitles, the fact that this is the beginning of The War of the Ring becomes more emphasized, not only in this scene, but in later scenes as well.
- Suaron's voice has been altered. Benedict Cumberbatch's performace has been kept, but the Sauron's sound effects from The Lord of the Rings have been remixed into the track to create more consistency.
- Smaug takes center stage. From the moment Bilbo enters Erebor, a 30 minute sequence begins that focuses solely on the dragon and the destruction he brings, building up the tension until the attack on Laketown.
- The build-up to the Battle of the Five Armies is largely the same, although it cuts less back and forth between storylines, and stays within one place longer before cutting back to another location.
- The Battle of the Five Armies has largely been re-edited, to have a more serious tone in line with the War of the Ring as shown in The Lord of the Rings.
- The first part of the Battle is completely re-edited, using various shots from throughout the battle, and creating a new sequence with a different soundtrack. The elves do not jump over the dwarves, but instead fire volleys of arrows over them. Azog proves himself a strong commander by countering the now allied forces every step of the way.
- When Azog attacks the city of Dale, we follow Bard as he looks for his children. He finds them (no troll included) and brings them to safety.
- The battle continues, and the forces of good clearly are losing. A scene from the Appendices, in which Bilbo plants the acorn, is restored to the film. The rigging over Bard's head has been digitally removed.
- The Battle of Ravenhill has largely been re-edited. It is shorter and denser, and more focused on the tragedy of the line of Durin. When Kili and Thorin run into the ruin, the bats arrive, which allows Legolas to travel to the ruin too. He leaves behind Tauriel. We see him grabbing a bat, which carries him away. No upside down action. We cut back to Kili, Thorin, Bilbo and Dwalin fighting. Bilbo is knocked out. Kili hears Thorin call out his name below in the ruin, and tries to get to him, but is killed by Bolg. Thorin is standing alone on the ice with a broken sword, but Legolas' arrows come to his aid. The tower on which Legolas stands is destroyed by a troll, and Legolas kills Bolg in its ruin. His gravity-defying run is cut out. On the ice, Thorin faces Azog.
Just finished watching this 2 movie fan fix edit and I couldn't agree more with the all round praise this edit is receiving, it is simply a masterpiece of fan editing. The fact I actually feel emotions for the characters is a massive achievement in of itself. Furthermore when Bilbo is standing back in his empty home at the end, I actually feel just like him...sad that the adventure is over and there is this massive emptiness felt from the sudden absence of it and his friends that he shared and experienced it with, 3 of them which he will never see again.
It's simply night and day from the one and only previous time I watched The Hobbit movies when they were theatrically released, the fact I never watched them again and effectively forgot about them as I walked away from the cinema is a testament to Adam's edit in being able to so drastically flip that reaction for myself this time round. There were a few minor issues that I noted throughout but they pale into insignificance and are almost forgotten in light of the overall achievement. For the sake of feedback though I'll just very briefly list them below:
- Nearly all edits/cuts were seamless but it felt like there were some obvious ones that distracted slightly from the viewing experience due to the knowledge of watching a fan edit. From memory the 2 to 3 main obvious ones were around the first Radagast meet up with the Gandalf and company and arriving / departing Rivendell. They were just too sudden and you could feel the missing footage that had been removed between the scenes. That is with a very hazy memory of the theatricals though and when trying to look at the edits in a fresh light, the story still ends up making sense and the cuts simply feel a bit odd at their abruptness.
- This was probably my biggest gripe (which is minuscule next to the success the edit was for me) that did distract me again somewhat from the movie when I realised that we don't get any footage of Smaug smashing open the front entrance of the Erebor before flying off to Lake Town. I'm not sure as to the reason for this as the whole point of the map and the key with the secret entrance was to gain entrance to the mountain, but if Smaug simply "leaves" through an existing opening then why couldn't the company just enter that way as well? I'm trying to remember from the book which I haven't read in a great many years now, whether the Dwarves knew / assumed the dragon was guarding the front entrance? Otherwise this omission from the story of him smashing open the sealed entrance doesn't make a great deal of sense and it leaves us questioning this matter instead of keeping focus on the movie at the time.
Those matters aside, I would highly recommend this edit any day and it is now my definitive go to edit for The Hobbit. I fully support the proclamation made by doug23 and manu90 in their reviews of this edit sitting up there with Adywan's Revisited Star Wars edits. Congratulations also to Adam on a well deserved award of FEOTM!
Edit: Just watching the Cutting Room making of feature reminded me of something else - when Radagast goes to Dol Guldor and he looks down the hallway where the Necromancer / Sauron starts to manifest / show himself at the end of it and the camera zooms in, I think it could cut earlier once it reaches his face. It looks scary freaky as f##k right up till the edges of his mouth get dragged down and Sauron's shadowy face turns into a Scream mask caricature which turns it almost comic and instantly removes all the menace and mystery from the scene as he turns into a clown. Watch at 5:48 of the feature if unsure what I am talking about.
Here it is. The one you want. With total reverence and respect to L8wrtr and his beautiful edit of the Hobbit, this is the one that I've been waiting these long years for. The secret to this version's success? It takes a fresh approach, an outsider's perspective, as it were. This edit isn't truncated by any "obligatory" edits, but nevertheless manages to jettison the stuff we want. However, there is some stuff boldly left in for us to contemplate. I mean, when was the last edit you saw where the Stone Giants was not "obliged" to be jettisoned?
I've seen so many edits of the Hobbit, even clumsily trying my own hand at it, but this is the gift you never knew you wanted when it came to the films. By simply setting a goal as envisioning the Hobbit as 2 films, as per the original intention, Dens allows for material otherwise destined for omission to exist on its own terms, on its own two feet. This allows, finally, for the light of scrutiny to be thus shed on guys like Alfred, Radagast, etc., for better or worse. Yes, the most offensive elements of Peter Jackson's immature tendencies are, thankfully, gone, but it's interesting to see how we can work out the rest of what's in without any sense that "hey! this should be gone because....it always is in fanedits!"
The transition from the Troll horde cave, for instance, is always followed by the mountain and then the discovery of Rivendell. In this case Radagast makes the appearance. It's bold, because as far as I know it's never been tried that way.
All that eagles madness at the end of the original first film has been beautifully jettisoned and the film fuses itself to the Baeorn stuff without even the slightest concept that this has been "edited". It just feels totally, completely natural and right. And it works. Thorin's gushing over Bilbo at the end of the first movie never felt real to me, but as an attempt to "force" that friendship into a place where it doesn't belong.
Kili and Tauriel = gone, of course, but Kili's wound remains. Some of the action is included where others may cut it out - such as the barrel ride. Again, we don't get Bomber bombing around like an idiot, but we get what ***feels*** like a healthy, even consequentially important, inclusion of action. This is, again, the key ingredient that separates so many fanedits that fall short of their goal. Too many fanedits go for streamlining a film to such a degree that the elements left in place zip by at a pace that feels as if there are essential elements missing. Professional filmmakers and editors may make a bad film, but usually these "bad" films have all the elements in place to keep the story at a level pace. Many well-intentioned faneditors are unaware of such storytelling essentials, e.g. inclusion of "unnecessary" conversations or action, or scenes where "nothing happens", etc. Those "padded" or "bulky" or "superfluous" scenes are nevertheless working their own magic to establish character development. Have you seen the new Twin Peaks series? Watch how David Lynch includes bizarre scenes and characters like Wally Brando. The scene isn't for Wally, it's for our Sheriff. Whether we are aware of it or not, the scene is designed to get us in sync with the Sheriff's plight via the outside weirdo. We share the character's bemusement.
The same types of choices are made here. The end goal seems to be an almost-professional, patient feel for a 2-film story. If the Hobbit was, indeed, left at 2 hours, each segment 3+ hours like this one is, I can't imagine it being all that different. Really, there is simply little you can point at and argue for its superfluous inclusion....IF you understand the film's underlying goal. It's not to cater to an ADD-addled millenial audience - it's to find value in material that easily could have made up 2 3+ hour experiences.
And the killing of Fili and Kili, a moment I've seen faneditors fall over themselves trying to manage it without Tauriel - some more successful than others. Adam Dens handles this moment so gracefully it well looks like this was the original edit.If you never saw the original Hobbit you'd never be the wiser.
One more bit: the color correction. I absolutely love it. The final film especially suffered from a grandiosity in color selection that made, for one, Thorin and Azog's battle on the ice look like it was taking place on a wedding cake, or in a perfume commercial, or both. It was pretty almost to a point of saccharine sweetness, and we need something greyer, harder, rougher. To put it along the lines of LOTR works. It still looks "pretty-dainty", yes, but no longer with that doily-lace-sweetie edge that contrasts inappropriately with the bloodshed of the final battle.
There is so much I could mention in terms of the utter success of Adam Dens' edit, but I'll just leave it here on a final note: this is one of the best, most beautiful fanedits ever designed. It hold a place alongside Adywan's Star Wars edits, and that's not a position I'll give up lightly. What makes it real and true is Adam Dens' commitment, respect, and boldness with the original source material. Sometimes less is more, as they say, but sometimes more is more. Adam isn't in any hurry to filet the film and give us the diet coke version of the Hobbit. Nor is Adam, despite, again, the "outsider" perspective his edit seems to refreshingly bring to the community, ignorant of those head-slapping moments that, almost objectively, we can all agree need to go (the belch, Kili/Tauriel, Bomber in the barrel, dwarves in the toilet, etc.)
Fenedit of the month? Try the year, easily. Congratulations, Adam Dens. This edit will likely be my forever choice for this film, and I'll watch it regularly. I just can't imagine it being done any better. It's like the whole disappointment never happened, and this was the true return to Middle Earh we deserved to have.
This was a highly enjoyable and masterful edit. There were no jarring omissions that stood out and the issues I had with the original trilogy were successfully removed. I wished Adam Dens had access to all of the original Hobbit trilogy film shot so he could've done justice right from the beginning. Here's to you, Adam Dens!
Full disclosure: I haven't seen The Hobbit films for a few years, so, other than the most egregious parts of the films, I am a little hazy on what has been cut-out for this edit.
I genuinely found this edit pretty damn good and an enjoyable experience. It had great pacing throughout and it produced a more coherent narrative to that of the original films, which benefitted the Dol Guldur scenes most of all. The film actually felt like Bilbo's story. It was certainly an upgrade to the Theatrical and Extended Edition cuts.
No more love-triangle, Blunt the Knives, less Legolas and Dwarven comical battle actions, less Alfrid, less filler and better Radagast.
Saying that, if this edit was ever re-visited I would recommend cutting the appalling stone giants, so that the scene is a storm and it is that what makes Bilbo fall. Also, less foreshadowing with the ring and replacing Ed Sheeran with The Misty Mountains Cold.
Overall, great edit. Well done.