August 10, 2018
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.
October 14, 2018
As a sidenote, the shot of Smaug leaving Erebor was not used because in the original films he gets covered with molten gold. When he leaves the mountain, he is still covered in gold, and actually shakes it off while he bursts through the gate and takes flight. All this is clearly visible, and since I really wishes to cut out the whole sequence with the molten gold, I also had to take out this shot. It really made no sense otherwise.
Kind regards, and again, thank you so much!
Written by hyp3rion
October 14, 2018
In saying that, if something could be added to show / explain why they can't enter from an already open front then this would help with the assumption we have to make that Smaug simply left from the way he entered all those years ago. I mean, unless there is another large entrance I can't see how else Smaug got inside and it's not like he would learn Dwarf stone masonry to repair the front and seal himself in LOL, so it does make sense for him to simply leave via the way he entered without needing to smash a new hole.
Anyway, amazing work again and I can't wait to see what you tackle next :)