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9.3 43 10
FanFix August 14, 2016 114153
(Updated: September 02, 2016)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
I have seen the Theatrical versions of all 3 films, the extended versions of the first 2 (yet to watch my copy of BOTFA:EE), and The Spence Edit that combines all 3 movies into one. Well I have to say, above all of those, THIS is my favourite Hobbit viewing experience! The plot remains focused on Bilbo and the Dwarves throughout and this really emphasises stronger character connections. Special moments between Bilbo and Thorin or Bilbo and Bofur really shine as they're no longer lost among a ton of bloat. This actually made the ending feel way more impactful and I actually teared up a little which is something I have never done watching The Hobbit movies before. Including 1 or 2 extended edition scenes from the 3rd movie really helped with this too. I'm amazed Dustin has managed to cut so much and yet this edit still has so much heart.

There are some really positive edits made in this fanfix:

- Cutting Azog nearly entirely from the first film and he and Bolg completely from the second.
- Cutting Radagast and his woodland creatures entirely.
- Cutting the "Where is Thrain, is he alive?" plotline.
- Reducing Legolas/Tauriel, their subplot really isn't that interesting.
- Cutting out some of the ridiculous action scenes; Bombur's barrel bouncing, the erebor molten gold scene and especially some of Legolas' antics which are ludicrous (the falling stairs one!)
- The dragon sickness is mentioned plenty and it's effect on Thorin becomes very clear but no longer are you slapped in the face with it repeatedly (That awful Thorin hallucination scene)
- The bad VFX shots like in the molten gold scene are gone, he even colour corrected the GoPro shot in the barrel riding scene so that it blends in seamlessly.

There are very few drawbacks to this version but they are:

- The scene with Bilbo sat on the bench where Gandalf is introduced is a little too desaturated, this is fixed in the blu-ray but not in the MP4.

- There is a short intermission half way through the running time where they meet bard. This is fine on the blu-ray version as it is split across 2 discs but the the full length MP4 version also has it which means you may need to fast forward through it if you're watching in one sitting.

- The shot of Smaug flying from Erebor covered in gold is still present - it's been masterfully recoloured to the colour of his flesh by the editor, but it still is dripping from him and stands out like a sore thumb. I'm certain with a bit of creative editing this shot could be fully removed.


- Towards the end two character deaths have been moved to occur at the same time, this is a great idea as it removed Legolas' action scenes with Bolg and aids in keeping the Tauriel/Kili romantic plotline out of the movie. However it's not executed flawlessly. Azog stabs one of the characters and Bolg stabs another, reaction shots are shown but when it cuts back to Azog the character he stabbed has vanished, no body is even visible. This was jarring for me and I had to accept that he'd died without any real impact. It felt quick. I would have included Azog dropping the body, cut the shot of him falling past Kili below, and had either another reaction shot to hide the cut or gone straight to the shot of the body hitting the floor, whatever worked. Aside from this their deaths were well done. Just a bit of jarring editing for me personally.


Overall though the visual and auditory quality is fantastic. The narrative is the best I've seen for The Hobbit and really made me rank it much closer to LOTR. Enjoyment factor through the roof and all in 4 hours. Astounding work from Dustin Lee!

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(Updated: August 25, 2016) August 25, 2016
When you say "I have seen the Theatrical versions of all 3 films, the extended versions of the first 2" does that mean you don't own the BOTFA:EE? If so, you shouldn't be watching edits that are created using it as a source. Go a buy a legal copy.
(Updated: September 02, 2016) September 02, 2016
In reply to an earlier comment

While you are free to make your own assumptions, I have actually bought it, I just haven't watched it yet. I have a bad habit of stockpiling movies and TV on blu-ray that I like but never actually getting around to watching them. I do the same with games on steam.
I really need to set aside more time to watch, hence why I'm watching a 3in1 fanedit instead.
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