August 14, 2016
A clean cut, no-nonsense edit that stays focused on Bilbo's adventure. So many good edits, largely consistent with what others have done but also some new changes. I loved the extensive Rivendell material left in - it's an important part of the journey for Bilbo, the imagery is fantastic, and there are excellent scenes with Elrond. I don't mind staying there a while! The Goblin Town and Gollum scenes were also spot on, I was really rolling with the edit here. The focus on the wargs during the frying pan sequence was good, but that white orc is just awful. The goal should be to make him non-existent as possible until the final battle.
I would have enjoyed hanging with Beorn a little longer. It definitely felt choppy and odd, like a cliff notes of what the full scenes are. Some really good editing between the Wood Elves and Lake Town, again mostly consistent with what other editors have done. But small things I have not seen, like cutting Bard bringing them the crappy weapons first - instead he says he has it worked out and then they are sneaking into the armory (easily assumed Bard told them where it is and how they might get in). Unfortunately too much Alfrid JarJar Binks.
Then it happened, after they reached Erebor and found the door things went awry. Why the dwarf vs dragon scenes??? I couldn't believe that much of the silly chase was left in, which serves only to make Smaug look much less the greatest of calamities, more like the greatest of comedies. Also there were odd clips like the forges starting for no apparent reason. Then the finale was the dragon coming out of Erebor mysteriously completely covered in gold. I have to say the dragon part of the edit is by far the weakest, and highly recommend it be reworked.
In summary, a really nice effort at a 3 in 1 of the Hobbit. It works in so many ways but still comes up short of the ideal edit of this franchise in my opinion. I would recommend it because of how well the second half of the movie works and flows to the end. It is also a great example of how all the external storylines can be removed and not really missed.