June 20, 2012
As good as the LOTR books are, I was worried going into this edit that such a radical book edit would go too far. As weird and unnecessary as many of PJ's additions are, I liked a lot of them and felt that not only do they help many parts of Tolkein's story to exist in a movie setting, but also just straight up improve many elements of the original work. I won't get into everything here, but nevertheless I was a little skeptical.
While my opinion could change when I watch the subsequent parts, based on this first installment alone this edit is such a massive improvement. It just flows so well and is just a joy to watch. The original, in comparison, just seems to waste your time with countless unnecessary scenes and bits of dialogue, and while the extended editions include lots of good scenes, they just become even more bloated for their trouble. This edit deftly weaves between the best qualities of both theatrical and extended editions to create an edit which is ten times more pleasant to watch and sacrifices very little to achieve it. Like I said, as the movies go on and the edits become more radical my opinion may change, but at least for now this edit is a lovely alternative for both book and movie fans.