Review Detail

8.5 6 10
(Updated: September 29, 2012)
Overall rating
 
7.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
Review by spelledaren — May 15, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

SPOILERS!

So let’s get started!
It’s different, watching an edit where you already have your own version planned out. You discover some things that can be done in better ways, and at other times you are seeing what’s been left in that you have taken out yourself. I’ll try to stick to what works for the movie here, and not get stuck on artistic differences.

First major change in the movie is that we don’t see Merry and Pippin at all early on, the reasons for this have been given and make sense. But (always a “but” aint there?) when we first zoom in on Aragorn he states that “their pace is quickened…” and we came to this shot straight from Frodo & Co. Even I, knowing the movies by heart at this point, wondered for a second whom he was talking about. The trouble is that you are not helping the audience at all here. Even if we can assume that they saw the first one, they might not remember exactly what happened at the end of FotR. The names of Merry and Pip and not mentioned, nor anything about orcs.

This decision to take one story at a time also sets up the very tricky edits of the orc camp site, for both parties. For me, this one didn’t pay off.

Rohan introduction gone. I totally get the point of following our main characters. We still get some sort of intro later on with the Eowyn/Grima scene, where no protagonists are present…you could skip that one too, to be consistent. I like the Rohan parts (mostly) but they can be removed like this. The fellows meeting with Eomer is a good introduction for him!

Much better scene at the Black gate, though I dislike Sam’s falling at all. And the soldiers still get extremely close before Frodo hides them.

I love the funeral scene, but it doesn’t have such an impact with so many Rohan scenes gone from earlier on.

Some good cuts follow here…mad horse and some tightened dialogue.

Entmoot earlier on: very good.

I truly dislike that Eowyn does horrible stew.

The Arwen/Aragorn stuff gets a bit much here…I like them, but it gets…slow? Combined with less action the journey and arrival at Helm’s Deep feels a little ‘meh’. It’s odd to focus on Eowyn here, I’d suggest using the “make way for the king” scene as an arrival for everyone.

Much of the Warg stuff is of course horrible, so no problem that it’s gone. But you set up a bunch of problems later on…

The main problem as I see it, is that they know nothing about Saruman’s forces. As we don’t get the scene where Aragorn returns with news of the Uruk-hai, there isn’t any information about what’s facing them or when. Add to that the feeling of despair that creeps over them, Theoden’s speech, the boy saying they won’t live the night, the mood of the scenes, it doesn’t make sense. You are not providing the characters with the means to feel like they do. With the addition of the elves they should feel almost glad, safe!

It’s very good that Aragorn doesn’t undermine Theoden. Thank you.

Legolas saying that Aragorn needs to rest doesn’t work. Start in on Eowyn a moment later instead.

At 2:08 you have a sound remnant going in to the shot of the wall. I think it’s marching orcs.

Some good tweaks to the preperations, and several good changes during the actual battle. I like the current flow of it.

Very important change of timing for Gandalf’s light. Thank you.

Faramir: some bold editing here! I really like this effort. I was moved on the second flash back’s last part, the one where the ring is in focus again (in Osgiliath). Something I don’t like is that Sam tells everyone about the One Ring right there and then (“You want to know why Boromir died?”).

Sam’s speech. I’m sorry, I can’t like this. It’s one of his finest moments in the series, and the imagery you inserted doesn’t work. It’s a big fat ‘huh?’ moment. And the nazgul scene before it, and Frodo’s “I can’t do this”…no. You lost me here

It is VERY good that Frodo doesn’t walk up to the Nazgul and faramir sees it. It is one of those shockingly stupid moments of the movie series. Which is sad, because it is also beautiful!

All the ent stuff in one go – I get the motivation, but I don’t think it worked out to your favour. I prefer it the way it was. Very awkward cut back to Helm’s for the Legolas/Gimli scene.

I liked a lot of what I saw, I disagreed with more than a few things. I would have liked the editing to be even bolder, but we should remember that this is supposed to fit in with the other two movies, un-edited. So I guess it can’t stray too much…

Some editing choices didn’t work for me, others were very good indeed. Video editing is great in general. There is the one scene with the flying nazgul that didn’t look good (to me) and then there is the fades…I found them ok. Sound editing is great in general, and I know how hard this one is with the sound. I did notice some sudden drops in music level and the like, but only the one bit clearly out of place (as mentioned above).

Rating this 7 out of 10. Worth watching!
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