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9.8 46 10
FanFix November 19, 2021 21053
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Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
M4 achieved his goals in this edit. It loses all the weird time-filler side plots, it loses the physics defying antics of the elves and dwarves. Focus is back on Bilbo's adventure.

The technical aspects of the edit are flawless. I detected no issues with cuts or transitions and audio was great. The intermission was put in a great spot. I actually paused the movie a few seconds before it thinking it was a good place to take a break.

For the cuts, I liked how the early portions were adjusted; the story got going quickly and the meeting at Bag End was well trimmed. Really, up to goblin town I think it's all just right. I could have done with a bit less of the song there, but the rest was good. There was just enough running battle to get a sense of the escape; I prefer that over completely removing the running fight. Riddles in the Dark was very on point, I love that scene.

I like how the warg fight and eagle rescue was reworked, very well done. It is smooth enough that I hadn't realized the amount of work done until reviewing the change log. Again, I'm really happy with the edit right up to meeting Bard.

Perhaps because I know the original material well, the initial meeting with Bard has a big continuity hiccup--at least to me. Since the entire barrel fight is cut, there is no context for the fresh damage to them that Bard fingers; since this contributes to his suspicion of the dwarves' story it is a bit jarring to me. Granted, the battle needs to be trimmed, a lot, but there could have been a bit left to explain that. I'm undecided on the Laketown entrance scene being entirely eliminated; it felt a bit abrupt suddenly offloading, but that could be my familiarity filling in the missing bits again. Otherwise, losing all the unnecessary side plots worked well.

The dwarves' entrance to Erebor, and Bilbo's meeting of Smaug runs really well. Getting Smaug recolored when he bursts out of Erebor is masterfully done. The attack and defense of Laketown works really well.

Really my only quibble for the Erebor/Battle of the Five Armies section is that everyone simply teleports to the top of Ravenhill. A couple of short clips of the Dwarves travelling up on the boars would be enough. Otherwise it is a great reworking of the sequence. You get all the drama and major events of the battle without any silliness or side plots distracting from the main story.

While this isn't my favorite edit, it is really well done and worth the watch.

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Owner's reply January 09, 2022

"Perhaps because I know the original material well, the initial meeting with Bard has a big continuity hiccup--at least to me."

I'd recommend checking the audio commentary as I address this, but it's far from a continuity hiccup. The barrels are normally released down the river empty, not filled with a bunch of heavy Dwarves who'd definitely bang them up on each other & on surrounding rocks. Bard pointing this out suggests that something is out of the norm, and normally there aren't Dwarves riding the barrels. Otherwise, thanks for the review and feedback!

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