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9.5 31 10
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I remember being very impressed by Kerr's LOTR fanedits, so when I heard he was working on an edit of AUJ, I was thrilled. So, I downloaded the AVCHD version and sat down to get in the mood to watch DOS at the cinema next week.

For me, AUJ was a bloated missed opportunity which had me feeling that Jackson was trying far too hard to "have his cake and eat it", by making The Hobbit a film which acts far too much as a direct prequel to the LOTR. This may please many, but that coupled with the fact that 3 films of 3 hours each, is something which I feel will lessen the effectiveness of this particular trilogy.

Reading Kerr's intention with this edit, I was pretty excited that he was going to try and redress the balance of the story to really be about Bilbo's journey and acceptance into this "company". The excellent new prologue, the cutting of the Frodo scene, the trimming of the festivities at Bilbo's house, all set in motion the tone of where Kerr's going, and I was immediately hooked. Even losing the entertaining introduction to Radagast works here, as the way Kerr now introduces this most entertaining of wizards is even better. The word is pacing... and boy is this fanedit paced to almost perfection.

All of Jackson's worst excesses have gone, most noticeably an excellent piece of editing with the trimming of the Troll scene, and then the ridiculous CGI-fest chase when the company escape the Goblin hordes, which now feels just about right.

I can't emphasize how impressive this edit is. Visually, the editing is absolutely perfect, with nothing feeling out of place or forced. To me, it's as if this is always the way the movie should have been. The same would go for some absolutely brilliant audio editing. The rebuilding of sound during various sequences is hugely impressive and to be honest, to notice a difference you really do need to be listening for it.

So, my hat off to you Kerr. This is as good as The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey can be. You have truly created a masterful fanedit which truly shows just what can be rescued with this most wonderful and under appreciated of artforms. If you're in any doubt about visiting middle earth again... then doubt no more. Anybody interested in fanediting needs to see this.

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