Review Detail

9.5 31 10
(Updated: January 03, 2014)
Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
It's still The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I personally enjoyed the theatrical cut, approaching the film as the light-hearted adventure it's supposed to be and I appreciated all the content, but I was aware that there's simply too much of it and very little of it justifies the extended running time. Even with this edit, AUJ remains relatively exposition-heavy - which is understandable since it's the first entry in this trilogy - with fairly shallow characterization and a simple plot to boot. But Kerr managed to just tighten everything up overall whilst having little to no impact on the original, light-hearted adventure vision for the film.

The opening section where Bilbo is convinced to join the company feels just about right now in
terms of length. Azog becomes a more ominous, dangerous villain by reducing his dialogue and
screen time. Radagast's shorter, quicker introduction works well, although it's a little abrupt IMO. The trimmed troll and Warg chase sequences remove absolutely nothing of consequence based on the fact I noticed 0% of the changes whilst they remained fully fleshed-out sections of action. Their pit-stop in Rivendell drags down the pacing a little less, and the closing goblin cave segment is much less indulgent. Kerr has simply made AUJ a better film on every level, although I personally don't agree with cutting the stone giants (more so because the company's climb along the stormy mountain now feels a little on the short side rather than actually missing the giants, no matter how grand or entertaining they are), trimming the goblin caves to the extent that there's barely any fighting and you don't even see the goblin king killed, or cutting the shot of the dwarves falling into the goblin cave in dramatic fashion. Nonetheless, it's a huge pacing improvement on the original film, and while it's still not a masterpiece this will certainly be my go-to version of AUJ from now on.

Video and sound quality is excellent for the MP4 release and the editing is flawless, with only a
handful of slightly noticable transitions throughout the 140 minute run time. Video editing is pretty much unnoticeable and the sound work is similarly excellent, save for some times where the music seems a bit over-loud compared to the dialogue or when the sound recreation falls a bit flat in the reworked climax. My hats off to Kerr nonetheless for making such a smoothly extensive edit that remains true to the original intentions of The Hobbit, and I'm looking forward to seeing if he does the same with The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again.

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MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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