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9.5 31 10
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Audio Editing
I'll dive right into this - audio and video was outstanding. Seamless really, like it was a director's cut (but the true director is the problem lately!). Definitely put a personal stamp on the musical sound track with all the reworkings. 10s across the board well earned.

Now for the story. I recently watched the hobbit edit by menbailee, so I could not help but compare the two. Both edits are obviously such a huge improvement over the original, for the same basic reason -they cut out much of the over the top action and humor geared toward kids and made it a more serious movie. But here are my specifics for this edit:

--dwarf prologue; I prefer how menbailee moved these scenes to later parts of the movie.
--the dwarves dinner song, sadly it could have been a good scene but PJ made the action too ridiculous. kerr cut this out completely and I think that's the best call.
--trolls: I'm ok with keeping much of this, it has some silliness, but it's definitely part of the book, which has a lighthearted element. HOWEVER, I found it ridiculous that the dwarves charge and fight until the trolls hold up Bilbo - then they choose to lay down their weapons. Come on! Why would the dwarves do that? Like the trolls are going to then let them all go? Menbailee cut this - though it was a rough cut - I still would rather have that tough transition then a dumb scene.
--Radagast: kerr cut the lame scenes with stick insect and the smoking cross-eyed, nice job. however, I preferred how menbailee left the warg/rabbit sled chase out completely. Which leads me to..
--the White ORC: I don't understand how such a lame villain was created by PJ and group. Boring looking, bad CGI, generic lines and actions. I truly hate this character. As such, I was glad to see his role reduced in both edits - I very much enjoyed how menbailee almost completely cut him from the film. I realize this creates complications with the storyline, but man I'm willing to deal with it, it's worth it.
--Rivendell: kerr's inclusion of the extra material was great, particularly liked scenes with Bilbo just hanging out, and Gandalf and Elrond discussing Thorin. But the Council scene is still out of place and I would have preferred it been cut. They all just happened to be meeting around the same time the dwarves showed up? Their discussion is distracting from the hobbit story. Maybe the scene could be used as a flashback somewhere in the trilogy, I don't know.
--Goblins: well done for the most part, I like how Gandalf beheading the goblin was removed, it's very out of his character to take that so lightly. Removed all the lame video game like action scenes.
--out of the frying pan into the fire: again, i hate the white orc, so this is really a tough scene to salvage, other than shorten any shots of him. Menbailee did this, even to the point of excluding the Thorin/Bolg clash, and it worked well, though it left a mysterious injured Thorin in the final scene. Again, I dislike the white orc so much I'm willing to deal with that. And the whole thing is so Hollywood, Thorin charges, gets knocked down, villain slowly talks and casually has another orc do deathblow (see Austin Powers), and they end up waiting too long so the eagles save the day.
--final scene: Thorin's over dramatic speech to Bilbo is so horrible, have to cut it. Pretending to be mad at him still, then turning it around. Reminded me of dumb and dumber - "then you totally go and redeem yourself!"

In summary, what kerr has created is what I would call a much more mature, yet still family version of the film. The edit by menbailee has less action overall and is more focused on Bilbo - it really plays to a smaller audience of hard core Tolkienites. I see a perfect edit somewhere in the middle of these two. Ultimately the main reason I enjoyed the menbailee edit slightly more was - yes - you guessed it, almost no WHITE ORC!

Nice job Kerr, I hope you will take on the challenge of the Desecration of Smaug.

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