August 07, 2015
As a Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit and Tolkien fan in General, I have a love-hate relationship with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy. On one side I love the fact that we got three big movies with plenty of additions and references because It let's me spend time in Tolkien's world beautifully and masterfully recreated by Peter Jackson. But on the other side however while some additions/extended moments I welcome and love. There are some scenes that I absolutely hate with a passion and should never have even been in the movie series in the first place. *Cough* Goblin King Song Sequence, Forges/Mines Chase, Giant Molten Gold Statue *Cough* Plus some of the editing in the movies is weird and the pacing is a bit off at times. Now, I've seen the entire Hobbit Trilogy in IMAX and I own the Extended Edition BluRays along with the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions BluRays but I've been searching for the Ultimate Hobbit FanEdit Trilogy that would unlock the potential that these Films hold deep inside them making them worthy prequels to The Lord of the Rings and just good standalone films/film trilogy in general. Fortunately my search is now almost at its end. After watching and absolutely loving Kerr's amazing Arkenstone edit of An Unexpected Journey I waited patiently for Kerr's followup Desolation of Smaug & Battle of Five Armies edit which unfortunately at the time of writing this review has not been released or has had any news released about it. Fortunately however we have Masirimso17's The Hobbit: Fire and Water is the spiritual successor/sequel to Kerr's Arkenstone edit that we've all been waiting so long for.
Narrative and Cuts/Additions:
Masirimso17 set out with the intention to make a sequel to the Arkenstone Edit using the same themes/narrative structure established in aforementioned edit and succeeds with flying colors. I loved the cuts that were made and the additions that were added. Plus the new ending of moving Smaug's attack from the beginning of Battle of Five Armies to the ending of the film is freaking genius and works perfectly. I may be in a minority but I hated the original cliffhanger ending that The Desolation of Smaug had, I mean the Film's title is The Desolation of Smaug which to an unassuming viewer fresh from watching an Unexpected Journey means Smaug will have a climatic/cataclysmic battle, but nope in the original film you just get one overly cartoonish fight/chase scene in the Mines/Forges culminating in one horrifically out of place, poorly rendered, and just plain ugly Molten Gold Statue *shudders* which all leads to a pointless/stupid cliffhanger ending that denies you the battle with Smaug that you've been waiting a year to see. Thankfully however Masirimso17 fixes all of this in one fell swoop by removing the mines/forges chase/battle sequence and the molten gold statue and the cliffhanger ending by giving Smaug and the film the ending/climatic battle it deserved and should have had originally.
Visual and Audio Editing:
Now that my dear readers is where I come in. After learning that there was a Spiritual Successor to Kerr's Incredible Arkenstone Edit in the works, I approached Masirimso17 and offered my services in order to make the edit look and sound the best that it could. Masirimso17 agreed allowing me to forge the edit and make it's quality match/surpass my Extended Edition BluRay. So first I regraded the Source Materiel in order to remove the horrible Green Tint and bring out the Colors that were hidden, then I added a slight layer of Film Grain, after that I replaced provided soundtrack clips with the highest quality FLAC versions, then finally I Rendered the Edit at Maximum BluRay Quality. Resulting in an Edit that matches the Arkenstone Edit and the Extended Edition BluRay in Quality. Hopefully I'm not coming across as boastful/biased so I'll leave you to make your own observations and comments. But rest assured that the Quality of this Edit is Flawless.
In Conclusion, I've thoroughly enjoyed working on and watching The Hobbit Fire and Water. It has replaced my Extended Edition BluRay of The Desolation of Smaug and taken its place in my Ultimate Hobbit FanEdit Trilogy right beside Kerr's Arkenstone Edit. Fire and Water is what The Desolation of Smaug should have been so If you are looking for a Purist edit you won't find it here, but if you are looking for a sequel to Kerr's Arkenstone Edit and just an Amazing film in general look no further. It's Been a Privilege and an Honor working with and helping Masirimso17 on The Hobbit Fire and Water and I hope that you enjoy it as much is I do.