I thoroughly enjoyed the entirety of the film. Many of the EE scenes such as those which add detail to Gandalf's motives for initiating the quest, or the inclusion of Thrain greatly enhance the narrative, and other audience members I've seen it with felt things were much clearer for their inclusion. That said, considering the length of the EE and the inclusion of the Battle of Laketown I think the film could use some further trimming for pacing. And the best way I think to do that would be to remove the EE Dwarves introduction to Beorn, any extension of getting lost in Mirkwood, and to remove all scenes of The Master and Alfrid before the one where they meet Thorin and the dwarves at night. All of these elements may enhance world-building and be nice for book purists, but they don't quite worked in the more adult, focused narrative I imagine edits like this would like to create.
All around though, a stellar start to making this film even better than the great film I always felt it was.
I must admit: "Desolation of Smaug" was the movie I had most fun with out of the Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. But it had some serious flaws. One of them is definitely the forges fight, which I'm happy was cut from this edit - the Smaug scenes were masterfully handled. I like it that we get to see Smaug's death in this movie. The Thorin-Bilbo encounter in Erebor was effective and serves as a great tease for Thorin's sickness in the next film. Ending the movie with the Orc army was brilliant and a much better cliffhanger than the original. Whoever handles editing the third movie as a sequel to this edit should start with the Dol Guldur fight sequence - that will serve as a great opening for a movie.
Now, I want to address the Kili-Tauriel scenes: For the most part, I like those scenes. It doesn't feel like a love story. Rather, it feels to me like they establish a friendship. That is up until that weird speech Kili gives after Tauriel heals him, which I believe should have been cut. It becomes really awkward then.
There are some sequences that I'm conflicted about. One of which is the barrel ride fight sequence. I like the fact that we see Orcs attack the company while they escape the Elves. By the way, the surprise attack was a great cut. It was a fun fast-paced action sequence, but the over the top (and I must say hilarious) Bombur barrel jumps and the funny Legolas jumping on Dwarves' heads took away from the tension and made it laughable. I wish some small cuts were made to make it less silly. However, out of all CGI-fest video game like moments in this trilogy, this is the one I'll give a pass. It was fun.
Another thing I'm conflicted about being the "Lord of silver fountains" prophecy. Do we really need it here?! Especially, when it foreshadows Smaug's imminent attack on lake town. I'd rather the attack be sort of a surprise. Anyway, it's not a big deal but I think it could have been cut.
Speaking of lake town, I don't really like the political sub-plot going on there. The scene between Alfrid and the master of lake town is gross and establishes a personal antagonism between the master and Bard, which then leads to the stupid scene of Dwarves entering Bard's house through the toilet. I don't like it that Bard is forcefully being a big deal. It'd be better to see him is a regular good guy, who happens to be skilled with a bow, which allows him to kill a dragon and makes him a hero people can look up to and have hope. Also. I think the scene where Bard being arrested should cut straight at him being in prison cell (with some scenes in between) and not have a chase scene just so he would be knocked out by the master himself. And I don't want to say much about Bard's escape scene - once again: a funny, silly moment that takes away from the tension of the moment.
As for Alfrid, please, whoever edits the third movie: cut him out completely. I like to think Alfrid died burning in dragon flames in this movie (wouldn't that be a nice scene to have?!). Every scene he's in in the third movie is awful and cringe worthy.
EDIT: Had the chance to see color difference between this edit and the original and I have to say: the color correction in this edit is phenomenal. Awesome job!
In conclusion, this is the best edit of "Desolation of Smaug" I've seen to date. Masirimso17 did a very good job here. Without a doubt, an improvement over the original movie.
I liked your edit but I think Hobbit: Into the Fire is more accurate in some ways. I did like the fact that you removed Bilbo's being tempted by the ring, incorporating the Dol Guldur extended scenes and Thráin II was cool and replacing the Wilhelm scream too, you rearranged far better Smaug's exit from the mountain and your ending was superb (very close to the book and in preparation for the great battle to come). What I do hate the most is that damned final music "I see fire" by Ed Sheeran, it doesn't fit with the rest the musics of the Saga (Jackson's fault of course), if it could be changed or mixed with something else it would be great.
In conclusion I think a fusion of your edit with Hobbit: Into the Fire would be superb. Please don't get me wrong it is only my point of view of course. I look forward to see another revision of your edit if it comes to that =) Keep it up melon =)
Thanks for the review, sistros. I actually quite like I See Fire, and it fits well with the film and the saga in my opinion. Though since I removed the forges fight, the line in the song "If this is to end in fire, then we shall all burn together" doesn't connect as well with the movie as in the official versions, but what are you gonna do? You could connect it with Smaug's attack to Laketown. I dunno.
I am planning on doing a second version after the Extended Edition comes out to add new scenes from Smaug's attack on Laketown, and fix some edits at the end, specifically adding new sound effects while everyone notices Smaug is coming from the mountain, which were absent in the first version.
I'm glad you enjoyed the edit ;)
In summary, I recommend this edit. Great job, Masirimso17.
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.