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9.4 18 10
FanFix September 07, 2014 2247
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First, my apologies for the tardiness of this review. It's been a busy summer moving my family halfway across the country. I was a screener for the first incarnation of this edit, Fire of the Dragon (, and while I thought it was a vast improvement, I (and others) still felt like a more seriious take on the film would be preferable. Ranger613 decided to take this on and this edit is the result. And, for me, it is indeed preferable to the Fire of the Dragon edit. Ranger calls this a "book purists" cut and while that may be true, it isn't the reason I enjoy it more. I never read The Hobbit. But I did feel like Jackson was trying to straddle a line with these movies that just doesn't work. He's trying to keep them in line with the original LotR trilogy, while also trying to make them lighter fare more in keeping with the source material. It just hasn't worked for me and I prefer edits that aim to remove the silliness and video game like action to reveal something much closer to LotR. For the first chapter, I now go to kerr's Arkenstone Edition. And now, for the chapter two, I will go to this. A word of warning though, this definitely does not play as a standalone film, not that the original did either. While we all have yet to see the third and final chapter, it feel entirely possible to me that the best edit will be a four-ish hour film (or two two hour films). One final note, there has been much discussion of the final scene of Smaug shaking off the molten gold (recolored here). I provided feedback during the editing process on this and, to me, it is still not right in my mind. But I have to say that my wife, who had never seen the original movie, didn't even notice. In fact, I didn't tell her this was a fan edit. She simply said it was much better than she expected after the first one (which we saw together in the theatre). To me, that's high praise! Good work, ranger613!

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