September 07, 2014
Personally I can not wait until Jackson's Battle of the Five Armies is available on DVD/Blu-ray - that way faneditors can be unleashed to put together an edit encompassing all 3 bloated Hobbit films into hopefully one epic movie. For now however, one could do far worse than check out Ranger's Into The Fire edit of the second movie. 63 minutes may sound like a lot to cut, but when watching this excellent exercise in how to save a movie, it becomes painfully clear just how bloated and overlong this needless trilogy of movies really are.
Amongst the many improvements, I would single out the huge improvement of the barrel sequence which no longer feels like some CGI excuse to have Legolas leaping all over the show, and perhaps even better is the way in which the finale no longer has to subject us to more set-piece nonsense as the dwarves go through various levels in computer game fashion to douse Smaug in gold. Ranger's editing hand is invisible during these sequences - quite excellent work.
In fact, there's only one scene where you could really feel the editor at work. As the dwarves leave Laketown for Erebor, there is a jump cut of a sort and it just stands out as an "edited" scene. A small complaint however, as I loved how the Orcs no longer attack Laketown. Indeed, other than this, Into the Fire is a genuinely excellent exercise in how fanediting can improve on the original film. My go to version? You bet it is. I can only hope that Ranger may have a go at making one huge Hobbit fanedit of all three films at a latter date. I whole heartedly recommend this to everyone, a quite sterling piece of work. Thanks Ranger :)