Review Detail

9.4 31 10
FanFix April 15, 2015 14105
(Updated: April 20, 2015)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Visual Editing
Audio Editing
This works very well and really shows that it should have been a single film. I didn't notice any technical issues though I'm probably not the best reviewer for that. I marked down one point in A/V Quality for not providing 5.1.

My positives are too numerous to detail here. Suffice it to say this removes almost all the major issues I had with the films. Some highlights:

- The abridged opening. Initially (before seeing the theatrical DoS or BotFA) I was concerned that cutting the opening too much might not allow us to adequately get to know all the various characters we're going to have to keep straight. But in the end, most of the dwarves are just glorified extras that we really don't need to get to know. Introducing Bilbo, Thorin, Balin and Dwalin is enough.

- Though the Stone Giants scene never bothered me as much as some, its absence helps the movie get moving.

- The more ridiculous elements of Goblin Town are mercifully removed, keeping the focus more on the Riddle in the Dark where it should be.

- The seams between films are very well done. Only one minor issue there and it is mentioned below.

- Very much abridged barrel ride!

- No more molten gold!

- The majority of the elves physics-defying athleticism is gone.

- The end battle is feels much more focused, and for me at least, the focus on character helps to make it MORE epic.

Some minor narrative issues I had as I watched:

- Gandalf 's rather unexplained absence from the troll scene is a bit weird.

-While the transition between AUJ and DoS works very well overall, it's a bit strange to suddenly have the company on horses only to send them off moments later.

- The barrel sequence is well done but ends rather abruptly. And the cut from the first encounter with Bard to Gandalf is weird. It feels like it skipped ahead. It needs one more beat if possible before the transition.

- Radaghast is out of place as he is never really introduced.

- I would have liked to have seen no trace of Dune-esque worms, but it's extremely brief.

- There's still some elvish athletic magic, which apparently extends to the reindeer they ride. But again minor gripe.

- I'm much happier with this version's take, but Thorin sort of magically comes to his senses. I'd rather have that than how the theatrical version presented it, but if there's anything in the EE that might help, it would be beneficial imo.

- Another personal gripe is those damned eagles. I would have liked to see them removed completely.

- I'd also have liked to have seen the auction gone. I think cutting from Bilbo seeing Bag End again right to Ian Holm would work. Although I would miss the "he was my friend" line.

Overall, I thought this was great work and it certainly works as a single movie. If some of my gripes could be addressed when the BotFA EE comes out, a v2 would be most welcome! My gripes are all minor, however, and this will be the version I most likely watch in the future.

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