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9.1 12 10
FanFix August 01, 2013 2461
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Audio Editing
I've given it all 10s because really I can't find any fault with this edit.

This is a superb edit and is my default option for viewing this movie, when I'm not in the mood for Jackson's forthcoming super-long cut. It feels more like the steamlined LOTR theatrical cuts. Jackson considers both LOTR versions as equaly valid, one shorter cut for the bum numbing cinema and one longer cut for relaxing at home with (Cup of tea in hand). Sadly with the theatrical Hobbit Jackson seemed to have forgotten is own rule.

The cuts in this edit are smooth, natural and help thboth the story and the pace. I LOVED the removal of the early Azog (aka 'Generic Villain' no.6) scenes, as it really keeps the narrative focused on the original quest. I LOVED the removal of the long intro sequence*. I LOVED the shortened Goblin escape. I LOVED that the final battle now feels less like an articially introduced "Epic" conclusion.

My favourite change was the removal of Bilbo's action-hero rescue of Thorin at the end. When Bilbo pledges himself to help Thorin in the previous scene I got goosebumps when I first saw it. This is the moment when you can see Thorin's heart melt and he finally respects Bilbo. Bilbo didn't need to then rescue him from Azog to doubly prove himself! A magical bit of subtle editing on Menbailee's part. True it does create a minor continuity error when we Thorin injured but this is a classic case of ends 100% justifying the means. I cringed when I last looked at the original cut of the ending after seeing Menbailee's cut.

Thank god Thorin pretending to be mad at Bilbo at the end has been removed, it made Thorin seem like a douche. Sooo much better now, the way it should always have been.

(* Menbailee has moved some of the intro footage into a beautiful montage as the Dwarves are singing. It gives me goosebumps up my arms and a lump in my throat. Not only that but we can directly see why Bilbo changes his mind and runs off to help the Dwarves take back Erebor.)

This will take pride of place next to my Extended Cut Blu-Ray at Christmas... and then my Theatrical Cut BR may very well be going to a 2nd hand store ;-)

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