December 03, 2016
I think this is the version of The Hobbit I was looking for. I was stunned when I initially learned that what should have been a single film of a "children's book" was being expanded to three lengthy films and I wasn't surprised to see that it was mostly comprised of needless sidequests, characters, and action.
Mammam's cut fixes almost all of that. Fresh after having re-read the book, I almost couldn't tell that anything had been cut. It isn't a purist book cut, per se, but it is an excellent adaptation utilizing Jackson's material. Leaving in some of the things like the mention of Azog and the duel with him at the end was acceptable to me: it gave the Orcs a bit more of a reason to be there at the end (rather than appearing without warning in the book). All of the needless characters, cameos, and sidequests have been done away with. All the fat has been trimmed and what is left is a delightful meal.
The one odd moment for me was just after Thorin died and then it fades to Bilbo sitting alone. It seemed a bit incongruous, but that's minor. This will be my favorite version of The Hobbit from here on out I think.