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9.8 19 10
FanFix August 09, 2018 33335
(Updated: April 10, 2020)
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The trifecta of my childhood will always be the Middle Earth movies (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings), Star Wars, and the MCU movies. I grew up with Lord of the Rings, and I was drawn into the epic adventure and grand celestial battles along with its characters (even as a kid). Fast forward to twelve year old me in 2012, and I was hyped for The Hobbit. As I grew up, the nostalgia goggles started to fade and the flaws had shown their-self (I still love them but dear lord the flaws show). Then, I searched for an edit that would restore the magic I had once seen. I've been searching throughout all of Middle Earth practically for the best edit of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy. I was told of The Maple Films Edit. While it was good, it cut some things that I liked. Which was The White Council scenes, yes they're drawn out but you can trim them down well enough. Now, Gandalf randomly appeared and it was kinda jarring because I was like, "Wait. Where's Gandalf?" then BOOM! here he is. It was a very well done edit, but something was missing. Tauriel was cut and Legolas was cut but there was something missing. I tried The Spence Edit, and that is the best all in one edit. To anyone who wants to experience the movies all in one, that's it. It wasted no time, was a seamless edit, trimmed The White Council perfectly but still something missing that I couldn't quite figure out. It was the magic that drew me into the movies in the first place as a kid (Spence came very close).

Then, after braving through Mordor and fighting off the goblins, orcs, dragons, and wargs. I found it. Much like Arwen and her elvish beauty, it drew me in. The Original Two-Film Structure is the perfect edit of the Hobbit movies. The audio and visuals are done well probably the best in any edit. I didn't even have to turn it up or down a lot, it was perfect.

The prologue was kept, the dwarf backstory was there, Radagast was there, and much of the first movie was intact pretty much. It transitioned to the second movie well and ended well during the first part. I would say the same for the second part, it was great mostly. Alfred was even fine in this, I liked the way the editor did it. The ending of the second part was amazing as well keeping the "Old friends" ending with a new song (I love it). The Dol Godur sections were great too. OMG! Thorin's getting over his dragon sickness BRAVO! loved the way it was done. However, my criticisms are things that are done better the other edits. That being, Legolas' tap dancing was kept, the Smaug section was good until it builds up to the chase but doesn't happen (point goes to Spence for that). The Battle of the Five Armies section (the actual fight as a whole) was fine but Spence and The Maple Edit did it better. Meaning the elves and dwarves should've squabbled and then come together when the orcs show up (they shouldn't have fought). Also, the trolls being stoned by Gandalf should've had more of a build up seen in the original and the other aforementioned edits. The goblin tunnels started off fine, but was too short (point goes to The Maple Edit for that section). The entirety of Lake town was amazing, but the killing of Smaug coulda been better (point goes to Spence for the Smaug killing). Finally, the re-worked subtitles were great most of the time (especially in part 1), but the second part they came off as fan fiction-y towards the end.

In conclusion, there are a couple of things the other edits to right but this is the best edit of the Hobbit movies bar none. It is by no means a book cut, but makes well with what Peter Jackson made. The story has time to breathe and is more memorable. I could definitely see these being standalone theatrical versions directed by Peter Jackson. It restored the magic for me. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because most of the first movie was intact mostly or what. All I know is, criticisms aside, this is a great edit. Well done Adam Dens, you did an amazing job. Thank you for this edit.

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