Lord of the Rings, The: Book IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers

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--This review is about all six books, not only about this one--
So, I finally got to see Kerr's vision here. In total, it's about 7 1/2 hours long and therefore around 1/3 shorter than the extended editions.
That said, I don't think the pacing of this "Red Book" series is too fast, but the events told sometimes (really only sometimes, like the fellowship's voyage from Rivendell to Moriah, Frodo's encounter with Faramir or Aragorn's meeting in the path of the dead) feel a bit rushed - but that might also be just because I knew what's been cut out...
What I like about Kerr's approach is that his Middle-Earth landscapes feel bigger, more epic and more fitting to the story - yes, even though Jackson always gos for bigger, I really always thought the movies felt small regarding the landscapes! So wonderfully, Kerr achieves to let LOTR happen in more adequate geographic surroundings. This and his use of alternative music (besides of course the well-known various themes of LOTR) give his edit a more mythical and awestruck quality.
What I do not like is (and yes, I know it's this edit's trademark) - or put better, what didn't work too well for me was Kerr's approach to tell the several story lines each by itself and without switching from one to the other.
I mean, it's okay and one might like it, but imo it's one of the original book's strenghts and tricks to achieve a certain grandeur that gets lost when ignored.
Now for the cutting itself, I think it's rather flawless - Kerr is successfull in keeping in all significant highlights in all their glory and removing much of what could be considered lenghty, inadequately blown-up or simply unnecessary. He also changes the placement of backstories (or puts them back in the original book's order) in convincing style, meaning Peter's changes for the better of the movies themselves are all "corrected", and still Kerr's cut is not suffering from that, which is quite an achievement!
All in all, his LOTR feels more serious, more mature - but then again, I must admit I haven't seen the original Extended Editions for years, maybe these are not as overloaded as I remember them?
I also want to add that I saw Kerr's edit in compressed DVD resolution which just looks not too good on today's HD TVs.
I definitely can recommend this edit, and it was a joy to watch, but it won't be my go-to-version.

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8.8
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9.0
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8.0
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9.0
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9.0
I continue to enjoy Kerr's reworking of these movies. There's a lot of cutting and restructuring here, and for the most part it works very well.

Faramir in particular is saved. He comes across more how it seems Tolkien intended. Removing the beat down of Gollum, and taking the Hobbits to Osgiliath really helps that part of the story. Also cutting down the Frodo-as-drug-addict scene helps a lot; now you just get the sense of the toll carrying the ring is taking.

Trimming out the bickering and out of place comments in the trek through the wilds helps, especially Frodo's swim in the Dead Marshes. All the characters come out better now. My only quibble is to me a continuity issue of them getting to the Black Gate, then back into the wilds. But I can live with that considering the narrative improvement. Particularly losing the slide and use of the cloaks.

The way Kerr cut the hidden stair climb worked well, especially implying Gollum pushing Sam; again eliminating some out of place strife between the friends. The final sequence with Shelob works very well also, and the nice ending point.

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(Updated: September 17, 2012)
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Review by Ripplin — April 22, 2010 @ 6:38 am

More niceness! Great editing and nice cliffhanger ending, too. :)

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(Updated: September 17, 2012)
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Review by joebshmoe — November 15, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

Great, as always!

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Review by Sunarep — September 19, 2009 @ 12:50 am

Congratulations Kerr it was a good ride!
some scenes seemed to drag a bit cause it is a lot of frodo and sam walking and talking and this was initially the reason i didn’t watch the thing because i forgot that you added shelob and was under the impression it’s just two towers scenes: walking without osgiliath
but to get in the mood for your fabulously looking part V i watched it and after the 10 minute mark i was totally in this movie
the faramir departure worked better than anticipated but still felt a little of – i really missed the flashback from the extended edition
but minas morgul was phenomenal – especially how you managed the shelob – sam thing, wow… i never thought it was possible!

8/10 because it has some drags… still great entertainment now… book V!!!!
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