Review Detail

9.9 3 10
(Updated: February 14, 2024)
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
*This review was updated after having exchanged a few words with the editor.
This is the best of the three edits DonkeyKonga has done with the LOTR trilogy in my opinion. The result is what I expected it to be. I’ve said it in my reviews of the other two edits, I prefer the theatrical cuts. The extended editions bring a lot of useless stuff and I think the most annoying has been cut here.
I approve of the downplaying of Gimli’s comedy. I would have liked it to go further though.
All the changes to the Ghost King plot line are well handled and very welcomed. Maybe it’s because it is closer to the theatrical cut? I am biased.
-AV quality is good
-Audio cuts are good
-Video cuts are good. I did not notice the trickery used to keep Gandalf in the shot against the Nazgul like it is mentioned in the change list. Good job!
-Narrative: it is well conducted. But the movie still suffers from too many endings (This is my opinion and the following words are my updated review)
I understand now how it can be perceived as a form of closure for the hobbits to follow them back to the Shire. Then again, closure with Frodo as we see him leave with the elves).
In my opinion we don't need all these endings. But it is also beyond the scope of this edit which, like the movie, takes its time to follow, understand and then accept the fate of our main characters, one by one.
The intention of the editor is to ‘‘create the best experience and the definitive version for first time viewers, as well as people who already have seen the originals and the extended cuts.’’ (as read in the IFDB entry). This is not my best and definitive experience personally. It is one closer to the source material and it is a perfectly fine way of approaching this edit. But it is not how I wish the movie would end when I think about a better and definitive experience.
DonkeyKonga told me: ''...showing some wounds never heal ... is a powerful message that's absolutely needed for the story''. And I think they are right that showing these scenes brings powerful and emotional closure. I was under the impression that we didn't need it because it is told to us from the very beginning that Gollum suffers wounds that will never heal. Then Bilbo does too and, naturally Frodo will... Anyways, this is far beyond the scope of this fanedit review. I got tangled in my own agenda and that was a bit unfair to bring this here. That being said, I do believe the ratings I originally gave were fair and they are unchanged.
-Enjoyment: I have to say this edit brings Return of the King above the extended edition, unlike the two previous edits in this series. It also gave me the chance to discuss the Lord of the ring with a passionate editor.
-I recommend this one. It improves over the extended cut in good and important places but it is still not as good as the theatrical version in my opinion. Not enough stuff was cut to my liking, but it is a nice time spent in Middle Earth.

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February 14, 2024
Wanted to chime in, don't you think an entire trilogy of many characters would necessitate several endings to ensure the audience is fully satisfied and that each character is wrapped up? I don't see what the alternative would be, losing out on any of those scenes would remove a lot of emotional beats. Even the theatrical version has all of these same endings, it's not like they were expanded in the extended edition.
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