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9.8 55 10
FanFix November 19, 2021 28212
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Visual Editing
Finally had the chance to sit down and watch this edit. I can now honestly say that it truly lives up to it's hype. I was afraid that some of the VFX (namely the wood replacement of Bard's son) would be noticeable or distracting, however I can now say that those worries have been put to rest. Watching the edit in it's entirety flows so incredibly well that at no time did it ever feel like a 3-in-1 edit.

M4's editing instinct to cut down scenes for the sake of the overall narrative is masterful. The evolution Bilbo and Thorin's relationship is my overall favorite part of this edit. Removing the flip-floppy nature of their relationship that was present in the original 3 films resulted in a very emotionally impactful conclusion that originally felt largely resolved by the end of the first film.

My main criticism stems from some audio editing that was noticed, mainly in the music. Musical key's shift and clash a few times when the score is faded, levels seemed a bit off (mainly in the goblin tunnels), the bass track seemed to be missing in some scenes that largely needed it (Smaug's fall in Laketown, the bell breaking through the barricade of the lonely mountain, etc.). I also found it a bit odd including two references to Radagast the Brown without him showing up. Usually if a character is mentioned more than once, it is seen as a narrative setup for the character's reveal. I think cutting him mentions entirely would have been fine, with only a reference to the 5 wizards and Saruman's namedrop. Overall, these criticisms are extreme nitpicks that did not take away from my enjoyment of the edit at all.

Overall, the narrative that M4 bleeds from the source material has led to my personal favorite cinematic interpretation of The Hobbit. This version will be the one I return to for each of my yearly Lord of the Ring's rewatches. Thanks for the great work, M4!

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(Updated: May 20, 2022) May 20, 2022
Thank you for the review! I am very happy you enjoyed it so much. And to address your main critique - I'm sorry to hear that about the audio. The sound mix was the part I put the most work into, but if you'd like to edit your review to add some timestamps I would be happy to take another look at the transitions you thought were noticeable! Alternatively, you may want to give it another listen or check your setup, because you mentioned problems with Smaug's fall and the bell crashing, but both of these are identical to the original film. (quick edit: Radagast is mentioned in Beorn's garden because it's dialogue from the book, a nice little reference)
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