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9.8 53 10
FanFix November 19, 2021 26707
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I would like to start by stating that this review is LONG overdue, and my delay came from the feeling that it would be slightly disingenuous to leave a review for a "competing" Hobbit edit now that I have one of my own posted on this site, but as I left one on all the other edits that I borrowed from, it would feel slightly MORE disingenuous to not give credit where it's due!

M4's goal was to make a version of The Hobbit that was as accurate to the books as could be made, whilst acknowledging that the "rule of cool" must always be paid its toll. Every cut made, every song adjusted and every piece of VFX added was done so with surgical precision. In my opinion, M4 has undoubtedly crafted the best "Book Accurate" version of these films on the site, and if that's what you're looking for, you've come to the right place!

On top of this, I have shamelessly lifted a handful of things from M4's edit to use in my own, and I feel I should bring attention to a few of them, as they really stood out to me during my viewings:

- Taking the 2nd half of the post-Rivendell-walking montage and using it to cover the transition from the Trolls -> Rivendell was a stroke of genius. It genuinely looks like it was filmed specifically for this purpose, and the musical transition here is seamless.
- The VFX usage to remove Thorin's scars at the Eagle rescue probably takes the cake for me. Solved the most difficult problem in the entire edit for me (and I imagine for M4 too!)
- The VFX recoloring of Smaug, hiding Bain, and removing Radagast from on top of an Eagle were all brilliant as well
- Re-instating Gandalf's eulogy
- Tweaking the final conversation between Gandalf and Bilbo to get rid of Bilbo's lie about the ring *chef's kiss*
- M4's sequence of Smaug escaping and the ensuing Laketown carnage was coincidentally quite similar to my own, so naturally I must congratulate him on his pure genius here.

I'm sure I missed a few, but you get the idea. M4 brought a lot to the table with this one.

I did have a few very minor things that I personally wish were cut/left in, but as those are personal preferences, I don't feel the need to mention them here. Outside of that, I have but 3 minor narrative gripes with this edit (all Thorin-related, apparently) and as I said they are MINOR, so I will be brief:

1) Thorin & Co. teleport up to the top of Ravenhill during the final battle
2) Thorin magically finds himself in possession of Orcrist again
3) Thorin is winning his final duel with Azog. We cut away, come back, and suddenly he is fatally losing.

One potential (and book-accurate!) solution for all of these things would have been to go with the DonKamillo/Anti-Cringe approach and have the Viewer experience the blackout in the same way that Bilbo does. No final showdown, no teleporting, no Accio-Orcrist. However, cutting the final showdown (and deaths!) between the Deuteragonist and the "Antagonist" (plus 2 more characters) is a serious Rule of Cool violation for me, so I absolutely understand M4's lack of desire to go with a truly "faithful" angle here.

As I stated above, these are but minor quibbles, and I have no qualms with recommending M4's edit to any and everyone out there looking for not only the best Book-Accurate Hobbit edit, but one of the best Hobbit Edits out there, period.

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