M4's The Hobbit Book Edit

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10.0
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I will keep this short and sweet since I have lengthy posts on Reddit about this edit already. I loved LOTR and all extended. I couldn't stand the rubbish and bloat that filled Hobbit. The M4 edit truly felt like a proper book telling and part of the Jackson original three before the studios got greedy and turned it into three movies. Funny since they wanted the original three LOTR to be two because they were so worried about losing money then.

It's is simply fantastic and the only edit (version) I show my 5 sons. Also, yes, I own all the version available for the Hobbit as I am a collector and supporter of films as well.

There are a few others out there with high ratings but this is my favorite. Well done!

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Yes
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Digital
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10.0
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10.0
This edit is fantastic. My 13 year old daughter and I read the book together, and she was very excited to watch the movie. My wife loved the Lord of the Rings, but hadn't seen the Hobbit films yet. I chose to show them this edit because it was shorter and followed the book better. They both love the Book Edit and thought it was a great movie!

The cuts were very well done and the movie flows very smoothly. It was cut to follow the book, and as a bonus, a lot of the extra-silly and unbelievable scenes were cut as well. The narrative works well, and I don't think the movie suffers from anything that was cut. This is my go-to edit of the Hobbit.

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Yes
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(Updated: August 14, 2023)
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7.7
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9.0
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9.0
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7.0
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6.0
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7.0
The idea that The Hobbit trilogy can be boiled down into a single four-hour movie is my main issue with the narrative the faneditor has chosen. I appreciate the concept but I think it removed aspects of the film and clipped the pacing to such a degree that it was significantly less enjoyable to watch than many other Hobbit fanedits.

While I want to applaud how much work and expertise had to go into the edit, I still think much of the movie magic was lost. Scenes as signficant as Bilbo versus Smaug or the many action scenes during the Five Armies battle were trimmed down, along with many elements being, completely removed, to the point where one could blink and miss a plot point. Also, with its rapid pacing, much of the grandeur of the film's visuals were lost in the much quicker current of the pacing

If I wasn't familiar with the original film or other fanedits, I may have watched this with more enjoyment as a kind of TV edit of the story, but as a film I think it was lacking in it's use of story elements, visuals and a more dramatic pacing that would have otherwise improved it as a film.

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No
Format Watched
Digital
Owner's reply August 15, 2023

While I appreciate the review, some of your critiques leave me puzzled. The Bilbo versus Smaug sequence was not significantly trimmed down but you say it was. Which parts did I remove? The sequence plays all out together unlike most edits, which not only is like the book (the goal) but arguably improves the flow to not intercut with Laketown shenanigans.

You docked my visual editing category implying you didn't like how my edit looked, but you didn't mention of any of the actual visual editing--were there issues with the color grading, film grain, new VFX? Same with the a/v quality, my release is pretty high bitrate even with DTS audio/lossless soundtrack sources which is not too common, but you still docked me. If you don't like the goal of the project that's fine, but I think all edits deserve a fair analysis.

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Overall rating
 
9.7
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
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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Yes
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(Updated: June 02, 2023)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This was my first foray into Fan Edits in general, and I'm glad it was such an excellent one to better compare with others. I think the narrative choices and colour corrections were great! It seemed like an impossible task removing the White Council, but it doesn't feel too odd that Gandalf kept leaving the party for mysterious reasons.

My only gripe is the Intermission. With the goal of meshing this edition with the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions, it shouldn't have an intermission and it feels jarring. I edited the intermission out myself for future viewings, and it doesn't feel too bad at all. Maybe adding a scene of day turning into night would make it better?

Overall this edit is great, and it's my go-to when re-watching the series.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Owner's reply June 04, 2023

Thank you! I appreciate the kind words. I added the intermission due to popular request so I'm with you even though I do like it now. My preferred way of watching is the ISO version which instead just has two parts split onto separate discs like LOTR without an intermission. It was unfortunately too jarring to do any type of day to night sequence though

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