Hobbit: There and Back Again, Part I

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Hobbit: There and Back Again, Part I
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012
Original Running Time:
169 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
121 minutes
Time Cut:
48 minutes
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
I set out to create a leaner, cleaner first part to The Hobbit. I do not demand purism relative to the book; instead, I insist on solid storytelling. Although I've cut most sequences that looked outright ridiculous, I kept Radagast and several other features that don't appear in the book or are more directed toward children, but which contribute to the story. Azog is gone, save only in an appearance as the angry orc in pursuit of Thorin & Company after the death of the Goblin King, the flashbacks are much condensed and differently placed, Frodo is gone, and we are left with a quicker and more magical return to Tolkien’s famous novel.
Intention:
As soon as I watched The Hobbit, it became my highest fanedit priority. As might be expected for a thin book expanded into three long films, An Unexpected Journey turned into a bloated and muddled mockery of the grandeur we remembered from Jackson's Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit got mired in set pieces, and it thematically undermined Bilbo's story with his violent involvement in the superfluous White Orc plotline. Meanwhile, scenes like The White Council or the Stone Giants provided something of a snoozer but advanced the plot not one whit.

I aimed to improve pacing, to attain greater thematic consistency with Tolkien’s Hobbit, and to remove some laborious absurdity, all while keeping the movie hopefully in continuity with the future films--or at least an edited version thereof.
Additional Notes:
I use the Blu-ray as my source. I am not encoding to Blu-ray at this time for reasons of file size and convenience. For the DVD release, I am offering both a version with hardcoded letterboxing (which is the standard on most DVDs), and also a version with the full 720x480 pixels filled, for which the aspect ratio can either be corrected manually, or simply allowed to fill the entire screen with a slight stretch to the image.
Special Thanks:
TM2YC for feedback, a beautiful cover, and a reworked matte that I used for the final shots of a more distant Erebor. Also my thirteen friends and my girlfriend who attended the screening party for the first completed workprint.
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Digital
Special Features:
None in current release.
Cuts and Additions:
Prologue flashbacks truncated and re-ordered to make dwarves more sympathetic, and moved to where Bilbo learns the story during the unexpected party. A few establishing shots are altered to fit the scenes into context.

Frodo cut

Dwalin/Balin head bump cut

Some extra shots of dwarves being messy cut

Redundant Thorin & Gandalf dialogue cut

Gandalf's exposition on Bilbo's thoroughly unremarkable childhood cut

Thorin & Balin's conversation after "it appears we have lost our burglar" cut (shot of Thorin reversed so that he is look toward Bilbo instead of away)

Misty Mountains song uses footage excised from the flashbacks, converted to slow motion, to create a montage.

Entire Pale Orc plotline cut--this involved many cuts throughout the movie, starting with the flashback after Fili and Kili tease Bilbo

The dwarves no longer have a silly fight scene with the trolls only to throw down their weapons for a companion they don't even like. Instead, they charge the trolls, and we cut directly to their cooking over the fire. Clearly the charge was a well-laid plan. (Finagling the audio for this cut was the biggest pain in the rear for the edit; I doubled and reversed the battle cry to avoid sounds and music on the center track.)

Troll banter on seeing Gandalf cut

Radagast stays! He sets up the Necromancer plot for the next movie. However, his appearance to Gandalf happens after Rivendell rather than before, and Gandalf is implied to separate from the dwarves with him. A shot back to the sword helps explain what Gandalf has just received.

The entire warg chase scene is cut.

Thorin's concern that the elves will stop them cut (but mistrust kept)

Elrond's skepticism concerning the Erebor quest cut

White Council removed entirely. Ugh.

Stone Giants cut. Blerg.

Fall down goblin hole made less ridiculous

Goblin King trimmed

Every single frame of Gollum kept!

Goblin chase scene cut from five minutes to one. This involved many small cuts.

Many small cuts reduce the Pale Orc from a nemesis of Thorin's to the Really Angry Orc who pursues them after they killed the goblin king. The dwarves and Bilbo do not leave the tree once chased up. The Eagle rescue has also been trimmed; they do not fight the wargs except to drop a tree on several. Our only explanation for Thorin's KO is that falling from trees and eagles can be rough on a dwarf; this is the only significant continuity issue for which I could not find a fix.

Bilbo becoming accepted as a DwarfBro cut

Erebor mattes replaced to suggest a greater distance from the mountain--thanks to TM2YC for creating the modified matte I used for this

Ending credits music modified...
Trailer

hobbit_cover_by_TM2YC
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012
Original Running Time:
169 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
121 minutes
Time Cut:
48 minutes
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
I set out to create a leaner, cleaner first part to The Hobbit. I do not demand purism relative to the book; instead, I insist on solid storytelling. Although I've cut most sequences that looked outright ridiculous, I kept Radagast and several other features that don't appear in the book or are more directed toward children, but which contribute to the story. Azog is gone, save only in an appearance as the angry orc in pursuit of Thorin & Company after the death of the Goblin King, the flashbacks are much condensed and differently placed, Frodo is gone, and we are left with a quicker and more magical return to Tolkien’s famous novel.
Intention:
As soon as I watched The Hobbit, it became my highest fanedit priority. As might be expected for a thin book expanded into three long films, An Unexpected Journey turned into a bloated and muddled mockery of the grandeur we remembered from Jackson's Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit got mired in set pieces, and it thematically undermined Bilbo's story with his violent involvement in the superfluous White Orc plotline. Meanwhile, scenes like The White Council or the Stone Giants provided something of a snoozer but advanced the plot not one whit.

I aimed to improve pacing, to attain greater thematic consistency with Tolkien’s Hobbit, and to remove some laborious absurdity, all while keeping the movie hopefully in continuity with the future films--or at least an edited version thereof.
Additional Notes:
I use the Blu-ray as my source. I am not encoding to Blu-ray at this time for reasons of file size and convenience. For the DVD release, I am offering both a version with hardcoded letterboxing (which is the standard on most DVDs), and also a version with the full 720x480 pixels filled, for which the aspect ratio can either be corrected manually, or simply allowed to fill the entire screen with a slight stretch to the image.
Special Thanks:
TM2YC for feedback, a beautiful cover, and a reworked matte that I used for the final shots of a more distant Erebor. Also my thirteen friends and my girlfriend who attended the screening party for the first completed workprint.
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Digital
Special Features:
None in current release.
Cuts and Additions:
Prologue flashbacks truncated and re-ordered to make dwarves more sympathetic, and moved to where Bilbo learns the story during the unexpected party. A few establishing shots are altered to fit the scenes into context.

Frodo cut

Dwalin/Balin head bump cut

Some extra shots of dwarves being messy cut

Redundant Thorin & Gandalf dialogue cut

Gandalf's exposition on Bilbo's thoroughly unremarkable childhood cut

Thorin & Balin's conversation after "it appears we have lost our burglar" cut (shot of Thorin reversed so that he is look toward Bilbo instead of away)

Misty Mountains song uses footage excised from the flashbacks, converted to slow motion, to create a montage.

Entire Pale Orc plotline cut--this involved many cuts throughout the movie, starting with the flashback after Fili and Kili tease Bilbo

The dwarves no longer have a silly fight scene with the trolls only to throw down their weapons for a companion they don't even like. Instead, they charge the trolls, and we cut directly to their cooking over the fire. Clearly the charge was a well-laid plan. (Finagling the audio for this cut was the biggest pain in the rear for the edit; I doubled and reversed the battle cry to avoid sounds and music on the center track.)

Troll banter on seeing Gandalf cut

Radagast stays! He sets up the Necromancer plot for the next movie. However, his appearance to Gandalf happens after Rivendell rather than before, and Gandalf is implied to separate from the dwarves with him. A shot back to the sword helps explain what Gandalf has just received.

The entire warg chase scene is cut.

Thorin's concern that the elves will stop them cut (but mistrust kept)

Elrond's skepticism concerning the Erebor quest cut

White Council removed entirely. Ugh.

Stone Giants cut. Blerg.

Fall down goblin hole made less ridiculous

Goblin King trimmed

Every single frame of Gollum kept!

Goblin chase scene cut from five minutes to one. This involved many small cuts.

Many small cuts reduce the Pale Orc from a nemesis of Thorin's to the Really Angry Orc who pursues them after they killed the goblin king. The dwarves and Bilbo do not leave the tree once chased up. The Eagle rescue has also been trimmed; they do not fight the wargs except to drop a tree on several. Our only explanation for Thorin's KO is that falling from trees and eagles can be rough on a dwarf; this is the only significant continuity issue for which I could not find a fix.

Bilbo becoming accepted as a DwarfBro cut

Erebor mattes replaced to suggest a greater distance from the mountain--thanks to TM2YC for creating the modified matte I used for this

Ending credits music modified...
Cover by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE) image

Trailer

Trusted Reviewer reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.8(4)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(4)
Visual Editing
 
9.5(4)
Narrative
 
8.8(4)
Enjoyment
 
8.5(4)
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This was a good edit. I quite liked The Hobbit AUJ when I first saw it but the second time was really bored and saw a lot of flaws. This didn’t “fix” everything for me but it was much more enjoyable.

A/V Quality - 9
Editing - 10 visual, 9 audio
Narrative - 8
Enjoyment - 8 (original 7)

Recommended drink: A little beer and some cake – seed-cake if you have any.

User Review

Format Watched
DVD
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I've given it all 10s because really I can't find any fault with this edit.

This is a superb edit and is my default option for viewing this movie, when I'm not in the mood for Jackson's forthcoming super-long cut. It feels more like the steamlined LOTR theatrical cuts. Jackson considers both LOTR versions as equaly valid, one shorter cut for the bum numbing cinema and one longer cut for relaxing at home with (Cup of tea in hand). Sadly with the theatrical Hobbit Jackson seemed to have forgotten is own rule.

The cuts in this edit are smooth, natural and help thboth the story and the pace. I LOVED the removal of the early Azog (aka 'Generic Villain' no.6) scenes, as it really keeps the narrative focused on the original quest. I LOVED the removal of the long intro sequence*. I LOVED the shortened Goblin escape. I LOVED that the final battle now feels less like an articially introduced "Epic" conclusion.

My favourite change was the removal of Bilbo's action-hero rescue of Thorin at the end. When Bilbo pledges himself to help Thorin in the previous scene I got goosebumps when I first saw it. This is the moment when you can see Thorin's heart melt and he finally respects Bilbo. Bilbo didn't need to then rescue him from Azog to doubly prove himself! A magical bit of subtle editing on Menbailee's part. True it does create a minor continuity error when we Thorin injured but this is a classic case of ends 100% justifying the means. I cringed when I last looked at the original cut of the ending after seeing Menbailee's cut.

Thank god Thorin pretending to be mad at Bilbo at the end has been removed, it made Thorin seem like a douche. Sooo much better now, the way it should always have been.

(* Menbailee has moved some of the intro footage into a beautiful montage as the Dwarves are singing. It gives me goosebumps up my arms and a lump in my throat. Not only that but we can directly see why Bilbo changes his mind and runs off to help the Dwarves take back Erebor.)

This will take pride of place next to my Extended Cut Blu-Ray at Christmas... and then my Theatrical Cut BR may very well be going to a 2nd hand store ;-)

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
DVD
Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
With the greatest will power in the world, I just couldn't bring myself to laud praise upon The Hobbit in the same way which I had for Jackson’s LOTR trilogy. It had nothing to do with how close the film is to the book; much like Menbailee, I feel it’s more important for the film to work as a piece of cinematic storytelling than a pure page by page representation of the book. It was simply that Jackson over-egged the pudding on this one. The decision to make three movies out a book so much shorter than the LOTR was fool hardy enough – to make the first film at 3 hours is just asking for trouble. Inevitably, the film suffers from padding galore and also Jackson’s most annoying trait of going that one step too far in terms of how he constructs and edits a major set-piece. By the time Gandalf and the dwarves are trying to escape the Goblin King and his army, I felt like I was watching a computer game at times.

However, underneath all the excesses, I thought there was a good movie there and thankfully, on the whole, Menbailee has managed to trim away the fat and produce the kind of movie I wanted to see at the cinema. First major plus point is the pointless Frodo cameo hitting the fanediting cutting room floor. This is quickly followed by some invisible trimming of the dwarves meet up with Bilbo. Then Menbailee really begins to get plus points for severely trimming down the sequence where the Dwarves fight the Trolls in an effort to save Bilbo from being their next meal. Granted, the cut is a bit abrupt and some may say heavy handed, but it’s a compromise well worth making, as this is one of the scenes which dragged painfully in the theatrical version.

I didn’t miss the White Council scene at all. My girlfriend disagreed, but I like the idea of The Hobbit standing on its own two feet, rather than throwing in too many attempts to refer and link directly to characters from Jackson’s LOTR trilogy, so this was a plus in my eyes.

Certainly, as the edit progressed, I began to really warm to the film as a whole. At last, I became fully engaged with the characters and the adventure they had embarked upon. Sure, it still lacks that certain something which felt more immediate and fresh when I saw Fellowship of the Ring, but there’s little doubt that this is a massive improvement on the bloated mess which we saw at the cinema last year.

However, there are a couple of issues here. Some may call them minor, others may see them as pretty key; but basically they relate to continuity issues caused by the cuts made. Firstly, the excision of the Warg attack is welcome, but then to leave in a line of dialogue when the company meet up with Elrond at Rivendale, about Gandalf admitting it may be their fault that Elrond was held up with taking care of the fall-out from that very attack, seems to come from left field somewhat. The same kind of problem presents itself when Thorin is still seriously injured even though his fight with the Warg’s is cut. The editor admits that he couldn't find a way around this, and we have to believe that it’s the falling through the different trees that has caused his injuries. In the end I think it works better with no final fight, so again I feel it’s a worthy compromise. However, such issues do prevent this edit from being a true masterpiece.

Ultimately, this is still an impressive piece of fanediting. Flawless, no. But still a must see if you, like me felt The Hobbit you saw at the cinema was an over-long, self indulgent exercise in dragging out a story to fill what will be 3 movies. Recommended.

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Yes
Format Watched
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(Updated: August 18, 2013)
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Ii was really concerned when the theatrical release went from two to three long films.
Those fears proved correct when The Hobbit - Part 1 was three ass-numbing hours.
This edit was more manageable, and more enjoyable.
Visually, it was stunning, and the sound was rock solid, as well.
I noticed trims, but they didn't bother me since what was removed was fatty slime.
The overall narrative, however, still seems too long.
Menbailee's edit cut a lot of crap, but not nearly enough.
The initial meeting inside Bilbo's hobbit hole goes on forever, the low point being the tossing of the crockery.
Then there's the over the top, fake as all out, "action" inside the Great Goblin's hall, cut from five minutes to one. To be fair, there is no way to repair this. It's simply cartoony.
Menbailee is due all the praise in the world for such a great overhaul, and I am looking forward to what he can do with Part 2.

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Yes
Format Watched
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User reviews

8 reviews
 
88%
 
13%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.3(8)
Audio Editing
 
9.1(8)
Visual Editing
 
8.8(8)
Narrative
 
9.1(8)
Enjoyment
 
9.3(8)
View all user reviews View most helpful
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Foreword: I haven't seen the original in sometime, which prefer for watching edits and I also didn't review your changes ahead of watching, which I also prefer. I looked at the edit list back when I downloaded the edit, but I like to not know exactly what I'm walking into so I don't watch an edit for a few months or more after downloading them.

What I liked: The pacing was better and it felt more logical in many ways, and for that reason the narrative was greatly improved and streamlined. The cuts felt right, and they play of making some of the Dwarf story a dream for Bilbo was fun.

What I didn't: The movie was edited together amazingly, and I didn't mind that some of the scenes must have come from the DVD extras or something of the like (visually jarring), but the only editing section that really stood out for me was when the dwarfs were about to battle the trolls and cut, just felt a little too jumpy for me.

Overall: I'm not sure I'd see this version over the original but it has its ups.

Extra: Keep up the good work, and I think the formula you have might benefit if you tried to put all 3 parts in to one 3 hour movie.

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
After viewing a number of Hobbit fanedits, (all superior to the original theatrical release), I feel that Menbailee's is the closest to my liking. Loved the rearranging and dispersing of the opening scenes. LOVED the elimination of the sled and orc chase. I think the transition from forest to narrow crevice works great. A lot of the ridiculous parts were wisely cut. I now have a version of part one that I actually enjoy watching.
However- I would have done more cutting (if I knew how to edit). I would remove the first Radagast scene and all of the sled and rabbit parts. It could be easily done. I'd try to find a way to change the scene where the ring twirls in the air and lands right on Bilbo's finger. I'm not sure how this could be accomplished, but it was done in TFOTR- let's not do it again. The same with Gandalf whispering to the moth. It was great in TFOTR, it does not need to be in the Hobbit too.
I too like the pine-tree escape much better in this fanedit. As far as how to get around Thorin getting hurt if there wasn't a fight with the orcs, is simple. Cut out the part of the scenes where the eagle is carrying him. I would just transition from the eagles flying to the party standing on the rock as the eagles fly off. No need to show Thorin hurt at all and Gandalf's "healing" of him.
One thing I would have left in the film is a little of the Giants, just enough to see that the legends are true and then skip to the group looking for shelter.
All in all, the best telling of part one of The Hobbit.

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(Updated: March 15, 2014)
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Valar be praised, my favorite franchise has been saved! A month ago I had no idea what a fanedit was, now I'm thinking my fantasy/sci-fi collection may eventually be completely replaced with burned material!

Most importantly, it seems like the faneditors on this site are dialed into the most basic need for most movies - a version that does not cater to the silliness and inane action so popular with children (and many adults!). I watched this edit a second time with my kids and found they mentioned how they missed the scenes that I disliked the most. There you go.

OK, so specifically to the work of Menbailee here are the points I liked best about this edit: the focus on Bilbo (huge), shuffling and editing of scenes to create more mystery and suspense (dwarf flashback, etc), keeping most all the gollum material (it was pretty well done in the original), goblin king just disappears off the edge (that's enough, he's dead), short goblin escape (I hated the original), and wow the video/audio was outstanding (I saw the background details like never before), and much more I won't try to list it all.

Here are some things that in my humble opinion could be changed: Gandalf lops the head off a goblin with almost enjoyment (then lectures Bilbo about not being hasty to deal death - I can't see Gandalf ever taking a death lightly, even a goblin), how does the goblin king know Thorin so readily, Thorin mysteriously injured when no one else is (as explained in other reviews this might be unavoidable), still too much CGI (particularly pale orc, so sad they went away from real actors. I watched the FOTR again and found the costumed orcs so much more engaging and frightening. How I wish this orc could be removed entirely!).

Uncertain (not really sure if these should stay or go): plate tossing - it's over the top and really too bad, because it's a fun scene in the book. Troll dialogue - really pulls you out of serious mode with the movie and it's hard to believe they are any relation to the LOTR trolls. But I'm on the fence because the Hobbit is meant to be a bit lighter than LOTR, and the actor for Bilbo (Freeman) does an excellent job in the troll scene. I suppose I would need to see an edit without these scenes (or seriously cropped) to decide whether a change works.

Wish list: I wish for fanediting to advance to the point that beards can be put on the freaking dwarves! Durin would roll in his grave to see the 5 O'clock shadow on Thorin and his nephews (and some of the others with weak beards). I can't get over it honestly, and ultimately can't give a 10 to enjoyment unless that is rectified some day. I get trying to give the dwarves some individuality, but it could have been done with suitable beards. Please someone figure out how! Until then I can never enjoy the movie as a "10".

Ultimately though, Menbailee, you made my day. I was depressed coming out of the theater, I wanted to like the movie so badly but could not. Now I can, and so hope you will tackle Desolation of Smaug, though that be a much more challenging task!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
DVD
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I really enjoyed this edit - it cut out most of the superfluous, silly action scenes, tedious added in segments with Galadriel and Saruman, and got back to the actual narrative of the story of the Hobbit. Gone are the White Orc, most of the prologue, stone giants, White Council, Frodo and more. What remains is focused, tight and entertaining.

There are a couple of noticeable huge jump-cuts - you sometimes wonder "why are the walking through cliffs, when they were in the forest half a second ago". The most noticeable was when the Dwarves start attacking the Trolls. I might have let that play for a few seconds longer before cutting to them tied to a spit, but I am being VERY picky. I suppose you have to work with the material you have!

By cutting the fat, this feels far more like one of the original LotR films than the theatrical version. It doesn't feel the need to constantly reference the wider Tolkien universe and the previous films, and just gets on with telling its story.

I look forward to Part 2!

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
(Updated: November 03, 2013)
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This edit turned my hatred of the original release around. The choice of cuts were well thought out and it shows. Although a couple of the cuts were very abrupt and somewhat jarring I can forgive them since the narrative was kept intact. The only scene I would have cut would be the "dirty dishes song." Oh how I detest that scene......ugh. Peter Jackson could have cut so much out and given the eagles more scenes....I cheer anytime they appear. Anyway I really enjoyed this edit and I would recommend it to anyone.

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Yes
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