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Hobbit: The Spence Edit, The:
Hobbit: The Spence Edit, The:

I had the crazy idea to watch the Hobbit again. The 10-hour trilogy movies are completely un-re-watchable to me, so I searched for a fanedit. I tried watching the Maple Edit and the Bilbo Edition, both are 4-hour edits that try to stay close to the book. I dropped them both because in trying to keep true to book they keep too much silliness from Peter Jackson. There is a 2-Hour edit (!) that's actually very interesting but it's too rough and amateurish and it also tries to follow the book. Sadly, the way Peter Jackson made these movies, following only the book IMO produces bad results.

The Spence Edit doesn't try to be true to the book, it just tries to make a good movie out of this bloated mess, and what do you know, it succeeds! There's actually a decent 3-hour movie in there that can act as a fine prequel to LOTR. I really like how Azog was handled and generally the parts of the movie that nod to LOTR and weren't in the original book. Most of the silly antics are gone. Thank God the whole pine-cone-grenades and Eagles scene was completely removed. Those frustratingly long and boring combat scenes in the last part were also thankfully trimmed quite a bit. Frankly the only scene I missed was this great idea I saw in the 2-hour edit that added the whole Misty Mountains song with scenes from Erebor's demise as a flashback.

There's only one hiccup in the version I watched, the sound. The voices are just too low and especially in scenes where much is happening, they can become unintelligible. Something was probably lost with the transition from 5.1 to stereo. Aside from that this edit looks flawless. I can't say this is now truly a great movie, because I don't think P.Jackson's self-indulgent Hobbit trilogy can ever be a great movie, or movies, no matter how great the editing is. But this is the best take on the trilogy I've seen so far, a decent LOTR prequel and a fantastic fan-editing venture.


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