REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

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Elleth
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REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

Postby Elleth » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:48 pm

I think most of us have complained about the road PJ/Weta went down with the Hobbit trilogy, and the “Tolkien Edit” fan edit has come up in discussion. Looking for that one, I ran across the Maple Films fan edit, and I think that one’s really worth checking out as well.

First, the disclaimer: the editor(s?) at Maple Films edit are scrupulous about respecting New Line’s IP, and request that anyone downloading their film first purchase the original films on disc. I did.. and they’re staying in the wrapper. The fan edit is the only one getting watched in this house.

So how is it?

From the beginning to Goblin town is MAGIC. It was perfect. I was transported back to my very first time reading The Hobbit, stealing time in the elementary school library and running around my family’s backyard in a burlap sack cloak. It. Was. So. Fun.

Goblin town was overly silly in places, but then, so was the book. Riddles in the Dark and the introduction of Gollum was beautifully done.

After leaving Goblin town, well.. It’s about this time in the original films that the PJ team really went off the rails, and Maple had to make some hard choices. And generally made them wisely I think.

ALL of the Tauriel/Kili nonsense is gone. ALL of the elf parkour and cheap dwarf comedy in the barrel ride sequence is gone. This unfortunately leaves the stop in Thranduil's kingdom feeling a little rushed and choppy, but given the available material I don’t think it could have been done better.

The time in Laketown prior to setting out for Erebor feels even more rushed: but again, the original source material was terrible, so salvaging anything resembling the narrative was a great accomplishment.

The scenes entering Erebor were nicely done, and Bilbo’s original encounter with Smaug was fantastic. The gold rivers/statue CGI #$%@-fest is gone - that the entire mess could be ripped out whole without disrupting the flow of the film at all speaks volumes. Cleaning the gold spatter from Smaug as he leaves Erebor wasn’t perfectly done (I doubt it could be without access to the original animation files), but it looks a lot better. The amount of painstaking rotoscope work in those few seconds of film alone must have been agonizing, and I really appreciate Maple going to the effort.


There was a bit buffoonery with the Master of Laketown during Smaug’s attack, but other than that the drama was superb.

The arrival of Thranduil and Gandalf was well done, though once again PJ couln’t resist Dwarves-As-Comic-Relief. Dain was a cartoon… I think they must have borrowed him from Disney’s Brave. (ugh)

The battle cgi dragged on too long, but from what I can tell most of the spectacle-for-spectacle’s sake is gone: I didn’t see any dwarven whirlygigs and only a little elf ballet. Truth be told, I don’t think there is a way (short of honestly showing death ) to make a battle between elves, dwarves, orcs and men not look a little Warhammery-gratuitous - but other than a bit of remaining Dain-comic relief was alright.

The ending kept the somber notes.
And yes, the funeral scene is there.


All told - It’s not the best Hobbit that could have been made: but I think it’s about the best Hobbit that could have been compiled from the trilogy footage.

I really liked it.

Oh - the entire Necromancer subplot has been re-compiled into an extra on Disc 2 as “Durin’s Folk and the Hill of Sorcery.” There’s a bit of painful Radagastishness left in there. but I was a little surprised to find the whole so very entertaining, given how intrusive it felt in the theater release. Seeing Elrond as an armored-up butt-kicking elf lord was awesome. :)


EDIT: Since it wasn't clear above, here are where you'll find the film files:
http://www.maple-films.com/downloads.html
Again, he does request you purchase the films legally prior to downloading his fan cut.
I know it's painful, but it's good for the conscience. I like to think the ones I bought went to pay for WETA crafters building Hobbiton. :)
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Manveruon
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Re: REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

Postby Manveruon » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:38 pm

Wonderful review, thank you, Eleth! I will be downloading this version and devouring it just as soon as I am able.
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Peter Remling
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Re: REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

Postby Peter Remling » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:54 am

Watched the Durin/hill one, aside from the Radaghastly-ness, it was an excellent fan film. I'll watch the Hobbit one as soon as I can.

Thanks for sharing.
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Mirimaran
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Re: REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

Postby Mirimaran » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:55 am

We watched the Durin's Folk today, since we could stream it via vimeo. It was a great effort, and looked blu-ray quality to me. I wish PJ would have stayed with the two picture format. I think we would have a better view of his Hobbit.
"Well, what are you waiting for? I am an old man, and have no time for your falter! Come at me, if you will, for I do not sing songs of dastards!"
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Manveruon
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Re: REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

Postby Manveruon » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:31 pm

Hey Elleth... It occurs to me... I am terrible about doing things like going out to hunt for the correct type of writeable DVD, downloading the software necessary to burn it, etc. etc. Too much other stuff just gets in the way, and I end up forgetting. Sooooo... would there be any way I could maybe work out some kind of trade wherein I could make or do something in return for you burning me a copy and mailing it to me? (I have already bought the official DVD's, so that's taken care of, at least).
Elleth
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Posts: 1104
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:26 am

Re: REVIEW: Maple Fillms fan edit

Postby Elleth » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:25 pm

Hey!

If I read the law right, I can't.
BUT I can say what one can do after buying legit copies:

1. Download this torrent client:
http://www.utorrent.com/intl/en/

2. After installing the torrent client, go to THIS address and download the .ISO files for the basic DVD (not Blue Ray) version
http://www.maple-films.com/uploads/3/9/ ... es.torrent

3. Buy THESE blank DVDs:
http://www.amazon.com/Verbatim-8x-10x-B ... B000F0ELOG

4. Right click on the .iso file from the torrent and "Burn to Disc"
(This is a reasonably modern Windows system: different computers will handle this part differently.)

5. uninstall torrent client

6. pop the movie in the DVD player and start the popcorn. :)

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