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The Hobbit (M4 Book Edit) (Released) — Page 2

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LeperMessiah117 said:

Ahh, very cool! The edit is sounding better all the time, guess I’ll be getting a third version whenever the update comes.

Yep, I have this silly quote on my website referencing what Gandalf says in LOTR:
“M4 is not done, nor is he just starting, he finishes precisely when he means to”
Which basically sums it up for anyone looking at this project. I’ve always felt bad about announcing it’s “finished” and then going back and still editing it. I imagine if I had a thread the size of some of those Rise of Skywalker edits with hundreds of feedback comments/suggestions, it’d be a different story.

Regardless, the “hobbit edit” genre is kind of dead right now and doesn’t have a lot of attention, so it’s up to me and my small discord to finish this up. So close, I can feel it. Tons of fun, a huge passion, so it’s very hard to just set down once for all knowing that there’s possible ways it could be improved.

Luckily I’m at a point where I’ve decided there’s no major audio errors/weird audio transitions, everything’s as perfect as it can be in terms of technical editing in my software (Have yet to export, obviously), meaning that also the runtime as of today is now fixed, the only changes made will be shots already included. For example, soon my friend is starting on removing some of the arrows from the barrel, but that doesn’t change the story nor does it change the runtime, so why not!

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Hey, if you find that there are still edits to be made and have the will to make them, I say go for it. HAL9000 is STILL making minor changes to his prequel trilogy edits and they’ve been out for years and years now. I’ve downloaded several versions myself, because I only want the best possible versions of films that deep down I want to enjoy. The fans of any edit will likely always come back for the next version if the new edits improve the experience. Improvements are always welcome.

And your paraphrased Gandalf quote is a good disclaimer and you should probably just leave it at that.

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Testing out a stone giant sequence, here’s a comparison between mine and a few other famous edits - https://youtu.be/zVnlq0A2Aw0 if anyone wants to give suggestions/feedback that would be nice, or if I can just stick with this, or my old version, etc.

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To be honest, comparing the 3 different versions I’d say the Arkenstone edit probably works the best. I’d guess it’s probably the shot of Bilbo grabbing the ledge that makes it seem a little less obvious of an edit than the other two.

Still, I also have no problem with the way the scene plays out in the current version either, although I guess Bilbo coming closer to plummeting off the ledge provides more excitement and we do get more interaction between Bilbo and Thorin, which isn’t a bad thing.

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The arkenstone I would like too if the music was right, but the audio imperfections take me out of it - but that’s what I’ve been testing too, a combo of his idea & mine.

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Damn, the deep fake work to reduce Thorin’s injuries is really solid! That alone almost made me kinda wish the whole Eagles sequence was skipped, but that vfx work is really helpful to reduce his injuries!

Speaking of which, another thing I wish the “Out of the Frying Pan” scene had was a simple tree line shot to show the sun setting (and hear the approaching enemy) to help with the nighttime transition. Right now it feels like twilight happens in the blink of an eye, but I know the theatrical film had that issue as well.

Regarding the Stone Giants scene, I wonder if adding Bilbo screaming off-screen as he fell could help with the flow of the scene. Bilbo is pretty silent until his hands begin to slip.

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RogueLeader said:

Damn, the deep fake work to reduce Thorin’s injuries is really solid! That alone almost made me kinda wish the whole Eagles sequence was skipped, but that vfx work is really helpful to reduce his injuries!

Speaking of which, another thing I wish the “Out of the Frying Pan” scene had was a simple tree line shot to show the sun setting (and hear the approaching enemy) to help with the nighttime transition. Right now it feels like twilight happens in the blink of an eye, but I know the theatrical film had that issue as well.

Yeah that’s just gonna be an inherent flaw in the edit because I don’t think it’d be really possible to find any footage that works showing it turn to night, unless someone recommends any. In the original movie, they had azog pop up for like 15 seconds, which helped, I guess, because it slowed the transition down, but I definitely can’t have that back in, so I’m kind of stuck. I mean honestly when you think about it, it’s not a big deal, they got outside right at sunset just as the sun was going down into night.

Also, here’s an update on the misty mountains, this is the best I could get it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lodow2cQY78 I made it a bit jumpy on purpose with the quick cuts, but not too quick

In comparison with other hobbit edits, my clip seems like it fits in just right/might even be better depending on your opinions, only so much you can do though.

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That is true. Maybe if you started making it slowly get darker in that scene/few preceding shots before twilight starts? Might be hard to get that regrade to look natural though. But yeah, it isn’t a big deal!

Yeah, that works really well! The music is seamless as far as my ears can tell.

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Thanks 😃

I’ll keep that in mind though, like I could make the whole thing darker before to make it more gradual.

Regardless, progress is good - Eric still doing some awesome digital fixes & I need to do a ‘full’ rewatch to double check some of the changes I’ve discussed in this thread, then I’ll be good to go for another release.

Just gotta make sure it’s as perfect as it can be. I have a hunch this will be the last update for a while, similar to what happened in mid 2020, I released & then let it sit for a few months. And then we’ll see, maybe I’ll be happy with this latest release in the long run (months from now), hopefully, but you never know.

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LeperMessiah117 said:

JackNapier said:

chrisvilla said:

Watched this. It’s much better than the released trilogy, which bloated full of junk IMO. Love the fact that it’s much tighter to the book, and the pace is much better now. This is the only Hobbit I need now, will probably give the trilogy away to someone. Superb, well done.

You can’t give it away as the site says you have to own the official release of any fan edit or preservation.

Edit: not trying to mod just giving helpful advice.

Yeah, it would be best to hold on to those, at least symbolically. I purchased and still possess a blu-ray of Dune that I still haven’t watched just because I wanted to watch a fanedit of the film.

Advice taken. Trilogy put away in the loft to collect dust. Looking forward to the updated version too!

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sidshady12 said:

Regardless, progress is good - Eric still doing some awesome digital fixes & I need to do a ‘full’ rewatch to double check some of the changes I’ve discussed in this thread, then I’ll be good to go for another release.

Just gotta make sure it’s as perfect as it can be. I have a hunch this will be the last update for a while, similar to what happened in mid 2020, I released & then let it sit for a few months. And then we’ll see, maybe I’ll be happy with this latest release in the long run (months from now), hopefully, but you never know.

Awesome! I’m really big fan of what you’ve done here. Once the next update is out, I’d be happy to sit down and watch it again and make note of anything that might stick out as fan edit-y (if you’re still wanting feedback). I think what you have now is really, really solid, and I guess the goal now is to make sure it is as polished as possible.

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I’m so thankful for this edit. It makes Jackson look much better, showing the good choices he did make and removing his poor attempts to punch up or elongate the story. What’s left comes out far better than the theatrical version, and counterintuitively, makes the Hobbit story track better with the LOTR trilogy. Yes, the story beats that link the two sets of movies are removed, but the overall quality of this Hobbit edit hews closer to the quality of LOTR and that makes all the difference.

Personally, I missed the giant rock dudes clashing as the company watches in fear. Really awe inspiring scene, even if it isn’t from the book. Same deal with Thorin making a stand when the wargs had the company treed.

Okay, wait. I just refreshed my memory by watching the Thorin heroics among the burning trees. Yup. Far better to dump all of that nonsense, if for no other reason than it’s full of Azog. Nice choice!

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gboybama said:

I’m so thankful for this edit. It makes Jackson look much better, showing the good choices he did make and removing his poor attempts to punch up or elongate the story. What’s left comes out far better than the theatrical version, and counterintuitively, makes the Hobbit story track better with the LOTR trilogy. Yes, the story beats that link the two sets of movies are removed, but the overall quality of this Hobbit edit hews closer to the quality of LOTR and that makes all the difference.

Personally, I missed the giant rock dudes clashing as the company watches in fear. Really awe inspiring scene, even if it isn’t from the book. Same deal with Thorin making a stand when the wargs had the company treed.

Okay, wait. I just refreshed my memory by watching the Thorin heroics among the burning trees. Yup. Far better to dump all of that nonsense, if for no other reason than it’s full of Azog. Nice choice!

Thanks! That means a lot.

Also yeah in my current edit, there’s one part I miss too. The warg chase before Rivendell, it was actually pretty awesome - cool music, action, good acting, most Orcs were non-CGI, but it was just unnecessary for the plot, inaccurate to the book, and had the inclusion of Radagast. I’ve always considered including a “deleted scene reel” on the Blu-ray version. Maybe the Stone Giants might be something to throw on there, I dunno.

But I had cut that sequence because it was very excessive, the stone giants in the book were probably just a different kind of troll or other creature, but not skyscraper tall giant boxers. I felt like it was kind of out of place in the Middle Earth film atmosphere, like we’ve never seen anything like that, it raises too many questions IMO about what they are, why they exist, who’s side are they on, where are they in LOTR, how come no one talks about them

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So… anyone following this thread has heard about this “update” coming. Well here’s what I have listed out:

Runtime changes: Film might be longer by two minutes or so, but just due to having both cuts & additions, it actually balanced out pretty well.

-New Scenes/Moments-

  • The company hears Orcs after leaving the Shire. Provides context/build-up for the “Orc pack” that shows up later.
  • Misty Mountains Storm - There is no longer an avalanche, instead, Bilbo simply slips off the edge because of the dangerous weather. This is preferred to my old cut, as when this new version is analyzed, there are far less inconsistencies/causes for confusion/continuity errors (or even none at all).
  • Added a second close up of an Orc in the Out of the Frying-pan sequence to make sure the audience knows it’s not just a Warg pack, but also an Orc pack.
  • Added an establishing shot of a mountain range with some wind SFX & soundtrack at the start of part 2 to give a slower opening before we cut to Bilbo.
  • Bard discovers Thorin’s quest. In this extended Laketown sequence we get to hear some more lines from the book, it provides build up for Bard opposing their quest, shows that Bard is smart and discovered what they were doing on his own, and it explains why the Dwarves were forced to try to steal weapons.
  • More of Dwalin talking to Thorin in the throneroom during the battle. I have added a few extra lines to this scene, including the iconic “You sit here, in these vast halls…yet you are lesser now than you have ever been.” This is an interesting moment to have, especially with the Dwarvish music building up, and helps to act as a better moment of “changing Thorin’s mind,” because Dwalin really spoke some hard truth.
  • Gandalf’s departure has been reworked to mirror the dialogue from the book. This also makes it so Gandalf does not know about the ring until sometime after The Hobbit/the start of FotR, which is accurate to the lore.

-Color Grading-

  • Removed green tint from AUJ
  • Increased the effects on DoS/BotFA to match AUJ more
  • Overall, the color grading looks more real & natural, with a slight ‘reddish/warmer’ feel rather than a ‘greenish/murky’ atmosphere. Certain scenes have been adjusted differently, for example, Laketown has a bluish atmosphere to match the coldness of the setting, same with the Goblin caves.

-Digital Alterations by Eric-

  • Removed Thorin’s injuries on his face from the end of part 1, because in my edit he never dueled with Azog.
  • Removed arrows from appearing on the barrels when they meet Bard.
  • Removed Bard’s son from the Bard vs Smaug scene, so now we get to see Bard release the arrow on screen.
  • Removed Dwalin from the background when Bilbo gets knocked out.
  • [Pending] Improved the removal of Radagast from riding an Eagle.

-Fixes/Small Adjustments-

  • [Pending] added establishing shot when switching from night to day in Rivendell to ease the transition.
  • Removed a jump-cut that was in the official movie when Bilbo was waking up to turn around back to Rivendell.
  • Removed silly cartoon sound effect when Bilbo is falling down into the cave and tries to grab the rope but his hands slip out.
  • Adjusted the shot of Gollum floating on his little raft over to Bilbo so that we don’t see his full face. This means the first time we see his full face close up is when he jumps down in front of Bilbo, which works better because he should be more mysterious at first.
  • Slightly shortened the sequence when the ring falls on Bilbo’s finger to mirror how it looked in FotR when it happened to Frodo. Originally, when it fell on Bilbo’s finger we saw a CGI ring dancing around/floating in circles for a really long time before it went on his finger, this was something they probably did to “look cool” but it wasn’t necessary at all.
  • Adjusted a short transition when they are escaping on Eagles at night, to account for the sound effects of Gandalf moving his arm on the tree, because previously in my edit this audio played during a wideshot so if you listened closely there was a random sound.
  • Also for the Eagles, when they are landing on Carrock I swapped a shot out and now we see them fly up to Carrock, then cut to 3 shots of them being on Carrock (Gandalf/Company/then Bilbo), and we cut to the Eagles flying off. This is better because now I don’t have that odd shot of what appears to be Thorin lying unconscious on the ground.
  • Removed a Warg sound effect I had play in the background at the start of part 2 when the company was talking, I had this to remind the audience of the Wargs, but now that I have shown the Wargs several times we already get the idea they’re still after them
  • Removed my custom subtitle for Thorin’s insult when he’s in the cell. I have purposefully left his other insult subtitled to Thranduil because that actually contributes to the narrative - showing that Thorin wishes Thranduil’s people faced the same demise of dragon fire, which contributes to their feud.
  • Reduced red tinting that I had added on the scene of Azog marching his army so it looks more natural.
  • Increased audio volume for the stab wound SFX on Fili/Kili
  • Tidied up various audio transitions/fades, the Company escapes from Goblins, landing on Carrock, the Rivendell transitions, and possibly more, these usually don’t effect the runtime at all.
  • Will add a movie chapter for “A Thief in the Night” because my edit now has had the Bofur scene for some time, which I like, so I believe it requires its own chapter rather than being combined with the following chapter like I had done previously.
  • Added Eric to the editor’s credits.

Coming this year.

IF YOU HAVE FEEDBACK now is the time as I am working a lot on this project, this is supposed to be the most comprehensive & detailed book-accurate Hobbit edit (to an extent, I could probably trim more but then character arcs would be flat and plots wouldn’t be fleshed out) that also sits well with LOTR

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sidshady12 said:

Thanks! That means a lot.

Also yeah in my current edit, there’s one part I miss too. The warg chase before Rivendell, it was actually pretty awesome - cool music, action, good acting, most Orcs were non-CGI, but it was just unnecessary for the plot, inaccurate to the book, and had the inclusion of Radagast. I’ve always considered including a “deleted scene reel” on the Blu-ray version. Maybe the Stone Giants might be something to throw on there, I dunno.

But I had cut that sequence because it was very excessive, the stone giants in the book were probably just a different kind of troll or other creature, but not skyscraper tall giant boxers. I felt like it was kind of out of place in the Middle Earth film atmosphere, like we’ve never seen anything like that, it raises too many questions IMO about what they are, why they exist, who’s side are they on, where are they in LOTR, how come no one talks about them

Your logic is airtight on that. If nothing else, the scene would be inconsistent with your very book-accurate edit.

I guess if I could make an argument on the other side, it would be due to my personal reaction in the theater while watching that scene for the first time. I was just as dumbstruck as the dwarves and in awe of what I was seeing. My imagination took flight wondering what ancient and unseen elemental forces underpin our Middle Earth - things forgotten, perhaps even by the elves. In a world that we’re asked to accept treasure piles that are miles wide, impossible architecture, talking animals, immortality and more, I don’t think it’s much out of place. It’s maybe the only outright Jackson invention in the trilogy that isn’t silly or illogical.

More relevant to the discussion though, your list of upcoming changes was eyepopping. Once again, great choices and upgrades across the board. Thanks a million for making me a fan of the Hobbit movie!

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My only feedback from reading over this but not yet having seen it all is the transition between AUJ and DOS. I would suggest that, whatever you do, it play seamlessly without any sort of a break, even if you do add one. It should be able to play fine in a theater without a disc break the way even the LOTR EE films do.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Hal 9000 said:

My only feedback from reading over this but not yet having seen it all is the transition between AUJ and DOS. I would suggest that, whatever you do, it play seamlessly without any sort of a break, even if you do add one. It should be able to play fine in a theater without a disc break the way even the LOTR EE films do.

Thanks for reading through 👍 I’ll send you the final export in a few days and I’ll consider any feedback whenever you’re down to watch it - but if you don’t get around to it, no problem.

Anyways, for anyone else reading this maybe you could give some additional thoughts. This is an interesting topic for my edit, or Hobbit edits in general, as the jump from AUJ -> DoS will always have some sort of time jump/sudden location change with little explanation. That’s why I leaned towards just making it an intermission, which a lot of edits do after the barrel scene such as the Maple edit. For me, I just knew the end of AUJ was the perfect spot for an intermission, even if it’s only about 40-45% of the way into the story, it’s the only time with a really weird time jump in my edit, and so an intermission could patch that up, whereas the end of the barrel scene wasn’t really that climactic and didn’t need an intermission to patch the transition, and in my edit that was about 55-60% of the way in. The true 50-50 mark would be in the middle of Mirkwood. But I also knew that none of the Middle Earth films have ever had a blank screen saying “intermission,” but what they do have, is a screen that says “insert next disc,” so I went for the middle ground, and on the digital version it currently says “the story continues on part two…” so there’s no mention of any discs, but it’s not quite just a generic “intermission.”

That said, I made a little test to show what the transition would be without the ‘intermission.’ https://youtu.be/O8NuorLzhUk (EDIT: slightly updated one here - https://youtu.be/W0LnBzsa6WM ) So it’s either this, or a transition to Dwarvish music with a black screen/text, which I won’t post a test clip of as I’m sure it’s easy to imagine.

Most people I’ve heard from do enjoy this pause even if it’s slightly unrealistic, it gives a chance to take a break, but there certainly is a perspective to be had that the movie should just play through the whole time. I might end up doing a poll and asking my discord.

Finally, for followers of this thread, just need to tidy up the River transition, do a final watch, and the update will be out.

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I think that transition is definitely suitable. And like you said, the issues with the transition lie with the nature of the films themselves.

Speaking as someone who isn’t overly familiar with the book or the films, there is a bit of awkwardness (and a little bit of humor) in the fact that the first half ends very optimistically, and Bilbo saying, “I do believe the worse is behind us”, and the second half beginning in the middle of a new dire situation. In a different version of this film, I could imagine a scenario where Bilbo says that line, then hard cutting to him hiding behind some rocks as he hears animal howling. It would be pretty funny moment if it were only cut different.

But honestly, the way the scene ends, it really makes you feel like they got away from the orcs and wargs. It feels like that threat is way behind them, but then the orcs are right on their tail again, without any indication when or how the orcs caught up with them.

You might not be looking for any suggestions on the transition (because honestly, it really is fine the way it is), but I think it would be interesting if after it cut to black, there was a bit more pause before we fade back into the film, and during the black screen we heard the distant howl of a wolf/warg, or the howling of a pack of wolves/wargs, to indicate to the audience that the threat is still near, and then when we fade back in we see that the wargs are back on their tail. It could prepare the audience to expect that our heroes will be in danger once again.

Anyway, might be worth playing around with just to see how it feels. But again, it’s not totally necessary.

EDIT: Also wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying your videos of you actually working on the scenes and explaining some of your changes. They’re really insightful!

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“I could imagine a scenario where Bilbo says that line, then hard cutting to him hiding behind some rocks as he hears animal howling. It would be pretty funny moment if it were only cut different.”

This is actually what I originally did in my first version of this edit. It was funny, because it was almost a “match cut” of Bilbo’s face, saying the worst is behind us, then boom he’s scouting and the danger is right back.

The issue was that I felt without a cut to black screen/intermission it felt too sudden for the drastic change in time & setting. On top of that, it didn’t really establish that the Orc pack was still after them (it was missing those 2 establishing shots of the orc pack), because we only saw Bilbo’s face, then Bilbo see’s Beorn, then he runs to the company.

So at the moment now it looks as if we have but 3 options:

  • Keep it the same, says “continues on part two” (to mirror the experience while watching LOTR EE)
  • Keep it the same, but it says “Intermission” instead (because that’s what it really is)
  • Have no intermission, this would be similar to the test clip I posted but with a few adjustments - I’ve made the black screen slightly longer and the fade slightly slower but there’s not much I can really do. I think the idea of the warg/wolf SFX is good but I can’t really find any clips that sound good to put there.

I think I’ve ruled out my original way where it just went straight from Bilbo to Bilbo even if it was a bit more comedic, that’s about the only thing it has going for it. Anyways, the disc version is where it’s at - full special features, higher bitrate, and of course, the insert next disc screen would make perfect sense, it’s really just a question of what I do for the digital version, so I’m not even that attached to any method, just whatever works best and most agree on.

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Poll for half way transition format
https://www.strawpoll.me/42635841

#1 - https://youtu.be/cC6F8QUwbxw
#2 - https://youtu.be/W0LnBzsa6WM

Once a format is decided, either quick transition or long intermission, THEN I will work to perfect that method. For example, if the long black screen intermission format wins, then I will experiment with what I should write, whether it should just be “Intermission” or something else. If the short black screen transition wins, then I will test around with ways to do that.

Also remember, the disc version (my preferred way of watching) will always have the insert next disc screen, this poll is only for the digital version.

(Not sure if double posting is allowed but I wanted to make this separate)

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Digital alterations preview - https://youtu.be/Gm2CDRDPJmU

Final notes on split between parts - I will be renaming it say “Intermission” in the gold-wavy LOTR font, while the disc version will obviously just have the disc split here.

What’s left? - Final rewatch for my own sake, then uploading, expected sometime this week

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Love your work!

While searching for that perfect edit of that terrible trilogy, I found M4’s fan edit, and my goodness, it is the best one by far.

Since my girlfriend and I are from Sweden, we are very much dependant on subtitles to truly enjoy this movie. The one in M4’s Google Drive is an old version and there are no inbuilt subtitles in the current version.

When can we expect the updated subtitles?

Also, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is not supported by Samsung Smart TVs. I am currently playing the movie in VLC Media Player on my MacBook Pro while connected to my TV via HDMI, instead of playing the movie directly from an external hard drive. Any chance to upload a version with an audio codec supported by Samsung TVs?

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Milltastic said:

Love your work!

While searching for that perfect edit of that terrible trilogy, I found M4’s fan edit, and my goodness, it is the best one by far.

Since my girlfriend and I are from Sweden, we are very much dependant on subtitles to truly enjoy this movie. The one in M4’s Google Drive is an old version and there are no inbuilt subtitles in the current version.

When can we expect the updated subtitles?

Also, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is not supported by Samsung Smart TVs. I currently must play the movie on VLC on my MacBook Pro and connect it to the TV by HDMI, instead of playing the movie directly from my external hard drive. Any chance to upload a version with an audio codec supported by Samsung TVs?

Thank you!! And yes you are totally in luck for both of your questions. When I released the update of the edit I just wanted to get it out there so people could watch but the file was rather empty with other content, but soon (1-2 weeks?) I will be reuploading it with subtitles, chapters, an alternate AAC or AC3 audio track (I should research what’s the most compatible), and I’ll even include an editors audio commentary. It will all be bundled in the MKV, do you think you can change the audio track with the way you watch? Because VLC let’s you switch. Oh also, if you want, my friend who made the subtitles is from Sweden and so I believe he will also have a Swedish copy of the subtitles, which if so, It’ll also be bundled in with the MKV.

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Hello, I would be interested in a link to this. Thanks in advance!

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Just checking, is the newest version on your site now?

“You can’t polish a turd. But you can shape it to look like candy.”