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Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) Blu-Ray Review

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) Blu-Ray Review

Synopsis: The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Review: The Hobbit is my favorite book of all time.  I don't say that lightly, as I'm quite the bibliophile.  The Hobbit is, in my opinion, a modern masterpiece.   When I first heard that they were undertaking the film version I was tepid, to say the least.  I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I felt that Peter Jackson did a wonderful job there, but this was different for me..this is the Hobbit!  When I saw the trailer for the film I was unimpressed.  To be honest all of the promotion, merchandise and imagery did not impress me, not one bit.  Once I got ahold of this new extended edition of the film on blu-ray I decided to give it a fair shake, and boy am I glad to be wrong.  This film, the first of three, is amazing.   Jackson captures the whimsey and joy in the beginning of the tale and manages to progress the film to stay true to the original book in most ways.  He did modify a few scenes, like the famous scene with the three trolls in the woods, but I was able to get past it, because the entirety of the film is just so stunning and captivating.  This one is a gem.

The special features on this extended blu-ray include:
3 Disc BD: UV Copy of Ext Edition THE FILMMAKERS' COMMENTARY Director/writer/producer Peter Jackson and writer/co--‐producer Philippa Boyens provide their Perspective and stories on creating the first film of The Hobbit. NEW ZEALAND: HOME OF MIDDLE--‐EARTH From Matamata to Queenstown, travel with Peter Jackson and his team across the stunning locations of New Zealand, transformed by the filmmakers into Middle--‐earth. 
THE APPENDICES PART 7 A LONG--‐EXPECTED JOURNEY: The Chronicles of The Hobbit A fourteen--‐part chronological history of the filming of An Unexpected Journey, covering pre--‐production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, the boot camp training for the main cast, and the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects. · THE JOURNEY BACK TO MIDDLE--‐EARTH · RIDDLES IN THE DARK– Gollum’s Cave · AN UNEXPECTED PARTY– Bag End · ROAST MUTTON–Trollshaws Forest · BASTION OF THE GREENWOOD– Rhosgobel · A SHORT REST– Rivendell and London · OVER HILL– The Misty Mountains · UNDER HILL–Goblin Town · OUT OF THE FRYINGPAN…– The Forest Ledge · RETURN TO HOBBITON– The Shire · THE EPIC OF SCENE 88– Strath Taieri · THE BATTLE OF MORIA– Azanulbizar · EDGE OF THE WILDERLAND- Pick‐ups and the Carrock · HOME IS BEHIND, THE WORLD AHEAD · CREDITS 
THE APPENDICES PART 8 RETURN TO MIDDLE--‐EARTH THE COMPANY OF THORIN Explores the characters and backgrounds of the five families of dwarves and the company of actors chosen to play Thorin’s company on the Quest of the Lonely Mountain. · ASSEMBLING THE DWARVES · THORIN, FILI & KILI · BALIN & DWALIN · OIN & GLOIN · DORI, NORI & ORI · BIFUR, BOFUR & BOMBUR MR. BAGGINS: THE 14TH MEMBER A revealing look at the film’s charismatic and talented lead actor, Martin Freeman. DURIN’S FOLK: CREATING THE DWARVES Reveals the journey and process of designing, conceptualizing and physically realizing the dwarves in The Hobbit. THE PEOPLES AND DENIZENS OF MIDDLE--‐EARTH Focuses on the realization of new characters and creatures we encounter in Film 1, from casting to characterization to physical and digital design. Including the Stone Trolls; Radagast the Brown; the Great Goblin and his horde; and Azog the Defiler. · THE STONE TROLLS · RADAGAST THE BROWN · GOBLINS · AZOG THE DEFILER REALMS OF THE THIRD AGE: FROM BAG END TO GOBLIN TOWN Follows the creation of the Middle--‐earth locations from conceptual design, to set and prop building to fully digital realities. Realms explored include Hobbiton, Rhosgobel, Rivendell, The Misty Mountains and Goblin Town. · HOBBITON · RHOSGOBEL · RIVENDELL · THE MISTY MOUNTAINS · GOBLIN TOWN THE SONGS OF THE HOBBIT A look at the realization of Tolkien’s songs in Film 1.

Interest Range: Fantasy, Classics