It took some time for Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson to return to Middle Earth, but the wait was very much worth it. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
starts off by playing strongly to its links to the previous adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings
trilogy, before setting off on an adventure of its own.
The first of three films based on The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey isn't a fast film to get going, but it does spent quality time introducing its key characters. Most moviegoers are more than familiar with Sir Ian McKellen's Gandalf of course, but the collection of dwarves and Martin Freeman's take on Bilbo Baggins are all brought together, and the adventure ensues. It's a journey that's punctuated by terrifically orchestrated action sequences, a swirling score, and lavish production design.
Furthermore, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has one or two real standout moments contained within its running time, not least when we finally get reunited with Gollum. The sequence where Bilbo Baggins and Gollum come face to face is as good as anything Jackson put on screen in the Lord Of The Rings films. And while The Hobbit doesn't quite capture the magic of the earlier trilogy often enough, there's a lot here to enjoy, and plenty left to look forward to. It's beautifully, beautifully presented on disc, too. --Jon Foster
The first of three epic instalments in director Peter Jackson's blockbuster prequel to his Lord of the Rings
' trilogy. Set in Middle-Earth 60 years before events in The Lord of the Rings
, the story follows the adventures of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, at the instigation of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), suddenly finds himself co-opted into joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to help reclaim the Dwarves' lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain from the clutches of Smaug the dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). After setting out on their quest from the safety of Bag End, the band of travellers soon find themselves pitted against a range of strange and fearsome opponents, in addition to a small, slimy creature known simply as Gollum (Andy Serkis).Extra Content
• "Video Blog #1: Start of Production"
• "Video Blog #2: Location Scouting"
• "Video Blog #3: Shooting Block One"
• "Video Blog #4: Filming in 3D"
• "Video Blog #5: Locations Part 1"
• "Video Blog #6: Locations Part 2"
• "Video Blog #7: Stone St. Studios Tour"
• "Video Blog #8: "Wrap of Principal Photography"
• "Video Blog #9: "Post-production Overview"
• "Video Blog #10: "Wellington World Premiere"
• Theatrical Trailers - Trailer 1
• Theatrical Trailers - Trailer 3 - Dwarves
• Theatrical Trailers - Trailer 3 - Letter Opener
• Theatrical Trailers - Trailer 3 - Bilbo Contract
• Theatrical Trailers - Trailer 3 - Gandalf Wagers
• Theatrical Trailers - Trailer 3 - Gollum Paths
• New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth