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on 8 November 2014
This is a far better extended edition then an unexpected journey's one.
Firstly, the design of the box is much better. The golden writing on the front is shiny rather then plain and the detail on the front and back pictures are good. When you take off the sleeve, there are some good pictures of the map of Erebor and Bilbo, Smaug and the Arkenstone.
Secondly, the extended scenes are worth nearly 27 minutes. AUJ's extended scenes were a mere 13 minutes that did not change the story whatsoever. The best scenes are perhaps the longest. After waking up at Beorn's house, Gandalf and Bilbo introduce themselves to Beorn and the dwarves follow in paris. This is a great scene because in the theatrical cut there was too little of Beorn. The next scene i loved was of more Mirkwood. Here we see the Company crossing the bridge and Thorin trying to kill a deer. The third and probably the best scene that was new is Gandalf meeting thrain (Thorin's dad) in Dol Goldur. Some of the scenes in the theatrical cut of Dol Goldur just had Gandalf, here you have Gandalf and thrain. This is emotional particularly when the scene ends.
Thirdly, the extras are even better. Nine hours of fun film making with some scenes devoted to the Battle of the Five Armies film.
In total, this is an extended edition fit to match the first two lord of the rings extended editions.
BTW, parents dont be pertubed by the 15 rating this has been given. The film itself is a 12 as it says on the actual disc and it is one of the appendices that has a 15 on the disc.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 January 2015
Just as Tolkien's books set in Middle Earth defined the modern fantasy genre in literature, these wonderful epic film adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have set the bar for fantasy films. This extended edition DVD is worth the money. If you liked the cinema version of the film, 25 minutes of extra material just enhances the pleasure. There's some good stuff added here too; the reappearance of Thorin's long lost father, which helps flesh out the backstory, a longer scene between Kili and Tauriel which means their relationship makes a little more sense, and an expanded version of the journey through Mirkwood. I felt that all of the additional material added to the overall story, and as with the Lord of the Rings extended editions I preferred this to the cinema cut. It also makes it more of a treat at first viewing - almost like watching a new film rather than one you've seen already. Yes, it does make it longer, but I don't mind that - and it's spread over two DVDs which means there's a natural break in the middle, and I usually watch it in two parts.

As well as the extended film itself, there are a wealth of extras that will keep the geek in you happy for a very long time - nine hours in fact. There is a director's commentary - which is genuinely interesting and insightful - and then lots of 'making of' features. With a filming process as lengthy and involved as the one behind this film, this can't fail to be fascinating. The lengths that the team went to in order to make this the best film they could are quite remarkable and makes you watch it again with new eyes. It also helps you spot little details you may have missed.

If you love these films and want to immerse yourselves in them, this DVD is essential. And even if you just like the film without being an ardent fan, I'd suggest buying this over the standard version, for the sake of the extended film in itself. You don't have to watch the features, and I feel the film alone is worth the money. But the features are good too.
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on 30 October 2014
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an epic fantasy adventure film. It is an adaption of Peter Tolkien fantasy masterpiece the hobbit series. The movie is a mammoth size, as it almost last for three hours. It requires immense patience and concentration to watch. It is a follow up from the previous installment. The first part set the tone. The second part raises the momentum of the film. There are flashbacks to previous events.

It is about Bilbo Baggins, a familar character. He starts to embark on a dangerous mission with fellow dwarfes to reclaim the lonely mountain from the dragon smaug, a sinister and mammoth size creature. There are many obstacles affecting their quest, as you are about to find out. Anything can lurk in their corner. The Gandalf the wizard is on a dangerous mission to discover sinister events. There is plenty of action, excitement and thrills featured throughout. The movie shows gruesome and fantasy violence scenes, as it is an epic battle to defeat evil. The scenes are graphical and full of bloodshed.The balance between action and depth in storyline and characters purposefully works well .The action scenes do not overhadow. The move is about a delivering a solid story.

A surreal world is recreated thanks to the amazing technology the 21st century has pioneered to promote film making to a whole new level and dimension. Peter Jackson and the crew have exploited the technology amazingly and stunningly for bringing to life a fantasy masterpiece enjoyed by millions who have read the book. New Zealand landscape is the ideal location for filming.There is no question that storyline is neglected at one point, as we learn a great deal about the key characters and groups featured.

If you enjoy a fantasy film of the highest levels in terms of depth, sophistication and characterisation, then latest installment is recommeded. It is a build of the anticipated release of the final installment. I am delighted to add the film in my growing blue ray collection.
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on 4 April 2015
I am extremely impressed with this the 2nd in the triolgy and was even more impressed as played it using a HDMI lead, instead of the scart leads I have always used up to this point, it makes the film much clearer and lightens the darker parts of the picture and makes the film much more enjoyable, I will not comment on the film as most of the other reviews cover that, but if you use scart leads change them now and see the difference, amazing the difference it makes, can not wait for the release of the final instalment Martin Freeman is great!
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on 19 October 2015
The BD and box itself are fine but the film is drawn out too much. It was fine making the Lord of the Rings in 3 films as that followed the books but The Hobbit shouldn't have been any longer than one film.
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on 17 January 2015
It's not Tolkiens imagination, nor Peter Jackson's skill as displayed in LOTR, but the CGI industry taking over. The film could have been shorter, left out a substantial part of the padding, yet included all that was necessary to cover the original Hobbit as well as the flashbacks and previews of the rise of the Necromancer/Sauron. Overall however, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to viewing the Appendices. As a LOTR fan it's a must.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 December 2014
It is a long time since I read any of Tolkien’s books, and I came to this having watched the first film, as well as the sequel Lord of the Rings trilogy. If, as with any film, you disregard the original source material and treat it on its own merits, then this is a very good sequel to the first film. The story, expanded in places, but still in keeping with the spirit of the original story, if not the fine detail – I’m sure I remember the Goblins as being less monstrous in the written version – takes us through Mirkwood, on to the Lake village, and finally into Dwarf city ‘under the mountain’. Meanwhile, Gandalf has gone off to investigate the tombs of the Nazgul, and to look into Dol Guldur, where a Shadow is walking…

This is a fast-moving adventure, despite being over two and a half hours long. I kept checking the elapsed time, just in case I was approaching a cliffhanger, only to find there was much more time to go. Note that the end credits take up ten minutes, so adjust your expectations accordingly. It really is an epic story told in an epic way.
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on 1 March 2015
Boring, too much elves fighting, not much story. 'Unexpected Journey' was better. Should have made just 1 or 2 films at the most from the Hobbit, being greedy.
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on 9 January 2015
This film resembles the curate's egg. It was obvious that, in making three films out of one small book, a lot of padding would be necessary. It this case much of it is, like expanded polystyrene packing, only fit for the scrap heap. The film derives more from Mack Sennett than from Tolkien.
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on 23 May 2014
The Desolation of Smaug is a supremely crafted fantasy film and improves on part one of The Hobbit in every way. It’s pacier, more action packed and full of incredible moments.

Each action scene is a standout and there is certainly no filler here. The dwarves continue on their dangerous journey to The Lonely Mountain encountering the Spiders of Mirkwood and wood elves along the way. The escape from Mirkwood provides us with one of the most thrilling action scenes from both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Peter Jackson knows how to set a scene and this one just flows so perfectly that you are easily swept up in the action unfolding.

The camera never stays still but you are always able to see what is going on. Orcs jump from barrel to barrel, each one containing a dwarf. The orcs are closely followed by the elves picking them off with ease and bouncing from tree to tree. It really is a sight to behold.

From then on the action never really stops. Where the Desolation of Smaug really succeeds is in showing us something new. Part one suffered from a feeling of de ja vu. It was a little too familiar. DOS on the other hand takes us to new locations including the formidable Mirkwood and grimy Laketown.

However it is with Smaug that DOS really does soar. A towering achievement, if they got Smaug wrong the whole film would have crashed in spectacular style. A character so memorable and so intriguing he glues you to the screen for the entire third act. Superbly played by Cumberbatch and bought to life by some stunning special effects Smaug is the pinnacle of this trilogy in the same vein Gollum was with the Lord Of The Rings.

Bilbo’s interaction with the dragon is also on par with his riddling with Gollum. Both characters trying to outwit each other in a battle to stay alive. The final action scenes within the mountain are again superb and is easily a standout of the entire saga.

Desolation Smaug simply brings The Lord of The Rings back to where it belongs. Focussing on the characters and the action and not feeling drawn out or padded out. If you were unsure about The Hobbit then let the Desolation of Smaug reinstate your love of Middle Earth!

In a word, stunning!
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