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268 of 293 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXTENDED EDITION: BLU-RAY STEEL-BOOK.
As usual with my reviews, I will limit my comments to the product advertised, in this case the steel-book limited edition blu-ray of the extended version of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey. Hopefully helping you to make the decision on whether the extended cut of the film is really worth the expenditure, especially if you, like me, already have the theatrical cut. I...
Published 10 months ago by J. Blakemore

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't move me
Let me start I'm a massive fan of the Book, the Lord of the Rings books and film adaptation so I went into this with very high expectations, and it's well acted special effects are amazing, action is great and I should love it, but I don't and I don't know why, I have watched it again and again and still can't put my finger on it, it's a good well made film but unlike the...
Published 1 month ago by Mr. craiders


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268 of 293 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXTENDED EDITION: BLU-RAY STEEL-BOOK., 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Limited Extended Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
As usual with my reviews, I will limit my comments to the product advertised, in this case the steel-book limited edition blu-ray of the extended version of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey. Hopefully helping you to make the decision on whether the extended cut of the film is really worth the expenditure, especially if you, like me, already have the theatrical cut. I will also give you a run-down of all the additional scenes.
The packaging itself is the usual black plastic box sandwiched between metal covers, and in all honesty looks cheep when compared to the extended versions of the original trilogy in their book-style, individually coloured sleeves. Inside are the two-disc 3D version of the film; a single disc containing the extended blu-ray version and two discs containing the appendices which are numbered parts seven and eight, to fall in with the nomenclature of those in the extended version of The Lord Of The Rings, and hints at a box set containing all six films and their appendices in the not too distant future.(No surprise there then).
The quality of the blu-ray, as you'll already know if you have the theatrical version, is second to none, with dazzling colour saturation, perfectly solid blacks and stunning detail, as one would expect from twenty first century high def'. And the additional scenes or partial scenes fit in seamlessly. I can not comment on the effectiveness of the 3D version as I do not have a 3D player and have little love for the medium in any case.
Subtitles are included on the Blu-Ray version, as are various language options which include: French, Italian and Spanish.

The scene-extensions are as follows:(Please read no further if you want it to be a surprise)

1. During the prologue, the Elf-king Thranduill is shown a chest of stolen elven treasure when he confronts Thror, King Under The Mountain, which further explains why the elves are reluctant to help the dwarves when attacked by Smaug.
2. During the dragon attack on the town of Dale, we glimpse some of the large arrow-firing machines that form that towns defense.
3. A firework flashback during old Bilbo's narrative at the beginning of the film proper, reveal the origins of Bilbo's friendship with Gandalf.
4. The afternoon following young Bilbo's stressful meeting with Gandalf outside his Hobbit hole, Bilbo goes for a wander through Hobbiton searching for the wizard in the hope that he has truly gone. This is the longest of the additional scenes, and is a wonderful opportunity for us to get a lingering look at Hobbiton market. For every Hobbit-loving person, this is truly a magical addition, though does nothing to add to the story as a whole.
5. During the dwarf dinner scene, we get to learn a little about Biffor, and how the axe that remains embedded in his head has effected his speech.
6. As the dwarfs and hobbit approach Rivendell, we get a sense of Bilbo's character as he talks to Gandalf of a magical feeling he has as he looks down on the Last Homely House. Gandalf begins to sense that there is more to this hobbit than meets the eye.
7. There are a few additional scenes during the dwarf's stay at Rivendell, these include: kili winking at an elf who he thinks is female, only to be told that in fact it is a male elf. The dinner scene itself is extended with a food fight as we watch the growing irritation of the elves with their rowdy guests, during which Bofur sings a song. Interestingly the song, 'The Cat And The Fiddle' is a song originally sung by Frodo Baggins in the book, The Fellowship Of The Ring, as he dances on a table in The Prancing Pony, prior to his finger slipping into The One Ring ad his introduction to Aragorn. So for all Lord Of The Rings aficionados, this is an interesting little addition and nod back to the books.
As the dwarves feast, Bilbo's growing affection for Rivendell is revealed as he wanders off along tree-lined balconies and through open rooms, where Elrond finds him and invites the hobbit to stay in Rivendell if he so wishes. This little addition gives us a better understanding of why Bilbo should later want to return to the elves when he finally decides to leave the dwarves as they sleep in the porch of the goblin cave.
Following the feast, the dwarves finally test their hosts patience to the limits, as they strip off and dive into a fountain in the centre of Rivendell to bathe, overlooked by stunned elves.
8. A meeting between Gandalf and Elrond, where they discus Thorin's past, is overheard by Bilbo and the dwarf leader. This further helps to explain Thorin's decision to leave Rivendell unannounced and unexpectedly.
9. The meeting at Rivendell between Gandalf, Elrond, Saroman and Galadrial, is extended, and we get some important information about the missing rings of power and how the dwarves fit in with the One Ring story.
10. Finally, we get another song, this time sung by the Gobblin King, which does little in my mind but add length to an already overly-long story line.

So there it is, a breakdown of the extra 13 minutes in the extended edition. They are all nice little scenes, with the expanded views of Hobbiton, for me the highlight. But none of the extended scenes really add anything to the storyline, with only the background information on the One Ring and the missing rings of power, really adding anything to the narrative subtext of the overall story of Middle Earth, and which ties in with later events in the 'Ring' trilogy.

What really counts in this extended edition however are the appendices. Nine hours of extras which I am still wading through, all shot in wondrous high-def' and a vast qualitative improvement over appendices one through six of the original trilogy.

I promised myself when purchasing the theatrical edition of the Hobbit, that this time around I would not buy the extended version when it was released, as I knew there would be nothing important added - the Hobbit storyline having been already stretched to breaking point. In the end I couldn't resist it. Was it worth the 17.00 I paid for the steel-book? The jury is still out as I have only watched it through once at time of writing. I'm certain in time that the question will be irrelevant however, as I will certainly get my monies worth out of it in the end, having already watched the original blu-ray some fifteen times. I'm certain I will never grow tired of The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey.

If you have enjoyed reading this review, please read my others.
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307 of 347 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critical dilemma, 28 Oct 2013
By 
K. Harvey "allykatharvey" (Dorset UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
How can there be 1,357 reviews of the Blu-ray extended version of this marvellous film before it has been issued on 13 November 2013?

Really Amazon, we don't need all the reviews from all the other versions of the same title! We need to know by how long the film itself has been extended and the quality of the technical improvements on the original DVD.

I have given this 5-stars only because I don't wish to harm the reputation of a great film but wish to air a weakness in the salesmanship system of this particular company who have the money and the expertise to do far better for the customer.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minor niggles can't detract from a magnificent experience, 15 Nov 2013
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Slight spoiler Alert*

The Box Set consists of 5 Blu-Ray Discs. One and two contain the extended film in 3D, the third contains the extended 2D version of the film and discs four and five, the Appendices parts 7 and 8, extending as they do from the appendices attached to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
So what of the extended version ?.
In truth it falls a little short of what I would term extended, especially when faced with the generously extended LOTR films which added scenes that explained and expanded upon scenes already in those films and made them, in my humble opinion, far superior to their theatrical cuts.
Here, a measly 13 minutes consists of scenes that add little and are, in one or two instances, gratuitous. The two "Singing" scenes, particularly that involving the Goblin King are neither here nor there but the scenes in Hobbiton and Rivendell, whilst adding little to the overall story do not seem out of place. In this case its a toss up as to which version (theatrical or extended) I prefer but I opt for the extended on the basis that the longer the better when it comes to Peter Jacksons fabulous world.

Of course the box set is more than just the film itself and the appendices, running for almost 9 hours, are to be treasured and enjoyed. The whole "making of" is fascinating with everything covered from make up, set design, sound, cinematography and the actors themselves.Its what adds to the whole 5 star experience.

So, leaving the value of the extended version aside, what minor niggles do I have ?.

Two actually, one very minor and one that annoys me.

The first is the first appearance of Gandalf at Hobbiton. Is it just me or does he look much much older than he appears in the rest of the film and the subsequent trilogy ?. His eyes have big dark rings around them and it looks like they went overboard with his make up before scaling it back. I find it very distracting.

The second is the scene with Gollum and Bilbo in the Goblin Tunnels. I am sorry to say this about Andy Serkis whom I think is an incredible actor but I cannot hear a word of what Gollum says. I know its Gollums voice but its too shrill and raspy to get any sense of the riddles he poses apart from the odd word here and there. Its very frustrating and, having watched the scene at least four times now, I still cant get what he is saying. Perhaps its my ears letting me down.

As I say they are minor niggles.

Overall the experience is fantastic. Aided and abetted by New Zealands exceptionally photogenic landscape Peter Jackson and his incredibly talented crew have come up with another gem. No its not LOTR, its a different experience and, to a certain extent comparisons are unfair but if you haven't read the book (or perhaps even if you have) just sit back and enjoy the thrill ride that is the unexpected journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't move me, 3 Aug 2014
By 
Let me start I'm a massive fan of the Book, the Lord of the Rings books and film adaptation so I went into this with very high expectations, and it's well acted special effects are amazing, action is great and I should love it, but I don't and I don't know why, I have watched it again and again and still can't put my finger on it, it's a good well made film but unlike the LOTR films I just didn't get excited or emotional at all, hopefully I can be moved by the sequel, this is still worth seeing .
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384 of 474 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The King Returns, 14 Dec 2012
Since Sir Peter Jackson's last foray into Middle Earth, he's created the fantastic (King Kong) and the fantastically awful (The Lovely Bones), and now we're back and it's like we never left. Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)... they've aged like elves - not a day. Tonally this is breezier than the Lord of the Rings (let's call it LotR) trilogy, but great care has been taken to ensure that it fits seamlessly into the same universe. The same exquisite detail in close-up; the same use of long shots to make the characters tiny in a vast world.

J. R. R. Tolkien's little book concerns a little hobbit, who lives in a hole, who finds himself on a big adventure with a gang of dwarves, overseen by the wizard Gandalf. Tolkien's dwarves, seeking an almighty golden hoard hidden under a Lonely Mountain, are closer to Time Bandits than a heroic Fellowship, but Jackson and his co-writers (now including Guillermo del Toro) have shifted their purpose to something more laudable: the reclaiming of their homeland.

In a beautifully crafted opening, after elegantly intersecting with The Fellowship of the Ring, the bumbling dwarves are introduced to Bilbo and ourselves one by one, as unwelcome visitors to his humble home. They eat, they sing, they talk, and the scene is set. These are the characters we'll follow in almost every scene. The Hobbit is much more linear than LotR; scenes concerning Radagast the Brown (a wonderfully eccentric Sylvester McCoy, channelling the spirit of Tom Bombadil) and Azog (the orcish slayer of Thorin's father, Thrain) are brief asides rather than parallel plots.

So it's all about the dwarves, and we get to know a few of them well, particularly the bold leader, Thorin (Richard Armitage). He's as close to our Strider, except more reckless, driven by rage, and far less trusting of the titular halfling. As Bilbo Baggins, Martin Freeman is a more subtle performer than Elijah Wood. And he needs to be - a hero as reluctant as Bilbo is a tough sell, but Freeman convincingly depicts a gradual self-realisation: a drive from within, rather than a compulsion from without.

Jackson proves once again that he's the master of combining CGI with human emotion (even though actual humans are conspicuously absent from the story). The scene involving the Storm Giants - living, fighting mountains - is a good example: rather than giving us an omniscient hawk's eye-view of the battle, Jackson focuses on the real drama: the dwarves and the hobbit, clinging to the giants' knees. And then there's Gollum, arriving for a late cameo. The best chapter in the novel becomes the best scene in the film, with Bilbo and the unlikely keeper of the One Ring riddling in the dark. The special effects might not be technically groundbreaking as they once were, but their integration with real actors remains unsurpassed in cinema.

A couple of issues. Not everyone will get along with the joviality and the slapstick. Once or twice I do feel that certain scenes contain a knowing look too many. (When Gandalf is telepathically communicating with Galadriel, I swear he nods at the audience.) Thankfully, it's consistent, and rarely at the expense of immersion. Also, given what we know, perhaps more could have been done to foreshadow the LotR trilogy - there's certainly room for this in the Rivendell sequence (in which a shabby Gandalf the Grey, in the presence of even greater greatness, looks humbler than we've ever seen him). It's conceivable that an extended cut will provide more references to the impending doom of Middle-Earth.

Given the brevity of the book, what concerned me most was how Jackson et al could possibly
expand the story into the first part of an epic trilogy. The fact that they have, without the film feeling baggy (Bag-Endy?), is, in a sense, an even mightier feat than the adaptation of the LotR novels. It doesn't have the emotional depth of LotR, nor the narrative breadth. It never did. But it has humour and action in droves, along with warmth and intimacy. And it's amazingly good fun - more Jim Henson than Game of Thrones; more Whedon than Nolan. Which is okay by me.

Expect An Unexpected Journey to be condemned as boring and overlong by professional critics (the same critics who probably laud Bela Tarr). Expect it to be dismissed as frivolous and silly. But, more than anything, expect to be entertained by a delightful fantasy film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it, enjoy it, then go read the much better book, 7 Sep 2014
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Well worth watching - annoyingly it sacrifices both the rhythm and nuances of the original book for a landslide of irrelevant special effects which extend this into a marathon which has, at times, to be simply tolerated until it gets itself back on the plotline. Watch it, enjoy it, then go read the much better book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment, 10 Jun 2014
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Way overdone in the costumes and makeup department to the extent it doesn't look real any more. Like the Lord of the Rings I don't think I will bother with the following films which is a pity as the Hobbit was the best book. Great photography cannot make up for an overlength film. Sorry.

t photography
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Long Journey, 7 Jun 2014
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The film is very well made, as you'd expect, but not just in the way it uses the large budget - it's been made to look and feel like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The colours, the "filmic quality" for want of better words, they've not fallen into the trap of Star Wars and made 'prequel' films that look more modern than films set later in the timeline. The acting is, as you'd expect, superb and I think Martin Freeman makes a great Bilbo.

The one thing that I will say, as have many, many others, this film is surprisingly long. I didn't know it was part one of a trilogy when I first heard of it, I assumed they were turning the very short book into one film. Instead they've padded out the original story with additional content. I'm told by people who know a vast amount about this universe that the extra material is mostly drawn from other Tolkien material.

For me, this film felt overly long and flabby. It was enjoyable, but it felt - in some ways - like it was trying to be more than it was. Some bits felt fairly thin and events loosely strung together.

Overall though, obviously one to watch if you're into LotR, or fantasy in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hobbit part 1, 6 Jun 2014
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Similar remarks to the above, , but three films for one small children's book is a bit excessive .lot of padding
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there yet, and certainly not back again, 25 May 2013
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This is an adaptation of Tolkien’s small book of the same name, but much expanded, though not padded, with scenes not shown in the book itself. We get an opening scene based on the that of the Fellowship of The Ring, as Bilbo is busy writing his memoirs and hiding the valuables before the Sackville-Bagginses arrive for the birthday party, and Frodo setting off to meet Gandalf, who is bringing the fireworks; and then it is sixty-years earlier, and Gandalf makes his first appearance, soon followed by a company of dwarves. We get an extensive view of the Dwarves struggle to survive Smaug’s attack on their city under the Lonely Mountain and their epic battle with the Orcs that gave Thorin Oakenshield his name. We also get the story of the Brown Wizard fleshed out prior to his meeting with Gandalf. The film ends with Bilbo and the Dwarves getting their first sight of the lonely Mountain in the distance:
Bilbo: ”Well, the worst of it is behind us now”.

It is also fun trying to work out who is behind some of the faces; two of the dwarves sounded like Ken Stott and James Nesbit, and I knew I’d heard the Goblin King’s voice before, but couldn’t place him until the credits rolled. The dwarves are an odd bunch of accents, with Thorin sounding just like Sean Bean, and the others being a mixture of Scots and Irish.

It does feel like a lighter film than the Lord of the Rings, despite the Orcs, Wargs, Trolls and Goblins, though the shadow of a certain dead sorcerer does slowly start to make its presence felt.
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