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Customer Review

51 of 59 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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This review is from: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Extended Edition [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
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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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Nov 2013 16:32:52 GMT
steveo.b. says:
if indistinct dialogue is a problem may i suggest watching the scene with subtitles once then you can enjoy it without them subsequently.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2013 13:37:29 GMT
Scribbles66 says:
I have to be honest and say I didn't notice it when i saw the scene in the cinema but it seems to be slightly less clear now. That may be a volume issue or old age making me slightly deafer.

Posted on 26 Nov 2013 13:55:47 GMT
J. Almond says:
Agree completely. Couldn't understand most of what he was saying. Had to keep re-showing this part so I could work out what he was on about. With a film of this stature, you really shouldn't have to be adding subtitles to find out what creatures are saying. Mind you, I remember I had similar problems with Donald Duck, so it could just be me!

Posted on 29 Nov 2013 06:41:29 GMT
I was about to write my review of this 5-disc extended edition, but everything I wanted to say is already written here :-)
Thanks for the review!

Posted on 4 Dec 2013 12:21:11 GMT
Mr. BN Gough says:
Not to be unkind here, but when it comes to Gollum's excellent scene's if you can't hear what was said, it actually is an issue with your own hearing, I had no problems following every word he said in cinema and again on my DvD copy.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Dec 2013 08:04:04 GMT
Hmm,the volume/clarity for Gollum is a little concerning,i am Hard of Hearing,I did see the film at the cinema and also on Netflix and can't remember any problems(I had subtitles on the Netflix version though),I really hope they haven't screwed anything up,as it was my favourite scene of the movie

Posted on 9 Dec 2013 13:42:36 GMT
An excellent synopsis of this edition. Thank you very much and well done.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 12:17:23 GMT
Scribbles66 says:
I dont think they have messed anything up and its probably either my hearing (too many loud concerts taking their toll..) or my sound set up at home which can be a little echo-ey..if thats a word

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 12:18:37 GMT
Scribbles66 says:
I would suggest its not just my hearing but I cant say for certain. It doesn't detract from the overall experience and is, as I said, a minor niggle.

Posted on 12 Dec 2013 15:18:47 GMT
Ra Rising says:
Thank you for a really excellent review, told me everything I wanted to know, people like yourself add a lot to the experience of shopping on Amazon. Great job.
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