The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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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).
• "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
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 --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Given the technological improvements and budget increases that could have been possible, one just has to wonder how wonderful would have been if LoR had been made after Hobbit. Not that LoR trilogy isn't remarkable as it stands, because it is. But it could be even better. Instead we got this. Now we all know why no one wanted to direct The Hobbit, anyone could see this coming.
Save your money, buy LoR instead, the extended version preferably. It's worth every penny. As for this one, only pick it on a really, really low price.
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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So it’s been a while since I watched this, and as I’ve never watched the remaining films in the trilogy (which still sounds odd considering Tolkein’s book is only 200 pages long! Read morePublished 12 days ago by MrGrumpie
first in what was to become an excellent trilogy, fantastic film
looked forward to getting it and boy i wasnt disappointed. Read more