The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey UV Copy( 
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From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of three films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The trilogy of films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever...Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities; a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first chapter in Peter Jackson’s new epic trilogy set in Middle-Earth 60 years before J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings saga. Follow Bilbo Baggins as he’s swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them through treacherous lands swarming with Trolls, Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs. They must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature Gollum who will change his life forever. Alone with Gollum on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers guile and courage that surprise him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities, tied to the fate of all Middle-Earth. Several key talent members from The Lord of the Rings trilogy reprise their roles, along with exciting new cast members.
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The extended version of these movies are highly recommended as it allows you to immerse yourself deeper into beautiful Middle Earth and its lore. And even though some of the critics labelled An Unexpected Journey too long we loved the extended version and some of the extra material. We would have gladly taken more of the added scenes. If anything, the last 45 minutes of this movies is a brilliant rollercoaster.
Yes, the 13 minutes of added scenes add to an pacing issue that the movie already had in its original form, essentially a stretched-out version of Tolkien’s children’s book. The issue might be that the story that was meant as a children book perhaps doesn’t lend itself as much as a 9 hour experience. To deal with this many characters like the dwarves get backstories. And new interesting characters are introduced. I still think that the overall story line doesn’t compare well with the gravitas of the Lord of the Ring story line. The Hobbit movies lean more on action and slapstick. Yet we were thrilled to see the movie again and the extended version particular.
So watching the Unexpected Journey on our fairly high-end Oled screen with proper surround sound was a delight; the picture is fantastic and of high quality with the colours looking vibrant and bright. The blu ray does do a lot of justice to all the detail of the movie. The audio is equally great with the dialogue, score, and sound effects very well balanced. Such audio visuals combined into an experience that could hardly be better. The Hobbit visuals are much better than the 1st LOTR The Fellowship of the Ring that we now started to watched again in blu ray. LOTR looks more blurry and dated, with some scenes clearly relying on 1990’s movie technology. Some of the old LOTR trilogy effects, apart from the Gollum scenes, start to look noticeably off - comparable to the issues that Star Wars A New Hope had vs its later trilogy movies.
Where possible we buy the 3D version of movies, I even prefer it over the cinema 3D experience. The Unexpected Journey looks very crisp and immersing in 3D.
An unexpected Journey tells the story of dwarf prince Thorin Oakenshield’s quest to drive the dragon Smaug from his ancient dwellings in the Lonely Mountain (Erebor). For the main character it’s a story about accepting new challenges and finding new friendships. The confrontation between Bilbo and Andy Serkis’ Gollum are particularly notable. And the scenes with the dwarves are quite pleasing. But you only get glimpses of Smaug, most as he flies over burning battlements and city ruins.
The extra 13 minutes are scattered throughout the movie. You’ll get a few more dwarf songs, naked dwarfs in an Elf fountain (!) more elaborate gatherings and an extended Goblin-king scene. And perhaps most importantly you finally begin to understand why these particular Dwarves and Elves do not see eye-to-eye, and why Thranduil coldly refused to help the Erebor exiles after Smaug’s attack.
The 3 discs contains about 9 (!) hours of extra’s and the list of included extra material is impressive (if you are into it);
- The Filmmakers Commentary,
- New Zealand: Home of Middle-Earth - about the location with cast interviews.
- The Chronicles of The Hobbit – Part 1 – a very extensive documentary about the film production.
- The Appendices, Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth – another extensive documentary about character and set design
So it’s a lengthy movie and we watched it in 3 parts, we treated the remainder of the trilogy in the same manner and it got us into a similar mode as with a streaming tv series.
The set also includes a digital copy. Nice in a sense. But I get very frustrated by the fact that I now have to run 4 different apps from movie studios each filled with their own digital copy format; iTunes, Flixster/Ultraviolet, Googleplay ect. And so far there is no proper way to integrate my collections of digital copies. Moreover, most will require wifi, which is not always available when travelling. Until this is being addressed these digital copies remain a half-baked freebie in support of self-copies.
Perhaps three and a half stars would be fairer. The main criticism is the length of the film. Oh, another battle scene. Another escape. More CGI. The secret of a good story to build suspense is to add more layers to the frightening moments, but they all seemed much the same to me. The " real? " scenery was awesome, and the action filmed in the caves seemed genuine, and not surrounded by blocks of polystyrene. I shall continue with the other two in the trilogy, but according to many reviews the overall assessment is much the same. However, I did buy them cheaply.
Having seen what George Lucas did with the Star Wars prequels I was concerned with what would become of this film series and I am happy to say that for me the film for the most part delivered. The whole of The Hobbit Trilogy (like the books before it) have a very different feel the The Lord of The Rigs films but they still offer a very enjoyable view of the Middle Earth mythology. Personally I wasn't happy with the amount of CGI used in the film despite the fact it was very well executed. I would recommend that you buy the Extended Editions rather than the theatrical version because the new content really helps the fluidity of the film and makes what was an at time incoherent plot much better.
As with all the Special Editions there is ample enjoyable documentaries and special features that will extend the life of the box set way beyond the films.
I had seen them years ago and really enjoyed watching them over again.
I had not seen any of the Hobbit films.
This being the first in the trilogy I was very interested to see how good or indeed bad they were.
I am very pleased to report how much I enjoyed this film.
In my humble opinion it ranks with the Lord of the Rings films.
Just out of interest I always watch films these days with the sub titles on.
I simply find it easier to follow what is going on.
In this first watch of this film for me it helped a lot because there is a lot going on.