In which I review a shiny new Hobbit 3D blu-ray...
I rarely get the chance to review things when they have just come out so I thought for once having received and had time to watch The Hobbit: AUJ Extended Edition* on release day that I might actually do so for once!
What this review is not:
- A discussion about how Peter Jackson misunderstands Bilbo as a character. A friend of mine has already covered that.
- A detailed scene by scene comparison with the theatrical release.
- A full review of every single special feature.
- A discussion of the pros and cons of 3D films.
*Or THAUJEE as I'm sure it will be referred to henceforth.
So this comes in a very nice box set with a lenticular picture of Bilbo on the front (see above right). The cardboard case has an aged leather look and looks very nice amongst my wall of films. Sadly it doesn't quite look as at home on a bookcase as the old LotR ones did.
Inside the outer box is a large blu-ray box and when we open it up it reveals 5 blu-ray discs and the usual paper advertising (this time for LEGO Hobbit figures). You'll also find a code for that UltraViolet copy you really wanted!†
The extended version has also been awarded a slightly higher rating of PG-13. It would appear this is entirely due to the presence of naked dwarves:
§I'm glad no-one has uploaded just that to YouTube.
So it was watching the theatrical version of this film in 3D at the inimitable Mr. Brooks' house that convinced me I needed a 3D TV in my life. I am very annoyed I didn't see it in 3D and high frame rate at the cinema and will make sure to do so with the next two.
For the most part the 3D is not at the forefront of the action and just adds a nice level of depth to the scenes. The 3D is also devoid of bad motion scenes that were common in earlier 3D films. This is good as that was an easy complaint to make about 3D when it wasn't well established.
Is it industry changing? No it's not but the 3D is done well and is really shown off in a few scenes. Especially the extended scene where Bilbo wanders around Rivendell. In fact it is safe to say that New Zealand's amazing vistas just look more impressive and real in 3D.
The Bonus Features
So I haven't been able to watch all the bonus features yet but from what I've seen they're as good as the original LotR ones. I think I must have watched all of those at least twice except for the model building ones which I watched endlessly to ensure I built Minas Tirith as accurately as possible:
This set comes with a further two discs of appendices labelled 7 & 8 to follow on from 1-6 in the LotR sets. There's lots in there even including a sneak peak of Benedict Cumberbatch covered in ping-pong balls as Smaug and spome footage about Guillermo del Toro's initial involvement. I expect to be throughly lost in these blu-rays for the next few days :D
For £15 this is a pretty excellent set and I'm glad I waited for the extended edition. I think it is a shrewd move to price these lower than the LotR extended editions and to release them a bit earlier so we can watch them before the next film :)
P.S. Currently the extended edition is cheaper than the original release on Amazon.co.uk!
P.P.S. Yes this blog title is an attempt to get as much punctuation in as possible!