The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey extended edition his Blu-Ray this week.
Coming out of the original theatrical cut, I wasn’t sure there could be much, if anything left that director Peter Jackson hadn’t included in the release. And while the additions to this first legs of the Hobbit aren’t as sweeping as those added to the original Lord of the Rings films, the scenes do pad out and extend what I felt was already an overly long first installment.
The scenes here add a bit more depth and color in certain places. They aren’t necessarily essential, but they aren’t intrusive and they only add a bit more running time to the film. That said, it still feels like the middle portion of the film is a bit slow. And as a Doctor Who fan, while I love seeing Sylvester McCoy chew scenery during his section of the movie ,the entire side-story still feels out of place in the film.
However, as with my initial review of the theatrical cut, I doubt I’m going to sway sides either way. I can say that seeing this extended cut does ramp up my expectations and hopes for the next entry in the series when we finally get to see how Smaug is created and rendered on the big-screen.
If you purchased the original, vanilla release of the film on DVD or Blu-Ray, odds are you’re going to want to double dip on this one — or hope that friends and family will double dip for you for the upcoming holiday season. The original release was a bit bare on the special features. This release is not.
And it’s those extra features that are the biggest selling point for this set. A commentary by Peter Jackson and Phillipa Boyens illuminates the journey of the source material to the silver screen and talks about why certain creative decisions were made. As with commentaries on the original trilogy, this one is a pleasure to listen to and one of the better commentary tracks I’ve listened to this year. The other featurettes are also equally compelling in detailing how this epic story was brought to life. In many ways, the extras are more compelling and entertaining the film itself.
Fans who waited for this edition will be pleased to pick it up. Fans who picked up the original release will grumble a bit at the double-dip, but on the plus side, it is worth the investment of your time and money.
Warner Brothers has provided Slice of SciFi with a look at one of the extended scenes from the film as well as details on this release.
Fans of Middle-earth will have the opportunity to gain a broader experience of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, when the epic fantasy adventure is released as an Extended Edition on Digital Download October 22nd and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on November 5th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, this new cut includes 13 minutes of extra film footage that extends individual scenes, making this the must-see, definitive version for fans. All disc versions of the Extended Edition include nearly nine hours of new bonus features and will be available just ahead of the December 13 theatrical release of the second film of the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
“I’m thrilled that the Extended Edition will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features,” saidJackson. “It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of ‘An Unexpected Journey’ to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition will be available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set ($54.98 SRP) that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition; a 3-disc Blu-ray ($35.99) and a 5-disc DVD ($34.99) The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD all include UltraVioletTM which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the Extended Edition in high definition to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.
ALL-NEW SPECIAL FEATURES ON BLU-RAY 3D, BLU-RAY AND DVD:
- Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
- The Appendices – A multi-part chronological history of the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, covering pre-production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, the boot camp training for the main cast, the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
- New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth
You can order your copy of the film from Amazon.com, in several formats:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (DVD + Ultraviolet)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (Blu-Ray + Ultraviolet)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (Blu-Ray 3D + Blu-Ray + Ultraviolet)