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837 of 905 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we can expect in the EXTENDED EDITION.
WHAT WILL WE SEE IN THE EXTENDED EDITION:

1. More of DALE, including the BLACK ARROWS. Director Peter Jackson mentions a previously unseen character: "Girion, who is defending [the city of] Dale using black arrows against Smaug. And the black arrows play a part in an ongoing story, for they are the one thing that can pierce the dragon's hide."

2...
Published 16 months ago by Anthony L.

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4,300 of 4,860 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait until Chrismas 2013
Almost clicked the order button, but due to my love of the extended versions of the original trilogy, I decided to do a little research before I made that mistake. in doing so, I discovered that the Blue-Ray/DVD set for release on March 19th will contain only the theatrical version of the movie. Warner Bros is including a teaser trailer containing Dragon Smaug with this...
Published 22 months ago by Home Brew


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837 of 905 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we can expect in the EXTENDED EDITION., August 6, 2013
By 
WHAT WILL WE SEE IN THE EXTENDED EDITION:

1. More of DALE, including the BLACK ARROWS. Director Peter Jackson mentions a previously unseen character: "Girion, who is defending [the city of] Dale using black arrows against Smaug. And the black arrows play a part in an ongoing story, for they are the one thing that can pierce the dragon's hide."

2. More king of the wood elves; THRANDUIL. Peter Jackson: "There are also issues with Thranduil. We get some of the reason why he and the dwarves had a falling out - to do with these white gems..."

3. More of HOBBITON. Producer Phillipa Boyens: "You are going to get more of Hobbiton. We always wanted to wend our way through Hobbiton, but in the end Bilbo has to run out of the door."

4. The OLD TOOK'S PARTY: In which we see a younger Gandalf meet Bilbo Baggins as a young child, convincing the wizard of the young hobbit's bravery and courage. I won't spoil it for you, but it involves a dragon and a bit of magic.

5. Dwarf antics at RIVENDELL. Peter Jackson: "You are going to get some serious Dwarvish disrespect of the elves at Rivendell." Bofur leads the troupe in a rowdy chorus of "The Man in the Moon", a classic Tolkien pub-song.

6. The SONG of the GOBLIN KING. Producer Fran Walsh: "You are going to get more Goblin Town, and the Great Goblin singing his song. It is a great song, but it was just another delay in terms of moving the story along." Peter Jackson: "A number one hit from the Goblin King. Barry Humphries is going to rise up the charts!"

Well, all looking good on these fronts! The roads lead ever on and on...
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384 of 427 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit Amazon Exclusive Extended Edition, August 5, 2013
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The packaging is great, the slipcase is thick and sturdy and the back features an embossed acorn emblem of Bilbo's waist coat buttons. The case that the Blu-Ray discs are in is black, just like the Lord Of The Rings Extended Edition Blu-Ray set. Not a blue case like most other Blu-Ray movies which I think makes this version cohesive with the Lord Of The Rings set, which I as a fan appreciate the continuity. The special features are as follows:

-The Filmmakers' Commentary - Director/writer/producer Peter Jackson and writer/co-producer Philippa Boyens provide their perspective and stories on creating the first film.

-New Zealand: Home of Middle-Earth - From Matamata to Queenstown, travel with Peter Jackson and his team across the stunning locations of New Zealand, transformed by the filmmakers into Middle-Earth.

-The Appendices Part 7: A Long-Expected Journey - A 14-part chronological history of the filming of 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, and the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects. Chapters include:

*The Journey Back to Middle-Earth
*Riddles in the Dark: Gollum's Cave
*An Unexpected Party: Bag End
*Roast Mutton: Trollshaws Forest
*Bastion of the Greenwood: Rhosgobel
*A Short Rest: Rivendell and London
*Over Hill: The Misty Mountains
*Under Hill: Goblin Town
*Out of the Frying Pan: The Forest Ledge
*Return to Hobbiton: The Shire
*The Epic of Scene 88: Strath Taieri
*The Battle of Moria: Azanulbizar
*Edge of the Wilderland: Pick-ups and the Carrock
*Home Is Behind, the World Is Ahead

-The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth - Another selection of documentaries and featurettes, further detailing the development, design and production of An Unexpected Journey:

-The Company of Thorin - Explores the characters and backgrounds of the five families of dwarves and the company of actors chosen to play Thorin's company on the Quest of the Lonely Mountain. Chapters include:

*Assembling the Dwarves
*Thorin, Fili & Kili
*Balin & Dwalin
*Oin & Gloin
*Dori, Nori & Ori
*Bifur, Bofur & Bombur

-Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member - A revealing look at the film's charismatic and talented lead actor, Martin Freeman.

-Durin's Folk: Creating the Dwarves - Reveals the journey and process of designing, conceptualizing and physically realizing the dwarves in The Hobbit.

-The Peoples and Denizens of Middle-Earth - Focuses on the realization of new characters and creatures encountered in the first film, from casting to characterization to physical and digital design. Chapters include:

*The Stone Trolls
*Radagast the Brown
*Goblins
*Azog the Defiler

-Realms of the Third Age: From Bag End to Goblin Town - Follows the creation of the Middle-Earth locations from conceptual design to set and prop building to fully digital realities. Realms explored include:

*Hobbiton
*Rhosgobel
*The Misty Mountains
*Goblin Town

-The Songs of The Hobbit - A look at the realization of Tolkien's songs in An Unexpected Journey.
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4,300 of 4,860 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait until Chrismas 2013, March 1, 2013
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Almost clicked the order button, but due to my love of the extended versions of the original trilogy, I decided to do a little research before I made that mistake. in doing so, I discovered that the Blue-Ray/DVD set for release on March 19th will contain only the theatrical version of the movie. Warner Bros is including a teaser trailer containing Dragon Smaug with this version in order to entice people to buy it. The extended version of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' will be released in time for Christmas 2013. As with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Warner Bros. is trying to stick it to the consumer again by hoping people will buy both versions. Sorry, WB... I can wait another nine months. In the meantime, I'll rent a copy to satisfy my urge to see it sooner.
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1,211 of 1,474 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the naysayers!, December 14, 2012
This movie is FREAKING AMAZING!!! I was getting really worried before going to see it because of some negative reviews, but there is nothing to worry about. If you loved the Lord of the Rings movies, especially the extended editions, then you will love The Hobbit too!

A little bit about me: I grew up on the animated movies, read the books when I was in sixth grade, and have reread them several times over the years. I'm a HUGE fan, but not a "purist", and saw each of the live action films several times in the theaters. I took a class on Tolkien in college (and knew more about the books than even the teacher lol), went to view the original manuscripts at Marquette University in Milwaukee twice, and borrowed most of the History of Middle Earth books from the library but just skimmed them. I'm pretty familiar with much of the appendices/deleted chapters/abandoned attempts at revising The Hobbit and sequelizing Lord of the Rings, etc.

I've been waiting for The Hobbit since 2003, and have been following the production online. When it was announced 5 months ago that Peter Jackson was splitting the story into 3 films (after already completing production on the 2-film adaptation), my heart sank. It's not that I was opposed to turning The Hobbit into a trilogy (despite that it's meant to be a children's story and not an epic), but I just didn't think there was enough story and it seemed like a cash grab that would probably destroy the pacing. But, Peter Jackson hasn't let me down before and so I held out hope. In fact the more I heard him talk about giving the dwarves a bit more character development and backstory and adding in all the stuff about the White Council, I began to look forward to it.

When a couple weeks ago reviews starting coming in saying that, as I had first feared, the movie dragged and the pacing was terrible, I prepared myself for disappointment. Even though hardcore fans on messageboards like theonering.net who had seen the movie early kept saying it was terrific, the negative reviews from professional critics kept coming in. The movie is "bloated" and "dull" and "misses the point", they said. And so I was VERY nervous going to see the movie this afternoon.

I'm pleased to say that not only is the movie incredible, but it's on par with the Lord of the Rings movies. I haven't felt this way about a movie since Fellowship of the Ring 10 years ago. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all night, and I can't wait till I can go see it again. I sat in the theater for nearly three hours with the biggest grin on my face the entire time. The movie didn't feel bloated or stretched thin to me. I was worried that there would be all these scenes that went on too long or belonged on the cutting room floor, but I can't think of anything I would have left out. It was like watching the book acted out on the screen in front of me with really great acting, music, and production values.

The cinematography has really improved in the last 10 years! Wow this movie is beautifully shot! Howard Shore's music is once again great, though there are some little deletions and changes from the Original Soundtrack -- the only one that really bugged me though was the use of the Nazgul theme over Thorin fighting Azog. There was better music there in the Original Soundtrack and changing it was a horrible decision.

I love the added stuff with the White Council/Necromancer. It's all there in Tolkien's appendices and in "Unfinished Tales", and (blasphemy for saying so) depending on how this continues to play out over the next two movies I may end up liking this even better than the book! Either the next film or the one after that will have the Battle of Dol Goldur and, from what I've heard, we will see Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, and Galadriel battling werewolves and giant spiders as they try to drive out the Necromancer. I can just imagine how awesome that will be if Peter Jackson pulls it off!

And, yes, this felt to me like a complete movie. One of the reasons I originally hated the idea of a trilogy was I expected to feel short changed by only seeing a small fraction of the story and then having to wait another year. But I felt like there was plenty of story and they got into plenty of adventures.

My only nitpicks are few: I liked the design of the Great Goblin but I thought he acted way too cartoony. My other is there were a couple times where Bilbo and the dwarves fell from a height of like 500 feet and just got back up. They would have been killed. I also thought the character Azog was fine, but why did he have to be all CGI? Why couldn't it have been an actor in makeup like Lurtz in Fellowship of the Ring? Those are really my only nitpicks though.

As I sat in the theater I had a feeling like this is one of the best filmgoing experiences I've ever had. I had the same feeling watching Lord of the Rings. As someone who originally hated the idea of making this into a trilogy, now I say bring it on!!!

UPDATE: I got to see the movie in 48 frames per second (HFR 3D) yesterday. I had only seen it in regular 24fps 3D before. 24fps has been the standard for film since the Silent movie days. The Hobbit is the first movie to be shot at 48fps to give it a sharper look. Unfortunately the technology is new so only a few theaters are equipped to even show it at 48fps. Many of the reviewers were saying they hated it, that it looks like a BBC TV movie. I was still curious to give it a try because it's new technology and it's how Peter Jackson intended you to see the movie, but I didn't want it to distract from my first viewing if I ended up not liking it, so we saw the movie first at 24fps 3D.

Anyway, I liked it and I didn't think it looked "cheap" or like a "soap opera" at all. It looked really sharp and there were some parts where the people looked like they were really right in front of you. In addition to that, motion blur is completely gone now and I've heard from other people who get headaches from watching 3D movies that they were fine watching this one, thanks to the 48fps.

Peter Jackson has confirmed that there WILL be an extended edition dvd/blu ray like they did with the Lord of the Rings movies. So you may want to hold out from buying the theatrical dvd when it comes out and get the extended edition.
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313 of 400 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT CHARACTER DEPTH added to BEAUTIFUL CINEMATOGRAPHY, January 3, 2013
By 
Chris Kennison (Jefferson City, Mo United States) - See all my reviews
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Are you ready to return to middle-earth? Why wouldn't you be? Peter Jackson, with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, brought us to a place that many thought wasn't possible except in the written form. A product of many of our childhoods, J.R.R. Tolkien constructed an elaborate world of wizards, trolls, elves, dwarves, humans and most importantly Hobbits. It is an elaborately detailed world of maps, homelands, stories and adventures. It couldn't possibly be realized anywhere close to what J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination did. Yet, Jackson pulled it off better than anyone could have hoped. Now, he's trying again.

"The Hobbit" is a step backward into the history of middle-earth. It is quite simply the adventure that Bilbo Baggins takes that leads to him writing his book, "There and back again". Peter Jackson is trying to do the unthinkable with this trilogy, duplicate the magic he pulled off before. Much can be told from this first installment and whether or not the magic is still there.

The movie, filmed at twice frame-speed as traditional film (48 frames) has many geeks talking about how it will look too real. Ultimately, at 48 frames, it could look as crisp and real as a soap opera. Well, first of all, with a film like this, it takes a lot of guts to attempt such a thing; a movie with such obvious special effects and makeup. Yet, the opposite could also be achieved; a level of escapism and realism that not only delivers a quality movie experience, but also sucks you into a world that you don't want to leave.

Peter Jackson has learned a few things from his first trilogy and you can see it in "The Hobbit". This world is even more realized. The characters are more fleshed out. Richard Armitage's depiction of Thorin is full of heart and passion. The faithfulness to the book itself is even more realized. More importantly, the journey is even more colorful and creative.

"The Hobbit" is a lot of the same. It's another journey full of adventure and trolls, dwarves and orcs, but again, it is a quality journey. The escapism you feel in this film is like nothing you've ever felt before. When it was time to go, at the end of the film, I didn't want to. I was there. I was in middle-earth, ready to take the journey ahead with Bilbo, Gandolff and the band of Dwarves. I didn't care about length or how long I had been sitting there. I was invested. That, is really all any movie can do.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extended Edition - Definitely Worth It, November 11, 2013
By 
Andrew Page (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
Man, I love this movie. Unfortunately I haven't seen it in about a year, because I didn't want to purchase the DVD until the extended edition came out. But it was definitely worth the wait!

The extended/new scenes are great bonuses, just as they were in LOTR (I actually hadn't seen the theatrical versions of LOTR until after I had seen the extended editions about a billion times, and I always felt like so much was missing). It's perfectly understandable why these were not included in the theatrical version, but I'm so glad they were put in for the extended editions.

Of course, similar to the movie, if one is expecting the book of The Hobbit exactly, you'll be disappointed. But what I love about Peter Jackson's Hobbit is that he explores many details of Tolkien's world and tries to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and LOTR. Is it necessary? Not at all, or else Tolkien would have done it that way. But I do think it's incredibly fun and interesting to see things fleshed out more. I know the story of the book well, so it's just great to be able to see Jackson's adaptation, including the addition of things created by Tolkien and things Jackson and his team created--again, it is, after all, an adaptation, and in my mind, a great one.

A brief breakdown of the extended scenes:

-More of Erebor. You get to see a little more of Erebor and its wealth, as well as more tension between the Dwarves and the Elves--an offering of gems is made to King Thranduil, but taken away once he tries to take it.

-Slightly more of Smaug. Not much at all, and I didn't even notice this edition until I read it on another site, but you do see an extremely quick flash of his silhouetted body. Which, on that note, this is one thing that I never minded when seeing the movie--a lot of people wanted to see more of Smaug, but I actually liked this choice better. I definitely wanted to see more of Smaug because of how excited I was to see him, but in this scene, the unseen Smaug works better, in my opinion. But to each his own.

-More of Hobbiton. This was one of my favorite additions--we get to see quite a bit more of Hobbiton (which is now permanently built into the hills in New Zealand--I definitely need to visit that before I die). We see a party much like Bilbo's birthday party in Fellowship but this time Bilbo is a child, and at one point hits Gandalf with a wooden sword, which is completely adorable. Later, you see Biblo walking through the marketplace in Hobbiton as he's shopping and trying to avoid Gandalf. I love Hobbiton, and having these scenes was great.

-Probably more of the Dwarves in Bilbo's house. I couldn't tell you what they were, but the scene did feel slightly longer--perhaps just my imagination.

-A lot more of Rivendell. All very short scenes, but there's quite a few of them. There's more of the Dwarves eating, including one of my now-favorite scenes where Bofur stands up on the table (quite rudely) and starts singing a pub song (which is actually a song from The Fellowship of the Ring that Frodo sings, who says he learned it from Bilbo. I believe it's Jackson who explains in the Appendices that it's up to the viewer to decide if Bilbo learned it after Bofur sung it, or if Bilbo had taught it to Bofur before--I like both ideas, really). I just love songs like this, and hope to see more in the next two movies. You also see more of Bilbo exploring Rivendell (including looking at the image of Sauron fighting Isuldur behind the shards of Narsil that you see in Fellowship). You also hear Elrond and Gandalf discuss the quest, and the White Council scene is extended as well.

-The Goblin King. This is quite possibly my favorite new scene, because the Great Goblin sings a song based on the text in the book. It really adds a bit to his (and the goblins as a whole) character, and on top of that it's just a really fun song. It's out of tune and very goblin-y and torture-filled, but I still loved it. "Down in the Deep of Goblin Town." There's various other small bits added to the goblin scenes, too.
There may have been a little more of the pale orc, but I can't remember anything specifically. Probably a few other small scenes I missed.

I'm really only disappointed with two things:

1. That the "Riddles in the Dark" were not extended. There's more in the book, and I completely understand only having the ones they did in the theatrical version, but I just wish more had been added in the extended edition. This was my single favorite scene of the whole movie (I mean seriously, Andy Serkis just did such a supurbly amazing and fantastic job--Martin Freeman, too), and I would love to have seen a longer version. Ah, well; and

2. I wish that the "Misty Mountains" song was extended. The song in the book is much longer, and I just absolutely love the melody in the movie. I wish they could have made it longer.

One thing that I thought was a little funny was how the extended edition is kind of similar to the Fellowship extended editions. Both mark their half-way points (Disk 2) in Rivendell, both have the cast running from goblins in the second half of the film, both start with Hobbiton. . . . Not a bad thing at all, IMO, but yeah.

Overall, I love the extended scenes in An Unexpected Journey, and I still love the movie as a whole. I still couldn't help to feel that some of the time the digital effects were a little much. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but LOTR just felt so real to me, and in The Hobbit, some things seem more obviously digital. Maybe it's just nostalgia or something, but yeah.

The movie also seems to have a constant struggle between being a kid's movie and not. The movie is by far much darker than the book, which I didn't mind, but there's also moments that it seems so close to the feel of the book that it feels much more kid-ish. LOTR seemed to have a much more consistent tone throughout the movie. It had light-hearted (Hobbiton, for example) and comedic moments, yet those scenes didn't seem to change the overall tone at all as it sometimes did in The Hobbit.

I also would have loved to have more focus on the dwarves individually. Viewing the Appendices, you can see just how much detail and depth they went into creating individual personalities for every dwarf, but I didn't feel like enough of that went into the film. Yeah, they're still more fleshed out than they were in the book overall, but just knowing how much work they put in to making each dwarf a singular character, it made me want even more for them to be more individualized. However, considering the sheer numbers, I do have to commend them for the job that they did, because that's an extremely hard thing to do. Doesn't mean I don't wish they could've been fleshed out slightly more, though, especially in the extended edition (which they were, but I wanted even more =P).

I still wish the dwarves could've had their colored hoods and instruments, I still wish the troll scene could have been a little closer to the book (though I do like some of the changes they made), I still wish the stone giants were just in the distance (though this doesn't bother me too much at all), I still wish the tree scene at the end would've been different . . . but overall I do love the film, especially the extended edition.

I have yet to watch the film commentaries, but I suspect I will soon enough--the Appendices, as I've said, were really great to watch, though.

Part 7 (which is actually two disks, instead of the usual one--parts 1-6 were covered in LOTR) is titled "A Long-Expected Journey" and covers a lot of pre-production; includes a great introduction where Jackson explains how the film came to be and how he came to be director once again; the actors' boot camp and various other training; the shooting of the film and the various sets; pick-up shooting; and more.

Part 8, "Return to Middle-Earth" further details the development, design, and production of The Hobbit, and explores in-depth the background of the main characters and the casting for said characters. There's a section on creating the dwarves as a whole, and how Jackson wanted to do for the dwarves what Tolkien did for the elves, and really go in-depth to their past and history and life. It also shows the concepts, creation, and design of the various sets (both physical and digital), and lastly, there's a look at the songs of The Hobbit.

The first disk of the movie also has "New Zealand: Home of Middle-Earth" which is a cool look into the various places in NZ that were used for the film.

I always loved watching the Appendices to LOTR, and The Hobbit was no different. I would definitely recommend this five-disk set--the extended edition of the film is amazing, and all the special features/appendices are just really great and interesting, too.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Hobbits, November 30, 2014
By 
Joshua David Bellin (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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My mom likes to tell the story of the time I was five years old and got so excited about Halloween I didn't sleep for a week beforehand. Predictably, on Halloween night itself, I lasted about a block before falling asleep and needing to be carried home.

I guess I haven't learned much in the past forty-three years.

For some time, I've been looking forward to the film adaptation of The Hobbit. With all the delays, contractual wrangles, directorial switches, and so forth, I've been kept in a state of nervous agitation for what seems like years. And now that the movie's out and I've finally seen it, I have this to report:

It stunk.

Oh, there were a couple good parts: the riddle contest had a kind of menacing intensity, and the representation of Thorin Oakenshield, though not at all like the picture in my head of an elderly, stately dwarf, actually worked really well. And Cate Blanchett was absolutely ravishing as Galadriel, so that was a plus.

Other than that, though, the film was lame, lame, lame. Here's why:

1. Blockbuster Bloat. Tolkien's novel may be the prequel to the much more sweeping epic of The Lord of the Rings, but The Hobbit itself is a small, domestic, homely tale (I use all these words with positive connotations, as did Tolkien). Blowing this story up to not one but three three-hour movies, with endless epic battle scenes, CGI-heavy chase sequences, and 3D-friendly roller-coaster rides made no sense whatsoever (unless, of course, all you care about is making a buck). I'd have thought Jackson, who was once a director who cared about quality, would have disdained making a movie that cares only about quantity. But I guess once you become a blockbuster director, the things you care about change.

2. Dwarf Droppings. In his essay "On Fairy-Stories," Tolkien famously defines fantasy as the act of creating a "Secondary World," with its own rules, logic, and internal consistency. It's okay, he says, to have magical things, impossible things, in this Secondary World--so long as you don't change the rules in midstream. I quote Tolkien:

"What really happens [in fantasy] is that the story-maker proves a successful 'sub-creator.' He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside."

This is, alas, precisely what happens in Jackson's film. I can accept goblins, hobbits, wizards, trolls, and all that stuff--but I can't accept human beings (or even dwarves) dropping five hundred feet on a rickety wooden platform, then being squashed by a two-ton monster, and walking away unscathed. That's not one of the rules of Tolkien's Secondary World: dwarves are mortal, and (though hardy) breakable, so you can't do any darn thing you please with them for the sake of a really cool computer-generated shot. But Jackson has shown himself willing to do just that in many of his recent big-budget movies, as in King Kong, where regular human beings roll around on the back of giant dinosaurs with nary a nick or scratch. It's big, loud, dumb movie-making, and it destroys the credibility of the whole enterprise.

3. Gore, Gore, and More Gore. The Hobbit was written for children. The film version was made for the audience that every blockbuster film is made for these days: teenage boys (and their hapless dates). So you've got to have beheadings, impalings, amputations, incinerations, and everything else that, for some inexplicable reason, teenage boys consider really, really cool. (My guess is they'd find it less cool if it were happening to them, but that's another story.) Once again, in the interest of marketability, Jackson has decided to violate the spirit and substance of Tolkien's book.

4. Been There, Done That. I loved The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy--but I don't need to see constant homages to it in The Hobbit. Same score, same dramatic moments, same lines, same actors (including Elijah Wood and Ian Holm in particularly unfortunate and meaningless opening cameos where they try to play the parts they originally played when they were ten years younger). Even the great Ian McKellen was rather tired and obvious as Gandalf: he's done it so well before, all he could do was repeat himself here. In retrospect, it's a shame that Guillermo Del Toro backed out of the project and Jackson took over; a fresh interpretation might have worked better than a retread. It might not, however, have made as much money, and I guess, in the end, that's what it's all about.

So in sum, I wish I'd learned my lesson from age five. I'd have been a lot better off sleeping through this one.
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134 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie, December 14, 2012
I have four words for you: Erebor, Thranduil, Rivendell, and Elrond. (In order of appearance, of course!)

This movie was absolutely gorgeous. Costumes, effects, design, everything was amazing. The Radagast sections didn't need to be quite so long but I do appreciate that PJ's trying to get the Dol Goldur/Necromancer bits in. Similarly, Galadriel's comments about Angmar and Rhudaur probably will be incomprehensible to the average watcher but they do hold a deeper significance. (Elrond's 'watchful peace' comment, anyone?)

You can tell where the scenes slow a bit - in a more 'taking our sweet time telling the story' fashion - but it does take some energy from the Lord of the Rings in its battle scenes. It is a fresher, younger look at the world of Middle-Earth between Morgoth and Sauron and the environments and attitudes of the characters reflect that. Each dwarf manages to be unique (Bofur turned out to be my favorite, honestly, for his frank oddness) and makes an impact, and McKellen and Freeman are fantastic. There's a very Arthur Dent air about Bilbo, but it works wonderfully.

I hadn't expected Thranduil in this movie, so his appearance nearly sent me into a faint.

This is a MUST SEE.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we can expect in the EXTENDED EDITION., August 25, 2013
By 
WHAT WILL WE SEE IN THE EXTENDED EDITION:

1. More of DALE, including the BLACK ARROWS. Director Peter Jackson mentions a previously unseen character: "Girion, who is defending [the city of] Dale using black arrows against Smaug. And the black arrows play a part in an ongoing story, for they are the one thing that can pierce the dragon's hide."

2. More king of the wood elves; THRANDUIL. Peter Jackson: "There are also issues with Thranduil. We get some of the reason why he and the dwarves had a falling out - to do with these white gems..."

3. More of HOBBITON. Producer Phillipa Boyens: "You are going to get more of Hobbiton. We always wanted to wend our way through Hobbiton, but in the end Bilbo has to run out of the door."

4. The OLD TOOK'S PARTY: In which we see a younger Gandalf meet Bilbo Baggins as a young child, convincing the wizard of the young hobbit's bravery and courage. I won't spoil it for you, but it involves a dragon and a bit of magic.

5. Dwarf antics at RIVENDELL. Peter Jackson: "You are going to get some serious Dwarvish disrespect of the elves at Rivendell."

6. A scene between BILBO AND ELROND, in which Elrond speaks to Bilbo about his QUEST.

7. The SONG of the GOBLIN KING. Producer Fran Walsh: "You are going to get more Goblin Town, and the Great Goblin singing his song. It is a great song, but it was just another delay in terms of moving the story along." Peter Jackson: "A number one hit from the Goblin King. Barry Humphries is going to rise up the charts!"

Well, all looking good on these fronts! The roads lead ever on and on...
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66 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Pleasure, December 27, 2012
By 
Alfred D. Byrd (Lexington, KY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I put off seeing the Hobbit movie in part because I read all of the critics' reviews of it. You may know what they said: too slow-paced, too stodgily faithful to the book, overwhelmed by extraneous material thrown in, just plain silly, and just not up to the prequel-sequel. Now that I've taken in a matinée of the movie, I have to ask this question:

What movie did the critics watch?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (TH:AUJ) was the most fun that I've had at the theater in a long time. Yes, folks, I did use the f-word just now. Let me use it again: fun, fun, fun! I won't say that the first Hobbit movie was better than the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy, but I will say that it was more fun.

As a book, The Hobbit presented a challenge for being filmed: it's both a children's book and the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, the acme of high fantasy. Given such a source, a movie based on The Hobbit had to combine whimsy with high adventure without letting either overwhelm the other.

I'm here to say that Peter Jackson rose gloriously to the challenge. I fell in love with TH:AUJ from its introduction, intercutting bucolic scenes from the Shire on the eve of Bilbo Baggins's one hundred and eleventh birthday with majestic, marvelous, and tragic scenes of the Mannish trade center of Dale and the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. These scenes showed all of the loving attention to detail of the LOTR movies and beautifully set the scene for a sixty-year's younger Bilbo's adventures.

In the inimitable "perfectly faithful to the book, which I'm completely rewriting" Peter Jackson style, he pitchforks us moviegoers next into Bilbo's meeting with the wandering wizard Gandalf and with thirteen Dwarves led by the obsessive Thorin Oakenshield, heir to the lost kingdom of Erebor. Jackson captures beautifully the mirth and mayhem of Bilbo's unexpected dinner party as well as the dark drama behind Thorin's quest, on which the reluctant Bilbo is supposed to go as a burglar.

Soon, Bilbo is running out his front door without a handkerchief, and he and we are off on an adventure that won't let up. Some critics complain that each scene TH:AUJ is longer than scenes were in the LOTR trilogy, but what the critics call a fault, I call a virtue: we have a chance to see a whole storyline play out rather than watching telescoped bits and pieces of scenes that we got in the trilogy. The pace and the flow of TH:AUJ made it seem to me far shorter than its two hours and forty some-odd minutes of running time. For me, the movie never slowed down.

Parts of TH:AUJ are over the top, but, more often than not, gloriously so. I found Sylvester McCoy's portrayal of Radagast the Brown -- a portrayal in which he largely reprises his take on Dr. Who -- far less intrusive than critics have made it out to be. Even his rabbit-drawn sleigh had a mad logic to it. As for mad logic, the battle in the halls of the Great Goblin under the Misty Mountains won't be believed, but may well just be enjoyed.

Between scenes of adventure, there are scenes of Elvish wonders and of Middle-Earth's beauty that will bring tears of joy to Tolkienphiles' eyes. At its best, TH:AUJ is a visual extravaganza that makes the prequel-sequel look drab.

TH:AUJ goes only through chapter seven of The Hobbit. Purists may sniff at the enhanced role given to Bilbo in the movie compared with what he played in that part of the book, in which he was mainly baggage. My response is, "Hey, the enhanced role works!" Along with it, you get to see Gollum, as scene-stealing as ever,and even glimpses of the dragon Smaug, who must carry the next movie, and looks as if he'll do so with style.

I'll be the first to admit that TH:AUJ isn't as respectable as the LOTR trilogy. On the other hand, as Bilbo Baggins learns, it's not until you give up being respectable that you have adventures.
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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray) by Peter Jackson (Blu-ray - 2013)
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