The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Did the world really need this?  Is the world even ready for this?  Wasn’t 10+ hours of theatrical cuts (and even more with the extended editions) enough to sit through back in the day and again on Blu-ray?  Are we ready for three more consecutive years of a tale that’s mainly self-contained in one book and a few appendices?  Of course we are!  We’re talking J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings after all.  It’s like Star Wars and crack mixed together for fantasy nerds and geeks alike, including myself (not that I have ever partaken in the use of the said recreational drug).  So prepare to usher in three butt numbing sessions, which started in 2012, resumes next month and ushers into 2014.  There’s a whole new adventure hitting the silver screen…an unexpected journey so to speak…also presented theatrically in an “unexpected” frame rate as well.  Of course I’m talking about Peter Jackson’s new, three-part, life consuming project, The Hobbit, beginning with An Unexpected Journey.  Surely you heard of it?!



Leading up to last year’s theatrical release, there were some that never believed that fated day in 2012 would ever come.  There are others that were perfectly fine with their childhood memories of the cartoon (and its South Park spoof).  But the majority of us all said SURE…MORE Lord of the Rings…BRING IT ON.  Pretty please!  And that’s exactly what the movie studios did with their last minute decision to make the children’s book, The Hobbit, span across not two, but three butt-numbing features.  I mean you have Harry Potter and Twilight films that capitalized off the success of two-parters – so why not top it with three?  Who can blame the studio?  Money talks.  And let’s face it…Lord of the Rings sells.

But perhaps the most controversial thing about Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was not Del Toro’s departure, the decision to break it up into three separate films or even the alleged animal abuse, BUT the choice to shoot it in a higher frame rate, that cursed 48 FPS terminology you’ve all been beaten to death about last year.  And I hate to break it to you folks, but it looked horrible theatrically.  It looked fake.  Everything you have read about it is TRUE.  It took me out of the element so many times.  Movies are about the suspension of disbelief.  But when you throw a stone at me, I expect it to look like a stone, not a sponge ball.  I expect the movie sets to look real, not look like “actual” movie sets.  If this is the future of movies, then I want radio serials brought back.  There’s a reason why 24 has been the magic number, Mr. Jackson, for more than 90 years.  People like it.  I don’t hear many people raving about 48 nowadays, do you?  Sure I can accept your argument that it makes for more detail in quick motion, but at what cost?  Isn’t a little motion blur a necessary evil to keep people from nitpicking every fake strand of your set or actor’s wig?  However, I will say this…bravo on the exceptional and correct use of 3D theatrically.  It looked like a million bucks in that department.

So as the story goes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in the three-part film adaptation of the 1937 novel The Hobbit by Tolkien.  The 2013 (this December) and 2014 sequels are titled The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again.  And in our tale, set some sixty-years before the adventures in The Lord of the Rings, the peaceful, home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is visited by the wise wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and asked to sign a contract to become a burglar in the company of thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), to reclaim their home from you guessed it…Smaug the Dragon.  The journey takes Bilbo away from the safety of the Shire and ultimately proves that hero’s can come in the tiniest of packages.  So therefore, size doesn’t matter.  Or does it?  I still believe it does!!!

It’s also on this journey that Bilbo runs into the one creature who will forever change his and Frodo’s life with a single piece of simple gold jewelry.  If you guessed that creature played by Andy Serkis, then ding…ding…ding…you are right!  Gollum steals the show here.  Of course there’s also your numerous everyday run ins with the those hordes of countless Orcs and other creatures that go bump in the night too.  An Unexpected Journey also reunites us with cast favorites reprising their Lord of the Rings’ roles such as Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett.  While the legendary Mr. Lee is looking a bit rough around the edges, understandably so, I’m certainly happy to see him back and not some re-casted actor.  Kudos to New Line and MGM for managing to bring all the big names back.  That gets big points in my book, for what it’s worth.

So all in all, besides explicatively long narratives, The Hobbit unfortunately feels like three hours of nothing but running away from Orcs.  I could think of worse ways to spend time, but these Orcs aren’t as cool and menacing as the ones in the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy, they’re mostly computer generated.  I guess my only problem I have with the CGI Orcs is their leader, Azog (Manu Bennett).  He looks like they took the lead character from the God of War series and basically “Orcified” him.  He just looks utterly horrible, in my opinion, even on Blu-ray (despite what Gerard says).  It’s almost like not enough time was spent on him or something.  Sadly, he CONTINUES to break my suspension in this film.  You spend all this money to make this film and the lead villain looks like a white Gumby.  Unreal!  However, not everything is mundane in this new universe.  And yes…I’m talking about him again.  Gollum!  He was the character who really captured my attention and managed to ground me in the film.  His performance and interaction with Bilbo saves the movie, in my opinion, and broke up the movie’s later half monotony of simply running away from Orcs.  I don’t know the rest of The Hobbit tale, but I sure hope that’s not the last we see of him in the next two installments.  Please God.  Please!

I know this goes against critic code, but I found a quote last year that pretty much sums up the problems I have with this film.  Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave the film a 2 out of 5-star review.  He said “Thank heavens for Andy Serkis, whose riddling return as Gollum steals the entire film. It is the only time the digital effects and smoother visuals underline, rather than undermine, the mythical drama of Bilbo’s adventure.  As a lover of cinema, Jackson’s film bored me rigid; as a lover of Tolkien, it broke my heart.”  He went on to say that “so stuffed with extraneous faff and flummery that it often barely feels like Tolkien at all – more a dire, fan-written internet tribute.”  Sadly, I can’t disagree with Robbie.  I wanted to LOVE The Hobbit as much as I do the original trilogy, but my worst fears were proven.    The film is above average, but it feels as stretched thin as could possibly be (and notice I have not even talked about the extended scenes as of yet) as could be with unnecessarily long narratives, dialogue and ridiculous scenes that I thought were swept under the rug with the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean.  Sure there are moments of emotion and the protagonist’s recognition that he can be a hero despite his small size and having never swung a sword before, but those moments get lost most of the time behind the paper thin plot.  Why now do the dwarves need to reclaim their home?  What was their sense of urgency?  Smaug is asleep.  Why wake a sleeping dragon?  Surely, nothing good could come of it.  However, it sure does feel good to be back in Middle Earth again.  I’m split, and since we are talking about the beloved Lord of the Rings franchise here, my film score will err on the higher side of the scale since I simply adore the universe and all the little intricacies and attention to detail, but in a more normal frame rate that is.

So late last year, Peter Jackson stated an extended edition of the film had already been cut and is approximately 20-minutes longer than the theatrical cut of the film. God help us all, huh?  However, that’s exactly what we are here to talk about today…the heavyweight contender…The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition.  Available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set or a 3-disc Blu-ray set, the film now clocks in at an insomnia curing 182 minutes.  My bet is that if Gregg Senko did not like the Jabba’s Palace song and dance scene in the Special Edition of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, then he’s not going to care too much for the additional Goblin King song (“Down, Down, Down in Goblin Town”) here or even the Dwarves nude bathing scene either (if I know him as well as I think I do).  And perhaps Brandon Peters said it best with his text to me this morning.  What they really need is an edited version here , not an extended edition.  LOL.  Very well said, my friend.  Despite how you feel about things, I’ve always felt The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a wee bit on the long and bloated side, but feel free to disagree with me in the comments section below.  That’s what they are there for.  In my opinion, it’s not about the extra scenes here as much as it’s about the wealth of supplemental features you’ll find listed below in full detail.  So how about we get started by tackling the A/V sections first before I really blow your mind with the extras?



Come on!  Really?  What can I really say here that you probably don’t know already? For owners of the theatrical cut on Blu-ray, you already know the presentation is near flawless.  Now really…would you expect anything less than perfect here in the extended edition version?  You better say no!  Warner Bros. flexes its biggest muscles here to deliver yet another flawless presentation on this BD-50 Blu-ray disc with a pristine 1080 p MPEG-4 AVC encode framed in a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio.  Peter Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie’s gorgeous scenery is captured and rendered impeccably here throughout as originally intended and I for one could not be happier with the way things look (other than stupid, stupid looking white Orc leader that ruins every scene he’s in).  I could stop here and easily not say anything else, but I’m a reviewer.  The show must go on!  Everything is in check here from the lush Shire greens to the spot-on flesh tones and inky black levels throughout the darkest of scenes.  What more can I say? It’s perfect!  There are no artifacts, banding, dirt, noise or aliasing to be found at all in the print.  Need I say more?  Okay.  I will since you twisted my arm.  Continuing on with the fine presentations we see every detail, texture and fabric in the the sets, the costumes and whatever else you want to study and examine on a molecular level.  And best of all, the new scenes are dispensed within the old ones flawlessly.  Without looking at the bitrates, you would never know.  They are seamless.  So now that you get the “picture” and hopefully understand I will not be saying anything bad about the video, what do you say we move onto the audio section?  I’m ready!



Like in the video section above, Warner Bros. unleashes the Kraken with a monstrous DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track that will whoop your a$$.  Again…like above…there’s nothing to complain and nitpick about at all here.  The bass is thumping in all the right scenes as the events on Middle-earth are happening all around you.  This presentation is a glorious feast for both your eyes and ears to behold.  The lossless surround track immerses you in all the action sequences whether you’re at a party with Hobbits, waking Smaug the dragon up or fighting your Orc arch-nemesis on a hilltop.  The action and adventure completely engulfs you and all you’re left to to do is to simply enjoy the thrill ride.  Hearing that golden ring drop to the floor never sounded so good in my opinion.  And whether you’re fighting in the underground caverns of Goblin City or outside the peaceful walls of Rivendell, this audio track is going to make you feel every minute of it and love it just the same.  The fabulous score is “hear” in all its glory as well as a bang up job rendered with the dialogue levels, which remain loud, clear and intelligible throughout.  You’re going to have to look high and low this year, with the exception of Pacific Rim, to find a better Blu-ray audio presentation this year.  Via the feature disc’s main menu, there’s also selectable audio options for French and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks as well as English, Spanish, French and Portuguese subtitles.



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition will be available on Tuesday as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition; a 3-disc Blu-ray and a 5-disc DVD set.  The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD all include an UltraViolet Digital Copy which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the Extended Edition in High Definition to a wide range of devices.  Now, are you sitting down for this last statement?  There are nearly nine hours of new special features to be found here which boasts audio commentary with Peter Jackson, director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter, and “The Appendices,” an almighty  multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy.  Complete special feature details are provided below as well as what disc they appear on (please note I am reviewing the 3-disc Blu-ray set here).  And before we begin, I also want it to be known that despite there not being an iTunes Digital Copy, this is the first 5-star score I have ever awarded in a Blu-ray review since I began crafting them in 2008.  To me, that says a lot!  These featurettes are absolutely amazing (the amount of detail), fascinating (it’s LOTR after all) and above all else…MASSIVE (the extreme opposite of Hobbit-size).  While the feature may be the cure all recipe for insomnia, these below extras will keep you wide awake.  Trust me.  So here we go!


DISC 1 (Feature Film):

• The Filmmaker’s Commentary – Director/Producer/Screenwriter Peter Jackson and Co-Producer/Screenwriter Philippa Boyens deliver an engaging commentary over The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  As you can imagine, they talk about everything from the film’s impossibly long development and challenges to all the minute details in a shot they could possibly squeeze in.  This one is obviously for the fans who just can’t get enough of the film and want to know all they possibly can.  The only thing that differs here as other reviewers have pointed out is the fact that there is only one commentary to be found here as opposed to Extended Edition release of The Lord of the Rings, which includes four separate tracks for each film in the trilogy.  However, that’s not a ding for me.  It’s née to hear actors ramble on about their scenes, but give me a director’s commentary any day.  Their words and insight are the ones who truly matter, in my opinion.

• New Zealand: Home to Middle-Earth (HD, 6:53) – In this brief featurette, Peter Jackson and gang tour the New Zealand countryside, revealing the locations used to bring The Hobbit‘s Middle-Earth to life.  It should also be noted that this is the same short featurette that appeared on the standard Blu-ray edition released earlier this year. However, this set does not include the 127-minute, ten-part Video Blog series.  That’s exclusive to the March 2013 2D and 3D releases of the film’s theatrical cut.  Don’t be disappointed though.  You are getting so much more across the next two Bu-ray discs.



The Appendices Part 7: A Long Expected Journey (HD) – The film’s appendices, “The Chronicles of The Hobbit – Part 1,” are spread across two additional BD-50 discs in the Blu-ray set, with a wealth of bonus content that puts most other Blu-ray sets to shame. The four-and-a-half hours of extras that appear on the first bonus content disc breaks down as follows.  However, before we begin it should also be noted that all these can be played individually or via a Play All selection on the disc’s main menu.

◦ Introduction by Peter Jackson (HD, 1:54) – Peter Jackson welcomes fans to Appendices 7 and 8 (continuing  on from the number sequences he began with the first trilogy of films), and even assures us that we can expect the same treatment from the next two Hobbit home video releases.

◦ Opening (HD, 2:42) – This brief segment kind of visually sets the mood and tone of everything you are about to see here on this Blu-ray disc.  Be prepared to be amazed and dazzled!  I must admit, I was.

◦ The Journey Back to Middle-Earth (HD, 48:19) – This one is the lengthiest of the Part 7 documentaries and featurettes and focuses on the long road and countdown to filming, pre-production, “Dwarf Boot Camp” training, script read throughs, Peter Jackson’s bleeding ulcer and so much more.  It’s kind of interesting to learn how the campaign to get The Hobbit made all began and how Peter Jackson always said no to whether or not he should direct these films.  LOL.  It was also nice to see del Toro in this one working on the pre-production side of the house before the film was even given a go.  You need to see the look on Jackson’s face when del Toro announces he is leaving back in May of 2010. The Dwarf Boot Camp is also quite humorous to engage in too if you should choose.

◦ Riddles in the Dark (HD, 17:00) – Jackson, Freeman and Serkis stage the iconic “Riddles in the Dark” sequence as if it were a one-act play.  And I guess my concern above was addressed.  This will sadly be Gollum’s final cinematic appearance.  Boo!  However, it was great seeing Martin and Andy interact with one another during rehearsals and best of all, Serkis was also appointed Second Unit director.  Yahoo!  Seeing Gollum come to life right in front of me is just mind blowing.  I’m gong to miss this little guy in future installments.  Just the details and science of the guy (muscles and skeletal structure) completely blow my hair back.

◦ An Unexpected Party (HD 25:28) – This one is incredible in my opinion as we take a look at the newly devised slave motion capture technology employed to film the first scenes of the Dwarf actors visit to Bag End.  It’s actually amazing that all the actors fit in Bilbo’s kitchen.  I can’t say enough about this one.  This one extra is worth the price of admission here in my opinion.  I loved seeing how they filmed the different scale sizes of the characters, not to mention the Dwarves fighting with food too.

◦ Roast Mutton (HD, 17:12) – Here we take a look at challenges thrown at the crew during last minute set changes in the scene where Dwarf actors are being prepared as rotisserie for Trolls and three of the Dwarve actors don motion capture suits to portray the trolls themselves.  Interesting, huh?

◦ Bastion of the Greenwood (HD, 10:41) – This one takes a closer look at actor Sylvester McCoy and stunt-double Tim Wong who both bring Radagast to life.  Jackson and the FX team also focus on the wizard’s unique army of sleigh-pulling giant rabbits.

◦ A Short Rest (HD, 29:12) – This one shows us Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving’s return to Rivendell and includes everything from workshops to learning Elvish all over again.  Christopher Lee, Ian Holm and Elijah Wood also reunite in London for another Lord of the Rings shoot.

◦ Over Hill (HD, 13:40) – This one takes a closer look at the Company being soaked in a mountain thunderstorm staged on a set, and the execution of the Goblin trapdoor scene, which becomes the most challenging stunt of the film.  Keep in mind, there’s nothing the dwarf cast wants more to be completely soaked in 25 pounds of clothing, not to mention the huge overhead sprinklers, wind machines and the unbelievable noise.  It kind of gave the characters a chance to not even worry about how to act because they are in the middle of this gigantic rainstorm.

◦ Under Hill (HD, 19:15) – Barry Humphries becomes The Goblin King in this segment.  We also take a look at the goblin sets and how the extras are transformed from physical to digital creatures.  The goblin extras dwindle in size as the heat completely wipes them out.  They would pour the sweat out of their shoes at the end of the day.  It’s absolutely gross!  However, the extras still have a smile on their face at the end of the day.  That’s good!  They all had to wear CGI masks so they could focus on the movements and the heads would be perfected later in post.  Whenever you get a rip in your suit, you get to don more goblin boils.  LOL.  And if you ever wanted to see goblin midgets drying humping, this one is for you!  It can only be described as educational.

◦ Out of the Frying Pan (HD, 16:07) – This is a fun one with a closer behind-the-scenes dissection of the final battle between Thorin’s Dwarves and Azog’s orcs that involves mechanical trees, interactive pinecones (fiery ones), flaming inferno effects and flying on giant eagle rigs (don’t get me started there).

◦ Return to Hobbiton (HD, 18:35) – Familiar faces and special cameos return to the Hobbiton sets in Matamata after the filming of a scene in which Gandalf first meets a young Bilbo Baggins at Old Took’s party.

◦ The Epic of Scene 88 (HD, 8:28) – This one captures events on location where the cast and stunt team end up running across large stretches of New Zealand filming the Warg Chase sequence.

◦ The Battle of Moria (HD, 10:57) – This one looks closer at the film’s prologue scene which ultimately turned into a full-blown bloody battle to establish Thorin Oakenshield and his ancient enemy, Azog (the white Gumby).

◦ Edge of the Wilderland (HD, 22:37) – Pick-ups shooting covers a wide range of scenes throughout Middle-earth, and the Dwarf cast creates a special last shot for Martin Freeman as the shoot wraps.  What were initially strangers on set have blossomed into full-blown loving relationships.

◦ Home is Behind, the World Ahead (HD, 11:40) – This one gives us a brief summary of the completion and delivery of the film and a sneak peek at what’s to come in the next installment of “The Chronicles of The Hobbit – Part 2.”  What do you say we get over to second disc of extras now?

◦ Credits (HD, 3:03) – I don’t think you need any explanation of this one.



The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth (HD) – The film’s appendices continue on a third BD-50 disc with another four hours, forty-five minutes and nineteen seconds of supplements.  Can you say W-O-W?!  I’m exhausted.  However, here goes nothing as I tackle this third Blu-ray disc in the set.  All these featurettes can be played individually or via a Play All selection on the disc’s main menu.  These giant troll-sized extras on the third Blu-ray disc break down as follows.

◦ The Company of Thorin (HD, 1:02:41) – This is a six-part documentary dissects the five families of Dwarve characters featured in the film, their relationships and backgrounds.  Segments include “Assembling the Dwarves,” “Thorin, Fili & Kili,” “Balin & Dwalin,” “Oin & Gloin” and “Bifur, Bofur & Bombur” with an option to play them all via a selectable menu to the right of the choices.  We also get a behind-the-scenes look at the company of actors who brought the dwarves to life on the big screen.

◦ Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member (HD, 16:10) – Here we get a revealing look at the movie’s lead actor, Martin Freeman, and the process of creating the character of Bilbo Baggins for the film.

◦ Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves (HD, 57:25) – Here we have almost an entire hour devoted to the process of conceptualizing, designing and physically realizing the Dwarves in The Hobbit.  This one includes concept art design, costuming, makeup, props and more that went into making them big screen heroes.

◦ The People and Denizens of Middle-Earth (HD, 58:09) – Here we have almost another hour devoted to creation of new characters ad creatures from conceptual design and casting to digital performance and visual effects.  Segments include “The Stone Trolls,” “Radagast the Brown,” “Goblins” and “Azog the Defiler” with an option to play them all via a selectable menu to the right of the choices.  Personally, I enjoyed watching the making of the trolls the best thanks to the creature department at Weta!  It was also cool to watch them recycle three of the  dwarf actors to play the three trolls and how they perfectly matched them to the stone trolls in the first trilogy.  Just wish Azog was up to snuff.  How they settled upon this final design with all their talent is sadly beyond me.  It’s unbelievable though how many iterations of design the character underwent and how the production team only had 6 weeks to make him work in the film.  It’s no wonder he looks like sh1t.

◦ Realms of the Third Age: From Bag End to Goblin Town (HD, 58:59) – Want to know how The Hobbit locales such as Hobbiton, Rhosgobel, Rivendell, Goblin Town and the Misty Mountains came to be?  If so, you’re in the right place!  This near hour long journey follows the creation of the Middle-earth locales from conceptual design to physical and sets and digital realities.

◦ The Songs of The Hobbit (HD, 32:32) – Here you can take a closer look at how the filmmakers adapted Tolkien’s songs for An Unexpected Journey, which includes “Blunt the Knives,” “Misty Mountains,” “The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late,” “Goblin Town” and “Song of the Lonely Mountain.”

◦ Credits (HD, 3:23) – I think you already know what these are.   And you’re correct!  And wow!  We finally got through all of these extras!  Pat yourself on the back.  We both deserve applause.  You still with me?  Good!  There’s only a few more things to cover and then you and I will be on our merry Hobbit way!

UltraViolet Digital Copy – This is supposed to be an HD version, but it’s not claimable until the 5th.   Nevertheless, enjoy it on any of your favorite UV devices or players.

So after I went through the above nine hours of special features, you didn’t think I would skimp on my usual exclusive Blu-ray unboxing pictures, did you?  Check out below what I think is the coolest Blu-ray box since the Hulk green one many years ago.


Here’s the front of the Blu-ray set still wrapped up.



And here’s the rear of the Blu-ray case still sealed in all its glory.



And here you go!  The coolest Blu-ray case ever!  Black!



Once opened, here’s the Blu-ray disc containing the feature film.



When you flip the Blu-ray spindle over, here’s the other two discs of extras.





Let’s face it, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is not the most thrilling of action movies.  There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before here.  But oh boy, does it feel great to be back in this universe on the Blu-ray format.  I can’t argue that.  And while there’s really no reason at all to have an Extended Edition of this film, the real treasure here are the 9 hours of supplemental features, not the film itself, in my opinion.  That’s where the magic happens in this three-disc set.  And if nothing else, this set will definitely get you ready and pumped for the December 13th release of the second flick in the planned trilogy, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.  I know I’m excited?  How about you?  Pre-order The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition by clicking here or on the image below.  You’ll find it everywhere in retailers near you on Tuesday, November 5th.  Enjoy!


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

17 Responses to “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    How was the extended cut footage?

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I’m interested in hearing about the extended scenes too. Also, out of the three movies coming, only two of them are actually from The Hobbit. The third movie is a bridge between The Hobbit and the original LOTR trilogy.

  3. Brian White

    As I discussed in my last paragraph in the film section above the additional or extended scenes were not necessary unless you want a 5-minute Goblin King song (I am not kidding) or get ur rocks off by seeing dwarves bathe nude in Rivendell. The rest were just hobbit and extended scenes of violence. The theatrical cut was too long as it was so all these scenes are very unnecessary. I did not own that one on Blu-ray though so this is a welcome addition to my collection.

  4. Gerard Iribe

    Yeah, Desolation of Smaug will pretty much be a stand alone flick (Smaug being the focus) and then the Battle of the Five Armies will be chapter 3.

  5. Brian White

    Thanks for setting me straight. I thought I remember the 3rd film being stretched out for the appendixes and stuff. But man…seriously. You guys can’t admit that there is a lot of fat that can be trimmed in The Hobbit? The Goblin King song is awful in this Extended Edition. I could not believe they did it. It made the Troll scene seem like a serious scene.
    I watched the bit rate fluctuate a little in the extended scenes, but nothing glaringly different like one saw in the extended Blu-ray cuts of Underworld or The Patriot.

  6. Brian White

    So the second film will pretty much be three hours of marching towards the dragon and defeating him? Serious questions. Those big birds at the end of the first film here…why couldn’t they just carry them to the mountain where Smaug lives and spare us a couple hours of our lives? 🙂

    However, I will say this…the REAL reason to buy this is the two Blu-ray discs of extras. I have not had this much fun since The GDT Pacific Rim commentary track or the Prometheus 3-hour doc (God I LOVE that film).

  7. Gerard Iribe

    We’ve already discussed the Eagles involvement before – don’t need to retread that again. It’s like saying, “hey, why didn’t Gypsy Danger use the sword to begin with” in Pacific Rim. It would have been a boring ass movie otherwise – what would have been the point? Read the book and see EXACTLY why the Eagles didn’t just carry them over to where they needed to get.

  8. Sean Ferguson

    I haven’t seen the extended edition yet so I can’t comment on it. That’s why we were asking for more details on what made this edition different than the theatrical version.

  9. Brian White

    Here you go guys. The complete list of all of them including the naked dwarves.


  10. Spence

    I feel it is disengenuous to needlessly double dip when this extended version could have been offered first (and only) along with the theatrical version, which would not have occupied much more space. The extras are something that many LOTR fans appear to value, making this release valued, but should have been already on the initial release. The fairly lackluster film did not need an “extended” treatment, but rather pared down to a leaner, more substative film.

  11. frankchalmers

    Great review! I’m wondering if the Appendices are subtitled in spanish.

    Thanks in advance!

  12. Brian White

    Man I want to give Spence a job or a medal or something for his comments! THANK YOU! The sad thing is Spence, that this is exactly what it is…an offensive double dip. The Extended Cut was ready for prime time release way before the theatrical cut Blu-ray release in March. I can see if the bonus materials were not, but man they should give the consumers a choice. Just seems so unfair. Frank…I will have to look for you on that Appendices question. Thanks for the comments!

  13. Aaron Neuwirth

    I mean, it’s the exact same pattern that occurred when the LOTR films were arriving on DVD back in the 2000s. Release of the theatrical version first, with some extras, followed by a deluxe release in the fall. Any fan should have seen that coming, regardless of whether or not they desire an extended version of the film. The reasoning is of course maximizing profit, but it works in the favor of some. Casual viewers can enjoy the theatrical cut a few months after its original release. Die-hards get to see the extended edition only a month before the release of the new film, let alone get all the special features they want, now that they have been finished up and properly prepared for release, given the time spent to prepare for the Extended Edition discs.

  14. Sean Ferguson

    Exactly. Consumers do have a choice – they can buy the theatrical version or wait for the Expanded editions. Like Aaron said, it’s been a pattern for years and it’s not like they’re hiding the fact that the expanded sets are coming. They told consumers that up front a long time ago. I don’t get all the whining about double dipping when this is an established pattern that lets fans pick the version they want.

    Thanks for the link Brian. That’s exactly what I was looking for to find out how this version was different than the theatrical one. I already knew what happened in the movie but I wasn’t sure what new footage was included. I’m definitely going to get this new Extended Edition.

  15. Brian White

    I guess I should apologize. I don’t mean to seem like I am griping about double dipping. It is what is. I’m just part of the group of moviegoers that feel THAUJ was just way too long and bloated and did not need an extended cut…unless like I said…you want The Goblin song or like seeing dwarves nude. Me…I prefer the theatrical cut. However, you can’t get these bonus features anywhere else and they literally blew me away.

  16. Gerard Iribe

    Agreed, Aaron.

  17. Gerard Iribe

    I watched this today and I will never go back to the theatrical cut again. “Down, down, down in Goblin Town!!!!”