The internet was all abuzz when it was announced Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson would return to the fabulous cinematic universe he helped create with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Even if you were not a fan of the fantasy genre, there is no denying the spellbinding nature of his “Lord of The Rings” trilogy. Full of adventure, wild creatures both big and small and woven together with a top-notch story, what was not to like? To be honest, with the cinematic drivel we have been offered as of late, this new chapter of a world Peter Jackson made so accessible to moviegoers around the globe couldn’t have been more timely.
For those who may have been living in a Hobbit hole, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is the first installment of a three part cinematic epic based on the 1937 novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. An absolute blockbuster, the film was nominated for Academy Awards. The tale has now arrived on Blu-ray in glorious high definition to give viewers an amazingly eye-popping look at Peter Jackson’s lush landscapes, intricate special effects work and an unprecedented look inside the making of this amazing world as this release offers more than 130 minutes of bonus content.
The story of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is set in Middle-earth, sixty years before “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and focuses on the tale of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, played expertly by talented Martin Freeman. The Hobbit is convinced by the wizard Gandalf to accompany thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield on a quest across Middle-earth to reclaim the Lonely Mountain(their home) from Smaug the dragon. As any true artist, Peter Jackson has learned a few things from his first trilogy. Those experiences with the first trilogy shine through as you can see his already impressive world is even more realized and the journey presented is even more colorful and creative.
The role of Gollum is again performed by the multi-talented Andy Serkis through the craft of motion capture. His performance as the strange creature is one of the highlights of all the previous films, this one is no exception to that rule. One thing that amazes me is that Serkis works on set with the other actors, yet has been denied Oscar recognition because of the computer animation involved. Hopefully, one day that wrong will be set right! Gollum is not the only familiar face on this outing as Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf, and a few other “Lord of The Rings” characters make cameos. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is another journey full of unparalleled adventure, mystery, trolls, dwarves and orcs. That being said, the film to me did definitely not feel like a rehash of things I had come in contact with on the original cinematic journey. The film felt complete as a stand alone piece, yet still managed to leave me wanting more. Luckily for me, and other fans worldwide, the road ahead is long. With Peter Jackson at the top of his game creatively, we are all in for one heck of a trip!
It is important to mention that the March 19th home entertainment release will be followed by an Extended Edition available just in time for the holidays, which is sure to be even more impressive. In the meantime, this release will surely fulfill your Hobbit needs!
BLU-RAY AND DVD FEATURES INCLUDE:
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and DVD Special Edition contain the following special features:
Full Suite of Peter Jackson’s Production Videos. Enter Middle-earth of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” as Academy Award-winning Director Peter Jackson takes you behind the scenes, on location and amidst the star-studded cast in a series of video journals that puts you in the forefront of latest in filmmaking with more than two hours of additional content. Highlights of the journals include:
• Start of Production
• Location Scouting
• Filming in 3D
• Post-production Overview
• Wellington World Premiere
Fans of the series take note! Peter Jackson will host a live first look at “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern/Noon Pacific. Content will be streamed live and an edited version will be archived on the Trilogy’s official website.
Access to the live event will be limited to holders of an UltraViolet code available by purchasing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack or 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. Select digital retailers will issue access codes upon purchase of the film. Visit www.thehobbit.com/sneak for more information.