Movie Review: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack)


THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY comprises the first part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy tale which follows the journey of Bilbo, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by Gandalf, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discoversdepths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious”ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy director Peter Jackson returns to helm The Hobbit trilogy beginning with An Unexpected Journey and he delivers a solid, solid visual spectacle! The film stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm and Elijah Wood. All of the performances from this great cast are brilliant but there is just something special seeing Ian McKellen share screen time with Christopher Lee again, this scene alone is as epic and timeless as any scene ever, to me anyway!

The entire movie is simply beautiful, from the locations and settings that make up Middle Earth to all of the characters from the story. To me, these locations are as important to the movie as the characters and story are and they actually help to tell the story. As long as the movie is and it’s pretty darn long, clocking in at just under 3-hours, there’s so much going on that it plays out really well. There really isn’t any slow part in the movie which is a good thing for one this long and my short attention span.

All of the special effects play an important part in these movies and this one is no exception. Jackson gives us a sneak peek at the dragon Smaug in the movie but it’s only a tease for what we can expect to follow. Did I mention I love dragons?  Getting back to the special effects, this movie relies heavily on them but they all fit in seamlessly. It’s been over a decade since The Lord of the Rings and with that time special effects have gotten even better and it shows. the movie just wouldn’t be as good without the magic of visual effects.

The packing for this Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack comes with a nice slip case that features the main characters on the front and details about the movie on the back, including a few images. The package includes 3-discs, one Blu-ray, one DVD and one for special features which is also on Blu-ray. This is cool because lots of the time the extras come on a DVD. There’s also the Ultraviolet code included that not only features the online perks of the digital release but is an invitation to something cool happening on March 24th (you’ll see below in the special features)

Bottom line is, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is available on Blu-ray+DVD+Ultraviolet Combo Pack on March 19th and is a must have! It’s Jackson’s first of the new trilogy, an instant classic. The release is also available on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-disc DVD Special Edition.

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

Run Time: 169 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Special Features: Home Run!

  • All Video Blogs from Peter Jackson

– Start of Production
– Location Scouting
– Shooting Block One
– Filming in 3D
– Locations Part 1
– Locations Part 2
– Stone St. Studios Tour
– Wrap of Principal Photography
– Post-production Overview
– Wellington World Premiere

  • Theatrical Trailers

– Dwarves
– Letter Opener
– Bilbo Contract
– Gandalf Wagers
– Gollum Paths

  • Game Trailer

– The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth
– Guardians of Middle-Earth
– Lego The Lord of the Rings

  • Ultraviolet (A code is included in this release to allow the holder an opportunity to access a live Q&A with Peter Jackson including a sneak peek at The Desolation of Smaug – Deadline is March 19th and the Q&A happens on March 24th
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