Alex Lynch Reviews: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY [Blu-Ray/Special Features]
Growing up, I just couldn’t get into The Lord of the Rings mythology. I tried the books, I tried to movies and I tried the games. The only thing that actually really kicked with me was the video game Return of the King, which was spectacular in almost every way and I’m still playing it to this day. Even though I didn’t like the LOTR movies, I always looked up to Aragorn and Gandalf as iconic figures and great heroes despite not knowing too much about them. Someday I’m going to go through the Rings saga again because they really do have an incredible cast of characters, but I was more focused on action-packed Sci-Fi like Star Wars.
Even though it's a little on the late side, we have our review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack release. Is the trip back to Middle-Earth a success or has Peter Jackson failed at bringing this adventure to life?
When The Hobbit was announced , I brushed it off and totally forgot it even existed until a trailer came out, and surely enough my feelings about the cast (Martin Freeman, specifically) gave me enough interest to check it out, and that was pretty much the only material of marketing I watched before seeing the movie. Later on, I viewed The Hobbit in IMAX 3D purely because of the Star Trek Into Darkness prologue (which was fantastic) and I was extremely, extremely pleased with the film. The Hobbit was absolutely beautiful in IMAX 3D, but is the adventure still as unexpectedly awesome on Blu-Ray?
The Hobbit is a thrilling tale with action, humor and wild, spectacular adventure. Peter Jackson takes all of his amazing knowledge on directing and applies it to The Hobbit, a film that captivates with its incredible cast of characters, effects and unbelievable locations. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes filled with an amazing ensemble cast of actors such as Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis all being highlights of the film. In addition to the cast, An Unexpected Journey touts a great, linear story with little plot holes or errors inspired by the original Hobbit novels. Even though An Unexpected Journey visuals aren’t necessary “realistic”, they are stunning to see in action and fit with the scope, or tone, of the film. If you combine all of these elements, you get one great film in The Hobbit.
The acting in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is absolutely superb thanks to a fantastic cast. In the film, it definitely feels like all the actors know their parts very well, especially that of veteran Lord Of The Rings actors like Ian McKellen, who’ve played their part before. Also, it doesn’t seem like there is any rust because of being away from Middle Earth for 10 years, and since this film is a prequel it’d be quite strange for any veteran to seem out of character. Next, new star Martin Freeman portrays a young, vibrant yet hesitant Bilbo Baggins very well, always keeping the spirit of the character intact no matter what the ol’ Hobbit goes through. Through Martin Freeman’s acting, we finally have an amazing and spirit-filled adaptation of a young Bilbo Baggins, which had only been seen through animation and video games before. All of the cast, including some of the supporting actors (Sylvester McCoy, Christopher Lee, etc.) bring their A-Game to the table to please Peter Jackson and make sure the return to Middle-Earth is worth the trip.
In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Bilbo Baggins joins a crew of Dwarves to help take back their land that was destroyed by the evil dragon, Smaug, who we’ll see in full during The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. The story of The Hobbit is very simple and family-friendly, not to mention the ties to Lord Of The Rings give it some great leverage. Many fans of Lord Of The Rings material will remember quite a few characters and enjoy revisiting plenty of these characters and locations once again. However, if you weren’t a fan of Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit boasts a great villain in The Pale Orc and develops each and every one of its main characters in a fairly large way. Also, with its great character development, being new to The Hobbit mythology will not be a problem at all due to intense flashbacks accompanied by atmospheric narration. In addition to the development, many of these flashbacks help establish the film’s villain, the Pale Orc. Not only is he greatly designed, but The Pale Orc’s background also ties into one of the main dwarves, making the film’s subplot extremely interesting. There, are, however some segments of the story that seem to go on longer than they should, however these do not take away the film’s overall quality but rather make the pacing seem unsteady. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey boasts a thrilling, charming storyline with spectacular effects such as the Stone Giant fight and the final scene with The Pale Orc.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a must see for not only Lord Of The Rings fans, but also casual movie viewers who like to show something to their family. The Blu-Ray looks, and sounds, absolutely stunning and is the ONLY right format to see this movie in. Recommended.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey special features showcase some really great production videos and bonus trailers. For example, the featurette showcasing how beautiful New Zealand is will probably make you appreciate the hard work the cast and crew have done and also blow your mind on how beautiful certain parts of the Earth really are. The cast and crew all appreciate New Zealand and I don’t blame them because it’s such a beautiful place. In addition to that featurette, all the production blogs from the marketing of the film are included in the Blu-Ray, and they give you a giant amount of content. Each blog spans about 10 minutes long, giving you about 2 hours of content on the production of The Hobbit. They feature cast interviews, crew interviews and a giant block of behind the scenes footage that truly picks Peter Jackson’s brain and are definitely worth watching. Overall, the add-on content for The Hobbit is in small variety but the quality certainly overcomes the quantity.
5 out of 5 stars
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