Archive for the ‘DVDs’ Category
Extended Edition national Blu-ray 3D
The home video market is dead or dying — so they say. The digital age has brought on massive changes on how we view movies and in a relatively short time. The ways we consumed the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy is vastly different from how we tackle “The Hobbit.”
Many consumers actually jumped to the DVD format from VHS tapes with “Fellowship of the Ring.” But in the digital revolution, that was ages ago, back when everybody bought movies for home use and there was seemingly ever growing stacks of money to be made from that market.
Studios once had a cash cow in DVDs but the milk has dried up now. Once, extravagant DVDs and box sets ruled store shelves while today we visit Red Box and Netflix.
So when a Blu-ray like “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Extended Edition,” comes to market it is going against the grain, against conventional wisdom and against market trends. It’s also the best home release of 2013.
The film is still the film. If you loved it you will love it more. If you had problems with it, you will still have problems with it. The added time didn’t fix what people say is broken. But if you haven’t seen the film, for the home experience, I do recommend the Extended Edition. The length includes some character moments that make the film more a little more satisfying but not in a major way. A bathroom break is close to mandatory and while you can’t pause a theater, its easy from your own couch.
But while many think about the movie, make no mistake, the real prize here are The Appendicies content; Those who are only looking at this for the film are missing the point entirely. In fact, this collection, is itself a tremendous film that would be worth buying even without the cinema release. The movie itself is essential in the package, but what launches these discs into rare air is everything else that comes with it.
Prone to exercise laudatory caution because I write for TheOneRing, and I realize too much praise causes readers to become dismissive and classify the writer as a fan boy, I still proclaim with no hesitation that this is among the finest home video releases in history. It sits on a shelf in rarefied air with a very few discs that can even compare. Among those are the Extended LOTR editions, of which this is a companion piece.
While we are here talking credentials, let me fully disclose that I was on set to witness “The Hobbit,” being filmed for five weeks and I know (and like) many on all sides of the camera. More than that, I also interned for a couple of weeks with the producers of the behind-the-scenes content. I am even credited for extra interviews, so take my perceptions as you wish.
Even if you didn’t love the movie, the exploration of the process is a wonder to behold and the whole is a triumph. And, this triumph comes with WB and MGM financing this content behind-the-scenes content. This level of excellence doesn’t just happen and it isn’t cheap. It takes financial commitment, planning and time. With rumors of late delivery circulating, creating a shortage of discs in some places, I believe I speak for many fans who emphatically say, “So what? The wait is worth it.”
Despite all the greatness on the discs, there are a few things that are disappointing, so lets start with those.
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition
There is nothing about these covers that are exceptional or especially tasteful to tell consumers that these aren’t just another release on a store shelf. For some reason, with few exceptions, the marketing at Warner Bros. insists on slapping a bunch of floating character mugshots in a college for these films at every opportunity. More isn’t better and especially when even the casual audience knows what “The Hobbit,” is. Nobody is saying, “What? Gandalf is also in this movie?!”
A cover with a central visual idea would be a vast improvement and for these discs, there should be a graceful, classic cover, not a garish collection of floating heads. Better still would have been a style match with the LOTR EEs. The back of the 3-disc Blu-ray is actually great and would serve as a nice cover.
While we are here, the Bilbo in front of Erebor “Desolation of Smaug,” poster was infinitely more powerful that the nightmare LSD trip of Middle-earth’s usual suspects in the latest one. Boo. Very much related, if the Hobbit home video release couldn’t be a stylized match with the LOTR releases, at least we could have had a strong central character instead of a collection of them that says nothing.
Gollum and Bilbo exchanging riddles in the dark might be a place to start. The film’s strongest sequence, virtually perfect even, highlights a key moment in Middle-earth, sells us a familiar character and gives us an absolute iconic moment from literature. If things were right in the world, WB would issue an inexpensive replacement slip cover for a couple of dollars that ties this release back to the LOTR EEs. Seriously.
The art on the discs are quite good.
The commentaries with Philippa Boyens (writer, producer) and Peter Jackson (writer, director, producer) are good, but again, this is meant to be a companion disc and viewers really want more commentary perspectives as they were given in the LOTR discs. Obviously the filmmaker’s take are essential but including cast or key figures like Dan Hennah or Richard Taylor might be expensive, and not financially viable by the studios, but they are sorely missed. An unrealistic dream commentary might be to have all 13 main dwarf actors on one track or two tracks with half on each. Careful sound editing would be needed but Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Graham McTavish, John Callen and William Kircher and all the rest, would be brilliant. There are two movies left to get this right.
I am sure there are many who will take exception to comparing the discs but for certain, many consumers are doing it. These are intellectually built to go together.
But, lets move on to the good (great) with a look at what is included on most versions of the film. It is worth noting that there is a Wal-Mart version of the Extended Editions available with minimal extras. (Hate to call them extras because they are main featured content.) Even if consumers think they want to save a few dollars and get that version, they actually don’t. There is no circumstance where that option is a wise choice. Any viewer willing to commit to a three-hour Extended Edition deserves to have the story of the film as well for a few dollars difference. Friends don’t let friends buy foolishly.
Extended Edition of the film with filmmakers’ commentary and
“New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth”
The commentary is mentioned above but the video feature sounds like it might be a commercial for New Zealand. It is actually, with celebrity endorsements. Newsflash: New Zealand is amazing.
The Appendices Part 7: A Long-Expected Journey -
This is a timeline of the movie that breaks down into parts how it was made, more or less, following the chronology of the film. Of course films aren’t made chronologically, but following the organization of the film is helpful. And the docs aren’t strictly about “how we did this,” as much as they highlight interesting stories from a particular segment of the production.
The beefiest is the first, “The Journey Back to Middle-earth,” which also happens to be excellent. It follows the almost absurd series of roadblocks that threatened to keep this film from being made. Viewers who followed TheOneRing will recall those days when it seemed time and again, fate had conspired to kill the film. This is excellent content that wouldn’t be included on many DVDs of other films.
The studios bravely allowed the team to tackle subjects like the financial problems that almost derailed the films and the hiring and departure of Guillermo del Toro.
It would have been much safer to sanitize these events and it happens on many Hollywood “extras” projects but here they are addressed head on — an impressive inclusion. That first documentary is a definite highlight but every single one of them holds up high standards of storytelling and visuals that feel as though the essential moments were not only talked about but captured.
It is in fact the best big-story view on this topic available in either print or film. To better understand sitting down and watching “The Hobbit,” in the cinema, this is essential viewing. It is also great not to start with the first day of pre-production but to have a wider view of the whole works.
One of the best segments, perhaps my favorite, is “A Short Rest: Rivendell and London.” The fact that the production went to London to film Sir Christopher Lee and Ian Holm is common knowledge. A lesser documentary might spend its time making just the fact of traveling from New Zealand to London to shoot the focus of the story. Instead, that is established and then the focus is placed on something far more interesting than it just happening: Lee and Holm.
Jackson and Lee are on camera holding up production so those gathered around can listen to Lee remember parts of his life that are legendary on the silver screen. He also gives Jackson some good-natured crap and it is respectfully returned. Graham McTavish and Adam Brown are also on hand, despite not filming, to listen to Lee and help the storytelling by putting his presence in perspective. It is gold and in fact, it is a pity somebody doesn’t produce an entire film based on the man behind Saruman.
Included in the same section is a pretty incredible give-and-take between Jackson, Cate Blanchett, Fran Walsh on a telephone and Ian McKellen. They discussed character motivations and all the bigger questions behind the dialog on the script page. It is pretty incredible. There are some excellent moments with Hugo Weaving. It all felt intimate, rare and was fascinating.
There are a lot of bright spots here and in fact they are more or less all bright spots, or will be to somebody. The producers and director Michael Pellerin seemingly pushed for excellence and achieved it.
- 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
Jackson also appears on an introduction to promise more extended editions with DOS and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.”
The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth -
This disc delivers production details, some conspicuously missing from the film. For example:
The Company of Thorin -
The families of the dwarves are grouped together to give us more details and insights into these characters and actors. These associations are pretty tough to pick out on screen but are well presented here. Knowing more about these characters will likely enhance view of “The Desolation of Smaug.” Pity some of this wasn’t woven into the narrative. If you aren’t keeping score the chapters are, by family:
- Assembling the Dwarves
- Thorin, Fili & Kili
- Balin & Dwalin
- Oin & Gloin
- Dori, Nori & Ori
- Bifur, Bofur & Bombur
Martin Freeman enjoys telling the behind-the-scenes cameras they are number one, always with his middle finger or fingers. Here is another case of content many studios would shy away from, but a short collection of Freeman giving the one-fingered salute is part of the reveal of who this Martin Freeman is.
So in the next segment, and perhaps my favorite on this disc, we meet:
Software brought Gollum’s skin to life for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” earning it an Oscar for technology and science
Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member
Next we get more tasty features:
- Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves
- The Peoples and Denizens of Middle-earth
- These are broken into chapters:
- The Stone Trolls
- Radagast the Brown
- Azog the Defiler
Realms of the Third Age: From Bag End to Goblin Town — We spend an hour with locations, time well spent.
- The Misty Mountains
- Goblin Town
The Songs of The Hobbit – A look at the realization of Tolkien’s songs in An Unexpected Journey.
This last item is another of my favorites. It demonstrates that despite being last, it isn’t any less interesting that what came before. There isn’t fat here to pad out the disc but instead highly polished, carefully produced, interesting, quality content.
The movie looks and sounds great, showing off how good Andrew Lesnie and his team are at shooting moving pictures. How great does it look? If you go to the audio, visual, home theater or electronics stores, bring the Blu-ray version of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” with you to test out the things you might buy. The picture is lovely with great details in blacks (Riddles in the Dark) excellent color and all the rich details coming to life. Hate to sound hyperbolic, but when it comes to audio and visual excellence, this disc is leading the industry.
The sound comes in 7.1 surround, meaning it can send seven sounds to seven speakers to create a sound atmosphere, if you home is equipped, showing off the genuine excellence in sound design through out the film. This is a noisy movie with loud characters, loud animals and orcs, some dragon scenes, deep rumbling stone giants and lots of general chaos.
But, the dialog is always ready and easy to hear, including some pretty subtle Ian McKellen lines that come through just fine. In fact, if you have the proper system in your home, sitting in the middle of the sound environment, closing your eyes and just listening is a real pleasure.
This movie is worth owning a Blu-ray player for. The film, no matter how much you like it or don’t, is technically amazing. The extra scenes improve it slightly but just as importantly, there is a wealth of documentaries that are collectively and individually great and paint an excellent picture of what made “The Hobbit,” happen. I meant it when I said it above, this is among the finest home video releases in history. Minor quibbles aside, MGM and Warner Bros. did right by fans and this does stand alongside its LOTR EE predecessors. While this film doesn’t extended as much or as importantly, its extras are as good and perhaps better.
Posted in Blu-Ray, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Director news, DVDs, Fran Walsh, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, MGM, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros.
Regal Entertainment Group, operators of the largest theatre circuit in the United States, are using The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to premiere a new program that they call Regal Super Ticket. From November 21, this program will allow moviegoers in the USA to purchase a theatre admission ticket at participating cinemas and, for an additional $20, pre-order a Digital HD download of the movie at the same time.
The good news for people who buy one of these Regal Super Tickets is that the pre-ordered Digital HD version of The Desolation of Smaug will be available “weeks before the Blu-ray™ and DVD release date and four days prior to the digital release of the film” (note: that’s precisely what the press release states, word-for-word). They’ll also be able to immediately stream or download a standard definition digital version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey through any UltraViolet™ service, such as Flixster. (more…)
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From Warner Bros. UK Entertainment; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition is released on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, November 11!
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros.
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition
We want to simplify the head-scratching surrounding the multitude of versions of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey available to fans.
So, based on feedback from you, the fans, the additional information that Warner Bros. has provided us, and the research of TORn staffer Justin, we’ve created this handy infographic that shows what you get with each version. We hope that this will help you get the version you want from your outlet of choice! (more…)
Posted in Blu-Ray, Collectibles, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros.
“Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Extended Edition
Warner Bros. has responded to TheOneRing.net’s request for further information about “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Extended Edition after fans expressed confusion and reported the sets were difficult to find.
TORn’s news leader Demosthenes posted this article about the availability of on DVD and Blu-ray to highlight the frustrations fans were bombarding TheOneRing.net with. Warner provided the following information for us to pass on to consumers:
“We are thrilled at the fan reaction to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition. We’ve been made aware that certain retail outlets are sold out, and we are working as quickly as possible to replenish stock so fans can get their copies on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD. We understand that there is some confusion regarding what product is available at each retailer and would like to provide clarification.
There are three products currently available at retailers nationwide:
* 5-disc Blu-ray 3D + Digital HD UltraViolet
* 3-disc Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet
* 5-disc DVD + Digital UltraViolet
Please note that Target will have the Blu-ray and DVD available on December 1st.
In addition to the national product, several retailers have unique product offerings as follows:
* 3-disc Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet with Bilbo/Gollum Statue
* 5-disc Blu-ray 3D + Digital HD UltraViolet with Bilbo/Gollum Statue
* 2-disc DVD including Extended Edition Feature Film and Special Features “The Company of Thorin,” and “Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves”
* 4-disc Blu-ray 3D Steelbook:
- Disc 1: Blu-ray 3D Extended Edition Feature Part
- Disc 2: Blu-ray 3D Extended Edition Feature Part 1
- Disc 3: The Appendices Part 7
- Disc 4: The Appendices Part”
Editorializing a bit: The Wal-Mart 2-disc DVD probably isn’t meant for TORn readers but it is a real pity that casual buyers will fork out money for that edition and never realize that for a relatively small amount more, a treasure trove of beyond-industry-standard content awaits. (A complete review coming soon.) The home video market isn’t what it used to be, but this is a landmark title that consumers I know, including even casual fans, expect to be of the same standard as the history making LOTR EE versions. However it may serve some audiences perfectly and it may have been a way to manufacture and ship the DVDs early to impulse buyers.
By not flooding stores by Black Friday in the U.S., (an enormous retail day immediately following U.S. Thanksgiving) sales will be less than they could have been. On the other hand, many fans have echoed the same thought through social media and in our in boxes: If it takes longer to release the best possible version of film and extras, it is worth the wait. We will of course provide further information as it becomes available.
Check the gallery below to see the product specifics.
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Wal-Mart 2-disc DVD
Extended Edition national DVD
Extended Edition national Blu-ray
Extended Edition national Blu-ray 3D
Best Buy 4-disc Blu-ray 3D steelbook
Amazon Blu-ray with statue
Amazon Blu-ray 3D with statue
I’m certainly no poster child for the Peter Jackson fan club, but a hatchet job review of the Extended Edition by Fred Topel over at CraveOnline is full of such over-the-top hyperbole that I cannot let it pass. It reeks of clickbait. And, as someone who makes a living working in advertising, I know clickbait pretty well. Yet its headline, and conclusion, is so at odds with the calibre of the evidence in support that I simply cannot let it pass without comment.
(In the spirit of not rewarding clickbait, I’m not even linking the article here. I know that’s a bit fraught, but if you do really want to read it, here’s Google search. It’s not hard to find.)
Let’s take Toper’s conclusion, and ultimate claim about the EE (and The Hobbit film trilogy as a whole):
“We are witnessing the dawn of a cinematic train wreck.”
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Media Reviews, Merchandise, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Physical (i.e.: Blu-ray 3D and DVD) copies of the Extended Edition of the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were supposed to go on sale in stores in the USA on November 5, with the UK follow on November 11.
But the journey from screen to store to the hands of fans has proved to be as challenging as Bilbo’s own adventure. Over the past couple of days, TORn has received numerous reports from perturbed fans via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
Fans report that the Extended Edition is unavailable at Target in all forms, difficult to find at Best Buy and Barnes & Noble (where you might grab a Blu-ray copy, but are unlikely to find the DVD), and that Amazon is temporarily out of stock of the DVD and shipments are being delayed by one to three days.
What’s going on? Well, we have reached out to Warner Bros. to find out what’s happening, and provide some firm answers. In the meantime, read our complete report on the issues that fans have been experiencing trying to get their hands on a copy of the EE — and a couple of things you need to be wary of lest you end up with a version that contains less than you expected! (more…)
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros.
Courtesy of Warner Bros., we have this glorious high-definition clip of a very young Bilbo watching fireworks and pestering Gandalf at one of The Old Took’s famous parties from the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (more…)
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros.
Can’t wait until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition is released on DVD and Blu-ray November 4th? Can’t download it on iTunes? Want to know exactly what those 13 minutes of extra footage are going to reveal? Well, wait no more! We have a detailed list of each extended scene, as well as a few screencaps for good measure. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
04:10: Additional footage of Thranduil at Erebor. (Bilbo’s voiceover): “All would pay homage to him, even the great elven King Thranduil… (new) As the great wealth of the dwarves grew, their store of good will ran thin. No one knows exactly what began the rift. The elves say the dwarves stole their treasure. The dwarves tell another tale. They say the Elven king refused to give them their rightful pay. It is sad, Frodo, how old alliances can be broken, how friendships between peoples can be lost. And for what?” (more…)
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition features over 4 hours of behind the scenes extras, and is exclusively on iTunes (you can download it here). This article is first in a series on the Extended Edition extras and discusses the long and winding road back to Middle-earth.
Chapter 1: The Journey Back to Middle-earth
August 8, 1999 – Peter Jackson’s cutting room in Wellington, New Zealand, in the early stages of filming The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Peter, reclining on a sofa, tells the editors in the room, ”This is a very complicated movie, times three, all at once. This is going to be the hardest thing I ever do in my life, and I will never…i’ve actually had enough, really, of these complicated things, and my next movie is going to be really simple. Whatever it is, it’ll be as simple as hell.”
We now know that his next movie, King Kong, was not exactly simple, however it must have felt like it compared to the 18 months it took to film The Lord of the Rings trilogy! “When we made The Lord of the Rings I was absolutely sure that was going to be a once in a lifetime experience”, Peter says.
Cut to February 24th, 2004: TheOneRing.net’s historic Oscars party, where Peter declares (amidst the chanting of ‘Hobbit!’ from the partygoers), “Let’s not shut down TheOneRing.net down just at this moment!”
Screenwriter Phillipa Boyens explains: “The idea of doing ‘The Hobbit’ was always there, in terms of the fact that The Lord of the Rings trilogy had been so successful. The studio was keen to do it, but there were rights issues which were quite complicated.” One of the big hurdles was that Warner Brothers did not own all the rights to The Hobbit; they were shared between Warner Brothers and MGM, so that would need to be sorted out before a film (or films) could be greenlit. Not to mention that Peter was not interested in directing it. During the filming of the LotR trilogy, Elijah Wood asked Peter if he thought he might like to do The Hobbit someday, and Peter was quick to answer “no”. Peter said his idea had been that if it did get made, he, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa Boyens would write the script and produce it, and someone else would direct.
An early favorite of the writers was Guillermo del Toro, who had directed ‘The Devil’s Backbone’, ‘Hellboy’, and ‘Blade 2′. When he was offered the job, Guillermo enthusiastically said yes. In May 2009 he told TOR.n staffer Quickbeam, “I am exploding with the desire to show everything! It’s fun, but it’s challenging, and it requires you to have your stuff together..you have to do your homework everyday.”
Studios MGM and Warner Brothers would now need to work out a deal where they would share in the production and distribution of The Hobbit. Even before the films got a greenlight from the studios, the writers and Weta Workshop were able to do quite a lot of work, including writing the script, production design, building armour and character maquettes. It took quite a while for MGM and Warner Brothers to work out a deal, but just as they got close to finalizing, MGM faced some financial issues which caused additional delays and pushed the start date of filming even further back. Guillermo had other films that he wanted to do, and had to decide if he wanted to wait another few months for a possible start date. In early 2010, after a year and a half of pre-production, he made the decision to step down as director. “I remember the meeting where he announced he had to leave”, conceptual artist John Howe recalls, “and he was very clearly heartbroken.”
Peter, however, didn’t instantly step up as a replacement. “At the point that Guillermo left, a substantial amount of money had been spent, and a huge amount of work had been done. And we (the production team) talked about it and said, well do we now find somebody else who would like to make The Hobbit, and so essentially start that journey again, or do we help the studio in a very difficult situation and do I step in and do it?” The studios were hesitant to greenlight a film without a director. It took some time, and some persuasion from the other producers to convince Peter that if the films were going to get made, he would need to step back in as director.
After months of legal wrangling, The Hobbit finally got a greenlight to start production. However, Peter would have a lot less time to prepare for The Hobbit than he did for The Lord of the Rings. “On The Lord of the Rings, I had two, two and a half years to prepare three movies. And on The Hobbit, I had about 5 months to prepare.”
The next step was to figure out what ideas from the pre-production under Guillermo del Toro would stay, and what would need to be changed. It was decided that, although del Toro’s designs would be great in a del Toro film, it wouldn’t be right for a Peter Jackson film. Peter explains,”What I thought I had to do at that point was to say ‘Okay, you’re the guy that made The Lord of the Rings; get back into that zone, get back into that head space.’” Once they sorted out designs, the filmmakers were able to start casting the roles and set a new principle filming start date of February 2011.
“There was quite a long period in the years between The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and Fran and I just took the attitude of, ‘Well, if we do The Hobbit that’ll be because, you know, that is where fate has pushed us….so i’ve sort of done the once in a lifetime twice in my lifetime, but not a third time, there won’t be a third time!”
The cast was assembled and were brought down to New Zealand; Weta was busy with set, costume, and makeup designs. But there was still one more hurdle left before filming started: on January 26, 2011, just a few days after the first script read through with the cast, Peter is rushed to the hospital with a perforated ulcer, delaying filming yet again. Although he was still able to do a little work from his sick-bed, he would not return to the set until March 3rd. Principal photography finally began on March 21st, 2011.
To be continued…
Posted in DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Air New Zealand is showing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey EXTENDED EDITION before any of the rest of us have a chance to get our hands on it! And one lucky fan got to see it. Based on what she could remember, here’s her account — from her blog, ‘fortysixthhour’ – of the new scenes you can expect. TORn’s own comments are added in [bold and square brackets]:
Oh, and a warning for significant movie spoiler material!
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
It’s almost here! Before we get to The Desolation of Smaug, we can start that Unexpected Journey all over again with the Extended Edition of the first Hobbit movie! The digital download of the movie will be available October 22nd – that’s just next week! – with the Blu-ray 3D and DVD versions to follow on November 5th in the US, November 11th in the UK.
The word from the official press release is that this extended version ‘Features a 13-Minute Longer Cut and Nearly Nine Hours of New Special Features.’ The digital download will be available exclusively on iTunes from 22nd October, before being made widely available on 4th November.
The press release quotes Peter Jackson:
“I’m thrilled that the Extended Edition will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features,” said Jackson. “It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of An Unexpected Journey to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.”
Here’s what we can expect in those nearly nine hours of special features:
• Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
• The Appendices – A multi-part chronological history of the filming of The Hobbit: 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, the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth [A documentary film we assume, though the press release doesn't say anything else about this feature.]
Once the Extended Edition is available in ‘hard copy’ in November, you’ll be able to choose from a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition, or a 5-disc DVD set. The Blu-ray 3D and DVD both include UltraViolet versions of the movie, allowing download and instant streaming.
As soon as we have more details to bring you about the Extended Edition – for example, any different sets or packaging, and any international variations – we will of course bring you that news! Meanwhile, just over a week and we can see those extended scenes… Let the countdown begin!
[Pre-order The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition Blu-ray.]
[Pre-order The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition DVD.]
[Pre-order The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition Blu-ray 3D.]
[Pre-order The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition with Gollum/Bilbo statue.]
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey