It took some time for Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson to return to Middle Earth, but the wait was very much worth it.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starts off by playing strongly to its links to the previous adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, before setting off on an adventure of its own.
The first of three films based on The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey isn’t a fast film to get going, but it does spent quality time introducing its key characters. Most moviegoers are more than familiar with Sir Ian McKellen’s Gandalf of course, but the collection of dwarves and Martin Freeman’s take on Bilbo Baggins are all brought together, and the adventure ensues. It’s a journey that’s punctuated by terrifically orchestrated action sequences, a swirling score, and lavish production design.
Furthermore, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has one or two real standout moments contained within its running time, not least when we finally get reunited with Gollum. The sequence where Bilbo Baggins and Gollum come face to face is as good as anything Jackson put on screen in the Lord Of The Rings films. And while The Hobbit doesn’t quite capture the magic of the earlier trilogy often enough, there’s a lot here to enjoy, and plenty left to look forward to. It’s beautifully, beautifully presented on disc, too. –Jon Foster
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer.
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 discovers depths of ingenuity 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.
All-new special features on DVD:
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
The Filmmakers Commentary Part 1
The Filmmakers Commentary Part 2
Introduction by Peter Jackson
A Long Expected Journey: The Chronicles of the Hobbit Part 1
The Journey to Middle Earth
Riddles in the Dark
An Unexpected Party
Bastion of the Greenwood
A Short Rest
The Songs of the Hobbit
A Long Expected Journey: The Chronicles of the Hobbit Part 2
Out of the Frying Pan
Return to Hobbiton
The Epic of Scene 88
The Battle of Moria
Edge of the Wilderland
Home is Behind, The World Ahead
Realms of the Third Age
The Company of Thorin
Assembling the Dwarves
Thorin, Fili & Kili
Balin & Dwalin
Oin & Gloin
Dori, Nori & Ori
Bifur, Bofur & Bombur
Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member
Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves
The Peoples and Denizens of Middle Earth
The Stone Trolls
Radagast the Brown
Azog the Defiler
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