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Pre-Order The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4k UHD Steelbook) Available for Preorder (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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Todd Erwin

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Really hope they included the Dolby Atmos mixes, as Atmos was not viable on Blu-ray when these first came out.
 
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Chuck Mayer

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During some shut-in COVID weekend a few months back, I decided my family and I were going to visit Middle-Earth. We had all completed a LOTR:EE marathon at some point, and so decided to watch the Hobbit films back to back to back. We'd never done that set of films in a marathon, and we'd only watched their individual EEs one time each (the weekend after their respective release). We had done the HP films over a long weekend a few weeks earlier.

We can dispense with the obvious, The Hobbit is a shorter novel than ROTK (the shortest of the LOTR books), and so heavy lifting had to be done to create a film trilogy out of them. Originally meant to be done as a two-fer by Guillermo del Toro (a tremendous loss, IMO), PJ had to take over, and then the studio wanted a third film (to increase revenues further) to which PJ and team agreed. The process was much more stressful on PJ himself, with 1) health issues, 2) the stress of living up to the LOTR films (critical and commercial behemoths) and 3) keeping his NZ film companies solvent and families employed. That stress clearly filtered down. But I come not to bury these films, but rather to find the joy in them.

I'll start with the end. I ended up rereading The Hobbit after watching the trilogy (first time since 2002). There is a lot to really like about all three Hobbit films, and I was surprised how much of the book ended up in them. Some of the things I thought were groaners actually came from the written word. But yes, The Hobbit films have a lot of problems, but I enjoy them all the same, properly compartmentalized. Especially outside of the great HFR debates of 2012 and 2013 (HFR sort of went away pretty quickly).

The bad: most of the material inserted to make the films a thematic and narrative prequel to the LOTR films is tonally off and doesn't work within the context of the story. It muddles the narrative, is often over the top, and while factually consistent with JRRT's writing, feels pretty forced and on the nose. This material grows with each of the films, so BotFA is the biggest offender. This is the stuff that feels the most PJ-ish and the least JRRT-ish. The dwarf appearances - yeah, a lot of this didn't work. I know they wanted a strong visual distinction for each of the characters, especially when so few of them get lines or story moments. But what may work from a design concept perspective (at a 20,000 feet view) may not always work on-screen for ~9 hours up close. Some of them were pretty good, though (Thorin, Dwalin, Balin, Bombur, Bifur). Legolas - I know he is a fan favorite from LOTR, and pulling him in for a story beat or two would be fun, but they essentially let him take over the action scenes in the climaxes of both the second and third films. More egregiously, and I complain about this ALL the time to my wife when the 3rd film is on, Tauriel should have had the fight with Bolg to conclude that story arc...not him. He got punched in the face, she lost the person she loved. The bloat - lots of bloat, almost all of it for action beats and zany monsters. Sometimes this is fun, sometimes it is taxing. And lastly, Alfrid. JFC with Alfrid, especially in the BotFA: EE. Alfrid would have been out of place in an early Harry Potter movie, much less a Middle-Earth movie with war at its center. Lastly, and personally, the design work on Beorn is dreadful...this should have been an amazing character, and neither the actor nor the design make it work. And while the EE lets his bear form fight a little bit longer in the final battle, it wasn't nearly enough.

The good: the stuff that actually works usually REALLY works. The best thing about the series is Martin Freeman, who gives the best performance in all six films. He really does, and all of the good stuff usually revolves around his Bilbo. His scenes with Gollum and Smaug are easily on a par with the quality found in the best scenes in the LOTR series. I love the cinematic Middle-Earth, seeing the ruined city of Dale outside of the Lonely Mountain, or the Carrock, or Hobbiton just completely work for me. I like that the dwarves have a more active role in the story (they essentially just argue and hide in the books). I love seeing Sir Ian as Gandalf the Grey again, and he delivers JRRT dialogue with grace and aplomb. I liked the addition of both Tauriel and Thranduil. Lee Pace is exactly the right amount fabulous to play Legolas' father. The art books give some insight into his story here...certainly more than the movies did, which is a shame. It was good stuff (having to do with his lost wife, and his relationship with his son). The film needed some feminine energy, and I thought Tauriel did that. She was stuck without the best storylines, but she made them work relatively well. While I don't think the music was on the level of LOTR, it was still pretty good, and I enjoyed the songs where we got them. It also let Billy Connolly voice Dain, and had Battle goats ridden by the heroes. Battle goats is 10/10.

Overall: I enjoyed watching this films, especially with the expectations I brought in. They aren't as good as the LOTR films. The lows are quite a bit lower actually. But the highs are every bit as good, and there are more of them than I thought originally. I wouldn't dream of fan-editing, but if you kept almost all of the Bilbo stuff and just focused around that, there is an amazing 5-6 hour cut here.

If you haven't seen them (or haven't seen them in a while), they are worth a look. They'll never be the LOTR films and there are some genuinely bad spots, I can't deny it. But there is some gold in them thar hills. There really is.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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[TD valign="top"] WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
ANNOUNCES PETER JACKSON’S
THE HOBBIT TRILOGY AND
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY
TO BE RELEASED IN 4K UHD
FOR THE FIRST TIME ON DECEMBER 1ST

Both Trilogies feature the theatrical and extended versions of the six Middle-earth films in
4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Six-film “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition with new Bonus Content
to be released in 4K UHD in Summer 2021

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Remastered Blu-ray™
to be released in 4K UHD in fourth Quarter 2021 to celebrate 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
[/TD]
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[TD valign="top"]BURBANK, CA, October 8, 2020 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, will be available for the first time on 4K UHD on December 1.

From New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, the two epic trilogies include the theatrical and extended versions of the six films in 4K UHD with HDR. The Hobbit Trilogy includes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey , The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug , and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies . The Lord of the Rings Trilogy includes The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring , The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers , and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King , which won Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Both trilogies will also include Digital copies of both versions of each film.

4K Ultra HD** showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, and more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

The 4K remastering process was overseen by Peter Jackson.

In addition, it was also announced that a 4K UHD “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition featuring the theatrical and extended versions of all six films, along with new bonus content, previously released Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy , and remastered Blu-ray discs of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be released in the summer of 2021. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy featuring remastered Blu-ray discs of the theatrical and extended versions of the 3 films will also be released in the fourth quarter 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring .

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be available on 4K Ultra HD for $89.99 Expected Retail Price.

Fans can also own The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 4K UHD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on December 1st.

BASICS
PRODUCT ERP
The Hobbit Trilogy
Ultra HD Blu-ray $89.99
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Ultra HD Blu-ray $89.99
Street Date: December 1st, 2020

Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, French, Spanish (Extended Editions), English, Spanish (Theatrical versions)
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Rating: All films rated PG-13 except for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition, which is Rated R for violence
DOLBY ATMOS-TrueHD [CC][/TD]
[/TD]
 

Tommy R

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I LOVE The Hobbit trilogy. I know a lot of people don’t, usually because they’ve been familiar with the relatively short book for years (or decades) and it would be understandably jarring to see it in the form of a trilogy of three long films.

But, I hadn’t read the book yet myself at the time, nor did I really know much about the story outside of the few details The Lord of the Rings movies referenced. So as the movies came out, I just soaked up every minute of them. They definitely aren’t as great as TLotR trilogy, but it didn’t have to be. I think they’re wonderfully fun and an absolute delight. I look forward to upgrading to the 4K discs.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I LOVE The Hobbit trilogy. I know a lot of people don’t, usually because they’ve been familiar with the relatively short book for years (or decades) and it would be understandably jarring to see it in the form of a trilogy of three long films.

But, I hadn’t read the book yet myself at the time, nor did I really know much about the story outside of the few details The Lord of the Rings movies referenced. So as the movies came out, I just soaked up every minute of them. They definitely aren’t as great as TLotR trilogy, but it didn’t have to be. I think they’re wonderfully fun and an absolute delight. I look forward to upgrading to the 4K discs.

I didn't read "Hobbit" - or know the story at all - before I saw the movies.

Thought they were okay and that was about it. Definitely not spoiled by knowledge of the books! :)
 

ManW_TheUncool

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@Chuck Mayer makes some good points though I find too much to groan about this trilogy to really enjoy it.

The one point about this overwrought trilogy needing some infusion of a significant female character(s) is probably true, especially if it's gonna be over 5-6 hours long, NVM the ~9 hours we get. Tolkien is certainly not known for having much of any significant female characterizations, especially in these novels about the conclusion of the Third Age -- and I didn't mind PJ's choices in this regard for LotR, eg. expanded role of Arwen.

I do think the choice to add that love triangle to be too much. And the inclusion of Legolas just didn't work at all.

Considering the nature of the original story and how it's really supposed to be Bilbo's adventure (despite the larger context), they really should've tried to add elements that actually complemented the main theme and story instead. IF a significant female character is needed, why not just make her one of the dwarves for instance -- they ended up making/adding substantial expansions/changes to them anyway -- and that could be easily more fun and much more in keeping w/ the scope and spirit of the original story while actually giving us something potentially new and different that even PJ's LotR trilogy didn't actually do (though poked momentary fun about). And then, there wouldn't be the kinds of gaps and discrepancies in characterizations and such across the 2 trilogies, eg. elements revolving around Legolas.

Anyhoo...

_Man_
 

dpippel

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I didn't care for Jackson's Hobbit films much at all. They are WAY too long - basically an overly stretched out, actiony-adventurized version of the book, which they are (very) loosely based upon. They have none of the original story's charm. But hey, I'll still probably pick this up, just because I'm a completist.
 

David Norman

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The Hobbit is a weird style movie. Whereas the book was written as a light Childrens story (for the time, not for now), but so much of it was introduction to Middle Earth -- what's a hobbit, what's a troll, wizards, multiple variety of elves, dwarves, intelligent noble animals, dangerous corners, types of magic, and a Dragon most all which have to be explained sometimes with humorous vignettes.

With LOTR already in existence as the Known World it wasn't needed to be as an Introductory movie and without that, there's mostly 45 minutes of story left (The Rankin Bass animation) and they'd have to dumb down (or maybe Innocence-tize would be better) the world that we already know is deadly serious. If the Hobbit had been made as a movie 1st they likely could have kept it more innocent/simple/charming and let LOTR become the dangerous world -- like the books did and the Harry Potter series did. Going backward might work, but I suspect there would have been a backlash of "that's stupid, why'd he do that" since the what comes next is already known.

Melding Hobbit basics with Silmarillion stories (or some made up stuff) I guess they felt would keep the tone of the films much more in line with the world the movie fans (not the book fans) already knew.
 

Wayne_j

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Before the films came out I was most familiar with the story from the previously released animated feature. "The greatest adventuuuure".
 

ManW_TheUncool

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The Hobbit is a weird style movie. Whereas the book was written as a light Childrens story (for the time, not for now), but so much of it was introduction to Middle Earth -- what's a hobbit, what's a troll, wizards, multiple variety of elves, dwarves, intelligent noble animals, dangerous corners, types of magic, and a Dragon most all which have to be explained sometimes with humorous vignettes.

With LOTR already in existence as the Known World it wasn't needed to be as an Introductory movie and without that, there's mostly 45 minutes of story left (The Rankin Bass animation) and they'd have to dumb down (or maybe Innocence-tize would be better) the world that we already know is deadly serious. If the Hobbit had been made as a movie 1st they likely could have kept it more innocent/simple/charming and let LOTR become the dangerous world -- like the books did and the Harry Potter series did. Going backward might work, but I suspect there would have been a backlash of "that's stupid, why'd he do that" since the what comes next is already known.

Melding Hobbit basics with Silmarillion stories (or some made up stuff) I guess they felt would keep the tone of the films much more in line with the world the movie fans (not the book fans) already knew.

Agreed in general. That's partly why I mentioned in the other thread that they probably didn't need to make The Hobbit at all and should've just made movies from the various parts of The Silmarillion instead -- and just let those people go read The Hobbit if curious/interested.

_Man_
 

Scott Merryfield

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One of these days I will re-visit the Hobbit Trilogy again -- maybe this winter when I have some time to kill. I didn't care for the films the first two times I watched them, but will give them a 3rd (and maybe final) viewing. The streaming version of the theatrical releases will have to do, though, as I am not about to spend any more money on these films (I claimed the digital codes from my BD purchases, and sold the discs later on). I cannot imagine watching the extended versions, as I find the theatrical releases way too draw out and, frankly, tedious.

As for the LOTR Trilogy, I re-visit that every couple of years. I think Jackson captured the essence of the novels incredibly well, and I find the extended versions to be just the right length for my tastes. I'll be buying the UHD release during (hopefully) a holiday sale, and am really looking forward watching them again this winter. It's been a couple of years for me, so I am due for another visit to Middle Earth.
 

TonyD

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Im probably going to buy this on digital since it’s only $30 right now.

Really don’t want another bigly box set to find space for.
Don’t need all the extras anymore.
Don’t need to spend nearly $100 for three movies anymore.
 

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