DVD Shopping Bag: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Source: Mania.com

The time has come again to add yet another Middle Earth Blu-ray to our library. Now the question, like so many more that are about to follow, is: Why buy this one when we all know an Expanded Edition is coming? I am going to try and answer that along with asking a few other questions, as well, in the DVD Shopping Dag’s “Questions. Questions that need answering” about the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray. If you are not a fan of the film, or are waiting for the complete Bilbo Trilogy, then I’ll chat with you on that release in the fall of 2015. 


Back in 2002, I purchased The Fellowship of the Ring DVD like so many of you. Of course, I was upset that an Expanded Edition was coming out a few months later. I watched the regular edition over and over again and then purchased my Expanded Edition later that winter. Have I ever gone back and watched the regular edition? Yes. However, it was with a live orchestra and choir. The theatrical edition(s) now seem as though they are missing something.


Question #1: Why buy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray when another is months away?

The transfer on this version from the Red Cameras is simply amazing. Middle Earth has never looked better. It will be months before the Expanded Edition comes out and the wait for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is still 9 months away. If you need your fix for Middle Earth, then, by all means, pick up this Blu-ray. Personally, I saw the film twice in the theater and popped this one in with no hesitation. Seeing Bilbo, Gandalf, Balin, and Thorin was like catching up with old friends. 

 

Question #2: What am I getting with this Blu-ray?

That sad part is, outside of a beautiful transfer and incredible sound, not much. Sure, I can transfer it to my mobile device, but there is only one 6 minute special feature highlighting New Zealand’s beauty. If you missed the Video Blogs (which was hard to do since Mania posted them all), they are on the Blu-ray. Thus, making over an hour of behind the scenes footage that we have all already seen. I understand that all of Weta is working on the follow up films and probably ten other projects. Weta, seriously, I forgive you, but only this one time. 


Question #3: What will be on the Expanded Edition?

Good question. There will undoubtably be a “behind the scenes” documentary that rivals the one on the Lord of the Rings. I would also expect to see more gore and violence. In the Expanded Fellowship of the Ring, a few scenes were added here and there that Jackson thought would get cut or up the rating. Perhaps we will see The Pale Orc actually lose his arm? 


My argument is pretty weak for these first three questions. I will buy the expanded edition when it arrives. However, I don’t have that option until later this year. The chance to walk in Middle Earth, at my leisure, is too good to pass up. I’m not done there... I still have more “Questions. Questions that need answering”. 


I have never read “The Appendices,” but I have few simple questions that need asking. So please forgive me as my Geekery only goes so far with Professor’s Tolkien’s work. 


Question #4: What happened to the two Blue Wizards?

There is mention of them, but they really seem to be the loafers of the group. 


Question #5: Where are all the other dragons? 

Smaug gets all the screen time, but he couldn’t have been the only one EVER.


Question #5: Why did the “noble” Elves not help the Dwarves at Erebor?

I understand Thorin’s hostility, just not the blatant disregard for life that the Elves displayed. It seemed like a jerk move with no motive. I hope there is answer to this. 


Question #6: The Arkenstone looked pretty, but did actually do anything? 

There will probably be answer to this one. At least I hope there is. 


Question #7: Why did Bilbo (Ian Holm) do the opening narration? 

I get that it is his story this time around, but, on a whole, it should have been Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel. It makes sense for the complete tale of Middle Earth.


There you have it, Maniacs. Watching the film at home was incredible. What will I do with my Blu-ray come the release of the Expanded Edition? Who knows. That’s a problem for another day. As for now, I’m off on an adventure.

Own The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Blu-ray Combo Pack 3/19

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1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)
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