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
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)
2. Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann [Blu-ray]
3. Zeta One (aka The Love Factor): Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
4. Les Misérables (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
5. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
The Big Picture Starring Romain Duris and Catherine Deneuve
The Great Magician Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ching Wan Lau and Xun Zhou
The Great Magician [Blu-ray] Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ching Wan Lau and Xun Zhou
Jackie Chan: Beginnings - The Killer Meteors / New Fist Of Fury Starring Jackie Chan
Rust and Bone (2013)
Zero Dark Thirty (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton
Zero Dark Thirty (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Jessica Chastain and Chris Pratt
Fate / Stay Night TV Complete Collection
Fate / Stay Night TV Collection 2 [Blu-ray]
New Hurricane Polymar Starring Takeshi
Pokemon Black & White Set 3
Shin Getter Robo VS. Neo Getter Robo
Toriko: Part 3 Starring Ian Sinclair, Josh Grelle and Morgan Garrett
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
This Is 40 (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow and Megan Fox
This Is 40 Starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow and Megan Fox
Badlands (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Roger Livesey, Anton Walbrook and Deborah Kerr
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Criterion Collection) Starring Roger Livesey, Anton Walbrook and Deborah Kerr
Creepy Creature 1 Starring Anne Kimbell, Stuart Wade, Dick Pinner and Wyott Ordung
Creepy Creature 2 Starring Peter Breck, Kent Taylor, Rod Lauren and Alan Hale Jr.
Gorgo [Blu-ray] Starring Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter
Gorgo: Ultimate Collector's Edition Starring Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter
Grave of the Vampire Starring William Smith, Michael Pataki, Lyn Peters and Diane Holden
Hellgate Starring William Hurt and Cary Elwes
The Jitters Starring James Hong, Frank Deitz and Marilyn Tokuda
Shadow People [Blu-ray]
MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY
Les Misérables (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
10th Kingdom - The Epic Miniseries Event Starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Scott Cohen
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
Strange Frame Starring Tim Curry, Claudia Black, Tara Strong and Ron Glass
Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann [Blu-ray] Starring Fred Ward, Belinda Bauer and Peter Coyote
Zeta One (aka The Love Factor): Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Yutte Stensgaard, Robin Horden
One Piece: Season 4, Voyage Four Starring Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian and Eric Vale
Quincy, M.E.: Season Five Starring Jack Klugman
Action Packed Movie Marathon (Cyclone, Alienator, Eye Of The Tiger & Exterminator 2) Starring Gary Busey, Yaphet Kotto and Heather Thomas