The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [Special Edition] [2 Discs] [DVD] [2012]

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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
97% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2219 out of 2288)

Special Features


  • Includes 10 production videos: embark on your own journey behind the camera with director Peter Jackson as he personally guides you through the adventure of creating The Hobbit. Join him from the start of production and visit Hobbiton, go on location, see how Jackson pushed the boundaries of filmmaking and walk the red carpter in 10 comprehensive video blogs he created especially for fans

Synopsis


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) joins Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a band of dwarves led by the brave Thorin (Richard Armitage) on a treacherous quest to reclaim their mountain home from the fierce dragon Smaug in this epic fantasy adventure adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved novel by the creative forces behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Long before Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) made his arduous journey to Mordor, his brave uncle Bilbo embarked on an adventure for the ages. Bilbo's story gets under way when the great wizard Gandalf appears at his front gate with a most unusual offer. Displaced from their massive fortress in the Lonely Mountain by Smaug - a greedy dragon who coveted their gold - a community of noble dwarves were decimated by a surprise attack by monstrous orcs, whose dreaded leader the Pale Orc slew their king in a gruesome battle. Now, Thorin, the descendent of the king, is determined to reclaim his mountain kingdom for his people. Together with a fearless team of dwarves, Thorin and Gandalf recruit Bilbo to aid them in their quest since Hobbits have the unique ability to go undetected when they wish to. Before Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves can reach The Lonely Mountain and defeat Smaug, however, they'll have to contend with trolls, goblins, stone giants, Gollum (Andy Serkis), and even the dreaded Pale Orc himself. Peter Jackson directs a screenplay he co-penned with Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Ian McKellen
    Ian McKellen - Gandalf
  • Martin Freeman
    Martin Freeman - Bilbo
  • Richard Armitage
    Richard Armitage - Thorin
  • Ken Stott
    Ken Stott - Balin
  • Graham McTavish
    Graham McTavish - Dwalin



Customer rating

4.7
97%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Roads go ever, ever on…

    Posted
    adamst143
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    “All good stories deserve embellishment,” Gandalf The Grey (Ian McKellen) tells Bilbo (Martin Freeman) before the latter has even left the snug, leathery comfort of his Bag End armchair and embarked on his Unexpected Journey. There is no way this line, a pithy conclusion to a tall tale of Bilbo’s Tookish grandfather (beheads goblin, invents golf), could have been written unknowingly. The Hobbit is a good story. And embellishment, controversially for some, has been the order of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation — both narratively (An Unexpected Journey is now a trilogy opener rather than part one of two) and visually; this sunnier, 60-years-younger Middle-earth was digitally shot at double the frame rate of the three earlier movies which concerned this mythic realm’s difficult autumn years. To begin with the first form of embellishment is to immediately address the concern that Jackson and co.’s Hobbit may be a painful inflation of a slim, bedtime storybook, as opposed to The Lord Of The Rings’ leaner interpretation of a vast fantasy-historical epic. Team Jackson looks outside the novel’s narrative (which, while quicker than Rings, is still rich in detail and packed with incident) to the Tolkienverse yonder, and unashamedly treats The Hobbit as a prequel in which the return of Sauron The Deceiver is foreshadowed ominously. Yet the cutaways to guano-faced nature-wizard Radagast The Brown (Sylvester McCoy) nursing hedgehogs, going boss-eyed and rabbit-sledging to creepy ruined forts do feel of limited relevance to the main quest. Beyond Gandalf expressing to a sceptical Saruman (Christopher Lee) his fear that dwarf economy-hoarding wyrm Smaug could come into play as a fiery WMD for “the enemy”, the threads concerning the White Council, the Necromancer and aforementioned fort Dol Guldur— all direct prequel material — have yet to be firmly twined with Bilbo’s relatively modest adventure. He may find the One Ring here, but for now its connection to Sauron is known only by us and Howard Shore’s string section. Even so, this particular trek to a mountain has been smartly remoulded — the final destination’s always a mountain, this one Lonely rather than Doomed. It is well-paced, bringing in chief antagonist Azog (Manu Bennett), the albino orc-lord barely in the book, who from the start is hunting the “dwarf scum”, soon giving the quest frantic chase movie impetus. Existing set-pieces have been thoughtfully redrafted, so don’t expect the encounter with the trolls (a cockney Three Stooges) to play out as it does in the novel. And new sequences have been added, such as a skirmish with warg-mounted orcs on Rivendell’s borders. The Goblin Town diversion comes replete with Jacksonian grace notes, featuring a neat swinging gantry gag that references King Kong — although he doesn’t let these set-pieces breathe as freely as those in either Rings or Kong. While it’s good to see Gandalf get stuck in like never before, this is no Moria. And despite the running time, there is still the occasional sense that Jackson is rushing, underpinned by the fact that, for all their elaborate individuality, the dwarves remain somewhat amorphous, with only Thorin (an impressive Richard Armitage), Balin (Ken Stott), Bofur (James Nesbitt) and Fili/Kili (Dean O’Gorman/Aidan Turner) given any special attention. Still, thanks to an Ian Holm-presented prologue, we’re in no doubt as to the significance of their mission. This isn’t just a treasure hunt: this is a desperate gambit to reclaim a homeland for a people who have suffered a generation of bitter diaspora. There is an appeal to the way Tolkien’s book begins small, seemingly trivial — Bilbo the reluctant burglar off on a perilous jaunt — then rises out into something so huge that five armies roll up to the ultimate fracas. But it is appropriate to Jackson’s cinematic rendition of Middle-earth that we should swiftly understand Thorin’s position (part Aragorn, part Boromir) in its weighty narrative history. This comes not only via the prologue, in which we witness the full glory of Erebor and its nuking by malevolent bat-lizard Smaug (of whom there are glimpses), but also an impressive flashback to Thorin’s hard-fought, albeit temporary, triumph over Azog on the slopes outside Moria. One question raised by the book is: why precisely did Bilbo, a homely fellow and appreciator of simple comforts, agree to head off into such danger? And why didn’t he bail when the going got extreme? These are ingeniously addressed, and in fact form the arc of An Unexpected Journey. The Hobbit Episode I is the story of how Bilbo commits to adventure, how he realises his motive. And Team Jackson’s answer is elegantly simple, a fine-brushed masterstroke of scripting: the creature who just wants to go back home discovers that what he’s doing here is helping these homeless dwarves reclaim theirs. It’s a concept sold flawlessly by Martin Freeman, perfect casting for the fusty halfling. There really is no other character like Bilbo in Tolkien’s chronicles, and he is arguably this saga’s strongest: a proper, decent, everyday sort of chap (if a little on the conservative side) whose resourcefulness is drawn from a deep well of inner strength. Not as beleaguered as Frodo, nor as acquiescent as Samwise, nor as comical as Merry and/or Pippin. “I’m not a hero or a warrior,” Bilbo asserts. He’s us. And Freeman encapsulates that throughout, without mugging or winking. His Bilbo does take his predicament seriously, and while this is the jauntiest — at times silliest, at times funniest, certainly the most child-friendly — Middle-earth movie yet, Freeman remains its emotional lodestone. The most powerful moment comes during the Riddles In The Dark incident, which briefly brings back Andy Serkis’ Gollum, the other arguably strongest character in the saga. It is a joy and a thrill to once more see mo-cap master Serkis owning the role, and to have the celebrated encounter brilliantly re-envisioned through the prism of the Sméagol/Gollum split personality. However, the true punch of poignancy comes at that most pivotal of moments: when Bilbo, invisibly standing over Gollum with sword at his throat, exercises mercy. Jackson holds on Freeman’s face. This isn’t just Tim-from-The Office or Watson in pointy ears, but an actor at the height of his prowess finding every layer to a character it now seems he was born to play. So what, finally, of that other embellishment, the history-making visual treatment? 48 frames per second is, as they say, something else. And you can take that both ways. On the one hand, the crispness of detail is almost overwhelming, whether you’re noticing the seam down the back of Gandalf’s hat, or repulsed by the scabby goitre dangling from the Great Goblin’s (Barry Humphries) hideously distended face. On the other, there’s something about the lack of grain and motion blur that oddly makes the movie feel less epic — it’s so immediate and intimate that the distance between seat and screen is all but removed. This may make you feel more thrillingly part of the action, or it may diminish the spectacle and unflatteringly highlight the film’s more set-bound nature. Something to bear in mind when deciding if you’re going to seek out the upgraded experience

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Not the Book & Not the LotR Trilogy either

    Posted
    unseencourage

    This movie should be either 4 hours long or broken into 2 movies. To stretch out the Hobbit story into 3 movies has done two things: Created a need to "add" to the story, wherein you lose the flow of the original book & you've created side stories that just aren't necessary or interesting You also make this first film feel like an overly long trailer. Anyone who has read the book will wish the story moved along faster. You know where it is headed and there just isn't enough to fill up the time between the beginning and the end to justify the extra plot lines. Here is how you should approach watching the Hobbit to fully enjoy it. DON'T compare it to the book. I enjoyed it much more the second time around when I threw out the idea that this was J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbit. This is Peter Jackson's Hobbit. He is a victim of his own success. He did such an amazing job with following the Lord of the Rings so closely (Those movies, aside from the omission of Tom Bombadill & other creative lee-ways, were so nearly what I envisioned in my own imagination when I read the books) He also had a LOT more material to work with in the LotR series. 3 movies made sense, because you had 3 books worth of characters and plot to work from. Here, there just isn't enough to warrant the length. So, go into with the mindset that this is a completely different revision of the story altogether and you will enjoy it more for it. The LotR was dominated by its characters and falling in love with each of the Fellowship's personalities. You related & cheered for the brotherhood of friendships that existed: Be it Samwise's fierce loyalty for Frodo or the humor of Legolas & Gimli's friendly rivalry. Here in the Hobbit, by the end of the movie you will find yourself still trying to just match a name with each dwarf. "Now, is that Nori or Dori? Wait, what is Dwalin's role again? I'm confused." With as much length as Peter Jackson gave this movie, he should have scrapped the made up stuff about an albino orc warrior and focused on allowing the audience to get to know each dwarf's personality better. Shoot, even Snow White's dwarves at least had their obvious attributes. This film is gorgeous to look at, although too much CGI is relied upon. Jackson may have taken a page out of Michael Bay's book on this one. Eye candy over story when it should always be story first, eye candy second. I enjoyed how Jackson used the beauty of his homeland, New Zealand to be his backdrops in the original series. Here, too much of what you see is clearly green-screened. It disconnects you from believing in this fantasy world where the LotR, at times, made you think there really could be some place called Middle Earth out there. In conclusion, I enjoyed it and will certainly look forward to the 2nd and 3rd films. I just didn't fall in love with it like I did with the Lord of the Rings. It is definitely Jackson's own version of the Hobbit with a few familiar pieces mixed in and not Tolkien's. I am hoping that the long "editing" time from filming all 3 movies at the same time will allow Jackson the needed self-reflection to make the 2nd & 3rd films much better than the first (as was the case in the LotR series)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    The Unnecessarily Extended Version of "The Hobbit"

    Posted
    Parkas4Kids
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I recently read J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" to my daughter as a bedtime story, and, as I book that I started reading as a child and put down because I found it boring, I rather enjoyed as an adult. The story is often considered children's literature, but there is much, much more to Tolkien's story than a simple adventure. A lot of the humor and social criticism is lost on anyone not old enough to understand what he was trying to say. And it truly is an excellent story. With that said, my wife really wanted to go see "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" when it was in the theaters. However, she was rather pregnant at the time, and we never wound up making the trip. After convincing her to do a 3-day "Lord of the Rings" marathon, she wound up really enjoying the story as well as the individual movies. Therefore, I pre-ordered the Blu-Ray 3D/Blu-Ray/DVD + UltraViolet edition, and we waited anxiously for it to arrive. With the story fresh in my memory, I was curious to see how Peter Jackson would take a 200-plus page novel and turn it into a 3-film epic. Over the years, I've heard many complaints about the liberties taken with "The Lord of the Rings" in how the story was told from multiple perspectives. My response to these complaints was to wave my hand in dismissal and remind the complainer that they have to give some leeway when taking an established novel and interpreting it into film. Liberties HAVE to be taken; it's almost always how it goes. With that said, I had a hard time swallowing a lot of what was filmed for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." I may be blowing things out of proportion here, but only about half of what happened in the film was actually in the book. A LOT of liberties were taken with the making of this film, and I can only imagine how much additional material will be added to the following two films. Saying that, the film, in and of itself, is an enjoyable experience. If you're a long-time fan(atic) of the original novel, please accept this film as an "interpretive dance" version of the pre-"Lord of the Rings" universe as a whole. If you've never read the novel, please, by all means, watch the film. Just understand that the book, if you decide to read it, is a rather different animal. And if you have no intention whatsoever in reading the book, chances are you'll love this film, especially if you love the "Lord of the Rings" films. In conclusion, I could have done without all the liberties taken with the story to make this a 3-film epic like "The Lord of the Rings." It was a bit much for me, and, as someone who has minimal background in the world of J. R. R. Tolkien's Hobbitverse, I have no clue where it all came from. My only guess is that these films will be the last Hobbitverse films made, so they're trying to cram in as much material as humanly possible.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A pretty satisfying return to Middle Earth

    Posted
    TheCrimsonKing
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The Hobbit was pretty good, but it doesn't look like it will approach the original trilogy, just as I thought (and was hoping against). The source material just isn't up to the task, but nor should it have to be solely judged on it. On its own, it is a great return to Middle-Earth; I can say I enjoyed every minute of it, practically. Did I enjoy it as much as, say, Fellowship of the Ring? No. The main reason is because the stakes just aren't the same. The movie plays like a sort of a side adventure to LOTR; sort of a compendium of Middle-Earth. The Hobbit is shaping up to be a nice tale that Tolkien created and Peter Jackson has interpreted, and as an opening up of Jackson's take on Middle-Earth. On it's own, The Hobbit is a pretty good movie, especially for the fantasy genre, and I think, like LOTR, once the new "trilogy" is done, it will stand even better on it's own when it's complete. That being said, there are a few issues with the movie. If I wasn't a hardcore Tolkien fan, this movie may not be for you. It IS too long. I enjoyed even the parts that went on too long, but I can see that the film itself is just too much. It's as if Jackson just made the theatrical cut like the extended DVD editions of LOTR (and that's with extended editions supposedly coming out for each chapter of The Hobbit). Truthfully, I liked pretty much everything in the theatrical cut for The Hobbit, but judged as a film, it's just too long. Maybe that has to do with Jackson trying to justify making The Hobbit into three films, maybe Jackson has just sort of lost a little perspective, because, despite having running times of all 3+ hours, the original trilogy felt briskly paced. Maybe that had more to do with the type of films; the fellowship was always on the move in some way. I must admit I sort of enjoyed the slower pace of The Hobbit, it allowed for some interesting instances of fleshing out the characters. And also more humor; one thing the Hobbit handled very well was the use of humor; in the LOTR I felt there were at least a few added "cringe-inducing" scenes that were attempts at humor that I felt just fell flat, but in The Hobbit I thought all of the humor worked well with the story, and I didn't cringe once. When the extended edition is released on Bluray, I'd like to both see a longer cut of the movie AND a shorter cut as well. I feel the theatrical version could have used some tightening up and made the movie better objectively, while the Tolkien fan in me would still want to see the scenes cut from the theatrical version put into the extended edition. Well, I can breathe a sigh of relief, The Hobbit is no Phantom Menace. Nor is it as I've said on par with the original trilogy. But it is a nice extension to that trilogy, as well as an expansion of Middle-Earth. I look forward to the next two installments, and imagine the completed film will be nearly up to the quality of the LOTR trilogy, and that is no small accomplishment.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Don't be fooled by BB "extras"

    Posted
    MadtownBB
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Just a heads up for anyone expecting something special by buying this special release exclusively at Best Buy: The "extras", which consist of special packaging (lenticular image of Bilbo and Gollum on the slipcase), and the exclusive special feature are both not worth it, for different reasons. First, the slipcase. Hey Best Buy, if you are going to advertise special packaging which includes a fairly nice lenticular image on the outside of the case, then please use a price tag that comes off easily, instead of the one you did use which leaves all the sticky residue. I know, I know: No big deal right? Well, if it was a throw-away slipcase I would agree, but don't advertise special packaging that requires me to get out the Goo Gone just to try and keep it looking nice. Secondly, (and more importantly), the one extra special feature that you get, "A Hobbit's Tale Part 1: The Journey Begins" is not on the disc, and instead you have to register at CinemaNow and watch it online. Not very user-friendly. Thanks for reading.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Amazing behind the scenes extras

    Posted
    grita6689

    First off, I'm a huge Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan, and have read the books, and own all extended versions of the movie. The movie is great. Great acting, writing, everything is beautiful, and the extended scenes (for the most part) are definitely worth it if you're like me and just don't want to leave Middle Earth. But the best part has been the behind the scenes documentaries. There's about 9 hours, spread between two discs, that cover the shooting of the movie in the first part, and then the more background stuff like casting and characters in the second (it's continuing on the tradition of Appendices from the extended versions of the LOTR trilogy, with Appendices 7 and 8 for this). The only downside, for me, was the Goblintown scene. It was my only letdown when I saw it in theaters, and the extended scene in Goblintown doesn't help. It was keeping with the book (which is a children's book) with the Great Goblin singing his song, but the song and dance was really out of place for both the world and scene that is being played out. As well as parts like the Great Goblin looking at the bottom of a candlestick that Nori stole from Rivendell and reading "Made in Rivendell, second age. Bah, couldn't even give it away," and tossing it over his shoulder. It is a pretty weak point in the film, but overall, it doesn't diminish it too much, for me anyway, which is why I still give it a 5* rating.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Movie, Extended Edition not as good as LOTR

    Posted
    benborgs
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Firstly, the movie is great and the extras scenes that were added in were also very good. With that said, I was left a little disappointed with the Extended Edition for The Hobbit for a number of reasons: - No booklet included. This was actually a really nice bonus for the Extended Edition Lord of the Rings (LOTR); a nice booklet with a map and list of all the scenes that were extended and newly added. It's not a huge deal but I was expecting something similar to the LOTR Extended Edition DVD sets and this wasn't included - Extended Scenes didn't really add much to the story. The extended scenes are great and certainly add to the overall experience but unlike with LOTR where the extended/added scenes added significantly to the story, in The Hobbit they really just make the movie more entertaining. - Overall: I don't want to come off as though I'm coming down on Hobbit Extended Edition, it's a great offering and I'm glad I held off on getting the movie when the initial BlueRay version came out. That said, the Extended Edition LOTR sets were amazing; they offered scenes that really added to the entire experience and in some cases were important to the overall story and the rest of the extras were incredibly good. To that end, the Hobbit Extended edition really fell short; it's still VERY good and absolutely worth the money but if you're expecting the same quality and quantity of extras that you got in the LOTR Extended sets you're most likely going to be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Not Tolkien's Hobbit

    Posted
    LiaElf76
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Although there are some great performances, Peter Jackson doesn't grasp the concept of constraint. The book was essentially a children's fairy tale that was later ret-conned into the larger and much more serious Lord of the Rings. And that sharp contrast plays out in the movie. You have the lighthearted introduction of the dwarves and downright silly dish washing scene, but then dive quickly into darker events as the growing darkness gets brought in to tie it with the later movies. One of my biggest complaints is the finale which is a tiring string of battles that you feel will never end. Things are made worse since there's absolutely no drama since this is the first in a trilogy; you know none of the heroes are in any real danger. I was brought to the breaking point by the fact that much of this sequence just seemed like a rehash of the Mines of Moria sequences. When the credits started to roll, I was overjoyed to know it was finally over. Overall this movie is just like all the other Jackson adaptations a very mixed bag. There's some great performances, gorgeous set pieces but no restraint either in narrative or visual excess. This was the steelbook version. Please be aware it contains the 3D version of the movie only. If you want to watch the 2D version, you'd need to redeem the code for the digital copy and stream it a compatible device.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend



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