The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy 4K Ultra HD
(Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, et al / 6-Disc 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / PG-13 / 2020 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment now bring forth 'The Hobbit Trilogy' and 'The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,' from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, for the first time on 4K UHD on December 1st, 2020.
Peter Jackson journeys back to Middle-earth with an all-new adventure following Bilbo Baggins, who’s swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Bilbo, along with the company of thirteen dwarves and the wizard Gandalf the Grey, encounter trolls, orcs, goblins, elves and the mysterious Gollum.
Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the simply stunning 'The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy' in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this December 1st, 2020.
For my money, this expansive 'The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy' 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' collection sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is 'The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy' presented to us as a magnificent 6-Disc collection with a sheet for a Digital HD Code. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265,
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p), HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1 and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable.
For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color throughout all three movies.
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably some of the battle scenes and woodland antics), which is now interestingly different, and more "alive" with this incredible 1080p Blu-ray rendering.
As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos and English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit).
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movies themselves, well, let's start from the beginning, shall we. 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' (2012) kicks things off. The story for The Hobbit is as quintessential of a fantasy adventure as, well, Lord of the Rings.
The film not only does a fine job of packing in loads of events, characters, and fine details from The Hobbit's original narrative and story, but it also ties in some content from The Silmarillion and the appendices of Tolkien's books.
A lot of this is incorporated to make tangible ties with LOTR, allowing the film to serve as a proper prequel, while digging up additional subplots, conflicts, and details to layer onto all of Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth films.
Yes, the film could have all these extra scenes cut out, making the film trimmer. Frankly, I liked it the way it is, because some of the scenes helped me understand certain nuances of The Hobbit's politics and backstories.
Some helped in the nuances of established characters and events (especially in regards to chronicling Gandalf's whereabouts, who would otherwise just pop in and out randomly, like in the book, but it would have probably alienated audiences further).
Some is purely invented for the film series to streamline the continuity (purists might be outraged when they see Radagast on screen). As a stand alone movie, it was a wee bit early to tell where The Hobbit was going with all the threads it had grabbed at that standalone time, but it did serve a purpose in the long run.
If nothing else, it helped average audiences connect and understand the Middle Earth on a deeper level, and set things up for later events in the next two films.
Speaking of which, 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' (2013) is up next. While the film does an excellent job of not simply being the middle film, something The Two Towers struggled with in the LotR trilogy, it is the action, set pieces, and effects which are the true stars.
This may not be a LotR movie, but it's close. We almost immediately start out with a bang and it rarely lets up. Of course, much of what happens early on, as exciting as it may be, pales in comparison to it's explosive and lengthy climax.
Smaug is quite possibly the best creation of any of the film, Hobbit or LotR. He is as awesome as you could have hoped for and Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent in the role. While effects have been applied to his voice to give it more boom, he does a fantastic job as the sneering, wise, and boastful dragon.
Watching and listening to him face off against Bilbo is a delightful treat, and that is before we get to any fire breathing and chasing. What follows is a lengthy conclusion to the film that will excite and delight all.
I have no qualms in saying that Smaug makes the entire film worth the admission of price. But don't go in expecting a solid conclusion. This is, after all, the second of a trilogy, so you can surely expect the film to leave you salivating for the next one!
Which is, as we all know, 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' (2014). Well, The Battle of the Five Armies forsakes the tradition of prologues that would often go back in time from the main narrative, and instead thrusts us into the action!
Sending us with a flurry of excitement into Smaug's attack on Laketown, it is truly a spectacle to watch, building up the suspense and then being the perfect pulse racing build up and is one of the standout set pieces of the year; as we finally see Smaug the terrible lay wake to the town.
And as the title card appears over the ruined Erebor, the film continues to be the ultimate goodbye to Middle Earth, high on energy, whizzing through scenes at a breakneck pace until the credits roll!
Obviously, it doesn't stick to Tolkien's Hobbit in its entirety and makes links to the original Lord of the Ring trilogy, but overall, given what Peter Jackson was trying to accomplish, he did a wonderful job.
Hobbit 3 has a lot of epic battle scenes, mixed in with a variety of moving, elegant pieces of music done by Howard Shore. It has a mixture of drama, action, adventure, romance, and magic - all of them parts that can make up a great film. Which this one, and the entire trilogy most assuredly were. These are all Widescreen Presentations (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and features all three (3) Theatrical and Extended Movies on the six (6) discs.
This superb 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 6-Disc collection of 'The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy' also features 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.
Sean Astin announces 'Lord of the Rings' in 4K!
'The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy 4K Ultra HD' 6-Disc Amazon Purchase Link