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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

Movie Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 144 minutes, featurettes, trailers, digital HD copy, DVD

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HA MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD, Portuguese 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

 

STUDIO: Warner Bros Pictures/ New Line Cinema/ MGM/ Wingnut Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 12-17-2014

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE:  3-24-2015

The third and final part of THE HOBBIT trilogy is here, and it is long overdue as I feel director Peter Jackson should have left the adaptation at two books (as originally planned) instead of expanding it to three.   The movie starts out resolving the Smaug storyline in the first ten minutes (which could have easily been resolved during THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG) and then the movie switches gears to the aftermath of events along with Gandalf getting rescued by his friends (wizards and elves) .   THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES resolves mostly around the battle for Erebor as Thorin gets inflicted with Smaug’s “dragon sickness” and a big battle resulting with five armies (or is it six) that lasts for an hour of the film’s running time.

 

THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES is a frustrating adaptation as the big battle runs for too long and feels like Peter Jackson has drunk out of Michael Bay’s cup of action movie editing (the TRANSFORMERS movies where the climatic battle scenes go on for too long and it is the same case with the big battle in this final part of THE HOBBIT).  Then you have resolution of the love triangle between Kili, Tauriel, and Legolas that no one really cares about (and something that Peter Jackson and the other screenwriters added when they expanded THE HOBBIT from 2 to 3 films).   The parts that work the best are the small moments and call outs to THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy along with the rescue of Gandalf.   I hope that the extended edition of this third part make the movie flow better, but I think Peter Jackson should have stuck with the original plan of adapting the book into two movies.

 

THE HOBBIT is probably the last journey to Middle Earth unless they remake the movies or Christopher Tolkien sells the rights to the other books (which isn’t likely since he doesn’t like the adaptations and feels he isn’t getting a fair share of the profits from the movies).    I feel THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy is a better adaptation of the material than THE HOBBIT trilogy (which is over bloated and full or pacing problems in movies one and three).   The cast isn’t at fault with this trilogy as they excellently play their characters.   They padded the trilogy out too much with too many additions and trying to give everyone their moment in this final part of the trilogy.   If any of the other J.R.R. Tolkien books do get turned into movies, I do feel it might be time for Peter Jackson to step away from directing and being involved in the writing of the movie.  It might be better to give someone else a try at adapting the material.  THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy will remain a wonderful adaptation where THE HOBBIT unfortunately is a flawed adaptation.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Blu-ray Disc 1-

NEW ZEALAND: HOME OF MIDDLE EARTH Part 3-

 

Blu-ray DISC 2-

RECRUITING THE FIVE ARMIES (11:39)-

 

COMPLETING MIDDLE-EARTH:

A SIX-PART SAGA (9:54)-a look at the various story threads through THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS that has interviews with Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, WETA Concep Artists, Elijah Woods, and Andy Serkis.

A SEVENTEEN-YEAR JOURNEY (8:59)- reflections from cast and crew (with behind-the-scenes footage) on the making of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT.

 

THE LAST GOODBYE:

Behind the Scenes featurette (11:18)- a behind-the-scenes look at recording the Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd

THE LAST GOODBYE music video (4:21) which is a combo of clips (and behind-the-scenes footage) from THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS

 

THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES trailer #2 (2:33)

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition trailer

 

Also included is the movie on DVD in standard definition and a code to download and stream a digital HD Ultraviolet copy of THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES is a flawed conclusion to THE HOBBIT trilogy which would have been left at being two movies instead of three.  The extras are very few and you may want to wait for the Extended Edition set of THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES for the hours of behind-the-scenes making-of extras.

 

This review is 3-27-2015 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com