Tag Archives: bilbo baggins

The Best of The Middle-Earth Saga

Since we just took a look back at the very first film in The Middle-Earth Saga (click here if you missed our look back on The Fellowship of the Ring), it’s hard to leave Tolkien’s world.  CLS Videos has put together this brilliant dual retrospective at the most beautiful sights, the most memorable moments, and the most beloved characters from Peter Jackson’s six films in Middle-Earth.  Drink it all in, because as long as Christopher Tolkien is alive (and granted the man is in his eighties), there is literally no chance that the rights to The Silmarillion or any of the other Middle-Earth ephemera not covered under the current rights agreement.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch

There is enough material in The Silmarillion for an HBO show to run for a decade, with major stories, like The Children of Hurin, are deep enough for a featured film.  It’s a little bigger than The Hobbit in size, but it’s probably the densest book in terms of amount of potential story threads per page that I’ve ever read.  It’s really a brief overview of Middle-Earth from it’s creation to the end of The Second Age.  That’s THOUSANDS of years of stories.  It’s inevitable that the family will turn over enough members that they will relent and a return to Arda will be possible.  However, to make it as special as these films were to Tolkienites, it will need the same commitment and stewardship that gave us these six films.  Enjoy the video, and a Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the States.

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies EXTENDED Edition Blu Ray Date and Details

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced the Extended Edition Blu-ray release of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The extended edition of the third film in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy features twenty additional minutes of scenes and is accompanied by more than nine hours of new special features. The R-rated Extended Edition arrives via 2D and 3D Blu-ray/Digital HD combo packs on November 17th.

Synopsis: The Battle of the Five Armies is the epic conclusion of the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honor in search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead. An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war.


Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Stephen Fry and Ryan Cage. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, John Bell, Manu Bennett and John Tui.

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies, Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch

The creative behind-the-scenes team is led by director of photography, the late Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, editor Jabez Olssen and composer Howard Shore. The costumes are designed by Richard Taylor, Bob Buck and Ann Maskrey. Taylor is also overseeing the design and production of armour, weapons, creatures and special makeup, which are once again being made by the award-winning Weta Workshop. Oscar-winning visual effects studio Weta Digital is again handling the visual effects for the film, led by senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri. The hair and makeup designer is Peter Swords King. The conceptual designers are John Howe and Alan Lee. Eric Saindon is the visual effects supervisor, with David Clayton serving as animation supervisor.

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies, Bard the Bowman, Luke Evans

The R-rated 174-minute Extended Edition cut of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround. Special features include:

  • Commentary with director/producer/writer Peter Jackson and co-producer/writer Philippa Boyens
  • The Appendices – The Appendices Parts XI and XII showcase a chronological history of the filming of The Battle of the Five Armies, documenting the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth – Part 3
    The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Movie Review: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) *MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson has completed his full six-film Middle-Earth epic over the course of nearly 20 years of work on and off again on the two trilogies that make up the project.  That The Lord of the Rings is pretty much flawless (and, oh yes, we can throw down over that), universal consensus on The Hobbit trilogy is much more mixed; the overall feeling seeming to be that the trilogy’s glacially-paced start can be forgiven (if we all agree the Goblin King song never happened) by the action that took the dwarves to The Lonely Mountain and the tragic battle spawned by the greed for the riches that is the equal of any battle in any film ever made. Continue reading Movie Review: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) *MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*

Movie Review: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition *MAJOR SPOILERS*

Next week, we’ll return for the final time to Middle-earth with Peter Jackson.  The final installment of The Hobbit Trilogy: The Battle of the Five Armies will connect it to The Lord of the Rings and give us a 20 hour Middle-earth epic that we’ll be able to revisit for years to come.  I am not sure why, at this point, the studio bothers Jackson about running time.  These are long films.  But in every case, the extended editions, released a year after the theatrical cut, have improved the film, sometimes dramatically so.

Last year I reviewed the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey before we traveled to the theaters to experience The Desolation of Smaug, and if you want to revisit either of those just click on the title to be taken to the review.  As I did in my review of An Unexpected Journey, I’m not going to retread old ground, I’m going to focus on what was changed and how it affected the overall film. Continue reading Movie Review: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition *MAJOR SPOILERS*

9 New Stills from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Warner Brothers has released nine new stills from the nearly-upon-us The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  Reviews have started to come in, and it looks like they’ll be at Desolation level, not Unexpected Journey.  Rotten Tomatoes has it currently at 79%.  I’ve been working through the extended edition to Desolation of Smaug and I swear I’ll get that review up here before The Battle of the Five Armies hits theaters on December 17, 2014.
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