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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Adventure > Swords > Battles > Sequel > Epic > Literature > The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Extended Edition (2013/Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Extended Edition (2013/Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray)

Picture: A/A- Sound: A/A Extras: A Film: A-

If you thought turning the shortest book in the Tolkien, Lord of the Rings series into 3 lengthy feature films; then perhaps an extended edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is not for you. For the rest of us, this 186 minute feature film is AMAZING!

Now, is it hours and hours of new footage? No. Does the new material change the film? No. Is this Extended Edition as good as the penultimate Lord of the Rings: Trilogy Extended Editions? No. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Extended Edition is, however, the better edition of the film and better than the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; which seemed a bit long winded and unnecessary.

The 25 minutes of extra footage is hard to notice at times, but does the job of fleshing out scenes and building a bit more character development than previously seen. For the general public or casual fans, the Theatrical Cut is just find; but diehards will find this edition superb.

The technical features on this extended edition Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray are undistinguishable from the original Blu-ray releases; which is a good thing seeing as how excellent those original renditions were. The only difference is the addition of extended footage, which blends seamlessly.

By adding the material back in Jackson has given the film a bit more girth and room to breathe. That is too say (though an already lengthy film) at times Desolation of Smaug seemed to abruptly jump from scene to scene (or tangential tale); here the few extra minutes give the film a new life and allow a scene to show its true potential.

If you are a Hobbit/LOTR fans this is a must own and a must upgrade; the 25 minutes of extra footage is enough, but with over 10 hours of bonus material fans should be drooling like an Orc.

For a more in depth look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug please refer to the link below:


The technical features again on this Extended Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray release are all done exceedingly well. The picture on the standard Blu-ray is a 2.40 X 1 image in a 1080p, AVC encoded, MPEG-4 that is again stunning from beginning to end. The image is crisp, clean, and clear throughout; giving off astonishing realism and capturing the true essence of the film. Every hair, every fiber, every bit of rust can be seen. The film is without light and dark issues; projecting the finest details in even the murkiest of atmospheres. There are the occasional moments of aliasing, but far and few. As a reminder, Peter Jackson filmed The Hobbit exclusively on a Red Epic Camera System at the 48 frames per second (fps) rate; which translates to 24 fps here on Blu-ray without any issues to be seen. My main issue with the film (similar to the first) is the brighter style of The Hobbit. With the Lord of the Rings Series we were delivered all of the fine detail and life, but with a dimmer lighting scheme and grit that made the film appear realer. As we move from An Unexpected Journey to Desolation of Smaug the film does take on a somewhat deeper, darker feel; but not enough for this reviewer's taste. The 3D contains all of the same positive elements as the standard Blu-ray, but with the added screen jumping 3D action. The 3D for The Hobbit was done exceedingly well and again translates nicely to Blu-ray. I would say even somewhat better than the standard release this time around; as Jackson had always intended for this adventure to be in the 3D format. The dimensionality that the 3D brings to the film whole heartedly encompasses the world of The Hobbit and Jackson's true vision.

The sound on both the 3D and standard Blu-rays are again presented as a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless mixed down from the theatrical Dolby Atmos 11.1 presentations in select venues that is flawless. Desolation of Smaug has a heavy track to deal with as the film is action packed and constantly moving. Prioritization is spot on as the speakers come to life without a single moment of muddled sound. Solid bass brings a vibrato to the film that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. The dialogue, the roar of the dragon, the musical scores, and the clang of each sword projects with ease; in the end creating a truly dynamic track.

Outside of the magnificent picture and sound transposed to this new release; the real treat are the numerous amount of bonus features. Over ten hours in total, stretched across two BD-50 discs, the extras will give any fan a ton to dig through. Extras are a mix of promotional material and featurettes, all displayed nicely here. Not everything from the 2014 Theatrical Blu-ray release is ported over here; though some duplicates do exist (New Zealand: Home to Middle Earth Part 2). Bonus material includes:

  • Audio Commentary with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens

    • An extremely well done and informative commentary track with the duo; divulging the production process, hardships, successes, scripting, editing, and much more from beginning to end. Though Jackson and Boyens are a wonderful wealth of knowledge it may have been nice to invite the cast/other crew in to share their experience and liven up the track. Minor gripe.

  • New Zealand: Home to Middle Earth Part 2

  • The Appendices: Part 9 - A Long Expected Journey

    • Opening

    • A Warm Welcome

    • Business of the State

    • Shelter on the Long Lake

    • In the Halls of the Elven King

    • Flies and Spiders

    • Queer Lodging

    • On the Doorstep

    • Inside Information

    • Down the Swift Dark Stream

    • Barrels Out of Bond

    • A Chance Meeting

    • Erebor Rekindled

    • Into the Fire

  • The Appendices: Part 10 - The Journey to Erebor

    • Summoning Smaug - Last of the Fire Drakes

      • The Last and First Dragon

      • Conversations with Smaug

      • Into the Dragon's Lair

    • The Peoples and Denizens of Middle Earth

      • Beorn: The Shape Shifter

      • The Spawn of Ungoliant

      • The Men of the Lake Town

    • Realms of the Third Age: From Beorn's House to Lake Town

    • The Music of the Hobbit

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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