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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Adventures > Swords > Battles > Sequel > Epic > Literature > The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies - Extended Edition (2014/New Line/Warner Blu-ray)

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies - Extended Edition (2014/New Line/Warner Blu-ray)

Picture: A- Sound: A Extras: C Film: B

We had previously reviewed The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies on this site to generally favorable reviews. Rewatching the film, the film remains the best of the trilogy with the best pacing, action, cinematography, and overall coherent presence.

Under review here is the newly released Extended 3D Blu-ray Edition, which adds an additional 20 minutes of footage to the already well done film. The extra footage does not (necessarily) add nor detract from the film and (too most) may go generally unnoticed.

The most noticeable addition is the extended funeral procession at the end of the film at Dain's inauguration. Beyond that, most of the extended footage (which will please hardcore fans) are a plethora of lengthy battle sequences; most notably that between Gandolf and a Troll. The battle scenes are masterfully well constructed to start with and this extended footage truly fleshes them out.

Casual fans of Tolkien or The Hobbit series may not get much extra out of this extended edition, but for long time/hardcore fans this is a must. It is not on the level of any of the Lord of the Rings films, but is well done.

For a look at our previous review of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Blu-ray/DVD release, please follow the link below:


The technical features on this 2D Blu-ray release of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies remains impressively well done and is the same transfer as the previous release; of course adding on extended footage. I will say (once again) that the films were meant for the high frame rate (48fps HD vs. the usual 24 or 30), 3D format and look better in 3D (also available in a separate Blu-ray set); but, nevertheless, are near demo quality in standard 2D as well. The picture is presented in a marvelous 1080p, AVC encoded, MPEG-4, 2.40 X 1 aspect ratio. The colors are spot on, the blacks are inky, black, and bold and the detail is amazing as you can see every wrinkle, hair, and texture.

The films slowly transitioned a darker hue as the story progressed from An Unexpected Journey to Battle of Five Armies. Whereas An Unexpected Journey is very bright (something I took issue with) Five Armies is much darker; though nowhere near the level of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The Red Epic Camera System used for this film (and its predecessors) gives the film its amazing details and textures; giving the film a layer of depth and distance unlike many others. There are a few issues here and there with aliasing and minor other gripes; but in the end an excellent presentation. The sound is a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 mix that is superbly engulfing as the viewer is thrown into the heart of the action. If the title alone wasn't enough, I assure you this is an action film where the expansive battle scenes are front and center. The sound is spot on with crisp, clean dialogue, booming bass, solid prioritization and panning, and an overall presence that is admirable to say the least.

Other extras besides Digital Copy and the extra footage are a feature-length audio commentary track with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter & Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter, The Appendices and New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth featurettes.

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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