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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Adventure > Battles > Epic > Lord Of The Rings Trilogy 4K (2001 - 2003) + The Hobbit Trilogy 4K (2012 - 2014/Warner 4K Ultra HD Motion Picture Collection Blu-ray Sets)

Lord Of The Rings Trilogy 4K (2001 - 2003) + The Hobbit Trilogy 4K (2012 - 2014/Warner 4K Ultra HD Motion Picture Collection Blu-ray Sets)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A Sound: A Extras: D Films: A-/A-/A- A-/B+/B+

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (2012 - 2014) and Lord of the Rings Trilogies (2001-2003) are available finally on the 4K UHD format and are demo disc worthy to say the least. These films have been massively improved here in terms of presentation and are truly a giant achievement in filmmaking for Director Peter Jackson and his team at WETA. It's hard to believe that as of this writing it's been 20 years since The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters!

Available as two separate 4K UHD trilogy sets, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings 4K editions feature the theatrical and extended versions of each film on their each respectable 4K UHD disc with no Blu-ray copies or any of the bonus material that was available on previous editions. In other words, fans will still want to hold onto their previous extended edition sets for the extras alone. This edition does NOT contain the 3D versions of The Hobbit films either, which were reviewed on this site previously in the Blu-ray 3D format.

These Oscar winning films are simply a landmark achievement in genre filmmaking and will always be remembered as such. Although The Hobbit trilogy certainly didn't get as much love as The Lord of the Rings trilogy did, mainly because a lot of things were added to The Hobbit story that originally weren't in the books, seeing them all together in this way makes them feel more complete.

The Battle of Middle Earth is told as good versus evil in one of the most famous franchises of all time, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and its prequel, The Hobbit. Ultimately telling the story of good vs evil - Sauron - a dark lord who crafted a ring that welds within it great power over all of the races and realms within Middle Earth.

Films include...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit is a tale of an unassuming Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who was conformable in his life in the Shire - a beautiful and green woodland. He spent his days reading, eating, and generally enjoying life as time passed by; but all of that was soon to change for Bilbo as he was cast into an adventure bigger than any Hobbit could have ever expected. Gandalf the wizard (Sir Ian McKellen) arrives with a band of dwarves who are looking to take back their homeland (and gold) from a nasty, fire breathing dragon named Smaug. It has taken years for the dwarves to amass a crew brave enough to take on the fearless dragon; and even at that they are outmatched. So why Bilbo Baggins? A Hobbit with seemingly no special powers or abilities, yet Gandolf names him essential to the journey. Bilbo, having done little wrong in his life, is said to be their 'thief'; someone small enough and unassuming enough to slip in and out unnoticed. The dwarves are hesitant and less than impressed, but on Gandolf's word accept him into the crew.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Gandalf starts to piece together that the nine Ring Wraiths have been summoned and thinks that the necromancer is to blame. Meanwhile, Bilbo, Thorin, and the rest of the dwarf party meet a mysterious character named Bard the Bowman who hides them into entry onto the floating Lake-Town which proves to be an unpleasant stay. They have to hide in barrels full of stinky fish and murky toilets to sneak by unnoticed at first - being that the town has such a tight knit community that doesn't smile upon newcomers. The sense of hiding and feeling unsafe is really evident in these scenes and at times pits you on the edge of your seat in anticipation! Once Thorin faces The Master of Lake-Town himself, he requests aide in an attempt to reclaim his title of King of the Mountain and face off with Smaug for the Arken Stone once and for all.

The journey to the lair of Smaug at the Lonely Mountain is not easy. After crossing the waters, the group finds themselves on a desperate search for a hidden door. Thorin has a key but must wait for the last light of Doren's day to shine upon the keyhole in order for them to pass through. Once the moon passes over, the group is granted access to the lost Dwarf city where deep inside is the hidden Arken Stone, the artifact that Bilbo must steal and will prove or disprove his worth of master burglar.

Meanwhile, Gandalf finds himself on enemy territory and comes to see the origin of the dastardly work of Sauron. He learns that the Orcs have formed a union with the dark lord and a spectacular sequence pits Gandalf in a desperate face to face battle with a mystical entity of Sauron that he battles with magic. When you know the context of what happens in the Fellowship of the Ring with the Orcs working in huge armies, you understand the importance of this scene as a precursor when Gandalf sees only a few of them starting to work and fight.

Bilbo searches deep within an unlimited stash of jewels and gold to find the sacred Arkan stone only to find it protected by the dragon SMAUG. The reveal for the dragon is epic in scope when you realize that he is massive - the entire length of the huge treasure room Bilbo has found himself in. Smaug himself is an incredible achievement and by far the most realistic and memorable dragon put to film to date. Though I will always have fond memories of Dragonheart). Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, Smaug is a menacing and towering force of pure evil.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)

Having reclaimed Erebor and vast treasure from the dragon Smaug, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) sacrifices friendship and honor in seeking the Arkenstone, despite Smaug's fiery wrath and desperate attempts by the Bilbo (Martin Freeman) to make him see reason. Meanwhile, Sauron sends legions of Orcs in a sneak attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance, the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves must decide whether to unite and prevail - or all die and end up food for the many Orc armies. Will Bilbo find this way back to The Shire?

The Hobbit Trilogy stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lily, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, John Callen, William Kircher, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm and many more.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy stars Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Brad Dourif, Miranda Otto, Dominic Monaghan, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, and many others.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Bilbo's nephew, Frodo (Elijah Wood) becomes responsible for the mystical ring. When Gandalf discovers the Ring is in fact the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, Frodo must make an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it. However, he does not go alone. He is joined by Legolas the elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir, and his three Hobbit friends Merry, Pippin, and Samwise. Through mountains, snow, darkness, forests, rivers and plains, facing evil and danger at every corner the Fellowship of the Ring must go. Their quest to destroy the One Ring is the only hope for the end of the Dark Lords reign. This is my personal favorite entry in the franchise.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

As the forces of evil in Mordor start to grow in power, the Fellowship splits up and each faces their own adversaries. As Frodo and Sam end up encountering the strange creature named Gollum (Serkis) - who has a past connection and obsession with the One Ring. Aragon discovers his true self while helping a struggling community, and Merry and Pippin work together to speak to the Trees and the Woodland creatures in an attempt to help. Many battles and fought and lives perished in this stunning installment.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

The story finally comes to a close as Frodo and Sam reach Mordor and must finally destroy the One Ring before it falls into the hands of Sauron. However, this won't be an easy task as countless numbers of Orcs are ready for battle against lessening numbers of forces of good. This epic conclusion won the Best Picture Academy Award along with several other crowning achievements.

Both Trilogies for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are presented in an HEVC/H.265 (63.52 Mbps) codec with HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10) and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1. In terms of sound we have beautiful tracks in lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 16-bit mixdowns for older systems). Jackson and his team have went back through and re-color graded the features as well as touch up some visual effects here and there. All of these films simply love marvelous in this format which gives it that extra layer of ultra high definition that makes the world pop as the money is on the screen here. The lush New Zealand mountains are more crisp and the soundtrack by Howard Shore kicks in even more powerful than before too with this stunning new presentation that's a home run all in all.

The team at WETA Digital broke ground with these films and paved the way for many franchises to make their way onto the big screen. The team effort from every filmmaking department here is on full display and captured with much more detail thanks to the 4K UHD format. Costumes, characters, and props are now more defined and allows the viewer to enjoy these films all over again.

There are no extras and it is remarkably, the first time we ever covered the Rings feature films, but we have covered the older animated version and several Hobbit releases on Blu-ray. You can read more at the following links:

Rings 1978 Animated


Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - Extended


Blu-ray 3D version


Regular Theatrical Version


Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended


Regular Theatrical Version


- James Lockhart



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