The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-03-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
98





Studio and Year: Warner - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 182 minutes
Genre: Fantast/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Music by: Howard shore
Written by: Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson , Guillermo Del Toro
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 5, 2013







"From the smallest beginnings come the greatest legends"


Film Synopsis:

The Hobbit: An unexpected journey follows the title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest after joining a company of thirteen dwarves vying to reclaim their home from an evil and powerful menace. Their journey will take them through treacherous lands teaming with enemies and lurking danger. For Bilbo, a simple fellow that looks no further than the warmth of his hearth or the confines of his Shire home for comfort, this journey will come to define him and place in his hands an object of power that will change the course of his life and ultimately that of Middle-Earth.


My Take:

I reviewed the theatrical home video Blu-ray release of The Hobbit: An unexpected journey back in March. I have included my comments from that review below and while the 13 additional minutes rounds out several sequences, such as the stay in Rivendell and the Goblin encounter in Moria as well as adding a little depth to a few character exchanges, it doesn’t substantively enhance the film’s narrative arc. I wouldn’t say it detracted from it in any way. I enjoy The Hobbit: An unexpected journey and have to admit that each time I see it I like it just a little more. In addition to the extra footage this Extended Edition release contains a wealth of brand new supplements that provide a soup to nuts perspective on the making of the film which diehard fans to revel in during the 9 hours or so it takes to explore them.

The three disc set comes housed in a standard amaray style keep case mated with a fairly sturdy embossed slipcover that resembles a picture frame.

I look forward to what is to come in the next installment, The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug which opens in theaters December 13th. Here are the comments from my original review:


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first chapter in Peter Jackson’s new epic trilogy set in Middle-Earth 60 years before J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga. Follow Bilbo Baggins as he’s swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield.

Their journey will take them through treacherous lands swarming with Trolls, Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs. They must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature Gollum who he will unwittingly be forever tied to. Alone with Gollum on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo not only discovers guile and courage that surprise him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities, tied to the fate of all Middle-Earth. Several key talent members from The Lord of the Rings trilogy reprise their roles, along with exciting new cast members.

I love Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. When The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey was announced I looked forward to seeing what he would do with it. The idea of bringing The Hobbit and ultimately Billbo’s story, which links to the events in Lord of Rings, to life in similar fashion appealed to me especially in light of how entertaining the first trilogy was. As I sat watching it in the theater I had an unshakable feeling of déjà vu which I guess shouldn’t have been surprising based upon the subject/director. Of course the opening sequence, featuring Frodo/Elijah Wood and older Bilbo/Ian Holm, which unnecessarily ties into the opening sequence in “Fellowship of the ring” didn’t help.

The film proves to be epic in scope and indeed plies with plenty of moments that remind us why we enjoy Tolkien’s work as well as Jackson’s treatment of it. I didn’t find The Hobbit: An unexpected journey to be as thoroughly gratifying as I’d hoped. I think the reason is that the film feels as though it is building toward a singular goal which is to set in motion the events that will bring us into the next installment. In that vein the material contained therein occasionally felt stretched out (“like butter being spread over too much bread” to paraphrase Bilbo) with over extended sequences. The slow building narrative includes snippets of humor, engaging banter and elements of drama/action. Fortunately it picks up steam and provides a rewarding final act that segues into the next installment.

As an opening chapter it would have been fine and probably flowed better at two hours or less. I did enjoy The Hobbit: The unexpected journey and reveled in the familiarity of Middle-Earth, the introduction of the various components including the characters and look forward for what is to come.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 96

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey Extended Edition comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.8 Mbps.

**This appears to be the same audio/video encoding used for the original release

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a varied color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The nature of the photography isn’t lent to high gloss imagery and razor sharpness however there is an enriching and film like quality that abounds. High definition’s increased resolution is readily apparent as textural nuance and subtle refinement is apparent, especially during close-ups. Wide angle vistas views tend to look gorgeous more often than not but can be limited by the film’s post production effects. The color range is comprised of earth tones, shades of dark blue, brown, gray and black with splashes of crimson and green/blue hues. Like the color palette fleshtones shift accordingly to coincide with the mood, lighting and scenic theme. The overall result works perfectly within the film’s narrative construct. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is boldly applied which empowers whites and grays with minimal loss of detail. Blacks are dynamic and gradationally revealing and shadow detail is equally discerning. The film’s deep grays, rich contrast and stimulating visual aura makes for a perfect companion to the story‘s elements. The use of CGI/green screens and photographic effects softens some elements but neither distracts. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous noise. The result is a gorgeous high definition rendering that mimics that theatrical presentation.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is reference quality and is sure to please those who like to play their systems loud. I enjoyed the audio presentation in the theater and looked forward to hearing it in the familiar confines of my theater room. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, dynamic, and demonstrative listening experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose is definable yet not overstated. The mix makes effective use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage as it reproduces the spatial and discrete sounds contained in soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during sequences involving sounds that travel through the room. Dialogue is supremely articulated with excellent focus, clarity and descriptive intonation.

Low frequency content is reproduced with authority and coincides with the recordings extended dynamic range resulting in room energizing bass transients that are deep and palpably rich. It’s easy to sometimes overlook the intricacies that go into the design of soundtracks such as this. In this case even seemingly inconspicuous minutia within the recording is detectable. The end result is a terrific audio presentation that compliments the source material.

Bonus Features:


  • THE FILMMAKERS' COMMENTARY Director/writer/producer Peter Jackson and writer/co-producer Philippa Boyens provide their Perspective and stories on creating the first film of The Hobbit.


  • (HD) NEW ZEALAND: HOME OF MIDDLE-EARTH From Matamata to Queenstown, travel with Peter Jackson and his team across the stunning locations of New Zealand, transformed by the filmmakers into Middle-Earth.


  • THE APPENDICES PART 7 - A LONG EXPECTED JOURNEY: The Chronicles of The Hobbit - A fourteen-part 4.5 hour chronological history of the filming of An Unexpected Journey, covering pre-production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, the boot camp training for the main cast, and the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.


    1. THE JOURNEY BACK TO MIDDLE-EARTH
    2. RIDDLES IN THE DARK
    3. AN UNEXPECTED PARTY
    4. ROAST MUTTON
    5. BASTION OF THE GREENWOOD
    6. A SHORT REST
    7. OVER HILL
    8. UNDER HILL
    9. OUT OF THE FRYINGPAN
    10. RETURN TO HOBBITON
    11. THE EPIC OF SCENE 88
    12. THE BATTLE OF MORIA
    13. EDGE OF THE WILDERLAND
    14. HOME IS BEHIND
    15. THE WORLD AHEAD

    THE APPENDICES PART 8 - RETURN TO MIDDLE-EARTH (total running time = 4.75 hours):



  • THE COMPANY OF THORIN Explores the characters and backgrounds of the five families of dwarves and the company of actors chosen to play Thorin’s company on the Quest of the Lonely Mountain.

  • ASSEMBLING THE DWARVES:
    1. THORIN
    2. FILI & KILI
    3. BALIN & DWALIN
    4. OIN & GLOIN
    5. DORI, NORI & ORI
    6. BIFUR, BOFUR & BOMBUR
  • MR. BAGGINS: THE 14TH MEMBER A revealing look at the film’s charismatic and talented lead actor, Martin Freeman.

  • DURIN’S FOLK: CREATING THE DWARVES Reveals the journey and process of designing, conceptualizing and physically realizing the dwarves in The Hobbit.

  • THE PEOPLES AND DENIZENS OF MIDDLE-EARTH Focuses on the realization of new characters and creatures we encounter in Film 1, from casting to characterization to physical and digital design. Including the Stone Trolls; Radagast the Brown; the Great Goblin and his horde; and Azog the Defiler.
    1. THE STONE TROLLS
    2. RADAGAST THE BROWN
    3. GOBLINS
    4. AZOG THE DEFILER
  • REALMS OF THE THIRD AGE: FROM BAG END TO GOBLIN TOWN Follows the creation of the Middle-Earth locations from conceptual design, to set and prop building to fully digital realities. Realms explored include:
    1. HOBBITON
    2. RHOSGOBEL
    3. RIVENDELL
    4. THE MISTY MOUNTAINS
    5. GOBLIN TOWN
  • THE SONGS OF THE HOBBIT A look at the realization of Tolkien’s songs in Film 1.
700



Final Thoughts:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first chapter in Peter Jackson’s new epic trilogy set in Middle-Earth 60 years before J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga. As a fan of Peter Jackson’s LOTR Trilogy I wasn’t as taken with this film as I was with Fellowship of the Ring. I feel it runs longer than necessary and its narrative struggles to stay afloat. This Extended Edition release adds an additional 13 minutes that shores up several sequences adding a bit more depth to them but otherwise maintains the theatrical cut’s feel. That said there is still much to like and appreciate here especially for fans that revel in the epic scope, familiarity with the material and Peter Jackson’s flair for storytelling. The Hobbit: An unexpected journey Extended Edition comes to Blu-ray featuring superb and faithfully rendered high definition audio/video and a bountiful supplemental set that will give fans their fill. Warner Home Video has delivered a terrific Blu-ray offering that delivers an enriching home theater experience. I look forward to the next installment The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug due to hit theaters on December 13th.




attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-03-2013, 12:55 PM
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only 13 additional minutes of footage and none of it really enhances the movie itself...sort of feels like a letdown after the massive additions to the LOTR EE...I think turning the movie into a trilogy from its originally planned 2 movie set took away a lot of the footage from the EE...haven't decided whether I will pick this up or wait for the Hobbit complete trilogy EE
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Ralph,
A frequency analysis of the Extended Edition showed a change in the LFE filtering vs the Theatrical release that received numerous negative comments about it being "bass-shy".

The original release is bass filtered at 40Hz. The EE shows a 30Hz filter. Can you confirm if the increased low frequency extension is limited to just the added scenes, or if they remastered the audio track with a lower frequency filter?

For instance, can you hear/feel a difference in the battle of the rock giants etc.?


Thanks,
Max
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-03-2013, 02:26 PM
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Im debating getting this since I already have the 3D combo pack of the first release of The Hobbit. Im a huge fan and I already bought the LOTR trilogy twice so I might as well. I thought the extra content added to the LOTR EE really added to each movie so Im very curious. Im sure I wont be able to pass it up.

On another note about the audio I must say that I was not that impressed with the bass in The Hobbit. Ill have to revisit it and give it another listen but the first and second time I watched it at home I remeber being underwhelmed with the low frequencies. All else was great. As said im gunna revisit it and see.

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Great looking disc and overall sound design is excellent however low end is still very weak

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-04-2013, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbluemax1 View Post

Ralph,
A frequency analysis of the Extended Edition showed a change in the LFE filtering vs the Theatrical release that received numerous negative comments about it being "bass-shy".

The original release is bass filtered at 40Hz. The EE shows a 30Hz filter. Can you confirm if the increased low frequency extension is limited to just the added scenes, or if they remastered the audio track with a lower frequency filter?

For instance, can you hear/feel a difference in the battle of the rock giants etc.?


Thanks,
Max

Greetings,

Max, I didn't a noticeable difference during that sequence although I didn't compare one to the other. When I get a moment I will give both a listen and post back.


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post #7 of 23 Old 11-04-2013, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by djbluemax1 View Post

Ralph,
A frequency analysis of the Extended Edition showed a change in the LFE filtering vs the Theatrical release that received numerous negative comments about it being "bass-shy".

The original release is bass filtered at 40Hz. The EE shows a 30Hz filter. Can you confirm if the increased low frequency extension is limited to just the added scenes, or if they remastered the audio track with a lower frequency filter?

For instance, can you hear/feel a difference in the battle of the rock giants etc.?


Thanks,
Max

Greetings,

Max, I didn't a noticeable difference during that sequence although I didn't compare one to the other. When I get a moment I will give both a listen and post back.


Regards,
Thanks Ralph. I eagerly await your impressions to see if the EE set might be worth looking into.


Max
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-04-2013, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

only 13 additional minutes of footage and none of it really enhances the movie itself...sort of feels like a letdown after the massive additions to the LOTR EE...I think turning the movie into a trilogy from its originally planned 2 movie set took away a lot of the footage from the EE...haven't decided whether I will pick this up or wait for the Hobbit complete trilogy EE

That is my plan, rent the theatrical edition, buy the extended trilogy. I got burned enough by Lord of the Rings numerous releases to be patient this time.

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post #9 of 23 Old 11-04-2013, 08:11 AM
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Thanks, Ralph. Any comments on the 3D extended edition? That's the one I'm getting anyway... cool.gif Never did give in to the theatrical release, so now very anxious! eek.gif
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-04-2013, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

That is my plan, rent the theatrical edition, buy the extended trilogy. I got burned enough by Lord of the Rings numerous releases to be patient this time.

Same here, and with The Hobbit films not being quite the same caliber (at least so far) as the LOTR films, I'm not willing to purchase countless new editions. I'll most likely wait and buy only the extended releases as they come about. Still, I do understand why some fans might choose to go ahead buy everything that's released.

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post #11 of 23 Old 11-04-2013, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranteacher View Post

Thanks, Ralph. Any comments on the 3D extended edition? That's the one I'm getting anyway... cool.gif Never did give in to the theatrical release, so now very anxious! eek.gif

Greetings,

I reviewed the 3D version of the theatrical release and I see no reason why the 3D extended edition would differ greatly Taranteacher. Here is the link to the 3D review: The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey Official 3D Review.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-05-2013, 01:24 AM
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I too have waited patiently for the extended version, not wanting to spend more money (as I have in the past!). But I also appreciate what 3D does for films when done correctly.... and I'm now looking at paying the highest price for any 3D movie I have ever purchased. I usually won't pay more than $24.99 (and generally in the $20.00 range) for a new/recent release (except for the Disney/Pixar films, which never go below $25.00). This one lists for $54.00 (but Walmart has it for $40.00 currently)... maybe I can get it at a reasonable price on Black Friday???
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-05-2013, 08:16 AM
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I too have waited patiently for the extended version, not wanting to spend more money (as I have in the past!). But I also appreciate what 3D does for films when done correctly.... and I'm now looking at paying the highest price for any 3D movie I have ever purchased. I usually won't pay more than $24.99 (and generally in the $20.00 range) for a new/recent release (except for the Disney/Pixar films, which never go below $25.00). This one lists for $54.00 (but Walmart has it for $40.00 currently)... maybe I can get it at a reasonable price on Black Friday???

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post #14 of 23 Old 11-05-2013, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I reviewed the 3D version of the theatrical release and I see no reason why the 3D extended edition would differ greatly Taranteacher. Here is the link to the 3D review: The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey Official 3D Review.

Regards,

Of course! Thanks, Ralph! cool.gif
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Picked up the 3D extended version at Best Buy. They have a 4 disc BD for $29.98 Steelbook there. Movie is spead over 2 3D BD's.
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Picked up the 3D extended version at Best Buy. They have a 4 disc BD for $29.98 Steelbook there. Movie is spead over 2 3D BD's.

Is there a 2D option on the 3D discs?
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I was at Best Buy and didn't get the 3D edition there (The only edition they had) because they had no disc mentioned with the 2D version or the commentary track on it. I got the 5 disc 3D version from Walmart instead.
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Green Cast / Black Crush? That's all I really care about any more. tongue.gif Oh, that and whether they will re-release all the originals in extended version with that problem fixed....probably have to wait until all 3 hobbits are released for the super duper color fix version.
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-08-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbluemax1 View Post

Ralph,
A frequency analysis of the Extended Edition showed a change in the LFE filtering vs the Theatrical release that received numerous negative comments about it being "bass-shy".

The original release is bass filtered at 40Hz. The EE shows a 30Hz filter. Can you confirm if the increased low frequency extension is limited to just the added scenes, or if they remastered the audio track with a lower frequency filter?

For instance, can you hear/feel a difference in the battle of the rock giants etc.?


Thanks,
Max

Greetings,

Max, I just ran through the rock giant sequence on both discs, beginning from the 1:44.00 mark through 1:47:00 on the theatrical cut and 1:54:00 through 1:57:00 on the EE. I didn't detect a discernible difference in the low frequency extension...


Regards,

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post #20 of 23 Old 11-08-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by djbluemax1 View Post

Ralph,
A frequency analysis of the Extended Edition showed a change in the LFE filtering vs the Theatrical release that received numerous negative comments about it being "bass-shy".

The original release is bass filtered at 40Hz. The EE shows a 30Hz filter. Can you confirm if the increased low frequency extension is limited to just the added scenes, or if they remastered the audio track with a lower frequency filter?

For instance, can you hear/feel a difference in the battle of the rock giants etc.?


Thanks,
Max

Greetings,

Max, I just ran through the rock giant sequence on both discs, beginning from the 1:44.00 mark through 1:47:00 on the theatrical cut and 1:54:00 through 1:57:00 on the EE. I didn't detect a discernible difference in the low frequency extension...


Regards,
Thanks for checking this out Ralph.

I did a little more searching and found someone who graphed some scenes of both versions for comparison. It appears that the slightly lower frequency bass filter (EE's 30Hz vs the theatrical version's 40Hz) is definitely not from remastering the soundtrack, but solely restricted to the added scenes in the Extended Edition. Not only that, but the graphs (of the first Smaug scene) show that the added frequency extension is literally limited to just the cuts of the added footage as the extension switches back and forth between the original and added footage. Apparently, the folks adding the additional footage didn't realize (or care?) that the added footage was filtered differently from the majority of the rest of the footage. Seems to be a sloppy way of doing things.

Looks like it'll be one of those where I'll wait till the price drops for the EE versions.


Max
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-12-2013, 07:35 AM
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I just watched the Extended Version blu-ray (non-3d) from Best Buy, and from the opening shot I found the moving images very fatiguing on the eyes and hard to follow. I've never had a problem like this with a blu-ray,, and my television does not have any streaking issues etc. I noticed that I had similar issues with the same scenes (when I watched in 48 fps) in the theater. The easiest scenes to watch (both in the theater and at home) were the landscape pans, and just about all of the darker scenes.

But as soon as Bilbo appeared on screen, and I was following him and Frodo walking around Bag-end, my eyes fatigued fast. I can only imagine this has something to do with down-conversion to 24 fps - and I'm loosely assuming this since no other BD has done this to me. Possibly unrelated as it is, but I feel that 48 fps is a stain on these films and that anyone who shoots in this format does not understand cinematic language.

Regardless did anyone else have the above issue on the same disc? I'm considering trying out another one. The dvd Theatrical version (non-3D) did not have this effect.
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-27-2014, 03:13 AM
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I agree with the reviewer on all points. I haven't heard it in 5.1 surround hd sound yet (seen it in cinema and at home in 3d on a 2.1\ch audio setup). The 3d images were very good indeed.

lifelike and enthralling!

 

Will soon rewatch some scenes with my 5.1ch dts-hd / truehd hts receiver setup.

 

as for the extended cut bits and pieces of the film itself, that was not particularly thrilling. just some slight enhancements. Nothing really spectacular, as others and the reviewer pointed out, too.

But still, worthwile owning the extended edition, as do i the LOTR extended editions (which added more to the theatre cuts). (be it i own LOTR extended  on dvd, not BD).

I will be sure to but the extended editions of the hobbit part 2 and 3 also on bluray.

(of course, i saw the cinama version of the desolation of smaug (part 2) already, and filmwise, it is better than part 1 here reviewed).

 

Stiil, An Unexpected Journey extended 3d is a great bluray release. Can recommend it wholeheartedly!!

 

EDIT: I just finished watching all the bonus material and can say, it is glorious!! Absolutely a HIT! Watching it, You really appreciate how much work has gone into this production. Hats off to all cast and crew of the film, AND the makers of the Bluray Extra's / making-of Docum Features.

 

R

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post #23 of 23 Old 02-07-2014, 01:32 PM
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Over the Xmas holiday season I got my 5-disc 3D Extended Ed and it rocks! I really like the packaging, too. Great, great, great 3D film I don't think I'll ever watch 2D. The extra 9+ hrs of bonus material are a blast too! I'm so glad I waited to get this edition and recommend it highly!

Saw it 3D, went through the extras (1 to 3 hrs a day), saw it "back again" 3D... Love the extra 13 minutes, especially the extended beginning, gorgeous! cool.gif

You know, I too had felt it was "butter spread over too much bread" the first time I saw it and agree it gets better with every viewing. I also went to see Smaug 3D-48FPS and think it is a better movie but will also be (very) patiently waiting for the extended version of that one, as I am of the opinion it has to be even better and will probably include even more minutes, just like with the LOTR EEs.

For those who got or plan to get the 4-disc 3D steelbook, it seems you're missing out on the 3rd disc, which is the 2D movie disc, and which is the 1st disc in the collection Ralph shows us here. It contains the whole movie in 2D plus the NEW ZEALAND: HOME OF MIDDLE-EARTH featurette plus the Feature Commentary. Now, the NZ extra is also contained in the 1st 3D disc (albeit 2D), but the commentary is what you'll be missing on said steelbook set, in case you value the feature commentary. I also think the steelbook packaging is inferior to the 5-disc 3D one, YMMV. The 3D discs may not play on non-3D capable Blu-ray players, so you may also want to get that 2D movie disc.
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