Blu-ray review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Extended Edition
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Film: ★★★☆☆ Blu-ray Release: ★★★★★ Peter Jackson’s first instalment of his adaptation of The Hobbit was a bit of a long-winded, tedious affair to begin with, so it would be fair to wonder why it needed an extended edition. And as we know, this is only the first part of three epic entries into a trilogy that would have very nicely fit into one film. There’s something a little sad about how a book as simple and charming as its title character has been twisted into this sprawling, extended pantomime of battles and set-pieces. But, as they say, that’s show business for you. I’m not sure what to make of this a current vogue of splitting single literary volumes up into several parts. But even though there is definitely a cynical side to this trend (involving money - and lots of it), it's encouraging to see filmmakers eager to explore exciting and imaginative worlds in a deeper and stronger way. Martin Freeman is superb as Bilbo Baggins, the mild-mannered, good natured little Hobbit who gets swept up into an adventure far bigger than him. The inspired casting continues with the Dwarves who accompany him. They are populated with family faces from British television, including Richard Armitage, Ken Stott and James Nesbitt. The powerful Wizard Gandalf is once again excellently brought to life by Ian McKellen, one of our country’s best actors and for me the life and soul of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
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