TV Party Tonight! #89

TV Party Tonight! #89

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Sunday, 03 January 2021
DVD/Blu-Ray

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy 4K Blu-ray
Extended & Theatrical / 4K Ultra HD + Digital HD

We are extremely happy to be covering Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth movies here on TV Party Tonight and after considering the order, we decided that talking about the Hobbit trilogy would be the easiest place to start, only because there’s so much more to talk about, and in our case, defend.

After the massive success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, both at the box office, and award-wise, it only made sense that more Tolkien movies were going to be made. The problem, of course, is that there’s not much more storywise that’s available. The Hobbit seemed like the obvious choice, but splitting it into 3 movies, for whatever reason, seemed like overkill. In addition, production kept getting delayed and initial director Guillermo Del Toro had to leave, with original LOTR director Peter Jackson taking over. The budget for the Hobbit was almost 3 times the size of LOTR but with half the shooting time. Things had to get done, and get done fast. In addition, the Hobbit was seen as a final completist love letter to both the book and Middle Earth so different elements of the Tolkien universe were injected in, whether they belonged in the original Hobbit story or not. The result is a story that has the structure of the Hobbit but completely bulked up. In addition, this is meant to function as a prequel and was written as such. If you understand all this, then the Hobbit becomes a movie that’s easier to enjoy and appreciate.

There have been many criticisms thrown at this film, some valid, but all are pretty easy to dismiss, in my opinion. The trilogy (and it certainly is meant to be consumed as a trilogy), is a polished, looser, version of Lord of the Rings that feels perfect for those wanting to revisit this rich world. It looks the same, feels the same, and sounds the same, even though the story is so new. That in itself tells you that this works as a prequel. And yes, there are odd inclusions, like hobbit songs (so prevalent in the Hobbit book, that Jackson felt inclined to include at least one for reference), and the lead dwarf looking oddly more “human” than his companions (because as the character had to emote the most, Jackson didn’t want to fill his face with prosthetics), and the inclusion of the female elf (because Jackson felt a story of only dudes going off and doing dude things would be boring), but the story is so engaging and grand, with a gigantic scope, and snowballing into such an epic that it’s endearing. There are so many new characters introduced that it makes Middle Earth a richer world and adds new depth to the characters we already know. The Hobbit trilogy is a beautiful film that casts a wide net but is, honestly, quite underappreciated.

Of course the 4K version is the definitive version to own of this epic. This edition also includes the extended cuts, which as you can imagine, are sort of essential in how you’re experiencing the films. There are no bonus features in this edition which is a shame, but apparently another version with all the extra stuff and more is coming soon.

The Hobbit movies are masterpieces just like their predecessor, and this 4K trilogy is the right treatment for the trilogy. It’s the perfect way to re-experience this epic.

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