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The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review

The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: December 01, 2020, 01:58:48 PM »


Studio: Warner Brothers      
 Release Date: December 1, 2020
Rating:  PG-13
Film:  3/5
 
 Plot
An Unexpected Journey
 The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the Goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.
 
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-Earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.  
 
The Desolation of Smaug
Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way skin-changer Beorn and a swam of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all—a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself—The Dragon Smaug.
 
The Battle of the Five Armies
The epic conclusion of the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug, upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. 
 
As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honor in search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead. An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. 
 
As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war. 
 
 My Thoughts
 When these films were first released in theaters, I was interested to see them for a few reasons. First, for their technical merits since they were released at 48fps in order to offer a better 3D experience, which is a format that has died yet again. Second, I grew up reading The Hobbit multiple times and wanted to see its prose come to life from the man who brought us The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson.
 
Unfortunately, I was wildly disappointed in both aspects. The technical merits ended up looking like a soap opera and were too lifelike—in fact, my wife refused to see the next two films in 3D because she was so turned off by the look of the film. As for the story itself, it featured terrible pacing due to the bloated story. Jackson relied on secondary Tolkien sources to expand the plot and frankly, created a mess. It turns out that too much of a good thing can be a negative.
 
Of the three films, I actually enjoy the second the most, but even that isn’t a great movie. All of them have way too much action and the truly great sequences in the films such as Bilbo’s interaction with Gollum and Smaug get lost in the shuffle due to overlong and boring fight sequences that seem to never end. Furthermore, don’t even get me started on the barrel’s down the river!
 
Some fans have taken to editing the films themselves and have created cuts based on the actual book that run in the three to four hour range versus nearly nine with the Extended Editions and frankly, they are much better adaptations of the books. I’d love to see Jackson do something similar, but I doubt his ego would let him.
 
From a story standpoint, these movies still don’t meet the level of entertainment value that The Lord of the Rings trilogy offers, but maybe that isn’t a fair comparison. That trilogy is arguably the greatest cinematic achievement ever made and living up to that standard isn’t possible, but this effort from Jackson is mediocre at best.
 
One thing I can be happy with is the A/V experience, which is absolutely stunning. The films looked great on Blu-ray but take a big leap here due to the brand new 4K DI (even though the special effects were done in 2K, they have been upsampled to 4K). The only negative is that in some cases the VFX stick out a bit such as the Dwarfs trip into Rivendell—the village in the background doesn’t look quite “right,” but it’s a minor distraction in the overall scheme of things. The Atmos tracks are simply outstanding and create large environments with pinpoint discrete effects. Each film has multiple demo-worthy sequences but probably my favorite is when Bilbo and Smaug have their little chat—the rumble of Smaug’s voice will really test how well your subwoofers blend in with your main speakers.
  
 Video 10/10 
 
 Audio 10/10 (Dolby Atmos)
 
 Special Features:
 
  • 4K UHD copes of Theatrical and Extended Editions of each film
 

 

 
 Conclusion
 While this release doesn’t contain any supplemental features, I’m sure the target audience of this release already own the Blu-rays and will just add the 4K movies to their collection. Sure, it takes up additional shelf space, but for fans of the film they will be extremely pleased with the A/V quality that has been put forth by Jackson and Warner Brothers. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely want this in your collection.

 Reference Review System:
 

 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor 
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels

ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player 
 System Controller: URC MX-980

M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)

JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)

Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

bmoney

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Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2020, 02:06:10 PM »
Def don’t like these nearly as much as the LotR but I upgraded anyhow 

Gotta put the new lumagen through its paces 
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Nad t758v3 
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Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2020, 02:20:11 PM »
Def don’t like these nearly as much as the LotR but I upgraded anyhow

Gotta put the new lumagen through its paces
Let me know if you think some of the VFX shots look a little too "fake." I didn't notice this as much in LOTR, but for some reason there were scenes that stuck out in this trilogy. Part of me wonders if it has to do with the higher res digital cameras versus 35mm film used in LOTR. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2020, 06:05:12 PM »
Out of curiosity, did they include a 48 FPS version?  With Jackson so involved with this release, I'd be kind of surprised if there wasn't, considering how attached he was to that format when it first came out.

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2020, 07:16:52 PM »
Out of curiosity, did they include a 48 FPS version?  With Jackson so involved with this release, I'd be kind of surprised if there wasn't, considering how attached he was to that format when it first came out.
No...that was for 3D and 48fps is not a supported refresh rate for displays. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2020, 07:47:46 PM »
No...that was for 3D and 48fps is not a supported refresh rate for displays.
OK, I wasn't aware of 48p not being supported by displays, since it's not a format I'm a fan of.

I thought his interest in 48 FPS was beyond 3D, though, so I was just curious if it was included with this set since I think the 4K UHD disc format would support it.

bmoney

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Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2020, 08:06:18 PM »
Let me know if you think some of the VFX shots look a little too "fake." I didn't notice this as much in LOTR, but for some reason there were scenes that stuck out in this trilogy. Part of me wonders if it has to do with the higher res digital cameras versus 35mm film used in LOTR.
Will do. And after watching fellowship I agree none of the cgi stuck out 
such a great transfer!
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2020, 12:23:58 PM »
Greetings,

I like these a bit more than Dave. We are in total agreement regarding the presentation. As for the visual effects, I think that the higher resolution is the reason why they standout. Not a negative but, a byproduct.


Nice review Dave..


Regards, 

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2020, 03:34:49 PM »
Greetings,

I like these a bit more than Dave. We are in total agreement regarding the presentation. As for the visual effects, I think that the higher resolution is the reason why they standout. Not a negative but, a byproduct.


Nice review Dave..


Regards,
Thanks Ralph. There were a couple of instances where I thought it was really apparent, but not too many overall. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

bmoney

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Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2020, 09:44:20 AM »
this set is already on sale on Amazon for 79.99
The Hobbit trilogy
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
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bmoney

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Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2020, 08:11:32 AM »
on sale at Amazon.com for 69.98
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2020, 11:27:38 AM »
Ok, while I've said like many I'm not as big a fan of these as LOTR and actively dislike what they did in the 3rd movie, there is some good material that I wouldn't mind seeing. (And my wife likes some of this as much or more as LOTR - anything with little people thrills her and the number of dwarves traipsing through this... well...)

So now the age old question is rearing its ugly head, lol. At what price do I sell my soul? ??? ::)

Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2020, 12:20:06 PM »
Ok, while I've said like many I'm not as big a fan of these as LOTR and actively dislike what they did in the 3rd movie, there is some good material that I wouldn't mind seeing. (And my wife likes some of this as much or more as LOTR - anything with little people thrills her and the number of dwarves traipsing through this... well...)

So now the age old question is rearing its ugly head, lol. At what price do I sell my soul? ??? ::)
$45...$15 per movie :) I suspect these will be available at a bargain when the "Super Duper" set is released next summer. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

bmoney

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Re: The Hobbit - The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2020, 02:26:28 PM »
I’ll sell my theatrical 4k copies for $45 if you want. 
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

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