The Hob­bit 2: Ex­tended Edi­tion

Mid­dle- earth spread

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2013 | 12 | Steel­book Blu- ray 3D/ Blu- ray 3D/ DVD Di­rec­tor: Peter Jack­son Cast: Martin Free­man, Ian McKellen, Evan­ge­line Lilly, Richard Ar­mitage, James Nes­bitt, Ai­dan Turner It’s a Peter Jack­son Mid­dle- earth film, so you know the drill: mo­ments of cin­e­matic beauty, im­pec­ca­ble cast­ing and as­ton­ish­ing pro­duc­tion de­sign ver­sus CG over­load, over- the- top ac­tion and low­brow hu­mour. If you hated all the singing in An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney you’ll prob­a­bly pre­fer The Des­o­la­tion Of Smaug, though it strug­gles even more not to feel like an episodic road movie.

This time it’s not a sim­ple case of “x min­utes have been added” – some ( brief ) mo­ments have ac­tu­ally been cut, and oth­ers dig­i­tally al­tered. The re­sult is about 18 min­utes longer, but feels like a lot more. The main ad­di­tions are a much ex­tended jour­ney through Mirk­wood ( with two key mo­ments re­in­stated), and an im­pres­sive fight be­tween Gan­dalf and mad dwarf Thráin at Dol Gul­dur. There are also some very amus­ing ex­tra scenes fea­tur­ing the Master of Lake- Town and Al­frid – in­clud­ing the sight of Stephen Fry eat­ing tes­ti­cles!

An ex­cel­lent com­men­tary from Jack­son and co- writer Philippa Boyens, plus the usual mas­sive list of “Ap­pen­dices”, to­talling nearly 10 hours of mak­ing- of footage. Un­like the ex­tras on the first film, though ( which felt like a co­her­ent “biog­ra­phy of a movie”) the ma­te­rial here is rather ran­domly as­sem­bled, over­long in places and oc­ca­sion­ally repet­i­tive. But you do get ex­cit­ing glimpses of film­ing for The Bat­tle Of The Five Armies. Dave Golder

Ac­cord­ing to a sched­ule you see at one point, Eva Green au­di­tioned for a role in the movie – pre­sum­ably Tau­riel.

Al­ways be­lieve in your soul, Bilbo.

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