The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D - Extended Edition review

Boosted bass and more extras make The Hobbit more appealing second time around

The first part of Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Hobbit returns to Blu-ray with 13 minutes of additional footage.

Sadly there's nothing here that really adds to the plot or – more critically – makes up for the lack of characterisation that prevents us from getting to know the majority of Bilbo's travelling companions. Instead it's mostly goofy stuff such as the dwarves bathing in a sacred fountain in Rivendell and even more singing (even the Goblin King gets to belt out a tune this time around).

In truth, it's no better or worse than the earlier cut. Merely longer. Make of that what you will…

Picture: As with the original release, this Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey looks absolutely sensational in both its 2.40:1-framed AVC 2D and MVC 3D guises.

Indeed, there's very little to add here that we didn't say in our original review. Colours are still richly saturated, detailing is impeccable, edge definition is excellent and there are no trace of obvious technical anomalies (which is no mean feat given that all 183 minutes of the 'flat' version are have been squeezed onto a single disc). Highly impressive.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Warner Home Video appears to have paid attention to complaints about the rather limited LFE in the original Blu-ray's soundtrack and has definitely pushed the low-end deeper in the DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix used in this release. Otherwise it's business as usual for anyone familiar with the film's previous soundtrack. There's plenty of impressive directionality on show, alongside crystal-clear dialogue and rich musical tones.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: This is where this five-disc set really comes into its own. Not only is the 2D presentation of the film accompanied by a typically fascinating commentary by Jackson and co-writer/producer Phillipa Boyens, but there are also two dual-layer Blu-ray platters dedicated solely to extra features.

The first disc, The Appendices Part 7: A Long-Expected Journey, is home to over four hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries and featurettes taking us from pre-production right up to the film's premiere (and we also get a few peeks at the filming of …The Desolation of Smaug).

The second disc, The Appendices Part 8: Return to Middle-Earth, takes a closer look at the characters and places featured in the film via an additional four hours and forty-five minutes' worth of featurettes.
Extras rating: 5/5

We say: Bigger really is better as far as this Blu-ray’s AV credentials and extra features are concerned

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D – Extended Edition, Warner Home Video, All-region BD,
£28 Approx