The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Extended Edition – Out on DVD on 3rd November 2014
Well, here we are again. As is par for the course with any of these Peter Jackson Tolkein epics, the
time has come for the inevitable extended edition of the previous Christmas release, all primed and ready in time for the rolling out of the next chapter into the cinemas (this time around, it’ll be the final outing).
In keeping with previous instalments, ‘The Desolation of Smaug: Extended Edition’ arrives awash with bonus features (they total 9 hours). There is also an addition of 25 minutes of runtime to the main film itself – certainly not an insubstantial amount, and certainly a stronger incentive for purchase rather than the 13 minutes on offer in An Unexpected Journey. In this version, what is made plain is how some sections were understandably lopped off from the theatrical release for fluidity and momentum purposes, however, there are also some contextualising scenes that should have rightly stood in place. Any firm eye on editing down the runtime should have been applied to the laborious section in the company of the Elves and its tacky flirtation between Tauriel and Gilli.
Adding to the hefty runtime on this release is a nice tense build-up to the Mirkwood scene with the arachnids and another section with Gandalf and Thrain II (father of Thorin), which was mysteriously shelved. It seems unfathomable when watching this edition.
As for the film itself, for those who haven’t seen it, as much as it is a mixed bag, there is a true
portent here and a genuinely brooding foreboding; a darkness that does its best to render other
fantasy epics akin to child’s play. Star Wars would only wish it had the gumption to venture to this shade of black.
This release enhances the theatrical release and actually stands alone as the better entry point too.
A worthy addition to the canon and the definitive cut.
The Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out on DVD, Blu Ray and 3D Blu Ray on 3rd November 2014.
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