The final installment of The Hobbit is here! Warner Bros. is proud to bring you the Blu-Ray release of The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies! Mouse over the Interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out if you're Brave like Bilbo!
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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.
Special Features on the Blu-Ray combo pack include:
• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3
• Recruiting the Five Armies
• Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga
• Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey
• The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes
• Music Video
Own it on Blu-ray NOW
It would be impossible to discuss this one movie without discussing those that came before. As I am sure everyone knows, The Hobbit is a single book written by J.R.R. Tolkien. It tells the tale of how a simple hobbit named Bilbo Baggins does something completely unexpected: he goes on an adventure with 13 dwarves and a wizard to reclaim a stolen treasure. The treasure lies in the Lonely Mountain under the guard of the dragon, Smaug. The dragon is killed, a battle is fought, and Bilbo returns home with treasure…and a magic ring. This ring is, of course, the One Ring of Power, source of all of the trouble in the sequel story, The Lord of the Rings.
When Peter Jackson took on the impossible task of turning Lord of the Rings into a successful movie trilogy, the one question everyone asked was: when will you do The Hobbit? Well, with The Hobbit, there was several legal problems. New Line Cinema received the rights to do Lord of the Rings, but the rights for The Hobbit were already property of MGM studios. It took years to get the legalities down, but finally, MGM allowed Jackson to make The Hobbit.
Jackson then decided that The Hobbit was worthy of its own trilogy of films. He wove into the story of The Hobbit details that do not show up until Lord of the Rings. For example, in The Hobbit book, the character of the Necromancer is only mentioned in passing at the end, whereas in the movie, the Necromancer (a.k.a. Sauron) is a main villain. Jackson also changes the effect the Ring has on Bilbo. In the book, Bilbo seems unchanged by possession of the Ring. In fact, in the book, he eventually tells his companions about the Ring. In the movies, however, Bilbo is exceedingly possessive and secretive of it, stroking it (like Frodo does in several scenes), going into a murderous rage when a spider touches it, and lying to Gandalf about it, not only once, but twice. Even at the end of this movie, when Gandalf warns him about using the Ring, Bilbo straight up tells Gandalf he lost it during the battle.
So, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as a movie begins right where the last film, The Desolation of Smaug, ended: Smaug the dragon, roused from his deep slumber, is heading towards Lake Town to destroy those that helped the dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, and Bilbo. There is no prologue, no flashback…not even the happy Hobbit theme that plays in the beginning of the first 2 films. It just jumps right into the action.
Smaug is defeated, but the town is destroyed. Bard, who was in jail in the last movie, slays the dragon and becomes leader of the town. He turns his sights to the Mountain, thinking to use the treasure to help his people. Along come the elves of Mirkwood, led by Thranduil. They, too, are on their way to the Mountain, but they stop to help the Men of the lake.
Meanwhile, in the Mountain, Thorin is desperately seeking the Arkenstone: the Heart of the Mountain, and the jewel that will unite all the dwarven clans under one ruler. Unbeknownst to him, Bilbo has already taken the jewel and is hiding it. Thorin, meanwhile, is being driven mad by the sheer amount of the treasure and his lust for the Arkenstone (similar to his grandfather). He is so obsessed that, when he finds out that the Men and Elves are approaching the Mountain, he prepares for battle with them rather than help them.
Gandalf, as we remember, is imprisoned in Dol Guldur by the Necromancer, now unmasked as Sauron. An army of evil Orcs, led by Azog, are marching towards the Mountain. They are to combine with forces from the north, led by the orc Bolg. Gandalf is rescued by the White Council: Elrond, Galadriel, Radagast, and Saruman. He then heads to the Mountain to warn everyone.
After the inevitable build-up to the battle (where a lot of story elements happen), the battle comes. The entire battle lasts around 45 minutes of the movie, making it the longest battle in the entire Middle-earth saga. Afterwards, the dead are buried (no spoilers in this part, you’ll just have to watch the movie), and Bilbo returns home. As I said, he takes back one chest of treasure, and lies to Gandalf about the Ring. The movie then ends with Gandalf knocking on the door (as in the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring), and zooming in on the map of the Lonely Mountain.
All-in-all, this was a nice tie-in to Lord of the Rings. It appeals to fans of the books, as well as fans of the movies. Some complaints are merely about things you’d have to be an expert in Tolkien books to know about (such as Thranduil sending Legolas off to find a ranger called Strider, who is renowned as a great warrior. Anyone who has read Lord of the Rings knows that, by the time Frodo heads to Mount Doom, Aragorn, a.k.a. Strider, is 87. Lord of the Rings begins 60 years after The Hobbit, and it’s 17 years between Bilbo’s farewell party and the start of Frodo’s journey. So 87-17-60=10. That means, in The Hobbit, Aragorn should only be around 9-10 years old, hardly old enough to be a “renowned warrior”). But, ignoring such logistical things, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films combine to make a well-done saga that, I feel, J.R.R. Tolkien himself would have approved of.