Hobbit Blu-ray Dazzles US Critics
Early reviews for the Blu-ray of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are, as expected, brilliant.
The 2D and 3D Blu-rays go on sale tomorrow in the US — six weeks earlier than here — and have US critics more excited about the HD specs than the content.
“It’s a splendid, demo-worthy high-def presentation fans will really enjoy,” says High-Def Digest in its five-star rave of the video.
As to the High Frame Rate’s impact on the transfer, “I’m happy to report that I noticed little to no difference whatsoever than if it were shot at the standard frame rate, although I must say the video does seem slightly smoother.”
The disc also boasts an “explosive, reference-quality DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that will give any system a healthy workout [and] envelops viewers with exhilaration, making this a marvelous and highly-satisfying lossless mix audiophiles will absolutely love.”
Blu-ray.com says the Blu-ray “wows, dazzles and thoroughly impresses with a stunning 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer true to Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie’s every intention.
“Lush, lovely Shire greens, summer-kissed browns and oranges, moonlit blues pierced by blazing flame, relatively lifelike fleshtones and cavernous blacks grant the image soul and spirit, while impeccable contrast leveling and exceedingly natural shadow delineation give it depth and strength …
“As impressive as Warner’s video transfer may be, it’s The Hobbit‘s bellowing beast of a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track that leaves the most lasting mark.”
AVS Forum says the Blu-ray features “superb and faithfully rendered high definition audio/video and a noticeably trim supplemental set that will only wet the appetite of true fans.
“Warner Home Video has delivered a stalwart Blu-ray offering that delivers an enriching home theater experience.”
Less impressive are the underwhelming extras, most of which already have been offered online.
But as The Washington Times points out, “Warner Home Video will eventually release an extended edition of the movie supposedly around the holidays, making this release obsolete.
“We all understand why mega movie conglomerates pull this ploy.
“However, Warner throws in a bone for those who buy the Blu-ray combo pack with a packaged code (tied to its complex UltraViolet digital delivery system).
“It offers access to Peter Jackson hosting a live look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. (EST).”
That’s 8am on March 25 in NZ — and those who pre-order the NZ Blu-ray can participate.