The Movie: 6.5/10
I really really really hate thinking what other people think. It’s my arch nemesis. However, for this review I will have to wallow in some popular opinion, yuck. The Hobbit has not been a very stimulating or interesting series of movies for me. I try, honestly, I try. I squint when the special effects are terrible, and believe me they are sometimes. I let my mind give up on figuring out who every Dwarf is and remembering their names, I cannot. I even try extra hard to focus on Bilbo Baggins, because he is THE HOBBIT, it just happens to be kind of hard since he is such a small part of it all.
That’s a summary of my qualms with the whole set of the movies, and now for The Battle of the Five Armies. First, I cannot figure out what the FIVE armies are. I have looked it up, thought about it, even got close once, but then I realize, it still doesn’t make sense, so I gave up. Our Hobbit is really not featured as much as a movie called The Hobbit should be, but I do like the bits he is in. Martin Freeman is top quality in how he is, all at once, the nice guy, and also really tough. He’s brave and good and makes the story come together….so why the heck is he such a small part of the movie!! OK, calm down, calm down. His role and his actions are pivotal, and yet most of what I remember is that King guy, ugh, that king guy.
A man struggling with the temptation of gold isn’t exactly that interesting. He’ll either succumb to it and get lost in the delusions of grandeur and wealth beyond imagination OR he’ll see sense and not do that. Watch the Hobbit movies to find out how this one goes.
I don’t like it, I don’t like saying things I know other people have said about this movie, and set of movies. I have to accept, however, that some things are universally true. For example, the Dwarves mean nothing to me by the end of this journey. I started the first movie not knowing who is who, not knowing their names, not connecting with any of their character traits, and it went down hill from there. This is a problem. You see, the Dwarves journey is Bilbo’s journey. So, let’s piece some things together, Bilbo isn’t in the movies enough, and the Dwarves are not done in a way that makes me care about them. This adds up to me wanting to just get lost in the action, the quirky characters, the over arching story of Middle Earth, and other parts of this big adventure. OH, wait, there is another problem here, a lot of the action has crappy special effects and ends up being kind of boring. A lot of the quirky characters (i.e. the guy with the sleigh of rabbits) just get lost and do absolutely nothing for the story. The over arching story of Middle Earth, this whole world in fact, is confusing and I can say with all honesty, I am still confused.
So, there ya go. It’s an adventure that seems fun and exciting with characters that could be intriguing, about themes that might be compelling…and yet, I leave this and these movies behind with not much more than a new respect for Evangeline Lilly….THAT is a surprise and worth it all:)
- Recruiting The Five Armies (12 Minutes) – The best feature on the disc in my opinion as we follow the happy band of extras over the course of filming the movie. Lots of sitting around and having fun in between takes.
- Completing Middle Earth (19 Minutes) – The second breakfast of this set split into two parts. The first part covers all six films and the second covers how this movie ties into the hobbit trilogy. Not really many special features here but the upcoming extended cut will contain 9 hours worth.
- The Last Goodbye Music Video (4 Minutes) – Pippin from the other trilogy sings a nice song.
- New Zealand Home Of Middle Earth Part 3 (6 Minutes) – The third part of Peter Jackson’s tourism film that will eventually sell you a holiday to New Zealand.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
It is what it is, and I wouldn’t really want it as a poster, sadly. I would rather have the cover of the original book. Look it up:) The menu is just navigation.
Audio & Video: 9/10
The Battle Of The Five Armies features a stunning 1080P AVC encode that is right from Warner’s top shelf. It fits alongside the other two films in the trilogy perfectly and makes this a stunning set of films on Blu-Ray. Jackson uses some weird color grading during all of these films and sometimes that makes the picture look soft but close-ups are very detailed and even the darkest scenes are easy to see and exhibit no crush issues. This is a transfer that the dwarfs will not sneeze at (whoops wrong movie).
Warner’s DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is a real stunner. It’s no secret that this movie contains a 45 minute battle sequence that needs to be experienced using surround sound. From Smaug’s Armageddon it’s clear that this is a showcase soundtrack with flames coming from every direction and arrows whipping around the speakers. LFE output is bold and deafening at times as it always has been in the LOTR movies. Jackson is a technical perfectionist when it comes to sound and this disc amplifies that.
Overall Score 6/10