So, Tuesday was release day for the dvd of the third HOBBIT movie: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES.* I had my copy by noon and had watched it through (first the documentaries, then the film itself) that night.
This is the theatrical release, presumably with an expanded edition** to follow in November, so it's the same version seen in theatres (by some of us many times), with relatively few extras for now (more, probably much more, will follow in the extended ed.). Having already commented on the film when it came out, I just wanted to note the documentaries for now.
-- a brief piece on how beautiful New Zealand is (no argument there),
-- a short piece on life as an extra
-- a piece pitching the idea that all six films make up one movie, which shd be watched in internal chronological order (that is, starting with UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE, not THE FELLOWSHIP, and ending with RETURN, not FIVE ARMIES). This is by far the most interesting of the extras; it was particularly enjoyable to watch all the short pieces they'd excerpted from the different films and juxtaposed, but I'm not sure they make their case. Accordingly, I've decided I need to watch the whole set all the way through, in that order, to see how it works. Should take a while, but I'll report back how it goes.
-- a piece on how close cast and crew grew over the long months of shooting (lots of hugs in this one)
-- and finally one on the recording of the closing song (630 takes? what is this, Tiffany?)
The thing I'm most undecided about at this point is the end of this film, which seems to pull in two ways: towards concluding Bilbo's story but also trying to set up Frodo's. I think the latter got in the way of the former, but that's something I want to mull over and then revisit.
It will be hard, though, knowing that December will come around and bring no new Tolkien movie with it.
*that's Thranduil's elves, Bard's men, Dain's dwarves, Azog's orcs of Dol Guldor, and Bolg's orcs of Gundabad, for those who are counting. Tolkien's five are the dwarves, elves, men, goblins, and wargs (who oddly enough vanish out of the film version).
**though I'm not sure what there is to add at this point. The only loose ends I can see are (1) the removal of the axe from Bifur's head, (2) what happens to Dwalin in the fight on Ravenhill, and (3) the death of Alfrid
inside Edmund Wilson
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