The Hobbit: The Battle of the five armies Review and Blu-ray Features
The Hobbit: The battle of the five armies
17 Dec 2014
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Role of Tauriel
Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) does not feature in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy because her character was made-up by Peter Jackson. Jackson met Lilly after he finished filming the first Middle Earth trilogy and liked her so much that he promised to include her character in Tolkien’s other stories, should they be made into film. When they started filming the Hobbit, Lilly received a phone call from Jackson, bringing Tauriel’s character to life.
The winter is upon us
At a point of the Bard’s speech to the people of Laketown, this one says “the winter is upon us”. This quote is similar to the trademark and tagline of the TV series Game of Thrones (2011).
Bilbo uses The One Ring to make himself invisible a total of five times throughout the trilogy: 1st – to escape Gollum in the goblins’ caves; 2nd – to help Thorin and the rest of the company to escape from Thranduil’s cells; 3rd – to hide from Smaug’s sight after his awakening; 4th – to avoid being eaten by Smaug, running from Smaug’s fire breath, and 5th – to travel from Dale to Ravenhill to tell Thorin about Azog’s trap
The golden ground where Thorin hallucinates is the same place where he had tried to kill Smaug in the second Hobbit film by smothering him in hot melted gold.
The movie ends with a close-up of Erebor’s map, which is on Bilbo’s table. It’s the same map that Gandalf looks at when he visits the aging Bilbo at the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
There is a 45 minute fighting sequence in the film.
What are the “Five Armies”?
Tolkien’s novel specifies that the climactic battle “was called the Battle of Five Armies … Upon one side were the Goblins and theWild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves.” As the movie does not feature an army of Wolves (Wargs), the identity of its “fifth” army has been the subject of some debate. Some viewers have argued that the movie depicts two separate armies of different species of Goblin or Orc. Others have argued that the Eagles represent the movie’s fifth army. Support for the latter view may be found in the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, in which Bilbo refers at the start of the battle to “four armies” (apparently treating the Goblins and Wolves as one single army). On the appearance of the Eagles, Bilbo then describes them as the “fifth” army.
Middle Earth Series
Peter Jackson had previously stated this will be his last film he would do with the J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth properties, but recently said he would consider returning to it due to his emotional attachment.
Last film of Middle Earth series
This is the last film in The Hobbit trilogy and also the last film in the Middle Earth series of films
RT/Meta Critic Review
Visually, the film is 21st century digital filmmaking at its best… Magnificently realised with what appears to be a limitless budget…director Peter Jackson and his team have gone all out with the staging of Middle-earth war. (Click here to see)
While the action scenes are eye-popping, for me the film becomes something special in stiller moments, with the megalomaniac Thorin raving, questioning, justifying, swerving towards evil. (Click here to see)
A great ending to one of the best trilogys in its genre. I loved every part. Great in every possible way. We will all miss this characters, Middle Eart and Peter Jackson audacity and creative vision. All six films are now part of the greatest fantasy films ever made. I’m glad i had the chance to witness them all (Orw/MetaCritic)
The 3D Combo Pack release of The Battle of the Five Armies features a 1080p/AVC-encoded 2D video presentation and an MVC-encoded 3D experience, both of which are impressive, striking, and comparable to the Blu-ray releases of An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. There’s some minor but noticeable crush here and there, as well as a few anomalies born from Jackson’s at-times aggressive digital color grading, but none of it proves all that distracting. Even the darkest scenes look great, without much to nitpick or criticize. Colors are largely bleak and wintry, with searing skies and ominous shadows framing a rather stark image, gray, blue and purple tones dominating the palette throughout the film’s titular battle, and high contrast whitewashing a number of overcast scenes. Several sequences offer richer, warmer hues — Smaug’s attack in particular — but these are the exception rather than the rule. Still, it’s perfectly in step with Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie’s intentions and quite stunning on the whole, not to mention free from significant artifacting, banding, aliasing and other issues. Detail is terrific too, with crisp, razor-sharp edges, refined textures and revealing close-ups.
The 3D experience is perhaps even more jaw-dropping than its 2D counterpart, and without any additional aliasing or crosstalk sensitivity that might spoil the wow factor. A handful of scenes are a tad flat by comparison to those that come before and after, but it hardly matters. The bulk of the battle expands outward, along fields strewn with corpses, and far into the distance with convincing, occasionally breathtaking depth of field. A variety of shots perch high above the battlefield, reveling in the full breadth of the armies and hordes, as well as the burning cities, chaotic encampments and crumbling fortresses, while others dive into the thick of the fight, capturing the film’s heroes and villains with outstanding dimensionality that brings the characters to three-dimensional life. The Battle of the Five Armies is short on 3D gimmickry too. Jackson has his fun now and again, but rarely in a way that yanks the viewer out of the immersive visual experience. All told, like the two films that precede it, the third entry in The Hobbit trilogy delivers the high definition goods.
No complaints here. Warner’s DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is another winner, bolstered by the deafening chorus of war Jackson and company wholeheartedly embrace at every turn. Dragons roar, fires rage, arrows fly, magic surges, swords clash, axes fall, iron meets steel, trolls crash through walls, towers topple, buildings collapse, Were-worms erupt from the ground, wargs snarl, dwarven shields form walls, elves leap into the fray, orcs and goblins charge to their deaths, and Thorin and his allies go toe to toe with all manner of beast, monster and villain. And every arrow shunks into place, every piece of armor shink shinks with weight, every strike carries strength. Low-end output is hearty and powerful, lending heft and presence to anything and everything that requires oomph. Rear speaker activity is engaging and absorbing, complete with precise directional effects, slick cross-channel pans, and an enveloping soundfield that’s as inviting as it is immersive. Add to that dialogue that never fails or falters — thanks to intelligible, convincingly grounded voices and flawless prioritization — and you have a 7.1 lossless track that’s armed to the teeth and ready for battle.
- New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3 (HD, 6 minutes): The third and final overview of the various New Zealand locations used to bring Jackson’s Middle-earth to life on screen.
- Recruiting the Five Armies (HD, 12 minutes): Meet the jovial extras of The Battle of the Five Armies as they get in costume, prep for battle, chow down at lunch time, and make the lead actors look especially heroic during the climactic showdown. It’s a fun behind the scenes piece, with a few hearty laughs for good measure.
- Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga (HD, 10 minutes): Director Peter Jackson introduces “the last piece of the puzzle” and discusses the connective tissue that joins it within the six-film Rings epic.
- Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey (HD, 9 minutes): Over the course of nearly two decades, Jackson and company immersed themselves in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, delivering one of the most ambitious film series ever committed to film.
- The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes (HD, 11 minutes): Jackson, writer/co-producer Philippa Boyens and others take a look at the writing and recording of the song that graces the film’s end credits: actor Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye.”
- Music Video (HD, 4 minutes): “The Last Goodbye” with Boyd.
- Trailers (HD, 4 minutes): A Five Armies trailer and a Desolation of Smaug EE promo.