Director Peter Jackson and his production crew obviously believe that when it comes to J.R.R. Tolkien and the Middle-earth titles, there can never be too much of a good thing.
The New Zealand filmmaker might have had that in mind when beginning “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — Extended Edition” (digital download on Oct. 22; it will be followed on Nov. 5 for $54.98, five disc Blu-ray 3-D; $35.99, three disc Blu-ray; $34.99, DVD).
“An Unexpected Journey” was a huge global success grossing more than $1 bilion worldwide. It was the first installment of a new trilogy, which will continue with “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” on Dec. 13 in theaters.
The PG-13 extended edition will present fans with 13 minutes of extra film footage that extends individual scenes of the epic that follows reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins as he joins a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey takes them into lands with Goblins, Orcs and Wargs, and introduces the manipulative Gollum.
“I’m thrilled that the ’Extended Edition’ will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features,” Jackson said in a news release. “It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of ‘An Unexpected Journey’ to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.”
The new special features include a chronological history of the filming of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” commentary by Jackson; and a short (“New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth”) on the filming site.
Despite dealing with a huge cast, coordinating cutting-edge special effects and handling the pressures of adapting a book loved by its fans, Jackson believes that the “Hobbit” and other “Lord of the Rings” titles would do well due to an old-school approach to the material.
“I just like to tell stories,” Jackson said to the Los Angeles Times of the “Hobbit” titles. “I don’t set out to try to preach to people and put hidden meaning into things.
“I just think if you can entertain people and give people a good time at the movies, you’re doing your job well. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.”
The following titles either recently arrived or will soon arrive at your favorite video outlet.
“The Adventurers,” with Candice Bergen, Olivia De Havilland and Ernest Borgnine in director Lewis Gilbert’s adaptation of the over-the-top best-seller written by Harold Robbins and set in a fictional South American republic with political revolutions occurring like clockwork. The 177-minute film (1970) provides some outrageous melodramatic moments during this tale that plays like a big-screen soap opera with added fire power and additional star power thanks to appearances by Charles Aznavour, Rossano Brazzi, Jaclyn Smith and Leigh Taylor-Young. (The PG-rated picture is available via warnerarchive.com and moviesunlimited.com.)
“Before Midnight” ($30.99, DVD; $35.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct. 22) with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in the R-rated final installment of this romantic series about the changes in their emotional lives that occur over the years. The first two installments in the trilogy are “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset.”
“The Carpetbaggers,” with Carroll Baker and the underrated George Peppard co-star in this bigger-than-life story of Hollywood in the 1930s. Like “The Adventurers,” “The Carpetbaggers” (1964) was penned by Harold Robbins who wrote suggestive scenes . The outrageous events add to the fun of the150-minute film, which marked the final screen appearance of veteran star Alan Ladd, best known for playing the title role in “Shane.” Other actors in “The Carpetbaggers” include Bob Cummings, Martha Hyer, Elizabeth Ashley, Lew Ayres and Martin Balsam. (The PG-rated picture is available via warnerarchive.com.)
“The Conjuring” ($28.99, DVD; $35.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct. 22) with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in a genuinely creepy PG-13 chiller about a pair of paranormal investigators who agree to help a family remove a demonic force. The two then find themselves at war with the dark side during this fact-based things-that-go-bump-in-the-night hit.
“Dead in Tombstone” ($29.99, DVD; $34.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct. 22) with Mickey Rourke, Dina Meyer, Anthony Michael Hall and the great Danny Trejo (“Machete”) in an R-rated and unrated action tale about ruthless biker-gang members who that take over a small mining town and find themselves confronted by Satan himself. The numerous extras include a making-of featurette, commentary by director Roel Reine and deleted scenes.
“The Internship” ($39.99, Blu-ray Disc; $29.99, DVD; Oct. 22) with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in a comedy (PG-13 and unrated) about two middle-age guys who desperately seek internships at Google.
“Just Like a Woman” ($24.99, DVD; $34.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct. 22) with Sienna Miller in an R-rated picture about two Windy City women who are from very different backgrounds and both are running away from family problems. French filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb directed.
“Only God Forgives” ($29.99, DVD; $34.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct. 22) with Ryan Gosling in an R-rated action thriller about a Bangkok drug dealer hunting for his brother’s killer.
“Shepard & Dark” ($29.99, DVD; Oct. 22) with Treva Wurmfeld directing an unrated documentary on the relationship playwright/actor Sam Shepard and writer Johnny Dark, an archivist who works behind a deli counter in New Mexico and has been a fan of Shepard’s for 50 years.
“Primeval New World: The Complete Series” ($29.99, DVD; $39.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct.22) with Niall Matter and Colin Ferguson in a 13-episode series about an invasion of prehistoric creatures and the team members must prevent prehistoric creatures from threatening North America.
“Barbie & Her Sisters in a Pony Tale” ($19.99, DVD; $26.99, Blu-ray Disc; Oct.22) with the popular doll and her sisters in an unrated title that has them embarking on a Swiss adventure designed to have them doing amazing equestrian tricks in the great outdoors.