For clarity’s sake, I’ll ask that again …
Do your Middle-earth discs freeze?
“Freeze” as in: stop; pause; halt; momentarily cease to function; 1 frame turns into 10 frames or more?
Long story short, 3 out of my 5 Middle-earth films discs pause on an image for just a split-second and then continue playback as normal.
I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it certainly isn’t an issue with the physical discs themselves; nor the dvd player …
I’ve noticed it years ago with my theatrical disc for The Return of the King. During the Siege of Minas Tirith, as Gandalf takes over command of the City, he says “Prepare for battle!”, and just at that moment, the sound stops and the image pauses on the wizard’s face. Then the film continues.
Again, it’s only half a second but it’s noticeable.
Back then I thought it simply a scratch on the disc, since the issue didn’t repeat itself on the Extended Edition disc.
As a frustrated Thorin confronts Gandalf in the valley of Rivendell, stating: “This was your plan all along. To seek refuge with our enemy.”
Around this time, the image pauses momentarily on Thorin’s face, before proceeding with the rest of the scene, and the film.
When I saw this, I immediately thought of the “scratched disc” issue and did not even think that it had also occurred in The Return of the King.
It was last week when I had my The Desolation of Smaug disc playing, that I remembered (and came across) the same thing. Bard has just heard the name “Thorin” and goes to seek out a tapestry – trying to recall the prophecy of the King Under the Mountain.
As I said, I’ve played all these discs in different players, but they all stop at the exactly same point.
It’s curious that these pauses occur every time on a character’s face and in similar fashion. Could this be some sort of copyright marker that the discs are genuine? (crazy, I know).
For Peter Jackson’s King Kong, the studios had inserted three letters on screen during certain points in the film, to identify the original from pirated copies.
But in the case of The Hobbit, if they wanted to do something similar, I’m sure they wouldn’t disrupt the viewing in any way. Hence, my copyright theory is completely bonkers.
I have yet to review (and remember) whether the same thing happens with my The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers discs.
In the meantime, I’m wondering whether any of you out there have experienced a similar trend with these theatrical discs … come forth! 🙂
(Copyright of illustrations belongs to Warner Bros. and MGM studios)