003797Reviews & Counting
The Lord Of The Rings (Extended Edition)
BLU-RAY disk
08.02.2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Lord Of The Rings (Extended Edition) order
Peter Jackson

Viggo Mortensen
Elijah Wood
Sean Astin


star Printer-Friendly version
There can't be many people out there at this point who don't know about Frodo and his quest to destroy the one ring, saving Middle Earth from Sauron and his minions, and there's no better way to view the tale than here on Blu-ray with the extended editions. And you don't know the story, you must watch it...the precious demands it.
For a guy who loves the fantasy genre (which I most definitely do), THE LORD OF THE RINGS was the epic event I needed after crap like DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and "ho hum" attempts like DRAGONHEART. Rating the films individually was tough as with most trilogies the key is to analyse the story as a whole, but be that as it may I still have a favourite. The extended editions were scoffed at by more than a few people as cash grabs, but trust me, I'm a guy who has bought many films again because of an extension and of the those many (excluding these ones), DONNIE DARKO, DAREDEVIL and GLADIATOR were a couple of the better ones to name a few. Rest assured that these films are the best extended editions of any films out there and not only are these added scenes welcome but in most cases they help us understand things that were either a mystery or missed by those who didn't read the books.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: I hate to play favourites but it can't be helped as this one is my favourite individual film of the three. I enjoyed the assembling of the fellowship, the introduction to the ring wraiths and of course, the opening scene featuring Sauron 's epic battle and loss of the ring. The extended version helps us understand a couple of things here. The first one gives us a better understanding of how Isildur dies and loses the ring, a minor addition but a welcome one. The best part comes from Galadriel and specifically when she gives each companion a gift. In the regular version they end up with these things and if you didn't read the book you're scratching your head wondering what you missed.

THE TWO TOWERS: This film is a solid midpoint for our story and presents some of the coolest battle scenes I've ever seen on film. The battle at Helm's Deep is spectacular to behold, that opening bit where the orcs are banging on their shields to scare the holy hell out of their enemies still sends chills down my spine. The added flavour here comes in the form of Faramir as we're shown a bit more of his background with Boromir and their father. It adds to the drama of Boromir's death and gives you a better understanding of the bond the two brothers shared. There's also a small added scene with Grima and Eomer where he shows him the banishment papers signed by the King.

THE RETURN OF THE KING: I'm not completely sure why, but I didn't like this one nearly as much as the first two. I think it was partly because I knew the third film meant it was all coming to an end, but there was more to it than that. I didn't care for the army of lost souls, the foolish ramblings of Denethor or the layered ending...that just never seemed to end. The extended edition didn't help the last part, but where it shined brightest was with the explanation of Saruman's fate. In the regular version you never find out what happened to him which I found to be odd, but here Gandalf and the crew come to Isengard where Saruman and Grima are atop the tower. This was a cool scene and also explains how Gandalf got the palenthia.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS EXTENDED EDITION is a must own for fans of the series for a slew of reasons; it's a riveting experience on Blu-ray, it adds over two and a half hours to the length of the films which really help tie this baby together and it comes with a several more hours of extras to boot! If you're a fan of the fantasy genre, the LOTR books, films or all of the above, this is one treat you really owe yourself and won't be disappointed with when you give in.
If you're all about special features then you're going to love what Peter Jackson's put together here for his insane opus which is spread over fifteen discs of ass-kicking goodness.

Commentary: There are a whopping twelve commentaries, that's right, twelve. And the good news is that these are the kind of commentaries you want to watch as they included over thirty members of the cast and crew as opposed to just the director. I personally enjoyed hearing what Smeagol and Gollum had to say about all this.

Documentaries: These are separated over a six part collection called The Appendices which break down into forty three different documentaries covering the transition from book to film, vision to reality, the war of the ring, visual effects, costumes and makeup, weaponry and props and probably the hugest still gallery I've ever seen. There are also five different interactive maps to play around with if you want to expand your LOTR's geography. It's true, these special features are straight from the DVD extended editions so it does suck that we didn't get anything new (like some HOBBIT info) but still, that said this is still one of the best collections of special features out there.

Behind the Scenes Footage: There are hours and hours of footage to view and toggle through from all three films as well an in depth look at the extra footage in these extended editions. There are also countless storyboard to film comparisons, some heartfelt footage of cast goodbyes, tributes, score breakdowns and an interactive sound demonstration for the battle of Helm's Deep (which is totally badass I might add). All in all, there's lots of love to go around here well beyond the films themselves.

Previews: My only real disappointment is that the trailers for the films weren't included, which is bummer as they were some of the coolest I've ever watched. There is however, a Digital Copy for each film, which I suppose is better than nothing.
There's really not much more to say other than this extended box set spells win no matter how you slice it. At this point, I hope and pray that THE HOBBIT lives up to the expectations us fans have for this beloved series and it's extraordinary characters. Peter Jackson struck gold three times now, so here's hoping he's got two more swings in him. Either way, I for one can't wait to revisit Middle Earth, but until then these films are more than enough to tide any fan over.

Extra Tidbit: There are a couple hidden Easter eggs here; the MTV Movie Award Council of Elrond spoof as well as Gollum's award speech.
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12:02PM on 08/02/2011


The set is amazing but the features were all copied and pasted from the DVD set.. and they aren't HD in either set..
The set is amazing but the features were all copied and pasted from the DVD set.. and they aren't HD in either set..
Your Reply:

1:29PM on 08/02/2011
had the bonus feature been in Blu-Ray well then this would have cost 200+ bucks for the collection but yea i was a little disappointed in it also
had the bonus feature been in Blu-Ray well then this would have cost 200+ bucks for the collection but yea i was a little disappointed in it also

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