The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King)
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The Legend Comes to Life
With the extended edition of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Warner Bros. presents one of the greatest achievements and most ambitious undertakings in film history, all in one incomparable boxed set. Filled with lush New Zealand landscapes, extraordinary special effects and a star-studded cast, the Lord of the Rings trilogy brings to the big screen the classic fantasy tale of Middle-earth and its myriad residents as lovingly told by author J.R.R. Tolkien.
As of 2015, the Lord of the Rings trilogy has earned nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.
With a budget of over $280 million, the entire project took about eight years to complete.
The franchise garnered a record-breaking 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 wins, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Art Direction.
The final film in the trilogy, “The Return of the King,” is the only fantasy film ever to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
Viggo Mortensen performed his own stunts and insisted on using a real steel sword instead of a lighter aluminum replica.
Christopher Lee was the only member of the cast and crew ever to have met J.R.R. Tolkien.
An Epic Action Adventure
- The Lord of the Rings as never seen before
- Beautifully packaged 15-disc set
- Nearly two hours of extended movie content
- Nine special-feature discs with 26 hours of bonus material
- A must-own for Lord of the Rings franchise fans
About the Movies
The Fellowship of the Ring
Assisted by a Fellowship of heroes, the hobbit Frodo Baggins plunges into a perilous trek to take the mystical One Ring to Mount Doom so that it and its magical powers can be destroyed and never possessed by evil Lord Sauron.
The Two Towers
Frodo and Samwise press on toward Mordor, and Gollum insists on being their guide. Can anyone so corrupted by the One Ring be trusted? Meanwhile, as Aragorn draws closer to his destiny, he rallies forces of good for the battles that must come.
The Return of the King
The final battle for Middle-earth begins as Frodo continues his dangerous mission to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron.
The Fellowship of the Ring; A meek hobbit of the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron. The Two Towers: While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. The Return of the King: Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. Peter Jackson directs these action adventure movies starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchet and more. This special edition of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy includes extended edition of the movies on 15 Blu-Ray discs.
As the triumphant start of a trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring leaves you begging for more. By necessity, Peter Jackson's ambitious epic compresses J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, but this robust adaptation maintains reverent allegiance to Tolkien's creation, instantly qualifying as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. At 178 minutes, it's long enough to establish the myriad inhabitants of Middle-earth, the legendary Rings of Power, and the fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and humans--led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the brave hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood)--who must battle terrifying forces of evil on their perilous journey to destroy the One Ring in the land of Mordor. Superbly paced, the film is both epic and intimate, offering astonishing special effects and production design while emphasizing the emotional intensity of Frodo's adventure, and ends on a perfect note of heroic loyalty and rich anticipation.
After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo and Sam journey to Mordor with the creature Gollum as their guide in The Two Towers. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) join in the defense of the people of Rohan, who are the first target in the eradication of the race of Men by the renegade wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) and the dark lord Sauron. Fantastic creatures, astounding visual effects, and a climactic battle at the fortress of Helm's Deep make The Two Towers a worthy successor to The Fellowship of the Ring, grander in scale but retaining the story's emotional intimacy.
With The Return of the King, the greatest fantasy epic in film history draws to a grand and glorious conclusion. The trilogy could never fully satisfy those who remain exclusively loyal to Tolkien's expansive literature, but as a showcase for physical and technical craftsmanship it is unsurpassed in pure scale and ambition, setting milestone after cinematic milestone as Frodo and Sam continue their mission to Mordor to destroy the soul-corrupting One Ring. While the heir to the kingdom of Men, Aragorn, endures the massive battle at Minas Tirith with the allegiance of Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, Frodo and Sam must survive the schizoid deceptions of Gollum, who remains utterly convincing as a hybrid of performance (by Andy Serkis) and subtly nuanced computer animation. Jackson and cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have much ground to cover; that they do so with intense pacing and epic sweep is impressive enough, but by investing greater depth and consequence in the actions of fellow hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), they ensure that The Return of the King maintains the trilogy's emphasis on intimate fellowship and remains faithful to Tolkien's overall vision. By ending the LOTR trilogy with noble integrity and faith in the power of imaginative storytelling, The Return of the King, like its predecessors, will stand as an adventure for the ages. --Jeff Shannon and David Horiuchi
Our Review of the Extended Edition on DVD (Dec. 14, 2004):
The extended editions of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings present the greatest trilogy in film history in the most ambitious sets in DVD history. In bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's nearly unfilmable work to the screen, Jackson benefited from extraordinary special effects, evocative New Zealand locales, and an exceptionally well-chosen cast, but most of all from his own adaptation with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, preserving Tolkien's vision and often his very words, but also making logical changes to accommodate the medium of film. While purists complained about these changes and about characters and scenes left out of the films, the almost two additional hours of material in the extended editions (about 11 hours total) help appease them by delving more deeply into Tolkien's music, the characters, and loose ends that enrich the story, such as an explanation of the Faramir-Denethor relationship, and the appearance of the Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor. In addition, the extended editions offer more bridge material between the films, further confirming that the trilogy is really one long film presented in three pieces (which is why it's the greatest trilogy ever--there's no weak link). The scene of Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship added to the first film proves significant over the course of the story, while the new Faramir scene at the end of the second film helps set up the third and the new Saruman scene at the beginning of the third film helps conclude the plot of the second.
To top it all off, the extended editions offer four discs per film: two for the longer movie, plus four commentary tracks and stupendous DTS 6.1 ES sound; and two for the bonus material, which covers just about everything from script creation to special effects. The argument was that fans would need both versions because the bonus material is completely different, but the features on the theatrical releases are so vastly inferior that the only reason a fan would need them would be if they wanted to watch the shorter versions they saw in theaters (the last of which, The Return of the King, merely won 11 Oscars). The LOTR extended editions without exception have set the DVD standard by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. --David HoriuchiSee all Editorial Reviews
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The basic facts-
LOTR series has basically two types of movies- a) Theatrical and b) Extended, each edition are available in both-DVD and Blu ray format.
Extended versions of the movies have humongous amount of extra film footage added to the theatrical editions (approx. 30, 40 and 50 additional minutes for movie 1, 2 and 3 respectively). So, go for the extended editions only if you are a die hard fan of the movies. If you are not, the review ends here. Buy whichever movie you like in your preferred format and enjoy. Thanks.
FOR LOTR FANS-
Let's get straight to-the-point. Now, many of you may as well own the DVD versions of LOTR (Either Theatrical or Extended ot both), and if you are trying to make a decision whether to spend more money on this blu ray extended, here is the comparison-
Extended DVD set-
For each movie they have 4 discs (2 movie discs and 2 extra features); So total 12 discs. Sound is DTS ES 6.1, which is significantly better than regular dolby digital. This set is probably the most gorgeous I have ever seen for any DVD. Colorful and feature packed, it stands out in your entire collection.
Extended Blu ray set-
For each movie they have 5 discs (2 movie blu ray discs, 2 extra feature DVDs and 1 behind the scene DVD). So, total 15 discs. Audio is spine chilling DTS HD 6.1 and it has the all the betterments of blu ray (HD pic, HD sound, BD live). Also, blu ray set includes the Digital copy of the Extended Versions of all three movies (Standard definition, not HD). The set itself is a delight, with a sturdy golden cardboard package that is durable and beautiful. The remastering of these movies have been handled excellently and with respect to both picture and sound, this one is SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER THAN THE DVD.
The GOOD (Blu ray set over DVD set):
1. Video and Audio significantly improved. Excellent blu ray transfer. I have not noticed any 'darker' colors as mentioned by some other viewers.
2. Blu ray set has THREE EXTRA DVDs (Behind the Scene for each movie) apart from the 2 extra feature DVDs.
3. Blu ray set has Digital copies of Extended versions of all three movies.
4. They did not waste a DVD for digital copy. You download them straight from the server.
5. Digital copies are great downloads and super easy. Together, it's almost 10 GB download, which was overwhelming for me.
1. Extra feature DVDs (2 for each movie) are the SAME as those of DVD editions. In fact, the DVDs are identical when I do head-to-head comparison. These DVDs are pulled straight from the older DVD editions, nothing new added there.
2. The overall appearence of the set is not as beautiful as the DVD sets. This one is excellently packed though, lacks the colours of the DVD set.
3. Extra feature discs are DVDs and not Blu rays.
If you own the extended DVD set, then buy this only if you want to have a great improvement in pictutre and sound quality. The only extra features you get is 'behind the scenes' DVDs. All other extra feature DVDs (total 6 of them) will be a duplication of what you already own in Extended DVD set. Actually, I noticed that all the extra feature DVDs here are from the various older DVD editions. The two DVDs are from the Extended DVD set, and the one 'behind the scene' is probably pulled from the limited editions of LOTR (the double sided DVDs that New Line Cinema released sometimes back).
However, if you do not own the DVD versions, then this is a must buy as this includes almost everything that you can think of (HD movies, extra features, behind the scenes, plus digital copies).
UPDATE 1: Also check the images I uploaded which may help make the comparison.
UPDATE 2: Thanks for all those who marked this review as helpful. As you are interested in LOTR, I guess at some point you'll consider purchasing "Hobbit" as well. I have recently written reviews for those, hope you find them useful too. Comments are welcome!
UPDATE 3: DIGITAL COPIES: When I purchased the set back in 2011, the set came with complimentary digital copies. Nevertheless, the later editions do not seem to have digital copies with them (hence the lower price I guess). Please verify the product information closely before making a purchase. Thanks!
Re: double dipping/money-grubbing.... To anyone who bought the Theatrical Edition Blu-Ray set... my sympathies. But then, why in the heck did you spend the money in the first place? It was obvious to any rational person that the EE would eventually see the light of day. It happened with the DVD release, and it was confirmed for the BD release mere weeks after the theatrical set was announced. How impatient does a person have to be to buy an inferior release and then complain about a superior one down the road?
Re: Seamless branching .... I just don't think there was a way to put both theatrical and EE movies, with all commentaries, on one disc and then seamlessly branch them, a la "Close Encounters." The movies are too long, for one thing, and the EE flicks were completely re-edited, with new music, extended scenes, and so on. If you really want a seamlessly-branched set, get the "limited edition" DVD. Frankly, the EE is superior in every way, and I do not feel the need to watch the inferior, truncated versions.
Re: being split over 2 discs - the films have been encoded as files roughly 60-70gb in size. Each movie pushes FOUR HOURS and has a DTS-HD soundtrack. To leave room for the movies, as well as the 4 audio commentaries apiece, they were split onto to two 50gb BDs. And YES, they are 50gb DUAL LAYER discs. Actually LOOK at the center of the discs before you write yet another stupid review claiming that they're on single layer 25gb discs. Anyway, LIVE WITH IT. It has resulted in wonderful video quality. Cramming them films onto one disc would have resulted in a substandard A/V presentation. If you don't care about video quality, buy either a cruddy bootleg or the Theatrical Edition. Complaining about this is like complaining that vinyl LP's have 2 sides.
Re: the "color timing issue" .... Wow. If ever there was a mountain made out of a molehill, it is this. FOTR is NOT "green." It does not have an undue green tint. The snow is not green. The faces are not green. The sky is not green. I've watched the whole thing through very carefully, and there is no point at which I felt the color balancing was off. Flesh tones are realistic. Whites are white. The color looks very similar to the EE DVD set - better, if you ask me, because that release ran a little hot in the reds. I kind of wonder if the people who are complaining have poorly calibrated equipment, or bad eyesight. If your display is calibrated anywhere close to a 6500k color temperature (usually the "warmest" color setting in your user menu), and your gamma is set well, you will find nothing to complain about here. Folks, I am a PICKY viewer. I have 20/20 vision. I calibrate my displays with discs like DVE and Avia, to get them as close as possible to "accurate" color. I CARE about these sorts of issues. And I can say, unequivocally, that the color on these discs, including FOTR, is absolutely fine. It looks perfectly natural and pleasing.
On all of these issues, you should *decide for yourself!* Don't be swayed by serial complainers and people with bad televisions. At least rent the discs before you decide to boycott them for life!
OK, with that all out of the way, here goes the real review.
The movies, of course, are one of the finest achievements in fantasy storytelling, well, basically ever. The writing is true to the books (with a few exceptions made for brevity), if a little self-important and overly portentous. The acting is uniformly excellent, with all players taking the material seriously. The production values still haven't been topped - the locations are spectacular, and the CGI hasn't been beaten as far as integrating it with real live action shots. The music is great, too.
This Blu-Ray set presents the three Extended Edition movies on two discs apiece. All of the extras from the DVD sets are reprised here, including the "Costa Botes" documentaries from the later "limited edition" release. It is a disappointment that the extras, none of which are in HD, were not simply dropped onto one 50gb Blu-Ray disc per movie. No sacrifice in quality would have been made, and convenience would be increased significantly. But it's a minor quibble - at least New Line and WHV didn't also include a disc (or two!) for the "Digital Editions" of the movies.
The video presentations on these Blu-Rays are reference quality. Pure and simple. Detail is extremely strong throughout all three films. Hair, facial wrinkles and pores, cloth textures, and foliage all pop off the screen with true "high definition" detail. These releases are WAY better than the Theatrical Blu-Rays in this respect (especially FOTR). Comparing screen shots from one to the other is almost like comparing DVD to BD. It's really night and day. Also particularly impressive are the depth of black and shadow detail. These are dark movies, folks - and if you have your display's brightness and gamma set well, you will be rewarded with an absolute ton of detail near black.
Audio is presented in DTS-HD 6.1 "master audio" tracks. Dialogue is crisp and clear, positional audio is strong, the low channels get an aggressive workout pretty much non stop.
The packaging is nice, too. A sturdy gold-colored slipcase with a magnetic door-flap holds the BD cases, each of which is a 5-disc plastic leaf case similar to the Blade Runner "Ultimate Edition."
If you've been waiting to buy these on Blu-Ray, wait no longer. I don't see how the video or the audio could be improved. The griping on internet forums about color timing is fictitious drivel. You will sacrifice no extra features in swapping these in for your EE DVDs. The movies themselves are of course timeless classics.
For this price, it is simply a must-buy for any fan of the films, and any fan of high quality HD movies for their home theater setup.
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FYI- this film series will not be released in 4K.