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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
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Not seen in theaters, this unique version of the epic adventure features over 30 minutes of new and extended scenes integrated into the film by the director.
In every aspect, the extended-edition DVD of Peter Jackson's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring blows away the theatrical-version DVD. No one who cares at all about the film should ever need to watch the original version again. Well, maybe the impatient and the squeamish will still prefer the theatrical version, because the extended edition makes a long film 30 minutes longer and there's a bit more violence (though both versions are rated PG-13). But the changes--sometimes whole scenes, sometimes merely a few seconds--make for a richer film. There's more of the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien, embodied in more songs and a longer opening focusing on Hobbiton. There's more character development, and more background into what is to come in the two subsequent films, such as Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship and Aragorn's burden of lineage. And some additions make more sense to the plot, or are merely worth seeing, such as the wood elves leaving Middle-earth or the view of Caras Galadhon (but sorry, there's still no Tom Bombadil). Extremely useful are the chapter menus that indicate which scenes are new or extended.
Of the four commentary tracks, the ones with the greatest general appeal are the one by Jackson and cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and the one by 10 cast members, but the more technically oriented commentaries by the creative and production staff are also worth hearing. The bonus features (encompassing two complete DVDs) are far superior to the largely promotional materials included on the theatrical release, delving into such matters as script development, casting, and visual effects. The only drawback is that the film is now spread over two discs, with a somewhat abrupt break following the council at Rivendell, due to the storage capacity required for the longer running time, the added DTS ES 6.1 audio, and the commentary tracks. But that's a minor inconvenience. Whether in this four-disc set or in the collector's gift set (which adds Argonath bookends and a DVD of National Geographic Beyond the Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), the extended-edition DVD is the Fellowship DVD to rule them all. --David Horiuchi
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Top customer reviews
I downloaded The Fellowship of the Ring and watched it on my Kindle and found it so fascinating I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Personally, I loath movies that last go past the 120 min. mark because I find them obnoxiously long for absolutely no reason but to be long. The Fellowship of the Ring was long but for good reason and I fell in love with the world. So much so, that I ordered the extended version box-set of The Lord of the Rings and watched those. Much to my husband's dismay (and he did point out where the movies should have added things and other things that were silly add-ons) he enjoyed them as well.
I'm now reading the books, and I'm just as enthralled with them as I was with the movies.
A lot of effort when into the details of this thing, from the nicely textured box, to the hours of documentaries and special features. The box feels good in the hand, and looks almost like a thick book. It looks good on any shelf. But what makes this addition really special is the extra footage in the film. God knows how many hours were filmed for this series. The theatrical version of the Fellowship of the Ring was just under three hours at 178 minutes. This extended addition adds 30 minutes of added and extended scenes. Even at that, there's still a lot left out from the book, but the overall effect is a more complete telling of this epic tale.
I was deeply impressed with the level of quality in the additional scenes. They were produced to just the same standards as the rest of this award-winning film. The editing, the special effects, and direction were all so smooth that I had a hard time noticing where new scenes blended in with ones from the theatrical release.
The extra features are nice for those who like that sort of thing. The "making of" film was quite fascinating. This film was a monumental undertaking, and it is genuinely interesting to see how it all came together. Numerous other documentaries look into specific aspects of the film making process. Still, this would have been worth it to me for the extra footage alone. Truly an edition that no LOTR fanboy/girl/hobbit should be without.
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