Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Blu-ray | Steelbook Packaging
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LOTR:Fellowship of the Ring (BD) (Steelbook)
Assisted by a Fellowship of heroes, 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 astonishing journey begins in the first film of director/co-writer Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy that redefined fantasy filmmaking. This imaginative foray into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth won 4 Academy Awards®* and earned 13 total nominations including Best Picture.]]>
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First the basics: The Platinum Series Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set comes with five DVDs and a set of bookends representing the Argonath. The bookends are lovely, but obviously meant for paperbacks. One of the DVDs is the National Geographic special on New Zealand and on the sources of Tolkien's literary creations in England and elsewhere, a treasure in itself. Then you have two DVDs with the movie, and two Appendices make up the remaining two DVDs. Ordinarily I don't care much about the extra material that comes with DVD releases, but here the material enhances the story immeasurably. The first Appendix covers the story itself, with a nice short biography of Tolkien and much material about how the film was structured and planned. There are a lot of nice shots and video clips showing story boards and early plans for the movie. The second Appendix covers the filming itself, with a lot of fun material about what the actors and technicians went through for a period of more than a year. It was interesting to see that the actors had generally the same personae as their film character: the hobbits were fun loving and rollciking, while Viggo Mortensen was a more serious, solitary fellow. Of course, all of this introductory material is as nothing compared to the main event: the extended version of the film itself.
I think there are about 35 more minutes of film in this version. All of it is worthwhile and I don't want to spoil the magic for those of you who haven't seen the new stuff. Suffice it to say that the delight you felt when viewing the theatrical version will be intensified immeasurably. My particular favorite among the added scenes is a quick shot of some Elves traveling through the Shire on their way to the Grey Havens. Nothing so encapsulates the enormous depth behind the books, and now the film as well. You'll find the same enchantment through every scene, whether new, extended, or not.
I just purchased the enhanced version anyway, and it is wonderful! Some of the re-integrated and extended scenes (such as the gifts of Galadrial) are very important for character development and for understanding a character's motivation later, especially for Gimli and Aragorn. There are many other features, such as an interactive map, and hours of documentaries, artwork and storyboards etc. It even includes one ticket to see "Two Towers" at the theater in December.
I certainly understand why they had to edit the movie for showing in theaters. It was nearly three hours long as it was, just about the outside limit for theaters. But to rush the edited version out on DVD and THEN release it in the deluxe DVD form seemed a bit underhanded.
I gave my DVD of the theatrical version away. I won't rush out and make this mistake for "The Two Towers". I'll wait until they do it right, as they finally did for "Fellowship of the Ring"
The point, as I see is: it doesn't matter at all if some things wer left out; if the movie is better for who read or for whom not read the books. The great quality here is the SPIRIT, THE PACE, THE TONE of the movie. They are perfect. The special effects has substance and serve the history. The cinematography is beyond comments, an OSCAR for sure here. The history, if you consider this is FANTASY, is perfect.
JACKSON, you had a difficult task in your hands and you handled it with skill beyond limits. I SALUTE YOU!!!
P.S. FOr me, the movie was too short!! I would stand in that chair for six hours with pleasure!! Thinking better, I would watch the three movies in a row without problems!! I can hardly wait for the DVD's that surely will be released after 2003!!