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on October 1, 2017
I have loved both books and movies since I was a small boy. I loved the written word and I loved losing myself in a movie. As I got older, it grew harder and harder to enjoy either, but this movie (and the other two) brought that joy back. What amazed me is how Jackson and Friends (Fran and Phillipa were not given enough credit... if you listen to the commentary, you will find that these two women were instrumental in keeping the movies faithful to the book. Their insight was extraordinary.) mated the two media together in a way that should have satisfied all but the most ardent Tolkien fans. the ones who think it a sin not to incorporate every word into the movies, thereby making them unwatchable. I think that the ghost of Tolkien had to be looking over their shoulders and whispering. What is amazing to me is how many ways it could have failed. The casting was perfect. The cinematography was impeccable. The script, the score, the costumes, the FX, the editing, etc. I cannot praise this movie enough since I think it will be a long time before we see anything like it again. Cate Blanchett's voice opening on the black screen with that beautiful, soulful violin piece can send shivers down my spine. Showing Isildur's fall was more than I could have hoped to see at the beginning (extended cut helps this tremendously). This is a movie that was helped a lot by the extended and added scenes. Many times you may look at the additional scenes from a movie only to find that the editor did the right thing by cutting them out. With FOTR extended, you get a fuller, richer unfolding of a timeless classic. And in the few areas where some things were changed, they worked for me. Giving Arwen's character a more active role as well as replacing Glorfindel's throw away lines was to my mind a stroke of genius. Nearly all of her story is taken from the appendices and so is therefore pretty accurate. And casting Liv Tyler was awesome. She looked like an elf! Another thing that could have ruined the movie was incorporating the languages. But Elvish is beautiful and it was incredible to listen to it spoken. Anyway, if you are not a fan, then my words cannot sway you. If you just watched the movies once and were thinking of them again, I hoped I inspired you to take another, closer look at them.
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on May 20, 2014
In our family, some are big fans of Tolkien, some didn't care for the books. This film managed to delight both camps. As for me, I started the movie fully expecting to walk away and find something else to do, because I easily get turned off/bored by action movies and violence. This time, I was glued to the screen for the whole 3 hours. Although there are violent scenes, the editing is so skillful, that I never got to my usual "OK, I get the point. . . move on".

This movie is worth watching for the sets alone.
This movie is worth watching for the acting alone.
This movie is worth watching for the editing alone.
This movie is worth watching for the cinematography alone.
When you put them all together, it's a wonderful experience.
Oh, yeah, and the story works too ;-)
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on January 3, 2018
This still stands up remarkably well. Director Jackson always keeps things moving forward. The performances and casting are generally spot-on — Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen in particular — and my appreciation for Sean Bean’s performance grows with each viewing. The New Zealand countryside seems infinitely suitable to the film’s settings. The effects — including the magic that makes the actors playing hobbits and dwarves appear small relative to those playing men and elves — are still top-notch. And while additions (like Arwen) and omissions (like Tom Bombadil) may offend purists, they are ultimately harmless. Jackson compressed the material without sacrificing anything essential.

You may nevertheless have some issues with the translation. (That’s inevitable, given that we often take personally things we have first read.) For me, the feel was a bit off over certain sections — for instance, initially, it’s too twee — and I don't care for some of Elijah Wood’s performance or, in fairness, what may have been Jackson’s directions to Wood. (In the book, Frodo was one tough nut. Here, he shows less resilience.) And the Middle Earth I saw in my head when I read the book does not always correspond to Jackson’s vision. For instance, I didn’t see Moria as an open-architecture mine and some of Lothlorien feels manufactured.

But none of this prevents me from enjoying the film again and again without notable effort. Sometimes I stream it for background noise when I’m working (we also have a free copy from Google Movies) and then find myself watching more than working.

Then I stop working entirely and settle in for the long haul.
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on February 6, 2017
By far the best of the series. I can watch this anytime. The extended version is the way to go for more on the story. Would recommend for any fantasy fan and Tolkien fan.
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on February 4, 2017
OH MY GOSH I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THIS MOVIE! I bought this DVD as a replacement for my other FotR extended edition DVD set when the DVDs became scratched from so much use and the box got all destroyed from so much love. The theatrical release is already really good, but having the extended edition makes it so much better! And it's so cool to have all those hours of making-of that give a really good glimpse into how the movie was made!
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on August 20, 2017
My favorite of the 3 Fellowship movies. Great special effects, love the actors chosen to play the roles, almost as good as the books which I read by "audio" (with an excellent narrator I must say.) A lot is left out of the movies and for some fans, it is a big issue. But like other books made into movies, you can't have it all and someone's favorite part or character is always going to be missing. I LOVE that my name is at the end in the credits, being a member of the Tolkien Society; read online about it and had to check! Yes, I am there along with some of my other buddies who are also members. Nice touch and it means that as each new version of the movie comes out, I have to buy it! I think this blu ray is my 5th or 6th copy of this movies!!!!!
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on February 2, 2014
What can I say? If you're looking at this special edition box set, you probably need no convincing that the Lord of the Rings series is one of the greatest film achievements of this century (not to mention a fantastic series of books!). Therefore, I'll focus on what makes this edition special.
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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on October 22, 2013
Many fans of Tolkien's novels fall in love with "The Hobbit," but seem to have some difficulty reading through "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy. While Tolkien maintains the same style, LOTR can be a tasking read because it moves more slowly, is interjected with many poems/songs, and adds to the list of names a reader has to keep straight. And even though we have all been burned by favorite books being botched on film, this is not the case for Peter Jackson's adaptations of the books. In many ways, LOTR was meant to be put into film. The visual addition really helps the book's "extras" gain perspective and if nothing else, glorify Tolkien's ability to create such a fun scene on paper.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in the LOTR series and is set in the third age of Middle-earth, though the movie begins introducing the significance of the rings created by the Dark Lord Sauron during the second age. The rings were divided amongst nine Men, seven Dwarves, and three Elves; but Sauron also casted the One Ring which holds power over all the others and permitting him control of Middle-earth. Sauron was believed to be destroyed when Isildur sworded the ring from Sauron's hand in battle, but his life force lives on.

The movie goes on to explain how the Ring came into the possession of Bilbo Baggins, or likewise. As Bilbo retires, the Ring becomes Frodo's, but upon Gandalf the Grey's discovery of the Ring, Frodo is dispatched with Sam Gamgee to remove the Ring from the Shire while being hunted by the Nazgul. Along the way, two other hobbits, Merry and Pippin, join their party. Gandalf then meets Saruman the White in Isengard; Saruman betrays Gandalf, trapping him atop the tower. Saruman then begins to breed an army.

Once the four hobbits reach Bree, they encounter the descendent of Isidur, Aragorn, who aids them in evading the Nazgul, though Frodo is stuck by a mortal blade. Arwen, and Elf Princess and old flame of Aragorn, finds the hobbits and leads them to Rivendell where Elrond, the Elf King, heals Frodo's wound. In Rivendell, Frodo also encounters the aging Bilbo who passes along the sword, Sting, he carrier in The Hobbit.

A freed Ganalf joins a council in Rivendell where it is decided that the One Ring must be destroyed by buring in the place it was forged, Mount Doom. Those who will carry this burden, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Sam, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas (Elf), Boromir (Man), and Gimli (Dwarf), become the Fellowship of the Ring.

The remainder of the movie follows the Fellowship (and Gollum) through Moria, onto the Elf city of Lothlorien, and onto Parth Green. Possessed by the Ring's powers, Boromir frightens Frodo into continuing on alone, though Sam has followed along.

The two-disc widescreen version features the film's theatrical version, "The Two Towers" 10-minute preview, cast interviews, online content, three production documentaries: "Welcome to Middle-earth", "The Quest for the Ring", and "A Passage to Middle-earth", Enya's "May It Be" video, and more.
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on May 16, 2016
I've already reviewed the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films elsewhere (in short: 5 stars, the 6 movies that justify the existence of the film industry), so let's focus here specifically on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Two-Disc Widescreen Theatrical Edition) . The key difference between this and other releases is the special features, most of which are, within my experience, unique to this edition.

The special features disc includes...

Welcome to Middle-earth: Houton Mifflin In-Store Special
Quest for the Ring: FOX TV Special
A Passage to Middle-earth: SCI-FI Channel Special
lordoftherings.net Featurettes
Theatrical Trailers
TV spots
Enya "May It Be" Music Video
Special Extended DVD Edition Preview
Behind the Scenes Preview of "The Two Towers"
The Two Towers Video Game Preview by EA

... and of these, the first three special productions and the lordoftherings.net Featurettes are the best part. All of the special productions are things I have not seen in any other DVD or Blu-ray package. The lordofthe rings.net Featurettes are a collection of all the short (5 or 6 minutes) films that appeared on the films' official web site during the production of the movies, and I have not seen them anywhere else--on no other disc package, not on YouTube, and no longer of the film's web site.

There are some bits that appear in other short productions and special features, but in all cases, these specials and featurettes give us a fresh look at the production of the movies, providing information and insights we can find nowhere else.
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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring was a powerhouse of an ensemble film, featuring an all-star cast, fantastically detailed sets, an almost insane attention to detail, and gorgeous cinematography. It's no wonder that while only released in 2001 it immediately vaulted to the #50 spot on the new AFI Top 100 listing, while other classics like Doctor Zhivago dropped off the list completely.

I should caveat first that I grew up reading and adoring the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I re-read it probably once a year. I absolutely adored Aragorn, and all of my daydreams were about me as Aragorn's loyal companion. In the books, you see, Arwen hardly appears. She's a footnote in an appendix. This first book is all about men, men, and more men. I suppose Galadriel shows up at one point, to pass around presents, but that's about it.

So when I went to see the film, it was almost a religious experience. The Weathertop scene, where the hobbits are calling out "Strider" in panic, had me shiver. These were my dreams coming to life.

The attention the WETA workshop put into every scene is legendary. They literally had the book open and were reading the pages to know what to do. They hand carved proper Dwarvish ruins along all surfaces of the caves in the Mines of Moria. Viggo learned to speak Elvish and lobbied for more dialogue in the language. They tended to the gardens at Hobbiton for a full year so it had a "lived in" look.

Yes, they had to cut out some of the book. Heck, the movie was already 3 hours long! I do not mind that at all. And I also do not mind that they gave Arwen a part! Up until now we had ONE FEMALE. That was it. One. I realize the book was written in the "dark ages" of 1954 but still! Surely there could be more females involved. Even with the TWO whole females in the movie, they never even interact. They are both there solely to be foils to the menfolk.

Still, one cannot blame Jackson at all for that. The responsibility for that goes back to J. R. R. Tolkien. Some purists were already upset enough that Arwen got to speak in the movie :). I imagine a hostile rage would have erupted if more than that occurred.

So absolutely I adore Lord of the Rings, and I own all the different versions on DVD. I highly recommend watching it. It is glorious in its own right, and so much of what it shows and says has infiltrated its way into modern culture. Watching TV, reading novels, or going to movies can often involve an expectation that you "get" the references involved.
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