Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King |
Theatrical and Extended Limited Edition
Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Noel Appleby, Alexandra Astin
Director: Peter Jackson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Military & War
The Award-winning $1 billion dollar franchise is revisited with three new 2-disc limited editions. Each DVD features the theatrical and extended versions of the film and a new documentary. Filmmaker Costa Botes, who was pe... more »
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The king returns, the story ends
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 07/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of "Lord of the Rings" reaches its pinnacle in "Return of the King." The stellar cast, mind-blowing special effects and heartbreaking script are all present in the third movie, which is not only the last of the "Lord of the Rings" films, but the best.
Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are still following the treacherous Gollum (Andy Serkis) on the path to Mordor, with the increasingly strained Frodo unaware that Gollum is sowing suspicion between the two best friends. By the time he realizes his mistake, he's been dragged into the lair of Shelob, a monstrous spider, and then abducted by orcs who want the Ring he carries. Determined to find his friend, Sam heads into an orc citadel...
Meanwhile, Gandalf (Ian McKellen) takes Pippin (Billy Boyd) with him to Minas Tirith, after the hobbit has a close encounter with Sauron through a palantir. \Not only is the city under siege, but the Steward Denethor is slowly going insane, even sending his one remaining son, Faramir (David Wenham), on a suicide mission to reclaim a dead city. With Minas Tirith crumbling, Aragorn's (Viggo Mortensen) only hope may to be summon an army of the dead, who will only obey the King of Gondor. But even the dead won't help him if Frodo doesn't destroy the Ring...
The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is one of those once-in-a-lifetime movie experiences. There has never been anything quite like it in movie history, and there probably never will be again. It seems somehow fitting that the book that every other fantasy has to measure up to, has now become a sweeping cinematic triumph that actually stays halfway loyal to the books. Good things come to fans who wait, I guess.
Peter Jackson really outdoes himself. You know those battle scenes in "Two Towers" and "Fellowship of the Ring," with the swooping camera and thousands of orcs, clashing with men on a gloomy battlefield? In "Return of the King," Jackson surpasses that. There's everything from volcanic eruptions to an invasion of howling ghosts to the attack of the oliphaunts (like elephants, only bigger). Each action scene a shattering ride, and there's no guarantee that all the beloved characters will make it out alive. Some of them don't.
But if Jackson manages the epic battles well, he does an even better job with the gentler, quieter moments. The action slows down, and the characters take a moment to support and comfort each other. They cry, they hug, they think about home -- such as Gandalf comforting the frightened Pippin with a description of the afterlife. Jackson and his fellow screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens throw themselves into the semi-formal language of Tolkien's world, resculpting Tolkien's words into equally rich movie dialogue.
Elijah Wood gives an unparalleled performance as Frodo Baggins. Frodo's gradual deterioration is wrenching to watch, and the climactic scene at Mount Doom displays just what the Ring can do to even the pure-hearted hobbit. Sean Astin follows up with his powerful performance as Sam, who is increasingly the "strong" hobbit, rather than the follower. The final scenes between these two outstanding actors are beautiful and understated.
But all the supporting cast also give powerful performances -- Boyd and Dominic Monaghan put their characters through some intense growing pains, and the "I'm going to take care of you" scene is enough to bring tears to your eyes. Mortensen gets more kingly every moment, while Ian McKellen balances action with grandfatherly wisdom. Bernard Hill has a quietly moving final scene, while Miranda Otto makes the despairing Eowyn a strong, kick-butt heroine.
Perhaps the most striking thing about "Return of the King" is the final fourth of the film. While the "multiple endings" may annoy some viewers, it seems somehow right to gently let go of these characters rather than have a sudden, splashy finale. And whether they have a happy or sad ending, Jackson never lets us forget that they all made sacrifices to battle Sauron.
This edition contains both versions of the movie -- the original, shorter theatrical version, and the second extended edition with lots of extra footage. While the first one has nostalgia value, the second is undoubtedly the best. The scenes cause the movie to cleave more closely to the original novel, and even when they deviate -- such as Saruman's dramatic finale -- they add to the flow of the movie. There is also a special documentary filmed behind the scenes, apparently to draw in completists who just need EVERYTHING.
"Return of the King" brings the epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy to a close, and cements Jackson's reputation as a master filmmaker. With the outstanding cast, beautiful scripting and amazing direction, this is the best of the "Lord" films -- and that's saying something."
Excellent addition to your library, for those that don't own
Don Cheeto | Bakersfield, CA | 09/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...I've been seeing a lot of negative reviews for the re-release of these three films on DVD. A lot of them are from people that don't even own them giving them a low rating simply because they are mad they already own the extended cuts, and want the documentaries on the new ones, but don't want to purchase them again. Now I don't blame them. I hate when a DVD is re-released many times over with little or no extras that than its predecessor. I however, disagree that they should be rated low simply because angry consumers that already own the previous versions are mad that they don't want to purchase them again. Now they have the right to be angry, but if you don't own them, you should not review them, let alone rate them the lowest score.
In short, you already know how great these movies are, if you do not already own them all, then they make a great buy. I purchased all three since I only owned the Theatrical Cut of "The Fellowship of the Ring." I was watching the extended cut last night and it got me all excited again. The box art is pretty freaking cool too, and the fact that they are not huge like the extended editions was a plus for me. They don't take a lot of room, which is good for me because I have soo many movies that the more space I can save the better. The only thing you should know is that although both theatrical and extended cuts are on one disc, you still have to switch the disc over in between the movie--which is really not a big deal. I highly recommend getting these to those that don't own them yet.
Cashing in on the series
S. Kosloske | Milwaukee, WI USA | 07/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No new material? Just release a new box every now and then. That's basically what this "new" set seems like to me. I can't picture any serious collector not having the extended editions already on DVD, and/or waiting for the HD version."
Going Down Down Down in a Ring of Fire
Sky | New York | 01/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I spent the equivalent of a full day's waking-hours in front of my big screen TV this past winter break with just the 2 sets of the four Harry Potter movies and the three Lord of the Rings movies.
I am NOT a couch potato.
Well, at least it was time well spent. Finally...some movies that really make the grade. I've been hard-pressed to find a good 5-star movie that I haven't seen. And here I've had these two sets of films that have been out there all this time that that for whatever reason I've had an aversion to. Silly me.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was movie making at its best. Especially considering that the movie had very high standards to live up to after more than 50 years of building such a loyal, cult following of the classic J.R.R. Tolkien book.
Hobbits, Elves, Men, Dwarves, Wizards, Orcs all co-surviving, albeit without much harmony, in Middle Earth. And all lust for the great Ring of Power made by the Dark Lord Sauron. But only little Frodo Baggins controls its Destiny. Thus is the 9-hour epic saga of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003).
There is a terrific list of A-list actors giving A-list performances. It's a long one: Therefore, most notably you have Elijah Wood as Frodo, Sean Astin as Sam, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Andy Serkis as Gollum (what a performance!), Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Orlando Bloom as Legolas Greenleaf and John Rhys-Davies as Gimli. I know. I know....How could I not mention Christopher Lee, Liv Tyler and all the others??? Well, that's the point. The whole cast was awesome. Even the no-names that played Orcs.
Kudos to Director Peter Jackson for going beyond the Hollywood standard of 120 minutes to tell each chapter of the story. Jackson kept a lot of the character development that usually isn't transferred from novel to movie adaptation. And Jackson was a master not just at directing his cast, but at getting the special effects perfect. The Lord of the Rings movie adaptation will be as classic as the novel because of Jackson.
If you somehow missed these movies as I did until recently for whatever crazy reason, I hope that my little review has encouraged you to add them to your cart. As for Harry Potter...well that's another review entirely, of course.