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 ... more »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 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) or the unadorned four-disc set, the extended-edition DVD is the Fellowship DVD to rule them all. --David Horiuchi« less
A CGI fantasy classic featuring an all star cast of characters!
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 11/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are DVDs. There are special edition DVDs. There are special edition DVDs loaded with extras. Now, there is THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING SPECIAL EXTENDED DVD EDITION. I don't think there has been anything like this in home viewing ever. It has been suggested that this Special Edition set is the closest thing one can actually get to having been a part of the movie and I would have to agree.It will take a person about two weeks of 4 hours of viewing each day to get through all the features in this set.First of all is the film. The movie has been extended by over 30 minutes of extra footage not seen in the theatrical release. Though some of the scenes would have perhaps dragged the film down some in the theatres, they are a great addition here, tying up a few loose ends and making the novel come to life even more.The movie itself takes up 2 discs. There are four different commentaries to go along with the film. I found the one with Peter Jackson to be my favorite.The third disc is called "From Book to Vision". It includes six different documentaries ranging from one on Tolkien to one on Weta Workshop. There are also maps, galleries, and slides consisting of over 2,000 images. Besides that there are also a bunch of storyboards which give even greater insight into the development of the film.The fourth disc has several more documentaries (around seven, if I'm not mistaken), several galleries, and behind-the-scenes photographs.This special edition DVD set also includes a free ticket for THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS that is accepted at just about any chain movie theatre.There is so much in this set, that I can't discuss it all. I mean, it took me two weeks to just view most of it. Wow. If you are a LORD OF THE RINGS fan, this is a must have, far better than the original DVD release and something to hold onto for life."
Excellent Addition to your DVD Library!
Treyka | North Carolina | 11/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you saw and loved the theater version, you won't want to miss this extended edition. I won't go into detail about the theater version; instead I'll assume you've seen it and write about the new scenes.I was very excited to learn that these new scenes weren't going to be a "special section" of the DVD. Instead the extra scenes were added into the movie, edited and polished to blend perfectly. There were some scenes which were altogether new; at other times a familiar scene would include added dimension.Every added minute (I believe there were about 30 altogether) was thrilling and illuminating! For example, I enjoyed learning more about Hobbits and life in The Shire! This extended opening to the movie gave a broader foundation to those of us who knew nothing about Hobbits before seeing this movie. Though there was some great battle footage added, a great deal of the added footage included conversations amongst the characters. These conversations gave the characters--cherished and beloved as they already were--a greater depth and warmth. It caused the obvious brotherly link of the Fellowship to make greater sense. One example is an added conversation between Boromir and Aragorn while they are well into their journey to Mordor. I'd already felt sorry for Boromir and his well-intentioned weakness for the ring, yet my husband couldn't understand why I felt endeared to him. But after hearing the conversation between the two men, my husband was more able to understand my pity for Boromir.Another example is the last fight scene in the movie. In the theater version, Peregrine and Merry seemed to have run off and hid throughout the battle, until they saw Boromir shot. But in the extended version, we see the courage and heart of these two Hobbits as they fight these huge, intimidating creatures with everything in them and using every resource available--even stone-throwing! I was so proud of them that I clapped my hands as I watched!As I write, I'm the process of watching the second of the two "making of" DVDs. The first contains the process from book to movie concept. It includes a short but interesting biography of the writer, J.R.R. Tolkein (though it doesn't mention his Christian roots). The DVD also contains much of the process of making the book into a movie--the creation of the sets (using real locations, miniatures, and computer graphics, etc)., the creation of the creatures, and the costumes. The first DVD itself is long and gets a little dry after a while, but it's well-divided so that you can watch it a piece at a time or skip the less interesting parts. I haven't finished watching the second DVD, but it's already a lot of fun! So far it's mainly made up of character interviews where the actors talk about what it was like to work with one another. I've also enjoyed seeing the make-up process.All that to say this: I highly recommend this set! If you're a fan of the first installment of this movie series, you won't be disappointed!"
AWESOME! This is the icing on the cake!!!
Marcy Gomez | Kansas City, USA | 06/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"AWESOME is the one word I can think of to describe this instant classic.But I am not here to extol the wonders of "The Fellowship of the Ring" as much as to clarify the confusion some reviewers might have out there. What I want to clarify is this: Yes, New Line Cinema is releasing 3 versions of FOTR. The first is the theatrical cut (meaning: the exact same movie that you saw in theaters) on August 6. This is a 2-disc set that includes the specials "Welcome to Middle Earth" (by Houghton-Mifflin), "Passage to Middle Earth" (Sci-Fi channel behind-the-scenes special, and "The Quest for the Ring" (Fox special).... Then you have the 4-disc Special Extended Edition (*which is what this DVD is*) which includes an additional 30 minutes of footage incorporated into the film. The add'l scenes include more Aragorn back story, more "character moments," and a slightly different introduction to hobbits as narrated by Bilbo Baggins. Discs 1 & 2 are the film and commentaries of more than 30 participants including Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Howard Shore and much more. Discs 3 and 4 contain over 6 hours of in-depth behind-the-scenes footage. Disc 3 is "From Book to Vision" which explores the screenplay, design, special effects, costumes, armory, locations, storyboards, etc. Disc 4 is "From Vision to Reality" with features such as "Bringing Characters to Life," "A Day in the Life of a Hobbit," "Principal Photography: Stories from the Set," as well as picture galleries and much more!The 3rd version is the Collectors Gift Set (also released on November 12th) which includes the Special Extended Edition DVD, 2 collectible Argonath bookends and The National Geographic special DVD - "Beyond the Movie."So the question is: how big of a fan are you? Casual fans may just want the theatrical version DVD. More avid fans (who could never get enough of The Lord of the Rings) will want the theatrical version DVD (to be released on 8/6) and the SEE. Avid fans and collectors will most likely want the theatrical version and the Collectors Gift Set. The wonderful thing is having choices. The beauty about these releases is that they DO NOT OVERLAP. Meaning: what you get in the theatrical version DVD does not show up again in the SEE DVD. They are completely stand-alone. All I can say is, thanks to New Line and Peter Jackson for such a wonderful (early) Christmas present!!!!"
WHAT THE FILM SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG
golden-child | 10/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At first I thought that an extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring was just another money making ploy on the part of the film's producers, directors and marketers. I am very glad to admit that I couldn't have been more wrong. This is one extended version that delivers completely. Other supposed extended versions of other films tout extra footage while delivering a short segment in the "Special Features" section that is nothing more than outtakes. The Fellowship of the Ring extended version offers a complete cut of the film with the extra footage included in the course of the film. Spectacular!This is what the film should have been all along, filling in some important story gaps that were so glaring in the theater release. Story flow matches the book more and really adds to the personalities of the key characters. Too bad Hollywood has to lower its standards to accommodate the weakest links in the movie going chain. Oh well, such is the contest for optimum attendance at theaters and dollars at the box office.The 4-DVD set is also packed with must-see extras that will complete your trip to middle earth as never before. If you have already purchased the regular release of this film you won't be losing out by correcting your mistake and buying this one as well. Besides you can always give the shorter version to one of your second cousins, twice removed.A must have for all Lord of the Rings aficionados.Douglas McAllister"