This critically acclaimed epic trilogy follows the quest undertaken by the hobbit, Frodo Baggins, and his fellowship of companions to save Middle-earth by destroying the One Ring and defeating the evil forces of the Dark L... more »ord Sauron. With new and extended scenes carefully added back into the film, the 12-disc set also includes hours of bonus features.« less
"I already reviewed the regular "Motion Picture Trilogy" containing the non-extended editions of the legendary Lord of The Rings masterpieces on one set. However, this newest edition is a grand improvement on the previous edition. This item is a much, MUCH better investment than the old theatrical counterparts and is perhaps the greatest DVD purchase one will likely ever make.
A lot "Director's Cut" scenes are usually just added footage that doesn't do a whole lot to add onto the theatrical edition of movies with examples like Star Wars, Manhunter, or even most of the "Aliens" movies as well. The extra material is just that, extras, that wouldn't kill me to never see again.
It's a totally different story altogether with the "Lord Of The Rings" movies altogether. While the regular theatrical editions were mind-blowing, the extended cuts of the same films do wonders in fleshing out the story and expanding the characters a lot more. Several characters that were not much more than background people are shown much more screen time, stories are greatly expanded, other scenes are much more meaningful, and the movies overall have a totally different feel altogether thanks to all of the extra footage that was not included on the theatrical editions. Now as I watch them, the old editions of them are rendered almost completely obsolete due to the chopped up nature of them. I sometimes wonder if Peter Jackson grimaced when he had to leave a lot of extra shots out of the movies to fit them onto the theatres when they were released.
"Fellowship" has 30 minutes of extra footage included to a length of 3 and a half hours. "The Two Towers" was extended 43 minutes to a total of 3 hours and 42 minutes and finally "The Return of The King" is extended by a grand 50 minutes and the ultimate result is a whopping 4 hours and 11 minutes long! I don't know about you but I don't know how one can make a longer movie like this but Jackson did it! The grand total of all three extended editions is at least an astronomical 11 hours long! This is just the movies themselves.
As for all of the extras on the "Extended Editions", there are over a days worth of extras for surf through on the latter two discs of each film set. The things on them are too great to explain in detail with this review.
Whether you buy them individually or all at once on this massive gift set, "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy goes down as the greatest trilogy of all time. You could not make a better purchase. I swear it! "
Deserves more than 5 stars
Daniel Geer | Lansing, Michigan United States | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all of you who think owning the theatrical editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is good enough, think again. These editions are not like any other director's cuts or special editions of films that we've seen in the past. Usually, when a film has a special edition, we don't get a whole lot more added in, and it's stuff that doesn't really add anything significant to the story.
But with these editions, just the opposite is true. The extended editions of the first two Lord of the Rings films proved to enhance the plot and characters so much more than anyone ever anticipated. Characters and their journeys become so much clearer and more interesting. The story makes so much more sense. And the whole thing has been re-edited with new music for new scenes and extended musical scores for extended scenes! It's absolutely seamless! Everything that's added in really makes me wonder how I could've enjoyed the films in their original theatrical release. These extended editions make THAT MUCH of a difference. And I have no doubt that The Return of the King extended edition will prove just the same, based on previews I've seen and what's been proven with the extended editions of the first two films.
The Fellowship of the Ring has 30 minutes added in. The Two Towers has 42 minutes added in. The Return of the King has 50 minues added in. Can it get any better? Well, of course! With each movie, you get two discs of bonus features! And these are not features that are boring to watch. You really get a first hand look at the journey that many, many talented people took when making this trilogy. Everything from adaption of the books, to special effects, to the music, to the editing process, to stories that happened on set, etc. The bonus features make a whole story in and of themselves!
For some of you, you may be thinking that 3 hours was long enough for these films. I guarantee you that it was not. When you watch these extended editions, you'll seriously re-evaluate your standards for how long these films should be. And besides, it's not like your sitting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours on your butt in the theater with no break. This is DVD. It's a different medium that allows you to pause it, take a break, cook dinner, or do whatever else you want to do and then come back later to finish it. They won't seem as long, especially when you actually see how great the footage is that they added back in. Simply breath taking.
Of course I didn't wait for this box set to come out to own "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" extended editions. The theatrical versions of those two films alone WERE plenty good to motivate me to buy their corresponding extended edition DVD sets. But I'll probably buy this set anyway and sell the extended editions of the first two that I bought, just so that I can have the trilogy in this nice collectors box.
BEST DVD OF 2004
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING Special Extended Edition is my pick for the best DVD of the year. This is the ultimate conclusion to a tour de force filmmaking achievement of astonishing skill, vision and execution.
"Return of the King" has been seamlessly expanded by more than 50 minutes of never-before-seen scenes and sequences. Saruman (Christopher Lee) returns and is confronted by Gandalf (Sir Ian Mckellan) at the ruins of Isengard. Finally we see Saruman get the fate he so richly deserves. And the awesome, fearful figure known as the Mouth of Sauron is revealed. Faramir and Eowyn's romance heats up. Also, there's a pirate cameo by Peter Jackson getting killed by a misguided arrow from Legolas. The running time is now four hours and 10 minutes. The additional scenes include more than 300 special effects shots and new music composed by Howard Shore.
The four extraordinary commentaries on the first two discs include 40 individuals: director, writers, design team, production and cast. When speaking, individuals are identified by subtitles. Bonus materials on discs three and four are all new. Multiple documentaries, galleries and maps are all richly detailed and highly watchable. The material is extensive and edited with artistry and care. Script, sets, miniatures (and "bigatures"), locations and costumes are covered. There's also a design gallery with well over 2,000 images. I especially appreciated the emotional featurette "Home of the Horse Lords" that dealt with the unique horse training techniques and what happened to some of the horses that had bonded with their rider-actors.
When I was younger, I tried reading Tolkien's masterpiece but couldn't get into it. Now, thanks to Jackson's cinematic gift, I finally understand the power of myth to inform us of fundamental truths.
Is it merely a chilling coincidence that the horror of the 9/11 destruction of the WTC was followed by the partial catharsis wrought by the film version of "The Two Towers"?
How prescient the poet Tolkien was to dare suggest a higher, nobler destiny awaits a humanity that resists the seductive lure of power by any means."
The most moving film in my generation
Gregster | 12/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My generation (the under 30 group) has been needing a trilogy that could hold its own among names such as Star Wars and The Godfather. This trilogy is it. I have never been so moved by shows of friendship, hope, and faith as I have been by this film. The action is fabulous, the plot and characters so true to the story, and the humor so funny that I can think of no other film I would watch for 12 hours straight. The extended versions are wonderful and include the changing height of Merry and Pippin thanks to Treebeard, more competition between Legolas and Gimli, and more moments to remember. I can watch the whole trilogy, wipe the tears from my eyes, and be proud of this great film of my time."
Awesome Movie Marathon (slip cover news too)
P. Marshall | San Diego | 12/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a long time Tolkien fan and was one of many somewhat disappointed by the theatrical release of ROTK. I thought the entire first 85% of the movie was fantastic, but I just wish that PJ had used some of the time he allotted to the too-long ending to what we now know are some great cut scenes. But now all is well as the scenes are added back into this EE, which is the only version I'll probably ever watch again.
For those of you who were complaining that you bought the first two EE versions and now you can't get the slip cover that holds all 3 EE boxes, New Line must have heard the complaints and has stepped up (kudos to New Line). They have a direct offer on their web site (http://www.lotrdvdbox.com) to get the slip cover for $3 TOTAL (that includes S&H). Maybe Amazon will step up and offer this also (and I hope they don't delete this post as it's a service to their customers like me who've bought the previous two EEs). It says allow 8-10 weeks but I think it's a nice gesture to offer the slip cover for what must be close to cost (when you consider S&H is included). I think it's legit, but I'm not sure since it's not on the main New Line site."