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page added: 6/14/11
updated: 6/27/11




Blu-ray Reviews
Blu-ray Disc reviews by Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - Extended Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

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The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - Extended Edition
2001-2003 (2011) - New Line (Warner Bros.)
Released on Blu-ray Disc on June 28th, 2011
Region: A (likely A/B/C)

Released previously on DVD
Theatrical trilogy previously available on DVD and BD

DTS-HD MA

Film Ratings: See Below
Disc Ratings: See Below
Extras (Overall): A


"All we have to decide, is what to do with the time we are given..."

Now THIS is the box set I've been waiting for. Sure, it was nice to have The Lord of the Rings: Theatrical Editions on Blu-ray Disc.


But let's face it: If you're in for a penny with the Rings films, you're in for a pound. Well... here at last is the long-form, unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings in all its sparkling, 1080p glory. Now, I'm not going to say that this is the "ultimate" version of these films on Blu-ray, because as we all know, there will certainly be another release closer to the time that director Peter Jackson completes the two prequels, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (due in theatres in December 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 2013). It's also true that there's really no new content here. There have been two previous DVD releases of the Extended Editions, and if you have those, you already own all the supplemental content in this set save for the downloadable Digital Copy versions of the films, which are exclusive to Blu-ray. The important thing to note is that everything from both previous Extended DVD releases carries over to this Blu-ray set. [Note that none of the Theatrical Edition content is here, so keep your Theatrical Blu-rays if you want it.] What's more, this is certainly the best quality these longer versions have ever been available in outside of a movie theatre.

As many of you will already know by now, I've reviewed the 4-disc Extended Editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King on DVD previously in great detail. I've reviewed the 2-disc Limited Edition DVD versions as well. So if you want to read my full thoughts on these films (and these extras), follow the links and you'll find them. Otherwise, suffice it to say that I am still awe of their sheer power, depth, scope and splendor. It's my opinion that The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in this long form, is an achievement unmatched in the history of cinema.

I'll now take you through this set disc by disc, to outline the contents, address the video and audio quality, and offer a few additional comments where appropriate.

Discs One & Two (BD) - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition

Part I - 105 minutes, Part II - 123 minutes (approx. 228 minutes total - includes 20 min fan club credit roll on Disc Two), PG-13, video: HD/2.35:1, audio: 6.1 English DTS-HD MA, 5.1 Portuguese Dolby Digital, subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese, all commentaries feature on-screen text to identify speaker, audio commentary (with the director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens), audio commentary (with design team members Grant Major, Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah, Chris Hennah and Tania Rodger), audio commentary (with production and post-production team members Barrie Osborne, Mark Ordesky, Andrew Lesnie, John Gilbert, Rick Porras, Howard Shore, Jim Rygiel, Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Randy Cook, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hull and Alex Funke), audio commentary (with cast members Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee and Sean Bean), Easter egg (on Disc One - MTV Movie Awards - Council of Elrond spoof - SD), The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - The Untold Story videogame trailer (HD)

The most important thing to know here is that the HD image quality for this film is vastly improved from the Theatrical Blu-ray. It's actually a new presentation, remastered from the film's original 2K digital files. In fact, it's breathtaking. There are significant gains in fine detail and overall contrast. The image is delicately textured and refined. You can actually see the very light grain structure of the image, which results in a far less digital and far more film-like presentation. Contrast is excellent, with deep, true blacks. Colors are pleasing too, though it's worth noting that the color timing for these films has been redone. I've confirmed with production-related sources that Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie were directly involved in all decisions related to this new transfer and approved it personally. So to the extent that there are changes to the color-timing, they were made at Jackson and Lesnie's direction - the films look exactly as they want them to. [6/27/11 UPDATE - Click here for an official statement on this issue from WHV and Wingnut Films.] Like the DVD release before it, the high-definition presentations of all three films in this set have been split over two discs, in this case BD-50s. While I've no doubt some will complain about having to get up and change discs, I'm EXTREMELY pleased that this was done in order to max out the video and audio data rates with the least amount of compression. The Rings films have so much detail, texture and action that they really need room to breathe on disc - even in high-definition. I'm very pleased they've gotten that room. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise - it makes a REAL difference. The added data space and lower compression significantly enhances the dimensionality of the image. All you need to do to see it is watch the scenes in Rivendell - there's remarkable depth visible. The improvement almost knocks you over. The presentation is rich, nuanced... stunning. My hats off to Warner for making absolutely the right call. At long last, Fellowship presents a truly satisfying image on Blu-ray.

The audio is also exceptional. Presented in lossless 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format, the clarity is superb. The mix is big and wide up front, and smooth all the way around, with natural staging and highly-atmospheric ambience. The dynamic range is also very pleasing. During moments of intense action, there's thunderous bass and you're just awash in sound. Then, in quiet moments, you can hear the subtle whisper of the wind, the soft gasp of breath. It's a wonderfully enveloping, highly-immersive audio presentation. Note that 5.1 Dolby Digital track are also present in Portuguese for all three films, and there are subtitles in English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese for those who might need them.

Extras on these two discs consist of the same quartet of audio commentaries that graced the Extended Edition DVD sets. The tracks are extremely good, covering the making of these films from a number of angles often overlooked in commentaries, and in far greater detail too. My favorite is the the writers' track with Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, but I imagine the actors' track is popular with many others. As was the case with the DVD, when a new speaker is talking, subtitle text identifies them for you. Fans who own the DVD version of this set will also be pleased to know that all the Easter eggs have carried over (in SD - they're not really even hidden, so no fears about finding them). You also get new HD trailers for the War in the North videogame. Perhaps best of all, Warner and the filmmakers have preserved the original DVD release's elegant menu screens for these Blu-rays - actually, they've not only preserved the menus but upgraded them to full high-definition. These menus were hand-crafted by the same production crew that worked on the film, so it's a treat to have them in ever better quality. Again, my hats off to Warner for a good call on this.

Film Rating: A
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio): 19/19.5


Disc Three (DVD) - The Appendices, Part 1: From Book to Vision

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish and Portuguese, Peter Jackson introduction (1 min, 16x9), J.R.R. Tolkien: Creator of Middle Earth featurette (22 mins, 16x9), From Book to Script featurette (20 mins, 16x9), Storyboards and Pre-Viz: Making Words into Images featurette (20 mins, 16x9), 3 early storyboards (Prologue, Orc Pursuit into Lothlorian and Sarn Gebir Rapids Chase - 11 mins total, 16x9), 2 pre-viz animatics (Gandalf Rides to Orthanc and The Stairs of Khazad-Dm - 3 mins total, 16x9), multi-angle storyboard-to-film comparison (Nazgl Attack at Bree - 2 mins, 16x9), multi-angle pre-viz-to-film comparison (Bridge of Khazad-Dm - 2 mins, 16x9), Bag End Set Test (6 mins, 16x9), Designing Middle-Earth documentary (41 mins, 16x9), Weta Workshop documentary (43 mins), Costume Design featurette (12 mins, 16x9), 19 production design galleries (on the peoples and realms of Middle-Earth), interactive Middle-Earth Atlas (16x9), interactive New Zealand as Middle-Earth map with location video (8 mins total, 16x9), credits, index, help, "play all" option

These Appendices discs are essentially identical to the discs included in the 4-disc DVD sets, right down to the menus and all features. If you're a fans of these films and already own the Extended Edition DVDs, you know how good these features are already. There's no need for me to tell you. If, on the other hand, this material is new to you... you're in for a real treat. Produced by Michael Pellerin, the documentaries and other supplements on these discs examine each film in great detail from several different angles. Seemingly every aspect of the production is given attention, much of it extensive. From the long history of Tolkien's work to the development and pre-production of these film adaptations, on through years of production, post-production, scoring and the final theatrical release for each film - it's all here in great detail. You even get to see the Academy Award win on the Return of the King Appendices discs. There are packed image galleries, in-depth character and location studies, examinations of the sound, editing, design... you name it. Once you've experienced the films themselves, these documentaries are a wonderful way to go deeper and explore the stunning effort required to bring these films to the big screen. Everything from the previous Extended DVDs has carried over here, virtually all of it is in anamorphic widescreen and there are subtitles too.

Disc Four (DVD) - The Appendices, Part 2: From Vision to Reality

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish and Portuguese, Elijah Wood introduction (1 min, 16x9), The Fellowship of the Cast documentary (35 mins, 16x9), A Day in the Life of a Hobbit featurette (13 mins, 16x9), Cameras in Middle-Earth documentary (50 mins, 16x9), production photo gallery, Scale featurette (15 mins, 16x9), Big-atures featurette (16 mins, 16x9), 6 big-atures galleries, WETA Digital featurette (25 mins, 16x9), Editorial: Assembling an Epic featurette (13 mins, 16x9), multi-angle editorial demonstration (Council of Elrond - 1 min, 16x9), Digital Grading featurette (12 mins, 16x9), The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth featurette (13 mins, 16x9, DD 5.1), Music for Middle-Earth featurette (12 mins, 16x9, DD 5.1), The Road Goes Ever On... featurette (7 mins, 16x9), credits, index, help, "play all" option

As with Part I, this is essentially a "down to the last detail" duplicate of The Appendices, Part 2: From Vision to Reality disc in the previous Extended Edition DVD release. All of that content carries over.

Disc Five (DVD) - The Fellowship of the Ring: Behind-the-Scenes

The Fellowship of the Ring: Behind-the-Scenes documentary (85 mins, video: SD, non-anamorphic/letterboxed widescreen, audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese & Portuguese)

This is the first of three behind-the-scenes documentaries (one for each film) that were directed by Costa Botes and were included as bonus discs in the previous Limited Edition DVD releases. They're quite good - not better than the Pellerin documentaries, just different. Their tone is much more low key. You're just sort of hanging out on the set, observing the production from a fly-on-the-wall position. You see more of the unsung aspects of the project, plus lots of candid material with Jackson and the cast members. There's lots of clowning around, personal interactions, funny 'between-the-takes' moments, etc. You also get glimpses of footage and scenes that weren't used in the final films, along with alternate takes and the like. They're good documentaries that complement Pellerin's nicely, and are well worth the time it takes to view them. My only real complaint is that they're presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, but they're not anamorphic - just plain old letterboxing. So unless you want to watch them in a little tiny box on your HDTV, you're going to have to "zoom in" on the image with your player or display. Still, unlike the Pellerin documentaries, that's exactly how they were shot. There IS no original anamorphic raw footage, so this is the best they'll ever look. Given that, it's just nice to have them included in this Blu-ray set at all.

Disc Six & Seven (BD) - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Extended Edition

Part I - 107 minutes, Part II - 129 minutes (approx. 236 minutes total - includes 20 min fan club credit roll on Disc Two), PG-13, video: HD/2.35:1, audio: 6.1 English DTS-HD MA, 5.1 Portuguese Dolby Digital, subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese, all commentaries feature on-screen text to identify speaker, audio commentary (with director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens), audio commentary (with design team members Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger, Grant Major, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah and Chris Hennah), audio commentary (with production and post-production team members Barrie Osborne, Mark Ordesky, Andrew Lesnie, Mike Horton, Jabez Olssen, Rick Porras, Howard Shore, Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Randy Cook, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hull and Alex Funke), audio commentary (with cast members Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, John Noble, Craig Parker and Andy Serkis), Easter egg (on Disc Six - MTV Movie Awards - Andy Serkis and Gollum accepting the award for Best Virtual Performance - SD), The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - The Untold Story videogame trailer (HD)

As was the case with Fellowship, the A/V presentation of The Two Towers: Extended Edition is magnificent in virtually every respect. Like the first film, it's been given ample room to breath over two BD-50s. I'm once again blown away by the sheer depth visible in the image - something that just wasn't visible to this degree in the Theatrical Blu-rays. Contrast is excellent - especially important during the nighttime Battle of Helm's Deep. Detail is abundant - note the subtle textures of the different kinds of armor during the battle and the stone walls of the keep. The lossless audio mix is clear, crisp and natural, delivering in spades in both the quiet moments and the overwhelming din of battle. Just listen to the deep sound of the horn of Helm Hammerhand near the end of the film, of the screeching of the Nazgl as they soar over the fighting in Osgiliath! Thrilling! Two Towers has never looked and sounded better. As with Fellowship, extras include the audio commentaries, the War in the North trailer and the Easter egg from the previous DVD release.

Film Rating: A
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio): 19/19.5


Disc Eight (DVD) - The Appendices, Part 3: The Journey Continues

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish and Portuguese, Peter Jackson introduction (2 mins, 16x9), J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth documentary (30 mins, 16x9), From Book to Script: Finding the Story featurette (21 mins, 16x9), Designing Middle-Earth documentary (46 mins, 16x9), Weta Workshop documentary (44 mins, 16x9), 35 production design galleries (on the peoples and realms of Middle-Earth - with select audio commentary), The Taming of Smagol documentary (40 mins, 16x9), Andy Serkis Animation Reference video (2 mins, 16x9), Gollum Stand-in featurette (3 mins, 16x9), Gollum character design gallery (with select audio commentary), interactive Middle-Earth Atlas (16x9), interactive New Zealand as Middle-Earth map with location video (15 mins total, 16x9), credits, index, help, "play all" option

As with Parts I & II, this is the same disc from the previous Extended Edition DVD release. All of that content carries over.

Disc Nine (DVD) - The Appendices, Part 4: The Battle for Middle Earth

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish and Portuguese, Elijah Wood introduction (1 min, 16x9), Warriors of Middle-Earth featurette (21 mins, 16x9), Cameras in Middle-Earth documentary (68 mins, 16x9), production photo gallery (with select audio commentary), Big-atures featurette (22 mins, 16x9), 7 big-atures galleries (with select audio commentary), pre-viz animatic (The Flooding of Isengard - 5 mins total, 16x9), WETA Digital featurette (28 mins, 16x9), 2 abandoned concepts galleries (with select audio commentary), Editorial: Refining the Story featurette (22 mins, 16x9), Music for Middle-Earth featurette (25 mins, 16x9, DD 5.1), The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth featurette (21 mins, 16x9, DD 5.1), interactive sound demonstration for Helm's Deep sequence (2 mins, 16x9, 8 separate selections of DD 5.1 audio), The Battle for Helm's Deep is Over... featurette (9 mins, 16x9), credits, index, help, "play all" option

Again, this is the same disc from the previous Extended Edition DVD release. All of that content is included here.

Disc Ten (DVD) - The Two Towers: Behind-the-Scenes

The Two Towers: Behind-the-Scenes documentary (106 mins, video: SD, non-anamorphic/letterboxed, audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese & Portuguese)

This is the second of the three Costa Botes behind-the-scenes documentaries. It essentially picks up right where the last one left off. Again, this documentary is presented in widescreen but isn't anamorphic, so you may want to "zoom in" on the footage to properly enjoy it on your HD display. Still, it's well worth your time, so be sure to give it a viewing when time permits.

Disc Eleven & Twelve (BD) - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Extended Edition

Part I - 128 minutes, Part II - 135 minutes (approx. 263 minutes total - includes 20 min fan club credit roll on Disc Two), PG-13, video: HD/2.35:1, audio: 6.1 English DTS-HD MA, 5.1 Portuguese Dolby Digital, subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese, all commentaries feature on-screen text to identify speaker, audio commentary (with director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens), audio commentary (with design team members Grant Major, Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah, Chris Hennah and Tania Rodger), audio commentary (with production and post-production team members Barrie Osborne, Mark Ordesky, Jamie Selkirk, Annie Collins, Rick Porras, Howard Shore, Jim Rygiel, Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Randy Cook, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hull, Alex Funke and Joe Letteri), audio commentary (with cast members Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Christopher Lee, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, John Noble, Andy Serkis, Lawrence Makoare, Smeagol and Gollum), Easter egg (on Disc Eleven - "gag" Elijah Wood interview clip - SD), Easter egg (on Disc Twelve - MTV Movie Awards - Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn pitch Peter Jackson - SD), The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - The Untold Story videogame trailer (HD)

The 1080p video and lossless audio quality here is once again on par with the new Fellowship presentation. Fine detail is abundant, with lovely contrast and accurate color. The image is delicately textured and highly dimensional. The sweeping shot as King Thoden and his Rohirrim charge the advancing line of Mûmakil on the fields of Pelennor looks almost three-dimensional. And note the subtle pencil strokes in the Alan Lee character sketches that accompany the film's closing credits. The DTS mix is just as enthralling here - from the thunderous battle before the White City to the pulsing, throbbing sound as we see the final fate of The One Ring. Thrilling, breathtaking - there aren't enough positive adjectives to fully describe the splendor of this A/V presentation. Extras once again include the audio commentaries, the War in the North trailer and a pair of Easter eggs (one on each Blu-ray) from the previous DVD release.

Film Rating: A+
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio): 19/19.5


Disc Thirteen (DVD) - The Appendices, Part 5: The War of the Ring

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish and Portuguese, Peter Jackson introduction (2 mins, 16x9), J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-Earth documentary (30 mins, 16x9), From Book to Script: Forging the Final Chapter documentary (25 mins, 16x9), Aragorn Battles Sauron abandoned concept animatic (5 mins, 16x9), Designing Middle-Earth documentary (40 mins, 16x9), Weta Workshop documentary (47 mins, 16x9), Big-atures featurette (20 mins, 16x9), Costume Design featurette (12 mins, 16x9), 53 production design galleries (on the miniatures and the peoples and realms of Middle-Earth - with select audio commentary), Home of the Horse Lords documentary (30 mins, 16x9), interactive Middle-Earth Atlas (16x9), interactive New Zealand as Middle-Earth map with location video (16 mins total, 16x9), credits, index, help, "play all" option

As with the previous films in this set, the Appendices discs for Return of the King are identical to those in the previous Extended Edition DVD set. All of that content is preserved here.

Disc Fourteen (DVD) - The Appendices, Part 6: The Passing of an Age

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish and Portuguese, Cast introduction (2 mins, 16x9), Cameras in Middle-Earth documentary (73 mins, 16x9), production photo gallery, WETA Digital documentary (42 mins, 16x9), Mmakil Battle multi-angle visual effects demonstration with optional commentary (30 sec, 16x9), Editorial: Completing the Trilogy featurette (22 mins, 16x9), Music for Middle-Earth featurette (22 mins, 16x9, DD 5.1), The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth featurette (22 mins, 16x9, DD 5.1), The End of All Things featurette (21 mins, 16x9), The Passing of an Age featurette (25 mins, 16x9), Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for "Into the West" featurette (32 mins, 16x9 - includes 2 Cameron Duncan short films: DFK6498 and Strike Zone which can be viewed separately), credits, index, help, "play all" option

Again, this disc is identical to the previous DVD release, with all content preserved.

Disc Fifteen (DVD) - The Return of the King: Behind-the-Scenes

The Return of the King: Behind-the-Scenes documentary (112 mins, video: SD, non-anamorphic/letterboxed, audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese & Portuguese)

Finally, this box set concludes with the third and last of the Costa Botes documentaries, which picks up right where the second one ended. Again, it's presented in widescreen but isn't anamorphic, so you may want to "zoom in" on the footage to properly enjoy it on your HD display.

---

All of the above comes packaged in a trio of 5-disc plastic Blu-ray cases, with a sturdy gold foil-wrapped and embossed slipcase. The slipcase is close to the same size (depth and height) as the case for the Theatrical Blu-rays, so they sit side-by-side together nicely on your video shelf. The case also features a magnetic cover which opens to reveal a replica map of Middle Earth on the inside surface and to allow you access to the discs. Each case also includes a paper booklet that largely replicates (in smaller form) the booklets from the DVD editions. They serve as a disc-by-disc guide to the set and its contents. Overall, it's a handsome package - actually a far better one than I expected, and better than the photos reveal. I personally like the DVD packaging a little more, but this nice by any measure. Here's a look at the expanded contents of this set...

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - Extended Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

When The Return of the King finally opened in theatres back in December of 2003, my friend Matt Rowe (editor of MusicTAP) and I were fortunate enough to obtain tickets to one of New Line's Trilogy Tuesday screenings of all three films. They played the Extended Editions of the first two films back-to-back, followed by the theatrical debut of The Return of the King, with breaks in between for lunch and dinner. It was a full day, morning-to-night experience... and when it was all over Matt and I were ready to do it again right then. It was, hands down, the best time either of us have ever had in a movie theatre. We've long been eager to repeat the experience on Blu-ray, and you can bet that, by the time you read this review, we'll already have penciled in our plans to do so. The Extended Edition Trilogy was thrilling in standard definition, and it's even better in high-definition. These films just look and sound magnificent. As I've said before, it's Blu-ray releases like this that we live for here at The Bits.

Very enthusiastically recommended!

Bill Hunt, Editor
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com


[EDITOR'S NOTE - 6/27/11 - A few of you may be aware that there's been some controversy regarding screenshots and the color timing of the new 2K-remastered presentation of Fellowship of the Ring. Our feeling here at The Bits is that it's been blown out of proportion, as things tend to be these days. However, just to be sure, we started a process a couple weeks ago (before we posted this review) to encourage Warner Home Video and Wingnut Films to investigate the matter to make sure that the discs streeting tomorrow truly and accurately represent the creative vision of director Peter Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. That process has been on-going, involving Wingnut and the filmmakers, and it appears it's finally concluded. Here's the studio's official statement on the issue, as of this afternoon:

"Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group confirms that The Lord of the Rings The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition Blu-ray accurately represents the intended look of each of the three features.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was remastered from the original digital production files in order to reproduce the full color imagery of the feature."


So there it is. We have little doubt that the controversy will continue in some quarters, and that those who are convinced there's an problem here will continue to feel that way. Nevertheless, we are told that the filmmakers have checked the discs and confirmed this is the intended look. We suspect that when the discs are actually in YOUR hands tomorrow, the vast majority of you will be very happy with them. We further suspect that many of those who've been following the controversy for the past couple of weeks will wonder what the fuss was about. It shall be interesting to see what the 'morrow brings. Much rejoicing (and a bit of talk about 'revisionism'), we predict.

By the way, one other note on Rings: For those of you who have been wondering if the downloadable Digital Copies versions of the films are the actual Extended Editions... they are. I've downloaded them myself to confirm. The quality is low compared to the Blu-rays, of course, but if you want the EEs available in more portable versions, you'll have them.]


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