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Blu-ray review: ‘The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: Extended Edition’

by Matthew Price Published: August 2, 2011

If you don’t already have Middle Earth fatigue, the absolute top-of-the-line edition of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is available on Blu-ray. The extended, remastered editions plus tons of extras are available on a fifteen-disc set.

“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, is one of the most fantastic cinematic achievements of the new century. Taking J.R.R. Tolkien’s source material of “The Lord of the Rings” novels, Jackson created an award-winning trilogy that redefined epics.

The films look even better than on the previous Blu-ray release of the theatrical editions. There’s been some change to the color timing to the films for this edition, and while there’s some online talk about a “green hue,” Warner Bros. maintains the films look as they were intended. And they do look simply fantastic, with an abundance of detail.

In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a young Hobbit, inherits a powerful ring, which he must try to destroy, with a group of allies called the fellowship of the ring. In “The Two Towers,” the fellowship is divided. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) must defend Rohan, as Gollum leads Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin) to Mordor to destroy the ring. And in “Return of the King,” Aragorn and his allies fight in the spectacular battle of Minas Tirith in an attempt to allow Frodo to fulfill his quest.

“Return of the King” gains the most in this edition, now running at 4 hours and 10 minutes, and does include the previously deleted conclusion to Saruman’s storyline.

The extras are presented on DVD as opposed to Blu-ray, which may disappoint some, but this isn’t a major drawback. Costa Botes’ feature-length documentaries on the making of each film are included in the bonus materials. All told, there are 26 hours of extras. However, they’ve all been available in other formats before. Also included are codes for downloadable editions of the films.

While the extended editions are a lot to take in, for fans of Tolkien’s work and Jackson’s adaptation of it, this is a highly desirable set.

— Matthew Price

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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