The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] Reviews

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions)  [Blu-ray]
Deluxe 15-Disc Set Includes 9 Special Features DVDs with over 26 Hours of Spellbinding Behind-the-Moviemaking Material Including the Rare Costa Botes Documentaries. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Extended Edition: With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary One Ring. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition: In the middle chapter of this historic movie trilogy, the Fellowship is broken but its quest to destroy the One Ring continues. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Extended Edition: The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring.As the triumphant start of a trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring leaves you begging for more. By necessity, Peter Jackson’s ambitious epic compresses J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings, but this robust adaptation maintains reverent allegiance to Tolkien’s creation, instantly qualifying as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. At 178 minutes, it’s long enough to establish the myriad inhabitants of Middle-earth, the legendary Rings of Power, and the fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and humans–led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the brave hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood)–who must battle terrifying forces of evil on their perilous journey to destroy the One Ring in the land of Mordor. Superbly paced, the film is both epic and intimate, offering astonishing special effects and production design while emphasizing the emotional intensity of Frodo’s adventure, and ends on a perfect note of heroic loyalty and rich anticipation.

After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo and Sam journey to Mordor with the creature Gollum as their guide in The Two Towers. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) join in the defense of the people of Rohan, who are the first target in the eradication of the race of Men by the renegade wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) and the dark lord Sauron. Fantastic creatures, astounding visual effects, and a climactic battle at the fortress of Helm’s Deep make The Two Towers a worthy successor to The Fellowship of the Ring, grander in scale but retaining the story’s emotional intimacy.

With The Return of the King, the greatest fantasy epic in film history draws to a grand and glorious conclusion. The trilogy could never fully satisfy those who remain exclusively loyal to Tolkien’s expansive literature, but as a showcase for physical and technical craftsmanship it is unsurpassed in pure scale and ambition, setting milestone after cinematic milestone as Frodo and Sam continue their mission to Mordor to destroy the soul-corrupting One Ring. While the heir to the kingdom of Men, Aragorn, endures the massive battle at Minas Tirith with the allegiance of Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, Frodo and Sam must survive the schizoid deceptions of Gollum, who remains utterly convincing as a hybrid of performance (by Andy Serkis) and subtly nuanced computer animation. Jackson and cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have much ground to cover; that they do so with intense pacing and epic sweep is impressive enough, but by investing greater depth and consequence in the actions of fellow hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), they ensure that The Return of the King maintains the trilogy’s emphasis on intimate fellowship and remains faithful to Tolkien’s overall vision. By ending the LOTR trilogy with noble integrity and faith in the power of imaginative storytelling, The Return of the King, like its predecessors, will stand as an adventure for the ages. –Jeff Shannon and David Horiuchi

Our Review of the Extended Edition on DVD (Dec. 14, 2004):

The extended editions of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings present the greatest trilogy in film history in the most ambitious sets in DVD history. In bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s nearly unfilmable work to the screen, Jackson benefited from extraordinary special effects, evocative New Zealand locales, and an exceptionally well-chosen cast, but most of all from his own adaptation with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, preserving Tolkien’s vision and often his very words, but also making logical changes to accommodate the medium of film. While purists complained about these changes and about characters and scenes left out of the films, the almost two additional hours of material in the extended editions (about 11 hours total) help appease them by delving more deeply into Tolkien’s music, the characters, and loose ends that enrich the story, such as an explanation of the Faramir-Denethor relationship, and the appearance of the Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor. In addition, the extended editions offer more bridge material between the films, further confirming that the trilogy is really one long film presented in three pieces (which is why it’s the greatest trilogy ever–there’s no weak link). The scene of Galadriel’s gifts to the Fellowship added to the first film proves significant over the course of the story, while the new Faramir scene at the end of the second film helps set up the third and the new Saruman scene at the beginning of the third film helps conclude the plot of the second.

To top it all off, the extended editions offer four discs per film: two for the longer movie, plus four commentary tracks and stupendous DTS 6.1 ES sound; and two for the bonus material, which covers just about everything from script creation to special effects. The argument was that fans would need both versions because the bonus material is completely different, but the features on the theatrical releases are so vastly inferior that the only reason a fan would need them would be if they wanted to watch the shorter versions they saw in theaters (the last of which, The Return of the King, merely won 11 Oscars). The LOTR extended editions without exception have set the DVD standard by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien’s world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. –David Horiuchi

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14 Responses to “The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] Reviews”

  1. Amit "Amit"

    Dec 27. 2013

    1,247 of 1,267 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Extended Blu ray: Do you need if you already own extended DVD editions? Review for both beginners and Die Hard LOTR fans, November 24, 2011
    Amit “Amit” (USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This is NOT the review of the movies. I am solely reviewing the facts that what EXTRA you get in this set than the previous editions. I will start with very basic facts for those who are baffled by so many editions being out there.
    The basic facts-
    LOTR series has basically two types of movies- a) Theatrical and b) Extended, each edition are available in both-DVD and Blu ray format.
    Extended versions of the movies have humongous amount of extra film footage added to the theatrical editions (approx. 30, 40 and 50 additional minutes for movie 1, 2 and 3 respectively). So, go for the extended editions only if you are a die hard fan of the movies. If you are not, the review ends here. Buy whichever movie you like in your preferred format and enjoy. Thanks.

    Let’s get straight to-the-point. Now, many of you may as well own the DVD versions of LOTR (Either Theatrical or Extended ot both), and if you are trying to make a decision whether to spend more money on this blu ray extended, here is the comparison-

    Extended DVD set-
    For each movie they have 4 discs (2 movie discs and 2 extra features); So total 12 discs. Sound is DTS ES 6.1, which is significantly better than regular dolby digital. This set is probably the most gorgeous I have ever seen for any DVD. Colorful and feature packed, it stands out in your entire collection.

    Extended Blu ray set-
    For each movie they have 5 discs (2 movie blu ray discs, 2 extra feature DVDs and 1 behind the scene DVD). So, total 15 discs. Audio is spine chilling DTS HD 6.1 and it has the all the betterments of blu ray (HD pic, HD sound, BD live). Also, blu ray set includes the Digital copy of the Extended Versions of all three movies (Standard definition, not HD). The set itself is a delight, with a sturdy golden cardboard package that is durable and beautiful. The remastering of these movies have been handled excellently and with respect to both picture and sound, this one is SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER THAN THE DVD.

    The GOOD (Blu ray set over DVD set):
    1. Video and Audio significantly improved. Excellent blu ray transfer. I have not noticed any ‘darker’ colors as mentioned by some other viewers.
    2. Blu ray set has THREE EXTRA DVDs (Behind the Scene for each movie) apart from the 2 extra feature DVDs.
    3. Blu ray set has Digital copies of Extended versions of all three movies.
    4. They did not waste a DVD for digital copy. You download them straight from the server.
    5. Digital copies are great downloads and super easy. Together, it’s almost 10 GB download, which was overwhelming for me.

    The NOT-SO-GOOD:
    1. Extra feature DVDs (2 for each movie) are the SAME as those of DVD editions. In fact, the DVDs are identical when I do head-to-head comparison. These DVDs are pulled straight from the older DVD editions, nothing new added there.
    2. The overall appearence of the set is not as beautiful as the DVD sets. This one is excellently packed though, lacks the colours of the DVD set.
    3. Extra feature discs are DVDs and not Blu rays.

    If you own the extended DVD set, then buy this only if you want to have a great improvement in pictutre and sound quality. The only extra features you get is ‘behind the scenes’ DVDs. All other extra feature DVDs (total 6 of them) will be a duplication of what you already own in Extended DVD set. Actually, I noticed that all the extra feature DVDs here are from the various older DVD editions. The two DVDs are from the Extended DVD set, and the one ‘behind the scene’ is probably pulled from the limited editions of LOTR (the double sided DVDs that New Line Cinema released sometimes back).
    However, if you do not own the DVD versions, then this is a must buy as this includes almost everything that you can think of (HD movies, extra features, behind the scenes, plus digital copies).

    UPDATE: Also check the images I uploaded which may help make the comparison.

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  2. A. Dent "Aragorn"

    Dec 27. 2013

    3,499 of 3,616 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    LOTR – FAQ for the Blu-ray Extended Edition, April 18, 2009
    A. Dent “Aragorn” (Minas Anor, GD) –
    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Q – Is it worth it, especially if I already have the DVD edition?
    A – To me it is because I like to watch movies at home on the biggest possible screen at the highest possible resolution. I still have the DVD editions – which I’m keeping because I like the artwork – and the quality gain on the Blu is significant.

    Q – Could this edition be viewed as ‘the gold standard’?
    A – Yes. It has the extended cuts at the highest resolution with the best sound and the most extensive collection of special features.

    Q – How many Blu-ray discs are in the box?
    A – There are SIX Blu-ray discs. The additional 9 ‘extras’ or ‘bonus’ discs are DVDs.

    Q – Are the movies delivered on one disc each?
    A – No. See above. Like the DVD extended edition, the movies are delivered on 2 discs each.

    Q – Why aren’t the movies delivered on one Blu-ray disc each?
    A – Most Blu-ray players can only read single layer (25GB) and dual layer discs (50GB). Each of the Extended Edition movies require more than 50GB. Compressing them to ‘under 50GB’ would have degraded the quality of the picture and sound track.

    Q – Is the audio superior to the DVD editions?
    A – Yes, the movies sound track is DTS-HD 6.1 MA.

    Q – Are there alternate soundtracks?
    A – Yes. Each movie disc includes 4 additional commentary sound tracks: Director & Writers, the Design Team, the Production and Post Production Teams and Cast commentaries.

    Q – Is BD-Live supported?
    A – Yes, on the movie discs.

    Q – Is the BD-Live content specific to LOTR?
    A – No. It contains WB promotional material.

    Q – Will the Extended Blu-ray edition allow us to play the Theatrical cut?
    A – No.

    Q – Is the Extended Blu-ray cut be in any way different from the Extended DVD cut?
    A – No.

    Q – Are the bonus discs in the Extended Blu-ray edition in any way different from the bonus discs found in the Extended DVD edition?
    A – Yes. There is an additional ‘Special Features’ disc for each movie holding the Costa Botes documentaries from the Original Theatrical & Extended Limited Editions.

    Q – Are the commentaries different from the Extended DVD Edition?
    A – No.

    Q – Are there subtitles?
    A – Yes, subtitles are available in: English (for the hearing impaired), Spanish and Portuguese.

    Q – What spoken languages are available?
    A – English and Portuguese.

    Q – Are the Digital Copies on disc?
    A – No. The Extended Blu-ray Edition has access codes for downloadable Digital Copies.

    Q – What are the Digital Copies for?
    A – iTunes or Windows Media.

    Q – Will the Digital Copies be available to download forever?
    A – No. The Digital Copy offers expire on June 26, 2012.

    Q – What is the resolution of the Digital Copy?
    A – For iTunes, it’s 853×352 (less than DVD).

    Q – Will there be separate Extended Blu-ray editions for each of the three movies?
    A – Yes.

    Q – Why get the Extended Edition instead of the Theatrical Edition?
    A – The Extended Edition adds about 2 hours to the Theatrical cut.

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  3. Distant Voyageur "Nicholas Computer"

    Dec 27. 2013

    2,029 of 2,127 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Ultimate DVD set for all time!, October 26, 2004

    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!

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  4. SKATEskum

    Dec 28. 2013

    Okay, we have a bluray player from like 2 years ago that will always “stretch” a 4:3 movie or tv show to fill our entire 16:9 TV, so that everyone looks fat. Same when it plays extremely widescreen movies, it will “squish” them so everyone looks thin. And no matter which “format” i put it the TV on, it will not look right. Shows always fill the entire screen. The only movies or shows that look correct are the ones that are exactly 16:9. Any DVD we play will ALWAYS be stretched if it’s 4:3, and it’s very annoying.

    Like I said, no matter what I put the TV “format” on, it will not look correct. Something is always cut off or stretched. There is no option on the bluray player either to force it to adjust to a 16:9 screen. I’m looking for a bluray player that is smart enough to actually do that. I want to be able to play a 4:3 DVD or video on it, and I want the video to look 4:3, not stretched. I want those black bars on the left and right. If the movie is very widescreen, I want the black bars on the top and bottom.

    Basically I want it to play at the correct aspect ratio, the way the computer ALWAYS does. Is there anyone who knows a bluray player that does this? Thank you!

  5. Dark_LovexXx

    Jan 09. 2014

    I bought my sister a Sony netflix compatible Bluray player and wanted to set her up with a netflix account. She does not have wi-fi. Is this a problem with being able to stream netflix through the device? If anyone could give me some advice, I’d be greatly appreciative! Thanks!

  6. Meagan Newman

    Jan 17. 2014

    I don’t have the disks currently, but I am planning to buy them once I get some advice. I have a Mac computer and when I put a blank disc in, it already has a burn button. If I take a MKV file of a bluray movie I have and just drag it over and burn it like that onto the disc, wouldn’t it work? The discs I plan to buy have more than 20GB space, while most of the movies I have are less than 10GB.

  7. Caitlin Reynolds

    Jan 26. 2014

    I have an older model samsung bluray player (BD-P1590) and I’m trying to get it connected to the internet. I’m okay with electronic type stuff usually, but I keep seeing that it might need a samsung adapter to connect? I tried to find one but could only find them for ~$100 and I’d certainly rather not pay that much. I was wondering if there is any way I can connect my player wirelessly (there isn’t anywhere I can run an ethernet cable) other than buying the expensive samsung adapter? I have wireless internet with AT&T U-verse with a 2wire type modem.

  8. Jermaine J

    Feb 06. 2014

    I’m not yet….Are any of you guys?

  9. everythingisgonnabefine

    Feb 22. 2014

    Ok, I bought a ps3 which has a bult in bluray player and I bought a 42 inch LG TV that can go 1080p. All my movies are DVDs so I have no Bluray movies. I was wondering, should I sell all the movies online and buy the bluray versions? The movies I watch are usually all action movies. Also, would I still be able to watch bluray movies on a regular tv with my ps3? If anything it will just downscale to standard dvd right?

  10. Thomas Lopez

    Feb 23. 2014

    I bought a bluray drive for my pc that came with PowerDVD 8. First time I installed PowerDVD the Bluray disc would play for a few minutes then completly crash (restart) my computer. Now after several reinstalls, the bluray disc isn’t recognized at all. Does anyone have a solution to this? I’ve tried about three different bluray movies.

  11. Noe R

    Mar 14. 2014

    are the movies in the HD/Bluray dvds in 720p or 1080p?

    if your monitor only supports 720p how do you set this? is there a setting in the dvd menu?

  12. XplicitzZ

    Mar 18. 2014

    Which one do you think is better, BLURAY or HD DVD, and why?

  13. Daniel

    Jun 06. 2014

    I downloaded a movie in BluRay format, but I want to put it on a 4.7G DVD to watch on my BluRay player. Is there anyway to do this? Thanks!

  14. Harriet W

    Jun 15. 2014

    like whats it for and how does it work