Blu-Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings – Extended Edition

lotr ee Blu Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings   Extended Edition

Lord Of The Rings has everything you can hope for in an epic fantasy: great battle scenes, impressive special effects, cool creatures and most importantly, awesome storytelling.  Majority of the credit goes to director Peter Jackson.  He shot the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy story for 16 months (re-shots were done afterwards for Return of the King.).  What we saw onscreen was Middle Earth with a lot of history and culture behind it.  For example, each race were diverse. The Elves were smooth and deadly with their arrows while the orcs were rough and grimey.  The Hobbits were care free and liked to party and the humans were portrayed as doubtful and restless.  Lord Of The Rings worked as a movie because Jackson paid attention to detail, right down to the costumes and sets.  He used CG when it was necessary but he tried to use sets and locations as much as he could so the audience can relate to it.  He didn’t rely on green screens like most special effects movies today.

The story starts with the wizard, Gandalf, finding a ring from Bilbo Baggins that the evil Sauron once owned.  Sauron wants the ring back so he can regain his powers and take control over Middle Earth.  Gandalf  knows that he’ll be tempted to use the ring for himself so he tells a naive and innocent hobbit, Frodo Baggins, to take the ring and destroy it.  Frodo is told he can only destroy the ring in the lava of mount doom.  The long but entertaining journey starts.  Along the way, we’re introduced to characters that helps Frodo in his journey , including Aragorn, Boromir, King Theoden, Legolas (elf) and Gimli (dwarf) as they battle Sauron and his minions.  There’s plenty of great battle scenes in the trilogy with lots of swordplay including the Rohirrim charge (Return Of The King) and the breaking of the fellowship (Fellowship Of The Ring).

 Blu Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings   Extended Edition

The extended cuts really adds depth and backstory, thanks to an additional 2 hours of additional footage between the 3 movies.  The Two Towers benefits the most from the longer version with a flashback of Boromir and  Faramir and their motives are clearer.  Other scenes that benefit the second movie includes Treebeard’s interaction with Merry and Pippin.  Treebeard’s scenes were a chore to watch in the theatrical but in this version, I was amused.  It makes Treebeard likeable and funny.  The added scenes in the movies were really thought out (though some special effects were rushed) and just weren’t included just for the sake of making it “extended.”  It fleshes out the characters, especially Aragorn.  His transition from a ranger to a reluctant great leader is easier to understand.

Lord Of The Rings Extended Edition is a movie that I highly suggest. The more I watch it (at least 3 times), the more I appreciate the movie.  Jackson put so much work into the trilogy that I always notice something new everytime I watch it.

Grade: A


Fellowship Of The Ring
The green tint that has been reported all over the web is true but it’s been blown out of proportion.  The reports have all been coming in from screen captures consisting of a single frame.  Looking at that, it looks really bad and distracting but watching the movie as it’s supposed to be seen, it’s hardly noticeable.  The only inconsistency from the transfer are the skin tones.  Sometimes it looks like a bad sun burn (think Michael Bay movies) and sometimes it looks really flat.  There’s also some soft shots even though this was a new 4k transfer.  Having said that, I have no problem with the rest of the transfer.  The visuals look great and highly detailed.  The costumes and weapons benefit a lot from this transfer as the small details can be seen and some shots even look 3d.  I’d have given this transfer an A- but due to the green tint which makes some scenes incosistent, I’ll give it a lower score.  Again, the green tint isn’t as bad as the internet makes it out to be but it’s there.
Grade: B+

NL9940 015 Blu Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings   Extended Edition

Two Towers & Return Of The King
Both movies look better than Fellowship.  The colors look natural and impressive.  The dark (Shelob’s lair)  and night shots (Helms Deep) is what really surprised me.  There’s no artifacts or mosquito noises.  It’s clean and details can be seen clearly.  There’s a lot of big battles between the two movies and the transfer handles it perfectly.  Peter Jackson likes to show his battles from longe range/panning shots so the audience sees a whole bunch of soldiers fighting Sauron’s troops.  It’d be easy for the video to break apart easily because there’s so much movements but Warner did a good job and there’s no pixelization at all.
Grade: A


While the video transfer might not be consistent, the audio is all around excellent!  The DTS HD 6.1 track puts the surround speakers to good use.  I loved the sound effects of the arrows and the orcs chanting over Minas Tirith.  The thud of the galloping horses and Balrog’s footsteps can be felt thanks to the good bass.  But all of these would be pointless if the center is not balanced.  I’m happy to say that the dialogue is easy to hear, even in battle scenes.  There’s no adjusting the volume up or down because of certain scenes (battle, a lot of talking).  Howard’s Shore sweeping music blends naturally with the entire movie as well.
Grade: A+

NL 2032 003 Blu Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings   Extended Edition


This set has 9 discs worth of extras on DVD.  I’ve heard some people complain that it should’ve been on blu-ray but on WB’s defense, all the supplements were shot in standard definition. X-Men movies had there special features on a blu ray but the content still wasn’t on HD.  Could WB have crammed all the extras into one blu-ray per movie? Probably, but I got the feeling they wanted the collectors to feel special by having so many disks.  Either way, the extras are still plentiful and it covers the whole movie making process extensively, ranging from pre-production to the premieres.  They’re highly informative and it makes you appreciate what the cast and filmmakers went through to achieve the project.  Most of the extras range from ten minutes to 2 hours.  The extras go into details so I suggest watching all the extras for one title per week, anything more than that you’ll get information overkill.

– Audio Commentaries on all 6 disks for the movies
– MTV Award skit
– J.R.R. Tolkien: Creator of Middle-earth
– From Book to Script
– Visualizing the Story
– New Zealand as Middle-earth
– Designing and Building Middle-earth
– Middle-earth Atlas
– Filming The Fellowship of the Ring
– Visual Effects
– Post Production: Putting It All Together
– Digital Grading
– Sound and Music
– The Road Goes Ever On…
-Costa Botes’ Fellowship of the Ring Documentary
– J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-earth
– From Book to Script: Finding the Story
– Designing and Building Middle-earth
– Gollum
– New Zealand as Middle-earth
– Middle-earth Atlas
– Filming The Two Towers
– Visual Effects
– Editorial: Refining the Story
– Music and Sound
– The Battle for Helm’s Deep is Over…
– Costa Botes’ Two Towers Documentary
– J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth
– From Book to Script
– Designing and Building Middle-earth
– Home of the Horse Lords
– New Zealand as Middle-earth
– Middle-earth Atlas
– Elijah Wood and Billy Boyd Introduction
– Filming The Return of the King
– Visual Effects
– Post-Production: Journey’s End
– The Passing of an Age
– Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for Into the West
– Costa Botes’ Return of the King Documentary

NL 2032 001 1 Blu Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings   Extended Edition

Grade: A

Conclusion: The 15 disc set treatment for Lord Of The Rings: Extended Edition on Blu-ray is a must own for movie fans.  While there’s controversy with the Fellowship’s film transfer, it’s obvious that these are the best transfers for the epic trilogy.  Video and sound is top notch.  The extras is abundant and a perfect companion for fans.  Highly reccommended!
Overall Grade: A

pixel Blu Ray Review: Lord Of The Rings   Extended Edition

More fun articles: