Blu-Ray Review: LOTR Fellowship of the Ring – Extended Edition 5-Disc Set


This Blu-Ray extended edition of the first installment from the Lord of the Rings trilogy was offered for the first time ever on August 28. The film has a huge cast of big names such as Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Hugo Weaving. It also won four Oscars for Best visual Effects, Cinematography, Makeup and Original Score.

Having seen the original several times, I was pleasantly surprised by all of the extra scenes included in this longer version of the film. I realize the original was pretty long itself, and yes, this version is so long they had to put it on two discs, but it’s definitely a must-see even for the not so die-hard Lord of the Rings fan.

For those not familiar with the story:  young Frodo Baggins inherits a ring; but this ring is no mere trinket. It is the One Ring, an instrument of absolute power that could allow Suron, the dark Lord of Mordor, to rule Middle-earth and enslave its peoples. Frodo, together with a Fellowship that includes his loyal hobbit friends, humans, a wizard, a dwarf and an elf, must take the One ring across Middle-earth to Mount Doom, where it first was forged, and destroy it forever. Such a  journey means venturing deep into territory manned by Sauron, where he is amassing his army of Orcs. And it is not only external evils that the Fellowship must combat, but also internal dissension and the corrupting influence of the One Ring itself. The course of future history is entwined with the fate of the Fellowship.

Extra scenes – Some of the added scenes are longer and used to enhance the backstory; for instance, in the beginning, when the narration and flashbacks are necessary to bring the viewer up to date with the story. Other scenes are shorter, mere seconds long, and added only for effect, but definitely contribute to the overall effect of the film.

Video – The video transfer is impeccable and the visuals will blow you away as the lush scenery of New Zealand’s backdrop adds to the gorgeousness of the film. The image quality is crisp and one of the cleanest I’ve seen in a Blu-ray film or any other.

Audio –  The hi-def sound quality is amazing (and sounds fantastic on a sound bar or home theater system). Although the difference in the audio aspect of the Blu-Ray version isn’t quite as impressive as the video, the quality is seamless and perfect still, and  facilities the ease in which one is taken along for this incredible ride.

Special features – There are numerous special features which comprise the additional 3 ½ discs including commentaries with the director, writers, cast, design team, and production/post-production; featurettes such as book to script and vision to reality; an introduction by Elijah Wood and a behind-the-scenes documentary shot by filmmaker Costa Botes during filming of Fellowship.

I cannot recommend this extended Blu-Ray edition of Fellowship enough. It is an incredible film to begin with; now remastered in magnificent beauty and clarity.

fotr thumb Blu Ray Review:  LOTR Fellowship of the Ring – Extended Edition 5 Disc Set


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