Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition (Blu-ray) (2001)

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Released 29-Jun-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Fantasy Booklet-(1.41)
Audio Commentary-4
Featurette-Multiples
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Feature Length
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 228:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Jackson
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Liv Tyler
Viggo Mortensen
Sean Astin
Cate Blanchett
John Rhys Davies
Billy Boyd
Dominic Monaghan
Orlando Bloom
Christopher Lee
Hugo Weaving
Sean Bean
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Howard Shore


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 6.1 ES Matrix (4608Kb/s)
Italian DTS HD Master Audio 6.1 ES Matrix (4608Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Icelandic
Italian
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† What can I say about this trilogy of films that hasn't been said before? Not much really. Let me just say that in my opinion these films are the greatest film trilogy of all time, obviously assisted by being based on probably the greatest fantasy novels of all time. I can watch these films which total over 10 hours (in extended mode) time and time again and still enjoy them thoroughly. Some films I find it hard to get through the first time I see them. Sitting down to watch them in this Blu-ray extended edition box set was a marvellous experience, they are wonderfully transferred, with improved video for Fellowship (from the previous Blu-ray release) and fantastic audio throughout. But more on that later...

†††† Obviously there have been many previous releases of these films and most of you probably own one (or more) of them. Personally, I had previously purchased the DVD Extended Editions and the Theatrical Blu-ray releases. You can see our previous reviews of this film's various releases at the following links for the original theatrical DVD, the extended DVD set , the collector's extended DVD set and the theatrical Blu-ray release. I am sure that combining all of these releases together would result in this title being one of the highest selling on digital discs.

†††† So what do you get in this release? It is currently only available as a box set of all three movies which is very well packaged. The box, although cardboard, is hard & thick (unlike most box sets) and opens to allow the three Blu-ray cases to be accessed. At some retailers a replica ring is also included. Each movie comes in its own Blu-ray hard case, which includes five discs, two Blu-rays and 3 DVDs. Some may argue that this is a bit silly considering that the content of the three DVDs would probably fit on one Blu-ray. However, the contents of those discs are in standard definition and the source is only available in standard definition, so itís really a moot point. Sure they could have up-scaled them but you can do that at home. The Blu-rays contain the film (in two halves) plus the same extras as were on the original extended edition's first two discs, including all the commentaries and even the original Easter eggs. Basically, what you get is the same first two discs as the old extended edition in HD. The next two discs are the original discs 3 & 4 from the extended edition, which contain some great extras but if you already have them then they are just two extra discs to fill up the case. As far as I can tell they are exactly the same. The last disc contains a previously unreleased extra, a feature length behind the scenes doco. See below for more detail.

†††† So, worth considering? Yes, definitely. If you don't have these movies in your collection, buy this set. If you do, even on Blu-ray, the video upgrade for Fellowship and extra scenes make this worth taking a hard look at, especially because the movies have so much re-watch potential.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The video quality is excellent, a noticeable step up from the previous Blu-ray and a huge step up from the DVD.

†††† There was lots of internet anger directed at the first Blu-ray transfer of Fellowship due to the use of Digital Noise Reduction to a level that was quite noticeable. This new transfer is significantly better with very little noticeable Digital Noise Reduction and only a little noticeable grain in a couple of scenes inside at Bag End. However, another controversy has sprung up this time around regarding a different colour grading done to this transfer than that used previously making the film slightly steelier in tone. You can certainly see the difference between this and the theatrical version but I thought it was not a problem. According to announcements from the studio it was done by Peter Jackson and reflects his desired colour scheme. It is rumoured to be driven by trying to make the colour scheme more consistent with the other films and the upcoming Hobbit films. Personally, it doesn't bother me and the quality improvement in terms of sharpness and clarity is great.

†††† The feature is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p as you would expect encoded using AVC. The picture was very clear and sharp throughout looking phenomenal for a film with so much CGI and other effects. The colour was wonderful despite the new colour grading. The shire is still very green and the fires of Mordor very red and orange. Of course, the wonderful scenery of New Zealand looks fantastic. There were no obvious artefacts.

†††† There are subtitles available in English which are clear and easy to read. They have been moved from being on the picture (in the theatrical Blu-ray) to in the black bar which is a smart move as far as I am concerned. They are in a better font to the normal subtitles font too. If you do not turn subtitles on there is an automatic stream to translate elvish etc. There are also subtitles in a variety of European languages.

††††There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††††The audio quality is stunning. I cannot fault it and loved every moment. This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS-HD MA 6.1 and an Italian soundtrack in the same format. There are also four commentaries in Dolby Digital 2.0. This is a wonderful soundtrack really opening out the magnificent sound field of this film. The fantastic score really leaps out of the speakers along with the great audio effects. One particular standout for me was the fight with the cave troll in Moria, however, this is just one of many magnificent sequences. To my ears it is not markedly different to the Blu-ray Theatrical cut soundtrack.

†††† Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear and understand despite how much else was going on in the soundtrack. The music by Howard Shore is one of the best scores of recent years and sounds magnificent on this Blu-ray. The surround speakers were used is every conceivable way, booming directional effects, quiet but important atmosphere, creating a full soundstage for the music and much more. In a word, magnificent. The subwoofer was also put to excellent use for everything from orcs to Balrogs to storms to Gandalf scaring Bilbo.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††† As I mentioned above the Blu-rays include the four commentaries of the original extended DVD editions, plus the Easter Eggs which were previously available on the first two discs of that edition. These are now more easily accessible from the special features menu, showing as rings. I will provide a list of the previously available extras repeated here but if you would like more detail please refer to our review of the the extended DVD set. I will list the only new extra (on Disc 5) first.

Menu

†††† The menus are very similar in design to the previous extended DVD except using Blu-ray style menu selections.

Fellowship of the Ring - Behind the Scenes (84:52) **NEW**

†††† The only new extra on this set is this feature length behind the scenes documentary although documentary is a strong term as it is really a large collection of behind the scenes and on set footage which is interesting but not really a documentary as such. There is lots of stuff covered including the impressive logistics and challenges of such a large shoot, forced perspective, dialect coaching, set design, costumes, action scenes, miniatures, sound design and much more. There is some crossover to other extras but this is certainly worth a look for fans of the film. It is unfortunately not 16x9 enhanced. The sound is Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles are available.

Previously Available Extras

Booklet

Audio Commentary - Peter Jackson (Director/Producer/Writer), Fran Walsh (Writer/Producer), and Philippa Boyens (Writer)

Audio Commentary - Grant Major, Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah, Chris Hennah, and Tania Rodger (The Design Team)

Audio Commentary - 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 Vanít Hul, and Alex Funke (The Production Team)

Audio Commentary - Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, and Sean Bean (The Cast)

Featurette - Introduction

Featurette - J.R.R. Tolkien - The Creator Of Middle-earth

Featurette - From Book To Script

Featurette - Storyboard And Pre-Viz: Making Words Into Images

Early Storyboards

Pre-Viz Animatics

Animatic-To-Film Comparisons

Featurette - Bag End Set Test

Featurette - Designing Middle-Earth

Featurette - WETA Workshop

Design Galleries

Featurette - Costume Design.

Middle-Earth Atlas

Featurette - New Zealand As Middle-earth

Featurette - Introduction

Featurette - The Fellowship Of The Cast

Featurette - A Day In The Life Of A Hobbit.

Featurette - Cameras In Middle-Earth

Photo Gallery - Production Photos

Featurette - Scale

Featurette - Bigatures

Photo Galleries

Featurette - Weta Digital

Featurette - Editorial: Assembling An Epic

Editorial Demonstration - The Council Of Elrond

Featurette - Digital Grading

Featurette - The Soundscapes Of Middle Earth

Featurette - The Music Of Middle Earth

Featurette - The Road Goes Ever On...

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† This set is available globally in the same format except for minor language and subtitle differences.

Summary

†††† A great film on a great Blu-ray/DVD set.

†††† The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is excellent. A huge set of extras although only one new item compared to the previous editions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
2 disc transfer - REPLY POSTED
"Unreleased" documentary -