Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray

I read the Lord of the Rings books and grew up watching the Rankin Bass versions of the trilogy on worn out VHS. When I heard that Peter Jackson was doing the trilogy, I got my hopes up. I mean this guy seemed to respect the subject. I had no idea he would make something so wonderful. Is the film a perfect telling the Lord of the Rings? Not exactly, but it is more then any of geeks could have hoped for. I was very lucky to be working with a great group of people when the movies came out. The movies were such a big deal to them, that the company actually closed so that we could all go see the films together. How many workplaces have you worked at that have done that?

When the Lord of the Rings mania finally settled down (and I didn’t expect it to ever to). I went out and picked up the collectors editions extended DVDs even though I knew full well that eventually a higher definition version would come out. Let me tell you something about those extended versions of the movies. They are really interesting, but they are also exhausting. To me, brevity improved the trilogy, so when it was announced that Lord of the Rings was coming out on Blu-Ray and it would not be the extended version, I didn’t mind one bit. If this is a hang up you have. If you really need to log more time, then you might want to hold out because I am sure another version will eventually come out. But then you might as well for a 3D version or maybe a Smell-O-Visions version (what does Orc smell like?)

I decided to watch the films over the course of 3 nights, instead of a marathon. I wanted to enjoy each one and really get into the Tolkein world. I was not disappointed. The films are all in wonderful 1080p and I might not have the best sound in the world, but the audio was crisp and powerful. Oh and it was a good thing I didn’t try to marathon these films, because even though these might not be extended films, there is over 7 hours of of special features. Not counting the bonus disc with digital copies of the movies you get:

Disc 1

  • The Fellowship of the Ring Feature Edition
  • Trailers: “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer, “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Supertrailer

Disc 2

  • Welcome to Middle-Earth: Houghton Mifflin In-Store Special
  • Quest for the Ring: FOX TV Special
  • A Passage to Middle-Earth: SCI-FI Channel Special
  • Finding Hobbiton
  • Hobbiton Comes Alive
  • Believing the World of Bree
  • Ringwraiths: The Fallen Kings
  • Rivendell: The Elven Refuge
  • Languages of Middle-Earth
  • Two Wizards
  • Music of Middle-Earth
  • Enya “May it Be” Music Video
  • Special Extended DVD Edition Preview
  • Behind the Scenes Preview of “The Two Towers”

Disc 3

  • The Two Towers Feature
  • Trailers; “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer, “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Supertrailer

Disc 4

  • On the Set “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” – Starz Encore Special
  • Return to Middle-Earth: WB Special
  • “The Long and Short of It” A Short Film Directed by Sean Astin
  • The Making of “The Long and Short of It”
  • Forces of Darkness
  • Designing the Sounds of Middle-Earth
  • Edoras: The Rohan Capital
  • Creatures of Middle-Earth
  • Gandalf the White
  • Arms and Armor
  • The Battle of Helm’s Deep
  • Emiliana Torrini “Gollum’s Song” Music Video
  • Special Extended DVD Edition Preview
  • Behind the Scenes Preview of “The Return of the King”

Disc 5

  • The Return of the King Feature
  • Trailers: “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Supertrailer, “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer

Disc 6

  • The Quest Fulfilled: A Director’s Vision
  • A Filmaker’s journey: Making “The Return of the King”
  • National Geographic Special – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
  • Aragorn’s Destiny, Minas Tirith: Captial of Gondor
  • The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Samwise the Brave
  • Eowyn: White Lady of Rohan, Digital Horse Doubles
  • Heart/Frodo, Every Path, Test, Aragorn, Time, Every Step, Sword, Decided
  • Special Extended DVD Edition Preview

Pretty cool huh? And discs 7-9 contain digital editions of the films, so that if you have a portable device you can take them on the go (love).

So if you are a Lord of the Rings fan you have to ask yourself what you want before buying this. Do you want the extended version? Wait a bit longer then, but of course they have not mentioned whether the theatrical version will be included on those discs or if their will be an even large set of discs. Me, I wanted these great movies in high quality, as I saw them in the theater. The extras, which are plentiful are just gravy for this release.

Digital Release
on demand for download
I really like the digital copies as well, especially since I am turning towards more of a digital collections. If you are going the same way, you might want to check out various options at The Lord of the Rings Movie Release site or you could go standard def (blah) and hit up iTunes or another Download service.

The Lord of the Ring Blu-Ray trilogy is also available at Amazon and all retailers on April 6th. I will be watching mine for years to come or at least until they perfect that Smell-O-Vision.

my precious

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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3 thoughts on “Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray

  1. I often have a problem with my brain and my hands doing different things. That being said I do love the work of both Peter and Steve Jackson.

    :P

  2. OffisaPups says:

    Steve Jackson? Yeeeeeahhh GURPS! I had a buddy that on the day Return of the King came out went into NY and caught a special showing that was the first two movies, extending editions, followed by the third as midnight. He said and I qoute “I have seen more of Sean Austin’s bare feet in one day then any man should see in a lifetime.”

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