The Lord of the Rings: Blu-ray Set ReviewAugust 11, 2011
Say hello to one of the greatest box sets of all-time in The Lord of the Rings’ Blu-ray set.
The Blu-ray boxset that all fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy have been eagerly waiting for is finally available in stores worldwide. After all, nobody likes the Theatrical Editions anymore since the Extended Editions are absolutely incredible, am I right?
To begin this review, allow me to quickly detail the layout of the packaging in this The Lord of the Rings Blu Ray box set. This aspect of the product will not affect its final score, but since this has been ridiculously hyped by fans of Peter Jackson’s epic film trilogy, I feel that I should discuss it anyway. The box itself is made of cardboard, but it looks gorgeous since it is colored gold and is imprinted with designs that are reminiscent of the trilogy’s distinct art style. The boxset’s cover is magnetized, and when it is opened, you will immediately see a detailed map of the cinematic version of Middle-Earth along with a space that contains the cases for each of the three films. Also, a paper slip with codes for the Digital Copies of each The Lord of the Rings film is included with the three cases. Inside each case are two Blu-ray discs and three DVDs. Disappointingly, all of the main special features are included on the DVDs, but there is so much content that I was quick to forgive that. The two Blu-ray discs contained in each case contain the video files for their respective films, for there is one disc per half of each film.
I’m sure that all of you are fully aware of how amazing this milestone of filmmaking is, so I’ll try to keep my thoughts on The Lord of the Rings trilogy brief. Despite the fact that each extended edition of the films is 3-4 hours long, the writing team headed by director-writer-producer Peter Jackson were able to successfully adapt the novel trilogy that bookworms across the world thought would be impossible to adapt, and then some. What I mean by this is that every single minute of each film is full of dramatic depth, intelligent dialogue, impressively strong character development, and emotion. Even though I have never read the Lord of the Rings books themselves, I have been told by my family members that the writers accurately followed the main details of the books and were able to convey the general emotion felt in the novels. I would imagine so, because the story of the entire trilogy as a whole is unparalleled to all others in cinematic fantasy.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the entire trilogy was the huge cast of characters, and this is so because every member of the Fellowship of the Ring was developed to a remarkable extent, and then nearly all of the supporting characters are extremely memorable as well. This film trilogy is one of the prime examples of how far characters can take a storyline. In addition to superb writing, all three films have been especially entertaining and engaging. With consistent humor, drama, and intense action spread throughout the run times of each film, they remain thoroughly entertaining. As the final film comes to a close, you will be left with the impression that no other fantasy trilogy in the world of cinema has even matched the quality of the adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien’s masterpieces. Yes, they are THAT good.
Now onto the technical aspects of this epic The Lord of the Rings boxset: first of all, the video quality is nearly perfect. The high-definition transfer of The Fellowship of the Ring is a little bit flawed because some scenes are quite blurry and in some cases pixelated, but otherwise the film looks outstanding in full HD. The Two Towers and The Return of the King do not look absolutely perfect either, but I cannot imagine them looking any better than they already do, so I’ll go ahead count those two as perfectly-remastered films. As far as the audio goes, you will have eargasms when listening to the trilogy’s HD audio remixes through a surround sound system. GUARANTEED. Howard Shore’s Academy Award-winning musical score sounds as epic and heart-wrenching as ever, and the incomparable sound design is fully realized in this Blu-ray release. Truly, this is The Lord of the Rings as Hollywood has always wanted us fans to experience it.
As for special features, Warner Bros. and New Line more than delivered on leveraging out the large price tag with hours upon hours of The Lord of the Rings bonus content. Even though virtually all of the bonus features are rendered in standard definition (the 9 discs that contain the special features are all DVDs), there is so much content that I didn’t even care about this setback. With loads of production diaries, documentaries, featurettes, and all other special goodies, you will be kept entertained for days, weeks, maybe even months before viewing all of the special content. In addition, the films have increased longevity with BD-Live on each of the six Blu-ray discs, and there are codes for Digital Copies of the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy included in the boxset.
Although The Fellowship of the Ring deserved a better high-definition transfer, this is one of the best Blu-ray releases of 2011. Not only that, the HD extended edition editions of The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy are among the best Blu-ray boxsets ever produced. Trust me, shelling out $70+ is more than worth it, because New Line Home Entertainment lovingly handled this release with pristine video remasters, cinema-quality audio, and enough special content to satisfy even the greediest consumer. This is the boxset that you fans have been waiting for, so please purchase it ASAP.