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on April 27, 2004
The theatrical releases of all three movies are the final culmination of Peter Jackson's triumph. The three films are masterpieces on their own, and while the theatrical versions aren't as satisfying as the extended versions, they are still amazing.
The Fellowship of the Ring suffered slightly in that we had the slow introduction to the chief characters. In a three hour movie, pace is extremely important and the Fellowship almost sank under its own weight. Once the plot began, however, the movie shined. Many believe that Tolkien placed little value in action but the book is filled with adventure. The difference between books and movies is that a book can't spend ten pages describing a battle where as a movie has to spend some time showing us the battle. The Fellowship is probably the one movie that holds the most true with the book, but that's because it can. It's largely a character study and is the setting up of the plot. In my opinion an excellent movie, but not the best of the trilogy.
The Two Towers seemed to be the one least liked in general but in reality, it's one of the best. This is not because of the over-emphasis on the battle at Helms Deep as much as it is the movie where the movies begin to lead us towards their inevitable conclusion. Peter Jackson has three different stories to tell, that of Frodo and Sam who left the Fellowship, Merry and Pippen, who were taken by the Orcs, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli who attempt to save Merry and Pippen. Of course the three groups stay separated throughout the entire film as each presents one of the major themes that Tolkien wrote them in the books. Unfortunately, Legolas and Gimli are reduced to super action hero and comic relief dwarf respectively, but Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn shines. Sam and Frodo are played to perfection as is Gollum who is brought to life by computer effects and amazing voice acting. Gandalf returns (which is not a spoiler) and provides the narrative drive of the plot. Theoden is one of the best characters in this movie and is perfectly played. The movie has a few differences from the book, but again it maintains the spirit of the novel while adding something to the Lord of the Rings story. This is personally one of my favorites in the trilogy.
The Return of the King brings us back into the story with Gollum's sad tale. We immediately know what the characters must do, and while we are sure they will do it, the story relies on them to overcome their obstacles to reach those goals. The movie does give a fair amount of time to the battle scenes and the confrontation in Shelob's lair (which actually occurred in the second book) is inter-cut beautifully with the Siege of Minas Tirith. While Jackson had to create some new elements for the sake of the story, such as Frodo sending Sam away when he didn't in the book, it's understandable to display to those who haven't read the book exactly what the ring is doing to Frodo. Criticism of the ending has been common, but adding the Scouring of the Shire would've been too emotionally draining and let's not forget that it's an anti-climactic moment in the book. We know after Frodo destroys the ring, Merry helps slay the Witch King (that name is used in the book, despite what some may say), Sam stays true to his friend, and Pippen fights in two battles that they are capable of saving the shire on their own. Showing it would've been redundant. The movie ends true to the book otherwise, and does a great job of not leaving too many lingering questions about the main characters, the hobbits.
Overall, a great set of movies to own, but I'd only give a set of all three extended versions a full five stars. Also, most here have overlooked the musical scores written by Howard Shore. The music to Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece in of itself. If you are a fan of the movies and think that three hours is long enough to watch them, then this is the set for you.
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on November 24, 2011
So Amazing have this blu edition. so many disc every title. boxset with magnet u can open and closed so easy. with black case amry make so expensive. and booklet with every title. but why features in format dvd...very pleasent. i hope not make another edition in the future. thanks to amazon canada makes very cheap for thie edition i buy only $44.49
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on March 7, 2010
I will wait for the extended version....
While it's a good thing for the few who want the original theatrical version, most Tolkien fans will want the extended version.
So, corporate bean counters, this is not a good move.... you should offer BOTH at the same time.
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on September 16, 2011
As soon as I got it I spent all Saturday watching all 3 movies. Over 9hrs of awesomeness in Blu Ray quality. A must have
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on March 15, 2014
This version comes complete, with high quality rendering of the 3 movies in their extended format.

There is also a lot of featurettes that are really interesting, humorous at times and insightful. The only problem with these featurettes is they are not in bluray quality.

The set itself is very well presented.
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on April 3, 2004
If you are reading this, you have probably already read multiple reviews of each movie, so I will not review any individual movie.
This is a set of two disc special editions for each movie in the trilogy. Comes in a handy slip case to keep all the DVDs together.
If you trust the reviews of the individual movies, or have seen the entire trilogy, but don't own any of the DVDs yet - This is the one to buy.
If you already own the first two movies - Don't waste your money unless you are a Lord of the Rings collector. Just buy the third installment.
Best reasons to buy:
1. All five star movies with TONS of extras on the making of the trilogy.
2. Less expensive than buying them individually. For the price you cannot go wrong. This is a series that you must own all three.
3. No throw away sequels like you find in something like The Godfather series (Part 3). All great films
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on March 22, 2004
All I have to say is that I have never seen anything like it. From the time I saw the beginning of the first movie til when I finally saw the end of the last movie I could not help but fall in love with these movies. Peter Jackson did what I dont think any other could do. He took J.R.R Tolkien's vision and made it his own. The battle sequences are the greatest battle sequences I have ever seen, especially in The Return of the King. They are very long movies but who cares when the movies are so good, its a good thing they are long becuase you can actully understand more what it going on. The acting in the Return of the King should have had at least some nominations. Sean Astin gave one of the best performances I have ever seen. I recommend buying the trilogy in a heartbeat. The trilogy is far better than just one of the single films by itself. These movies are AMAZING!
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on October 29, 2012
Love the series and this collection was well worth it. However, a word to customers that this collection does have an expiry date with regards to the digital copy which has since past months ago - not mentioned in the description. Not a big deal for some, others like the option. Still a good value if your a fan.
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on July 5, 2011
Just got this on the 30th, and I must say, it was well worth the wait. Some people said something about green snow or something on the Fellowship discs, but I didn't even notice it. As for having each movie split into two discs, it doesn't really bother me. I'm not so lazy that I can't get up off the couch and change the disc. I normally would break up my viewing with this. For example, I watched one disc one day, and the second half the next day. I think I did sit through The Two Towers for four hours or so, and changing discs didn't bother me. People are getting lazier due to technology. You can see it everywhere.

Anyways, the picture was top notch, even though this trilogy is almost ten years old (Fellowship was released in 2001 I think). Audio was really good. I also have a 5.1 surround sound system, so that might have had something to do with it.
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on June 29, 2004
This trilogy contains the theatrical cuts. Buy the extended versions of this wonderful trilogy. We already know how incredible the extended versions are of "Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Twin Towers".
In December, the final extended version of the trilogy will be released, and just look how incredible it will be compared to the theaterical cut:
From THE DIGITAL BITS: "In other DVD release news, Entertainment Weekly magazine posted a short blurb in their June 19th issue about what we can expect on the forthcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition (which arrives in December - street date TBA). Look for the film to be a whopping 49 minute longer, complete with more than 300 new FX shots completed just for this release. Among the new scenes you'll see will be Gandalf facing down the Witch King at Minas Tirith, the Mouth of Sauron taunting Aragorn and company at the Black Gates, Aragorn tending to Eowyn at the House of Healing, and Gandalf's final confrontation with the wizard Saruman. You'll also get more audio commentaries from everyone involved, two discs worth of exclusive, in-depth documentaries and (we've heard) a pretty funny Easter egg or two. Look for the 4-disc set's faux leather slipcase to be blue. We'll post further details as they become available."
The directors extended versions are much more fullfilling and tell the story better than the theatrical cuts!
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