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On the DVDs: The Fellowship of the Ring--Extended Version comes in two distinct packages: choose either the four-disc set itself, handsomely presented in a hardback book-style fold-out, or the huge and more expensive Collector's Box Set, which has the same four-disc set accompanied by two chunky "polystone" sculpted Argonath bookends, both of which are solid enough to support either your DVD or Tolkien book collection. The discs themselves have extremely useful chapter menus that indicate which scenes are new or extended. The only drawback is that the film is now spread over two discs, with a somewhat abrupt break following the council at Rivendell, due to the storage capacity required for the longer running time, the added DTS ES 6.1 audio, and the commentary tracks. But that's a minor inconvenience. Of the four commentaries those with the greatest general appeal are the one by Jackson with cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and the one by 10 cast members; but the more technically orientated commentaries by the creative and production staff are also worth hearing.
The bonus features (encompassing two complete DVDs) are far superior to the largely promotional materials included on the theatrical release, delving into such matters as script development, casting, and visual effects. This extended edition DVD set is the Fellowship to rule them all. --David Horiuchi
DISC 3: THE APPENDICES PART ONEFROM BOOK TO VISION
Six documentaries covering J.R.R Tolkien, the process of adapting the book into a screenplay and planning the film. Designing and building Middle-earth, as well as a visit to Weta Workshop with an up=close look at the costumes, weapons, armour, creatures and miniatures created for the film. An interactive map of Middle-earth tracing the journey of the Fellowship
Galleries of art and accompanying slide shows with commentaries by the artists (including an archive of nearly 2,000 images)
Storyboards and previsualization sequences with film comparisons
DISC 4: THE APPENDICES PART TWOFROM VISION TO REALITY
11 original documentaries covering the cast, principle photography, a day in the life of a hobbit, visual effects, post production, editing, music and sound and the release of the film
Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs
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