49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One DVD to rule them all!
There’s only one way to start this review – if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan then buy the extended edition of Fellowship of the Ring. What you get is an extended version of the film, which is 30 minutes longer than the theatrical version, with 4 additional audio commentaries by cast and crew members. Then there’s the small matter of 2 discs full...
Published on 2 July 2003 by Mr. M. Davies
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new..
The 3 stars rating is for this edition rather than the movie.
For what concerns the movie.. It's GREAT! Worths 10 stars in its extended version, and I would reccomend this to anyone who still haven't seen it.
This new edition is not adding much to the previous ones. The ONLY difference is this documentary (that you can find elsewhere...
Published on 9 Oct 2006 by Charles Wolf
Most Helpful First | Newest First
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One DVD to rule them all!,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four Disc Collector's Box Set) [DVD]  (DVD)There’s only one way to start this review – if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan then buy the extended edition of Fellowship of the Ring. What you get is an extended version of the film, which is 30 minutes longer than the theatrical version, with 4 additional audio commentaries by cast and crew members. Then there’s the small matter of 2 discs full of extras including lots of different documentaries.
Is the extended version of the film an improvement? Yes! The extra footage varies from a split second shot to extra lines in a scene and even to complete scenes. The extra footage does add a lot to the film, which is a relief because I was a bit afraid that pointless scenes would be added in. This thankfully is not the case.
Of the added shots and scenes, it is apparent why they had been edited out of the theatrical version of the film. They are maybe slow the story down too much or simply don’t fit in too well. But there are some scenes that should definitely have been included in the original version. Two scenes immediately spring to mind.
The first is the extended council of Elrond scene. Boromir voices his opinion more, which cause more tension within the council. Then there’s the best moment to be added in, Gandalf speaking in the Black Tongue. It simply comes out of nowhere basically; suddenly he’s speaking in this language, which sounds so dark and almost scary.
The second scene is the gift giving at Lothlorien. It’s a well-known fact that Peter Jackson really wanted this scene included in the theatrical version of the film and now we get to see it. It follows very closely to the book, but changes are included. The scene is beautifully shot and perfectly shows the atmosphere of Lothlorien.
Other new scenes include Aragorn visiting his mother’s grave, the departure of the fellowship from Rivendell, Frodo and Sam seeing Wood Elves heading for the Grey Havens, the Midgewater Marshes and a scene from the Green Dragon Inn. Extended scenes include extended Hobbiton scenes (including Concerning Hobbits from the book), extended scenes in Rivendell and Moria, and an extended prologue.
I don’t think that this version is let down by any of the added footage. However there are quite a few quirky little comments added into this version. For example, at the door to the Mines of Moria. When Gandalf tries to open the doors and they don’t open Pippin comes out with the obvious statement of “nothing’s happening”. To some this may seem a bit childish and distract from the seriousness of the quest, but on the whole I feel that it doesn’t matter and actually adds a new dimension to the film.
As for the extras, this is the DVD set to end all others. With 2 discs full of extras this set is the benchmark for all other DVDs from now on. What you’ve got is a good six hours of documentaries about every aspect of Lord of the Rings, from JRR Tolkien to shooting the Trilogy. Also, there are literally hundreds of still frames to go with the documentaries. Not forgetting such things as such things as videos of storyboards and special effects.
It will honestly take to hours to digest everything on the DVDs, there’s almost too much information. For Tolkien fans, the information about Middle Earth and Tolkien will be nothing new, but is still worth watching. However, the documentaries about the filming give a great insight into film production (watch out for the Bag End set test with Peter Jackson as Bilbo).
So how would I rate this DVD set? It has to be 10 out of 10. IT has everything you could ever want on a LOTR DVD. Next question is can the Two Towers DVD beat it?
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The journey begins - Again,
This review is from: Lord of the Rings : Fellowship of the Ring - Special Limited Edition [DVD] (DVD)The size of the achievement effected by the LOTR trilogy on film can be best seen by the fact that just a few short years after it's release it is already thought of, even by those who don't like it, as a classic.
For my money 'The Fellowship' is the best of an outstanding trio, the world that is evoked draws you in and there's a charm to the whole atmosphere that is unmatched in the later films.
If you go to the original extended release reviews you will learn all you need to of just how brilliant they are, this review is simply for this new release.
What you get for your money, over and above the previous releases, is a documentary. Now in fairness it has to be said it's a good one. The director, Costa Botes, simply lets the camera roam free. It's not a structured piece like the ones you will have seen on the other releases but rather the style is to capture those involved when they are relaxed and so a more natural atmosphere is produced.
The documentary is spread across all 3 films.
There are no new scenes in these new releases and in all honesty unless you are a LOTR completist,( in which case you'll have ordered these anyway),it is hard to really reccommend these over and above the original extended releases. This is particularly so as though the picture quality is as good as before the sound most certainly isn't. There is an awful lot crammed into these 2 discs and something has to give. Unfortunately it's the quality of the surround sound which before was exemplary is now neither so clear nor so detailed, if you have a good system you will notice the difference. The chances are you will go back to watching the film itself on the original discs.
So there's your decision, whether to buy this new set simply for the new documentary and the excellent new covers or to stick with your original editions and wait for the inevitable 'anniversary' edition that is bound to eventually come along? The road goes ever on eh?
158 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The REAL Fellowship of the Ring has arrived - thank you PJ!,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Special Extended DVD Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)My enjoyment of the theatrical release and my enthusiasm for a live-action epic that does at least do some justice to a book that I have loved since I was a small child could not silence a nagging voice that told me the movie adaptation, no matter how spectacular, was lacking. It did not take overlong for me to put my finger on it - the theatrical release of "Fellowship" contains precious little character development, and what there is has been spread very unevenly (like butter scraped over too much bread...). Well, I could forgive this considering that there are three movies, but the second film has much ground to regain for several of the major characters in this milieu.
I am extremely happy to report that the Special Edition DVD release has all but silenced my doubts. The additional 30 minutes or so make a world of difference to the movie, making the tale more 'human' (Dwarven, Elven, Hobbitish, if you hate to anthropomorphism). Almost all of the excised material was character development, and the result of replacing it makes this DVD release the definitive version of the movie. Peter Jackson may prefer it to be considered as an additional release of the movie, where the theatrical version and this extended cut can co-exist, but I disagree. After watching the extended version I find the theatrical release even more lacking - so much so that I can't bring myself to watch it anymore.
All of the characters receive more attention: Bilbo becomes the slightly eccentric but shrewd forever-changed-by-adventure hobbit I always imagined him to be; Frodo the young nephew who has a deep love and respect for his old Hobbit uncle, and who himself can be seen enduring the change that unsettled Bilbo for life; Sam is the plant-loving yet love-shy gardener (more Rosie Cotton!) who's friendship with Frodo promises to be heartbreaking; Gandalf's love for the world and it's people shines through (especially in a new sequence with Pippin) making his ultimate sacrifice a truly tearful moment; Aragorn benefits greatly and his insecurity made so apparent and yet without apparent reason in the theatrical version now has it's background and we see him as the exiled King torn by the guilt of his forefathers, and yet the very strength he seeks to find to do what he must is bound up in his love for Arwen - love that will literally kill her (his small exchange with Frodo in the newly added Midgewater Marsh sequence is painfully poignant, and Elrond's hinted at disdain for the Ranger makes more sense); Boromir is revealed a the man who secretly and perhaps unknowingly craves strong leadership, and scenes between he and Aragorn adds to the deep sadness of the films extended climactic battle against the Uruk-Hai; both Gimli and Legolas receive more attention and we feel we know them better and their initial exasperation with one another (that look on Legolas' face when Gimli pledges his axe to help them during the Council of Elrond is a gem) turns to grudging respect and (as we know later) to great friendship; last but not least, Pippin and Merry are also given more screen time and are no longer the "idiotic comic relief" they were made to appear in the theatrical cut.
Character development aside, there are other additions to popular sequences like the Cave Troll battle, that needed to be inserted (ever wondered why in the theatrical release Boromir disappears from the action early in the Balin's Tomb fight with the Cave Troll, never to appear again until the end? Well, this sequence now restored answers that question and, boy!, must that have hurt!). There are also significant additions to the latter half of the movie. The gift giving sequence as the Fellowship depart Lorien is a mystery to me. How could that possibly have been left out? So much depends on those gifts, and not least the lembas (I love Legolas' "bread advertisement" speech) and Sam's rope, which was set up when he was checking his pack in Rivedel and muttered something about forgetting something...
The DVD transfer itself is quite beautiful and I have never see better. The picture is sharp, well delineated, the colours rich and natural and I saw not one imperfection. The sound is also worthy of praise, with the newly scored Howard Shore pieces melding perfectly with the old (some of which have been subtly altered, and to their bettering in my opinion).
The 'extras' cover 2 DVDs and are similarly of exceptional quality. Essentially and without going into too much detail, you can follow the history of Tolkien's book from the authors birth right through to post production and marketing of the movies - and everything in between! It really does make some recent DVD releases embarrassing by comparison and certain companies (you know who you are!) should hang their collective heads in shame and go stand in the corner.
In summary, no adaptation of this move was ever going to be perfect, and all will stand as pale and incomplete shadows cast by Tolkien's bestriding masterpiece. But this DVD release remains a wonderful rendition of an essentially unfilmable-as-written work of pure genius. Everything is top-notch, from the movie transfer and sound to the extras that are not mere padding but enhance one's enjoyment of the movie to the point of being essential viewing in themselves. This is how DVD should be done. Pay attention.
Finally, I cannot recommend this extraordinary piece of film-making history highly enough. For anyone with a passing interest, it a truely great movie. For those who are Tolkien fanatics, as long as you are open-minded and can accept that the book is unfilmable as written, then you will be delighted to see that a truely great book has been adapted into a truely great film.
133 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Flaw Perfected,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four Disc Collector's Box Set) [DVD]  (DVD)Don't get me wrong, I loved the Fellowship of the Ring when I saw it at the cinema but I could recognise that there were some flaws there too. However, with this extended version all these flaws have been rectified and the movie is a lot stronger for it.
First the major one - Lothlorien. In the cinema, like a lot of people, I came out mumbling about the wasted opportunity of presenting Lothlorien in a film. I felt that it was rushed, squeezed in as though Jackson didn't really like that part of the book and wanted to get past it as quickly as possible. Not so here - the sequence is extended greatly and to the benefit of the whole film which now feels more balanced because of it. You aren't left wondering why they bothered getting an actress of the quality of Cate Blanchett for a role which in the theatrical release was a relatively minor one - as he performance in the extended scenes truly justifies her presence. Fans of the book will be particularly delighted with the inclusion of the gift-giving and the excellent comedy moment provided by the way-bread.
The extended Shire sequences are also a joy and are well worth the inclusion (if only for the fact that not only do you get to see more of the wondrous set that Weta created but you also we get a scene inside the Green Dragon complete with Gaffer!). But where this version of the movie comes into its own is in the extra space it gives the characters in the Fellowship time to develop. Gimli particularly benefits from this (his character becoming far more rounded and three-dimensional) as do Pippin and Merry. This, combined with the extra time developing and setting up plot points (an addtional scene with Aaragon and Boromir makes the former's death have much more impact, for example) means that the film is just more balanced and is a far more satisfying experience. Although Peter Jackson has claimed this isn't a director's cut and that it's just a "different" rather than "better" version, the booklet provided with this set is slightly telling when it mentions that "With no constraints on the film's running time, Peter Jackson
The quality of the transfer and the sound are second to none (although I haven't had a chance to check out the DTS track) and the only problem with the range of extra features is that they are so extensive and in-depth that you might run the risk of removing some of the mystique of this film. The packaging is superb and the
The only major flaw with this release is the fact that you have to swap disks half-way through the film. This could have been made far less jarring if they had faded out at the end of the first disk rather than just blacking out - but they at least choose a natural place in the film to have the break (just after the Fellowship is formed at Elrond's council).
Quite frankly, if that's the only flaw on this truly amazing package then it's a sacrifice that is more than worth the benefits you get over the theatrical release DVD.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection.,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Special Extended DVD Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)Oh boy! This Extended Version of Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring is just astounding. Absolutely magnificent!
I have had the 4 disc DVD now for 3 weeks and I still can't stop watching it! Obsessed? Yeah, probably. But that's my concern, not yours!
What on earth can I say that hasn't already been said before? Well, let me try:
First of all, I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, so needless to say, I love the film. But very rarely will a film actually turn out to be more entertaining than the book from which it was adapted. The Fellowship of the Ring book, by J.R.R. Tolkien, is an undoubted masterpiece, but I found it to be long-winded and felt it contained a few redundant chapters. Therefore, I enjoy watching the film more than reading the book.
And I feel that is the greatest compliment I could pay Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, who as a threesome, so heroically put together this cinematic masterpiece.
If you are lucky enough to have this extended edition DVD in your collection, then I promise you that you will never have to go back to your theatrical version ever again. THIS, the Extended version, is the ultimate fantasy film.
The film is spread over 2 discs: Disc 1 lasts for 1hr 41mins & Disc 2 lasts for approximately 1hr 57mins. I can assure you that the need to switch discs halfway through the film is not as awkward as it may imagine (Disc 1 ends immediately after the Fellowship is formed at the Council of Elrond).
Also on the first 2 discs are 4 audio commentaries: one from the Director and writers; one from the production team; one from the design team, and one from the cast, which is my personal favourite and probably the most entertaining of them all - the four hobbit actors do their commentaries with each other and provide a lot of laughs which will make younger, female fans smile! If it is detailed information you are after, then the best commentary I can recommend is that of the Design Team: it is most insightful.
Discs 3 and 4 are the appendices discs which are filled to the brim with never-before-seen, in depth documentaries about everything you ever wished to know about the Fellowship of the Ring production: sound, music, cameras, special effects, digital grading, miniatures, stunts - and much more besides! It has absolutely everything!
There are also documentaries about Professor J.R.R. Tolkien himself, extensive interviews with both cast and crew, as well as a fun feature "A day in the life of a Hobbit". Add to this, interactive features like stills galleries, maps, and editorial demonstrations, you quite simply have a compendium of such magnitude that it will most probably take you weeks to watch it all!
I really cannot pick fault with this DVD. If there is a better DVD out there then I have not yet seen it nor heard of it.
An absolute masterpiece. A must for every DVD fans' collection.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the films, none of the bloat.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)I've been waiting for a non-bloated version of the Extended Blu-ray versions to be released and finally, here they are. This and the other two films are spread over two discs, but given the quality and the size of the films it's not hard to see why, although the swap-over on The Two Towers seems a little abrupt.
The extended versions are easily recommended over the theatrical versions. Across the three films you're getting at least two hours of additional scenes which cover more of the story and fill in the gaps. Some of them are not plot critical, hence their original omission, but it's nice to have them all the same.
Can't fault the quality of the picture and sound, both were superb on my modest set up.
If you're not particularly interested in all the extras, interviews and documentaries, this is the ideal version to get.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fan's version of "The Fellowship",
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Special Extended DVD Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)The first thing I noticed when I opened the package, was the scene descriptions - or chapter index. This shows that nearly every scene has been modified or extended. Some scenes are completely new. The effect that this has had on Peter Jackson's masterpiece is electrifying! Suddenly, all the relationships start to appear. The movie stops being a chain of events leading to the inevitable breaking of the Fellowship, to an intricate web of personal affinities and conflicts all superbly melded into the mainstream story. This version brings the book to life in ways I, as a long-standing Middle-Earth fan, didn't think was possible.
The two supplementary disks provide some of the answers to some of the questions left unanswered, (why was the old forest episode missed out? Why did Arwen play such an important part?). One thing is clear - the cast and crew lived and breathed the book for the 15 months of the production and a lot of care was taken to translate the spirit of Tolkein's creation as opposed to attempting to do it scene-by scene. The result is a movie which appeals not only to those who have not read the book (though I strongly urge them to do so), but more importantly, successfully brings to life a piece of 20th century literature which many people have read and loved.
I sincerely hope that the theatrical version of "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King" will undergo the same treatment so that I can watch the whole story without feeling that vital elements have been cut in the interest of cinema throughput.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new..,
This review is from: Lord of the Rings : Fellowship of the Ring - Special Limited Edition [DVD] (DVD)The 3 stars rating is for this edition rather than the movie.
For what concerns the movie.. It's GREAT! Worths 10 stars in its extended version, and I would reccomend this to anyone who still haven't seen it.
This new edition is not adding much to the previous ones. The ONLY difference is this documentary (that you can find elsewhere without the movie) which in my opinion is quite boring and way too long.
Honestly, I am a fan of LOTR but this goes beyond and shows you the people involved in the project more than the project itself.. So, if you're interested, walk on, but I wouldn't reccomend it, unless you still don't have the movie in any of the previuos editions.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5-star film, 5-star DVD,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four Disc Collector's Box Set) [DVD]  (DVD)THE FILM: watching films of books I tend to mutter (and occasionally shout!) at the screen "That's not what it's like!" Although not an obsessive Tolkien fan, I do love the books and my initial reaction to the film was: "Why?" I felt sure that none of the characters/ locations/ action scenes would match my own mental images, but from the start of the prologue it was obvious that Jackson was the perfect director for the movie and had approached it with respect, vision and imagination. Hobbit-newcomers will be blown away while the initiated will concede that this is one film which comes close to matching its source (although the "Why?" question remains; the books are so descriptive and detailed that there is no real need for a film-why do we need to reduce the written word to the simpler visual image?) Still, locations such as Isengard, Moria and the Shire are wonderfully realised, and the casting is first rate. Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee in particular are marvellous, and Wood pulls off the tricky role of Frodo well, saving him from being a wimp. Mortensen, Bloom, the other hobbits and Rhys-Davies inhabit their roles with great conviction and accents (it's only when you hear them on the commentary that you realise what a good job the Americans did with their British accents) while Sean Bean is a perfect Boromir.
Although I dislike the design of Rivendell and Lorien (I don't think thousand-year elves would go in for such tacky garden statuary), and don't like Blanchett as Galadriel (I would have cast Michelle Pfeiffer), these are minor quibbles based on personal taste. The Ringwraiths, the fantastic fight by Balin's tomb, the Bridge of Khazad-dum and the absolutely flawless Boromir death-scene are guaranteed to win over the staunchest devotees of the book. In some respects, the film is even superior-by cutting out the 17 years that pass between Bilbo's birthday and Frodo leaving the Shire, Jackson has hugely increased the menace and danger of the Ring, and his Wraiths are supremely terrifying, matching Tolkien's Witch-King of the third book rather than the "snuffling" riders that he initially described in the first book. And the Uruk-hai are wonderfully hideous, with Saruman's creation of them brilliantly shown-you're in no danger of confusing them with the orcs, as you might be on a first read of the book. The created character of Lurtz is also a great stroke, and I defy anyone not to feel tearful as Boromir fights on to defend Merry and Pippin with Lurtz's great black arrows piercing him. Overall, a 5-star blockbuster that's also a 5-star film (not many good blockbusters are also good films)-it really should have been rewarded come Oscar night.
4 commentaries are included-most people will probably listen to the cast first, which is lots of fun. The four hobbits watched the film together, and have clearly formed a real life fellowship; they have lots of stories about funny moments on set, and you find yourself smiling too. Bloom is a little too starry-eyed (everything is 'incredible') but McKellen, Lee and Bean contribute insightful and interesting comments throughout. The director and writers' commentary is probably more for fans of the book: it's fascinating to hear them explain why they changed or left something out-all three really respect Tolkien's work, while juggling the demands of cinema, the studio and the budget. The other 2 commentaries are less essential but still interesting if you have time for them.
The documentaries are wonderful, and, thankfully, don't go into too much production detail, although I did find myself losing interest in a few. From Book to Script and JRR Tolkien are the best on Disc 3, although the Costume Design, Designing Middle-Earth and Weta Workshop are also interesting. For those who care, there are loads of design galleries, although I found these really dull, and the commentary on some of the images that I listened to does repeat what's in the video clips. On Disc 4, A Day in the Life of a Hobbit is great and lots of fun; Big-atures really has to be seen to show the wonderful work done to create Isengard, Rivendell and the Argonaths, and Digital Grading shows how the distinctive look of Middle-Earth was achieved. After watching the commentaries and documentaries you feel as if you were there during filming, and were one of the group. However, my personal feeling is that there should have been a little more human info. I would have loved a documentary on casting-why was Stuart Townsend replaced by Viggo Mortenson? Why did they pick Orlando Bloom who had never worked on a film and has dark hair and olive skin in real life? How did they approach Elvish, which has never been spoken (except by the Hobbit-addicts at home in their bedrooms!) A greater focus on the cast and the human elements of filming as opposed to the technical elements would have interested me more. Still, this can't really be faulted and it's clear that a huge amount of work went into making the DVD right from the start; unlike some it wasn't cobbled together after the event but was compiled throughout filming. And of course the people behind the scenes are the ones who brought the film to life and really deserve this chance to be appreciated. By the way, if you select chapter 48 and then go down to the bottom right hand corner of the page that plays the fan club credits, there's a hidden trailer for the Two Towers.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cut of the Rings,
By A Customer
The extra's are massive and in depth. You'll be worn out if you watch them all in one go. Hehe. I do recommend this new version greatly if you felt let down by the first version or indeed loved it, because this is much better.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [DVD]  by Peter Jackson (DVD - 2002)