32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2011
As probably many of you have seen, there appears to be an entire faction of people who are obsessed with discrediting this item because it is not the extended editions of the films. People have said that a blu-ray version of the theatrical editions is pointless, that the kind of people who buy blu-ray will be the kind of people who will want the extended editions, and all sorts of other comments. While this may be true for some people, or even the majority of people, I am still happy this product exists.
Because I am the kind of person who loves movies, and who loves blu-ray. The quality upgrade is just beautiful and I happen to be a sucker for it. People who love blu-ray do not always have to be die-hard Lord of the Rings fans. I myself am a Lord of the Rings fan, and I adore the books and the characters and the films; the films I saw when they first came out, the films I saw in the cinema. I recently re-watched all three theatrical editions in a rather epic all-nighter at my university's student cinema, and I can honestly say that the three films, in one go like that, were pretty much as close as it is possible to get to perfection. So why would I want to ruin my experience by adding in deleted scenes and, the worst thing for me, having to get up half-way through to change the disc? I know it only seems like a small thing, but it rather shatters the fourth wall, doesn't it? Perhaps many of the people who are complaining about this item are currently having their dreams shattered by the revelation that the extended edition blu-ray will also suffer from multiple-disc-disorder as, even though the increased capacity of the blu-ray discs should have been enough to hold one film, they've split the films again to accomodate commentaries. I personally don't want my viewing experience ruined by being rather forcibly reminded half-way through a movie that I'm in my living room, rather than Middle Earth, and so it's natural that I prefer the theatrical originals over their extended editions.
I currently own the theatrical trilogy on VHS (kickin' it old school!) and wanted to upgrade, ideally to blu-ray. This set is really good value and above all has each film on one disc only and I for one am very glad that they're releasing both theatrical and extended blu-ray boxsets. So if you're the kind of person who loved the films you saw in the cinema, and love the quality of blu-ray, but don't necessarily feel the need to watch every event in the books, buy this and don't let the rating bother you. If you're the kind of person who loves the extended editions, buy the blu-ray of that and stop complaining. Unless you really do think the theatrical editions are a waste of time, in which case you'll be contacting the Academy to tell them they should take back the 4 Oscars they gave to Fellowship of the Ring and the further 11 they dished out to Return of the King.
78 of 89 people found the following review helpful
The first thing to note is the huge wave of negative reviews against this product which in my view is COMPLETELY unjustified. In the Product information it Clearly states that this box set is the Theatrical version of the films (so what you saw at the cinema) and not the extended edition... so there should be no reason why people should then complain about this product knowing exactly what it is at point of sale. This is the 6 disk box set with 3 blu-ray disks having the movies on them, The other 3 disks are special features and behind the scenes disks which are in DVD format not blu-ray.
At this point i will say very simply that the quality of the movies are second to none, glorious 1080p and on a big screen you WILL be blown away. Some people have said there is a green shade on the films or it's grainy in parts or the audio isn't consistent, well honestly i don't know what they are talking about as everything I've seen and heard is spot on. ALL Three films are perfect so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
The thing i do have to say about blu-ray is because it's better than DVD you are constantly trying to find those parts that look stunning compared to their DVD counterpart i.e. the battle scene in helms deep for example. However because everything is stunning and spot on you don't find any parts that are better than others...EVERYTHING LOOKS AND SOUNDS FANTASTIC!!!
The box-set comes as pictured in the cardboard outer sleeve which is pretty standard and nothing special although it does keep the three cases inside from getting damaged.
PROS: VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING, you can't complain about the price or the quality, Audio and Cinematic are as good as they get.
CONS: The movies are in Blu-ray which is the most important part yet the three special features disks are standard DVDs (at least the movies are blu-ray)
VERDICT: For any Lord of the Rings fan this is a must, YES there is an extended version but that is well over three times the price of this box set and the quality of movies are no different only the extra scene here or there, don't forget that the extended box set features two disks per movie so you have to switch disks half way through (which to me is actually a big deal) where as with this box-set each movie is on 1 disk.
So unless you specifically want the extended edition i would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you buy this box-set as you won't regret it, on a side note it came well packaged and delivery was quick!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2012
I LOVE The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
All The Films Look Great (But Fellowship Could have Looked Much Better) 7/10
The Sound is AMAZING 10/10
The Special Features 5/10
As A Lord of the Rings fan I Had To Own Both Cuts Of The Trilogy On Blu-ray
and for me this set is very good
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2011
This theatrical version is now 5 times cheaper than the extended edition, you get the trilogy as it was shown in theaters to view at your leisure on Blu-ray, that's excellent value, and thus the 5 stars.
44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2011
We all knew that the Extended Version was coming.
That's why we waited. And watched. And bided our timeses. Gollum.
And then came the Extended Version - and all our hopes and dreams are... well... dashed. Because the Extended Version is split on 2 discs per film. Blu-ray, with its much-vaunted capacity, and they still split the films!
So, we waited. And watched. And bided our timeses. And then we pounced and we bought... The Theatrical Versions for a quarter of the price.
59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2009
Yes, not putting the Extended Editions on is foul play, but how about the quality of what's being sold for under 30 quid here? Easiest to deal with is the sound, which is fantastic and just gets better from film to film. The battle scenes in ROTK are almost frightening with the power and depth of sound as the Witch King flies over the battle on his dragon, or as the Oliphaunts advance across the field. But all the way through the trilogy the 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is strident, detailed and superbly balanced. The use of surround is awe-inspiring in its sense of immersion and precise localisation of sounds. And basses are truly bombastic, with scenes such as the opening of the Black Gate leaving your room physically shaking.
The video quality in ROTK is also absolutely excellent, with crisp images and superb depth and plasticity in close-ups. There is some use of soft-focus where I would have preferred reference sharpness (some of the long shots of Gondor), but this is the director's choice in how he shot it, seemingly, and not a transfer muck-up. Contrasts are also a bit extreme, with the aetherial brightness associated with the elves and their home occasionally causing some irritation, but, again, this seems to have been Jackson's choice.
"Fellowship" has been slammed by some for excessive Digital Noise Reduction and Edge Enhancement, although it is worth mentioning that one prominent BD website recanted after re-viewing the original film print! For me, there is some DNR, but it is not excessive, and will probably not be noticed by many viewers. DNR free would have been better, but what we have is still a BD with stacks of superbly resolved images showing depth and plasticity in close-ups and providing many a thrill on screens small and large. Moria, for example, is truly impressive.
"Two Towers" is a little better than "Fellowship" technically, but it employs so much soft focus that it does not impress that much more, and is not on the level of ROTK.
Having never bought these films before on any medium, I found the release price of forty quid fair enough. People who have already bought two box-sets may well want to wait for the Extended Editions, but the Theatricals are very enjoyable movies, and it is worth mentioning that ROTK in seamless branching would probably have had to sacrifice picture quality to fit both versions on a BD-50! That would have been a travesty.
In conclusion, the audio quality is truly Middle-Earth shattering, and the video quality starts good-very good and rises to excellent. If you don't know what DNR is and don't care, you will probably think "Fellowship" looks fantastic too! In numerous places it had me grinning from ear to ear at just how good it looked projected on a 3m wide screen!
The only truly negative thing is that the nice looking Blu-Ray cover of the box is a piece of card that has been glued on and hangs loose at the back! Were BD boxes not clearly smaller than DVD ones, I would suspect they were trying to use up unsold DVD merchandise! Or was I the only one to receive this shabby treatment?
That aside, highly recommended.
90 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2010
This version is ideal for those on a budget who are (a) not interested in all the extras (b) not interested in a (to them) tediously drawn out extended edition (not all fans of fantasy or film are die-hard Middle Earth fanatics, after all) or (c) worried that the studios will go bankrupt before the extended release is made available.
As another commentator said, it's not a rip-off, as the product is clearly and correctly advertised. In order to recoup their costs and provide financing for future films, it would make sense to release the plain, vanilla versions on Blu-ray first and the much more costly extended additions later, after they have maximised sales. Some people will get both additions, but that's their look-out. The studios, whilst relying on this, can't be blamed for people's impatience.
Another consideration is that the studios involved may be preparing additional content for the extended versions on Blu-ray to tie in with the release of The Hobbit. I'm sure everyone will agree it is better to wait than to possibly end up buying two versions of the extended edition in order to get any extra content.
Finally, has no-one noticed the financial crisis surrounding the film studios that have made these films? MGM went down the pan and has only just, in the nick of time, been bought out themselves. MGM produce The Hobbit and the James Bond films, both of which require huge capital to make.
In view of the vast sums lost through piracy and falling ticket sales, as all-things Apple and internet-related take-over, I really can't blame the studios for maximising the profit on those few vehicles that see a profit in the first place. Yes, there will always be fat-cats and money men, but on the flipside, art films, low budget/quirky films will never get made, new talent would not get found and new developments in film-making, such as computer animation and 3D would still be decades away.
In the West I think we expect everything given to us on a plate, with no thought for the work that goes into these films.
Buy the theatrical blu-ray if you're not a LotRs fanatic, don't want the extras and are happy to watch the shortened (and lest we forget, the original) versions. If you've read everything Tolkien and love all the extra stuff (like I do), wait for the extended release - that is, if the studios don't go down the pan in the meantime.
Finally, I wish Amazon would remove all the reviews that simple parrot what someone else has already said. If you can't be bothered to read the last 10 or so previous reviews, how do you expect other people to be bothered to read yours?
When considering which version to buy bear in mind:
(a) There is no Director's Cut. Other reviewers have stated that the Theatrical version is Jackson's prefered one
(b) It is often the case that extended releases, with extra material, follow on from standard releases and it is these extended ones that normally wring the last penny out of the product the studio are selling. They are not normally worth bothering with - the original being cut shorter, because it means a tighter, less flabby, more gripping story.
(c) The films don't lack anything in the theatrical version. Tolkien fans, having read the books, may appreciate the extra detail from the extended versions (that includes me - I believe these extended editions are among the few worth bothering with), but they are by no means essential to the basic plot.
(d) There is no definitive version. Films were released on DVD after being released on VHS, and are on Blu-Ray after DVD. Another reviewer has already pointed out that the next generation player, much more detailed than blu-ray, has already been developed and the advent of 3D will muddy the waters further. It is a media-style arms-race you will never keep up with. In technological terms settle for what you can afford and don't worry about what's around the corner. In terms of which version, get the one you fancy the most. Neither is better, they're just different.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2010
To introduce a note of controversy into this festival of righteous indignation...
I agree that it's a bit of a rip off not to offer blu-rays that could play either the normal or extended versions (a bit like the 'Close Encounters' release). However, as a blu-ray, LOTR and movie fan I have to say that while the extended versions are interesting and there's a couple of scenes that would have been nice in the theatrical release, the original cuts overall are FAR better than the extended versions - I've seen all of the extended versions and although they add quantity, the don't have the same pace or tension and many of the additions are quite boring or inconsequential. Oh look, another bloody elf! I love the original book too, but I thought Peter Jacksons original philosophy of trying to make a good film first and a faithful adaptation second was the right way to go - after all, it was the dogged attempt to reproduce every aspect of the book that made the early Harry Potter films so disapointing. They are different mediums.
So I'm very happy to have the theatrical releases and am absolutely STUNNED by the picture and sound quality - possibly the best blu-ray I have in my collection which includes Avatar and 2001, my previous bests. Helms Deep in particular is mind blowing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2012
A great box set at the current price. Negative reviews only stem from the fact that they released this one way before the Extended Edition. The Extended versions of the films are better crafted and closer to the directors and producers true vision of stories and it seemed very much like a money grab that this particular box came out way before.
The box set is great value for money and the quality of the image and sound is fantastic. It loses a star for not having the special features disc in HD, but once again at this price it's a bit of a nit pick. I however recommend the Extended Edition for they are better versions of the films and if you haven't seem them yet and you love these movies you really should watch them.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2011
Average rating of 2 are people serious??? when these films came out in this format at the cinema they were the best thing since sliced bread, awesome etc were the plaudits, so now because Mr Jackson has his special extra special how much can we get out of these geeks before they rumble us version, people are forgetting how good these original cinema release versions are!!!
You really don't need 96 hours of extra's do you?? do you really need the extra speech from Sauron?? or a few more steps in the woods etc?? nope you don't, your backside will be sore enough watching these without all that other stuff. Right if you really do need the extra's then yep the mega expensive version is the one for you but if you just want to enjoy the films the way you remember then (which let's be honest the normal amoungst us do) then these are the ones for you, all in hd with the wonderful surround sound to keep you interested, just enough to enjoy without getting all obsessed!!!