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The Lord of the Rings (1978) [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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Ralph Bakshi's animated version of the seminal fantasy trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein, made by overlaying animation on live action actors (a unique pre-computer graphics technique). Set in the fictional world of Middle Earth, The Lord of the Rings tells the epic story of Frodo, a Hobbit who must defeat the evil figure Sauron who holds the Ring of Power, which controls the fate of all Middle Earth. On the way he and his band of friends and cousins must do battle with Black Riders, a Balrog and various other animated perils.
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• Forging through the darkness
Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is a bold, colourful, ambitious failure. Severely truncated, this two-hour version tackles only about half the story, climaxing with the battle of Helm's Deep and leaving poor Frodo and Sam still stuck on the borders of Mordor with Gollum. Allegedly, the director ran out of money and was unable to complete the project. As far as the film does go, however, it is a generally successful attempt at rendering Tolkien's landscapes of the imagination. Bakshi's animation uses a blend of conventional drawing and rotoscoped (traced) animated movements from live-action footage. The latter is at least in part a money-saving device, but it does succeed in lending some depth and a sense of otherworldly menace to the Black Riders and hordes of Orcs: Frodo's encounter at the ford of Rivendell, for example, is one of the movie's best scenes thanks to this mixture of animation techniques. Backdrops are detailed and well-conceived, and all the main characters are strongly drawn. Among a good cast, John Hurt (Aragorn) and C3PO himself, Anthony Daniels (Legolas), provide sterling voice characterisation, while Peter Woodthorpe gives what is surely the definitive Gollum (he revived his portrayal a couple of years later for BBC Radio's exhaustive 13-hour dramatisation). The film's other outstanding virtue is avant-garde composer Leonard Rosenman's magnificent score in which chaotic musical fragments gradually coalesce to produce the triumphant march theme that closes the picture. None of which makes up for the incompleteness of the movie, nor the severe abridging of the story actually filmed. Add to that some oddities--such as intermittently referring to Saruman as "Aruman"--and the final verdict must be that this is a brave yet ultimately unsatisfying work, noteworthy as the first attempt at transferring Tolkien to the big screen but one whose virtues are overshadowed by incompleteness. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
There seems to be more whinging about this edition from people who haven't even purchased it than any other film. (only Bladerunner coming close !)
I even delayed buying this edition because of all the bad reviews, waiting for the extended version to go down to a sensible price.
Well the extended version trilogy still hasn't gone down to a sensible price and at less than a tenner for the shorter theatrical versions ( a mere 9 hours !) for 3 blu ray films and 3 extras DVDs I thought what the heck I can't go wrong!
I think the whingers have forgotten what brilliant films these are , they were good enough at the cinema and are still great to watch again and again. Of course I have the extended versions on DVD so can watch the 10 1/2 hours for all 3 if I want to, and to think I paid over £20 each for those, so didn't want to spend another £40+ for the blu ray copies.
From a technical point of view the Blu ray copies are better than the up scaled DVDs, but with less layer break glitches and the whole of each film on one disk ! Sound quality is significantly better but that's just my opinion and picture quality is superb, even on the Fellowship of the Ring. Maybe the techies should stop looking at the screen with a microscope and just sit back and enjoy.
Stop the moaning and remember if like me you were lucky enough to see the original LOTR trilogy in the cinema it was probably the best 3 movies you will ever have seen on the big screen . (with the exception of Bladerunner of course !! yes even the 1982 version!)
What other films of this magnificence can you get on Blu Ray for £3 per movie ?! BEST VFM so far this year, money well spent in my opinion.! Get them while you can at this ridiculous price.
The only set back is probably the two discs per movie, but this can be considered a positive if you don't have the time to watch the whole movie in one go, but if you are going to marathon it you'll find yourself getting up a few times to switch it over. Otherwise, amazing.
The hours of extended DVD playtime, as well as all the extras are very much worth the time/money.
I, personally, love being able to see the behind-the-scenes on films like this, and seeing everything that everyone put into the films just makes it all that much more special to me.
I sat and watched all of it over a long weekend, and I felt honoured to have been allowed to watch something that all these people so obviously enjoyed doing. It was quite a wrench realising that I wasn't a part of it, and I never can be!
Really worth your time.
OK these aren't the Director's Extended Cuts they are the cinema versions, and only come with a single disc of extras for each movie but for the price this set is superb value for money.
An undisputed five star essential purchase.
In my opinion, this Extended Edition DVD Box Set is also one of the best ever published for a film. Jackson and his team manage to give you a surprisingly honest look behind the scenes of one of the biggest movie productions of all time.
You won't find any glorification here as you so often do in other Behind the Scenes featurettes where everyon is just congratulating themselves and assuring what a great time they had.
Here, when they say, they had a great time, you actually believe them, even more, as the Behind the Scenes team also does not hesitate to show you the darker moments during the making of the films.
The films itself are presented here in the Extendet Editions and are a must-see for every Lord of the Rings fan. Not only do you get three fantastic films, but additionally to that, every film comes with at least 3 different audio commentaries (a writers one, an actors one and an art department one) who are very interesting and very entertaining to listen to at the same time.
This box set gives you not only three perfect films in (for DVD standart) perfect picture and sound quality, but also one of the best look at what it takes to make a movie.
When I first watched them ten years ago, they inspired me to become a filmmaker myself.
Go. Buy. It.