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on 4 March 2008
I can't say I cared for these films. The basic premise was ridiculous - I've never seen a man wear a ring (let alone a ridiculous miniature version of a man) - and then it just gets worse from there, featuring all kinds of animals that don't exist. I haven't lived an especially long life, but I've never seen an orc, elf, dwarf or Bernard Hill, so I find it an affront to my dignity and intelligence to have to watch them endlessly paraded in front of me in my own home.

I'm the kind of gentleman who has to finish watching something once it started, and I'm disgusted that I lost 10 hours of my life to this far fetched, unrealistic trash.

Three stars.
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on 8 May 2008
Statistically, I suppose, there has to be one person in the world who would be the worst possible choice to direct a film based on Tolkien's books. But what were the odds that exactly this person would end up doing it? Peter Jackson's self-described "adaptation" of The Lord of the Rings is basically an example of fan-fiction, the genre in which professed fans of a particular writer carry on the story after the end of the book: for example, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett's life together after they got married. Why I describe Jackson's effort as "presumptuous" is because he decided it was OK to rewrite the original work itself, to "fix it up" in accordance with his own tasteless "aesthetic" and pop psychology. It's "mediocre" simply because, as film critic John Marriott said of George Lucas, the trouble with Peter Jackson is that "he can't write and he can't direct". His alterations are neither minor nor necessary: they grotesquely distort the arc of the story at every turn and render most of the leading characters unrecognisable. That's fine if the alternative is valid but it is far from that. Like Jolene, Jackson "took" LOTR "just because he could". (Anyone wanting a far more extended and insightful analysis of why these films are a grotesque travesty should check out David Bratman's wonderful essay in the book Tolkien on Film.)
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on 12 June 2009
This is a joke right? People who buy Blu Ray are not yet mainstream. We are movie fans who want to see the movie in its best possible light. By the same token that means we are the same people who will buy extended or collectors editions of movies, and LotR is one movie series where the extended version makes a tremendous difference. Every Blu Ray owener who wants this movie is going to want the extended version. Trying to sell us a blu ray theatrical version is a cheesy way to try and rip money from people and then release the extended. So they want what? that we buy the normal theatricalm, the extended theatrical, the thetrical blu ray and the extended blu ray? no thank you. Ill wait for the extended blu ray.
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on 22 August 2007
As soon as you receive your extended-edition box set from Amazon, I suggest you check that the second disc of Return of the King plays correctly. Mine is labelled "Part 2" but actually contains the German version of the Appendices Part 6 disc. I imagine someone messed up the duplication as others have reported this problem but so far not on Amazon.co.uk.

I hope this advice helps prevent the disbelief and disappointment that I have just experienced.

POSTSCRIPT: Both Amazon and the UK distributors responded quickly and courteously to solve this for me, so no complaints there.
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on 18 April 2009
Okay, I'm agreeing with everyone else.

What's the point of releasing only a standard version and not the extended?

Because about everyone already has the Standard version on DVD so they bring this out on Blu-ray which people will buy, only to be disappointed later when they release a extended Blu-ray version which will make people want to fork out more money.

I think the wait till a extended version on Blu-ray is worth it.
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on 20 July 2007
Follow in "The Lord of the Rings" creator's (J.R.R. Tolkien's) footsteps. Project a malevolent universe. Invent a world and animate it with creatures in conflict. Make the conflict a battle between good and evil, but don't identify clearly the moral value or purpose of either side. In fact, remove morality's essence altogether by eliminating the power of choice for your characters. Emphasize the corruptibility of men. Glamorize the supernatural. Dwell interminably on the preparations for and the wreaking of violence and destruction, on the fragility of hope and happiness. Name the scene of action: Middle-earth. Sound like an environment you'd care to envision? Would you "live" there? If so, fate alone will decide its survival and your own. You can visit this predetermined "paradise" by watching/enduring/suffering Peter Jackson's elaborately filmed adaptation of Tolkien's epic trilogy.

I hold it is true that what is not worth contemplating in life is not worth contemplating in art. For its dismaying lack of meaningful moral definition, its pervasive pictorial ugliness, the quantity of its scenes of mind-numbing graphic violence, and its minimizing of the value of happiness, "The Lord of the Rings" films ought to be shunned and damned.
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on 25 April 2009
Evil returns to Middle Earth in the shape of publisher greed. Avoid this at all costs and wait for the extended version. Only then will publishers get the message. One boycott to bind us all.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 3 March 2012
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!
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on 22 April 2010
I actually prefer the theatrical versions but not everyone is the same so i understand the frustations if you wanted the extended versions! Nobody likes to wait! Boycotting the reviews though is unfair on the people who do want to buy these versions and want to know what they're like.

All of you already know how good this trilogy is so i'm just goin give my opinion on the picture quality.

The Fellowship of The Ring:
I have to say i agree with what others have said about this one...it doesn't live up to it's potential! Althought it does have it's stand out moments! It's just keeping the consistantcy and you feel more of it looks standard definition than it does blu ray! But overall it is still better then the DVD version.

The Two Towers:
No disspointments for this one! Picture quality is pretty amazing through most of it! A lot of scenes really come to life which is what blu ray is all about!

The Return of the King:
This is one of the reasons why blu ray was made! It just looks outstanding certainly one of the best blu rays i have seen so far if not the best!

The audio for all three films btw is what you would expect from blu ray....superb!
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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.
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