Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings Extended
New Line Home
Reviewed by Dennis Kwiatkowski
this year, a DVD of Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring was released. That package featured the film itself as well as a second disc of supplementals—behind
the scenes material and a number of featurettes. Now a new, special edition 4-disc
DVD with an extended version of the film has been issued as well.
this extraordinary new set, let it be said that one of the major complaints voiced about modern day cinema is that films today
are made primarily for an adolescent mentality. That being so, once in a while
a Hollywood film comes along which gives the viewer a bit more—reminding the viewer of not only the power of film, but
of what can be accomplished through the application of vision, integrity and teamwork.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring is such a picture, and it is only
the first in a trilogy of films. Based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s popular and
influential literary trilogy, director Peter Jackson’s film of the first novel was of such quality that many people
believed it should have actually won the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards earlier this year.
The new special-edition
DVD set of The Fellowship of the Ring features an unheard of four discs! The film itself is contained on the first two DVDs in a spectacular transfer and, for this set, director
Jackson has put back into the story thirty minutes of footage that was cut before the film’s theatrical
regards this extended cut as not a definitive version, but as a most worthy alternate version of the film. And that it is. The additional footage is extraordinary—detailing
the lives of the hobbits and providing key scenes that flesh out or add to the dramatic weight of the source material.
edition also features new music composed by Howard Shore for the newly-inserted sequences—music that is up to the high standard of
Shore’s masterful film score. Also included is a choice of four different
film commentaries featuring the director and writers, the cast, and the designers of the film.
two discs in the set are devoted to documentaries and supplementary material. The
first of these discs contains two and a half hours worth of material on adapting the book into a screenplay; planning and
designing the film; executing storyboards and previsualization; as well as a staggering stills gallery of nearly 2000 images! The final disc features three-and-a-half more hours of documentary material on the
actual making of the film—the process of filming, working with the cast, special effects, editing, sound, behind the
scenes and the film’s actual premiere. One can even view the Council of Elrond scene from the various angles caught
by the cameras.
This is a
set you won’t want to try to view all at once, but a treasure to savor and return to again and again.
The new footage
that has been added to the film enhances its magnificence and power. Finishing
off the set is a most attractive packaging box and easy to follow menus as well as a couple surprise features if you know
how to locate them.
The new special
Extended Edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is absolutely
wonderful, and vies with the new Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones DVD as a candidate
for the best overall DVD ever!