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- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Special Extended Edition) 
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Special Extended Edition) 
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 
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On Tuesday, August 29th, New Line Cinema is releasing The Lord of the Rings movies in 2-disc editions that feature both the theatrical and extended versions of each movie, along with a behind-the-scenes documentary for each that cannot be found on the other DVD's that have been released so far.
We have been provided with the cover art for each disc, which is actually quite striking, as well as some information about what is on each title:
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Theatrical and Extended Limited Edition)
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Theatrical and Extended Limited Edition)
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Theatrical and Extended Limited Edition)
We've found some additional related items, as well:
- A featurette that was presented at Comic-Con hosted by YouTube
- A sneak peak of one of the documentaries from the official web site
- See the creation of the fiery creature Balrog, one of many behind-the-scenes moments exclusively found on The Lord of the Rings Limited Edition DVDs. Stay through the end of the clip for an outtake from the film. (Amazon.com)
There are some hints that these editions won't be around forever, but there is no mention of a date when they would be taken off the market (a la Disney).
These releases beg the obvious question about getting fans to purchase yet another version of the same movies (read my concerns here). George Lucas has refined this to an art form with so many releases of the various Star Wars movie that they had better never call another release "The Definitive Collection" when everyone knows better.
To their credit, New Line has chosen to address some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns about these new releases, the possibility of high-definition versions being released, and why the documentaries couldn't have been released separately. Here is the text from the official web site:
WHEN IS THE LORD OF THE RINGS GOING TO BE RELEASED IN HIGH DEFINITION (EITHER HD-DVD OR BLU-RAY)?
The high definition formats that have recently launched offer exceptional picture and sound quality in addition to new interactive bonus feature capabilities. New Line Home Entertainment is committed to the high definition format and is very excited about the idea of releasing the Trilogy in the format. However, New Line is also committed to maximizing the capabilities of the technology to deliver a cutting edge high definition experience. This will take more time as well as the participation of the filmmakers to achieve. It is currently not scheduled for release until, at the earliest, 2008.
I ALREADY OWN BOTH VERSIONS OF EACH FILM. WHY DOESN'T NEW LINE JUST RELEASE THE DOCUMENTARIES?
Having unprecedented access to the cast and crew during film production inevitably means that there are some restrictions. In this case, releasing these documentaries unaccompanied by the film would be nearly impossible because of agreements that are in place with the cast and crew. We wanted to make the documentaries available while also giving the fans something they don't have, which is why we included both versions of the film on one disc.
HOW ARE THESE DOCUMENTARIES DIFFERENT FROM THE ONES ON THE SPECIAL EXTENDED DVD EDITIONS?
The in-depth documentaries on the Special Extended DVD Editions were custom made for the DVDs using new interviews from the cast and crew incorporated with the behind-the-scenes footage to tell the stories. The Costa Botes documentaries use only creatively edited behind-the-scenes footage to give you, the viewer, a feeling of "being there" in the moment while things are happening. There is no narrative to tell the story, but instead a constantly running series of clips that show the raw moments that make up the day-to-day progress on a large film production.
If you're interested in buying these DVD's, I'd appreciate it if you ordered them through Amazon.com using this link:
You save over 40% off list price, and The BigScreen Cinema Guide gets a small commission on each purchase. (Buying the titles separately is cheaper than buying them together in the box set.)
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