The Bottom Line
- If I could award it higher than 5 stars, I would
- The best DVD of 2004
- At 4+ hours, it's kind of hard to find time in one sitting to watch the whole thing
- Audio commentaries by Peter Jackson, the production team, and the "Return of the King" cast
- "From Book to Script Forging the Final Chapter" and "Designing Middle-Earth" Documentaries
- "Costume Design" and "Weta Workshop" Documentaries
- "J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth" and "Big-atures" Documentaries
- "Home of the Horse Lords" and "Cameras in Middle-Earth" Documentaries
- "Editorial: Completing the Trilogy" and "Weta Digital" Documentaries
- "The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth" and "Music for Middle-Earth" Documentaries
- "The End of All Things" and "The Passing of an Age" Documentaries
- "DFK6498" and "Strike Zone" Short Films... Plus much more.
- DVD RELEASE DATE: December 14, 2004, Rated PG-13, Running Time: 250 Minutes
Guide Review - "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Special Extended Edition DVD
I dread reading any reviews that include spoilers so this one is as spoiler-free as possible, with just a summary of the overall feel of the extended version. First, you can definitely tell which scenes have been added to this special edition. Many of the characters have their stories fleshed out, including the inclusion of the blossoming romance between Eowyn and Faramir. Christopher Lee's deleted scene is included in this version, as is an absolutely creepy bit with the Mouth of Sauron.
While the new/expanded scenes are extremely fun to watch, I have to agree with Jackson's decision to have not included them in the theatrical release. Jackson made all the right choices initially.
As far as the bonus features go, you'll wind up feeling like you've been on the set in New Zealand along with the cast and crew after sitting through even a few of the behind-the-scenes featurettes. This Special Extended Edition DVD contains so many goodies, you're going to have to remind yourself to turn off the DVD and get some sleep!