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"Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Special Extended Edition DVD

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Lord of the Rings Return of the King

"Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Special Extended Edition DVD

© 2004 New Line Home Entertainment.

The Bottom Line

Do you want to know the worst part of watching "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's" Special Extended Edition DVD? It makes you extremely sad the trilogy is over. The withdrawal pains flare up once more as the world of Middle Earth comes to life with 50 extra minutes of material sure to make you nostalgic for all things 'hobbit'.
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  • 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

If you're only willing to fork out the bucks to buy one DVD this year, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Special Extended Edition DVD is the DVD to purchase. Sure it's lengthy. And yes, you'll probably never make it through the 20 hours of bonus features. But Peter Jackson, New Line, and all the folks in front of the camera and behind the scenes of "Lord of the Rings" have created this Special Edition DVD with the most important thing in mind: the fans.

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!

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