With mere months to go until the first part of The Hobbit, Warner Brothers has released The Lord of the Rings: The Extended Version copies of each of the first three movies. Now, you can own The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King separately, with five discs each of the extended version of the films and a hobbit’s worth of special features.
The Fellowship of the Ring: In extended 1080p high definition, you get the whole film (228 minutes versus the 178 minutes theatrical), plus commentaries from the behind-the-scenes folks and the cast, plus three DVDs that include background on how the novel became a movie.
The Two Towers: The same format allows for the whole film (235 versus 179), plus behind-the-scenes (the Battle for Helm’s Deep is particularly amazing).
The Return of the King: Up 263 from 201, this is nearly four and a half hours of LOTR goodness, with documentaries covering each aspect of the films, and concluding with the final Costa Botes documentary about the behind-the-scenes information.
If you’ve never bought the complete Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition or if somehow (like a friend borrowed and didn’t return, your dog scratched them, etc.) you messed up one of the films, then this is a much cheaper way to replace what you’ve lost than re-purchasing the whole package. Warner Brothers has also included the ultraviolet download option good through August of 2014: you can stream and download the films to your computer or portable device, and take it with you on the go.
For a complete breakdown of the whole set, you can check out Mark Sommer’s article from 2011 here. It’s hard to miss the spiritual elements, specifically the Christian ones, that are laced through the translation of Peter Jackson’s interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatest work. Whether it’s the sacrifice of Sam and Frodo, the wise spirituality of Gandalf, or the transformation of Aragorn, there are parallels aplenty thanks to the masterful depictions. Sure, it’s a wildly entertaining, box office pleasing tale of wonderful action, romance, and drama, but it’s an Old World depiction of the Christian journey, much like C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, and shouldn’t be missed by anyone considering their own faith or questions about what their purpose is and where they fit in the greater picture.
While Jackson and Co. may be going back to the beginning and starting the story, it doesn’t matter that we already knows how it ends. We can see the way our lives will ultimately play out (eternity) but that doesn’t stop us from learning now through the journey, just like we’ll see a whole new aspect of the the Lord of the Rings thanks to our upcoming look at Frodo!