The Lord Of The Rings [Blu-Ray] Peter Jackson

The Lord Of The Rings [Blu-Ray] Peter Jackson
With high definition televisions and Blu-Rays slowly becoming the norm, the time has come for some Holy Grail discs to be released. It's hard to imagine a series of films more suited to the hi-def format than Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and sweaty, geeky film fans can rejoice because the series is finally available on those shiny new discs. Sadly, this is not a balls-to-the-wall definitive release, but a stopgap to appease fans and shift units until an inevitable massive box set drops in time for the release of The Hobbit. There are certainly flaws with this Blu-Ray set, but it does offer the opportunity to see some of the grandest battle scenes ever filmed in high definition and that's pretty damn sweet. Time has been kind to The Lord Of The Rings series, which debuted in theatres almost a decade ago (I'll bet you feel old now). While the flaws are more visible and a few instances of dodgy CGI and less-than-stellar acting (mainly from Orlando Bloom) are more distracting than they were then, there is still a sense of scale and wonder to the movies that hasn't been matched since. These books should have been impossible to transfer to the screen, but Peter Jackson and his merry band of New Zealand filmmakers were able to put together a fantasy classic that still feels grander and more expansive than any other film (yes, including Avatar). The mix of scale models, actors, stunning locations and digital effects is still a wonder to behold, and while the last film ends at least five times too many, it's hard not to get lost in this epic Middle Earth adventure. Of course, you've seen the movies by now and already know if you want to own them or not. The real test of whether or not this box set is worth buying is the quality of the Blu-Ray presentation. Unfortunately it's a mixed bag. The first movie shows its age and New Line clearly didn't put much time or effort into restoring the video. And although it still looks better than any previous DVD release, the murky transfer is a disappointment. Fortunately the video transfers improve with each film and both The Two Towers and The Return Of The King look stunning in high definition. The sound mixes of all three films are guaranteed to rattle your walls, making this a technically impressive set overall. The extras are limited to those on the DVDs from the original releases and nothing more. The movies themselves are the theatrical editions and not the extended cuts (which truth be told, play much better if you're not an obsessive completist), so there's nothing new other than the high def transfers. There's no doubt about it: this may be the first time that The Lord Of The Rings has made it to Blu-Ray, but it won't be the last. There will be far more impressive box sets to come, so whether or not you want to pick this one up depends entirely on if you're willing to wait. (Alliance)