Studio Synopsis ~ The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin), led by the mysterious Gollum (Andy Serkis), continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest. The film, which won Academy Awards® in all 11 categories for which it was nominated, took wins for Best Picture, Director, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup, Adapted Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Original Song and Original Score.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 251 minutes
Number of Disks: 5
– Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Extended Edition: 50 extra minutes integrated into the film
– Commentary with Director & Writers
– Commentary with Design Team
– Commentary with Production & Post Production
– Costa Botes documentary: The Return of the King: Behind the Scenes (DVD)
– The Appendices, Part 5: The War of the Ring (DVD)
*Peter Jackson Intro
*J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth
*From Book to Script
*Designing and Building Middle-earth
*Home of the Horse Lords
*Middle-earth Atlas: Tracing the Journeys of the Fellowship: interactive map
*New Zealand as Middle-earth: interactive map with on-location footage
– The Appendices, Part 6: The Passing of an Age (DVD)
*Elijah Wood/Sean Astin/Billy Boyd/Dominic Monaghan intro
*Filming The Return of the King
*Post Production: Journey’s End
*The Passing of an Age
*Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for “Into the West”
Finally for fans of the magical and magnificent Middle Earth “The Lord of the Rings” series who can’t see their way clear of dropping major ducats for the robust “Lord Of The Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition Collection”, Warner Bros. has offered a layaway plan of sorts, presenting each film now as an individual 5-disc purchase. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Extended Edition” is the third; and last, of the three stellar solo releases and includes every indulgence and extra from the aforementioned ample trilogy collection.
With an abundance of content sure to envelope everyone – be they interested in the production process, costume design, cinematography, special effects, or even the Weta Workshop which was responsible for all the films props and set pieces – even the most discerning fan will have all their interests addressed. Commentary connoisseurs will feel like a hobbit in a hobby store as they discover a healthy offering of comment-worthy topics, with insights from director Peter Jackson himself, to coverage from the cast, writers, and the design and production teams.
Director Peter Jackson and his Co-Writers are remarkably eloquent and informative about everything from the problems with production to working with each other and the cast throughout their amazing journey. The production and design teams discuss everything from hang-ups to Hobbit feet, and the Weta Workshop, Artistic, and Conceptual Design Departments chime in for an overloading of all things creature and creative. The Video Effects Departments round out the revelations pixel by pixel to bring viewers a totally immersive experience.
Next up is “The Appendices, Parts 5 & 6”, which deal primarily with the same subject matter as seen in previous releases, but in a documentary-like format sure to please those viewers who love a more realistic look to their learning. J.R.R. Tolkien fans should absolutely love these appendices, because not only do these wonderful segments illustrate just what an astonishing imagination Tolkien possessed, but also gives an exhaustive timeline and context to his work, all done in such a way as to pay total respect and homage to a superb story engineer.
What do filmmakers and realtors have in common… location, location, location, and this release gives plenty of them. Everything from Jackson’s initial glimmerings of scouting locations and then throughout the tedious process of a walk-a-bout gone awry. These New Zealand treks are exhaustively informative and endlessly entertaining.
Nearing the end of the journey is something that every fan will enjoy completely, the “Costa Botes Documentary: The Return of the King: Behind the Scenes”. These fascinating looks into real life on the set gives a great grounding of what it means to be on location and in the middle of a hoard of hundreds. Witnessing brief run-ins with the cast in full costume to Jackson addressing his masses, nothing will bring you closer to the full experience of being on set as these incredible “home movies”.
So for the next best thing to being given a guided tour of Middle-Earth by Frodo himself, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Extended Edition” is the ultimate third; and last, step in indulgent content and fantastic features and, oh yeah… there’s a pretty good film in the case as well.
*Purchase this and other recently released titles locally at BEST BUY*
Central Cast: Elijah Wood | Sean Astin | Billy Boyd | Dominic Monaghan | Ian McKellen | Viggo Mortensen | Andy Serkis | Orlando Bloom | Liv Tyler | Hugo Weaving | John Rhys-Davies
Director: Peter Jackson
Central Writers: J.R.R. Tolkien | Fran Walsh
Theatrical Release: December 17, 2003
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: August 28, 2012
Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE