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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition

New Line's four-disc Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Special Extended DVD Edition is worthy of its impressive (if unwieldy) title. This is a DVD set that will serve as the standard-bearer for special-edition DVDs for some time to come. But with all the razzle-dazzle, it would be easy to forget the real reason for all the hoopla — the new version of the film, as over a third of the movie's scenes have either been extended or are altogether new. What's more, it arguably is an even better movie now. The first two DVDs in New Line's big box hold the movie, presented in exceptional anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with state-of-the-art Dolby Digital EX 5.1 audio. There are four commentary tracks, with the director and writers, the design team, the production/post-production team, and the cast. As for bonus features, there's roughly six hours of material in all, and there are helpful branching maps included in the enclosed booklet. The many featurettes include such titles as "J.R. Tolkien: Creator of Middle-earth," "From Book to Script," "Designing Middle-earth," "Costume Design," "New Zealand as Middle-earth," "Fellowship of the Cast," "A Day in the Life of a Hobbit," "Editorial: Assembling an Epic," "Digital Grading," "The Road Goes Ever On," and lots more. Also here are animatics and storyboards, production stills, and an Interactive Middle-earth Atlas. Four-DVD digipak in paperboard slipcase.
—Dawn Taylor

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