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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Extended Edition

New Line's four-disc Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Special Extended is the equal of its predecessor Fellowship's box set, in both depth of supplements and in quality of the film itself. The film follows Frodo (Elijah Wood), Sam (Sean Astin), and the rest of the gang on their continuing adventure as they try to stop the evil Sauron from gaining control of middle Earth. This one features more action than the last, and now in the extended cut has some additional character elements that make it obvious why people will sit patiently through Elves, Hobbits, and other things that one would be beaten to a pulp over in middle school, if one admitted an appreciation for it. The film is spread over the first two discs and is presented in exceptional anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) in Dolby Digital EX 5.1, 2.0 surround and DTS 6.1 ES audio. On these discs are four commentary tracks, with the director and writers, the design team, the production/post-production team, and the cast. On discs Three and Four, there's over six hours of "making-of" material, and there are helpful branching indexes to access everything. The many featurettes include such titles as "J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth," "From Book to Script: Finding the Story," "Designing Middle-Earth," "Weta Workshop" "The Taming of Sm»agol," "Andy Serkis Animation Reference," "Gollum Stand-in," "New Zealand as Middle-Earth," "Warriors of the Third Age," "Cameras in Middle-Earth," "Big-atures," "WETA Digital," "Refining the Story," "Music for Middle-Earth" "The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth," "Sound Demonstration for Helm's Deep," "The Battle for Helm's Deep is Over…," production stills and art galleries (some with optional commentary), and an Interactive Middle-earth Atlas. Four-DVD digipak in paperboard slipcase.

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