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"Finally I can own Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers without having to buy that stupid Return of the King....!"
Warner / 683 Minutes (total) / 2001-2003 / Rated PG-13 / Street Date: August 28, 2012
The Hobbit's theatrical release is imminent, so it makes perfect sense that Warner wants to milk as much from their Tolkien franchises as possible, which explains these high-def re-releases. Basically, the one idea this entire affair considers is that a viewer would choose to own one or two of these Lord of the Rings movies, but not all three (which by all fanboy codes of ethic is heresy).
So you don't get the heavy, map-embossed packaging that last year's megaset offered, but all the disc-specific material is preserved just as it was then: it's still a drag that the vast bulk of the filmed bonuses are in standard-def, but aside from that and some color correction issues that still divide responses from some home theater purists, it's hard to harp on these sets in any major way.
I doubt synopses are necessary at this point - ring shows up, ring goes home, adventure abounds. That's the drill. The question with these BD sets - with their box art that mirrors the re-released standard-def editions of the movies - is whether they're worth the price of admission or not. As new releases, they might sport alluring list prices - definitely worth a consideration for consumers unwilling to fork over the hundred bucks for the full box set - but as editions, they're mirrors of their predecessors.
In short, if you want the fancy Trilogy box art, go ahead and pay for it. If it's just the Extended Edition LOTR movies that you want on your shelf, these three bad boys seal the deal just fine. Here's hoping the three new Hobbit movies are good enough to merit a station at their side in five years' time.