Just a couple of days ago (I need to get faster on this news thing), New Line announced the official release of the Lord of the Rings theatrical cuts on that new fangled format Blu-Ray, finally rendering obsolete the old DVD theatrical releases. They have scheduled it for purchase on April 6, 2010.
All the extras of the original DVD versions are here including the web-only featurettes and the movie trailers (which have been upgraded for HD presentation as well as the films). But there are also newly archived TV specials and more, including three discs of digital copies for upload on your computer or iPod and other portable video devices. That makes nine total discs included in the set.
Amazon has a great page outlining the extensive extras of this release, where you can already preorder it. Check it out here: The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Theatrical Editions) [Blu-ray]. It is worth pre-ordering early because Amazon will guarantee you the lowest price since you bought it and the official release date, as the price always fluctuates with sales
Still, there remains no word on single Blu-ray releases of the films, and even more anticipated on Blu-Ray, the longer director’s cuts. Those are bound to make it on Blu-Ray sometime after this release but not likely with all the extras here, which is what happened with the DVD sets.
Having read the books years ago, I approached these films warily during their original theatrical release. I would never compare a film experience to reading a book, but there are ways to mess up the story in translation. That did not happen when Peter Jackson tackled this beloved trilogy. He successfully captured the atmosphere of Middle Earth, taking his time to allow the films to unfold in their drawn-out drama and action sequences. This made for rewarding repeat viewings. Therefore, I personally would not mind buying these movies again in the enhanced format, even if the longer cuts will come out down the road later. I’ve already been screwed, as I own all the theatrical cuts, directors’ cuts, and limited edition reissues on DVD.
(Copyright 2009 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)