So the CGI is technically upscaled 2K (scanned from film though), and everything else is true 4K. It’s a very thorough remaster, from what I’ve read.
I realize this is quite subjective, but how well do you think the effects hold up?
You’re just looking at the HD version and not the 4k, but I’ve read a lot of people expressing concerns about how effects heavy shots would age once the refreshed live action material was set alongside it.
From what I’ve seen so far (and I haven’t watched the full film yet – waiting on the 4K to do that), it looks very good. The CGI appears more detailed than previous Blu-ray releases. I wouldn’t be surprised if a good amount of the 2K CGI was re-composited onto the 4K scanned negative (not re-rendered in 4K or anything like that, but just re-composited in 4K). Can’t verify that though, of course. One of my go-to shots to judge CGI is the CGI helicopter shot at about 1:50:09, and in this release it looked very good. Also the troll sequence at 2:15:00 and the Balrog sequence at 2:25:00 look quite detailed. It’s still very much 2000s-era CGI, though. Nothing will change that. But it looks good!
But again, my opinions could change once I’m able to pixel-peep on a higher bitrate source. Right now I’ve only been able to look at the iTunes version on my LG OLED while sitting on my couch, and it initially looks quite good. But I’m much more interested in watching the actual 4K HDR version, or even a 1080p SDR Blu-ray (if that releases, which hopefully it will). I’m afraid these first impressions I’ve been giving are a bit premature.