…Every screencap I’ve seen of a shot that is 100% for sure not a VFX/composite shot definitely looks like a true 4K scan to me.
I think people are really underestimating how many composites and VFX shots are in these movies, and it’s already been stated that such shots are either 4K scans of 2K film-out negatives, or upscales of the 2K DI.
This. 100% this. There are so many VFX shots in these films, even shots that you wouldn’t ever think are VFX shots. But for shots that aren’t VFX, they definitely look like true 4K to me.
Also, I don’t know how anybody can complain about the Fellowship 4K release. It’s literally the best the film has ever looked on an official home video release. No other previous release even comes close! Sure, it’s not as close to the original color grading as my color restoration is, but the colors are a thousand times more natural than the previous extended Blu-ray release.
I haven’t had a chance to watch The Two Towers or Return of the King yet, though. And those revisionist screencaps concern me (although, I’ll wait to give my opinion on them until after I’ve seen how widespread those color changes really are). But honestly, I don’t see a reason to be complaining about these two films either, even if they did change the look. Why? Because these two films on regular HD Blu-ray already looked exactly like the original release! They look amazing on just regular HD Blu-ray. The only film that looked horrendous was Fellowship of the Ring, and now it’s (mostly) fixed.
We have all three films accessible to us, officially, in a way that looks pretty great. That’s what matters for both the consumer and for film preservation.