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To those who bought the Limited Edition Lord of the Rings DVDs...

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Having adapted to the endless re-releases of the Star Wars movies, I have made a policy of not buying a new edition of a movie I have unless some changes have been made to the movie itself (or if there's brand-spankin' new deleted scenes separate from the film). I know Peter Jackson once said that the Extended Editions were the final edits of the films, and he seems more likely to keep his promises than good ole George "Moneybags" Lucas. For fans who keeps a hawk-eye out for changes and deleted scenes, could you tell me if the new releases are worth it? They didn't advertise them that way, but GL didn't advertise changes for the 2004 DVDs, either.
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The new releases (as far as I understand) are just the extended edition AND the theatrical edition on a ONE two sided DVD (I am assuming this would mean the quality is lower since the EE is on one side and the theatrical on the other. The initial release of the extended edition was on two dual layer discs, while with this release it seems the EE is squished onto one dual layer side of the DVD 18 with the theatrical on the other).

All the bonus feature are completely different from the original DVD release and the extended edition release.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Originally posted by: C3PX
The new releases (as far as I understand) are just the extended edition AND the theatrical edition on a ONE two sided DVD (I am assuming this would mean the quality is lower since the EE is on one side and the theatrical on the other.

I think the movie is branched seamless so the first part of the movie (ee and theatrical) is on side a and the second half is on side b. So I guess no quality loss concerning bitrate.
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That is the way I would have guess it to be. Someone told me it was EE on one side with the theatrical on the other. The seamless branching makes a lot more sense though. In this case the quality would be exactly the same as the extended edition, only a DVD 18 instead of two DVD 9s. Sorry for the misinformation.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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There are no changes to the films themselves. What you get is a feature-length on-set documentary about each installment on the second disk, and then the first disk is a double-sided one which contains both the theatrical cut and the extended cut of each film--the films are split with an intermission the same way the original extended editions were, with part 1 on side A and part 2 on side B, and the two versions are both it fit on the single disk via seamless branching. Bitrate wise, they are identical, and FOTR theatrical cut is even a better than the original 2001 version since compression technology is so much better now.

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Just wondering.. but does "Seamless branching" mean you do not need to take the disc out to play the rest of the film? like it was with LaserDisc.



Thanks for any info.
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No, seamless branching is where it has all the footage of the extended edition, and when the theatrical edition is selected it will seamlessly skip over the extended scenes.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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It's something like a playlist, I think
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The only issue is that with these new seamlessly branched DVD's, if you're a purist, you're not actually getting the theatrical versions. There were some FX changes made for the extended editions that they didn't bother to change for the theatrical. For instance, in Fellowship there's a car in the background of one shot in the field. For the extended, they took it out, and now it's gone if you watch the theatrical version on the seamless branching DVD's.

And there's something similar on Two Towers, some landscape changes that were not replaced. I believe this is accurate....
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"For instance, in Fellowship there's a car in the background of one shot in the field. For the extended, they took it out,"

That is ashame. Mistakes like that in movies are always fun. You know it is just a movie anyway, I really don't think the car took away from anybodies enjoyment of the movie, if they even managed to see it in the first place. Well, at least they didn't go the Lucas way and magnify the the car twenty times so you couldn't help but notice it (like the stormtrooper hitting his head had an exagerated sound effect placed for the special editions. Making what was once something cool to look for, something annoyingly silly.)

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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are you sure they just used branching for these DVD's?

im pretty sure the entire opening to the fellowship of the ring was extended but not in a way that you could branch. for those who have seen the two you know what im talking about.

the theatrical starts with frodo reading against a tree... as time goes on we finally meet bilbo who's writing his book and describing hobbits..

the EE starts with bilbo writing his book and describing hobbits and then after that is all done frodo is reading against a tree...

again for those who have seen the two, you know exactly what i mean.
i just would find that hard to do by branching.
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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Yeah, I know what you are talking about. They could easily just put both versions of the opening and branch it to the rest of the movie.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Originally posted by: C3PX
Yeah, I know what you are talking about. They could easily just put both versions of the opening and branch it to the rest of the movie.


Yup. Sometimes scenes are not just extended or not included in the theatrical cut but instead are re-edited--in this case, to preserve the editing of the theatrical cut, two entire versions of the scenes are included, even if the difference between them is only one or two shots, and then branched. I imagine that the whole ten minute opening scene of FOTR is two seperate branching files, even if much of the scene is common between the two versions. Even more drastic use of branching than this has been put to use before, the best example i can think of being David Fincher's extended semi-directors-cut of Alien 3, which keeps almost all of the material of the theatrical version but reworks and re-edits much of it instead of merely inserting additional scenes, as is the case, for example, for the branching Aliens directors cut.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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gotcha!
im hoping to pick these up myself once they go down enough in price.

you cant beat that artwork!
plus the more documentaries on lord of the rings the better.

funny how i dont feel bad buying a movie i already have 2 other times.
wish i could say the same for star wars.
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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Man, I've had the EE boxset over a year now and still haven't managed time to sit and watch them.
Are they any good? Or is it just a few extra scenes?
It's just that they're all sooo long. Is it worth it?

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They are definitely very good, and well worth the money. If watching them tires you out, do what I do: watch one disc every day. This will take six days, but you are only watching a two hour movie a night. It's a very cool way to do it. I've seen the theatrical versions twice and the extended versions twice. I have to say that the extended versions are indeed better.
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I have seen bits of each extended version, but I have never sat down to watch them straight through. Just don't have the attention span for it. I have actually though about splitting all the movies up into pretty much equal segments, doing some minor re-editing to make them match the pace and order and tension of the book a little more closely, slapping an opening on each one and end credits and making it into a Lord of the Rings TV series. I figured forty minute episode would be more suited for my personal viewing style. And I think there would be a certian charm to it.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Originally posted by: HotRod
Man, I've had the EE boxset over a year now and still haven't managed time to sit and watch them.
Are they any good? Or is it just a few extra scenes?
It's just that they're all sooo long. Is it worth it?

Some scenes really add something to the story. Like how the guy (forgot his name) in the beginning of fellowship gets killed when he uses the ring. In the theatrical you just see him in the river with arrows in his back. In the extended edition you also see what actually happened.

Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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The EE are a mixed blessing. Some scenes really add a lot to the films, while others you get the impression that there was a reason why they were left out in the first place. You have to remember these are not for the average viewer--the theatrical cuts remain the definitive versions of the films and Jacksons own preferred directors cuts--the extended editions are for those who want more, who are willing to delve into a longer and richer world. Overall, the full extra-long versions are very engrossing, although to do TTT and ROTK in one sittting can test the limits of one's patience, running nearly four hours each--the longer and more uneven pacing doesn't help when you are at the 3 1/2 hour mark.
Some have recommended splitting it into a mini-series--each film has an intermission, and the edit is constructed the way an intermission should, with a key dramatic point and the seminal story change occuring at the point of break. Thus, each half is satisfactory and has its own arc. Watching the films as six 90-120 minute segments rather than three 220-280 minute segments may be preferrable to some.

The EE-only big box sets are also great for their plentiful extras, pretty much the most extensive series of special editions ever made.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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i think there are a couple of scenes that Jackson shouldn't have taken out of the films in particular though.

one of my favorite being the exchange between Boromir and his father concerning the ring as well as Boromir's brother Faramir.
it showed Boromir in a much different light and made him seem like less of an ass. Plus it sheds a bit more light on Faramir and explains why he does what he does to Frodo.

of course you have to see it for yourself. but its such a shame that it wasnt included on the theatrical.
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."