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Review: 'The Lord of the Rings' Trilogy Gets a Stellar 4K Upgrade

by Sam Cohen
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Dec 1, 2020
Review: 'The Lord of the Rings' Trilogy Gets a Stellar 4K Upgrade

You know the story already. The ultimate battle between good and evil is waged in "The Lord of the Rings," complete with wall-to-wall action that seems downright restrained by today's standards. Peter Jackson has returned to Middle Earth once again, but this time it was to restore his blockbuster trilogy to 4K, resulting in one of the most breathtaking 4K Blu-ray releases of all time. This amazing fantasy saga looks better than ever, and even though there aren't any new special features for fans to dig into, this new trilogy collection should be picked up immediately.

Peter Jackson and Weta Digital scanned all three classic films from the original camera negatives, which becomes immediately apparent the moment you watch this new trilogy collection. Every shot holds a natural, textural layer of film grain, and none of the visuals look washed out by digital remastering tools. Even the heavy green tint inherent in the Blu-ray release of the extended editions is gone. What remains is the truest presentation of the films since they first premiered in theaters.

What is there to say about "The Lord of the Rings" that hasn't been said already? The entire series is a triumph in visual and narrative storytelling, deftly combining state-of-the-art practical and digital special effects that fully transport the viewer to an entirely new universe. Its morals feel downright refreshing in an age of superhero movies that are seemingly engineered by a boardroom. The simple premise of defeating the ultimate evil serves as a launching pad for a slew of other stories that seek to expand upon Middle Earth. Again, it's refreshing to watch a detailed cinematic universe that trades in rich visuals and even richer storytelling, not a constant stakes-raising barrage of CGI-doused set pieces.

Both the theatrical and extended cuts of all three films are included in this deluxe set, with the extended cuts given two separate 4K discs to maximize the bitrate. The result is nothing short of breathtaking, and should be a must-own release for fans and newcomers alike. Welcome back, Middle Earth. It's nice to see you again.


"The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy" is available now on 4K Blu-ray and digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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