Is the LOTR Blu-Ray due sooner than we think?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Nick Laslett, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    I'm pretty conflicted about this announcement. While I would certainly love to add many of the films announced along with LOTR: FOTR, I get the feeling they are going to be offered exclusively through WB's Ultimate Collector's Edition label, which I detest.

    I hate being charged a premium for what I consider to be a bunch of useless junk (e.g. tins, reproduction lobby cards, 'toys', etc). I'd hate to see A-List catalog titles being made available only through this label, which evokes later day Laserdisc pricing in my mind. [​IMG]
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    As others have said: all I want from WB/New Line is to be transparent with their LoTR release plans. If they want to bring out the TEs and then the EEs, fine. If they're going with seamless branching at the expense of room for extras, fine. Just let us know in advance, like New Line did for the DVDs, and at least they will be giving consumers the knowledge and power of choice, which is really all I want.

    What I don't want is for them to remain mum and have us buy one or the other (TE or EE) thinking it's our only chance to own them, and then release the other version later on down the line.

    Of course, selfishly speaking, if they do that I hope it's the EEs [​IMG]
     
  3. Aragorn the Elfstone

    Aragorn the Elfstone Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't question that the theatrical cuts were "director's cuts". They made their way to the theater without any studio interference, and Jackson has said that he was happy with them. But he also had a certain opinion about how these movies would be enjoyed, as a complete story, at home.


    - Peter Jackson, "The Two Towers" Audio Commentary
     
  4. PattyFraser

    PattyFraser Second Unit

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    I want the EEs, too. But what I don't want is that a year later they release the EEs with the extra scenes we know were filmed. That would be a quadruple dip.
    Like Carlo says, I want them to be transparent with their release plans.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    You can absolutely guarantee that the EEs will come out on Blu-ray at some point (most likely in time for when The Hobbit is in theaters or on video) so if you're not interested in the theatrical cuts, you should just wait for the EEs.
     
  6. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves here? They haven't actually made any announcements yet. All they've done is include an insert in a BD saying that "we're expecting to release these titles sometime next year". That's it. We have a title. And, in the context of an insert highlighting a number of different titles, it would be unreasonable to expect anything else. Once they actually make the announcement, then if there are questions left you can talk about "lack of transparency". But surely it is too early to complain about that right now.
     
  7. PattyFraser

    PattyFraser Second Unit

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    Matthew, I wasn't complaining (tricky language, English). I'm just hoping that when they are ready to be released we are told, as we were with the standard dvds, much to New Line's credit, if there is to be a more substantial release later. Perhaps we LotR fans were spoiled with the theatrical release before, in that we were forewarned that another release was coming.
     
  8. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    FOTR is my favorite film, in either form--extended or theatrical. I feel it was a masterpiece in its original version, but I adore most of the EE scenes enough for that to be my preferred version. However, there are still bits and pieces here and there that I would omit--the redundant intro in Hobbiton, for one. The theatrical intro with Frodo is much better.

    For TTT, I prefer the longer cut, without question.

    For ROTK, I prefer the theatrical version. As some have said, the EE feels bloated, even if you're watching it at home and taking bathroom breaks, and some of the added scenes don't work very well--Gimli's descent into comic relief is just too pronounced. That said, some of the added scenes are still pretty cool, like Gandalf facing down the Witch King (even though that scene doesn't really have a payoff), and Saruman getting a proper exit.

    So I guess for me, the ideal versions of these films would be somewhere in between. They would include some, but not all, of the EE material. That's why I rather like Simon's suggestion that a feature be added allowing us to include the scenes we like and omit the ones we don't. I don't see that as a major infraction of artists' rights either. People at home can choose to see scenes from movies in whatever order they want, via scene selection, and this doesn't really bother anyone. (Well, anyone but David Lynch--but I think most of us agree that his no-chapter-stops requirement is a little extreme).

    Regarding the blu-ray release, I don't find that insert blurb all that exciting. We've known quite literally for years that these discs were being worked on. Bill Hunt's tip that all the films will come out in 2009 is heartening, but I'm not thrilled at the idea of having the releases spaced out. Let alone the question of whether the EE or TC versions will be made available at the same time. I hate to say it, but I think the likeliest scenario is also the most frustrating one for the fans--spaced out releases of the TCs first, followed by spaced-out releases of the EEs. Please prove me wrong, WB/New Line.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  9. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    That's how I feel too. For me it'd be more toward the EEs than theatrical.

    I also prefer the theatrical Hobbiton intro, and I prefer the way the music (and silence) is done when Boromir is shot, but with the added footage in the EE, I don't think there was a good way to keep it that way.

    Unfortunately, there are also some scenes added in that while they enhance the overall story, may have some cringe-worthy moments as well. I don't think there'd be a way to edit around that.
     
  10. PattyFraser

    PattyFraser Second Unit

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    It's interesting how much fans can differ in their views. For myself, I find the extended edition version of the Hobbiton intro to be one that more completely engages the viewer into the world of those innocent hobbits, and gives us a good reason that, for love of them, Frodo et. al continue on their arduous journey--for The Shire. Bilbo's disturbance when he thinks the ring is "gone" tells you early on that it causes its owner to be very obsessive. I know PJ et. al decided that that obsessiveness about the ring may be told too early, and therefore decided to omit it, but I do think they should have left in the swift scenes about the everyday lives of hobbits. We fans are all different in our viewpoints about that, as I have said.
     
  11. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I am not against the theatrical cuts being released, but I would prefer to own the EE versions of the LOTR trilogy on Bluray. IMHO both cuts should be released on Bluray instead of this becoming a double dipping thing with will not go over well with early apopters IMHO.

    What I wounder is LOTR still being offered in DTS-HD MA? [​IMG]

    And has there been any update regarding an actual release date yet?

    This title would be one of my favorite movies in my HD collection and I can not wait to own it for the 3rd time. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Michael Fennessy

    Michael Fennessy Stunt Coordinator

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    sadly, this will be the 4th time I will buy it and they could probably get me on the theatrical, extended, box set and then super spectacular hobbit/lotr box set. I am so Peter Jackson's Bitch.
     
  13. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    I apologise. I just felt that the whole thread seemed to be descending into criticising Warners for not being transparent at the moment with their plans, and I just wanted to make the point that it was too early for people to expect to have any information, and that the whole discussion was extremely speculative. In my rush to post, I used the word "complain" unwisely. I possibly should have said that it was too early to "discuss Warners' lack of transparency".
     
  14. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Theatricals for me. I don't really know if I would by the EE's.
     
  15. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    EE = Purchase
    Theatrical = Rent

    Now that I have watched the EE versions so many times, the old versions seem like they are missing something. Which of course they are. [​IMG]
    I was cat sitting for my parents at their house over the summer for a week and was bored. I found they had the dvds of TLOTR so I decided to watch them. At the time I didn't think about the fact that they are different. About half way through the fellowship, I kept thinking that the movie felt edited, or something. It took me a few minutes to remember that they only had the abridged versions. (theatrical).
     
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Count me in as well as someone who has mixed feelings between both cuts of these films (and would probably prefer a better 3rd-and-final-cut that takes the best of both worlds and iron out the various kinks).

    However, I'm not sure the suggestion to allow user reedit is a good one. I'd much rather that PJ simply make a better final cut instead.

    For me, if I had to choose between the two versions, I'd probably go w/ the original theatrical cut of RotF for more or less the same reasons already detailed. A lot of the stuff added to the EE version really are not necessary and often made things worse. In this case, IMHO, if you want *all* the details, go read the book (as usual). [​IMG] I really don't feel that the original theatrical cut missed much at all (though I did appreciate a few shots/scenes that were added). But even w/ the original cut, the ending already felt a bit dragged out though I have no idea how it could be resolved better w/out completely altering the book's ending.

    Maybe some of the stuff, especially in the new extended ending of the RotF: EE, should've been provided separately in similar vein to the "Appendix" sections of the book itself. Afterall, as much details as the book contained, it did not actually squeeze every last bit into the main body/narrative of the story itself, especially in the way it resolves the ending and all the different subplots.

    My feelings on FotR are a bit more mixed as I do feel much of the EE details that help flesh out the characterizations (and nature) of the Hobbits and the Fellowship members in the first half did make it a better film. IMHO, the original theatrical cut glosses over them, especially of the Hobbits, a bit too much -- but then asks us to be patient and sympathize w/ the (somewhat heavy-handed) melodrama in certain parts of the 2nd half. But OTOH, yeah, there were also some new flaws added to the EE as mentioned. Overall, I think I can overlook those new flaws in this case though I do wish for a slightly better cut instead.

    For the Two Towers, I generally prefer the EE version (though it too could probably use a bit of fine-tuning). I found the original cut to move along at too relentless of a IMHO break-neck pace (considering the context and nature of the whole, etc) and at a bit too much cost to the finer details of the story and various characters, especially since significant new characters were indeed being introduced.

    As for the buy/rent/pass decision, well, I guess I'll have to wait and see. I might not be able to resist either way... [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  17. Simon Young

    Simon Young Stunt Coordinator

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    At the risk of sounding awfully pedantic, films cannot be "abridged". They are not books. The theatrical cuts of the LOTR films are the official, Peter Jackson director's cuts. They represent his idea of the perfect filmed versions of these stories, or as close to perfect as possible with time and budgetary constraints. I'm sure his editors had a lot of input also - I'm an editor myself, so I respect the contribution of the editorial department. I'm sure Tolkien had an editor or two helping to shape his stories of Middle Earth. They are big books, but I bet they were even bigger to begin with. The point that I'm slowly and awkwardly trying to make is that bigger/longer isn't always better; in fact the opposite is quite often true. Just as books need pruning, so do films. Just because scenes have been cut during the editing process, the film is not abridged. If that were true, then every piece of art ever made should be described as abridged.

    And ironically, this rant probably could have been shorter (and more effective for it) but I can't be bothered to go back and change it. So there. [​IMG]
     
  18. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    All I know is the EE cut for the trilogy + DTS-HD MA along with a top notch 1080p video transfer = An automatic purchase in my book! [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    There's one thing that always bugged me about PJ's statement that the theatrical releases are his director's cut which never seems to get addressed. He was contractually obligated to release the films under a specified maximum length, and he negotiated for longer maximum times on the subsequent films after the success of FOTR. But he always released the films exactly at those maximum lengths.

    So were they really all "director's cuts" or were they pared down to meet contractual obligations? And did PJ make his statement about the theatrical releases vs. EEs as a PR move?

    Just a thought that has crossed my mind from time to time.
     
  20. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    As is often the case w/ such matters, I suspect the truth is somewhere in between -- and hence, PJ should probably just give us a 3rd-and-final-cut w/out the kinds of flaws in the EE (including the overbloating of the RotF:EE). [​IMG] [​IMG]

    _Man_
     

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