This expansive 4-disc DVD set takes viewers further into "The Fellowship of the Ring".< read all 8 reviews
What did impress me, though, was Tolkien's complete universe of Middle Earth, with its different languages, cultures, history, literature and mythology. This is a collossal feat of imagination and erudition, and to my mind far outstrips the value of the stories which, as I said, I found for the most part pretty dull.
Having wathced the extended edition DVD has opened my eyes to Peter Jackson's equivalent achievement - not through a re-watching of the film (although the additional half-hour is a marked improvment), but by watching the two "appendix" discs dealing with the making of the movie. To say Jackson and his team (especially the Weta Workshop) have an loving eye for detail is to massively understate the efforts they went to to visualise Tolkien's middle earth. No detail was spared, and the pity is that (rather like the books) much of the effort, skill, wit and invention will go totally unnoticed by the cinema-going public: the metalwork and engraving on the elven swords, the cultural motifs embedded into the design of the various creatures' weapons, the architecture of the various cities, even the fact that one poor soul at Weta spent three years and 12 miles of plastic pipe handmaking chain-mail just so the dwarves' and hobbits' armour looked convincing.
Utterly amazing, and it gives me a new-found respect for the films - this is a labour of love as opposed to a reinterpretation, and on that level it is an overwhelming triumph.
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