Blu-ray Alert: First Lord of the Rings Review

The Digital Bits has given the Blu-ray transfers of The Lord of the Rings trilogy high marks but not the “C+” extras, which have been directly ported over from the original DVD releases.

The authoritative website awards the HD video of the theatrical cut of The Fellowship of the Rings 17.5 out of 20 and each of its sequels, 18.5, dubbing all three a “massive improvement” over the four-disc DVD sets.

“The a/v presentation quality is very, very good,” editor Bill Hunt writes. “The films are presented in full 1080p video (using the VC-1 codec), in the original 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio. To my eye, Fellowship isn’t quite as crisp and detailed looking as the other two films, though I suspect this is less a BD mastering issue and has more to do with the film’s actual post-production.

Fellowship was completed first, on a tighter budget, and I recall from the theatres that there were shots here and there that looked a little more digital than the rest. The transfer is still very good – fear not. It’s just that Two Towers and Return of the King are absolutely fantastic, with abundant detail and crisp, refined textures. Colour and contrast is outstanding on all three.”

Internationally, the trilogy is being released as a box set but here Roadshow Entertainment is offering each instalment separately, for $39.99.

They will come out on April 21, a week ahead of Avatar, which The Digital Bits reports will be presented on Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio rather than the 2.35:1 ratio of its theatrical release.

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