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The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring - Special Extended Edition Review

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Passed to him by his uncle Bilbo, young Hobbit Frodo Baggins becomes the unlikely and unwilling bearer of The One Ring of power, an instrument of unparalleled evil. And so Frodo, along with his three Hobbit chums, the wizard Gandalf and a swordsman named Aragorn embark on a middle-earth saving journey.

★★★★★

Peter Jackson adores DVD. He knew going in to his daring translation of Tolkien's fantasy that it wouldn't stop at the cinema. The idea of a finished film can be fluid: scenes excised for valid reasons can be reinstated for home consumption. So, for DVD, not a 'director's cut' replacing the theatrical version, but an alternative extended edit.

Put back into the film seamlessly, the extra half-hour of footage doesn't denigrate the original cut, but enhances it like an encore. The tone and story don't change; the journey is deepened, even if the momentum slows. Book-devotees especially will delight in the re-inclusion of Bilbo's voiceover on bucolic Hobbit culture, the extension of Aragorn's backstory, and the small additions on the other members of the Fellowship. If any section feels improved, it is Lothlorien with Cate Blanchett's Galadriel: here we get the famous gift-giving sequence which will prove significant, in the films to come, while the thematic weight of the Elvish decline grows more prominent. Nothing is lost and plenty is gained - this Special Extended Edition DVD is precious indeed.

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Nothing is lost and plenty is gained - this Special Extended Edition DVD is precious indeed.

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