People in costumes, celebrity guests, a line stretching around the block, a midnight launch... it's the newest Blizzard video game launch, right? Wrong. My friends this is the geekiest of geek films, the most anticipated set of all sets that has finally come to Blu-ray, and no I'm not talking about Star Wars. Those of you out there in the know are aware the The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition came out on Blu-ray at midnight last night, ushering in an entire new set of something you'll want on your shelf if you consider yourself a One True Nerd. I know I do.
Warner Home Video in conjunction with Best Buy had a launch event in Los Angeles that brought in John Noble, who played Denethor (and you'll probably recognize him from Fringe) and New Zealand-born Sala Baker, a stuntman whose first acting job was playing Sauron. Hopefully he won't go down the "Only appearing at a remote booth at Comic-Con" route of other unseen actors. I'm looking at you, Peter Mayhew. Still, being handed your purchase by the hand of Sauron is fairly cool. Although you'll just have to take his word for it that he was under there.
Both were on-hand to welcome buyers of the Blu-ray set (Best Buy has an exclusive set that comes with miniature figures), along with a costume contest judging remotely by Daniel Falconer and Richard Taylor from WETA, and a firework and laser light show. That's really going overboard for a Blu-ray release. Or is it? When the original LotR plain-jane trilogy premiered on Blu-ray last year, most fans said exactly the same thing: "I'll wait for the extended editions." Well, my fellow Ringlings, that wait is over.
We'll have a review for this massive set for you later, but here's a sneak peek: it's awesome. Although one caveat: the movies themselves are each spread across two Blu-ray discs. I'm grousing about this a tiny bit because Blu-ray was supposed to be this miracle disc that could hold four hundred billion gigabytes of data or something, but they're chopping up LotR? But take into consideration that the transfers are pretty much flawless and they are the extra-long editions, and it's possible to be somewhat forgiving.
It definitely didn't stop people from lining up hours before yesterday's event, complete with false bears and heavy robes like Gandalfwannabe above. That's some serious dedication to a franchise right there. It might have taken awhile, but it has finally arrived. And with the option to watch the extended or the normal versions, it already trumps George Lucas' lagging saga. You can pick up The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition Extra Long Name Set right now at Amazon for $69.99, or snag the Best Buy exclusive figurine edition for $99.99. You'll be glad that you did. Just don't sit down and watch them all back to back. You'll overdose.