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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King [SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [2003]

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    97% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (171 out of 177)

    Special Features

    • Disc 1 - Blu-Ray:
    • Theatrical trailers, Special Extended DVD Edition Preview And The Lord Of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest Game Trailer [In High Definition]
    • Disc 2 - DVD:
    • 3 remarkable documentaries, including Nation Geographic's - The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
    • Featurette gallery spotlighting the breakthrough effects work and character detail that contributed to the trilogy's conclusion as a cinematic triumph
    • TV spots


    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    Cast & Crew

    • Elijah Wood
      Elijah Wood - Frodo Baggins
    • Ian McKellen
      Ian McKellen - Gandalf
    • Viggo Mortensen
      Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn
    • Sean Astin
      Sean Astin - Samwise Gamgee
    • Orlando Bloom
      Orlando Bloom - Legolas

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 177 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

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    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Movie Fit for a King!


      The Return of the King clearly deserves all of its accolades. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, and, again, the actors have performed a magnificent job in finishing up this epic trilogy. Special attention must also be given to the DVD extras, in which scholars, most notably Viggo Mortensen and leading Tolkien expert Tom Shippey, feed our hunger for knowledge with a royal banquet of fresh insights and piping hot information on the story! To return to the story, there is particular significance to the title itself, which refers to not only Aragorn's new job working for the government of Gondor, but also for the return of the position of its King - as opposed to Steward. Elijah Wood shows Frodo's passion for the Ring as we watch his mind be slowly taken over by its power, just as a drug addict succumbs to the power of mind-altering chemicals. One of the most painful things to see on film is a handsome man being broken to bits, and I felt like weeping towards the end, as Frodo can barely stand under the weight of the Ring. Later, once the Ring is destroyed, Frodo does get rescued, and we may want to give good Doctor Aragorn three cheers for successfully treating him! As I have mentioned before, each and every one of the actors is spectacular, but special accolades must be given to Sean Astin. The loyal and faithful servant Sam, who desires nothing but beauty and goodness, forces himself to go to Mordor to make sure his master has that wretched Ring destroyed once and for all, and all the thanks he gets is for Frodo to sternly tell him to "go home." Nevertheless, it is Sam who takes the Ring for a brief part of the journey, and, without complaining, gives it back to Frodo. Sam is so repulsed by the Ring that he tells Frodo that he cannot carry the Ring, so he carries Frodo instead. One of the saddest moments in the film is when Sam, who believes he is about to die, confides to Frodo that if he ever were to get married, it would be to the beautiful Rosie, and as he describes her, while sitting on a rapidly shrinking island in the middle of molten hot lava, we almost see her dancing for a fleeting moment. I was also very pleased that Sam's and Rosie's joyous wedding, not Aragorn's and Arwen's, is shown, for Sam is, indeed, the true romantic of the whole Fellowship. Mortensen, Sir Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, and Bernard Hill continue to amaze us with their portrayals of Aragorn, Gandalf, Saruman, and Theoden. While I generally do not like deviations from Tolkien's text, I could not help but smile as Theoden, giving a pep talk to his troops, says "Spears will be shaken" and then promptly shakes all the spears! The most hallowed name in theatre is taken back to its raw and fierce military origins. In the commentary, Mortensen compares Theoden's people to "Beowulf on horseback." Hill helps to prove him completely correct! While it is impossible to let the shadow of discrepancy spoil our enjoyment of the film, out of respect for Tolkien and the actors, we also cannot merely overlook it. First, we see Eowyn lying on the couch that is her makeshift bed (because her uncle has put house guests in her room!) pouring out her soul to Aragorn (whom she hopes to impress?!) as she tells him of a disturbing dream of the land of Numenor she recently had. This dream does appear in the book, but it is dreamt by the sensitive Faramir, who tells it to Eowyn only because he loves her! Unlike Faramir, or even Tolkien himself, the practical Eowyn is incapable of having such fantasies, and has never even learned how. Secondly, there are numerous scenes in which Arwen wastes away as she pines for her beloved Aragorn. In the book, Arwen channels all of her energy into spending time with her family and embroidering a banner for him to carry into battle. She does not afford herself the luxury of self-pity! While we are on the subject of self-pity, Denethor's suicide must rank among one of the worst movie deaths ever. In the book, Gandalf valiantly tries to save the disturbed prince's life, or at least talk him into dying in battle, rather than by his own hand. Finally, with a flourish, Denethor burns himself to death by lying down on the fire that he has set for that purpose, his hands around a palantir (crystal ball). In the movie, Gandalf's horse kicks him onto the funeral pyre and, in a most undignified way, engulfed by flames, he storms out of the mausoleum and pitches himself over a high precipice! As in the previous movies, Aragorn's medical skills have been inadequately written into this one, although they are crucial to the development of the plot. When Denethor dies, Faramir himself is lying very close to death, both through the wound he has sustained in battle, and by an assassination attempt by his own suicidal father! The next time we see him, he is on his feet, bringing comfort and joy to Eowyn! In the book, Aragorn thoroughly examines and treats him, along with Eowyn and brave hobbit Merry. The book shows it is hard work for both doctor and patient! We do see Aragorn treating Eowyn, but only by the laying on of hands the mystical way Faramir heals Frodo in Two Towers. She is still even in her heavy mail shirt! In the following scene, Merry rides off into battle, although, in the book, he is under Aragorn's specific orders to stay in the hospital and socialize with his friends! We are also denied seeing the rich beauty of Faramir's and Eowyn's love slowly bloom like a delicate flower pushing itself through a harsh pavement. Why does Eowyn suddenly love Faramir instead of Aragorn? We are never really shown in the movie, although Tolkien, in the book, shows how, thorough his kindness and respect and fierce tenderness, he conquers her stern and stubborn nature once and for all to the point where she can hardly wait to be his princess forever! Just as I see the goodness of Faramir short-changed in the movie, we also see evil Saruman not being properly given his due. He dies prematurely in the film, whereas in the movie, after Gandalf takes away his power as a wizard, he still has the ability to perform wicked deeds and turns to developing the Shire (while living in Frodo's home!) until he is killed. We are also deprived of seeing more of Lee's magical acting in that pivotal role. Lastly, while many, myself included, disapprove of too many scenes with Arwen that are not in the book, it is, indeed, a pity that we do not get to hear her sing, as she does in both Fellowship and Return of the King. Arwen was based on Tolkien's wife Edith, who was known and loved for her spectacular singing voice. What a pity! Despite the many discrepancies in the plot and in the way characters are written, I still consider The Return of the King to be one of the greatest movies ever made! Indeed, when I see each movie, one right after the other, and treat the three as one, as I believe Jackson intended, I can honestly call The Lord of the Rings the best movie(s) I have seen in my life!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Good but strayed from book too much


      Whenever a book is adapted to film there will be some changes and omissions. Given that this series of books is perhaps the best ever, these changes were more noticable and less acceptable than they might otherwise have been. For the most part, the changes to the first 2 films weren't too bad and in some cases offered improvements (particularly to The 2 Towers where the movie was actually better than the book in my opinion). The third book, The Return of the King, is another matter. The theatrical version left out some of my favorite parts from the book altogether (such as the confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch King as well as the scene with the Mouth of Sauron) so I was disappointed with this version. The extended version includes these scenes, but for those of us who have the dialogue from those encounters memorized, there were dialogue changes which really ruined those scenes. Likewise for the scene between Eowyn and the Witch King in which the beautiful dialogue from the book was altered to make it less poetic and more hollywood. Setting the dialogue changes aside, the biggest and most disappointing change was that they only paid lip service to the Morgul Night (the artifical cloud of darkness which was supposed to cloud the skies over the battle of Minas Tirith). Seeing those scenes, essentially in daylight with Trolls, who turn to stone in daylight by the way, just running around completely ruined the entire siege of Minas Tirith to me. In the book the Morgul Night is essentially a character and is Sauron's 1 and only direct display of his power and you can tell the way the battle is going based on how strong or weak the cloak of darkness is but this was all but ignored in the film. Also, another problem is that in the movie they completely ruined the surprise and suspense of Aragorn's arrival at Minas Tirith by foreshadowing it the whole time which totally undercut the feeling of hopelessness about the outcome of the battle which the audience should have been feeling up until that time. Frankly, the cartoon version did a much better job in all of these areas than the movie so if you want to know what I'm complaining about without having to read the book, just check out the cartoon, sorry to say but it's way better. I think the movie could be fixed if Peter Jackson would address the problems I mentioned above in some later edition dvd release.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Instant CLASSIC. Best of the trilogy

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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      This movie is just awesome. From start to finish. By far my favorite film of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy but that's not short changing the first two films which are also awesome. This film wouldn't be as exciting if it wasn't for the first two films so DO NOT skip to this film first without watching Fellowship and Two Towers. This is the climax to one of the greatest Trilogies ever put on film and to watch them out of order would be cinema blasphemy and doing a real disservice to yourself. I know a lot of people complained that there were "too many endings" to this film but an epic of this scope needed closure on multiple levels and you'll get that. Too many times you're left wondering what happened to certain characters or wishing you could have seen a particular scene that is only alluded to by the filmmakers. You want get that here since every single loose end is tied up. This film won a best picture Oscar and there's a reason why. The effects on the creatures and the fight scenes are all top notch, the performances from every single actor is outstanding especially Viggo Mortensen and Elijah Wood. It's so rare for the third film in a trilogy to actually deliver in every aspect possible and this film completely does that. If you love action, adventure or sword & sorcery films then this is for you. If you love movies that feature monsters and creatures getting their butts handed to them by awesome human beings then this is definitely for you. There's everything from evil goblins, to giant spiders, to massive trolls and ghosts. The ending battle is one of the greatest fights ever put on film so if you're into action this is definitely for you. Can't recommend this enough to anyone who even just like movies in general. Great, great film.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      And the journey ends...

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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      When this film came out it was somewhat bitter sweet. I love the first two LOTR so I did not want it too end. Truly a great film that well deserved the awards and accolades it received. Like my review of the first two I won't go much into the actually plot and story since most people purchasing this movie have most likely already seen it by now. Another great job by Jackson who takes us on an emotional and action filled journey that brings us to the conclusion of one of the greatest film trilogies ever made. A lot of trilogies suffer from the third movie sometimes being pretty bad compared to the first two, but not with LOTR. Return of the King is one of the best part threes of any movie trilogy and even stands on its own as a great film as well. And of course the blu ray is spectacular with its superior sound and picture quality. And I also love the steelbook which I own all three movies in the blu ray steelbook. A must own for for fans of the books and fans of great film.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A Movie Experience to Remember

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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      If you've never seen any of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, then it is definitely recommended that you do so. The film is based off of J.R.R. Tolkien's books by the same names, and are wonderfully pieced together. Even if you're not someone who typically enjoys the fantasy genre, I would recommend you give this a fair try. This film is the end of the trilogy, and my goodness does it deliver. The emotion is captured in a way where you'll want to stop everything else and pay close attention. Even if you know what's going to happen, you still feel the emotion and terror of how close each protagonist comes to failing... but surely they succeed... right? Well, you'll just have to watch to find out.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One version to rule them all!!!


      The finale of a trilogy that sees the conclusion of the long road to Mordor and the destruction of the one ring. The Lord of the Rings trilogy ranks up there with the original Star Wars trilogy. Those who have read the books will no doubt notice some changes have been made (Aragorn had the reforged when he left Rivendell in the Fellowship of the ring, the scouring of the shire was missing from the movie, etc.), but adapting a book to the silver screen is a perilous endevour much like the road to Mordor to destroy the one ring. I think Peter Jackson did a great job, and I hope he will direct the prequel, The Hobbit, to round out Tolkien's masterpiece.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Second Best of Trilogy, Best Dvd Version


      This extended version dvd set of the third installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy is just outstanding, and the movie itself is pretty good too. It's a shame the sequels, although good, didn't live up to the magic of the first movie. Perfect box set here for fans, loaded with so many bonus features it may take half a lifetime to get through! This dvd version adds a bunch of must-see extra footage into the film, which was cut out theatrically for time reasons. But fans will love it!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Great end to a great trilogy


      I would say the first movie in the trilogy was actually the best, but this is close behind. The whole series was truly amazing to watch and it is what epics really should be. My only complaint is that Peter Jackson may be a little too infatuated with his own movies. This movie probably would have been a half hour shorter if they had taken out all of the slo-mo. This movie also had three or four endings and it seems to just keep going on. Overall, though, this is a great movie with great battle scenes and it's fun to watch.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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