It is only a couple of days until Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives in 4K Ultra HD. Featuring a brand-new transfer from the original 35 mm film, the release has already begun garnering positive reviews. The Digital Bits has reported about the process used.
- The original camera negative was scanned by Park Road Post (a New Zealand post facility owned by WingNut Films) in 4K.
- VFX film-out elements have been scanned in 4K.
- Some digital VFX shots that were originally done in 2K have been upsampled to create a new 4K digital intermediate at the proper 2.39:1 aspect ratio.
- Completely re-graded film color from the ground up, which includes new grading for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
- The complete process was personally supervised and approved by director Peter Jackson.
- Original audio has been remastered in Dolby Atmos.
- The Digital Bits: “From an image standpoint, the result is nothing short of remarkable. The new 4K image is an order of magnitude better. It’s spectacular.“
- Blu-Ray.com: “Although it’s missing all the previous extras, this is, for now, the best way to watch these films at home. Highly Recommended!“
- AVS Forum: “The LOTR are visually compelling films that strive to recreate the look and feel of Peter Jackson’s vision. They generally looked excellent in 1080p but, these Ultra HD renderings are simply something to behold. Each is beautifully crafted both in narrative, and scope.“
- arsTechnica: “The richness of their pixel density is so intense that I might actually watch this entire trilogy, slow and padded as it is, just to get the most out of my home theater investment. It’s that pretty.“
This release is missing the original bonus material from the previous releases, however. Warner Bros. is expected to release another version of this set later in 2021 with the extras. It will include both the theatrical and extended versions.