I was not willing to buy this latest set of DVD's. I already own all the theatricals in two versions (fullscreen for making caps, widescreen for watching) and the EE's (the versions I typically watch for my own pleasure). However, jan-u-wine was kind enough to offer the new DVD's to me on loan. She sent them along and I watched all the extras last week.
If you want to see the extras that come with the new DVD's, my advice is to borrow or rent them rather than buy them. That is, unless you don't already own the films. But I suspect few of you don't already own at least one version of each film.
My first impression of the Costa Botes material was how *lacking* it seemed compared to the professionally prepared extras that came with the EE's. No voice overs, no nice titles, no soundtrack music. Just LotR home movies.
For the FotR extra material, there were quite a few sequences that already appear in EE DVD extras, which was rather disappointing (except that I went ahead and finally capped some of them, to be presented in future posts). Again, I'm very grateful to have been able to borrow these rather than buy them (thanks so much, jan-u-wine!).
I'm not saying the material is not interesting to a hard-core fan. It's just not worth buying entire new sets of movies one already owns to see it. The material that came with TTT and RotK was more interesting to me than FotR's, but I doubt I'll watch any of them again.
Below are some miscellaneous caps taken from the FotR "Limited Edition" extras. As usual, the caps have all been cropped and tweaked heavily for exposure, contrast, and focus.
~ The four hobbit actors rehearse a fight scene. I'm not sure but it looks like Weathertop, judging from the hooded actor in the background and the shape of the unfinished set.
I just love to see Frodo get to wield a sword, if only briefly, and even if dressed as Elijah Wood:
~ The actors chat while waiting to film a scene from Weathertop:
~ Two nice caps I hadn't seen before of Frodo pushing Sam into the dance:
~ A very clear close-up in profile as Frodo examines the Ring in the fireside scene in Bag End:
~ This screencap is just one from a tiny bit in the "behind-the-scenes" I found particularly charming. In it, Gandalf is thrusting the Ring into the fire and Frodo is approaching, saying, "What are you doing?" One could see from this angle that Sir Ian was up on a raised catwalk for the scene, making him taller.
What I found amusing and oddly endearing was the sight of Elijah (as Frodo) entering in costume, but wearing sneakers. I guess PJ had assured him that his prosthetic feet would not be necessary for this shot. Considering how long putting on the feet took each morning, he must have celebrated. But Frodo in sneakers is a sight I won't soon forget.
~ Last of the miscellaneous shots, this is an image that made me laugh: the Ring-wraiths all huddling dolefully under umbrellas. They don't look very fearsome. Although, as I recall, the Black Riders didn't like water, so I suppose it was all quite in character:
All other screencap entries listed here.