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Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Peter Jackson and screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens Rating:8.0/10 (38 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by TommyT on February 10th, 2006:Find all reviews by TommyT
Once again, Jackson, Boyens & Walsh provide the most interesting track in the DVD set. Their insights into the production of the film are fascinating.
Reviewed by badge on July 4th, 2010:Find all reviews by badge
It doesn't really matter what anyone has to say on this track because the only memory of it that you'll walk away with is Richard Taylor's loud, robotic recitation (if he was speaking spontaneously and not reading from something, then it's even more scary) that punctuates the track like an alley cat joining in the libretto of an opera. For four and a half hours? I couldn't even get through the first.
Reviewed by badge on July 4th, 2010:Find all reviews by badge
Reviewed by Fate on July 29th, 2011:Find all reviews by Fate
See my review for these three under the Fellowship, since all the same points apply here and what follows.

They have the best track easily, possibly the only one worth listening to unless you have a thing for the other production stuff, which many of the info their is found in the documentaries that are on the disc.

As usual they talk about their reasoning for changing aspects of the book to film, and give insights to character actions and dialog choices they made in writing and directing the film. They also mention cameos through out the film and their were a lot of them. This of the three tracks they do is perhaps the most lighthearted of them all, I guess that is what huge success will do to you, this isn't really a bad thing for a one time listen however.

Their commentaries on the past two films I think are slightly better than this one, but for the most part, they don't change to much from movie to movie. Worth a listen for sure, they have a great time talking about the movie together and perhaps too good, I especially like the part when Peter shushes them, you'll have to listen to know why.

Overall they give a good track, enjoy.
Reviewed by Therealmrspock on February 24th, 2017:Find all reviews by Therealmrspock
It is interesting how Jackson, Boyens & Walsh have the energy to go on and talk for 4 hours for this film (not to mention the previous two films), and it works since they have a lot of information, without any pause in those long amounts of time. It is great to hear Jackson explain his concept and choices of directing to the viewers (he clearly remembers "one Sunday afternoon in 1997" when he was writing the script for the "Lord of the Rings" and had the vision of the final battle involving thousands of horses) or mention the details we might have missed (the blooming of a flower on the White Tree, for instance, which foreshadows hope during the siege).

He points out his silly cameo in the film (which Boyens and Walsh compare to the "Monty Python"), as well as a few plot holes in the storyline ("Why didn't Gandalf simply send his hawk to take the ring, fly off and throw it into the volcano?"). It is also noteworthy that his favorite moment of the entire triolgy is in this film, and you'll be surprised what it is. It is peculiar how chaotic the whole process was, though that is understandbale when people are making three films at once (among others, Sean Bean was suppose to fly off to England in 1999, and Jackson was unsure if he would need him once more or not, so he randomly filmmed another scene for this film, which he points out; Jackson filmmed some additional scenes for this film even after he was awaded the Oscar for it (!)...). Naturally, there is a neat conclusion from all three at the end of the commentary, and it is a worthy farewell to the saga. Fantastic commentary for a fantastic film. 9/10
Commentary 2: Design Team: Grant Major, Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah, Chris Hennah, Tania Rodge Rating:7.5/10 (12 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Commentary 3: Production/Post-Production Team: Barrie M. Osborne, Mark Ordesky, Jamie Selkirk, Annie Collins, Rick Porras, Howard Shore, Jim Rygiel, Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Christian Rivers, Alex Funke, Joe Letteri, Randy Cook, Brian Van't Hul Rating:7.1/10 (14 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by TK421 on February 7th, 2012:Find all reviews by TK421
The cast commentaries for the LOTR trilogy were all much of a muchness in terms of how each actor approached them, unfortunately during 12 hours of commentary it starts to grate a little. Especially with Billy Boyd & Dominic Monaghan, who I agree are amusing, but they have far too much time given to them to talk about anything but what's happening on screen.

When I listen to cast commentaries, I want to hear about their impressions, how they approached their characters or scenes etc, not a comedy act.

Although I find Sean Astin to be generally quite irritating and Elijah Wood barely tiresome to listen to, since he seems amazed by everything, at least they talk about the film more than the other hobbits.

Really the same problem I had with the Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers cast commentaries resurfaced as by far the most informative and interesting commentators are very underused, in this case Ian McKellen barely says a word.

I really missed the likes of Brad Dourif & Christopher Lee also, who have a little bit at the start in particular, but due mostly to the fact their roles are small in the film, rarely crop up.
Commentary 4: Actors Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, John Noble, Andy Serkis (in character as Smeagol and Gollum), Lawrence Makoare, Rating:7.3/10 (22 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Drood on January 3rd, 2005:Find all reviews by Drood
My favourite commentary on the previous two disks, for flat out entertainment, were the cast ones. Fantastic.

Which leaves me to ask "what the bloody hell happened?" with ROTK. The only saving graces, I feel, are the hobbit, especially Billy and Dom who are comedy gold, as always.

Andy Serkis is just annoying. The Smeagol/Gollum gimmick sounds good in theory, but starts grating quickly, even though it's rarely used.

I've made it through disk 1, and in the case of the previous movies, I immediately went to disk 2. I have yet to finish the track on ROTK. Maybe they've run out of stories. Maybe, having finally finished the trilogy, they've lost a little bit of interest. It's hard to tell what the problem is, but it's a poor commentary.

What's worse is the sheer number of people involved. As much as people loathed Liv Tyler in the movie, she only talks over Arwen's scenes. Rather than have the smaller players just pop up to talk over their scene, they should he devoted one track to, say, the main players. (The Fellowship, Theoden, Eowyn etc...) And, like the True Romance Special Edition, on one of the appendices, had the likes of Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving etc... just comment on their scenes.

Not the worst track I've ever heard, but a huge disappointment when compared to the prior two cast commentaries.
Reviewed by badge on December 7th, 2009:Find all reviews by badge
On the plus side, it's great to have so many participants stitched together on the audio track - the editing chore to sort out and synch over four hours of material from so many different sources is in itself an impressive achievement. The only dud note is the proportion of airtime given the cast - why the hell does some inarticulate mushmouth who plays an orc show up on this disc again and again instead of someone like John Rhys-Davies who doesn't get enough to say?
Reviewed by Therealmrspock on December 26th, 2018:Find all reviews by Therealmrspock
Very fun. Too many speakers, definitely, yet in the end, you actually think the movie is too short (!) for them all. Serkis is annoying when he speaks as Gollum, but luckily, he does it only six times. One actor says how he had to go to the dentist dressed as a Hobbit. Wood speaks of a conversation with the cinematographer ("Where is the source of the lighting?" - "The same where the music comes from"). Makoare speaks about his problem with the prosthetics (especially over his nose) and his confusion because he played two characters. Another actor points out that Sauron is some sort of a "fallen angel". 8/10