Does this new 4K remaster really make that big of a difference? Is the image and sound really improved over the previous Blu-ray release? The answer to that is: HELL yes. However, if you don’t already have them, you’ll need to get a 4K display, a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, and a surround sound system that’s compatible with Dolby Atmos.
This release looks great, and if you haven’t been following the news (I missed it until a few weeks ago, myself), this is a new master of all 6 of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films. The films were originally mastered in 2K, which was normal at the time, but we can do better now, so they went through the original film, scanned them back in at 4K, and recolored the whole film to be more true to the intended theatrical experience. For what it’s worth, Peter Jackson oversaw the update, so this isn’t a movie studio going rogue.
The downside? These suckers are $90 per trilogy, which is a lot to ask for any set of movies. The hardware is a bit of a blocker for some too, while even I, who has a 4K TV, multiple products that output 4K to that 4K, but no way to play 4K Blu-rays.
On the plus side, these do also come with digital copies of each film as well, which are in 4K, but I can’t for the life of me find these on any of the big digital movie stores. If you know where I can buy the digital versions only, let me know on Twitter!
Just saying, these would be a great Christmas gift for the Lord of the Rings fan in your life this year. Who doesn’t like a good excuse to rewatch these films every once in a while?