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Frozen (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

Frozen (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Lowest new price: $22.65
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Brand: Disney

Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

A sweet, magical film filled with great music, likable characters, and striking effects, Frozen is a fairy tale about overcoming obstacles and the power of true love. Princesses Anna and Elsa are sisters and the closest friends until one day Elsa discovers that she can no longer control her power to create ice and snow. Terrified for the safety of her sister and everyone around her, Elsa isolates herself and vows to never feel any sort of passionate emotion again in hopes of suppressing her powers. But when Elsa comes of age and is set to be crowned queen, she must open the gates of the palace and let in the public, not to mention her sister Anna. Things go horribly wrong and Anna pursues her sister into the mountains in an attempt to save Elsa and reverse the deep freeze that Elsa has inadvertently released on the kingdom of Arendelle. Along the way, Anna joins forces with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an ice seller with a strangely close relationship with his reindeer Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad), a goofy snowman whom she suddenly remembers from early childhood. In the end, Anna and Elsa discover that only by embracing their deepest feelings do they have a chance of saving themselves and the kingdom. Inspired by "The Snow Queen" story by Hans Christian Andersen, the film has plenty of quirky, lovable characters along with a nice blend of corny humor, serious sentiment, suspense, and peril. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel deliver rousing performances of great music that includes original songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and an original score by Christophe Beck, and the visual effects are simply stunning. Frozen definitely succeeds in captivating audiences young, old, and every age in between. --Tami Horiuchi

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) Lowest new price: $15.82
Lowest used price: $15.25
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Brand: TCM

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Lowest new price: $3.99

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) Lowest new price: $22.00
Lowest used price: $19.99
List price: $44.95

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The Pirate Fairy (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

The Pirate Fairy (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Lowest new price: $19.93
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From the world of Peter Pan comes The Pirate Fairy, a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook, himself. Enjoy the laughter, heart, magic and thrills of The Pirate Fairy.

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Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown

Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown Lowest new price: $9.99

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Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Lowest new price: $23.95
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Brand: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Released from the Disney Vault in celebration of its 50th Anniversary, this beloved classic shines like never before on Blu-ray with an all-new digital restoration. Winner of five Academy Awards(R), including Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Best Visual Effects, Mary Poppins is a movie experience your family will enjoy over and over again.

“Practically Perfect In Every Way” Mary Poppins flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the spirited nanny turns every chore into a game and every day into a “Jolly Holiday.” Share the music, share the magic, share the joy of Mary Poppins with a whole new generation for the first time on Disney Blu-ray.The movie received 13 Academy Award(R) nominations and won 5 Oscars(R) for Best Actress, Best Song, Best Music Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Special Visual Effects. It also received a special scientific award for the creation and application of Color Traveling Matte Composite Cinematography, which helped make the combination of live action and animated actors in the film possible.

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Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]

Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray] Lowest new price: $79.99
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Brand: 20TH Century Fox

Star Wars: The Complete Blu-ray Saga will feature all six live-action Star Wars feature films utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
(32 Years Before Episode IV) Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master discover nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker, a young slave unusually strong in the Force. Anakin wins a thrilling Podrace and with it his freedom as he leaves his home to be trained as a Jedi. The heroes return to Naboo where Anakin and the Queen face massive invasion forces while the two Jedi contend with a deadly foe named Darth Maul. Only then do they realize the invasion is merely the first step in a sinister scheme by the re-emergent forces of darkness known as the Sith.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
(22 Years Before Episode IV) Ten years after the events of the Battle of Naboo, not only has the galaxy undergone significant change, but so have Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padmé Amidala, and Anakin Skywalker as they are thrown together again for the first time since the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. Anakin has grown into the accomplished Jedi apprentice of Obi-Wan, who himself has transitioned from student to teacher. The two Jedi are assigned to protect Padmé whose life is threatened by a faction of political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
(19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When the sinister Sith unveil a thousand-year-old plot to rule the galaxy, the Republic crumbles and from its ashes rises the evil Galactic Empire. Jedi hero Anakin Skywalker is seduced by the dark side of the Force to become the Emperor's new apprentice--Darth Vader. The Jedi are decimated, as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Master Yoda are forced into hiding. The only hope for the galaxy are Anakin's own offspring.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Nineteen years after the formation of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Luke Skywalker and his friends have set up a new base on the ice planet of Hoth, but it is not long before their secret location is discovered by the evil Empire. After narrowly escaping, Luke splits off from his friends to seek out a Jedi Master called Yoda. Meanwhile, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and C-3PO seek sanctuary at a city in the Clouds run by Lando Calrissian, an old friend of Han’s. But little do they realize that Darth Vader already awaits them.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
(4 years after Episode IV) In the epic conclusion of the saga, the Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star while the Rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader in a final climactic duel before the evil Emperor.

Episode I, The Phantom Menace "I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for the legions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars saga who can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is Star Wars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevated moviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible for any subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, a fistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo's swagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breather Darth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlier feels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects are stupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolute detail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in their complexity. And one particular sequence of the film--the adrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park.

Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. We witness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looks younger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby as ever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that make Princess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a cross between a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord Darth Maul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too young and innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but his boyish exuberance wins over skeptics.

Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic, may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when he pats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career with great interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson

Episode II, Attack of the Clones If The Phantom Menace was the setup, then Attack of the Clones is the plot-progressing payoff, and devoted Star Wars fans are sure to be enthralled. Ten years after Episode I, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a senator, resists the creation of a Republic Army to combat an evil separatist movement. The brooding Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is resentful of his stern Jedi mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), tormented by personal loss, and showing his emerging "dark side" while protecting his new love, Amidala, from would-be assassins. Youthful romance and solemn portent foreshadow the events of the original Star Wars as Count Dooku (a.k.a. Darth Tyranus, played by Christopher Lee) forges an alliance with the Dark Lord of the Sith, while lavish set pieces showcase George Lucas's supreme command of all-digital filmmaking. All of this makes Episode II a technological milestone, savaged by some critics as a bloated, storyless spectacle, but still qualifying as a fan-approved precursor to the pivotal events of Episode III. --Jeff Shannon

Episode III, Revenge of the Sith Ending the most popular film epic in history, Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is an exciting, uneven, but ultimately satisfying journey. Picking up the action from Episode II, Attack of the Clones as well as the animated Clone Wars series, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), pursue General Grievous into space after the droid kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).

It's just the latest maneuver in the ongoing Clone Wars between the Republic and the Separatist forces led by former Jedi turned Sith Lord Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). On another front, Master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) leads the Republic's clone troops against a droid attack on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. All this is in the first half of Episode III, which feels a lot like Episodes I and II. That means spectacular scenery, dazzling dogfights in space, a new fearsome villain (the CGI-created Grievous can't match up to either Darth Maul or the original Darth Vader, though), lightsaber duels, groan-worthy romantic dialogue, goofy humor (but at least it's left to the droids instead of Jar-Jar Binks), and hordes of faceless clone troopers fighting hordes of faceless battle droids.

But then it all changes.

After setting up characters and situations for the first two and a half movies, Episode III finally comes to life. The Sith Lord in hiding unleashes his long-simmering plot to take over the Republic, and an integral part of that plan is to turn Anakin away from the Jedi and toward the Dark Side of the Force. Unless you've been living under a rock the last 10 years, you know that Anakin will transform into the dreaded Darth Vader and face an ultimate showdown with his mentor, but that doesn't matter. In fact, a great part of the fun is knowing where things will wind up but finding out how they'll get there. The end of this prequel trilogy also should inspire fans to want to see the original movies again, but this time not out of frustration at the new ones. Rather, because Episode III is a beginning as well as an end, it will trigger fond memories as it ties up threads to the originals in tidy little ways. But best of all, it seems like for the first time we actually care about what happens and who it happens to.

Episode III is easily the best of the new trilogy--OK, so that's not saying much, but it might even jockey for third place among the six Star Wars films. It's also the first one to be rated PG-13 for the intense battles and darker plot. It was probably impossible to live up to the decades' worth of pent-up hype George Lucas faced for the Star Wars prequel trilogy (and he tried to lower it with the first two movies), but Episode III makes us once again glad to be "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." --David Horiuchi

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV - VI) The Star Wars trilogy had the rare distinction of becoming more than just a series of movies, but a cultural phenomenon, a life-defining event for its generation. On its surface, George Lucas's original 1977 film is a rollicking and humorous space fantasy that owes debts to more influences than one can count on two hands, but filmgoers became entranced by its basic struggle of good vs. evil "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," its dazzling special effects, and a mythology of Jedi Knights, the Force, and droids.

In the first film, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) gets to live out every boy's dream: ditch the farm and rescue a princess (Carrie Fisher). Accompanied by the roguish Han Solo (Harrison Ford, the only principal who was able to cross over into stardom) and trained by Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), Luke finds himself involved in a galactic war against the Empire and the menacing Darth Vader (David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones). The following film, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), takes a darker turn as the tiny rebellion faces an overwhelming onslaught. Directed by Irvin Kershner instead of Lucas, Empire is on the short list of Best Sequels Ever, marked by fantastic settings (the ice planet, the cloud city), the teachings of Yoda, a dash of grown-up romance, and a now-classic "revelation" ending. The final film of the trilogy, Return of the Jedi (1983, directed by Richard Marquand), is the most uneven. While the visual effects had taken quantum leaps over the years, resulting in thrilling speeder chases and space dogfights, the story is an uneasy mix of serious themes (Luke's maturation as a Jedi, the end of the Empire-rebellion showdown) and the cuddly teddy bears known as the Ewoks.

Years later, George Lucas transformed his films into "special editions" by adding new scenes and special effects, which were greeted mostly by shrugs from fans. They were perfectly happy with the films they had grown up with (who cares if Greedo shot first?), and thus disappointed by Lucas's decision to make the special editions the only versions available. --David Horiuchi

DVD & Blu-ray Versions of Star Wars


Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc)

Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc)

Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition Without Bonus Disc)

Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition Without Bonus Disc)
Star Wars Trilogy
Star Wars Trilogy
”Star
Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
”Star
Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I - III) [Blu-ray]
”Star
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV - VI) [Blu-ray]
”Star
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]
Release Date September 21, 2004 December 6, 2005 November 4, 2008 November 4, 2008 September 16, 2011 September 16, 2011 September 16, 2011
Format/Disc # DVD (4 Discs) DVD (3 Discs) DVD (6 Discs) DVD (6 Discs) Blu-ray (3 Discs) Blu-ray (3 Discs) Blu-ray (9 Discs) + 16 page booklet
Blu-ray 3D No No No No No No No
Blu-ray No No No No Yes Yes Yes
DVD Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Digital Copy No No No No No No No
Original Theatrical Version No No Yes Yes No No No
Bonus Features Star Wars, Episode IV: Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher

Star Wars, Episode V:
Commentary by George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher

Bonus Disc:
All-new bonus features, including the most comprehensive feature-length documentary ever produced on the Star Wars saga, and never-before-seen footage from the making of all three films
"Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy"

Featurettes: The Legendary Creatures of Star Wars, The Birth of the Lightsaber, The Legacy of Star Wars


Teasers, Trailers, TV spots, Still Galleries

Playable Xbox demo of the new Lucasarts game Star Wars Battlefront
The making of the Episode III videogame

Exclusive preview of Star Wars: Episode III
Star Wars Episode IV:  Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher

Star Wars Episode V: Commentary by George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
None Star Wars, Episode I: Commentary by George Lucas and company

Star Wars, Episode II:


From Puppets to Pixels
State of the Art: Previsualization of Episode II

8 deleted scenes with intros

Music Video
Visual Specs Breakdown
12 Web Documentaries
4 Trailers
12 TV Spots
Easter Egg
Still Galleries DVD-ROM links
Star Wars, Episode I: Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires, Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

Star Wars, Episode II: Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow, Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

Star Wars, Episode III: Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett

Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

Star Wars, Episode IV: Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren

Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

Star Wars, Episode V: Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren

Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

Star Wars, Episode VI: Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren, > Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

Same as Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I-III) [Blu-ray] and Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) [Blu-ray] plus:

New! Star Wars Archives, Episodes IV-VI: Includes deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more

Star Wars Documentaries: NEW! Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes)

NEW! A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes)

NEW! Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes)

The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes)

The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes)

Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes)

Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes)

Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes)

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The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions)  [Blu-ray] Lowest new price: $60.00
Lowest used price: $35.99
List price: $119.98
Brand: Warner
Model: NEWL1000213249BR

Deluxe 15-Disc Set Includes 9 Special Features DVDs with over 26 Hours of Spellbinding Behind-the-Moviemaking Material Including the Rare Costa Botes Documentaries. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Extended Edition: With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary One Ring. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition: In the middle chapter of this historic movie trilogy, the Fellowship is broken but its quest to destroy the One Ring continues. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Extended Edition: The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring.

As the triumphant start of a trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring leaves you begging for more. By necessity, Peter Jackson's ambitious epic compresses J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, but this robust adaptation maintains reverent allegiance to Tolkien's creation, instantly qualifying as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. At 178 minutes, it's long enough to establish the myriad inhabitants of Middle-earth, the legendary Rings of Power, and the fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and humans--led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the brave hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood)--who must battle terrifying forces of evil on their perilous journey to destroy the One Ring in the land of Mordor. Superbly paced, the film is both epic and intimate, offering astonishing special effects and production design while emphasizing the emotional intensity of Frodo's adventure, and ends on a perfect note of heroic loyalty and rich anticipation.

After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo and Sam journey to Mordor with the creature Gollum as their guide in The Two Towers. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) join in the defense of the people of Rohan, who are the first target in the eradication of the race of Men by the renegade wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) and the dark lord Sauron. Fantastic creatures, astounding visual effects, and a climactic battle at the fortress of Helm's Deep make The Two Towers a worthy successor to The Fellowship of the Ring, grander in scale but retaining the story's emotional intimacy.

With The Return of the King, the greatest fantasy epic in film history draws to a grand and glorious conclusion. The trilogy could never fully satisfy those who remain exclusively loyal to Tolkien's expansive literature, but as a showcase for physical and technical craftsmanship it is unsurpassed in pure scale and ambition, setting milestone after cinematic milestone as Frodo and Sam continue their mission to Mordor to destroy the soul-corrupting One Ring. While the heir to the kingdom of Men, Aragorn, endures the massive battle at Minas Tirith with the allegiance of Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, Frodo and Sam must survive the schizoid deceptions of Gollum, who remains utterly convincing as a hybrid of performance (by Andy Serkis) and subtly nuanced computer animation. Jackson and cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have much ground to cover; that they do so with intense pacing and epic sweep is impressive enough, but by investing greater depth and consequence in the actions of fellow hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), they ensure that The Return of the King maintains the trilogy's emphasis on intimate fellowship and remains faithful to Tolkien's overall vision. By ending the LOTR trilogy with noble integrity and faith in the power of imaginative storytelling, The Return of the King, like its predecessors, will stand as an adventure for the ages. --Jeff Shannon and David Horiuchi

Our Review of the Extended Edition on DVD (Dec. 14, 2004):

The extended editions of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings present the greatest trilogy in film history in the most ambitious sets in DVD history. In bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's nearly unfilmable work to the screen, Jackson benefited from extraordinary special effects, evocative New Zealand locales, and an exceptionally well-chosen cast, but most of all from his own adaptation with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, preserving Tolkien's vision and often his very words, but also making logical changes to accommodate the medium of film. While purists complained about these changes and about characters and scenes left out of the films, the almost two additional hours of material in the extended editions (about 11 hours total) help appease them by delving more deeply into Tolkien's music, the characters, and loose ends that enrich the story, such as an explanation of the Faramir-Denethor relationship, and the appearance of the Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor. In addition, the extended editions offer more bridge material between the films, further confirming that the trilogy is really one long film presented in three pieces (which is why it's the greatest trilogy ever--there's no weak link). The scene of Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship added to the first film proves significant over the course of the story, while the new Faramir scene at the end of the second film helps set up the third and the new Saruman scene at the beginning of the third film helps conclude the plot of the second.

To top it all off, the extended editions offer four discs per film: two for the longer movie, plus four commentary tracks and stupendous DTS 6.1 ES sound; and two for the bonus material, which covers just about everything from script creation to special effects. The argument was that fans would need both versions because the bonus material is completely different, but the features on the theatrical releases are so vastly inferior that the only reason a fan would need them would be if they wanted to watch the shorter versions they saw in theaters (the last of which, The Return of the King, merely won 11 Oscars). The LOTR extended editions without exception have set the DVD standard by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. --David Horiuchi

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  • Brand Name: EURPAC Mfg#: 794043151293
  • Shipping Weight: 2.00 lbs
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The Jungle Book (Two-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

The Jungle Book (Two-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Lowest new price: $20.99
Lowest used price: $17.34
List price: $39.99

Now for the first time ever on Blu-ray with glorious digital high definition, Disney’s Jumpin’ Jungle Classic has never looked so lush or sounded so good. Beloved characters, swinging music and new behind-the-scenes bonus features make this Diamond Edition Blu‐ray a must-have for every family’s classic collection.

Meet the most unforgettable characters and embark on a thrilling adventure with Mowgli as he journeys deep into the jungle and learns “The Bare Necessities” of life from happy-go-lucky Baloo the bear. Meet Bagheera, the wise old panther, and crazy King Louie, the orangutan. But watch out for the cunning tiger Shere Khan and Kaa, the ssssneakiest snake in the jungle.

Explore your family’s wild side as you venture into The Jungle Book for extraordinary adventures and a heartwarming tale that celebrates the true meaning of friendship.

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  • Brand Name: Ingram Entertainment Mfg#: 786936838695
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