Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - The Precious Edition, The

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10.0
 
9.9 (2)
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returnprecious_front
Faneditor Name:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2003
Original Running Time:
263 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
257 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
Return of the King is in some ways the best film of the trilogy, and in other ways the worst films of the trilogy. Especially the extended edition. This edit is here to balance the extended edition out.
Intention:
I will edit with trilogy with this goal in mind: To create the best experience and the definitive version for first time viewers, as well as people who already have seen the originals and the extended cuts.
Special Thanks:
Artisdead for the terrific poster!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Book accuracy is not as important as keeping the film cinematically correct.
Cuts and Additions:
- Removed Saruman's fireball, Gandalf uncerimoniously breaks his staff

- Removed the awkward line by Theoden: You were not always as you are now

- Gimli and Legolas' drinking game has no clear victor. A dwarf will not go down so easily

- Cut Arwen's sudden turn into a mortal being. It makes no sense and diminishes her sacrifice

- Faramir leaves immediately after his father tells him to retake Osgiliath. This has to be done in order to fix Sam and Frodo's departure

- During the reveal of Aragorn's sword, no mention of Arwen's dying

- Elrond does not mention an army bigger than any other. We keep mystery.

- No ghost blowing by Gimli. We like his comedy, but this delves into slapstick territory. It also diminishes the army of the dead themselves if they are played for laughs

- No skull avalanche. Instead we see a handful of skulls rolling down. One turns upright in slowmotion. What does this mean?

- Cut 'We fight' and the Ghost King. We need to keep the battle a surprise.

- Cut 'you and what army' scene for obvious reasons. Instead we go to the breadcrumbs scene now. This immediately is followed by Gollum leading Frodo into the cave. This means Sam never leaves Frodo, he just doesn't realise what Gollum is up to while he's having his mental breakdown. Regraded the scene to match the cave.

- Cut Sam leaving and tumbling down like an idiot, only to realise 'Huh? I guess I didn't eat this bread after all?!'

- Gandalf and the Witchking confrontation completely re-edited. No staff breaking. A rooster crows in the background like in the books. Used some visual trickery to keep Gandalf in the shot when the Witchking flies away.

- Completely re-graded the whole Battle of Pellenor. The ghost army is not ugly green anymore.

- Kept Legolas killing the Mumakil. Rediculous? Yes. But it leads to one of cinema's best jokes in history.

- Cut all overhead shots of the ghost army. It makes them look less god like and makes it feel like they're aiding and our heroes still need to do some fighting themselves.

- Cut Gimli telling Aragorn not to keep his word with the Army of the Dead.

- Aragorn confronts Sauron. The victor of this mind battle is left ambiguous. Sauron shows Aragorn his nightmares, but Aragorn shows Sauron his legendary blade. In fact, I think Aragorn is the winner here.

- Aragorn does NOT cut of the Mouth of Sauron's head. Afterwards I inserted the Mouth of Sauron in all shots of our heroes retreating.

- Placed Gimli's line about negotiations to when the gates open. Thanks to Belgarath for this terrific suggestion!

- Removed the shot of Sauron CLEARLY seeing the hobbits in Mordor. They now immediately drop, suggesting that Sauron did not see them, but only feels like there's something there.
Trailer

Faneditor Name:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2003
Original Running Time:
263 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
257 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
Return of the King is in some ways the best film of the trilogy, and in other ways the worst films of the trilogy. Especially the extended edition. This edit is here to balance the extended edition out.
Intention:
I will edit with trilogy with this goal in mind: To create the best experience and the definitive version for first time viewers, as well as people who already have seen the originals and the extended cuts.
Special Thanks:
Artisdead for the terrific poster!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Book accuracy is not as important as keeping the film cinematically correct.
Cuts and Additions:
- Removed Saruman's fireball, Gandalf uncerimoniously breaks his staff

- Removed the awkward line by Theoden: You were not always as you are now

- Gimli and Legolas' drinking game has no clear victor. A dwarf will not go down so easily

- Cut Arwen's sudden turn into a mortal being. It makes no sense and diminishes her sacrifice

- Faramir leaves immediately after his father tells him to retake Osgiliath. This has to be done in order to fix Sam and Frodo's departure

- During the reveal of Aragorn's sword, no mention of Arwen's dying

- Elrond does not mention an army bigger than any other. We keep mystery.

- No ghost blowing by Gimli. We like his comedy, but this delves into slapstick territory. It also diminishes the army of the dead themselves if they are played for laughs

- No skull avalanche. Instead we see a handful of skulls rolling down. One turns upright in slowmotion. What does this mean?

- Cut 'We fight' and the Ghost King. We need to keep the battle a surprise.

- Cut 'you and what army' scene for obvious reasons. Instead we go to the breadcrumbs scene now. This immediately is followed by Gollum leading Frodo into the cave. This means Sam never leaves Frodo, he just doesn't realise what Gollum is up to while he's having his mental breakdown. Regraded the scene to match the cave.

- Cut Sam leaving and tumbling down like an idiot, only to realise 'Huh? I guess I didn't eat this bread after all?!'

- Gandalf and the Witchking confrontation completely re-edited. No staff breaking. A rooster crows in the background like in the books. Used some visual trickery to keep Gandalf in the shot when the Witchking flies away.

- Completely re-graded the whole Battle of Pellenor. The ghost army is not ugly green anymore.

- Kept Legolas killing the Mumakil. Rediculous? Yes. But it leads to one of cinema's best jokes in history.

- Cut all overhead shots of the ghost army. It makes them look less god like and makes it feel like they're aiding and our heroes still need to do some fighting themselves.

- Cut Gimli telling Aragorn not to keep his word with the Army of the Dead.

- Aragorn confronts Sauron. The victor of this mind battle is left ambiguous. Sauron shows Aragorn his nightmares, but Aragorn shows Sauron his legendary blade. In fact, I think Aragorn is the winner here.

- Aragorn does NOT cut of the Mouth of Sauron's head. Afterwards I inserted the Mouth of Sauron in all shots of our heroes retreating.

- Placed Gimli's line about negotiations to when the gates open. Thanks to Belgarath for this terrific suggestion!

- Removed the shot of Sauron CLEARLY seeing the hobbits in Mordor. They now immediately drop, suggesting that Sauron did not see them, but only feels like there's something there.
Trailer

Trusted Reviewer review

1 review
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Editing is flawless. The sections that have been heavily modified don’t show it at all, the are integrated in the film.

The mandatory removal of the weird and paradoxical “Arwen turns into a mortal” is done effectively. Also, great way to shorten her talk with Elrond, it dragged way too much in the original.
Great editing around the Gandalf / Witch-king confrontation, it was done masterfully. And the rooster is a great final touch. This was the highlight of the edit to me.

Other things I liked:
Goodbye, Saruman's fireball, you will not be missed.
The drinking game is much better, some love for Gimli.
The single skull rolling is much more effective than the avalanche, which looked like something out of an Indiana Jones film.
Sam never leaving Frodo makes more sense.
Re-grading the Battle of Pellenor Fields was also a nice touch.

Just some (very minor) nitpicks I have with these parts that are unchanged from the original:
- at 1h40m39: Legolas says “last king of Gondor” but that is incorrect. There were dozens of Gondor kings after Isildur.
- at 1h49m12: I’ve always hated this section in the original. Aragorn’s lips are fully desynced from the audio, it’s jarring.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(2)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(2)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(2)
Narrative
 
9.5(2)
Enjoyment
 
9.5(2)
(Updated: February 14, 2024)
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
*This review was updated after having exchanged a few words with the editor.
This is the best of the three edits DonkeyKonga has done with the LOTR trilogy in my opinion. The result is what I expected it to be. I’ve said it in my reviews of the other two edits, I prefer the theatrical cuts. The extended editions bring a lot of useless stuff and I think the most annoying has been cut here.
I approve of the downplaying of Gimli’s comedy. I would have liked it to go further though.
All the changes to the Ghost King plot line are well handled and very welcomed. Maybe it’s because it is closer to the theatrical cut? I am biased.
-AV quality is good
-Audio cuts are good
-Video cuts are good. I did not notice the trickery used to keep Gandalf in the shot against the Nazgul like it is mentioned in the change list. Good job!
-Narrative: it is well conducted. But the movie still suffers from too many endings (This is my opinion and the following words are my updated review)
I understand now how it can be perceived as a form of closure for the hobbits to follow them back to the Shire. Then again, closure with Frodo as we see him leave with the elves).
In my opinion we don't need all these endings. But it is also beyond the scope of this edit which, like the movie, takes its time to follow, understand and then accept the fate of our main characters, one by one.
The intention of the editor is to ‘‘create the best experience and the definitive version for first time viewers, as well as people who already have seen the originals and the extended cuts.’’ (as read in the IFDB entry). This is not my best and definitive experience personally. It is one closer to the source material and it is a perfectly fine way of approaching this edit. But it is not how I wish the movie would end when I think about a better and definitive experience.
DonkeyKonga told me: ''...showing some wounds never heal ... is a powerful message that's absolutely needed for the story''. And I think they are right that showing these scenes brings powerful and emotional closure. I was under the impression that we didn't need it because it is told to us from the very beginning that Gollum suffers wounds that will never heal. Then Bilbo does too and, naturally Frodo will... Anyways, this is far beyond the scope of this fanedit review. I got tangled in my own agenda and that was a bit unfair to bring this here. That being said, I do believe the ratings I originally gave were fair and they are unchanged.
-Enjoyment: I have to say this edit brings Return of the King above the extended edition, unlike the two previous edits in this series. It also gave me the chance to discuss the Lord of the ring with a passionate editor.
-I recommend this one. It improves over the extended cut in good and important places but it is still not as good as the theatrical version in my opinion. Not enough stuff was cut to my liking, but it is a nice time spent in Middle Earth.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful? 3 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
There are various cuts of this edit out there I believe, including “The Messenger does not have his head severed by Aragorn” cut of the movie. DonkeyKonga, the editor, actually considered making that the unofficial title for that edition of the edit (I could be joking here, but I might be accidentally right).

While obviously a wonderful movie, the thing that absolutely bothered me the most in the extended edition was that the audience is told in advance of the decision by the ghost army instead of leaving it as a surprise when they appear. Always better to show then tell in any film.

Another bizarre and poorly explained issue in the theatrical was the mortality of the elf Arwen. Why exactly this is the case was not made clear in the movie. Besides, it effectively nullifies the sacrifice she makes to stay with Aragorn. Her father also makes a huge sacrifice agreeing to let her go as well. Sometimes, it is best to keep your rules in order. If elves are immortal, then we really do not need to make an exception to force a happier ending.

Other positive changes include not showing Aragorn losing the mind battle with Sauron and also Sam does not “leave” Frodo. In all seriousness, everybody watching the movie the first time could figure out Sam was going to come back and rescue Frodo. Therefore, having him leave was something nobody thought was really going to happen.

We have other positive changes, but I am mostly neutral on those because the ones I listed were more problematic for me.

Folks, please watch the Precious editions of this excellent trilogy. These are wonderful as is, but the edits add a bit of seasoning to give us that extra flavor.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Owner's reply January 14, 2024

I'm glad to hear the changes worked for you! There are two versions of the edit, one where Aragorn beheads the Mouth and one where he does not. Besides that the edits are identical.

Happy to hear Elronds sacrifice is appreciated. Him letting Arwen go is a big commitment from a father's perspective now.

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