The 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is, if anything, even more intricate and immersive than the first two films. This is a soundtrack that features an almost overwhelming amount of elements, yet they are perfectly balanced. Dialogue always emerges intelligibly from the din, no matter how raucous. When those elephants came thundering forth, the viewer quite literally feels every step they take with booming LFE activity. This is a fully realized surround sound mix that knows exactly what is right for any given scene.
Falling in line with the two earlier extended edition Blu-ray releases, The Return of the King packs a serious supplemental wallop. Four audio commentaries are included to accompany the feature film, with the director and writers, cast, production team, and design team. The video-based features are spread out over three standard DVDs. Between disc three’s “The Appendices Part 5: The War of the Ring” and disc four’s “The Appendices Part 6: The Passing of an Age,” there are about eight hours of documentaries detailing every aspect of the production. As with the previous sets, the fifth disc contains a feature-length documentary by Costa Botes. This one is the longest, clocking in at 113 minutes.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Extended Edition is an exhaustive capper to an exhaustive series of Blu-ray releases. Clear your schedule completely and you might be able to get through everything in about a week. Fans who already own the extended editions box set, released on Blu-ray in 2011, won’t need this since there isn’t anything new added. The separate Blu-ray releases allow fans to piece the trilogy together one film at a time rather than springing for the whole set at once.