Peter Jackson Goes Blu-Ray

The only Peter Jackson title so far available on Blu-ray is King Kong, a beautifully transferred rendition of the rather underrated film that comes with both theatrical and extended versions on the one disc. Indeed, it is a nice reminder of the superiority of Blu-ray that you can watch the entire extended cut without having to switch discs half way through.

When the Lord of the Rings films hit Blu-ray on April 6th next year, however, they're coming only in their shorter, theatrical cuts. How long until the extended cuts come? Nobody really knows, but as if rubbing salt into a wound, these short-cut BDs are going to contain a special feature plugging the imminent extended editions. More details on what else the discs will offer after the break.

Another altogether less antagonising tease for some upcoming Peter Jackson Blu-ray releases came when the director made a guest appearance on Cinemagic's Reel Time show on the Sirius network. Simply put, he revealed that he was currently working on restoration of some of his "early films" for Blu-ray release. But which early films, Peter?

A posting on the AV Maniacs forum, where I saw this news, suggested blindly that Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles and Braindead aka Dead Alive would be the titles in question. That would certainly be good, but I'd even sooner get a nice special edition of Heavenly Creatures, the film that I'd still hold up as Jackson's masterpiece. Do you suppose Jackson considers The Frighteners an "early film"? That's surely coming down the pike too.

According to Home Media Magazine, here's what we can expect of the Lord of the Rings Blu-box:

The nine-disc set, listed at $99.98, includes the theatrical versions of the trilogy, plus digital copies of each, as well as three discs of bonus material, one for each film.

So, really, it's a six disc set with three digital copy discs chucked in too. Even worse, here's the details of the special features discs:

The materials on the bonus discs are presented in standard-definition on regular DVDs. Each bonus disc will include behind-the-scenes featurettes, TV specials and commercials, music videos, cast interviews and previews of the extended editions.

Boo. Hiss. I think I'll sit on the sidelines and wait for the extended editions.

Incidentally, the films will also be made available for download from iTunes, Amazon, etc. on the very same day. And then, one week later, Warners will be releasing a special edition Blu-ray of Ralph Bakshi's 1978 Rings toon.