“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

Believe it or not, the extended DVD version of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”–which clocks in at a solid 4 hours and 10 minutes — doesn’t feel any longer than the film everybody saw at the multiplex. In stores today, the DVD includes 50 extra minutes of never-before-seen footage added into the original theatrical release, which won 11 Academy Awards.

“The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers”

You’d think that tacking on an additional 43 minutes to the three-hour movie would be overkill. But the extended version actually feels shorter than the theatrical release — possibly because it tells a more thorough story. “Two Towers” continues where “The Fellowship of the Ring” left off. With the Fellowship splintered into two groups, Frodo and Sam head for Mordor to destroy the Ring.

The ‘Lord of the Rings’ journey continues

It is nearing lunchtime on the set of “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”–which opens Wednesday–but there still are a few more shots to complete before they will be dismissed. A beam of light radiates above the actors, making them appear even more angelic than they will be on screen. With their flaxen, waist-length hair, these elves are the gorgeous supermodels of the movie. Even the horses know it.

‘Rings’ spotlights other Down Under

For decades, the joke around Wellington was that Americans only knew of New Zealand as “that place by Australia.” But thanks to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which was filmed in Wellington–New Zealand’s capital–the country is stepping out of Australia’s shadow.