It's not Gladiator. It's not slathered in edge enhancement, and it's not missing picture elements. It does appear to be the exact same masters used for the theatrical DVDs, though, and considering how long they waiting to put these out, that's a huge disappointment. These could have been released at Blu-ray's launch years ago just as easily. I wonder if Jackson's litigation with New Line was a large reason for the delay.
They are upgrades to the DVDs. I will definitely be renting them. I was on the fence about buying them even before all of this because I prefer the EEs. Now I'm even more confused. Maybe I'll pick these up much later when the price has dropped.
Back off man, I'm a scientist.