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MORIARTY Reviews The Extended Edition FELLOWSHIP DVDS!

Published at: Oct. 10, 2008, 5:56 p.m. CST

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

There’s really no way to do justice to the enormous accomplishment that is the physical production of LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS. This four-disc special edition comes pretty damn close, though.

For the record, and just to reemphasize, I said it upon release, and I said it at the end of the year, and I’ll say it again anytime the question comes up: the best film of 2001 was FELLOWSHIP. Period. No film last year was more involving, more accomplished, or more of a reminder of what it is that initially made me fall in love with the movies. “The biggest low budget film in history,” as Andrew Lesnie refers to it, impresses me more with each viewing.

Unsurprisingly, the expanded edition of the film that Peter Jackson created for this release enhances everything that was good about the movie upon release, and genuinely stands alone as a separate work of art. It’s tremendously satisfying to see this film and these characters given more room to breathe. In addition, the wealth of supplementary material packed onto disc three and disc four of this set is almost overwhelming. I’ve spent the last week or so working my way through it, determined not to write about this thing until I’d had a chance to experience it all for myself. I don’t know about your schedule, but unless you plan to just set aside an entire day to watch it and do nothing else, this disc is going to keep you busy for a while. I’d like to imagine that these extras are going to be some kid’s lightning bolt to the forehead. Ten years from now, I fully expect to see some hot new director in his early 20s making the rounds on the talk shows, telling everyone how the supplementals on LORD OF THE RINGS inspired him to become a filmmaker. They’re complete enough that by the end of the six hours worth of documentaries, you’ll feel like you’ve taken the same journey that this amazing creative team has.

Before we discuss the extras, though, let’s back up. Let’s talk about the new version of the movie.

The film still begins with the haunting narration of Galadriel, and the battle against Sauron is still the same. The first new footage comes when Isildur is riding home, the Ring around his neck. When they are attacked, Isildur uses the One Ring to turn invisible. Things play the same then all the way to the place where Bilbo finds the Ring, and then the film launches into a radically different introduction to The Shire, with the actual title card no longer appearing over that shot of Frodo sitting against the tree, reading. Now the title is shown over a shot of Bag End, where Bilbo is sitting down to finally start work on his book. He works on the chapter “Concerning Hobbits,” and we see the denizens of the Shire through Bilbo’s eyes. It’s a warm and gentle opening for the story, a gradual immersion into things, and it really sets a tone. This is a life worth protecting, a world that matters because of its simple pleasures, and the darkness that threatens to destroy this place is genuinely disturbing, no empty Hollywood threat. The stakes are overwhelming, and I think the place Peter Jackson’s background most benefits the series is in the way he portrays the forces of darkness. I can’t think of a more iconic symbol of evil than Sauron’s Eye, the most perfectly realized villain since Darth Vader first stepped onto the Blockade Runner, and the Nazgul are effectively brought to life, the best companions to Sauron that we can imagine.

Oddly, the film feels shorter now. There may be more footage included, but because of the way it’s been incorporated, the flow of the film has been substantially improved. This is more akin to James Cameron’s work cleaning up and finishing THE ABYSS than it is to the interesting but unwieldy APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX. None of what’s been put back into the film feels like it belonged on the cutting room floor. Far from it. Instead, every addition seems to be carefully considered. When you look at the menus for “Scene Selection” on the discs, you’ll see that each chapter with footage added has a double asterisk, and each chapter that’s completely new is marked with a single asterisk. This makes it very simple if all you want to do is go through and make quick comparisons to see what’s new and what’s the same. The first two chapters, “Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All...” and “Concerning Hobbits” are both filled with new material.

That’s really just skimming the surface, though. Out of the 27 chapters on that first disc, there are 12 of them with additional footage. Some of the highlights include “At The Green Dragon,” where we get a glimpse of the Hobbits at their most social, drinking and singing. I’m particularly pleased with the way Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd have benefitted from this re-edit of the film. They’re given a lot of room to make Merry and Pippin live and breathe now. There’s also “The Passing of The Elves,” the first night that Frodo and Sam are on the road together. They watch as the Elves head for the Gray Havens, and they discuss the fact that an age is ending. This strengthens the sense of melancholy that hangs over the entire movie. No matter who eventually wins the War of the Ring, this will no longer be the Middle Earth that it once was. Much of the magic is fading as Man ascends. There’s something very strange and beautiful about a film that mourns the world that existed before we came into power, and Jackson’s done his best to paint a picture of what it is that the rest of Middle-Earth is afraid of when they picture a world run entirely by Men.

”The Nazgul” and “The Midgewater Marshes” both add to the peril and the physical demands of the journey that the Hobbits undertake, and Viggo Mortensen is also given a few quiet moments that really add up to a richer, better drawn portrait of Aragorn. When he sings the song of Luthien and Beren to himself late at night, he is interrupted by Frodo, who asks what it is. Aragorn explains, and there is the most haunted, shattered quality about the simple description he offers: “It is the tale of Luthien... the elf-maiden who gave her love to Beren... a mortal.”

”What happened to her?” Frodo asks.

Mortensen says so much with the simple hesitation before his next line, with the emotion that makes his eyes shine so bright in the night. “She died.” So much is set up in that simple moment, and suddenly we understand the stakes in his love of Arwen more than we ever did before. In one of the last altered chapters on disc one, “The Sword That Was Broken,” there is additional conversation between Boromir (Sean Bean) and Aragorn that also adds real weight to the character. Considering how crucial Aragorn becomes to the overall trilogy, these choices on the part of Jackson are crucial and more than welcome.

The second disc of the film contains quite a bit of the balance of the new footage with 14 out of the 20 chapters featuring something new. “Gilraen’s Memorial,” the first chapter on the disc, immediately gives us new information about Aragorn, and it also shows how esteemed he is in the elven world. I love the additions to “Moria,” showing a more human side to Gandalf. Don’t think that the only additions are character moments, though. In “Balin’s Tomb,” there are some wonderful new moments with the Cave Troll that show off even more of the work that WETA did in creating such a realistic CGI creature. He’s the greatest Harryhausen monster that Harryhausen didn’t create, and giving him more room to prove it is delightful. Both “Lothlorien” and “Caras Galadhon” benefit from additional moments, creating a more fully realized environment and giving us additional glimpses at Tolkien’s most idealized culture.

If there’s any one chapter worth paying special attention to, though, it’s “Farewell to Lorien,” in which the gifts of Galadriel are bestowed upon the Fellowship, gifts which will help them along the hard road ahead. Gimli’s wistful recollection of his gift, shared with Legolas once they’re actually out on the river, is perhaps the finest moment for Rhys-Davies in the film now, and there’s a fall-down funny new moment between Legolas, Merry, and Pippin that I would be a monster for ruining. Just look for what Orlando Bloom refers to in the commentary as his “bread commercial.”

That brings us, I suppose, to the commentary tracks, four of them in all, that run the entire length of the film. Three and a half hours times four. I’ve sat through fourteen hours now of cast and crew discussing LORD OF THE RINGS, and my first reaction is that I can’t wait for a similar edition of the next two films. If they’re half as illuminating as this one was, then this could well stand as the finest record of what went into creating an epic ever put together.

The commentaries break down as follows:

COMMENTARY ONE: THE DIRECTOR AND WRITERS, featuring Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens.

COMMENTARY TWO: THE DESIGN TEAM, featuring Grant Major (Production Designer), Ngila Dickson (Costume Designer), Richard Taylor (WETA Workshop Creative Supervisor), Alan Lee (Conceptual Designer), John Howe (Conceptual Designer), Dan Hennah (Supervising Art Director/Set Decorator), Chris Hennah (Art Department Manager), and Tania Rodger (WETA Workshop Manager).

COMMENTARY THREE: THE PRODUCTION/POST-PRODUCTION TEAM, featuring Barrie Osborne (Producer), Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer), Andrew Lesnie (Director Of Photography), John Gilbert (Editor), Rick Porras (Co-Producer), Howard Shore (Composer), Jim Rygiel (Visual Effects Supervisor), Ethan Van Der Ryn (Supervising Sound Editor/Co-Designer), Mike Hopkins (Supervising Sound Editor), Randy Cook (WETA Animation Designer and Supervisor), Christian Rivers (WETA VFX Art Director), Brian Van’t Hul (WETA VFX Cinematographer), and Alex Funke (Miniature Unit Director Of Photography).

COMMENTARY FOUR: THE CAST, featuring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, and Sean Bean.

There’s no way to convey the wealth of information you’ll gain from listening to all four commentaries. I can say that each has its own personality. The first one feels intimate, due in large part to the fact that you’re listening to only three people for the entire time. Peter is exactly what we’ve become familiar with from everything we’ve seen over the last few years. Keenly intelligent, always seeming to be just on the verge of making a joke, and passionate without ever becoming overheated, he makes a great case for his film. Even Jeffrey Wells, The Most Hideous Man Alive, would have to be impressed by the way all three collaborators discuss the art of the adaptation. Fran Walsh is like Peter’s other half, just as focused and clear about the goals of the film as he is. For fanboys, I’m betting the real highlight of this particular track will be the intense crush they develop on Philippa Boyens after listening to her bright, slightly teasing enthusiasm bubble up in a soft caress of a New Zealand accent. Three and a half hours with her in your ear is enough to drive you to distraction, particularly because she seems to be mad in love with the material. Anyone with this much passion for something becomes more appealing to me.

The Design Team track is great because it features quite a bit of the Mad Genius of WETA, Richard Taylor. I have grown to be an enormous Richard Taylor fan as I’ve listened to this disc and watched all the documentaries (which we’ll get into later), but there’s no denying it: this man is deeply off his nut. He’s daft. Touched. There’s no other way to explain the scale of the ideas he put forward to solve each of the problems that arose in bringing these books to life. He’s like Wile E. Coyote, but everything he designs works. He also sounds like Robin Leach after swallowing a thesaurus. I genuinely love the way he doesn’t just say, “Well, this is how we did this.” Nope. Not Taylor. Whenever he moves on to a new subject, he hypes it up like PT Barnum. “I knew when I first heard of the enormous opportunity given to us by the illustrious and brilliant Peter Jackson that it would take the single greatest effort ever made by film artists to do justice to the absolute perfection of the work of the untouchably great JRR Tolkien. I assembled a team of the greatest artists currently working in film, and together we created the single greatest workshop ever, where we turned out roughly 500 bazillion individual makeups and miniatures and costumes and armor and swords and other assorted items in the greatest adventure ever shared by anyone in this industry ever.” Coming from anyone else, it would be intolerable, but Taylor’s so goddamn charming about it, and so inarguably right when you actually start to dig into the work done on the film, that it becomes part of what makes him so much fun to listen to.

And isn’t that a large part of what we listen to these commentaries for? Personality? Anyone can put together a dry recount of events that went into the production of a film, but what the makers of this supplemental material have done so expertly is craft something that gives you a full-blown portrait of the personalities that combined into the magic that finally resulted. I’ve know the names Alan Lee and John Howe, for example, for many years now, but I’ve never had any idea what kind of men they were. Now, after seeing them and listening to them and hearing about the enormous craft that each of them brought to the project, I’ve got a totally different picture of them, one that’s both more personal and that also places them in the proper professional perspective. They’re not just names anymore. They’re people, proud of what they’ve done and just as amazed by it as we are.

There’s a great thing they’ve done here for the commentaries that helps make the experience far more enjoyable than some overstuffed commentaries in the past. In the letterboxing at the top of the screen, there’s always a caption to identify who’s speaking at any given time. When you’ve got the comments of 13 people intercut, that’s crucial, and one would think logical. Still, it looks like an innovation, no matter how obvious an idea it is, and it’s used to perfection here. It spoiled me. I want and expect the same from other discs now.

My absolute favorite of the commentaries is the one that features the cast. It shouldn’t be a surprise... it is, after all, the difference between listening to professional performers and behind-the-scenes artisans. The cast is just as engaging and charismatic here as they are in the film. Obviously, not everyone was recorded at the same times, but it sounds like the Hobbits were together, based on the genial interplay between them. They talk about how they bonded, how they entertained each other on the sets, how they started to take on the roles they were playing in terms of their dynamics with each other. Sean Astin, in particular, talks about how he appointed himself the caretaker of Elijah while in New Zealand, always ready to step in and take care of things so that Elijah could simply enjoy himself. When you have an experience like this one, something that took place over 15 months of location work, these people become your family, your whole world. The enormous affection between them is impossible to miss. The way they tell stories about each other is very funny, particularly Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davies, who seem to both have issues arising from a boating accident in which the Dwarf claims to have been sunk by the Elf, who claims that it was the Dwarf’s fault they both got wet. The Dwarf takes particular delight in recounting the story of another boating accident, one that also involved the Elf, in which the Dwarf played no part at all, as if it proves his point completely. I found myself profoundly entertained by the way people would digress, like when Ian McKellen keeps becoming distracted by the old age makeup on Ian Holm as Bilbo. McKellen keeps saying how much Holm looks like the mother of Dame Judy Densch, and every time he sees Bilbo, he comments on it again, eventually prompting himself to laugh. “She was a very... severe woman,” he says, barely able to contain himself.

And then there are the documentaries.

My god... the documentaries...

”Written, produced, and directed by Michael Pellerin.” That’s the credit for the overall production of the DVD, but there were so many people involved in putting this together that it seems unfair to single anyone out. In its own way, this supplemental section appears to have been just as intense a labor of love as the making of the film itself.

Disc One of the Appendices is called “From Book To Vision,” and it traces the development of the property over 2 ½ hours. There are four main sections: “J.R.R. Tolkien – Creator Of Middle-Earth,” “From Book To Script,” “Visualizing the Story,” and “Designing and Building Middle-Earth.” Within those sections, there are a total of nine sub-sections. There’s also an interactive atlas of Middle-Earth and a section called “New Zealand As Middle Earth” that shows you where exactly in New Zealand was used for each specific section of Tolkien’s world. The entire development process is detailed on this disc, and it really drives home the importance of a good strong pre-production on any film. If you do your work early, and you do it right, then the shoot itself is simply a matter of accomplishing the tasks you’ve already set up for yourself. Trying to imagine the overall creation of LORD OF THE RINGS as one single task is impossible, but when it’s broken down into the thousands of smaller tasks that are required, it suddenly becomes possible. And have I mentioned yet that Richard Taylor is a genius? Because he is. He’s a genius that would make most geniuses feel stupid to be around. He’s got one of those brains that simply appears to be tuned to a different radio station than anyone else. He’s absolutely hilarious to watch and listen to. He seems to simply take in stride this accomplishment that he and the WETA workshops were part of. He’s so nuts and bolts and matter of fact about it all, but you’d have to be insane not to be awed by the work these guys did. Look at Isengard and everything that went into building it, or watch the scenes of Alan Lee coming in to actually paint the Rivendell sets himself. There’s such an overriding almost maniacal love of what they’re doing and a drive to make it something you’ve never seen before.

More than anything, I get the idea this was a point of pride. These New Zealanders were going to make the films that no one else could ever hope to make, and they were going to prove once and for all that it’s not about where you make the film, it’s about who you’re working with. New Zealand is a phenomenal natural backlot for Jackson to use in creating a new fantasy landscape for viewers, and much of what we see is brand new to us. Despite having accomplished such an enormous task, there’s nothing affected about the people you see here. In the introduction to the supplemental documentaries, Peter Jackson addresses the camera directly. It was obviously shot as the introduction to this, the archival record of this amazing effort. This is the way Peter will be remembered for all time, and do you think he combed his hair or changed that one shirt we all know and love by now? Hell, I’m not entirely sure he’s even wearing shoes. He’s still exactly the same person he was at the start of all of this, and that makes me root even harder for him to pull off the next two films, making each one better than the one before it. I want RETURN OF THE KING to be a masterpiece that towers over the genre, because it feels to me like Jackson and his collaborators have earned it.

Go ahead. Watch Disc Four, “From Vision To Reality,” and try and argue with me. Tell me these people aren’t remarkable, each and every one of them. There are six major sections here: “Filming THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING,” “Visual Effects,” “Post Production: Putting It All Together,” “Digital Grading,” “Sound and Music,” and “The Road Goes Ever On...”, and the thirteen sub-sections add up to over 3 hours of material if you opt to just watch it straight through. Go watch the documentary on “Scale” and try to tell me that this isn’t one of the most ambitious and carefully crafted things you’ve ever seen. The number of different tricks they use, and the sure eye with which Peter approached each moment combine to create an illusion that is nearly seamless. I think there’s only two scale composites in the whole film that bother me, and they’re both at the Council of Elrond. For two shots to stand out when there’s literally hundreds of them in the film involving scale is a pretty remarkable thing. In both cases, all that bothered me were small lighting issues, things that betrayed the illusion to me. In most other cases, Andrew Lesnie and Brian Van’t Hul did such a remarkable job of blending the real and the not-real that it became invisible work.

I particularly love “Cameras In Middle-Earth,” a sixteen-chapter breakdown that traces the route of the Fellowship, showing you the way they shot each major set piece in the film. It’s ridiculously complete, and it’s nothing less than riveting at any point. The physical production of this film is just staggering, and each location is a separate adventure. Viggo Mortensen doesn’t appear on the commentary during the film, but he is an arresting presence here in the documentaries, both in the moments where he’s speaking and in the stories that are told about him by the rest of the cast. I thought he was remarkable in THE INDIAN RUNNER, Sean Penn’s debut as a director, and I liked him a lot in small roles in films like CARLITO’S WAY, but I never imagined Viggo as a heroic lead until FELLOWSHIP. His Aragorn is the most intensely heartfelt action hero I’ve seen in film in a long time. You know how Mel Gibson was a total raw nerve in THE ROAD WARRIOR, even with minimal dialogue? You remember the way he gradually reached out to the Feral Kid, or the way he was affected by his encounters with the people working that oil rig? Or you remember that moment in RAIDERS where Harrison Ford is sure that Karen Allen’s dead, and he finds himself drinking with Belloq, entertaining some very dangerous thoughts? It’s movie star acting, the sort of thing that goes beyond what is said. I can’t help but wonder as I watch FELLOWSHIP what would have happened if Michael Blake had hooked up with Viggo, a close friend of his, to make DANCES WITH WOLVES. His John Dunbar would have been a thing of savage glory. Seeing him laugh as he tells a story involving Frodo’s scale double and a boating trip, it’s a glimpse of a Viggo we’ve never seen onscreen before, a break from that intensity that marks all of his work. He seems to have struck up some great friendships on the film, as did each of the cast members, and one of the real kicks is hearing everybody tell stories about everybody else, but actually seeing them, as opposed to just hearing the stories. These guys love to bust each other. All of the hobbits are greatly entertained by Astin’s near-obssessive attention to safety detail. They particularly relish the story of the time he spent a full day directing helicopter traffic. Astin takes all the teasing in stride, and the one thing that shines clearly through is that these people all shared something particular and special, and no matter how hard they try to convey the weight of it all, they can’t quite. But it’s in their eyes, and on their faces, and it’s beautiful.

The section about the miniatures, or the “bigatures,” as they call them, that were involved in some of the major scenes is an eye-opener that critics of the film’s FX should be required to watch. I’ll be a lot of what you thought was CGI in the film wasn’t. I’m amazed by the models they built, and by the thought processes that went into them. Watch the section on the Argonaths. They talk about how the actual Argonaths would have been built. They worked out this elaborate process by which the cliff face was actually mined and turned into blocks which were used to build a certain section of the giant figures. When you look at the detail work that goes into this thing that is simply one sight along the journey, you can’t help but be a little humbled by just what WETA accomplished.

The technical specs on the disc are outstanding, and I played all the various soundtracks on different equipment. In the end, I think the DTS track is the warmest and most organic in design. It’s a slight degree better than the 5.1 mix, but it’s noticeable on the right equipment. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be any Macrovision encoding on the discs, which is a plus in my book. There’s always some signal loss on discs that have the copy guard turned up to high, and here, the picture is actually better than what we saw in most release prints of the movie. Splitting the movie in half allowed them to use as much storage space as possible for picture signal, and the consumer is the real winner here. For any serious fans of these films, or for the casual viewer who loves a great DVD set, this is one of the must-haves in any collection. This is not just a strong case for why FELLOWSHIP is one of the finest mainstream adventures ever produced, it’s also a testament to just how wonderful and complete this particular home video format can be.

I’m going to go write my review for FEMME FATALE now and transcribe that Johnny Knoxville interview from last week, and then I’m going to spend the rest of this week and all weekend catching up with several more installments of MORIARTY’S DVD SHELF. I’m going to be talking about titles like THE BIG KNIFE, CQ, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER, A&E’s productions of THE LOST WORLD, LATHE OF HEAVEN, and their new release of SHAKA ZULU, SINGING IN THE RAIN and A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, FINGERS, THE WRONG GUY, KOYAANISQATSI, POWAQQATSI, ONE GIANT LEAP, and a special all-anime column.

And it’s also time, I figured, to update the list of what’s coming up in the months ahead that we’re going to want to cover here on the site:

THIS WEEK

BABYLON 5: The Complete First Season

BAND OF BROTHERS

THE ITALIAN JOB

SPORTS NIGHT: The Entire Series

THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE

TO CATCH A THIEF

NEXT WEEK

The Complete MONTEREY POP Festival

SOUTH PARK: The Complete First Season

STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES

11/19

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS: SPECIAL EDITION

REIGN OF FIRE

11/26

ICE AGE

LOVELY & AMAZING

MEN IN BLACK II

SUNSET BOULEVARD: SPECIAL EDITION

12/3

THE DUELLISTS

LILO & STITCH

THE PRODUCERS: SPECIAL EDITION

SERPICO: SPECIAL EDITION

12/10

FAT CITY

MTV JACKASS, Vol. 2 & 3

12/17

BACK TO THE FUTURE: COLLECTOR’S SET

THE KING OF COMEDY

12/31

xXx: SPECIAL EDITION

1/7

BARBERSHOP

ALL ABOUT EVE

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: The Complete Third Season

THE GOOD GIRL

IMITATION OF LIFE

OZ: The Complete Second Season

THE SHIELD: The Complete First Season

1/14

ABOUT A BOY

1/21

UNDERCOVER BROTHER

THE BOURNE IDENTITY

1/28

ONE HOUR PHOTO

2/4

THELMA & LOUISE SPECIAL EDITION

2/11

SPY KIDS 2

3/25

WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? Buena Vista Series

As always, this is just a sampling of what’s coming out, and the titles that got our immediate attention.

Be back tomorrow with something new...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:57 a.m. CST

    the DVD future of the LOTR trilogy

    by dastickboy

    Is this "dual release" strategy going to happen with the other two movies? It's a bit of a jip really, I mean, the films are completed, surely the DVD extras can't take that much time and effort in comparison??

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Jeg er nummer to, og det er mye kulere enn

    by gigaloff

    But seriously; I can be quite eloquent at times, but words can't even begin to convey how much I want these DVDs. Gimme! Gimme!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:13 a.m. CST

    That'll do Mori. That'll do.

    by Silvio Dante

    Whoa. You can take that vacation now! Good job.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Och nu du

    by Silvio Dante

    Or something like that. Was that danish?

  • Great review Drew. It really gives you a deep look on the dvd. Keep up the great work. With wishes, the guy WHO SI NOT GOING TO SIT BESIDE YOU ON BNAT, Andrew Kirk/Kyriacou(in greek).

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:23 a.m. CST

    this sounds like...

    by Egon Spengler

    an absolute delight. The introduction of shire alone - "concerning hobbits"- seems like an improvement, not that there was anything wrong with the way it was. Overall, sounds like true and justified expansion set, very unlike many special editions which are done for just a quick buck. We shall see, but for now I take Moriarty's word, settle back and wait for the trolls to come crawling...

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Sounds great, but one major problem

    by ZakChase

    "The Fellowship of the Ring" title card appearing overtop of Frodo reading against the tree is one of the film's iconic moments as far as I'm concerned. First time I saw it in the theatre, it actually brought a tear to my eye. And while the new footage sounds great, I think I'll always prefer the theatrical cut for this very reason.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Gimme gimme now already!

    by Heleno

    Why do I find myself literally crying tears of anticipation every time I read something about either the special edition or the two towers? I mean, obviously because its worth it, but its very distressing.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Frodo reading under the tree

    by Egon Spengler

    Great image, no doubt but I think it has the same power as an introduction to that particular character. This new version seems to give us more info on the shire and if it really has Bilbo's POV on things, I think that it's improvement, foreshadowing of things to come in the story, the journey ahed to the places far away from home, where things are not safe, where people are very different from Hobbits. Emotional set-up was well conceived in the thetrical version, but I wouldn't mind seeing more of the shire, if it would serve the story and this sounds like it just might do that very thing.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Just To Clarify...

    by drew mcweeny

    The first shot of Elijah is still him sitting against the tree and reading. It's just that we've got five minutes of material about Bilbo and hobbits in general before we get to it. Also, they've added in a distant, echoing "FROOOOOOOOODO!!" from Bilbo, who is last glimpsed searching Bag End for him.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Cast Discussions

    by Goldberry

    WHAT! Could it be? I glanced the lineup for commentary four,at those featured in the Cast Discussions, and guess who's name did NOT jump out to make my heart beat faster? Viggo! How could they not dedicate hours and hours to interviews with the Elfstone? Was this an oversight on the part of the work-weary Mori? Please say it was, or I won't be buying this DVD...

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:56 a.m. CST

    The Shire! The Shire!

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    More Shire. Sounds good to me. Oh, my kingdom for a DVD player! Did you know I loved this movie? Little-known fact, entirely true.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Still not so sure about new title card scene

    by ZakChase

    Despite all the fully-realized characters, the epic scope, the F/X sequences and everything else that makes this movie great, "Fellowship"'s central character is Frodo. Taking the ring to Mordor is HIS quest and his alone. Frodo -- and to some extent Sam -- provide the beating heart of the trilogy. (Are they strong enough, brave enough, and pure of heart enough to succeed?) So, once the Middle Earth prologue is out of the way, it seems like a cheat to immediately focus on Bilbo (secondary character at best) instead of Frodo -- the emotional core of the story. It may please the Tolkien groupies, but it doesn't make much sense thematically. Not only that, but I bet it would really throw off someone who's seeing the film for the first time (all six of them).

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:08 a.m. CST

    The one dvd set to rule them all.....

    by Lordhoban

    Hell yeah, I'm there. Great article, Mor.. not all I need is my 100mill live action Transformers movie, the rest of the LOTR trilogy, the Hobbit, and well, lots of other stuff, and I can die a happy man... well, maybe, if circumstances are good. Anyway, yeah, I want, I want!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Moriarty knocks it out of the park yet again.

    by Nordling

    Great review, man. I await the UPS man with great eagerness. Note to UPS guy: don't slip in the geek drool. And you better get here on time, guy, or I'll have all sorts of strange tortures planned...but I digress. Go go November 12!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Dastick is a MORON

    by TurdFergeson

    That can be the only reason you and the other fools like you continue to bitch about the dual release. We've been over this, but I'll recap: it would only be a jip if it had not been announced ALMOST A YEAR BEFORE IT HAPPENED. Everyone and his brother knew the theatrical release would come out on DVD in August, and the special edition would come out in November. You had/have a choice. You could buy one of them, the other, both or neither. The fact that you're bitching about it just means that you must be too stupid to choose the one you want, and that's YOUR problem, not anyone elses. Dumbass.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Why I don't think it's a rip-off

    by JTylor

    For one thing: they told us (if you were paying attention) several months ago that there would be two editions. Thus, a buyer could prioritize. I loved the theatrical cut, and think it's valuable to history to have both cuts available, so I'll be purchasing the Special Edition as well. Also? The DVD Extras on the Special Edition are all documentary filmmaking executed by Costa Botes, who is really quite good at what he does (watch Forgotten Silver, which he co-directed with PJ), so I say he can take as long as he likes. I shudder to think how long it takes to edit a six-hour documentary well. Sometimes I really think people here say things with no knowledge of the actual process.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Let the copying begin!!!

    by geekzapoppin

    Thanks, Moriarty, for letting the cat out of the bag about the lack of copy protection on the discs. I'm afraid, now that the Republicans are in charge, that you will shortly be escorted to a "detention facility" for your own good and for the good of the country. Please leave your rights at the door. Thank you, and have a very American day... or else!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Roger Rabbit

    by Logan's Walk

    I know I am going off topic here, but I saw that WFRR is coming out with special treatment. Will this be the original movie, or the edited one that Disney released a couple years ago? Anyone, anyone?

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:30 a.m. CST

    DVD? Shmee VD!

    by peter60

    MMmmm, the four-disc LOTR special edition. What better example could there be of the DVD fan-boy geekoid "I have no life but I do have a DVD player" mentality? Four discs? Are you sure that's enough? Can you people not see when you are being ripped-off? Endless ****ing documentaries on the Making Of. For ****'s sake. Get a life, losers. And anyone who thinks LOTR: FOTR (as we like to call it) is anything more than a well-presented, soul-less, plotless, bland, pointless empty epic needs their head examining. Best film of last year? Perhaps, if the only other films you saw were "Spider Man", "AOTC" and "Harry fecking Potter". There were so many genuinely excellent films released in 2001 ("Moulin Rouge", "Ghost World", "The Pledge", "The Son's Room", to name but four) that to choose LOTR is facile and embarrassing.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Every bit worth my Money $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    by MinasTirithII

    DTS alone, cut scenes, Argonath book ends, commentaries, docs, etc etc. Don't like it don't buy. You have no right to bitch about a mega DVD as this. I bought the first version and I am buying the Delux Special Edition cause I want it all!!!! WOOT! sukors!!!!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I've seen it too...

    by Dickie Greenleaf

    I received my copy on Saturday morning, and having finally finished consuming the glorious wealth of extras last night, I will confidently say right now that this is by far the finest DVD I have yet encountered. On every level, this set is absolutely outstanding, and I can guarantee that I will come back to the documentaries in particular time and time again. We have all heard so much about what a fantastic and unique experience the mammoth process of making these films was for all involved, and these superbly produced featurettes (not to mention the commentaries where the camaraderie between all of the participants shines through at all times) do just as good a job of conveying the collective joy working on the production as illuminating the process of crafting one of the best film experiences I have ever had. And it is the film itself that has once again invigorated me like nothing else; much like UNTITLED. the bootleg cut of Cameron Crowe's ALMOST FAMOUS, the extra footage seamlessly woven back into the narrative has elevated an already great picture into a true masterwork. The prologue now provides a more complete introduction to all things Middle-Earth, and Bilbo's voiceover describing hobbit life is now the only way I can imagine the film beginning (and, to put any fears to rest, the placement of the new title card works perfectly). But contrary to what Moriarty stated, APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX is exactly the film I couldn't help but think of as I watched this new cut. Personally speaking, APOCALYPSE NOW is one of my favorite films of all time, and I found Coppola's re-edit only deepened and enriched the story and the characters. Aside from the obvious parallels of each being a journey into darkness, I was really quite taken by how similar the extended cut of FELLOWSHIP now structurally mirrors APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX; one of the primary things you will notice is how the film conveys more of a sense of the epic scope of the journey, of time passing and terrain covered as the hobbits are first led by Aragorn to Rivendell, and then the lengthier passage through Moria with Gandalf, and the sanctuary provided at Lothlorien with the elves. It is this section of the film that I feel is most significantly improved, in fact. Though by no means weak in the theatrical cut, I always felt that the scenes at Lothlorien were nonetheless a little on the pedestrian side, but what Peter Jackson has done with the new footage added here is give the audience a real impression of the transcendental experience the fellowship's short stay there would have been like. Cate Blanchett benefits enormously from these added moments, and the character of Galadriel comes alive in a way she never did in the previous edition; just watch the way each member of the fellowship reacts to her during the much anticipated gift-giving sequence - they look as if they believe they are in the presence of a holy spirit - and the subtle way in which John Rhys-Davies plays Gimli's infatuation with her adds similar layers to his character. This is also a great time to acknowledge the work of Howard Shore. As promised, he has gone back into his score in the same way Jackson has gone back into the movie, not just adding new themes (and the music for these new Lothlorien sequences is simply stunning, beautiful and ethereal) but expanding and varying the rhythms and motifs, allowing the new footage to flow as if it was always meant to be there. Prior to the initial release of the film, I certainly believed that if these stories were to work as cinema to the extent hoped for, the music was going to play a huge part. Shore has consistently produced work of a very high standard throughout his career (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, SE7EN and CRASH were incredibly impressive), but his score for FELLOWSHIP has become an instant favorite of mine, worthy of comparison with some of the greatest (and most iconic) ever composed for the screen, standing comfortably alongside LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and STAR WARS. But to come back to Lothlorien, to me it was most reminiscent of the French Plantation sequence reinserted into APOCALYPSE, representing both a timely opportunity for the audience (much like the characters) to rest up after what was probably the most intense movement of the film in the Moria sequence, and reflect on the larger themes of the story; the creation of myth, the act of sacrifice, and the weight of responsibility for an entire way of being in a rapidly disappearing world. The characters are visibly changed by their time spent there, and the experience will serve to influence the way in which they determine their conduct forever afterwards. Indeed, the rest of the film now seems to be bathed in a melancholy that underscores all of the ensuing action. And the action sequences are also improved; as the swarm of orcs and army of uruk-hai descend upon the fellowship, they appear to move with a will and spirit uncontained by the direction of any filmmaker, unmoved by the stirring efforts of Aragorn and Boromir and Legolas or the stout heart of the hobbits. Whilst the violence is not really any more gruesome (the film is still rated PG-13), the set-pieces flow at a pace that seems at once natural and completely out of control. As spectacle, FELLOWSHIP was always awe-inspiring; now it resonates with a force that is almost overwhelming. Peter Jackson and New Line deserve to be congratulated all over again.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Who has the time?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Don't get me wrongo, I love all the DVD extras, but I don't think there's a single disc I own where I've had the time to sit through all of them. I mean, 4 commentary tracks for a 3 1/2 hour movie? If you wanted to watch them all (and the movie without commentary) you'd have to devote a total of 17 1/2 hours of your life to one film! And then there's two (or three, if you buy the super-deluxe version) more discs of stuff to wade through. Seriously, how do you people do it? I haven't even watched all the extras from my "Phantom Menace" dvd yet for crying out loud! That said, I'll be picking up "Fellowship" the day it's released. Just the added Beren/Luthien scene is worth it for me. sk

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:53 a.m. CST

    "The Son's Room"

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    ...was merely okay, and I walked out of "The Pledge". Did something happen in it?

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:59 a.m. CST

    I expect you chaps will expect me to burn in hell for saying thi

    by General Gogol

    Was there anyone in geek land who was rather underwhelmed by FotR? I really believe that big event movies should have stuff you haven

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:18 a.m. CST

    splendid review, Mori, as usual

    by TV CASUALTY

    And for th critics, get bent. Constructive criticism is one thing, claiming that people who liked the movie "need to get their head examined" is simply pathetic, childish baiting. Grow up. I'm psyched to get this, especially since I held off on watching the original release. I think, if the reviews are correct and the extended version enhances the film so much, that I want just that in my memory. Memo to fed/ex - I ordered this damn thing six months ago. Don't dally, you hear? While I will certainly NOT watch all four discs in one setting, I'm sure I'll eventually digfest all of it. I'm of a different school of thought - I like to watch those boffo-stuffed extra discs over a long period of time, giving me an excuse to re-visit and learn new stuff over an extended period. More fun that way, good way to kill the occasional slow afternoon. Anyway, bravo again Drew.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Yes, Gugol, we realize that there were a few people who were dis

    by minderbinder

    Give it a rest already.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Sauron's Eye was "stolen" from...

    by Some Dude

    ...the teaser trailer for "Jason Goes to Hell."

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Er....

    by Kingasaurus

    "Please don

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:02 a.m. CST

    For all those guys who say we need a life and Peter60

    by Electric_Monk

    "Moulin Rouge", "Ghost World", "The Pledge", "The Son's Room", to name but four...******** Saw all those films youn mentioned, and with the exception of Ghost World, most of them were pretentious snoozers. And they have to take my gay card away from me, because I though Moulin Rouge was the most craptacular film since PT Anderson's Magnolia. In the Bedroom was a great picture, BTW. That film about the math guy who was crazy? Well that film did NOT deserve the accolades it got. It's all apples and oranges, my friends. These films appeal to many geek guys. Yes, some of them have no life, but there are others who do. And there are many more who appreciate the technical aspect of film making. We may need to get a life, but you tools need to stop pointing out the obvious. It's getting so boring to listening to ya.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Give COSTA BOTES the credit where the credit's due!

    by Pallando Blue

    Kuertti/Pellerin did the talking head interviews and some supplemental behind-the-scenes shooting, but COSTA BOTES and his small documentary crew shot just about ALL of the real footage in the SE DVD supplements. K/P apparently did a great job of assembling the raw materials into a phenomenal set of extras, granted. But, COSTA BOTES (and his close friend PJ to be sure) IS still planning/hoping to eventually assemble/release CB's OWN "trilogy" of feature-length making-of documentaries. Their intentions from the start being along the lines of a "Hearts of Darkness" record of the production, from the mud up. (Thankfully, without the Apocalypse Now production's horror-show cautionary tale, as it turned out!) There were hundreds upon hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes footage shot, so there's no serious risk of repeated footage. If anyone remembers, there was a test screening of a rough cut (very different now) at a university in the midwest last year, that BOTES hosted. His focus is as much on the everyday grunts of the shoot, like the fellows who literally spent months of 8-hour days doing nothing, NOTHING other than hand-linking plastic rings of thin-sliced PVC into "chain mail" in a plain little back room at WETA. And when they were all done and went back to factory work, complained that they were "bored as hell now" and missed working on LOTR. (I dunno, did those blokes get into these DVDs at all? Cause man I love that story.) Anyway, BOTES' documentaries are still in the works, and will hopefully get to see the light of day. Most likely, not until the entire film trilogy has been released, meaning 2004, and most likely not as theatrical releases (but we can keep our fingers crossed can't we? yes, yes we can) but as part of some special Box Set release. Although ALL of that is still up in the air, and will be for some time. Anyway, the main point of my long rant being: Moriarty, you listed the credit for Pellerin directing/producing/etc. the DVD, but that ought to be clarified. That's the DVD's assemblage (and kudos to him, like I said it sounds like he/they did a fantastic job). But for the incredible scope of detail and coverage, and pure completionist footage taken of the production from bottom to top to bottom that exists, give the credit to COSTA BOTES, his camera(s), and the total across-the-board access given him from Day One by his pal Peter. And the same'll go for the next two movies' SE DVD supplemental materials. *** Beyond that, great review, Mo!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Can't wait any longer!

    by Spam Gamgee

    It's almost here. The best DVD ever made.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Thank you Fettastic....

    by Praetor

    Your stock has just risen. Please be as reasonable tomorrow too.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Sean Bean was da man in FOTR...

    by Shanghai Goon

    so, yeah, it sucks that he can't be in TTT. Maybe a flashback??

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Moriarty!

    by WarDog

    This was a great and thorough review of the extended edition. Makes me extremely glad I waited to order this one instead of the previous release. I'll have to print out your comments and wave them in the face of a friend who went and bought that other edition. HA-haaaaaaaaaa!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I skipped the 2-disc for this...

    by empyreal0

    ...and it sounds like it's worth the wait. I am a special-feature NUT because unlike the vast majority of people out there who watch it for the pretty pictures and to pretend they know what the hell is going on, for me it's like taking a mini trip to Siggraph. Any decently made special features documentary is a priceless resource for a CG animator, lemme tell ya. Cinefex just isn't enough. Other effects mags are a joke. I need my special features fix. They better have a very detailed explanation of the cave troll scene, because there are a few shots in there that are just too beautiful to be believed, namely, when the cave troll is flailing around in the middle of the room, with live action actors running around, with the feel of a hand-held camera, all seamlessly integreated without obvious signs of green-screen or rotoscoping, (*coughGandalfatBilbo'scough*) or any flaws with the lighting whatsoever. I mean, that is some serious fucking planning, and I need to know HOW. Anyway, commentary tracks are fun too. Can't wait. I will officially have no life for a couple weeks once that thing is at my place.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Ok, great there goes my $40 bucks

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Well, ya did it Mori. Ya convinced me to buy this thing - I wasn't going to, but this changed my mind. Anyone who has actually made movies or plays knows that it's not a destination, it's a journey - and it seems clear to me that I can partake in this journey in a way through this package. It truly sounds special. Now before I get all weepy and nostalgic - AOTC sucked sac. Buncha hoping pixels.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 12:33 p.m. CST

    General Gogol - This is a film website and the film should stan

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    I can appreciate that you were decidedly underwhelmed by the movie. But you're wrong to underestimate the correlation between the film and the book. All films begin on the page - concepts to screenplay. This film is no different. A film that fails to respect its origins on the page will increase its chances to suck ass. It's a simple equation. Films that 'stand-alone' as you say, aren't necessarily revisionist - they just recognize a good story.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Good job, Mori

    by Flansy

    Excellent review; keep 'em coming!! (Looking forward to your opinion on "CQ", btw). Now, has anyone seen that 5th-disc documentary included with the LOTR gift-box? Worth spending the extra cash on?

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 1:25 p.m. CST

    LOTR: FOTR was fine the way it was... I hate it when they insert

    by NeofromtheMatrix

    The irrelevant extra material usually makes the film seem a little too long and boring. Remember how the special editions of Terminator 2 and Star Wars were lame? Thank heaven for the "ULTIMATE Special Edition" DVD, in which BOTH the original theatrical version AND the SE are included (with six hours of superfluous material! ARRGGH!) - I know Kung Fu.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Thank you again Mori...

    by JAGUART

    Its a shame that this version couldn't be released in the theatre because of its running time. I'm votin' with my dollars on this one and buying a half dozen for Christmas gifts. This December 18th is gonna feel like last year's Dec 19th all over again, which felt like May 25th 1977. But if I hear someone yell "FROOOOOOOOODO!!" one more damned time, especially Sam, I'm gonna laugh or puke I swear.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 1:45 p.m. CST

    must get 4-disc special edition.... must get 4-disc special edit

    by Alpha Zebra

    This was on my to-do list anyway, but Moriarty's kick-ass review sealed the deal. BTW, that's quite a DVD viewing list Moriarty's committed himself to, especially in light of his other writing assignments (as in screenplays) and the wealth of winter film releases worth taking in at the local gigaplex. Does this man sleep?

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 2 p.m. CST

    fettastic

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    I was just being ironic. We had come so far in a LotR conversation - and no one had mentioned it - colour me a shit-disturber. I think the colour is 'burnt umbre'.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 2:35 p.m. CST

    i

    by CuervoJones

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Well done, Moriarity

    by SpacePhil

    N/t

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:24 p.m. CST

    "such a realistic CGI creature"

    by KONG33

    Don't be such an idiot! The cave troll is NOTHING like a Harryhausen monster! NOTHING! How can you possibly believe that! He's just like the Star Wars monsters, while less entertaining. Completely over-animated, a cartoon, the worst part of the film for me. It's unfortunate this film is spread on 2 discs and is only available with a bunch of other expensive junk, so I won't be getting it for some time.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:37 p.m. CST

    "The Wrong Guy" is easily the funniest comedy ever

    by SilenceofFreedom

    Sucks that nobodys heard of it. Ah well, perhaps that will change. Come to think of it, nobodys heard of "Swimming with Sharks" either. And don't even get me started on "Zombie Lake". Ah well ...

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Answer me this, LOTR fans...

    by Monkey Lover

    How come Viggo Mortensen looks so goddamned ugly when he is not playing Aragorn, yet when he is, the ladies go wild for his looks. What the fuck is up with that? I mean, shit, he has a beard in LOTR which usually turns the ladies right off. Curious shit, I tell you.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:42 p.m. CST

    dastickboy

    by Darth Melkor

    Hey it has been confirmed that there will in fact be 2 versions of TTT and ROTK released just like with FOTR. I bought the first FOTR edition and am getting this one too, but will wait for the extended versions of the next 2 films.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:43 p.m. CST

    I have to agree with that bloke...

    by Monkey Lover

    There is no way you can praise that CGI troll thing, no matter how much you love LOTR. It looked like shit. The one in Harry Potter was better than that. What was worse is when that fake Legolas climbed on it. 'Twas almost as bad as when that fake Anakin climbed on that cow thing in the field.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:54 p.m. CST

    SilenceofFreedom: Hell yeah, Bitch!!

    by Cash Bailey

    THE WRONG GUY most definitely IS the funniest movie I've ever seen. I can't begin to tell you how many people I've forced to watch it. Dave Foley is a God in this movie. Actually, for a while my user ID was 'Enema Bag Jones' in tribute to that ass-evacuatingly funny scene in the hospital.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:57 p.m. CST

    You're right, Mori, Jeffrey Wells is a cock-smoker of the highes

    by Cash Bailey

    Read his utter drivel over at Movie Poop Shoot for evidence.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Fettastic...

    by TV CASUALTY

    In the words of a famous Ghostbuster - "I'm gonna take back some of the things I said about you". Nicely done. Anyway, that aside, is it Tuesday yet?!?!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Wow, well I never

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Hmmmm. I am always the first to bash CGI - I like wire fu better fer Chrissakes - anyone who says it's 'seemless' or 'vividly real' strikes me as being an asshole. It's not seemless, it's easy to tell and often looks, oh, what's the word I'm looking for, FAKE. Having said that - the Troll in LotR never bothered me. I thought it was better than the Balrog. And way better than any of the ILM stuff. I even took another look after everyone here kept telling me how bad it is. But I gotta say, its pretty good. Obviously it's CGI, but one of the better executions in my very cynical world.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 4:34 p.m. CST

    What is wrong with Jeffrey Wells, goddammit?

    by Monkey Lover

    Everyone here seems to hate him. I could not understand why, and then I realised: He does not like LOTR. Which, on AICN, is tantamount to rape or murder. He has a good coiffure and writes intriguing articles. But since he does not like LOTR, he must be the child of the devil! Burn him, you cry! Burn the devil child!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Monkey Lover, about Viggo

    by rev_skarekroe

    I really don't get it either. I think he's got a chin-butt and bad teeth, but my girlfriend is all swoony for all his movies. I think maybe there's just a narrow level where ugliness becomes attractive. For a female equivalent think Sarah Jessica Parker, Hillary Swank, or even Courtney Love. It's like they didn't really get BEATEN with the ugly stick so much as spanked lightly. sk

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Monkey Lover...

    by NatalieGS

    ..its all in the hair and the body build. Seriously. I've seen pics of him in his normal looks, and his face is fugly. Its the hair and the body build. It doesn't hurt that he's the only fully "good" human. Finally he is shown as a leader type, and many women are attracted to that..like ME!! I have to agree with your girlfriend. Can't wait until the 12th!!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Are people really this stupid? The SE was announced before the

    by minderbinder

    Idiots.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Here's a CGI bitching, through the filter of COMMON SENSE.

    by Nordling

    "Damn. Spider-Man looked fake. I mean, a real guy swinging on a web or climbing up a wall woudln't look like that." "Damn. That CGI troll looked fake. Cause' you know, trolls don't look like that. I know." "Damn, those CGI dinosaurs looked fake. Because, you know, I've seen them close up." "Damn, those spaceships looked fake. Because, you know, I've flown in space before, and lasers just don't look like that." "Damn, those weird-ass creatures that have never ever existed in reality in Episode II look fake. Cause, you know...urm. Um."

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 5:55 p.m. CST

    SW Bashing and LOTR lovin'

    by FranklinCobb

    I can hardly wait to get my hands on this set (skipping the other to wait for this one). What gets me is how over-the-top zealous people get when you bash the new Star Wars films. It's really not too hard to understand. LOTR gave fans what they wanted. Star Wars: The New Series is a hearltess abomination. Please notice that you won't catch a single one of us bashing the old Star Wars films. They are nearly perfect and quite timeless, and I enjoy them as a whole even more than Lord of the Rings. To defend them as quality pieces of work given their incredible heritage is, well, silly.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Nordling: Anakin and Legolas looked fake when they started climb

    by Monkey Lover

    And they are supposed to be 'real' in so far as they are played by actors normally. The troll just looked shit. Not fake, there is no such thing as a fake troll. It just looked shit. It looked like a computer effect. CGI shouldn't. We all know that it is just computer effects, but it should not distract us when we watch the movie. Examples of good CGI: A.I., Minority Report. The effects looked like aspects of the futuristic environment in which the films were set, not like computer effects. Do you see?

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:28 p.m. CST

    SOUTH PARK DVD - NO COMMENTARY!

    by Nordling

    According to the Digital Bits Warner Bros. has pulled the Parker/Stone commentary off the disc because they deemed it not appropriate. According to Matt Stone: "Warner Brothers would not release it on the DVD without editing some of its content for "standards" issues. Trey and I simply love the sounds of our own voices to let this happen. We also believe in a little thing called the First Amendment. After you hear it you may wonder "What was the big deal about it anyway?" Good question. And one better directed at Warner Brothers than at a TV screen. So let them know what you think. Trey and I did. And enjoy our first ever sober audio commentary." Fuck Warner Bros. Fuck them up their stupid asses.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:35 p.m. CST

    You know what this site needs?

    by MyNameDoesn'tFit

    More LOTR worshipping. I don't nearly have enough understanding as to how much it's loved by the people here. I think I got what Moriarty was implying from this review, but I particularly think Harry needs to make his feelings clear on this movie.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Monkey Lover: do YOU see?

    by Nordling

    I don't let shit like that get in the way of the story. I'm sorry that little things spoil movies for you. I bet that you hate it when, like, other people buy tickets for the movie that you go to see, 'cause you know audiences suck like that. I don't know why you bother to come here anyway, you don't seem to like anyone here, and here's the kicker - no one seems to like you, either. I can't understand people like you who can't simply enjoy a movie, yet say they are movie fans. If you just like arguing with people, do something constructive with your argument abilities and go to some political chatroom. Haters just flat out suck.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Must Buy

    by E J Thribb

    Have to say that this is pretty well a must buy. The changes all sound like they were pretty smart - don't get me wrong love the film as I saw in the cinema, but did regret the fact that a couple of scenes were missing. Particularly the gift-giving - esp as the gifts will go on to play an important part in the future films. With regards to the whole multiple version thing - I think that some of the other talk bakers do have a genuine grievance about buying the 1st release without being aware of this new one. Yes it was 'known' on web sites like this one that there would be an extended version - but whether that was known to all the people who bought version 1. You have to remember that not everyone who buys DVDs is an obsessive web surfer. I think that if they were going to release 2 versions so close together, then they should have actually done it at the same time. Just my tuppenceworth anyway...

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Hush your mouth, Nordling...

    by Monkey Lover

    You pathetic little Moriarty wannabe, quit preaching about what we can and cannot say on this website. Did I say I hate all aspects of moviegoing, or that I cannot enjoy a movie? No, you arrogant prick. Once again anyone who dares criticise the work of your precious WETA gets flamed by a zealot. Do I give a shit that no-one likes me here? Not really. I don't come here to be liked - that's what the real world is for. However, you seem to want to be Moriarty's friend desperately, what with all your "Once again Mori, your writing makes me wet" type posts you put here all the goddamned time. So just shut the fuck up and let us discuss LOTR in a way that does not involve mindless hero worship, you fascist dick.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7 p.m. CST

    Gee, did I touch a nerve?

    by Nordling

    That burning sensation at the back of your throat? That's bile. Or heartburn. Either way, I'm sure you're used to it by now.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Very poor comeback...

    by Monkey Lover

    The "Did I Touch A Nerve" routine is as old as "I Know You Are But What Am I?" It basically means you have no real reply so you try to pretend you won the argument by ending it abruptly.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:11 p.m. CST

    I don't have to "win" an argument with you, Monkey Lover.

    by Nordling

    I'm having sex tonight. Enjoy your Cheetos.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Haha! That's even worse!

    by Monkey Lover

    Hey, everyone, Nordling's having SEX tonight! A round of applause for Nordling! Congratulations, man. We're so proud of you.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:36 p.m. CST

    208 MINUTES OF ASS!

    by Darth Philbin

    JESUS F. CHRIST! I must have failed my God-damned "Saving Throw vs. Love Shitty Movie" when I saw it the first time on the big screen. To say that this was the BEST MOVIE OF 2001 is a freaking joke - more like the biggest disappointment! The movie B-A-S-T-A-R-D-I-Z-E-S the novel. "Harry Potter: TSS" blew the LOTR novel-film AD-CRAP-TATION away, and RAISED THE FUCKING BAR on translating novels to screenplay! I'd rather shove a Koplow 9-die yellow glitter polyhedral set up my dickhole and then proceed to pop the empty tube up my ass than watch one chapter of the theatrical version again. Needless to say that I will be in the next theater over that weekend watching "Gangs of New York" or "The Hot Chick" whilst the unwashed SCA masses converge upon screenings of "LOTR: Two Phallusses (phallusi?). PS - I often have sex with real actual beautiful women. PPS - Jar-Jar is funny.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:04 p.m. CST

    The Passing Of The Elves.. slight *SPOILERS* ahead for those wh

    by Amy Chasing

    I like the way the film shows how the world is changing by complimenting it with the passing of the Elves. I only hope that they explain this deeper in the following movies, and show that while destroying the One Ring will rid Middle-Earth of an ancient evil, it will also make all the good and "magical" elements of the world, created by the other rings - whose power was bound to the One Ring, fade and disappear. Which is one of the main reasons the Elves are leaving (if I remember my Tolkien right). Makes the melancholy of the Elves leaving even sadder, as even in victory there is a price. Also, on another topic altogether, does anyone know why New Zealand is called _New_ Zealand? I mean, New York is called New because there is a place called York that was there before it. So where is old Zealand? And shouldn't they just rename the whole country Middle-Earth now anyway? ;-)

  • Now Aliens on the other hand....was amazing. Though I though the movie worked better when you didnt see the colony beforehand. I think the level of improvement will be very similer for FOTR EE.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 8:39 p.m. CST

    To Amy About NZ

    by vorgon

    Amy. New Zealand was discovered first by a Dutch explorer called Abel Tasman(Hence the Tasman sea between NZ and Australia) but mapped by Capt Cook. Tasman called New Zealand, New Zealand after a place in Holland called Zealand. I'm not sure where in Holland. Hopes that helps. Great Review Mori can't wait till the Two Towers.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:20 p.m. CST

    broke

    by cyber

    Im gonna be broke after buying both episode 2 and fotr. I dont care what you star wars haters say. episode 2 more than made up for episode 1.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:22 p.m. CST

    by Anti-fanboy

    At this point, I'm just sick of hearing from everyone who's watched this already. Enough. I wanna see the fuckin' thing myself, gawdammit! :)

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:40 p.m. CST

    POP QUIZ: WHAT'S MORE BORING THAN LORD OF THE RINGS

    by SierraMountain

    ANSWER: People who loved it.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I realized my problem with LOTR

    by Tall_Boy

    cool movie, great direction, good performances, all very good. But, dammit the flick takes itself SOOOO seriously! its all a very solem and an *important* quest that everyone is on. there's no joy in it, mate. I think if you're dealing with trolls & guys in tights & wizzards have some fun with it. No Jar-Jar bullshit slapstick, but don't hit us over the head with the seriousness of everything. While the geek population has loved it (and I do dig the flick) when you ask my non-film geek friends, even for all the amazing FX and visuals and performances they just thought it dragged. I think that's the problem with the flick, and why I can't fully embrace it. there. my 2 cents that wasn't intended to be a flame. thank you.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:02 p.m. CST

    but does it have THIS...

    by Pulzar711

    http://homepage.mac.com/celkjer/iMovieTheater2.html HEE! Seriously, go there, it will disturb you all. In a good way. And it is Tolkien-related!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:03 p.m. CST

    but does it have THIS...

    by Pulzar711

    http://homepage.mac.com/celkjer/iMovieTheater2.html HEE! Seriously, go there, it will disturb you all. In a good way. And it is Tolkien-related!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 10:19 p.m. CST

    What You Didn't See In The LOTR Video!

    by GEEKBASHER v3.0

    1. The AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding. 2. Trial lawyers are selfless heroes and that doctors are overpaid. 3. Global temperatures are affected more by a suburban soccer mom driving an SUV than by documented, cyclical variations in the brightness and intensity of the sun. 4. Guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein. 5. Businesses create oppression and government creates prosperity. 6. Self-esteem is more important than doing anything to earn it. 7. There was no art before federal funding. 8. The NRA is a bad organization because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution, but the ACLU is a good organization because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution. 9. Taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high. 10. Standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas are not. 11. ANY change in the weather is proof of global warming. 12. National wealth is determine by what we consume, not by what we produce. 13. The only wars in which America should become involved are those in which our national security is not at risk. 14. Perjury and obstruction of justice are impeachable if a Republican president commits them but a harmless, private matter if a Democrat president commits them. 15. America can have a strong military without spending money on it. 16. The way to improve public school is to give more money and power to the very people who have misused that power and money to destroy the public schools. 17. Hunters and fishermen do not care about the environment but pasty-faced activists that rarely venture out-of-doors do. 18. A bureaucrat living in Washington, D.C. can make better decisions about how to spend the money that you earn than you can. 19. Being a movie or television star qualifies you to speak out on public policy. 20. Hillary Clinton is a wonderful example for young women of feminine independence even though she has never accomplished anything worthwhile without riding on the coattails of her husband. 21. A handful of religious whackos living in rural Texas are ore of a threat to public safety than Islamic terrorists who wish to plant bombs in major American cities. 22. Passing new laws are a much better way to curb crime than enforcing the existing ones. 23. Tax cut are for people who don

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:24 p.m. CST

    All you people are too Uptight

    by ASMD

    There is a world outside of your home. There are things to do besides being glued to your computer. Open you windows get outside and take a deep breath. If you don't your liable to have a heart attack because someone said the Lord of the Rings is better than Star Wars, or Darth Vader could beat up Gandolf. Shut you mouth, Every one can have there own opinion, and Quit your bitchin'. Blah Blah Blah.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Has anyone noticed the films that get special edits and added fo

    by TheGinger Twit

    That's all

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 12:49 a.m. CST

    AOTC Owns You +

    by NickFoley

    And an even longer version of LOTR? Give me a friggin break. The opening with the party and crap was boring as hell. Now they have a dance number and other crap like that? I'd be bored out of my scull with an Extended version.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 12:50 a.m. CST

    AOTC Owns You +

    by NickFoley

    And an even longer version of LOTR? Give me a friggin break. The opening with the party and crap was boring as hell. Now they have a dance number and other crap like that? I'd be bored out of my scull with an Extended version.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Ah, finally a DVD that FULFILLS the format's potential!

    by nazismasher

    The new cut integrates scenes and embellishments seamlessly. They were part of the film's original narrative, but were excluded with Peter Jackson's consent to accomodate the general public. This is simply LOTR without those concessions. Howard Shore was even asked to compose new music and expand the existing score to accomodate the additions. It is no mere cut n' paste operation (tsk. tsk. certain talkbackers should do their homework before displaying their ignorance). And (as if this needed to be explained once again at this point) whoever complains about a "ripp off" because of this DVD, yes, that person is indeed an idiot. Yawn. Ignorance AND stupidity in the same package - how efficient! New Line has been advertising the fact for more than 6 months and weeks before the theatrical DVD was even up for pre-order. What? Are you going to blame them for having confidance in people's intelligence? Learn to be an informed consummer.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Frodo as the heart of the trilogy

    by Xyzan

    i agree, of course. but the extended scene in the shire will probably set up Frodo's purpose for going better. We'll probably get Frodo's character established just as well, but we'll also get to see the reason he's going, the thing of beauty that he wants to save, that is shown through the line "what must i do". And to all the idots complaining about the different releases, no ones asking you to buy them all! If you want one version, then wait for one version! But at least we were told about this release many months in advance, and at least the releases are not duplicating anything. (different and extensive cuts of the film, different supplimntary material). It's not like most special edition dvd's, which just change one little documentary, add a trailer that no one really wanted, or add one redundant scene halfway through the middle of the film, then release it without any warning just a month after everyone's flocked to buy the first one! lets face it, if the dual release policy is followed with the other films (god i hope so, i can't bear those documentaries with the annoying voice overs telling us boring little details that we've heard already in any decent review) most people will still buy them, because they are great films and a carefully crafted release.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 8:43 a.m. CST

    The Troll looked fine

    by MinasTirithII

    Let me just remind you all that Star Wars sucks. And mean, really it does. Maybe if I was 12 I might have enjoyed it but alas, it just plained sucked. Saturday Morning Cartoons are better then AOTC>

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 9:38 a.m. CST

    CGI

    by WinSToN SMITHs

    I just want to concur with the last guy. Sometimes I pass off my disappointment with special effects as just expecting too much.. and then I see shit like Minority Report and realize what can be done with it in the hands of a REAL "visual storyteller" or whatever Lucas calls himself. Spielberg and Kubrick are/uuhwere perfectionists with their special effects... Most directors seem to be like "as long as it's a monster that moves around a lot".. Also, some guy way towards the beginning of the chat used a Babylon 5 quote. That's nifty. That was based on LOTR and 1984. and by far my favorite scifi...

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Spiderman

    by Logan's Walk

    Let's all hope that they will release a Special Edition of Spider-Man. In this edition the commentaries will be entertaining and insightful, the gag reel will be funny, the screen test footage will be something no one has actually seen, and there will be deleted scenes! Besides the actualy film, was there ANYTHING good about that DVD?

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Request for some clarification

    by the jaseman

    I cannot wait to get this special edition. I'm proud of how I've waited this long. You don't know the willpower it's taken to not buy the first version. Now that this talkback has achieved critical mass, I thought I would ask other talkbackers about the Rings series. Did Sauron make all the rings? And if he did, then why did the elves, dwarves, and men use them? I have yet to read the third book, but the first two books mention only that the rings allowed Sauron to control the various races. But what did the races gain from their respective rings? Any comments would be helpful. Thanks for helping out a fellow talkbacker.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Anyone else read David Poland's column yesterday? He hinted he h

    by togmeister

    He said that he had seen a major movie 'more than a month away from release' that he wasn't allowed to name. He said 'there was nothing wrong with it, which sounds like damning with faint praise, because it is. It just wasn't magical'. I can't work out what other movie he could have been talking about, and given that Poland was very positive about FOTR, this is slightly worrying.........

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 4:16 p.m. CST

    the jaseman

    by Nordling

    The Rings of Power break down like this...the Elven Rings, the three of them - whoever wore them had a deeper understanding of, and could affect, nature. They also could heal, if I understand correctly. These Rings were never influenced by Sauron, so nothing bad came of their usage. The Dwarven Rings, the seven of them - were used by Dwarfs to delve deep into the mines and gave the wearer the ability to find precious stones and mithril. Because Sauron had influence on these Rings, the wearer would become obsessed with the finding of precious metals to the exclusion of all else. Sauron has at the time of LOTR gathered all the existing Dwarf Rings to himself, and others have been destroyed. The Nine Rings were supposed to give Mortal Men long life and influence over other mortals, but because of Sauron they became shadows of themselves, unable to die, dominated by Sauron's will. So their influence and eteranl life came at the price of eternal servitude to Sauron. And the One Ring dominates all the others, except for the Elven Rings, which Sauron has not touched. That's just one of the One Ring's powers, of course. Help any?

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 6:14 p.m. CST

    What You've Said Rings True

    by the jaseman

    I should have clarified myself. I read the entire series once before in high school, and am rereading them now to refresh my memory and answer my wife's questions when she goes to the films. I am currently reading the third book as well, but I hadn't seen (or understood) the history of the rings. Nordling, you didn't actually answer if Sauron made all the rings or not. Apparently, Sauron has influence on the dwarven rings and the human rings, but the elves are immune. Or did the elves make their own rings and the other sets were gifts from Sauron? One last question, does it bug anybody else that the elves are pretty much all the same? I mean, if you've got Legolas in the fellowship, you don't need any other elves. The humans, hobbits, and dwarves (and even Ents) appear to have varied personalities, but the elves seem to all be pure, eternal, good, and kind simply as a function of their race. For that reason, I like how they've expanded Arwen's character a little. Thanks for the help, fellow talkbackers. I knew I could count on you.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 6:19 p.m. CST

    The deal with Viggo

    by GypsyTRobot

    To look at photos of shorn Viggo Mortensen in People Magazine or wherever, he isn't that attractive. When you see him acting, though, he radiates a certain somethin' somethin'. The beard and mustache actually hide his unattractive face and give the illusion of handsomeness. Maybe I've been influenced by everything I've read about him, but Viggo seems like a really cool guy, a genuine and sincere person of many talents and probably chock full of interesting stories. You hear about him doing poetry readings, painting exhibitions, buying his horse from the filming, and camping out with his sword. Sort of a renaissance manly man without being too macho, if that makes sense.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 8:08 p.m. CST

    I HAVE IT!!!

    by DarklingDan

    Whooo hooo! I know it's not being released until next week, but the Blockbuster store near me had it when I went in to return "Near Dark" just now! Mistake??? I didn't ask any questions, just sidled up to the counter, rented it, and ran home. Gonna watch it NOW.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 8:21 p.m. CST

    togmeister

    by DarklingDan

    Thankfully, I'm pretty sure Poland wasn't referring to TTT. It was in a part of the column where he talked about watching "7 hours" of movies. The first was NARC, the second was LOTR:FOTR:EE, and the third was the unknamed film. Even if NARC is only 90 min's long, the three together, esp. considering the additional thirty minutes of footing in LOTR:FOTR:EE, would have to come much much closer to eight hours than seven. Since he's emphasizing the time he logged looking at movies, why not round up rather than down? That's my math and I'm sticking to it; hope I'm right. I'm damn near shaking in anticipation. Now off to watch FOTR:EE for myself!

  • Instead of the 3 hours of walking from place to place that we got in the theater? Or is it just another half hour of more walking?

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Thank you Peter Jackson

    by Messyjoe

    nd I will do this with all the future ones like all true fans. Thank you Peter Jackson for having the vision and ability to pull of this coup. I have faith that the next two will meet all expectations. It is nice to know that after all the disappointing films of late, this project was what we hoped for. Keep the faith Frodo!

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 11:06 p.m. CST

    TOP TEN LIST...

    by brujoazul

    1. LET MORIARTY REVIEW EVERYTHING 2. SHOULDVE WON BEST MOVIE OSCAR 3. PLAY THE RESIDENT EVIL GAMES AND NOT LIKE IT 4. MORE VIDEOGAMES SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO FILM BUT WITH PASSION LIKE LOTR. 5. SOCCER IS THE BIGGEST SPORT IN THE WORLD, OR JUST THE BIGGEST THING PERIOD. 6. I PITY THE FOOL WHO DON'T WATCH THE TWO TOWERS 7. BOYLE AND PIPPIN ARE THE SAME, I DON'T THINK A BETTER CHOICE WOULD'VE BEEN BETTER, YET THIS GOES FOR ALMOST ALL OF THE CAST. 8. WILL TOMB RAIDER 2 BE BETTER THEN 1, I CERTAINLY HOPE SO BUT I WOULDN'T PUT MONEY ON IT. 9. IS THERE'S ANY JUSTICE AT LEAST ONE OF LOTR FILMS MUST WIN BEST MOVIE OSCAR. 10. HARRY, DON'T WRITE IN SPANISH IS JUST DUMB WHEN U DO IT. JUST A GEEK TRYING TO SOUND COOL THAT'S ALL FOR NOW...

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Well Done Moriarty

    by ILoveEwksAndJJar

    Bravo! I applaud. You've turned out a great article. This is why I read AICN. Now, let's get the TTT reviews going..........

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 1:53 a.m. CST

    After Scrolling A Bit Through The TB's Ive Noticed Some People

    by ILoveEwksAndJJar

    Bitchin about the CGI in FOTR. To them I say...well I don't know what to say, if you're not happy now then you'll never be happy. Accept the CGI for being the most perfect vision of something incredible you'll get. 'nuff said. Now where are the TTT reviews...

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Nordling...

    by KONG33

    I'm not talking conceptual design, here. When someone takes issue with the CGI, it means ANIMATION problems. NOTHING can animate like that Cave Troll, (short of a Tex Avery cartoon) that's just a fact. Admit it, FOTR wasn't perfect.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Elanor and Jaseman

    by Conan_the_Humble

    I pretty sure that Celebrimbor (as part of the Gwaith-i-Mirdan, a brotherhood or society of Smiths in Eregion) made all the rings of power (with the exception of the One Ring.) Sauron (disguised as 'Annatar, Lord of Gifts', hence the reason he was allowed into Eregion) had a hand in making many of the rings of power in Eregion (just south of Rivendell) but not the Three. That is why he was not able to control the persons wearing the Three. Sauron later attacked Eregion and was able to seize the Nine and (possibly) the Seven (Tolkien was unclear about this.)At the time of LOTR at any rate, Sauron had recovered Three of the Seven Dwarven rings, the others had been lost or consumed by Dragon Fire. Sauron also (still) had possession of the Nine (although the actual "possession" in the physical sense, by Sauron, has been argued at length in previous TB's) If you wish to read most of the history of the Rings of Power, Jaseman I suggest you read Unfinished Tales, (the tale of Galadriel and Celeborn.) Cheers.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 9:47 a.m. CST

    No, FOTR wasn't perfect.

    by Nordling

    After I saw it, no one came up to me and said, "Congratulations on seeing FELLOWSHIP! Here's 10 million dollars!" and handed me a sack of money. No, it's not perfect. The audience didn't immediately transform into a horde of beautiful women offering me various earthly pleasures after the film. No, it's not perfect. I didn't suddenly develop superpowers. No, it's not perfect. All the loved ones that have passed away in my life didn't suddenly rise from the dead in healthy condition. No, it's not perfect. A Hollywood studio exec didn't suddenly hire me for their "brain trust." Yes, I have come to agree. FOTR isn't perfect. Damn great movie though.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 9:51 a.m. CST

    No, FOTR wasn't perfect.

    by Nordling

    After I saw it, no one came up to me and said, "Congratulations on seeing FELLOWSHIP! Here's 10 million dollars!" and handed me a sack of money. No, it's not perfect. The audience didn't immediately transform into a horde of beautiful women offering me various earthly pleasures after the film. No, it's not perfect. I didn't suddenly develop superpowers. No, it's not perfect. All the loved ones that have passed away in my life didn't suddenly rise from the dead in healthy condition. No, it's not perfect. A Hollywood studio exec didn't suddenly hire me for their "brain trust." Yes, I have come to agree. FOTR isn't perfect. Damn great movie though.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Argh, sorry about the double post.

    by Nordling

    Sorry.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 12:04 p.m. CST

    My Goodness! What a disc and what a review! Beautiful!

    by Spacesheik

    Damn, this is pure bliss.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 12:54 p.m. CST

    "Who's the man? YODA DA MAN!!!" - from the current Episode II DV

    by IAmLegolas

    "Advance orders of the new "Fellowship" DVD's put them in the No. 1 and No. 5 spots on the Amazon best-seller list. In between are "Star Wars - Episode II : Attack Of The Clones," also to be released next week." - www.latimes.com *** Not bad for a "re-release", eh?

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 1:59 p.m. CST

    The eternal battle...

    by Spam Gamgee

    Star Wars sucks! No, Bored of the Rings sucks! Star Wars rules! No, Lord of the Rings rules! You suck! No, you suck! Lord of the Ring is much better than Star Wars! Fuck you, Star Wars kicks ass and Lord of the Rings is boring piece of shit! Sigh. Will it ever stop? I guess not, because Talkbacks like this would be a lot less entertaining without all the flaming. Can't we just all get along? NO! Looks like they agree on one thing. Well, me personally, used to be a big Star Wars fan. Until December 19, 2001. The day the movie came out that totally blew me away. I'm still a big Star Wars fan (saw AOTC four times) and I'll be buying the AOTC next week, but right now I'm a bigger Lord of the Rings fan. Isn't it great? The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition and AOTC coming out on DVD the same week! Oh yeah, lost my job (Next Tuesday last day at work). Bummer. Guess I'll have plenty of time watching my new acquisitions.

  • They announced the Extended DVD WELL BEFORE either one had even come out... so how exactly can people whine about how they are screwing us over by releasing this now when they MADE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR that it would be coming out long in advance of August 6th. By giving you all the information, they are enabling you to make an informed decision about which (if any) to buy. Please don't complain when you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Bigger DVD?

    by Darth Melkor

    Everyone is jumping up and saying how FOTR Extended is number 1 and AOTC is 2 on Amazon... this week. What no one says is how AOTC was number 1 for about a month before this week and FOTR was number 2 or 3.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Thanks!

    by BrianBoru

    Mori, your the best! Damn a few friends go this early and are watching it as we speak,...curse them! ;-)

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 10 p.m. CST

    considering I don't even own a DVD player....

    by KingKarll

    ......I might jest go and spring for this here DVD set-it sounds THAT good. Lotsa love, dedication and $$$ went into this here franchise. I'm impressed...........makes the Breakdancing Wizards and Ricky Shroeder nods almost worthwhile. The next two are gonna be fun to see too am sure......Oh-Star Wars still beats Fellowship, by the way, SW I at least. And ummm-Elvis vs Beatles-go with Memphis.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 1:20 a.m. CST

    I agree Elanor

    by Conan_the_Humble

    I'm certain Sauron did use the knowledge he would have gained as one of the Maiar of Aule. Whilst looking up that earlier bit about the Rings of Powers, I saw that Celebrimbor was actually one of Feanor's grandchildren, (the son of Curufin I believe.) A rather talented family no? Btw I'm still waiting for the damn FOTR SEV, it's making me positively sick that everyone else in the world seems to be getting it, but not me... (I'm happy that others are getting it early, I'm just pissed off that I can't!!!) Cheers.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Why?

    by Tarin

    What's all this nonsense about the sewers of Osgiliath?

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 11:41 a.m. CST

    FOTR was AWFUL!

    by Thol Sabirs

    I mean, it was really really bad. The CGI was worse than The Mummy Returs. The actors and characters were boring. The story was dull, too long and completley uninteresting. And Peter Jackson has to be one of if not the worst director currently in Hollywood.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 12:53 p.m. CST

    LOTR is pretentious drivel.

    by velocity

    And by the way - AOTC has been outselling FOTR for the past 6 weeks on Amazon and the past 8 weeks on Play.com. It's only this week that FOTR has gone top and yet all the zealots are having a party about it. Wohooo!!!! Are you going to invite Dildo and have some fireworks and smoke some pipes? How exciting!

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 8:03 p.m. CST

    something stinks

    by Tarin

    Does Peter Jackson think he can just take liberties with the story after the success of Fellowship? Does he feel he is now immune to criticism from the fans? Does he think this business with the sewers is an improvement over the story that Tolkien wrote? Does anybody care anymore? Is anybody out there?

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 8:43 p.m. CST

    The DVD to RIP YOU OFF FER 40 SMAKS!

    by imageburn13

    Or however much it'll cost. I sat down with the double disc, never seeing it, and hearing mixed things. In my studio this movie became on of MY ALL TIME FAVORITES, simply becuase it stood on its own feet. We were given a journey. And we could interpret. Thats classic cinema, people. Now, unforntunately I'm still torn as to what I will do, becuase I think the directors cut is perfect. I dont need all the fanboy stuff, now that I think of it. But it is TEMPTIIIINGG!

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 10:58 p.m. CST

    SE should be reserved for autos

    by TomVee

    This 4-disc SE would make more sense if the original film was some kind of masterpiece, which it is far from being. It is a good film, a film aimed squarely at children, but it is hardly a great film. Too cartoony, and too long. Great finish, however. The SE of THE ABYSS is like water torture, by the way.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 10:59 p.m. CST

    As usual, well said (written?) MorGy

    by Conan_the_Humble

    I've been visitig this site since 1999 and I've viewed every TB concerning the LOTR movies since that time. How often can you idiots repeat how crap the CGI in FOTR was, or make the ever original Bored of the Rings comments, or bag PJ for changing (slightly) the story of FOTR or call LOTR gay etc? Something original would be welcome since the King of talkback disappeared from the TB's. Whiptash!!! Cheers.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 11:02 p.m. CST

    RE: Viggo ugly

    by chucks888

    Don't you find it sort of funny that someone would post about how Viggo Mortensen is 'ugly' on an internet bulletin board in such a smug fashion? Gee, you must be a fuckin' D&D loving Fabio.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 11:10 p.m. CST

    awful

    by direktor

    LOTR was an abysmal piece of garbage. That is all.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 11:10 p.m. CST

    CGI ME

    by TomVee

    SPIDERMAN is another movie tarnished by cartoony-looking CGI that takes over everytime there is an action sequence. That movie minus the CGI verges on the great. Tobey Maguire should get an Oscar but of course he won't even be nominated. And Harry keeps lifting that fucking truck. For what, three weeks now?

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 11:27 p.m. CST

    FOTR v. AOTC $$$

    by mykll42

    If we are considering revenue generated a valid criterion in the unending battle of Star Wars v. Lord of the Rings, Fellowship handily beat Clones at the Box Office. Clones is currently US$9M and change behind Fellowship, and slowly gaining... I think it's showing on four screens in Alaska and one in Duluth. Worldwide however, it is US$221M and change behind. Or, to put it another way: 42,200 action figures behind. I don't think box office is a valid criterion, nor do I think DVD sales should be... but it is an interesting factlet. The main criterion I value is that I enjoyed Fellowship more.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 12:07 a.m. CST

    I'm Getting Both

    by Darth Melkor

    I've preordered FOTR from Amazon and am getting AOTC the day it comes out cause those are arguably my two favorite movies. Hey I have an idea, why don't all the Rings and SW fans put their differences aside and combine their hatred toward Spider-man. I definitely that was the worst of the three geek gang films. And suprisingly the highest grossing.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 12:39 a.m. CST

    I forgot

    by mykll42

    I am buying the Clones DVD. The last 20 minutes alone is worth $20... $1/minute and the rest is free.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 1:21 a.m. CST

    EVERYTHING ABOUT THE TROLL ******** TOTALLY FUCKING ROCKS ******

    by silent_light

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 3:35 a.m. CST

    *i never saw the movie*

    by tav

    My friends saw it and they said it sucked as the wandering-around-for-three-hours didn't charm, apparently. They all told me it was "not something you would enjoy". ah, but I probably should have seen it. I mean, I will see it and I was even waiting for the REAL extended version on DVD, yeah, that's the ticket. And I'll even see TTT in the theaters this year and read the books so I can figure out the Sauron's ring thing... yeah, that's the ticket. And fly to New Zealand for the final movie of the trilogy to walk the same hallowed ground as the hobbits or trolls or whatever the hell is in this movie....

  • I was being cheeky, but not sarcastic... :)

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson keeps the cave troll under his house...

    by silent_light

    ....I heard he feeds it sycophantic New Line executives who use the phrase, "audience demographic" and petty insistant fanboys who think Satr Wars insiped LOTR and not the reverse !

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Are ya like me?

    by billz3bub

    Did you buy your copy from deepdiscountdvd.com too? I went bargain shopping and still paid $.50 more than the discount price just out in the Best Buy ad. Shucks.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 6:34 a.m. CST

    CGI

    by kingcole101

    If your going to criticise computer generated special effects then please be more specific. You have 2 basic groups: Models and Animation. Even with motion capture, animation is far the hardest thing to create realistically. And of all three movies(LOTR, AOTC, SM) "Animation" is what fails them all. To me, the modelers who created Jar-Jar and Yoda did an exceptional job. But once the two start moving you realize something is wrong.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 9:07 a.m. CST

    MorGy,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    I pretty sure Morgoth actually means, "Black foe of the world." I've never had enough time to sit down and learn Quenya (or Sindarin for that matter, even though there are online courses in them...) but I do recall reading that somewhere, perhaps in the Silmarillion. That's all I have to say (at the moment) anyway. Cheers.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Tim Burton rip-off!

    by velocity

    While watching FOTR I kept expecting Jonny Depp to appear because so much of it reminded me of Sleepy Hollow! By the way, I was watching ROTJ on T.V the other night and I swear I saw Peter Jackson in Jabba's Palace.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 1:55 p.m. CST

    SE DVD...

    by Mithril

    I got my SE DVD box set, complete with Argonath (nice), on Friday. I watched the film twice on Friday and then watched the film three more times and all the extras from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday... Whew! And I loved it!!! Most of the additional information is just brilliant. Especially Isildur, Aragorn at the marsh, all of the extra Boromir, the extra fight stuff at Amon Hen and all of Lothlorien. The gift giving is just fabulous, and Celeborn is also much more fleshed out. His talk with Aragorn and gift of the elven dagger... Damn! As for the extras, on the third disc, the prop, set and costume design bits were my favourites. And on disc 4, Moriarty's right, the "Cameras in Middle Earth" is great. The "Scale" feature and the "Big-atures" were absolutely fascinating. Oh, and right on Moriarty, Richard Taylor is absolutely daft. Both Viggo and Orlando's reminiscences of their canoeing adventures were great. And as for Christopher Lee suddenly breaking into Black Speech... Wow! As for the commentaries, they were all fascinating, but the PJ/Fran/Philippa one and the cast one really did it for me. The cast, both in the commentary and in their interviews and reminiscences, often made me laugh out loud or almost sigh because of the wistfulness of it all. Best bits: the stories about the scale doubles, McKellen hitting his head, Tig (this is the most hilarious story!), "Judi Dench's mother", the "pantomime pony", Chris Lee's bandaged finger, Elijah's fascination with Sean's blood clots, the Ralph Bakshi tribute, Billy Boyd's girly shriek and champagnes with Bloom, and the irony that Lothlorien was shot in a forest named "Paradise". And the commentaries were so chock-full of great tidbits of information that I was reeling. (SPOILERS AHEAD)********** That Hugo Weaving dubbed Isildur's line, that Fran Walsh did the Wraith shrieks, that Arwen's words at the ford are not a spell to raise the river but just an indication to Ulmo and Osse that she's across and the Wraiths are coming, that Galadriel WILL also have a narration at the end of ROTK, that Gandalf lets go ON PURPOSE in Moria, that the Black Tower is only 1/3 done but will be seen completed (and obviously frigging huge) in ROTK, that the scouring of the Shire is a reference to Birmingham's industrial development,etc. etc. (SPOILERS END) Oh, and the original narration meant for Frodo is pretty bad. Thank god they changed it. Gotta go, have to watch the movie again.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Pallando, Goldberry, The Jaseman, Morgy...

    by Mithril

    Okay, have to wait for my pal to get here to watch the SE a sixth time, so here's some responses: ***Pallando Blue, yes, the chain link makers are shown and talked about for a while in a documentary. Some of the cast members are absolutely in awe of these guys. Oh, and Costa Botes gets a credit for the material. ***Goldberry, no, Viggo is not on the commentary. But there's lots of him in the interviews and documentaries. And the commentaries include an awful lot of referential references to him. (Man, Orlando Bloom worships Viggo!) ***Herkubus: agree on the Abyss and Aliens stuff. Love the Aliens SE except for the colony stuff (takes a lot of the excitement away, quite frankly). Though seeing Mac MacDonald was quite funny. ***The Jaseman: the Rings and their creation has been nicely commented on already, so I won't get into it. BTW, elanor, the history of the rings is touched on on the alternative narration and Elven rings and their powers are discussed at some length by Philippa Boyens during Galadriel's transformation scene (which apparently is all about Galadriel's ring of water, which explained a lot of it). ***Which reminds me, morGoth: yes, the third ring will apparently be revealed in a later film... Ooh, can't wait! ***Back to Jaseman. As for the elves being "similar", I think their cultural similarities and enigmatic though helpful attitude are similar, but even in the film you can tell some differences. And certainly the books show lots of differences. E.g. the negative attitude of Celeborn and Thranduil towards dwarves as opposed to more culturally exposed Elrond and handcraft-loving Galadriel are clear. ***Fettastic: "foreign dying language"?!? WTF! Speaking as a native speaker of that "dying language", I would beg to differ! Chris Lee would kick your ass for saying that (also being fluent in it)! ***And would just like to say that all this "history of Sauron and the rings" speech (thanks for the nice summary, morGoth) makes me add that Legolas' "Balrog of Morgoth" line in the SE is great. Ooh, and Gandalf mentioning Smeagol. And Aragorn and Haldir arguing in Sindarin. And... oh crap, I'm off to watch the movie.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Alright, fine. I'll buy it. Christ!

    by JonQuixote

    I hope you're fucking happy, Moriarty. Stupid New Line Marketing Pieces of Shit....why could this not be a 5 disc set with the original movie too?

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Got the Se for 28.45 Saturday night!!

    by Creed

    A Wal-Mart in Cleburne Texas broke the steet date rule and I got a fine copy last night for $31.08 tax included. Watching it as we speak and the opening prologue changes with Bilbo are enought for me.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 3:56 p.m. CST

    To Be Continued...(Bless the folks at deepdiscountdvd.com)

    by Electric_Monk

    Spent all Friday and Saturday morning watching the Appendices. My God, you realize what an undertaking this film was. I applaude New Line for taking on "the biggest low budget" film they ever did. Jackson comes off not only as a brilliant film maker, but a humble man who was convinced that he could make a great series of films. If only the pencil pushers of Hollywood can see beyond the bottom line and actually trust the director, the writer, the producer, maybe 95% of all films would be better (though that would mean Chris Tucker and Jim Carrey would continue to make films). I've only listened to the commentary that Jackson, Phillippa Boyens and Fran Walsh provided so far. But for all those hardcore fans of the books, maybe they can forgive Jackson for some of the liberties he took. He explains, with some detail, why scenes in the books were dropped and why Liv Tyler's character was expanded. Anyway, I look forward to listening to the other, including that crazy-assed Richard Taylor and is monotone voice. BTW, I also got my Star Wars -Episode II: Attack of the Clones DVD. The extra's are just as good as TPM. I was wondering, as I listened to Lucas, whether his desire for a perfect film -on the techincal level -is creating the problems of bad writing and stale direction. The problem as I see it, is that when he made the earlier series, he was restricted by budget and technology. It made a better trilogy. Now he has these massive amounts of money and the time to perfect them. Maybe too much time and too much money have made these first two films in the new series dull and uninteresting. Also, after listening to Rick McCallum, I realized what a Taody he is. I wonder if him and Rick Berman and Brannon Braga all go to the same class; How To Suck Up to the Boss 101?

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 4:35 p.m. CST

    FOTR Special Edition: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    by Orson W

    Okay, I've just finished my mammoth viewing of FOTR:SE DVD (plus some of the extras) and have to give my official verdict: In spite of all the hype and hysteria, the extra thirty minutes of footage do nothing to improve the movie - and with a couple of notable exceptions were better left on the cutting-room floor. Peter Jackson was absolutely right: the original theatrical release IS the director's cut and IS the better version of the movie. Before I go into detail, I'll make some general remarks on the extra footage: In terms of the movie as a whole, the extra scenes slow the whole thing down way too much and often do not tell us anything we don't already know - usually they just overkill points that were already made much more elegantly in the original release. Also, in terms of writing, acting, direction and editing, the new scenes (with some exceptions) fall well below the standards of the rest of the movie - occasionally dropping to Phantom Menace standards. I am so relieved that Jackson decided to cut them from the original movie - I will hold on to my original-cut DVD until they prise it from my cold dead hands. Also worth noting that some extra scenes really do look like they were cobbled together clumsily from many different takes. Well, that's the bad news. The good news is that amongst all this rubbish there are some real gems - and I think there is justification for adding 5-8 minutes of extra footage to the movie - but definitely not thirty. Two characters who emerge from the additions with enhanced dignity are Boromir and Gimli - their characters are greatly improved. On the other hand, the character who suffers from the additions is Bilbo - his extra scenes are ill-conceived and not terribly well acted. He is now very unsympathetic and selfish (and very different to the book). Gandalf is now a lot closer to how he is in the book - because we see a couple of instances of his quick temper (in the theatrical cut he was much kindlier and relaxed.) But if there is one star of the extra scenes it is Howard Shore - some of the music he has added is just brilliant and is actually an improvement on the original. And now onto a scene-by scene critique of the additions (I'll try to be brief)...........................(1) Prologue: we see Isildur getting killed. It's actually not half as powerful or evocative as the original version where it cuts to his body floating in the water. Definitely a case of 'less is more' (and this applies to most of the extra footage)......... (2) Introduction to Hobbiton: A lot of time wasted here telling us things about hobbits and the Shire that we could already SEE CLEARLY WITH OUR OWN EYES! Definitely overkill. The images and music told the story perfectly well on their own (this is a CINEMATIC medium - remember?). And this is a very slow and laborious introduction to the main story (it takes ages and ages for Gandalf to arrive at Bag End) - the original cut was much more captivating and moving. Less is more. Also of note: inexplicably, Jackson has replaced some of the Gandalf+Frodo shots with inferior takes (!!??).........(3) Extra Bilbo scenes: as I said above, they make Bilbo look like a crotchety old miser with mental health issues. Very tacked-on feel to these scenes........(4) Singing in the Green Dragon: The song itself is fine, but the gossip amongst the hobbits is badly written and acted.....(5) The passing of the elves to the Grey Havens: A very nice little scene - with the addition of a brilliant, haunting song (Enya-like, but better). It is however spoilt by two things: it happens in daylight (night would have been more evocative, I think); and rather than just gazing in silent awe at the sight of these wonderful beings (which would have been brilliant), the hobbits spoil it all by talking - and Sam says a terrible groaner: "I don't know why.....it makes me sad." D'oh! Badly written and badly delivered. They should have said nothing and let the beautiful visuals and music do the talking.........(6) Aragorn+hobbits in the marshes: Aragorn's song is an unneccessary addition to me. The nature of Aragorn's relationship with Arwen is already shown in Rivendell.......(7) Aragorn+Boromir in Rivendell: Now this is brilliant. A few extra lines of dialogue and some terrific music totally transform and improve this scene. Should have been like this is the theatrical cut. The music plays as Boromir picks up the broken sword - it is ominous and creates great dramatic tension. And now when Boromir cuts his finger, it's like an omen of doom. Adds a hell of a lot to Boromir as a character. I say it again: this scene is brilliant........(8) Council of Elrond: Again, some great new stuff from Boromir - he now emerges as a much more pro-active character. Unfortunately, I think that the bit where Gandalf utters the black speech doesn't work at all - in the same way that the Atomic Galadriel scene doesn't really work. Of note: Gandalf is exhausted after using the language of Mordor and his voice goes all weird..........(9) Aragorn+Elrond: tells us nothing new and seems to get cut half-way through the conversation.......(10) Departure from Rivendell: Elrond's speech is, to my mind, cheesy nonsense. However, the bit where Frodo asks if Mordor is to the left or right is a lovely idea. It's not as funny as it sounds - it's actually surprisingly touching! Should have been in theatrical cut........(11) Gandalf+Frodo after Caradhras: Badly written and acted. Unneccessary and cheesy......(12) Doors of Moria: Improved. Gandalf loses his temper with Pippin, like in books.......(13) Moria: We get a better idea of the enormous size of Moria and of the length of time it takes to go through it. I'm glad about this, frankly.........(14) Balin's Tomb: Some extra footage here only serves to diminish the intensity of the battle - Aragorn saves Boromir's life and then takes some time out to give him a little playful nod of the head (in the middle of a huge fight??!!). The Balrog scene has not been improved I'm afraid (sigh). (15) Entrance to Lothlorien: Terrible, absolutely terrible. Argument with Haldir clumsily edited from loads of different takes and the pacing is completely screwed up; Gimli's make-up a mess; Haldir's 'intro' to Lorien is terribly written and performed; Haldir himself is the stupidest-looking elf I ever saw......... (16) Galadriel and Celeborn's entrance: Again, the editing is all over the place. The conversation is incredibly stilted and makes no sense whatsoever. This is Phantom Menace territory.........(17) Sam's song about Gandalf: embarrasing, just plain embarrassing.........(18) Gift-giving: Brilliant! I didn't expect this to be so good! Cate Blanchett has never looked so beautiful and makes me weak at the knees. Gimli has his best acting moments here - really adds a lot to his character. Very funny bit from Sam who is disappointed with his present! The music at their departure is fantastic - even better than in the original cut. .......(19) Boromir+Aragorn arguing: Great scene for both of them. Adds tons of depth to Boromir. Aragorn shows that he is a firm leader. Great stuff. Keep it in!.......(20) Final battle at Amon Hen: Some extra violence adds a lot to the fight, especially Boromir's. The fact that the characters have become more rounded (through the extra scenes) makes the fight much more gripping and Boromir's scene is especially poignant. In fact, my estimation of Sean Bean as an actor has risen 200% by the expansion of his performance - his best bits are in the Special Edition. However, I remain unimpressed by Merry and Pippin taking out Uruk-Hais by.....throwing stones at them. This is like Sam killing Orcs with his frying pan....................................Okay, I haven't mentioned everything here but overall, I am disappointed with most of the additions and I have to say that I must question Peter Jackson's judgement for ever letting most of this stuff see the light of day. Seriously, some of the added bits are on a par with Attack Of The Clones etc. Yes, there are some fantastic moments but they are buried amongst a lot of dead weight. I'm sticking to the theatrical cut. On a different topic, I must praise the incredible presentation on this DVD - the best I've ever seen. At last, Alan Lee's pencil drawings are getting the pominence they deserve as they are on all the menu screens. Which leads me to another gripe: why on earth didn't Alan Lee and John Howe get top billing in the credits? Practically everything you see in the movie has come directly from the imaginations of these two gentlemen. No Lee and Howe = no movie. And yet they get a tiny little billng, far below Grant Major, who after all, only executed the designs THEY created (and, I may add, Major utterly failed to capture the haunting beauty of Lee's drawings). Anyway, the menus are completely stunning - and the content of the extra disks, based on what I've viewed so far, is extraordinary.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Talk about Responsiveness!!!

    by the jaseman

    Thanks a ton Elanor, Nordling, Camacho, Morgoth, Mithril, and Conan. You guys answered my questions 10 times over. I can't wait to sit down with my movie friends and dispense my newly acquired Rings knowledge. I printed out all your responses so I can study them. There are truly no bounds to my movie geekdom. I've always liked the talkbacks because you can toss out all your movie questions and generally get some pretty good responses. The talkbacks also tend to distinguish the true movie fans. A lot of people have some questions after seeing a movie, but most just shrug it off. It's the dedicated fans who seek out the answers on the film sites. The talkback community is unique because so many of us have strong feelings about movies. So even though I don't always agree with the opinions on the talkbacks, I at least can understand the border-line fanaticism behind it. Having said that, thanks again, and see you at The Two Towers!!!

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Orson W

    by Electric_Monk

    "Okay, I haven't mentioned everything here but overall, I am disappointed with most of the additions and I have to say that I must question Peter Jackson's judgement for ever letting most of this stuff see the light of day. The extra thirty minutes of footage do nothing to improve the movie." Okay, first off Orson, did you listen to the commentaries (some of the "extra scenes really do look like they were cobbled together clumsily from many different takes." He explains this. Lucas does the same thing, as I learned in the AOTC's DVD) I think he gives a clear understanding of why he did this, for he was not adding "the extra thirty minutes of footage" to improve the film. It's just another way to enjoy film. He's not asking to you to forgo the theatrical cut. This Special Edition is just a semi-different take on that version. If you are so enamored of the first cut - "I will hold on to my original-cut DVD until they prise it from my cold dead hands" - why did you buy the film and not just view it from a friends house? Would have saved you $30 bucks. From my perspective, you went into this with a closed mind (much like some Star Wars fans do with TPM and ATOC's). And while there "are some fantastic moments", I don't think all of it was "dead weight." This is the problem with SE, especially this on which adds so much extra footage. And fans, for some reason, are unforgiving.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Electric monk...

    by Orson W

    I am not saying that Jackson intended the SEV to be the 'real' version of the movie: he has quite clearly said on several occasions that the SEV is NOT the dirsctor's cut. My problem is that I was led to believe by all the reviews on this site and others that the SEV is a BETTER movie than the theatrical release. Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is that only some of the new scenes add to the experience - the rest are just repeating what has already been done more effectively in the theatrical version. But to listen to people like Harry and Moriarty, you would think that the SEV is a work of unparalleled genius.

  • Nov. 16, 2002, 1:14 a.m. CST

    You need both versions of LOTR:FOTR

    by Wonderslug

    I have both the 2-disc set and the extended 4-disc set (actually 5 since I bought the collector's gift set which includes the National Geographic DVD). One thing I noticed is that, for the person that wants all the LOTR goodness, you really need both sets. The reason why is that nearly nothing that's on the second special features DVD of the 2-disc set is available on the 4-disc extended set. No theatrical trailers, no TV spots, no Enya music video, no 15 part featurette of www.lordoftherings.net, no 3 half-hour documentaries by Houghton-Mifflin, Fox, and Sci-Fi, no preview of EA's LOTR game, and no preview of the extended version (well, duh, on that one). The only thing that is copied over is the 10-minute preview of "Two Towers". So you need to buy both sets to "have it all".