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Archive for July, 2002

Extended DVD Screener Resurfaces

War of the Ring is currently hosting the extended DVD screener and another sample from the DVD — a profile of Legolas. If you haven’t been able to get hold of the footage yet, try these links. [More] [More]

Both of these are Real Video format. You will require Real Player — Dem.

Posted in Old Main News

Alan Lee to Appear at V-Con

Jaimie writes that Tolkien-illustrator Alan Lee will be making an appearance at V-Con (held in Vancouver) in October. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

More on DVD Freebies

Apparently David Jones (in Australia) is offering of a “limited edition” book with a purchase of the DVD. Baralier rang a Melbourne store and confirmed that with every purchase of the DVD, the buyer will receive a copy of the Official Movie Guide (hardcover). Neato!

Artimus and Samwise also wrote in to add that Future Shop in Canada is also offering a freebie book with the DVD on their website. But you must order before August 5. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

It’s Time to be a BASTARD!

TBHL (The Bastards have Landed), home of the Official Peter Jackson Fanclub, has undergone a massive update. And before you say: ‘I bet they just updated the news.’ (which is true) look closer. Because *DRUM ROLL* … you can now become a TBHL member!

Soon you’ll be able to sign-up and join Peter Jackson’s very own OFFICIAL fanclub, where you’ll receive lots of fine stuff the TBHL guys are dreaming up right now! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Parental Reading Increase Due to Rings and Potter

A survery reports that the number of British parents reading to their children has more than doubled in the last two years, owing to the success of books such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Thanks to Kimberly for the link. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

WITH THIS RING…

‘LORD of the Rings” grossed more than $312-million at the box office – but that’s only the beginning. The DVD of the Oscar-winning fantasy movie which hits stores next Tuesday is shaping up as the biggest event yet in the short but very lucrative history of the little disc. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Comic Con 2002

Comic Con 2002 kicks off tonight with preview night at the San Diego, CA Convention Center. Don’t forget that tomorrow, at 5pm PST, we will be doing a presentation that you won’t want to miss! We will also have a booth in the exhibitor hall for the entire weekend so make sure you stop by , get some free stuff, win some prizes and just say hello! Look for reports in the coming days as the festivities commence. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Yet Another DVD Review!

Dave sends in another DVD review, some people have all the luck! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Yet Another DVD Review!

From: Dave

Just finished my 1st viewing of the DVD / fullscreen edition, which I got my hands on at Walgreen’s in Chicago burbs today. (they don’t seem to be carrying the widescreen version).

I agree with other reviews about the quality of the transfer to DVD – looks very good, rich and clear, even on a puny 27″ TV with no surround sound (thus I can’t really comment on the sound), with a few exceptions. There were several points where there is what I have come to think of as “DVD pause”, where, during a scene change, the frame seems to freeze for about a 1/2 of a second longer than it should. Maybe this is some kind of by-product of the reel-change mark that you see in the upper right hand corner of the film which signifies a switch to another reel at the theater. The net effect is kind of annoying, and it happens several times, most notably at the end of the secret council at Rivendell, right after Elrond says “you shall be known as the Fellowship of the Ring” and Pippin says “Great! Where are we going?” ha. There is definitely noticeably missing material on the fullscreen version, such as when the dragon firework goes off, you can’t see the burning tent at all.

I found the special features disc to be rather weak as well. Most of this stuff we here have seen before (but it’s nice to have in 1 place), although I hadn’t seen the Houghton Mifflin special and I found that very interesting, some bits of history on Prof. Tolkien and the publishing of the books, instead of the now-common “extended trailers” that those specials sort of became. I was disappointed that there was no commentary whatsoever on this version. I was expecting that. The “special features” choice on disc 1 only tells you to put in disc 2 – DAAR.

The 10 minute Two Towers preview wasn’t really what I expected, but it was very good. I thought it would be a 10-minute trailer. Instead it was some very cool behind the scenes stuff with some brief (and a few new) trailer scenes sprinkled in, with PJ giving a sort of guided tour (quite cool) – introducing the new characters – some good interview bits with cast – a lot of focus on the way they did Gollum, (with Andy Serkis in motion capture suit – nice interview bit with him) but no new footage of the finished Gollum at all, and not even a peek at an Ent. The part of the preview scene with “filthy thieves – you stole my precious and we wants it!” is much lighter and easier to see than what we saw in the online trailer – you get a much better look at Gollum there.

I feel a bit like a sucker for going for the marketing ploy (suppose I will now own 3 versions of FOTR on DVD), but hey, I suppose that’s the nature of the geek.

Posted in Old Special Reports

FOTR In TIME

Ringer Spy Eléntari sends along this beautiful ad from TIME Magazine, take a look! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Another DVD Review

Ringer Spy The One sends along his review of the FOTR DVD! Disc 1 contains the main feature and nothing else. My main concern with the DVD was that it would not capture the atmosphere and fantastical elements of the film like the cinematic release did.

Luckily, I have been proven wrong. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Another DVD Review

Ringer Spy The One sends along his review of the FOTR DVD!

Hello there! I thought I’d write a review of the FOTR DVD, I would be very happy if you published it on TORn. It contains a rundown of every part of both discs and as a result is very comprehensive, I hope it will make the choice easier for people not sure whether to buy the DVD or not. Thank you very much! Here it is:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: DVD Review

My LOTR DVD arrived in the post yesterday, after having only ordered it from play.com on Friday! I live in the UK and I had heard that play.com were already shipping their DVDs so I was quick to get my order in. Anyway, now that I have it I thought it would only be fair to share what I have seen with those unfortunate ones who are still awaiting it’s release. Needless to say, I spent the whole of yesterday afternoon watching all the special features, and then the evening watching the feature. For simplicity’s sake, I will split the review up into easy to understand categories:

Disc 1

Disc 1 contains the main feature (the theatrical release), and nothing else. My main concern with the DVD was that it would not capture the atmosphere and fantastical elements of the film like the cinematic release did.

Luckily, I have been proven wrong. As the old saying goes, “to see is to believe” and in this case that phrase carries a lot of weight. The film translates exceptionally well to the small screen, considering I watch DVDs on a 17″ monitor I was very happy with every element of it. The picture quality is crisp and clear, the colors are well defined and it seems far less daunting than seeing the film in the cinema. You really can’t fault the visual aspect of the DVD. Likewise, the sound is also of a brilliant standard. Fellowship has a very good sound mix for starters, but the sound on the DVD is no short of perfect. There is just the right balance between music, sound effects and speech, none of this “over bassiness” that seems to dominate many DVDs now. The sound is spot on. Nothing seems to have been lost in this release either, as I said earlier it is, in many cases, easier to follow – especially in action sequences. The scene selection is great too; there are many chapters so it’s not split up in to massive chunks. And, with both discs the interactive menus are amazing, they really are interactive! You’ll want to reach out and touch things, as you click on certain buttons, the background will seamlessly change – they really are quite amazing! You won’t be disappointed with Disc 1 one little bit.

Disc 2

This disc has all the special features – admittedly there isn’t a whole lot of content here, but you were warned and you did know what you were buying! What is here, however, is generally of good quality and worth watching…

The Documentaries:

The DVD boasts 3 documentaries for your viewing pleasure. Now, I’m going to be honest here because you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high for these.

The first documentary “Welcome to Middle Earth” starts with a short introduction about the original publishing of the LOTR books and then goes on to a behind the scenes look at FOTR. It makes a fairly interesting watch but for LOTR fans and followers it really is rather dull. I had already seen the Fox “Quest for the Ring” special on TV and I knew it was rather pathetic, with a very tedious and annoying Hollywood voice over the whole time – it’s basically a preview for the film and would make acceptable viewing in the run up to the film but now it’s utterly pointless and barely worth the watch even if you’re a non Tolkien fan… Now, the last documentary “A Passage to Middle-Earth” is certainly a quality behind the scenes look at FOTR. It covers many of the main aspects of the film and is well worth a watch. If you are going to see just one documentary, this is it. Unfortunately though, I had sat through the proceeding two before seeing this and much of the content is repeated on all 3 programs. Quite why these triplets are advertised as “In Depth Programs” is beyond me. If documentaries is what you are after, wait for the second DVD release in November

The Featurettes:

Now, I am a sufferer of the 56k modem, and so I hadn’t had a chance to see any of these featurettes, so I was looking forward to seeing them – especially as they are a similar idea to the Star Wars prequel featurettes which were done exceptionally well. All 15 of these “mini-documentaries” are very good in both quality and content. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and have re-watched many since. One minor criticism: It would have been nice to have a “view all” button like on the TV spots so that I could have sat down and watched a good 30-45 minutes of LOTR documentaries. But this is a minor point and does not take away from the quality of these featurettes. Of course, if you have already seen these there is nothing new here, but it is nice to have them at a very good quality all the same.

Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots and Enya Video:

Not a whole lot to say here – mainly that it’s nice to have the trailers in full quality and sound now, same with the TV spots, but these things lose their appeal after the film is released, and having the whole film on the other disc ready to be watched whenever really does take away the “thrill of the trailers”. The Enya video is ok, nothing special either as I have the soundtrack and now the film on DVD so it rather defeats the point of this video – that’s pretty much what it is, some shots from the film, the music track and a few shots of Enya… Having said that, it is quite nice to watch all these trailers etc. again – just something else to play with!

The Two Towers Video Game Preview:

I am quite a big gamer, but I hate consoles, really I do – and this did look like a deeply average console game, just some hack ‘n’ slash style scenes and that was about it. Nothing really special – and really just a movie cash in, I await a full blown Middle Earth RPG to get completely and utterly lost in. This is merely an advert for the game.

Inside look at the Extended DVD:

Now this is where the DVD gets interesting, very interesting! This only lasts about 3 maybe 4 minutes but you get to see quite a lot! I won’t spoil it for you (In fact I believe you can already download this footage anyway) but you see some very interesting scenes, mainly things from the book but it looks like this release will be quite spectacular. I found myself continually on the pause button, and slow motion play to see what everything was! Perhaps a frame by frame analysis would be nice eh TORn? Well worth viewing – several times.

The Two Towers Preview:

Wohaa!! Now this is what we all bought the DVD for, right (well apart from the film of course)? Now, cast your mind back to the year 2001, when we had not seen a LOTR film and they kept throwing trailers at us – remember that feeling? “I want this film now! I can’t physically wait! I would kill for this movie!!” Remember that? Well multiply that a few thousand times and you have what is known as The Two Towers Preview. You get to see a lot, and I mean a lot! This will not disappoint. It starts off with Jackson explaining to us what TTT is all about (As if we didn’t already know!) and then taking us on a behind the scenes preview of Gollum as well as introducing us to all the main characters of TTT, including Theoden, Wormtongue, Faramir, Eowyn etc.. but no Treebeard! I expect that will be under wraps for sometime though đŸ˜‰ We get to see a lot of locations in detail such as Edoras and Helms Deep – and quite a few shots of the Battle of Helms Deep (That is going to be so amazing!) – with lots of comments from actors about their various parts in TTT including Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Billy Boyd etc.. There are lots and lots of shots, some of which have been on the trailers but mostly this deals with new content! Finally, the preview ends with what is essentially a trailer for the new film – quite a few shots from the other two trailers but some new things too. It really does whet your appetite for TTT. Now I can’t wait for December!

Conclusion:

Now despite what I have said on quite a few negative points of the second disc – on the whole it is very, very good and worth your money. If you are a Tolkien fan you will want this release, if you are just a regular punter, I would hold through until November and wait for the “BIG” release. If it’s features, commentaries, documentaries etc..that you are after you won’t find it here. Essentially, this is an advert for the other DVD, TTT and the video game with a few other things thrown in for extra measure. But to me, it’s not that – its one special film translated exceptionally well with some lovely previews for the upcoming DVD and TTT. On the whole a very good DVD!

Final Score:

Just the movie: 99%

The whole DVD as a fan: 90%
The whole DVD as a regular DVD buyer: 70%

Posted in Old Special Reports