Support TheOneRing.net - A not for profit fan community!
Join us in our forums!
LEGO Lord of the Rings Collection
Order the Gollum Enraged - Click Here

News Alerts

Get emailed with every new post!

Weekly Newsletter

Select a list:

FOTR:SE DVD Review!!! UPDATED!!

October 13, 2002 at 2:36 am by xoanon  - 

Screening of The Fellowship of the Ring : Special Edition

I’ve recently returned from the marathon screening of FOTR:SE at New Line`s intimate screening room in West Hollywood, California.

The screening was attended by a few website folks and DVD aficionados. Keith Stern from McKellen.com was in attendance as well, Gordon Paddison and Wendy Rutherford also attended.

We started out early Saturday morning with breakfast and a little small talk. The 15 or so people who were there were abuzz with excitement of seeing the extended version of FOTR. What will we see? What was added? Removed? Changed? It wasn’t too long that we were all sitting in the 50 person screening room listening to opening introductions by Gordon Paddison, Michael Mulvihill and Jay Sherbon of Laserpacific.

They outlined what we were to see, the extended edition of the film, and all the special features. You can tell there is a general air of satisfaction with the product when they talk about it, you know they KNOW it’s a great DVD, and they want others to feel the same way.

The laserpacific folks gave us a bit of their background with New Line; they told us their experiences working with New Line since Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and all the craziness that LOTR has been for them.

They then proceeded to screen the film for us on a small silver screen. They were showing the actual DVD, with all its menus and interactive titles. It is truly some of the most beautiful DVD menu screens I’ve ever seen.

If you want to know exactly what is on the extended edition of FOTR, refer to my report from September 12th. That report is basically 100% accurate to what we saw today (down to Gimli snoring), if that’s all you came for, then you can leave right now.

What I was interested in was the behind-the-scenes stuff that only nerd boys like us lust after. Let me tell you first and foremost this DVD is PACKED full of information on the film. Basically going from Tolkien’s first writings of ‘The Book of Lost Tales’ in World War I to the New Zealand premiere for FOTR just this past December. You can truly feel like YOU’VE been through every step of making this film after watching these specials.

Disk 3 starts off, as I stated, with a brief documentary on Tolkien, with a brief bio and information on how ‘The Hobbit’ and LOTR started in the written form. With interviews from Tolkien biographers and authors from a whole range of Tolkien books, this documentary doesn’t get into the finer details of the man, but is an interesting look at the one who started it all.

The following documentaries follow the evolution of ‘Fellowship’ from it’s initial stages with Miramax, PJ’s first meeting with Michael Shaye at New Line, and his pre-pre-PRE production work with people like Richard Taylor and Andrew Lesnie.

Disk 3 really gets into the nitty gritty of just what was needed to be prepared before any cameras started rolling. They tell the full story of finding John Howe and Alan Lee, getting the locations scouted out and developing costumes, cultures, weapons and more for such a massive undertaking. We are taken through every small detail of the work, from armour to clothes to locations and set design.

One of my favourite scenes in this section involved Grant Major talking to the camera on the way to the Hobbiton set with Peter Jackson in the car ahead of him, Grant tells us that he is a bit nervous because this is the first time PJ will be seeing the ‘almost’ finished product. What we see next is Grant and Peter looking over the rolling hills, with Grant saying ‘here it is’…..and this long…painful silence from Peter…as he mulls it over and says ‘right…well..needs some work right?’ It’s funny in many ways but also goes to show how much detail Peter wanted in every aspect of the production, can you just imagine spending an afternoon making sure there are enough plants around Hobbit hole fences to look realistic This is attention to detail at its finest!

To be honest the 3rd disk had so much attention to detail that my head started swimming. I certainly do not recommend you watch all of these documentaries in one sitting. At one point I really couldn’t care less that it Uruk-Hai armour was made of leather and if I saw Richard Taylor pick up another piece and explain it I’d lose it!!!!

Thankfully at this point we had a break and I got some food in me….

We then moved on to disk 4, which, for me was my favourite part of the entire DVD set. The documentaries continue their timeline to the start of production and casting. We don’t get any sort of garbage like ‘Elijah Wood plays Frodo…’, We KNOW he does! Get on with it! Thankfully they don’t pander to that audience… what we do get is truly candid little insights into each actor from all the OTHER actors’ point of view… truly amazing stuff. If I hadn’t been working on this film for two years and already feel a part of this family, I would certainly have after seeing these little segments. We get to hear Dominic Monaghan tell us of the first time they met John Rhys-Davies when he took them out to dinner and ordered a meal for an army, we get to hear how Billy Boyd screams like a girl, and how Ian McKellen yelled at Dom and Elijah when they played their music too loud during make-up calls, and how Sean Bean was so deathly afraid of helicopters that he spent two hours WALKING to locations that the rest of the crew flew too! Really great stuff.

The disk then moves onto digital effects, we see an amazing display on all the excruciating details that go into some of the smallest shots, and how some shots that seem totally natural were in fact worked on for weeks and weeks. There is a very interesting doco on the different types of tricks used to scale the Hobbits down to size, from digital trickery at its latest to having to Hobbit boys on their knees at times. A great documentary called ‘A day in the life of a Hobbit’ details all the trials and tribulations these little Hobbit boys went through for the entire production.

The sound department also have their say on this DVD as well. They go into detail on almost all the different sounds used and abused for the making of the film. They show some of the tricks used (you will NEVER guess what the sound of the screaming Nazgul is!).

Ngila Dickson gets her own segment when talking about costumes, we see an entire WAREHOUSE full of costumes for the film. She explains that for every major actor they get 10 costumes. So, for example, we take Pippin, that would mean 10 pippin costumes right? Not so sir, you have to factor in his small double (mini-me costumes they were called), his stunt double, and his mini-me stunt double! Imagine the massive amount of costumes for just that 1 character alone!

Howard Shore also has a segment all about his music and what is involved in making such a mammoth masterpiece for Peter Jackson. They go into so much detail on every song, every bit of score, and everyone involved in it, from Enya to the London choir boys. This doco will certainly leave music fans with a huge smile on their faces.

The documentaries round off with a segment called ‘The Road Goes Ever On…’ with video clips from the various premieres in London, Los Angeles and Wellington. A really great send-off for this DVD. They flashback to a few shots we see earlier in the film, and you can’t help but now feel part of the people involved on the journey with them after seeing these documentaries. This is truly a gift for fans of this movie, and movie making in general.

Almost 12 hours later I walked out with a handful of others (a lot of people left…but not TORN!). I was amazed at the fact that there were still MORE things we hadn’t seen on this DVD! There were over 2000 concept art sketches, an interactive map of Middle-earth and New Zealand. And FOUR full tracks of commentaries from producers, directors, artists and actors from the film.

Those who vow not to get ‘milked’ into buying this edition of the DVD will cave in as fast as Legolas can sling arrows and shoot them, my friends…this is DVD making at its finest.

If you have any specific questions, I can TRY and answer some of them for you. Drop me a line! xoanon@theonering.net

UPDATE I

I’ve arrived at home again, the high from LA is slowly wearing off as I remember what fall feels like at 1:45 am in this basement of TORN HQ.

My mailbox has been hit HARD by fan questions wanting to know all manner of details from the DVD’s. I’ll try to get to a large amount of them as I can, so here we go!

Q: I am curious about something: In one of the recent issues of the fan club mag, Richard Taylor describes a scene cut from the prologue in which Gil-Galad challenges Sauron, whereupon Sauron takes Gil-Galad by the neck and shakes him, setting him afire. I am DYING to see that on film. Did it make it into the SE cut? Or at least into the bonus material?

A: There is no ‘killing of Gil-Galad’ in the movie. We do se, however, some early concept scetches of Sauron, and in one of them he is holding someone up by their necks, Vader style.

Q: Hi im a major lord of the rings fan and I was wondering whether the special edition dvd was presented in widescreen format.I recently pre ordered it and i cant wait.What did you think of the extended film.Does gimili really swear in dwarvish.Hope you can help

A: Is there ANY other way to view a movie? πŸ™‚ Yes we saw it in widescreen format, I think there would have been a nerd riot at New Line if they didn’t. I can see pen-protectors and DND Dye flying around peoples heads…

Q: Thanks for the review; just curious though as to whether the four-disc set will include the TV Spots and Trailers for the film as well. You see, I didn’t buy the two-disc set – but I’ve ordered the four-disc one. Only problem is: I want the Trailers and TV Spots. Don’t know if you know this yet or not, but thought I may as well ask…

A: Nope…nothing like that on these DVD’s. Mike Mulvihill was quick to point out that with the first DVD they really wanted to put everything the average DVD buyer would want, and in this one, they went for total LOTR nuts only. So no trailers or cheezy E! ‘Making of’ specials.

Q: I really appreciate the fact that you wrote the review so quickly and I hope that more details come to mind as the whole lucky experience gets a chance to sink in. My question is this: Do you think there is an equal amount of information to cover for the Extended versions of TTT and ROTK? If they follow the format of this one you would have a box set that I could not imagine could be surpassed by any Star Wars repackaging. πŸ˜‰

A: That’s a good question, I really do think they will have a TON more stuff to talk about in the other DVDs. Just think about all the new cast members, props, locations and SFX they can talk about! I can’t wait!!

Q: Well all i want to know is…could you please give me some info on how the video and sound transfer is?…compared to the first release. Also how the new scored music and effects were. It’d be great to hear your thoughts if the added material makes this film better.

A: The transfer is wonderful, along with the sound, the new scenes are seamlessly added into the film, and the musical score was COMPLETELY re-cut to allow for the new pieces of work, this was, basically a completely new cut of the film they created

Q: Being new to all this DVD malarky, I just wanted to know if the film is split over the first two discs or not

A: Yes indeed it is, while they could have placed it all on one disk, they decided to get a better transfer with sound and video by putting it on two disks. The split occurs just after Pippin asks Elrong ‘Right, where we going?’ in Rivendell.

Q: I have a question about the extended FOTR DVD extras.From previous reports on TORN Peter Jackon did about a 30 minute storyboard/ presentation to Miramax about doing the LOTR.I find this immensely interesting on what was presented to get the whole thing started.Is this presented on the DVD?

A: No. we don’t see that here, we do see the actual storyboards and work done for New Line’s three film version. It is truly great to see hoe fast PJ and his storyboarder work together. They do talk a bit about Miramax and how they went from wanting 2 films to 1!

Q: I know my question’s not that interesting or important…but is the Midgewater Marhes sequence in the extended cut? I would very much like to know. Please tell me if you noticed it.

A: Yes they are indeed, along with the ‘only eat Hobbits?’ line, and there is more talk about filming that scene in one of the documentries.

Q: I have a question about the FOTR: Special Edition DVD. Is Tom Bombadil to see on this movie version of FOTR ?

A: No he is not, they do talk about Tom and why PJ left him out, but no Tom, sorry about that.

Q: I know this sounds incredibly stupid – but in the extended version of the film, are there any added sections about the background to “Mr Underhill”? Does Gandalf tell Frodo to travel by this name? Also, is Bill Ferny involved, and anything else about Bill the Pony? In the theatrical version he just appears by the entrance to Moria. And are there any docs about Saruman’s costume? πŸ˜‰

A: You seem to be asking a ton of questions at once, let me try to help you out. Gandalf does tell Frodo to travel as Mr. Underhill in the ORIGINAL film, and we do see Bill the pony quite alot before Moria in the ORIGINAL film as well. As for Bill Ferny, nothing.

And there is a wonderful making of ‘making of’ Sauron’s costume, really amazing metalwork used.

Q: Quite simply put, was there any other extended scenes or alternative scenes that were added that were not formerly on your list?

A: Yes indeed, there seems to be all manner of things salt ‘n peppered into the entire movie that I didn’t mention in my September 12th review of the SE Script. But I don’t want to give away everything, do I? πŸ˜‰

Q: Hi, I just have a quick question about a particular detail in the extended LOTR DVD. πŸ™‚ I was just curious as to what Sam receives in the gift giving sequence. I know that he is given the hithlain (as per the extended movie preview back in August) but is there anything else for him specifically. Like, for instance, a little box of earth and a mallorn seed? I’m just curious. And you’d think after around 8 months of waiting I’d be able to wait one more month, but…no. So if you have any insight on this I would definitely like to know. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

A: No, Sam does not get a box of earth and a mallorn seed, he is given his rope, and there is a wonderful line delivered by Sean Astin right after that scene, watch for it!

UPDATE II

Q: I was wondering if one other disk 3 or 4 did it have any information about the TWO TOWERS on it?

A: No, this DVD collection was most certainly a ‘FOTR-Centric’ collection, with reason of course!

Q: You said if i had a question you’d try and answer it, well what i was wondering is if there will be a commentary audio option on the DVD?

A: Yes indeed, 4 different tracks!

4 Audio Commentaries featuring Director Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Richard Taylor, Andrew Lesnie, Howard Shore, Jom Rygiel, Randy Cook, and more

Q: One burning question that I have about the extended cut is that in the sci-fi channel special there almost seemed a hint that Jackson was going to show that the Moria Orcs descend into the forest at night to be killed by Haldir’s Elves. There were a couple of quick on the set shots showing what I thought were dead orcs in Moria armour strewn all over the forest floor, and what appeared to be elves walking among them, retrieving arrows. When I saw the glimpse of Caras Galadhon in the preview, my expectations were raised even more.

A: I was hoping that I would see that scene as well, we KNOW they filmed it, we’ve seen the Decipher cards and trailer shots with the Moria-Orcs/Goblins…but alas, it is not on the DVD

Q: First of all, ooh you lucky, lucky person you. Second, I have a few questions. At the end are the fan club members names on the DVD, as was supposed to be on the first one? I’ve been kind of disappointed with the fan club on several personal and impersonal points, and was curious if that finally came through. Do the tracks of commentaries play while you see the concept sketches and such, or work like a cd player? Do you know how those work? Also, did they use the sound of a hawk or some such bird, or one of those goofy whistle toys for the Nazgul screeches? TORN should use that as a poll question before the DVD comes out.

A: Yes indeed the fan credits are on this DVD! 29 minutes of them, I in fact made them fast foreward to see my ‘Michael V Regina’, I cheered for myself…

As for the commentaries, they play like usual commentaries, all you need to do is select it from the screen or press the ‘audio’ button while watching the film.

I’ll never tell what the Nazgul scream is!

Q: Hi I was just wondering if Peter Jackson and New Line had decided if they were going to do a special edition DVD for each one of the Lord Of The Rings movies. I know this is a very hard question to answer but any info would be helpful thanks for your time.

A: I got the feeling that they will be doing this, as I have been invited back to LA in a years time to do it all over again.

Q: Thanks for that wonderful account of the new DVD… it makes Nov. 12 seem that much farther away, *sigh*. Anyway, I have a question, if you wouldn’t mind. In the commentaries, I’ve heard that around 20+ people are being featured on four tracks. Is it confusing listening to 5-7 people on the commentary talking together? I’ve wondered about this for awhile, and you don’t have to answer, seeing as you probably have tons of questions.

A: I asked about this as well, what whay did is pair people up together, like the Hobbit Boys, Chris Lee and Ian McKellen and so on, and when ‘their’ parts are on screen, they edited the audio in. It is most certainly not a free for all.

Q: After reading your review, I’m even more excited than ever about the Special Extended DVD! I just have one particular question. In the documentaries, did they go much into why they made specific changes in the story? Like the temptation of Galadriel and he distance between Hobbiton and Bree, for example?

A: Yes they did, when the documentries got to ‘The book to the script’ section they spoke about all the changes needed to turn a book into the film. PJ even mentions Tom Bombadil and Old Man Willow, and how they had no place in his story.

Q: Any extra Viggo Mortensen material? Specifically, do they explain exactly how he was cast? Who brought his name to the table after the problems with ST?

A: Indeed they did, while they do not mention Stuart Townsend by name, they mention what happened early on and how they needed Viggo ASAP. Viggo explains the personal phone call by PJ himself, and how he had basically an afternoon to decide if he wanted to change his life for the next 2 years.

Q: Hi, excellent report, when you said “What will we see? What was added? Removed? Changed?” I couldnt help but be a little curious myself, I know what theyve added but have they changed anything? Or perhaps removed some scenes(like that terrible groaner “I think Im gettin’ the hang of this” in Moria, or “Theres an eye opener, no mistake.” Dont get me wrong I love the movie, I just despise those two lines.)? And any other changes, removals, or surprises you remember from the movie itself? Thanks much! Wondeful website, I visit everyday!

A: All of Sam’s lines are exactly the same, the only thing that was REMOVED was that great line by Gimli ‘Aragorn, these woods are perilous!’, and that whole scene was changed around. Very different.

Q: Thanks for the review (although you’re not making it any easier for us commoners to wait a whole ‘nother month!!). Doesn’t sound like there are any outtakes on the DVD…think there are any in our future? That’s about the only thing missing from the DVD’s so far.

A: I asked about outtakes, and they mentioned that in keeping with the type of movie that this is, outtakes would not be very appropriate, which I tend to agree. Mind you they didn’t say no when I asked if they forsee something aobut that coming out years from now

Q: I was interested in the behind the scenes coverage of the Brige Of Kazad-dum sequence. Do they talk much about Balrog design or F/X or have any behind the scenes material on the filming of that sequence? Also, does the Extended Edition add to this scene even in the slightest?

A: That sequence is exactly the same as the original, but we do see some great insights into the Big Firey One himself. Including some really hilarious pre-concept model work with a great cheezy model balrog and toy Gandalf.

Q: Hi, I have a question about the SE of FOTR. Is the battle at the end of the movie where Boromir dies longer than in the normal version? Is there more fighting?

A: Poor Boromir! Yes his final battle scene is a bit longer, Merry and Pippin even get to fell a few Uruk-Hai before even they are dragged away.

Q: I know from some reviews that we see and hear more of Boromir during the Council scene. Does any mention of his dream (and therefore presence in Rivendell) get made?

A: Oh my, what an interesting scene they added there! Boromir begins talking about his dream and how he can use it, he reaches for the ring and Gandalf stands and recites the Dark Tounge! The council room goes dark and Erlond tells Gandalf to stop, Gandalf says ‘I will not apologize for using the dark language here!’, crazy stuff.

UPDATE III

Q: When the regular DVD of LOTR: FOTR was released in August it was met with much disappointment in the “Easter Egg Department”, I beleive just 1 boring egg for credits. Now I wouldn’t have expected them to show you how to access the eggs, or what you got to see when they were accessed…BUT…..and here’s my long-drawn-out question…Was there any discussion regarding hidden “Easter Eggs”?

A: Yes, I did ask them about the easter eggs. There are two, one is a TTT trailer (no details on which one). And the other is the ‘House of Elrond’ goof sequence from the MTV awards.

Q: At the council, does Gandalf say his lines about letting “folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the enemy.”

A: No..he doesn’t

Q: Xoanon, you are a credit to your organization! I just have two small questions. Now that I can breathe easy about Midgewater, I just wanted to know if Sam’s poem lamenting Gandalf (the one that was in the Houghton Mifflin behind-the-scenes teaser) made it into the extended cut? My second question is, other than the Isildur’s Bane sequence we now know about, was the prologue (more specifically, the battle of the Last Alliance) expanded upon? We only got to see Gil-Galad for a split second in the original cut, whereas The Quest for the Ring showed much more of him.

A: Sam’s poem is there, yes. Bust the last alliance footage is exactly the same.

Q: Xoanon, you are a DOLL. πŸ™‚ Always, always my idol! That said. . .please, what about the scene at the stone trolls? Your script review from 9/12 mentioned that there was something added there. . .what was this scene like on-screen Saturday? πŸ™‚ Thanks, Frodo πŸ™‚

A: Yes, they added something extremely quick, Sam mentioning that they are lying near the stone trolls. In a sort of way you would try to distract someone who is in pain.

Q: one of my favorite little snippets from the fotr trailers and tv spots was legolas turning around and firing an arrow really quickly at the camera. That was presumably as the fellowship was entering Lothlorien. I seem to recall that there was a behind the scenes dvd a while back that showed orlando bloom standing on a box while the hobbits ran past him. Is this in the extended cut and if so, where is it placed?

A: No! Unfortunately not….but there is a really killer LONG shot of Legolas kicking some serious Uruk Butt with this bow and arrows…amazing

Q: I heard that there are a couple of scenes where Gollum is watching the Fellowship throughout the movie. One spot I heard of was in the eyelid of the bearded King statue toward the end of the movie. Can you please confirm this and tell me where else is the little fellow?

A: No, he’s not there…

Q: Xoanon, if you could answer me just one question, I’d be very happy. Is Gandalf’s “IT MUST BE DESTROYED!” line in at the council of elrond? It was on the trailer and countless tv ads, and I was really disappointed that it wasn’t in the theatrical cut. Thanks!

A: No, curiously enough it wasn’t in the SE either.

Q: Hi, is not really important question, but it is for me, hehe. Has Boromir and Aragorn a discussion on Amon Hen about where to going? Said Boromir something like “The are honor in men”?

A: Yes indeed, as you know, Boromir wishes to go to Gondor. He accuses Aragorn of having no faith in men. And Aragorn delivers this great line ‘I would not bring that ring within one thousand leagues of your city!’ Really cool!

Q: Do we get a glimpse of any of the Rangers of the North ???????? I can’t wait!!!! AAAAHHHHH !!!!!

A: Calm down! And no, we do not see any save Aragorn

Q: Neither you nor Arwen mention the National Geographic special “Beyond the Movie” as part of the array offered in the four disc set. I thought I remembered reading that it would be included, so is it just a “given” that it is included but you didn’t need to give us a review of something that’s actually been available already?

A: God, how much more do you think we could take! We didn’t watch that…thankfully

Q: I read your description of your viewing of the extended cut and found it very informative. The one thing I would have like to have read is whether or not you think the additional scenes actually make a better movie than the original theatrical version and why or why not. I look forward to your reply.

A: Well, to sum it up in a word, yes! While I do enjoy the original cut, I did want to see more and make the whole thing seem longer…the new cut does indeed do this. Time is given for character moments and travel, very interesting indeed.

Q: Thanks for putting up such a wonderful review. I’ve got a question: How much of the song of Luthien does Aragorn actually sing? Is it just a couple lines, or an entire song? Thanks.

A: It’s just a few choice lines. In the documentry we get to hear from the linquist coach, she tells us that Viggo actually wrote that song himself!

Q: Thanks for all the answers that you have given us so far, it’s making this month truly unbearable. There is one thing that I have been wondering about though. I know the entire gift giving scene is back in, so did they remove the scene from the theatrical release where Frodo flashes back to Galadrial giving him the light of erendril (sp?)?

A: Yes, it is re-cut…the entire scene is a flashback. As you see them all slowly moving down the river it pans to each actor and we see their flashback of Galadriel giving them something…except Boromir..

Q: If sam doesn’t get a box of earth and a malorn seed and Saruman dies in TTT, is there a scouring of the shire at the end of ROTK??

A: It’s my belief that the scouring scene is out…but don’t quote me on that

Q: Just a quick question: How much time, if any, is given to the telling of Aragorn’s back-story, particularly of his mother and the first meeting of Arwen?

A: I’m not too sure if you mean physical time or time-wise as far as the movie goes. There is one scene right after pippin’s ‘where are we going?’ line between Elrond and Aragorn. It is no less than 3 minutes.

Q: I have a few questions on the extended FotR cut – I know you’re answering a lot of these, so bear with me!. First off, does Celeborn speak more? Do they even say his name? I always thought his role got shafted in the theatrical cut – one line, and a crapy one at that!

A: Yes, old Celly has quite a bit more to say, all in all the whole tone of that scene has changed for the better, instead of looking like Celeborn and Galadriel are being filmed in slow motion….they seem more approachable.

Q: Did they redo the effects when Galadriel morphs into the dark queen? I suppose “Conspiracy Unmasked” from the book, is not included?

A: that scene with Galadriel is the same except she mentions Neyna. And no…no conspiracy unmasked scenes

Q: Does the line Gandalf utters (presumably to Elrond) “Through all these long years, you knew this day would come… get put into the SE, or do we know why it is not or where it would be.

A: I was looking for that line as well, not in there…oddly enough

Q: Is this the R-rated edition or is that later? The Uruk-hai at the end of the original movie (whose head gets chopped off) had these very fake-looking stumps for arms in one shot, do they make that bloodier here? That was the only bad-looking fx in the whole movie, there had to have been a better version somewhere.

A: I looked behind my fridge for Lawrence’s better stumps..I couldn’t find them. That scene is exaclty the same, the fight scene is longer…but his decapitation is the same. And the new cut is PG-13

Q: I know that the film is in widescreen – are the extras in widescreen as well?

A: No, they don’t film those types of things in widescreen

Q: Hi, I was just wondering if theres a documentary that has information on the techniques used to make the hobbits and dwarves seem shorter than the humans and elves. The work they’d have to do with forced perspective and doubles really interests me and I wanted to learn how they did it in specific scenarios. Is this covered at all? Oh, and is the break between the two movie discs really that bad? I was kinda worried that having to get up and change discs would hurt the experience. Thanks for your review. Love the site. Keep up the good work.

A: Yes, like I worte in my report there is a whole segment dedicated to the idea of scale. Very very interesting. And…well…you need to change disks…it’s a part of life…I’m sorry. I’m of the generation just before everyone had remote controls…so just get up and walk! The TV can’t be that far away!!!

Q: Do you think that it would be worth the extra money to buy the Gift box set, or just stick with the DVD itself?

A: That depends on what kind of money you have to spare…

Q: I almost hate to ask this, because I’m afraid the answer is no, but . . . does the DVD include Elijah’s infamous audition tape? Please? Pretty please? Pretty pretty please?

A: Sorry to disappoint, but no it does not

Q: Anything at all about the cleaving of Boromir’s horn???

A: Nope, his death scene is longer…but nothing about the horn

Q: In SE, in the scene added where the elves are going to the havens, presumably that is to do with Gildor Inglorion and his band – does Frodo have any contact with them now? Would love to see that, it has one of my fave quotes: “do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger..”etc!

A: No, Sam and Frodo just watch them from afar…great GREAT music accompanied this scene…really good

Q: I was curious about the extended Hobbiton sequence. Specifically, is the relationship between Frodo and Sam spelled out more clearly. i.e. that Sam is Frodo’s servant (or gardener or whatever he was) A few people I know that saw the movie, but hadn’t read the book couldn’t understand why Sam was so deferential to Frodo and sometimes called him “Mr. Frodo.” In the Extended DVD, is this explained a little more?

A: There is a great scene with Bilbo talking about Hobbits, and they cut to a shot of Sam planting something. And again Sam and Frodo talking at the Green Dragon, but that’s about it.

Q: Please forgive me if this question has already been asked and answered, but I was wondering if there were any scenes added to develop the link of Merry and Pippin with Frodo and Sam. Especially anything added that gave reason to both Merry and Pippin joining Frodo and Sam on the quest. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the movie and am a Tolkien fanatic, but it seemed very rushed when they stumble upon Frodo in the Farmer Maggot’s cornfield, then hide from the Ringwraith, then head to the Ford without much explanation from Frodo or Sam as to what was happening. There were some wonderful parts in the book where both Merry and Pippin were shown to be very close friends to Frodo, even chastising him for thinking they he could leave them behind and take on the quest alone. Anyway, sorry for rambling, but I have been dying to know if there were any scenes to develop this relationship. Thanks so much!

A: Nope, Merry and Pippin happily follow Frodo all the way to Bree and beyond..I guess we can just chalk that one up to friendship…

Q:Is there anything that says how each actor got the part like screentests or what line got them the part?

A: They did talk about that a bit, but no screentests or anything, that would have been cool.

UPDATE IV

Q: I have been wondering about this question, and I thought I’d ask you. In the extended version of FOTR, does Galadriel give Aragorn the elf-stone during the gift-giving scene? If not, what gift does she give him? Thanks!

A: Galadriel actually gives him nothing, stating that he has almost all he needs, as she looks at the necklace that Arwen has given him. And they proceed to talk about Arwen.

Q: Dear Xoanon, I know that you are being bombarded with questions so don’t feel like you have to answer this. In the FOTR theatrical cut, when Gimli is kneeling in front of Balin’s coffin, Gandalf picks up an old book and begins to read aloud. As he is reading I noticed Gimli’s voice in the background talking ( in Dwarvish? ). Since Gandalf is talking, I can’t understand anything that Gimli says. Do they add anything about this in the Extended Edition?

A: Nope, that cut is exactly the same as it is in the original version. I can only assume he’s praying in dwarvish or something…

Q: Here’s another question for you. In your review of the SE script, you talked about a small scene between Frodo and Sam towards the end of the film, on the banks of the Anduin, where Sam tries to get Frodo to eat something. I believe a tiny clip from this scene was shown on the SE preview on the first DVD. But now Ted over at TORC is saying that this scene does not appear in the SE film at all. Can you clear this up? Was this scene in the film, or wasn’t it?

A: Sure…Ted’s wrong, it’s there. Plain and simple. Check back on his site if he admits his mistake after the DVD is released.

Q: Hi! Great review, I’m so excited! Anyway, you said the DVD talked about the casts costumes. Did they just talk about main characters, or did they tell about very minor characters as well(such as random elves you just see walking around)? I’m hoping they went into some detail about the elven costumes. Hope you can answer this. Thanks!

A: Oh yes, they go into ALOT of detail, into Aragorn’s costume as well as Saruman’s. They explain the differences between Lothlorien and Rivendell elves’ clothes. And into Hobbit clothes, Ngila Dickson, Sr. Costume Designer, is your narrator, very nice!

Q: Hi! I was just wondering about the SE DVD. I was curious if the DVD included a scene dealing with how the Balrog was released or just anything else about the Balrog? Thanks alot,

A: No, the Balrog scene is exactly the same as the original cut, I’ve read that some people are reporting that this scene is longer, but it isn’t. They do go into details about the making of the Balrog…from drawing to model to computer effect and sound. But nothing more in the film itself.

Q: I’ve enjoyed all your updates. But I was wondering if the song “In Dreams” from the end of the original soundtrack made it into the SE. When I got the soundtrack before the premiere date (a year already?!), I was a bit suprised by it, but grew to really like it. Very appropriate as Frodo and Sam make their way down the mountain in a long, slow pan out. But it wasn’t there. Kinda missed it.

A: Unfortiunately ‘In Dreams’ is not included in the film itself. But it’s a great song isn’t it?

Q: Do any of the extras deal with the preliminary work with Miramax? I recall a story about the first money from Miramax coming just when they needed it to buy an old paint factory to turn into filming facilities. A copy of LotR had just been found in the paint factory’s lunchroom; this was taken as a sign that the movies would indeed be made. In a similar vein, do any of the extras deal with the perilous month of August 1998, when Miramax put the project into turn-around? PJ took a week to fashion a 30-minute “making of” documentary of the work done so far, and came to New Line as their last chance to find a backer. Did Bob Shaye’s initial reactions to viewing PJ’s doco (“I don’t get it” with PJ’s heart falling into his shoes, followed by, “Why are you making only two movies, there are three books?” or words to that effect) get mentioned somewhere on the extras disk?

A: They do indeed go into detail about PJ’s New Line meeting and what happened with Miramax. They don’t explain too much about the WETA offices being an old paint factory. But they do tell us how they are so close to the airport that they needed to stop some scene to allow for the planes to pass over. And how the studio can be so mind bogglingly hot when the actors are supposed to be freezing on a mountain top!

Q: I heard that Sauron is more prominent in the movie, (within the shadow realm.) Finally I heard that the Nazgul scream was really Billy Boyd’s with some digital tampering. =)

A: No, Sauron has no added scenes in this film (unfortunately!). And no…Billy’s voice is not used for the nazgul….but you ARE getting closer with that guess!

Q: That other reviewer said that we would be “introduced to the Ring at a much earlier interval”. Can you expand on that? Do we see or hear about the Ring in Bilbo’s portion of the prologue?

A: Yes indeed you are, after Bilbo writes his little introduction concerning Hobbits, he discovers that he can’t find the Ring and slowly starts to panic as he’s looking for it. Very powerful scene here.

Q: He also says that the scene of Gandalf in the library is extended, with a flashback to Isildur. I remember that scene already having an Isildur flashback. What’s he talking about?

A: This scene is not expanded…

Q: Also, I recall seeing a flash of a shot of Isildur putting on the Ring at the Gladden Fields. Is that in (I missed that aspect of Isildur’s death in the original version)?

A: Oh yes, Isildur is attacked at the Gladden Fields, and slips the ring on…he dives into the water only to have the ring slip off his finger and sink to the bottom…He is spotted by orcs and is killed in the water.

Q: Hey TORN. Thanks for taking out the time in answering all the questions. My curiousity is about the injuries some the cast suffered. I heard the stories about Orlando Bloom cracking a rib, Viggo Mortenson’s tooth, and Sean Astin’s foot injury. I’m wondering, did they show any of these on the documentary, or discussed it on the dvd, such as in the commentary?

A: Sean Astin was hurt more than once actually. But they only show the one injury..perhaps because it was caught on tape. Sean runs after Frodo who is on the Elven boat heading for the other side of the Anduin. He splashes his way into the water and PJ yells ‘cut!’ The crew begin talking and Sean is simply standing in the water with his head down and leaning against a boat. They suddenly realize he’s injured and make their way over to him. He’s jabbed something very sharp into his foot. Which is covered with makeup! By the time they rip it off there is PLENTY of blood. Elijah, by this time, is helpfully stating ‘Dude, that’s got to hurt…LOOK at all that blood! Man..you must be in pain’. They have to call in a Helicopter to fly Sean to the nearest hospital and patch him up. Funny scene, really.

Q: I was wondering if Gimli actually receives a lock of hair from Galadriel. The preview implies that all he asks is to look upon her one last time…

A: Yes he does, but we don’t see it. Gimli only talks about it. JRD later on explains how impossible it would be to film a scene involving three little hairs, by ripping a hair out of his head and proving that it’s impossible for us to see it on screen!

Q: My question is whether the narration for the documentaries on the Special Edition is done by cast and crew members or by the same cheesy voice-over guy that was used in the documentaries for the 2 disc set?

A: Good news, there are no narrations at all! No cheezy ‘E! movie guy’ voice or anything of the sort. Very classy

Q: In your update you say the extras are not in widescreen, but the review on thedigitalbits.com says otherwise. Who is correct?

A: I am

Q: Thank you so much for your excellent reports. A question from another who hales from the age-before-remote-controls: Any mention of lembas? And any mention of the Elves gifts of cloaks, and their power to hide the wearer?

A: Yes, they mention Lembas..Legolas explains to Merry and Pippin that one small bite can fill a full grown mans stomach for days. And Billy admits that he’s eaten 4 already. They only mention that the Lothlorien elves have never given non-elves clothing before.

Q: It seems obscene to ask you this question after all of the work you’ve already done, but an answer would be greatly appreciated. (Actually, I’m quite surprised nobody has asked this yet.) During the goblin fights in Moria, does Glamdring glow in the SE? Though I was not surprised that such a small detail had been overlooked, I was disappointed that it was missed when I first saw LOTR. Did they fix it?

A: No, they didn’t change that. I don’t think it’s a mistake, more of a decision by PJ not to have it glow, and therefore not need to explain WHY is glows in the first place.

Q: Hi, I was wondering if just before the ringwraiths
attack at Amon Sul, if sam recites any of “The Fall Of
Gil-Galad”? Those 3 verses from the book seem to be
stuck in my head. Thanks for all the work you’ve done!

A: Nope, that scene is exaclty the same as the original version

Q: My burning question is: Do they give us anything more to expand upon the relationship of Legolas and Gimli? We get that “if looks could kill” scene in the council, but no real tension between the two of them other than that. Do our infamous elf and dwarf get any more scenes together? Lines referring to one another? Rude gestures to one another behind Aragorn and Gandalf’s backs during the initial journey? I would have loved to have seen a better setup for their evolving friendship.

A: There are a few jabs here and there. My favorite being right before the Moria gates. Gandalf explains that the Dwarves hid the dorrs so well that even they couldn’t find them. Legolas mutters to himself ‘Why does that not surprise me’. Really good! And of course, Gimli swearing in Dwarvish to Haldir and the Lothlorien archers.

Q: i have heard that the DVD wont play or be totally compatible with Apple computers, please say it isn’t so!

A: I honsetly can’t tell you yet, as I’ve not had the chance to test it on a MAC DVD player. I did get into a conversation with the laserpacific folks who told me they test their DVD’s on a large array of players to make sure they work.

Q: Hi. Thanks for the cool report! I have two quick questions concerning the new footage, if you don’t mind. I heard they shot a scene where they have Gandalf chewing on toffee because he’s trying to quit smoking. And there’s another scene with him complaining “why did the Vala put me in such an old body?” Have these scenes been restored? (PLEASE say no. I never did like the sound of them.) Thanks.

A: No, that garbage was removed from the VERY old Miramax 2 film script years ago.

Q: In the SE of FotR, does it show more of the relationship of Sam and Rosie??

A: Frodo: Don’t worry Sam, Rosie knows an idiot when she sees one

Sam: Does she?

Q: Does Gildor Inglorion make an appearance? Is there any mention of Radagast the Brown?

A: Unfortunately not

Posted in Old Special Reports on October 13, 2002 by

Comments are closed.