Having just received and checked this AMAZING DVD, I feel that I must share this. It is a must! Even if you didn´t like the movie, get it. Seriously.
I won´t go on to write a movie review, so let´s get right down to business: the transformation from the big screen to the small one is perfect. It has a great quality and gives a whole other dimension to the movie. It´s as if you were actually closer to the movie, if you know what I mean. If you think you entered Middle Earth when you went to the theaters, just wait until you get the DVD.
The menus are absolutely fantastic! The parts that are animated are very nice, very smooth couldn´t ask for another thing while selecting what to do. The main screen has the menu set in a circle, like a ring. Seems obvious, but it´s so beautiful that you just don´t care. I love how they arranged the menu screens to look grainy it gives a certain classic/old feel to the disc. The scene selection screen is very nice, featuring a beautiful drawing from Alan Lee. And this has only been for disc one!
Disc two has all the extra features, and it´s as gorgeous as the first one. I won´t even go on babbling about it, let´s go right to the features!
To start off, the most excellent feature: a behind-the-scenes preview of THE TWO TOWERS!! So many things I don´t even know where to start! Andy Serkis with Elijah Wood and Sean Astin on the way to Mordor (and also glimpses of Serkis as Gollum), the riders of Rohan, flashes of Helm´s Deep, Isengard, Edoras, the old and new characters (including the white rider!) But the image that I will keep (sadly without hearing what I wanted to hear while I saw it) was John Rhys Davies on a studio recording the lines for Treebeard! The narrator mentioned it while Davies was there, speaking at the microfone, but no Treebeard voice. In fact, Treebeard can´t be seen anywhere, but we do see Dominic Mohagan and Billy Boyd as Merry and Pippin in some bizarre set, so we´ll just have to wait. Oh, so many things And of course the always present Peter Jackson was there, directing Bernard Hill, arranging scenes and talking about TTT and it´s preview. But more mentions of him to come.
The second best thing was the special extended dvd edition that will come out in November. We get to see all the three versions of the dvd, the reasons behind having 2 editions and three versions and some flashes of new scenes. I´m telling you, if you´re desperate to have this disc in August, after you see it you´ll be terribly desperate to have the extended edition in November and see The Two Towers in December.
And there´s still more! The 15 featurettes that were created for the official site are amazing. I had already seen some of them, but the whole pack is way better. And also you get to see it full screen in your tv, and that´s way better than seeing it on your monitor. They´re great, featuring interviews with preety much everyone involved in the movie: the cast, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Richard Taylor from Weta, Alan Lee, John Howe and more. It shows a lot of things, like how they created some pieces, original designs, talks about the characters and the people who portray them in the movie, New Zealand and other things. PJ gives some nice comments regarding the movie, and Ian McKellen does a good job too. Liv Tyler talks a little in elvish (like in National Geographics Beyond The Movie) and Richard Taylor speaks about the effects and everything. You can also find some scenes that you won´t be able to see until the extended edition comes out. Wait a little more and you´ll check it out !
There are also 2 programs that originally aired on TV and one from Houghton Mifflin: Quest For The Ring, that originally aired on Fox and talks about the production, the story, how they translated the books, and has some interviews that you can also find in the featurettes; A Passage To Middle Earth, that aired on the Sci-fi channel and talks about preety much the same things the first one does, but with different scenes, a different approach and exclusive interviews; Welcome To Middle Earth, the Houghton Mifflin in store special, is the best one. You see scenes that didn´t make the theater cut and that will be on the extended edition, nice interviews and more.
Theres also the trailers and tv spots, but not much can be said there.
Enya´s May It Be music video, wich is very nice. I saw it many times on TV, and I think it was great having it on the dvd for those who missed the opportunity of seeing it.
Last, but not least, a preview of Eletronic Arts´ video game The Two Towers, wich is thrilling. They made the game based on the movie, not on the book, so the characters you see are the ones you saw in the movie. Really dazzling work. I just don´t understand why they made the second movie the first game, but since I don´t follow game news, I might be wrong.
Sorry, but I didn´t get to check the dvd rom features.
In a nutshell, the best movie I have ever seen makes the best dvd I have ever seen. Not just for the movie itself, but for the work that was put on it. The menus, sound, features they´re everything anyone wants in a dvd. And if the extended edition tops this one, it´s going to be hell the wait for the TTT dvd.