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October 02, 2001 - October 09, 2001

10-09-01 Latest News

SideShow/WETA Announces Medallion Program!
Calisuri @ 5:13 pm EST

I had the chance to experience the beauty and meticulous artistry involved with SideShow/WETA Collectibles at this year's DragonCon. Now, it looks like they are out-doing themselves with a series of Medallions. Read the full press release, then view the official flyer and order form. You can also sign up for this program at the official SideShow/WETA website. [More]


"Sideshow / Weta create unique Lord of the Rings Medallion Program"

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — October, 2001 Sideshow / Weta is the company that is producing an amazing range of highly-detailed collectible figures, busts, helmets and weapons, based on the upcoming epic trilogy, Lord of the Rings. Now a very special line of Lord of the Rings Medallions, 24 different pieces in all, are being offered by Sideshow / Weta. The original Medallion sculptures were created at the Weta Workshop, the same group who helped Peter Jackson realize his film vision of Tolkien’s world, and are therefore an authentic representation of the film experience.

The Weta Workshop was responsible for the conceptualizing, creation and the on set operation of the creatures, miniatures, armor, weapons and special make-up effects for all three films. These craftsmen had the unique opportunity to be intimately involved with the making of these films. They have now used their special perspective in fashioning a most unusual assortment of collectible Medallions.

These special Medallions, measuring nearly 6" in diameter, capture a moment of Middle-earth history in a beautifully handcrafted, low-relief scene, featuring the characters and creatures of this epic tale. Each Medallion in the series has been meticulously sculpted to the highest standards, hand cast in heavy weight polystone, and hand-finished in an antique bronze patina. The entire production process has been supervised by the Sideshow / Weta art department.

The Sideshow / Weta Medallion Program will include the release of a new Medallion every month for the next two years, beginning with Medallion #1 "The Orcs of Moria," which will ship the first week of January, 2002. Each Medallion is priced at the amazingly low price of $25 plus shipping & handling.

Each Medallion release is limited to no more than ten thousand hand-numbered units and comes complete with a hand-numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The Certificate tells the story of the scene depicted on the Medallion and also includes information about the sculptor of the piece. These unique treasures are only available through the Sideshow / Weta Collectibles web site at www.sideshowweta.com. Each Medallion released will surely occupy a unique place in the collectible offerings surrounding the upcoming films. To view the Medallions and learn more about the program please visit the Sideshow / Weta web site.

Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment industry’s leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units. 

© 2001 New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
"The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of The Ring and the characters and the places therein, TM The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved."



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Media Watch: Total Film Magazine
Xoanon @ 1:24 pm EST

Ringer Spy My Precious sends along these scans from 'Total Film' Cool LOTR media coverage!

Coolio LOTR Merchandise
Xoanon @ 1:15 pm EST

Check out these pics from a European LOTR Distributor, he got his hands on these coolio goodies (none of this stuff comes by me...someone get me on that mailing list!) Check these out.

New LOTR Bookmarks
Calisuri @ 10:50 am EST

Just got this report from Ringer Fan Rachel from www.RevolutionSF.com:

I was shopping in my local Books-A-Million yesterday, and I found the coolest new Lord of the Rings bookmarks.  I don't believe that I've seen pictures of these on TORN, so I scanned the two I purchased (see attached).

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They look like standard plastic bookmarks with the tassel.  Each one was dedicated to a character from the films.  I saw Ringwraiths, Gandalf, Lurtz, Strider, Boromir, Frodo, Bilbo, and a One Ring bookmark with the poem on it.  The best part is that some of the bookmarks come with a heavy gold ring attached to the tassle.  The ring bears the Elvish script on the inside and outside.  The ring only came attached to the bookmarks for Boromir, Frodo, Bilbo, and the Ringwraiths (Only those who either carried or sought the Ring).

I bought Frodo and Boromir.  The picture of Frodo is the standard "Frodo with Sting" picture which we've seen quite often.  The one of Boromir is new to me.  It shows Boromir blowing his horn, which I haven't seen before.

The bookmarks without a ring were $1.69.  The bookmarks with a ring were $2.29.

10-08-01 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 10:24 pm EST

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

28 Days (2000)
Thin Red Line, The (1998) UK
Psycho (1998) UK
Passion of Darkly Noon, The (1995)
American Yakuza (1994)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
Carlito's Way (1993)
Young Guns II (1990)
Witness (1985)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Plunkett & Macleane (1999) UK
Onegin (1999) UK
Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
U Turn (1997) UK

Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Life Less Ordinary, A (1997) UK
King Lear (1997) (TV) UK
Fifth Element, The (1997)
Madness of King George, The (1994)
Hamlet (1990)
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
Alien (1979) UK
Young Winston (1972)

Sean Bean (Boromir)

Anna Karenina (1997)
When Saturday Comes (1996) UK
Stormy Monday (1988)

Martyn Sanderson (Bree Gatekeeper)

Hercules and the Circle of Fire (1994) (TV) UK

David Weatherley (Barliman Butterbur)

Potato Factory, The" (2000) (mini) UK

Marton Csokas (Celeborn)

Halifax f.p: Swimming with Sharks (1999) (TV)
Broken English (1996)

John Noble (Denethor)

Airtight (1999) (TV) UK

Peter Mackenzie (Elendil)

Chill Factor (1999)
Major League: Back to the Minors (1998) UK
Nick of Time (1995)
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) UK

Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Matrix, The (1999) UK
Bedrooms and Hallways (1998)
Reckless Kelly (1993) UK

Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000) UK
Thin Red Line, The (1998) UK
Well, The (1997) UK

David Wenham (Faramir)

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
Cosi (1996)

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Faculty, The (1998) UK
Ice Storm, The (1997) UK
Good Son, The (1993)
Paradise (1991)
Internal Affairs (1990) UK

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Gift, The (2000)
Pushing Tin (1999) UK
Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999) UK

Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

X-Men (2000) UK
Bent (1997)
Shadow, The (1994) UK
Alfred the Great (1969) UK

Mark Ferguson (Gil Galad)

Every Woman's Dream (1996) (TV)
Hercules and the Circle of Fire (1994) (TV) UK

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Cyborg Cop (1994)
Tusks (1990)
Firewalker (1986) UK

Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Topsy-Turvy (1999) UK
Tale of Sweety Barrett, The (1998) UK

Stephen Ure (Gorbag)

Broken English (1996)

Harry Sinclair (Isildur)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Braindead (1992) UK

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

Sweet Talker (1991)
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Cars That Ate Paris, The (1974) UK

Sean Astin (Sam)

Sky Is Falling, The (2000)
Icebreaker (1999)
Kimberly (1999)
Bulworth (1998) UK
Rudy (1993)
Where the Day Takes You (1992) UK
Encino Man (1992) UK
War of the Roses, The (1989) UK
Staying Together (1989) UK

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) UK
Safari 3000 (1982)
Serial (1980)
Arabian Adventure (1979)
Return from Witch Mountain (1978)
Creeping Flesh, The (1973)
Nothing But the Night (1972)
Death Line (1972) UK
Theatre of Death (1967) UK
Gorgon, The (1964) UK
Longest Day, The (1962) UK
City of the Dead, The (1960)
Beat Girl (1960)
Hound of the Baskervilles, The (1959) UK
Battle of the River Plate, The (1956) UK
Dark Avenger, The (1955)
Scott of the Antarctic (1948) UK

Brian Sergent (Ted Sandyman)

Braindead (1992)

Bernard Hill (Theoden)

True Crime (1999) UK
Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999) UK
Gandhi (1982) UK

Nathaniel Lees (UglUK )

Hercules and the Lost Kingdom (1994) (TV)

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue)

Shadow Hours (2000)
Storytellers, The (1999) UK
Urban Legend (1998) UK
Alien: Resurrection (1997) UK
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Exorcist III, The (1990)
Blue Velvet (1986) UK
Dune (1984) UK

Jim Rygiel (SFX)

Anna and the King (1999)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Species (1995)
Scout, The (1994)
Last of the Mohicans, The (1992)
Alien³ (1992)
Batman Returns (1992)
Ghost (1990)
Last Starfighter, The (1984)

Howard Shore (Composer)

High Fidelity (2000)
Analyze This (1999)
Dogma (1999)
Cop Land (1997)
Game, The (1997)
Guilty as Sin (1993)
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
Moving (1988)
Big (1988)
Fly, The (1986)
After Hours (1985)
Places in the Heart (1984)
Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)
Videodrome (1983)

Peter Jackson (Director)

Hercules and the Lost Kingdom (1994) (TV) UK
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Braindead (1992) UK

To get more information, use the sites I use like:

mydigiguide.com, tv-now.com and IMDB.com

Christopher Lee In Greece
Xoanon @ 11:33 am EST

From: Circi

"This is the trird time I come to Greece", said Christopher Lee, the perfect Count Dracula in a series of films, just arrived at "Eleftherios Venizelos" airport from Myconos, where he spend a few days with his wife. "The first time was during World War II, now I come to take part in the Film Festival, where I will present one of my films". Mr Lee is invited by the big circulation newspaper "Eleftherotypia" for the 14th Panorama of European Cinema, sponsored by them.

Late last night he presented his classic film "The Devil rides out" to a select audiance at the downtown Apollo cinema. There also, on Thursday evening during the closing ceremony of the festival, he will be awarded the Special Panorama Award. I'll try to go and report for you all.

Survivor: Middle-earth
Xoanon @ 11:16 am EST

Gearing up for Survivor: Africa? Well check out the Middle-earth version! Survivor Middle-earth!

10-07-01 Latest News

Media Watch: My Generation
Xoanon @ 9:38 pm EST

Check out these scans from 'My Generation' Magazine. Take a look!

Rings? Potter? who?
Xoanon @ 9:18 pm EST

From: Paul

A summary of an article called "Hollywood Hype has not effect" from the same journo in "The Australian". It talks about Planet of the Apes and so on and how Hollywood Hype is no longer as effective as it used to be. This is one section in the article that I have summarised.

A survey conducted by distributors in Australia shows that more than 60% of Australians, whilst having heard of Lord of the Rings, do not know what it is about, do not know that it is a trilogy and do not regard it as a must see film.

The only good news to this is that 57% said Harry Potter is not a must see as well and that Star Wars has a whopping 80% opinion that it is not a must see.

The distributors remain confident however that a media campaign being hyped up by the companies producing each film will change these opinions.

Lord of the Rings still remains the film attracting the highest number of inquiries with regards to dates, trailers etc in the distributors history.

Victoria University Hosting Series On Tolkien.
Xoanon @ 9:07 pm EST

From: John

Talking Tolkein

Hobbits, orcs, wizards and elves will come to 'life' in December this year with the first of Peter Jackson's and alumna Fran Walsh's much anticipated film trilogy The Lord of the Rings scheduled for release.

Directed and produced in Wellington, the trilogy is providing a major boost for the New Zealand film industry, and creating enormous interest nationally and internationally.

But what was it that inspired Tolkein to write The Lord of the Rings? And how is his work, one of the most widely read and influential of twentieth century romances, being portrayed in the film medium? These are the themes of a new evening lecture series being offered by the Centre for Continuing

Education Te Whare Pukenga in November, immediately prior to the film's release. Robert Easting and Christine Franzen, Reader and Senior Lecturer in English Language and Literature, will present the first three lectures. They explore the ways in which Tolkein's narrative invention was influenced by medieval literature and mythology, taking particular motifs such as 'quests' and 'monsters'. The fourth and final session, with Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop, is devoted to the visualising and filming of The Lord of the Rings. Weta Workshop is responsible for the special effects, costumes, make-up, minature sets and propos for the film. The series is being held on the Kelburn Campus on Wednesday evenings, 7 to 28 November.

Lord How Those Cash Registers Ring
Xoanon @ 9:02 pm EST

Ringer Spy John sends along this great article from 'The NZ Sunday Times'. Take a look!

10-06-01 Latest News

Media Watch: Parabola Magazine
Xoanon @ 12:31 pm EST

From: Ryan

I thought you'd be interested in this finding. The magazine Parabola: Myth, Tradition, and the Search for Meaning has an article on Hobbits in its Fall 2001 (Volume 26, No. 3) issue. The issue's theme is "The Fool: Isn't it foolish to ponder our own foolishness?"

The article, by Shanti Fader, is titled "A Fool's Hope," and compares the "fools" of Tolkien's works--the Hobbits--to his "classical" heroes like Aragorn. The subtitle reads "Hobbits rush in where heroes fear to tread."

Accompanying the article are several nice B&W photos from our favorite upcoming film: Aragorn, the four hobbits (probably on Weathertop), and Bilbo at his birthday party. The quote beneath the four hobbits reads "A fool's strength lies in the very qualities that separate him from the conventional image of the heroic: humility (humus--earth) and the willingness to support others rather than seeking power or glory directly."

10-05-01 Latest News

New Cinematic Heroes Rise to the Occasion
Strider @ 5:52 pm EST

October 4th, USA Today
Susan Wloszczyna

The wee hero

Hobbits, those hairy-footed homebodies who inhabit the bucolic Shire, travel far to join in a war against oppressive evil in The Fellowship of the Ring (Dec. 19).

The first of three epic episodes of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings features a band of these mythical creatures led by Frodo (Elijah Wood). But they boast traits that are very human indeed.

Says Sean Astin, who plays Frodo's protector, Sam: "The hobbits suddenly seem like the perfect heroes. They love their comfortable life and would rather eat and drink than be bothered by life's nuisances. But when called upon, despite their size, they rise to the occasion. They represent the best of what we can accomplish."

No hobbit is more human than Sam, a simple gardener. "I don't think he understands what's at stake," Astin says. "He just has a general feeling of badness and doesn't like it. He's all about loyalty, decency, goodness and faith, all qualities that always been there in the American psychology."

Thanks to Erin and Lindulan

10-03-01 Latest News

Ian Holm Talks LOTR
Xoanon @ 1:40 pm EST

The latest Time Out in the UK has an interview with Ian Holm (Bilbo) for his theatre run of Pinter's "The Homecoming,"which includes:

"Lord of the Rings is 'very good,' he promises. 'Christopher Lee knew Tolkien, and is a devotee. He came out and said, "That's Tolkien," so you can't get better then that. I like it because it's not just a special-effects movie, it's very performance-orientated, lots of good stuff in it. And yes, battle with 5,000 Orcs and the rest of it. I think it's going to be a sort of landmark, really.' He plays Bilbo Baggins, uncle to Elijah Wood's Frodo, and wil also appear in the third film (the trilogy was shot conccurently at a budget of $300 million, or thereabouts). And what was Peter Jackson like? "A terribly nice little man, rather nervous with a bit of a stutter, thick black hair and extraordinary bow legs. He wore shorts and sneakers and would bicycle between one set and another and direct by cell phone. I don't know how he did it.'

T-Mobil and RIOT-E Join Forces
DarthCaeser @ 1:32 pm EST

T-Mobil and RIOT-E launch New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings™ SMS service
~ exclusive games, logos, information and questionnaire service to be provided for next three years ~

T-Mobil customers will soon be able to subscribe to interactive The Lord of the Rings™ games and exclusive services via text message.

T-Mobil will be the only mobile telecommunications provider in Germany to offer mobile services around New Line Cinema‘s The Lord of the Rings™ movie trilogy over the next three years. T-Mobil will obtain the services from Riot Entertainment (RIOT-E, www.riot-e.com), the global leader in the wireless entertainment.

“SMS is really taking off with young people at the moment. If text message services can provide users with unique content in an imaginative and creative way, they’re going to be even more successful,” said Martin Knauer, Executive Director Marketing Consumer Market at at T-Mobil. “RIOT-E delivers exactly the kind of content for wireless entertainment we want to offer to our customers.”

The movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings™ is based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The first of the three films will be launched wordwide on December 19, 2001.

“Today, almost 60 million Germans have mobile phones, creating a huge potential audience for mobile entertainment,” says Jan Wellmann, CEO of RIOT-E. “Our strategic partnership with T-Mobil will allow us to shape this rapidly developing market.”

The T-Mobil service portfolio around The Lord of the Rings™ will include innovative multiplayer games, exclusive services, questionnaires, logos and information about the trilogy. All these services will be available in October.

T-Mobil has previously worked with RIOT-E on the exclusive SMS services around the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary and the interactive SMS game‚ X-Men, based on the Marvel comic books and film.

About Riot Entertainment Ltd (www.riot-e.com)
Founded in February 2000, Riot Entertainment immediately established itself as the most innovative publisher, creator, and distributor of entertainment in the wireless sector. RIOT-E brings imagination and style that enables wireless gaming, communication and commerce worldwide. Games created by RIOT-E are promoted and co-branded in parallel with highly visible international media releases such as movies, TV-shows, and sports events. RIOT-E has successfully launched its Bridget Jones and X-Men mobile services with operators in Europe and Asia and has secured exclusive rights to mobile content based on Guinness World Records™ and New Line Cinema’s “The Lord of The Rings” film trilogy. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, RIOT-E has operational activities in Europe, Asia and The United States. The company employs 70 people worldwide.

About New Line Cinema (www.newline.com)
Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment industry's leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television, acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units.

DeicpherCon Cancelled
Xoanon @ 1:24 pm EST

October 3, 2001

Dear Friends of Decipher,

In light of the September 11 tragedies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., resulting airline safety concerns, and expected military action in the near future, I have made some very difficult decisions. The safety of our players and our employees must be my number one concern. As such, I'm changing our plans for two large, group events in October and November.

The first decision is to allow our European marketing professionals and team of product champions to represent us at Spiel Game Faire in Essen, Germany on October 18-21 instead of flying our marketing team from Decipher's headquarters in Virginia. I'm sure all of you who get to attend Spiel will be treated to a spectacular showing by Marcus Sheppard and Dominiek Vermandere, including a first look at The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game.

The second, and more significant, decision is about DecipherCon. We have a lot of important things planned for the show, but I can't imagine anything more important than the safety of our players all around the world. As such, I've decided to cancel the convention this year. I know there will be many disappointed players out there, just as I am deeply disappointed.

Still, it's my belief that out of adversity comes opportunity. I think we can collectively turn this disappointment into a tremendous positive on behalf of the entire gaming community. Here's how:

• As many of you know, this was to be the first time Decipher awarded $50,000 in cash prizes in the world championships of our various trading card games. Many of you were looking forward to competing in these events. Yet, it seems appropriate now – and I believe most of you will feel the same way – that this money should go for a higher purpose. I've decided that Decipher will donate all $50,000 to relief efforts for the September 11th tragedy.

• But, it's not just the donation that feels like the right thing to do. It's more. All 300 of our players who qualified for DecipherCon through State, Open, and Continental Championships will be contacted shortly by email and given the opportunity to vote on which charity(ies) will benefit from the donation. When that determination is made, we will make the contribution not in Decipher's name, but in the name of all these championship players. (Click here for a list of the champions.)

• In addition, we are going to challenge our retailers, distributors, and players around the world to match this money through fundraising efforts of tournaments and other events. These funds will be donated in the names of all Decipher players and collectors.

• Another key feature of DecipherCon this year was to be the very first sanctioned tournament in the world for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. Instead of asking players to come to our community (in Virginia Beach) to celebrate the launch of the greatest game Decipher has ever made, we will take The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game to your communities all over the world. We plan to implement a series of sanctioned tournament events instead of just one. (Locations of these events will be announced later.) It's true we have a short period of time to organize all of this (no one expected the events of September 11th), but I'm sure our team will rise to the occasion.

• Finally, we are going to ask our qualifying champions, the same people who would have been competing in the world championships for our games, to serve as guests of honor at these Lord of the Rings events. They are stars and deserve to be treated as such.

On Friday, I will be talking about these decisions on Radio Free Decipher. If you have questions for me, feel free to email them to Kyle Heuer at radiofree@decipher.com, with the subject "Question for Warren Holland", before noon (EST) on Thursday. I'll be happy to answer as many questions as I can and also give you some background information on these decisions for me.

Should any of you have trouble canceling your airline travel arrangements, please consult the airlines directly to find out what paperwork is necessary in order to have your ticket purchases refunded or exchanged for future travel. We are dedicated to helping you in any way we can and will be happy to provide you with any written documentation about the event cancellation. Please contact our conventions manager, Kendrick Summers, regarding your personal situation. He can be reached by email at kendrick.summers@decipher.com or by telephone at 757.664.1143.

I ask for your support in helping me make Decipher's proud player community stand above the rest in a show of widespread devotion to our country in its time of need. Everyone within the company already knows that our players are special. Now it's time to show the world what you're all about.

All the best,

Warren Holland
Chairman & CEO
Decipher Inc.

Nerds kill Hollywood Tripe?
Xoanon @ 1:15 pm EST

From: The Australian

Thanks to PT

It has grown to be quite the custom for the superior production companies to showcase their work before the end of season movie bonanza here in the largest movie going nation (per capita) in the world.

I particularly take note of fantasy, comic book and game interpretations as they are normally most open to my own brand of satirical yet harsh criticism. I took most delight in giving the recent "Tomb Raider" a serve.

I plod in and out of cinemas, wondering what inspired those smouldering heaps of Hollywood excrement. There appeared to be no light at the end of the tunnel, I had become a cynic.

I have since been enlightened, and from the most unsuspecting place. A Fantasy world that literally fuels the entire "Nerd" culture of the Modern world.

If you have no clue what I am talking about then you can count yourself in the minority.

The first instalment of the Epic Trilogy "Lord of the Rings" entitled "Fellowship of the Ring" will launch itself with great force at our Silver Screens come Boxing Day.

Interpreted By Peter Jackson the films tell the story of the one Ring and the Hobbit who carries it. A mighty task it must of be too, so much as one word out of place and the "Nerd" world will hang him!

Many film making endeavours have laid claim to the title of "Bigger than Ben Hur". For once it is actually true. With sets and costumes numbering in the hundreds, extras into the thousands, and special effects like none ever seen before these films look to be something to behold. I even heard on the grape vine that twenty kilometres of road was built for the production.

The only step that remains is to have the same impact "Ben Hur" did when ti was released.

The trailer, which is an Epic in it's own right features a snippet from a thirty minute preview I had the honour to be invited to witness. At first I was sceptical and wandered if the security measures at the door to remove all devices capable of recording or communicating was all that essential.

The thoughts running through my own mind left me disillusioned before even the lights had dimmed, another Hollywood money-maker was on its way. How wide of the mark I was!

I was treated to thirty minutes of the most visually stunning film I had ever laid my eyes upon. The most original and heart stopping action. The most motivated and believable characters for this type of film. I was sucked into a frantic battle inside a massive and beautiful cave, I was between crying and smiling with the feeling that conjures itself in the back of your throat. My eyes, my mind and my heart were satisfied, and it was only about one fifth of the film.

Not long after leaving the cinema I purchased the book in the three-part format and began to read. Since that day I have been through it four times and have embarked on a fifth. I have never anticipated anything of an entertainment nature before in my existence, but now I even find myself surfing the net to gather as much information as I can.

This fever that has come over me can only be explained through the "Nerd" mentality, perhaps my conceptions of the past about their way of life has been a little too harsh. I never suspected it would be the "Nerd" that produces the most anticipated refreshment to entertainment and what appears to be the first major film event of the new century.

On Boxing Day this year the Australian Film going public will not be treated to the usual tripe that flags our major cinemas. They will receive a third of a story more satisfying than the original Star Wars when first released. A story brought to the screen by one of it's own fans in a fashion not seen before. The question is can we wait another two years to receive the next two thirds?

10-02-01 Latest News

Calisuri's Cruel Joke
Calisuri @ 11:39 pm EST

heh...I'm cruel

Time for me to run to the bookstore. Night folks!!!

Behind the Scenes JVC LOTR DVD! A Preview
Calisuri @ 6:49 pm EST

October 10th, 2001, The Official New Line Shop will begin to sell the JVC DVD Player. Yes, a DVD player specific to The Lord of the Rings. It is a big deal in its own right, but with its impending release, there is something else we should be looking forward to.

The official shop page description talks of an "exclusive 17-minute DVD -- featuring behind the scenes footage about the making of The Lord of the Rings -- is sure to thrill anyone who's waiting for the film's release on December 19th."

Well guess what folks...We got our little spy hungry hands on one! Woo!

One thing you should know before you read this report. In the time I wanted to report this to you, I was unable to get any high quality screen captures of the DVD. While I'm sure there is a way to do it, I simply just took images of the TV. The images you do see should be more than enough to satisfy your appetite. (ps - Please do not send me email about how to capture images off the DVD!)

[ Click for Larger Versions ]
[ Click for Larger Versions ][ Click for Larger Versions ]

The packaging is the size of the DVD, not the regular bulky DVD case we are used to getting. (This is a good thing) Featured on the front are Eljiah as Frodo, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Liv Tyler as Arwen.

On the back there is a listing of the chapters and a mention of, what I believe, one of the cooler features of the DVD: 'The Theatrical Trailer and Featurette in 5.1 Surround Sound.'

I have seen the first Fellowship of the Ring Trailer many times, but the versions on our computer hardly match up to the one on this DVD. If you are lucky enough to have a home theater, watching this DVD version of the trailer really does make you feel like you are smack dab in the middle of a high quality cinema. From the beginning echo of the fog on the New Line logo, to the Fireworks version of Smaug swooping to your right, the creators have taken full advantage of the surround sound. NOTE: The DVD is default set up for standard sound, NOT the 5.1 Dolby Digital. So you will need to go to the audio setup portion of the DVD to switch it.

[ Click for Larger Version ] The interactivity, while simple, is well done. The design is perfect in my opinion and I had no problem surfing around the various sections of the disc. The main screen, seen to the left, lists the main areas of the disc. Take note of the image of Sam behind the textual menu. This area fades in and out with various images of cast and characters. Elvish writing scrolls up and down the screen on the extreme right. The Lord of the Rings logo occasionally has a 'metallic' reflection roll slowly across it.

[ Click for Larger Version ]You can start the entire DVD by selecting 'Play All,' or you can go to the 17-minute behind the scenes footage under 'Glimpse of Middle-earth.' Here we find of the listing of the 5 chapters with an image from each section. The logo again has the 'lighting' effect on it and the elvish script scrolls on the far right.

[ Click for Larger Version ]Each chapter is seperated by the Fellowship theme graphic with the title of the chapter below it. The fellowship moves slowly across to the right as the background of a middle-earth map shines through.

Chapter 1 - Middle-earth Down Under
This section has some wonderful shots of the landscape of New Zealand and the sets from the films. Mainly Hobbiton. We also get a great look at the Fellowship climbing Caradhras. The cast testifies how great Peter Jackson was as a director and a visionary. Christopher Lee claims Peter "has The One Ring."

Chapter 2- Imagining Middle-earth
Peter explains that at the time of the films conception, 1995, the world of Alan Lee dominated the literature available. We get some shots of Alan Lee sketching as well as overseeing the production. John Howe is also shown talking about how believablity is the key to the films.
Weathertop statues in production

Chapter 3 - Creating Middle-earth
Richard Taylor, head of WETA, talks about the care and effort taken for the make-up, prosthetics, models, amrmour, weapons, etc. Peter Jackson then emphasizes how successful Richard and his team were in making these fantasical items look and feel real and believable.
A clay model of Shelob!
An elaborate model of Minas Tirith (I think)
Orc masks and prosthetics
John Rhys-Davies having his make-up applied
Wonderful looks at the hundreds of weapons and armour created for the films

Chapter 4 - Characters of Middle-earth
This chapter reviews the cast, subdivided into races. The hobbits, Wizards, Men, and finally Elves and Dwarves.
Shots of the hobbits at Weathertop and in Hobbiton.
Legolas standing on top of a box, while the hobbits run under by, to create the illusion of height. (This looks to be the same scene from the trailer when Legolas is firing back at a group of Orcs after Moria)
Elijah holds up an image 'That will never ever be in the movie." (The picture looks to be the hobbits with Bill the Pony and snow flakes flying around)
Saruman on his throne in Orthanc.
Gandalf both in Bag End and travelling.
Viggo at Weathertop fighting the Ringwraiths.
Boromir at the departure from Lorien.
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel filming the the mirror scene. ( Funny thing is she is wearing rain boots!)
Legolas petting Billy the Pony.
Orlando Bloom talks about Legolas's skill with all weapons.
Liv in Rivendell talking with the hobbits. She is standing on a box, to represent the height difference

Chapter 5 - The One Ring
Great shot of the entire fellowship running over a ridge. We see the filming of the Ring in Frodo's hand scene, from the first Trailer.

After the last chapter of the presentation has ended, the DVD jumps directly to the first Fellowship of the Ring Trailer. (In all its 5.1 Dolby Digital Glory!)

The next section of interest on the DVD is the Photo Gallery. By choosing one of the 16 listed character(s) you can learn more about that character and the person who plays them. I have captured the menu page, Gandalf page and Sir Ian McKellen page below.

[ Click for Larger Version ][ Click for Larger Version ][ Click for Larger Version ]

The other sections don't hold much information.

The 'Web Portal' links to the Official Site (http://www.lordoftherings.net) and the JVC website.

The 'Audio Setup' allows you to toggle between standard audio and 5.1 Dolby Digital.

The 'Help' section describes how to use the DVD and the 'Credits' tells you all about who made it.

All in all, this DVD is wonderful. Its a blessing to have a few months ahead of the production and it really helps to fill the much needed fix of Lord of the Rings. For you international fans, if the film doesn't show in December, this should help take the tinge off of waiting another month or so. I would have easily paid a $50 for this thing if it was for sale, so the $200 price tag for the entire DVD player AND this DVD isn't bad at all. Actually, its quite good. As far as I can tell, I'm not an expert, the DVD player has all the same stuff mine does, and is cheaper! If you haven't entered the DVD age, and you are a Tolkien fan, now is the time to get with it.

Purchase the DVD Player with the Behind the Scenes DVD at the Official New Line Shop. They are currently taking pre-orders and will start shipping on Oct 10th.

Update from MM3D!
DarthCaeser @ 4:51 pm EST

A TheOneRing.net Exclusive!

You read it here first, unless your a member of MM3D's message boards ;)

Bridgette Patrovsky, CEO of MM3D, has posted an update on MM3D's court case with Sierra. Bridgette was kind enough to give TheOneRing.net an exclusive on the story:

In the beginning, we filed in Ca. State court. Sierra claimed a jurisdiction issue and had the case ‘removed’ to federal court in May of 2001. (Los Angeles, Ca.)

Current Info

U.S. District Court
Central District of California (Western Div.)
MM3D Inc v. Sierra On-Line Inc, et al
Filed: 05/24/01
Assigned to: Judge Christina A. Snyder
Jury demand: Defendant
Nature of Suit: 190 (civil, breach of contract)
Jurisdiction: Diversity

The Timeline

I believe these dates are correct but they may be off by a day or two. I’ve taken them from my personal notes. - Bridgette

05-24-01: The case was moved from State to Federal court.

06-11-01: They filed a motion to dismiss our claims.

06-18-01: We filed an opposition to their motion to dismiss.

06-25-01: They filed a response to our opposition filing.

07-03-01: Motion granted in part, denied in part. We were given leave to amend our complaint to fix it. (Note: We filed in State, not Federal, so we had to change our documents to meet the different Federal requirements.)

07-30-01: We filed an amended complaint and requested a jury trial.

08-16-01: They filed a motion to dismiss our amended (fixed) complaint. (The hearing date was set for 10am on 9-17-01)

08-30-01: We filed an opposition to their motion to dismiss.

09-10-01: They filed a response to our opposition.

09-17-01: Their motion to strike certain claims and motion to dismiss were denied by the court. (side note: They asked to have 4 claims dismissed out of the 11 we filed. All of our claims remained intact.)

What happens next?

They file a response to our complaint. After that, the case enters what is known as the discovery phase.

Discovery involves a long process of requesting documents, sending questions, taking depositions and basically, getting ready for trial.

I will be keeping a daily journal and making updates regularly. The updates will be less technical, and more personal. Stuff like: How does it feel to go through this? How is this effecting everyone?

On an even more personal note:

I appreciate your supportive emails and calls. I wish this hadn’t happened but since it did, I am confident that we are doing the right thing. This will be a long process. (as you can see from what it took just to get to the discovery phase)

Obviously, there is a lot I can’t talk about. Things have happened that aren’t mentioned above. Until the jury resolves this, I can’t give more detail. I will keep notes though and once this is over, I’ll write it all up.

Thank you,

Bridgette Patrovsky

LotR Collectibles by Department 56
Strider @ 1:44 pm EST

From John N:

I don't know if this counts as a "spy report," but I just received my new catalog for Department 56, the collectibles company best known for its Original Christmas Village and Snowbabies collectibles. As part of Department 56's Hot Properties licensed collectibles series, it is producing a LOTR movie collection that include waterglobes, secret boxes, blown glass Christmas ornaments, figurines, ornament stands, and picture frames featuring the LOTR:FOTR characters, places, and the One Ring itself. The catalog notes that all designs are pending final approval, and you can see that some of the items are not even crafted yet because they are depicted as artist renderings rather than photos.

I have tried unsucessfully several times to include a scan of the catalog pages. You can find them at www.department56.com. I hope you find this information helpful.

More Toy Biz Goodies!
Xoanon @ 1:29 pm EST

Ringer Spy Ed sends along these great pics of Boromir and Lurtz action figures!

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