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October 18, 2002 - October 26, 2002

10-26-02 Latest News

GAMING: Entertainment Weekly Goes Geek
Xoanon @ 5:28 pm EST

From Moiraine

Although the articles (as usual) are unfortunately full of bad puns, the October 25th edition of Entertainment Weekly featured a two-page spread on The Two Towers game for Playstation 2 by EA. The article features pics of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli figures, a FotR review of a Tolkien fan (but not gamer), and the obliging Elijah Wood's comments on his gaming habit and how that worked on the shoot. The game itself got a B+, not a bad rating from EW.

I was unable to find a decent link on the website (which by the bye is advertising the Extended Edition of Fellowship all over the place). Here is an excerpt from the "It's in the Baggins: LotR Star Elijah Wood Can't Kick His Gaming Hobbit" by Geoff Keighley:

""I'm quite the videogame fan," he [Elijah Wood] cheerfuly admits. "It's part of my geeky obsession." To offer proof, Wood proudly cited his recent play-time with games like Eternal Darkness and Halo. He even fesses up to taking his PlayStation to New Zealand for the 15-month LOTR shoot. Unfortunately, it got about as much use as a hobbit show rack: "I plugged [it] into the wall and it burned because I didn't get a power transformer for it."

Plunging right into the story
Tehanu @ 1:53 pm EST

Person with no nickname suggested :"My 2 cents says maybe we will see a ringwraith "plunging" out of the sky? It would be pure PJ to do that, maybe in a startling way...just my guess, though

Jamie imagined something similar: "I suspect that the plunge will involve an aerial visual (roller-coaster in effect) involving the
Uruk-Hai (or the Three Hunters) plunging onto the plains of Rohan from the Emyn Muil."

Jacqui: my guess: "I'd guess that it starts with Deagol being pulled into the river and finding the ring, I mean its' logical, he is plunged deep into the water, and i heard that there will b a flash back 2 that scene in the movie...."

Hardy elaborated on the Gandalf vs. Balrog possibilities:

"Here's my vision of the opening (from an article I posted in the
usenet's alt.fan.tolkien:"

+++ begin LotR:TTT opening prophecy +++

New Line Cinema logo

Black screen, quiet music, Cate Blanchet voice over: "Three rings for
the Elven kings [...] where the shadows lie" (those eight lines have to
be somewhere in the films)

Title on black screen: "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

Black screen

A small, fiery red dot appears in the middle of the picture, it stars to
grow, we recognize it's something coming closer, faster and faster, now
we can hear it SCREAM, it's the BALROG falling through darkness!

Lit by the BALROG we begin to see that the camera is moving backwards,
falling down the abyss of MORIA

The BALROG falls past the camera, closely followed by something small, a
human shape, barely recognizable.

The camera turns around, gaining speed, chasing the human shape which is
catching up withthe falling BALROG, it's GANDALF THE GREY and in his
hands he holds his sword GLAMDRING, ready to engage the fiery beast.

AK explained why he thought a Gandalf vs. Balrog opening would work:

"Would it be a good opening? It's certainly right into the action, and would certainly grab the audiences attention right away.
It will be a visually stunning sight to behold, so perhaps it is best placed at the very beginning.
FOTR was void of an ending, so to speak, so to open The Two Towers with a bang seems like the good thing to do. In my opinion, flashbacks can sometimes be sloppy, and often are a lazy way of telling an untold story, so having it at the beginning instead of recalling it to Aragorn and co. would be a change in convention. A refreshing change.

"It also balances out the action. There really isn't that much action in the first half of Tolkien's Two Towers, and from the clues leaked onto the net of the structure of the film, it looks as though there'll be a mass of action toward the middle and end. Perhaps including Gandalf's flashback to Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas would cause an imbalance. (That said, I'm wondering whether Gandalf's meeting would seem a little redundant without a tale of his fall)."

Max: "Since so many people are throwing their own two cents in, I thought I would as well. I must say, I have no idea of how The Two Towers will begin, but I will use my oh so educated guess.

"One person pointed out that we DO have a small hint...it is "pure Peter Jackson". From what I gather from that, it isn't pure Tolkien....SO! When looking at the whole idea of The Two Towers and how, in a very general statement, the "bad guys win", I think it will have a bit of a beginning much like Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (which in turn gathered ideas from Tolkien...heehee), AND something Peter has decided to add himself. In Empire Strikes Back we see Darth Vader and all of his evil very early....if I remember right. I haven't watched it in a while. Since this second installment of LOTR is based on the invasion of Saruman and Sauron's forces (basically evil getting even more powerful) I think, in the style of Peter Jackson, we will see our first shot of the Nazgul. Or at least something of the sort...maybe the Witch King. All in all, I think we are all going to open up in Mordor and in utter darkness and evil. It would be a great way for Peter Jackson to show and tell us, "LOOK OUT! You have no idea how evil all of this really is...this is your FIRST taste".

"I could very easily be incredibly wrong and I'm sure some people are going to disagree with me. However, I remember very distinctly before seeing Fellowship for the first time, I heard Peter Jackson say something along the lines of, "This is a Tolkien movie made by a Tolkien fan." This is Peter Jackson's movie and he has a lot to say with this second film. Here comes Peter!!"

Stephen: "If it is pure Peter Jackson, think back to the camera plunge at Orthanc, where we drop from Gandalf at the top of the tower down through the depths of the furnaces. What about an opening from in high flight, with us seeing a wide landscape view of Rohan or the Emyn Muil (depending on where Jackson is starting TTT), then a plunge down to the action of the orcs running with Merry and Pippen being followed by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. And maybe we are shocked to discover that we are seeing it from the point of view of a Nazgul in flight."

Hall of Fire Chats for October 26 & 27
Demosthenes @ 8:59 am EST

We resume our Two Tower's chats this weekend with Frodo and Sam still with the Men of Gondor at Henneth Annun. His own fate - and that of the quest - undecided, he is summoned by Faramir only to discover that he must to decide the fate of another.

Book 4, Chapter VI: The Forbidden Pool

Fate, chance or providence has lured Gollum back to Frodo's side. Frodo discovers that, even with an opportunity, he is not easily able to disnown his feelings of obligation toward Gollum. It appears that although Gollum is bound to Frodo by his promise, Frodo is similarly bound to Gollum, something that could prove to the detriment of the quest.

Be sure to join us this weekend in one of our two scheduled discussions!

#thehalloffire on theonering.net server; come to theonering.net’s chat room Barliman's and then type /join #thehalloffire .

Saturday Chat: 5:30 pm ET (17:30) [also 11:30 pm (23:30) CET and 7:30 am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat: 7:00 pm (19:00) CET [also 1:00 pm (13:00) ET and 4:00 am (04:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe

Got a topic for Hall of Fire? E-mail us at Hall of Fire!

10-25-02 Latest News

More Fan Gaming Reviews
Flinch @ 3:41 pm EST

We've been asking everyone from age Seven to age Eleventy One to send in their reviews of the new games in the flavor of Middle Earth, including the new Video Games from Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal, the Miniature War Game from Games Workshop, and the Card Game and RPG from Decipher. The comments have literarly OVERFLOWED the Gaming Havens news bag, which is GREAT! Keep those reviews coming! You keep writing them we'll keep putting them up! Just drop an e-mail to Havens@TheOneRing.net!

Heres a review of Two Towers for PS2 from Electronic Arts' by Zac Bertschy

Long time reader, first time writer. I bought the Two Towers game as soon as it arrived on shelves, since it had new footage from the second film in it; I didn't really care what the gameplay was like, so long as I got to see the new scenes. To my surprise, the game turned out to be one of the best action games I've ever played. The combat system is fun beyond all reason, and the level-up system is rewarding and a blast to play. The graphics are outstanding and they did a fantastic job capturing the feel of the films and the tone of the characters and scenes they're recreating. My only quibble is that the interviews - the ones with the actors from the film - seem ot be focusing on the game. The actors really wouldn't have much to say about a video game tie-in, and it seems like they're struggling to come up with something to say aside from "I don't play video games very often..". A fantastic game, probably the only example of a good game based on a movie.
As for Vivendi Universal's game, well, if it didn't seem such an obvious attempt at cashing in on the success of the films, I wouldn't be as biased against this title. The graphics are okay, but the character design seems.. well, stilted. Gandalf looks a bit too much like Sean Connery and his voice is an obvious attempt at impersonating Ian McKellan. Character animations are okay and the combat system, while a little easy and repetitive, isn't horrid. The fact of the matter is, they glossed over too much. In this day and age, if you're going to do something relating to LOTR and you're going to boast about it being 'based on the books', then make it as painfully accurate as possible. We already have the ultimate version of these books on film; trying to recreate Tolkien's vision in other forms of media needs to do what the films can't, which is be endlessly faithful to the books and include everything. Yeah, parts of the game will be pretty dull, but they needed to do something with this game that wouldn't make it seem like just a knock-off of the movies. As it is, they include Bombadil and the Barrow-Downs, and that's about it. Everything else is included in the films, and there's really no reason to play the game. Aside from that, it's terribly short. This should have been an epic-length game.. there's no reason you should be able to finish it in less than 10 hours. Buy The Two Towers instead.

Here's a review of the Fellowship of the Ring for XBox from Vivendi Universal by CCanedy

The idea alone of a Lord of the Rings game for the next generation consoles was incentive enough for me to venture out and buy this game on release day. So I popped the game into my Xbox and started playing. As far as visuals go they aren't the best. The developers did not use the full potential of the Xbox and while Graphics don't make the game it is somewhat disappointing. The controls are decent enough to not cause many problems. The AI is pretty bad though. Enemies give up on trying to kill you if you run far enough away and on some occasions let you attack them with long distance weapons and bat an eye. I was willing to forgive all these problems because just the idea of being in an interactive Middle-Earth is excitement enough but then I lost all patience. I was 3 hours or so into the game, running around Bree as Strider. I ran into the stable and got the hay needed for the objective. I saved and ran out of the stable and died soon thereafter. No big deal. So I reloaded my saved game to find out that the only exit to the stable was blocked by some sort of invisible wall. The game glitched on me. This thoroughly disappointed me to the point where I returned the game soon thereafter. It wasn't worth the effort to play the game if it is going to effectively ruin my experience and halt my progess with a glitch. My opinion is that this game is a definate rent not buy and around a 5 out of 10. Buyer Beware. On the upside, I think The Two Towers Game is better by far but that's for another day.

Here's a review of Universal's The Fellowship of the Ring for PS2, XBox, and PC by CTruppi

Universal's title is so below average that it reeks of marketing gimmickry! The gaming formula is tried and true: take a good (in this case great) license, throw in some flashy graphics and a game engine that feels rushed and untested and , voila, you've sold a million copies. Unfortunately, Tolkien fan reviewers have bought it hook, line and sinker! They're so darn happy that someone actually made a LOTR game for next-gen system that
they've overlooked the myriad problems and assigned much higher than deserved scores for these reviews. These are both deceitful and insincere and mislead us fans into thinking that while there are problems, this game is worth our time. WRONG!

The first problem is in the fraudulent ads put out by Universal stating that the game would be true to the text. Some missing areas from the text include: Bilbo's birthday, Gandalf's actions in the years following Bilbo's birthday, Gandalf's captivity in Isengard, Caradras, Lothlorien gift giving, Boromir trying to steal the ring and others. Considering the brevity of the game (I finished in 5 hours), these scenes would have added depth to a
disjointed gaming experience. Also, the ending was completely changed and was done very badly. It seems as though Universal read all the complaints Tolkien fanatics had with the movie and threw in Tom Bombadil, the Barrow Wights and Glorfindel and said, "see, we're sticking to Tolkien!".

The second, and major problem, is that the game just isn't any fun! The battle system is horrible, and considering that after Bree, 75% of the game is fighting makes the experience even less fun (compare to EA's TTT excellent fighting game to understand how much fun a fighting game could be). The boss battles are plain stupid, non-challenging and anti-climatic! The whole thing feels rushed and I'd love to speak with a tester at
Universal to see what the heck they were thinking to allow this game through the beta phase!

In conclusion, while many reviewers add scores to this title because of the Tolkien license, I actually take points away. My love and admiration for the Professor's works raises my standards not lowers them. Universal should be ashamed of the claims they've made and the garbage that they've released with LOTR name stamped all over it. I give it a resounding 3 out of 10!!

Here's a review of The Two Towers for PS2 by Electronic Arts by JKugler

One word can describe this game, awesome! Gameplay is superb, graphics are very good, and the never before seen TT footage was jaw dropping. I especially love when you beat the game, and it shows the scene where Gandalf is talking to Aragorn about how Sauron is blind to Frodo, and how the ring moves closer to Mordor each day. We see a little of this in the trailers, but it goes on for a good 30 seconds. The Helm's Deep levels are absolutely amazing. It's so intense, you really get the feeling that your outnumbered 30 to 1. At some points when the Uruk Hai just keep coming, you get the feeling of despair, just the way you feel in the book, I love it! I've beat it twice already, once with Aragorn and Once with Legolas, now I'm working on Gimli and Isildur. The Tower of Orthanc level is pretty cool, though not as hard as I thought it would be and I was hoping to fight Saruman at the end. All in all I give this game a 9 out of 10, well worth the price.

Here's a review of the Fellowship of the Ring for XBox by Universal, and a review of The Two Towers for PS2 by Electronic Arts by Gloin

First ill tell you my thoughts on lord of the rings the fellowship of the ring for xbox. now this game i do like, but it just didnt seem to live up to the books. i would give it a 6 out of 10, to really enjoy this game you pretty much must be a fan of the books, which i am, so i did enjoy it.

now to the lord of the rings the two towers for ps2. this is now my all time favorite console game ever, i mean it really feels like the movie, and it looks great! it has the most replay value in a game i have ever seen, i have beat it with all characters already and unlocked everything, but im not finished with it, i just cant get enough pleasure out of killing all the uruks at amon hen so i keep coming back to it and kill them all over again. i give this game a 10 out of 10, this game i think ANYONE can enjoy.

Here's a review of the Trading Card Game, The Fellowship of the Ring for XBox, and The Two Towers PS2 Game by Electronic Arts by Ramen

The card game is lots of fun, I think it is the first time since Magic: the Gathering that I've seen a card game actually pull off simple yet interesting play mechanics. I was THRILLED to read in my last PC Gamer that the card game will be going online! Sweet!

Then I bought the Fellowship of the Ring for XBox. Listen, I'm a true Rings fan, but I should have known when the clerk at EB warned me to, "Give this one time...". Well, I gave it 2 hours. As much as I was dying to see the book scenes that hadn't made the movie, I couldn't stomach this game (I am really sorry, Quickbeam! :( The voice acting was fine, it was the controls, the way Frodo moved, the combat system, and fighting with the camera angles I just couldn't deal with. I realized I was most decidedly NOT having fun, and that's why I play games, so...back it went, alas.

I wasn't about to give up though, and plunged right in to Two Towers for the PS2. Good LORD, this game is wonderful! If you like the story, I fail to see how you could NOT like this game! I love it to death, the way they merged the movie and the game is groundbreaking and I hope to see this in other movie to game projects in the future (like The Matrix, for example). I'm not a huge fan of hack and slash games, but this is just a treat to play.

I hated to admit I didn't like the Fellowship of the Ring game, but I do not feel any such need to apologize for the Two Towers game, I just hope they will definitely make a sequel for the third movie!

Wow! Thats a lot of reviews! Keep sending your reviews in to Havens@TheOneRing.net and we'll keep posting them here on Gaming Havens @ TheOneRing.net!

Media Watch: Orlando Bloom In 'Teen People'
Xoanon @ 1:32 pm EST

Laeglass writes: Hey! I found an article on Orlando Bloom in a Teen People magazine. It talks about him getting the role of Legolas, his upcomming movies, and just about him in general. [Article Scan]

Full Bloom from Teen People (US), December 2002

As the best-looking Elf ever to hit the big screen, The Lord of the Rings' Orlando Bloom has launched himself out of Middle-Earth and into the mainstream.

Forgive Orlando Bloom, but he's still reeling. Three years ago he was a student at London's Guildhall School of Music & Drama, just days away from graduation, when he won the role of a 2,931-year-old elf named Legolas in the hottest project in Hollywood, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The next thing he knew, the boy from Canterbury, England, who got his start reciting poetry at local arts festivals, was jetting off to New Zealand for 18 months of filming on the mystical epic with the whole process shrouded in secrecy. "We weren't allowed to take photographs [of ourselves]," Orlando recalls. "I would have to wear a hooded jacket in the car on the way to the set and home every day too if I still had the elf ears on." The first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, catapulted Orlando to unexpected screen-idol status.

And this month's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, in which hobbits Frodo and Sam journey on to Mordor while Legolas and the rest of the gang fight the evil forces at Helm's Deep, is sure to keep him there. "I'm overwhelmed by it."

There is one downside to this kind of success: Orlando's so popular now that people want to gossip about him and pass around wrong information on the Web, which strikes him as really strange. To set the record straight, he insists his idol is not These days he has a bounty of choice roles coming his way. Next up, Orlando's an outlaw in the movie The Kelly Gang, co-starring Heath Ledger. "It was an all-boys thing," Orlando says, "riding around on horses with guns," Then he has to cope with another ring - the boxing kind - for a British comedy called The Calcium Kid. "I play a working-man's hero, a young guy who is a milkman, but he also boxes," says Orlando, who's now in training for the role. "I drink a lot of milk."

Superman ("I've been trying to live down this story forever") and he didn't start acting to pick up chicks ("Rubbish," he says. "I liked to perform from an early age"), Orlando hopes to have his own site up soon to help squash the rumors.

Until then, know this: He puts family first, living in Canterbury, where his mother runs a language school for foreign students (his dad died when Orlando was four), and he's in love with Maude, his dog. As for his romantic life, his last big relationship fell apart while he was making The Lord of the Rings. Still, Orlando's not giving up on love. "When you start falling for somebody and you can't stop thinking about when you're going to see them again, I love that," he says. "Women are beautiful. They deserve to be cherished and respected." And, he adds with a laugh, "They're a handful."


NAME: Orlando Bloom.

BORN: January 13, 1977 in Canterbury, England.

SCREEN FAVES: Johnny Depp, Edward Norton and that cute French flick Amelie.

GOOD LUCK CHARM: A small pyramid of the blue gemstone lapis lazuli, which he keeps on his bedside "for wisdom."

XTREME PURSUITS: Skydiving, bungee jumping, surfing and snowboarding. "Keeping fit," he says, "comes easily to me."

LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE E.R.: To date, he's broken his back, both legs, an arm, three ribs, his nose, a finger, a wrist, a toe and cracked his skull three times. "I feel like I'm in competition with Evel Knievel," he says.

NAIL MAN: "I am a vegetarian," says Orlando. He does, however, nosh on his nails. "Sadly, yes, ever since I gave up smoking. Now I'm trying to give up nails."

Harry Vs Frodo (moan) NYTimes
Xoanon @ 12:37 pm EST

This year, the best guess from Wall Street analysts, professional box-office watchers and Hollywood executives inside and outside the two studios is that "Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets" (opening on Nov. 15) and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (Dec. 18) will dominate the holiday season, taking in at least $600 million between them in the United States, and twice that much overseas. But many expect "Lord of the Rings" to beat "Harry Potter" this year.

TTT Opening Plunge
Tehanu @ 11:53 am EST

More speculation on the opening "Plunge" described by the writers in this article.

Ben rejected the 'Gandalf and the Balrog falling' theory:

"Almost certainly not, surely. Any sight of Gandalf early in the film would pre-empt the moment when the Three Hunters find him, which is quite clearly supposed to be his big entrance in TTT, I think. The footage of him and the Balrog will be shown in flashback soon after that, as in the book."

Loressar Erchamion: "Maybe the opening of TTT shows the boat plunging to the bottom and making its way down the Anduin? Or maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, hoping we'll get an early intro to the mysterious Captain Faramir of Ithilien." ;-)

David: "It could also be the plunge into the anduin made by Deagol for the ring, we already have some shots from this story telling part, wouldn't be a bad opening considering Gollum's right around the corner. Would also kind of continue the prelude to FOTR when we see Isildur "plunge" as well."

Mendil: "Some have speculated that it is Gandalf and the Balrog plunging into the depths of Moria. I for one don't believe it (or maybe I don't want to believe it). It seems that this scene would play when Gandalf meets the Three Hunters, as a flash back.

"Some have also speculated that it is Frodo plunging into the Marshes. But obviously this can't be the opening.

"We have a clue though - it's "pure Peter Jackson". What does this mean? I think it means that there is a frightening moment, delivered as a complete surprise. What else could it mean? I feel that, when this is spoken, they are referring to Jackson's earlier movies, and not what he did in FOTR. So I'll be looking for a big scare.

"My surmise is: It is the scene with Sam and Frodo descending the cliff in the Emyn Muil, where they first remember the elven rope. I bet this is turned into a real cliff-hanger! And it'll involve Gollum, too.

"I cannot see how the Gandalf/Balrog battle would be considered a "pure Peter Jackson moment"."

Project Elanor
Tehanu @ 11:30 am EST

Orangeblossom Brambleburr writes:

"Just an update on the status of Project Elanor, the community service project inspired by Sean Astin's 9/11 call for participation in the United Day of Service campaign. Since our first announcement of this project on TORN, we have teamed up with national youth literacy charity Reading Is Fundamental Reading is Fundamental and they have formed an action committee to help find a suitable space for us to landscape as a children's reading garden. We have also received pledges of help during the actual event from over 40 local fans, as well as extensive financial donations and other gifts. Thank you cards to those donors to help will be sent out later this week.

"The best news by far, however, is that our Founder, Victoria Bitter, was able to meet Mr. Astin himself on 9/11 and explain the project to him. He is well-known for being an active supporter of children's literacy, and his response was enthusiastic. Much to our delight and that of the staff at Reading is Fundamental, Mr. Astin expressed his appreciation for the project, indicating that he would like to support Bit of Earth in this endeavor and even participate in Project Elanor itself!

"In light of Mr. Astin's generosity, the date remains fluid, as we wish to accommodate his schedule however necessary. Unfortunately, the attempts we have made so far to determine when he would be available have not been returned by his management. With TTT drawing near, we understand that they are likely quite busy, but we are confident that Mr. Astin is a hobbit of his word, and greatly looking forward to seeing this project through to a conclusion worthy of Sam's own garden!"

Official TTT Posters for Asia?
Demosthenes @ 9:16 am EST

Eien fround these pics on ha-movie.com and sent us the links. Could they be official posters for the release of the movie across Asia?

Oz DVD Price Roundup
Demosthenes @ 6:58 am EST

It's not received a lot of attention, but Australia (and New Zealand) are getting a Region 4 release of both the Special Extended Edition DVD and the Collector's Edition.

The R4 release apparently will have a funky green cover/sleeve as opposed to the plain grey of the R1 and R2.

For those not keen on buying from overseas through Amazon or other overseas DVD outlets, and having to fret about exchange rates and shipping charges, what are the alternatives?

Well, I've had my eye on Ezydvd.com.au for a while, and their prices have remained static for the past couple of months - $174.95 for the Collector's Edition and $74.95 for the Extended Edition (prices in Australian dollars and include shipping).

Recently though, I've been shopping around, and I discovered that dvd orchard has the R4 Collectors Edition on special right now (including free shipping via TNT within Oz for pre-orders) for only $159.95. The Extended Edition is also available for pre-order for only $69.95 (also has free shipping).

You can check it out here. The release date is listed as 12/11/2002 ... just scroll down through the list and select your poison.

The Ozdvd warehouse also offers a good deal. The Collectors Edition is $170.95 and the Extended Edition is $67.95. Check them out here. No mention about free shipping, though.

Planet DVD only seems to be carrying the Extended Edition. From them, you'll pay $68.95 if you're a non member and $65.95 if you're a member with free shipping within Australia. I couldn't find a price for the Collectors Edition anywhere on their site.


David writes that Atlantic DVD have have the collectors boxset for $145.95. Go here to look. They also have the Extended Edition for $69.95 here.

International postage costs start at A$3.50 for Asia/PAcific area and A$5.50 for the rest of the world for 1 DVD and go up from there for each additional DVD.

Update 2:

Some of the best prices for R4 so far are:

In Australia: Devoted

Extended Ed: $64.95
Collector's: $144.95

Apparently, they also have a free shipping deal going at present.

For those in NZ, check out: DVD Video Planet

Extended Edition: NZ$76.95 Aus$59.35
Collector's: NZ$179.95 Aus$138.79

While DVD VideoPlanet's prices are the best in R4, because they are based in NZ, the benefit of the discount is lost on those of us in Australia because of the trans-tasman shipping required. (Devoted is a better deal). I can't say how this would affect someone elsewhere who'd like to take advantage of the low Oz or NZ dollar however (and who has a PAL/R4 compatible system).

Here are the prices of the Collector's editon and Extended Edition from Family Box Office.

Collector's Edition - Australian Residents AU$159.50
International AU$145.00 = US$79.75 approx

Extended Edition - Australian Residents AU$67.60
International AU$61.15 = US$ 33.63 approx

The reason for the price being cheaper for international customers is that they do not have to pay our GST (goods & services tax). No free shipping, apparently.

Prices from The DVD Stop

Collectors Edition for $143.95 AUD.
Extended Edition for $62.95 AUD.

Prices from dStore Australia:

Collectors Edition for $160.50 AUD.
Extended Edition for $72.05 AUD.

Prices from DVD Crave:

Collectors Edition for $141.45 AUD.
Extended Edition for $63.50 AUD.

Price from Total DVD:
(No direct links available.)

FOTR Boxed set - $170.95 AUD
FOTR Extended Ed. - $70.95 AUD

Prices from HMV Australia:

Collectors Edition for 144.95 AUD.
Extended Edition for $79.95 AUD.

Prices from The Video Shift:

Collectors Edition for $159.99 AUD.
Extended Edition for $69.99 AUD.

Prices from Vidz of Oz:

Collectors Edition for $171.57 AUD.
Extended Edition for $76.46 AUD.

PlanetDVD did have the Collector's Box for sale on their website at $140.95 but it was only as a limited pre-order.

And, to find out the cheapest price from any online store check out this price crawler - just type in 'Lord of the Rings' and it will list all the various prices for the most competitive deal. DVD Price Crawler

Good grief, that was a lot of information! Thanks heaps to everyone who wrote in and helped out. The response was truly overwhelming.

Japan: Trailer Twisted in Translation
Tehanu @ 12:06 am EST

Last month Japanese fans were relieved to see the subtitles in FotR DVD were repaired considerably to what they had been in the film version. Now they are tortured again.

"On October 18th, the new TTT trailer was released by the Japanese distributor on the Web. Dubbed version was good, but those who love the actors' own real voices chose the other version with subtitles---and they found a familiar frustration. [Eowyn says] "Preparations? Warning?" No viewer can possibly imagine Eowyn here is really saying, "They were unarmed. They had no warning."

Another example. Sam : Wonder if this is the way Gandalf meant? (Note that "We're lost" is eliminated) Frodo: Everything is unpredictable. "This is a Zen dialogue, not a translation at all," exclaims an ex-leader of Petition for Better Subtitles in FotR. What's in Frodo's mind here is the tragic fall of Gandalf, but these subtitles ignore it. Such were the lines that filled FotR when seen in theaters. And Nippon Herald, the distributor, declares that the same subtitler will stay in her position.

A group of fans have started preparing a new petition. "How we wish we didn't have to do this," says another leader. "All we ask is: Just show us what is being said. Why should it be so difficult?"

10-24-02 Latest News

Fan Review: The Two Towers for PS2
Flinch @ 7:11 pm EST

This review of Electronic Arts' The Two Towers for PS2 was sent to us by Mumm Rahh.

Well Ive played "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" by EA Games, and i must say, Im impressed. Never before have i seen cut scenes and actual game play transition. The rendered environments and charicters are beautifully done and the sound effects and voice acting is wonderful. Its really great to see that they have finally made a good game off a movie.
And now, the downside
Game play, while fun at first is not very challenging, and a bit repetitive(even on the hardest difficulty setting) And its quite short(I finished it with all three charicters the day after i got it(Again on the hardest setting). I was personally disapointed that this game was only single player, as this style of game play lends itself perfectly to having even up to four players. But its a good game, better then most and really worth the 52$ The intigration of movie clips and impecable graphics really make this game something else.

Fan Gaming Reviews: FOTR for GameBoy Advance
Flinch @ 7:05 pm EST

This Review sent to us on the Fellowship of the Ring for Gameboy Advance by Girl of the Shire!

    This game is wonderful and almost flawless!  You begin your journey in the Shire which is detailed beautifully and really makes you feel there.  It is fun and helpful to talk to other hobbits there, and it's very enjoyable to explore.  There are sub-quests you can go on as well, such as delivering messages for people to receive beneficial rewards.  While in the Shire, you can go several hobbit holes and find all sorts of things.  It's lots of fun! 
    Once you're out of Hobbiton, you encounter a few enemies to challenge in a turn-based battle.  It gets harder as you go on in the game, but it is never too difficult to defeat the enemy.  Just be sure and save the game before you begin the battle, so if all your players die (which only happened to me once), you can start right before the fight and try it again. 
    Along the way you encounter favorite characters such as Tom Bombadil, Goldberry, and Farmer Maggot, and even get to go inside their homes.  Exploring is half the fun of this game!  You really feel like you are there and all of Middle-earth is accessible through your Gameboy Advance.  There are friendly pubs and other stops along the way as well. 
    Collect gold coins to buy weapons, food, health supplies, etc.  Try to solve riddles (some more important than others) and relive the books!  Just playing this game will give you a craving to go back and read the book, or at least it did me. 
    Now for the flaws.  There aren't any as far as boring parts or inaccuracies or anything bad or unenjoyable -- but there are many bugs and glitches in the game.  Most everyone who bought the game experienced something wrong with it at some point.  Although most of the problems happen in Moria, and you aren't able to go any further, I and many other people have experienced ones elsewhere.  You really need to save your game often in order to ensure that you don't have to start all over and lose all your progress.  There are times when your character will walk in mid-air, or just freeze and not be able to go anywhere without exiting out and not saving.  Also, sometimes people are supposed to give you things that they say they have given you, but they never show up anywhere.  At one point, Gimli is talking to you but his body is invisible!  He must have the ring on or something ;)  But as for the Moria glitch, apparently the technical team came up with a solution and there are steps you can take to get past the glitch at the website.  
    Other than those glitches (and there are many, some are serious and some are actually beneficial, like I got a re-occuring coin at one point!), this game would be PERFECT.  It is a must-have for any Lord of the Rings or Tolkien fan.  It is the best game I have ever played.  However, the glitches get very annoying, especially when you have to start all over, as I did.  But I wasn't smart enough to save very often.  You have been warned.  If you don't have it yet, I'd wait a month or so until stores get new shipments of the game in, so maybe the company eliminated the majority of the glitches for that batch and all the games to be sold from now on.  Anyway, happy gaming!  :)

Media Watch: Empire Magazine Photos!
Xoanon @ 4:35 pm EST

Take a look at these truly amazing photos by Pierre Vinet, these pictures of Frodo, Arwen, Aragorn and Legolas are some great still work. So beautiful!

Film Book Release Get-Together!
MrCere @ 4:23 pm EST

Houghton-Mifflin has jumped aboard TheOneRing.net party wagon and is offering you, the Tolkien fan a way to have some fun with your fellow TORNados and at the same time enter yourself in a contest to win a beautiful Alan Lee illustrated copy of "The Lord Of The Rings" book retailing in book stores now for $80.

To help warm up TORN's party machine, book stores around the world will debut Houghton's four new movie tie in books and hold a special TheOneRing.net event where 20 or more TORNados are ready to gather on November 6. The publisher's eyes are on TORN now to see how well we can rally the troops. Qualifying cities will be directed to a bookstore in their area that will host the event.

Anybody can sign up for the contest and event on the TORN line-party page. New participants are welcome, but each line veteran will need to find his/her name on his/her party list and click the Houghton-Mifflin icon. After signing up, party leaders will count heads at the event and those who sign up and attend will enter the pool of eligible winners.

The book store event is also an excellent chance for lines to gear up for the December movie events. Plus, who doesn't want to spend a little time with fellow Tolkienites looking at beautiful pictures and insightful words about the can't-come-soon-enough "The Two Towers"? This is also a chance to meet Tolkien readers in your community who haven't discovered the joys of TORN and movie line parties and include them in your group.

The books to be released on Nov. 6th 2002 from Houghton Mifflin:

Visual Companion
The Two Towers
Visual Companion
Making Of
The Making of
the Movie Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings
Photo Guide
The Two Towers
Photo Guide

Visit the Line Party page and either sign-up with an existing line, or start one in your area! Don't miss this opportunity to win great prizes and hang out with other Tolkien fans! [More]

10-23-02 Latest News

WB To Air TTT 'Behind-The-Scenes' Soon!
Xoanon @ 7:00 pm EST

Engwar writes: I just wanted to make everyone aware of a LOTR:TTT special that The WB will be airing in December (sounds similar to the FOX special from last year, except that this one will run for 60 min). Below is the text of the press release.

The WB is thrilled to announce that we have secured an exclusive behind-the-scenes, preview special for the year's most anticipated film: "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.' This one-hour special is scheduled for air on December 4th in the 8:00 pm time period.

"Return to Middle-Earth" follows the 'Rings' celebrated cast as they come back together in New Zealand to shoot additional footage for the upcoming film "The Two Towers." Each cast member gives their personal take on the arduous three-year shoot and what they took away from this historic film making experience.

The first chapter in the "Rings' trilogy grossed over $900 million dollars worldwide and became a pop culture phenomenon. The WB and Turner immediately procured the broadcast window to all three films and just like the "Rings" films are a perfect fit for The WB audience, so too is the special.

Viewers will get a chance to know the cast as all members are interviewed, including Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom (winner of 'Breakthrough Performance' at this year's MTV Movie Awards for 'Rings') and Viggo Mortensen. The WB audience will also be treated to multiple world premiere clips from 'The Two Towers,' including an extended look at the films' climactic battle scene.

REVIEW: The Lord of the Rings by Vivendi/Universal for PS2
Lao_of_Gondor @ 5:27 pm EST

Due to the nature of this review, certain gaming elements were revealed. If you do not wish to spoil the game, please do not read further.

Okay folks, here we go...

Last week I went to my local Electronics Boutique to trade in a few DVDs for some in-store credit. After several minutes perusing the rows of seemingly endless titles, I found it...or it found me. There was ONE last copy of the Vivendi/Universal Lord of the Rings PS2 game on the shelf. Without hesitation, I asked the manager to charge it against my credit - even before I knew how much credit I had! I couldn't wait to play it. However, with a great deal of discipline I savored the anticipation, hoping that this game would fulfill its ultimate goal: to bring the complete experience of The Fellowship of the Ring into my living room!

I was extremely anxious to see if the Vivendi/Universal PS2 game would indeed offer a unique, richly textured, total gaming experience worthy of the characters, events, and context that I enjoyed in The Fellowship of The Ring - especially in comparison to EA's newly released THE TWO TOWERS game. So, without further delay, here is the full account of my gaming experience with The PS2 version of The Lord of the Rings by Vivendi/Universal and Black Label Games:

The game began with an incredible establishing sequence of The ONE RING – beautifully directed, as if visualized by Peter Jackson himself!

In the opening movie, I was treated to a wonderful, albeit brief cut-scene of Galadriel narrating the history of the ring thus far as seen through the Mirror of Galadriel. And just when I was ready to fully immerse myself into realm of the game...that's when the experience dramatically and unfortunately changed. I encountered the first of several and rather significant technical problems.

PROBLEM #1: Lengthy Loading Time
After what I believed to be a very engaging opening segment, the screen then faded to black: a traditional experience with standard load-in RPGs. Usually this process takes no more than a few seconds to evolve from one screen to the next. I stared at the "loading bar" for this game for NO LESS than 15 seconds. And, after the loading sequence was finished, a CD shaped icon flashed for another 5-10 seconds before bringing me back into the experience. This type of lengthy distraction on average damages gaming continuity and disrupts the flow when you least expect it. In other words, imagine yourself settled into the fantasy realm of a theatrical experience when all of a sudden, the projection comes to a grinding halt, the house lights come up and you are thrust back into reality. Now apply this sensation as something you will encounter throughout the entire course of the game. This load time problem happens too early and hobbles the pace; setting a trend which plagues the game until the very end.

PROBLEM #2: Poor Camera Tracking
Nothing is more problematic in a game like this than losing your line of sight, especially during combat. Far too many times the camera lost accurate Third Person POV (point of view) to the point where the sight line was blocked, partially obscured, or all together off target. This caused monumental problems in combat tracking and melee against multiple opponents. Not being able to clearly understand and focus on the main playable character caused a general sense of disorientation and frustration when progressing into more difficult combat arenas like Moria and the summit arena of Amon Hen.

PROBLEM #3: Large Bugs
On two separate occasions, I experienced programming faults which forced me to restart and reset the game in order to clear the "bug" from the sequence.
Example 1: During melee with BOSS of the Barrow-wight level, after claiming the Blade of Westerness, I proceeded to engage the Barrow-wight. After striking it once, it plunged into the ground, disappeared and re-emerged across the chamber. After striking the Barrow-wight a second time, it disappeared much like before - however, it never re-emerged! For 10 minutes, I waited for the Barrow-wight to return so I could defeat it and finish the level. Even the EYE icon - which signifies that there is an attacking creature in range - was active! Ultimately, I had to restart the game in order to replay the entire BOSS level sequence.

Example 2: When Gandalf has to find a way out of the 21st Chamber in the Mines of Moria, not only did I have to discover how to trigger the main door mechanism, but I had to do it TWO different ways! Traditionally, puzzles are fixed and programmed to be successfully triggered by a series of specific events. This must be a first?
Version 1: I solved the puzzle by simply running over each perimeter tile surronding a central statue; activating each of their respective light beams to open the main hall door and completing the sequence.
Version 2: Shortly after the events above...Gandalf "died". I continued from and re-played that very same level, executed the same maneuvers, but received significantly different results: the main door did not open, nor did the light beams remain activated once triggered. Finally, I pushed each adjacent stone statue over their respective tiles in order to trigger and secure the light beam activators to open the main hall door again.

As far as programming problems are concerned, those were the greater offenders. The game also suffered from minor problems such as intermittent sound effects, and score drop-off. As far as rating technical merit, I would have to say that this game felt as if it was - at best - a beta version which still required further play-testing to finalize cohesion, compression and syncopation. The components were in place, but the fusion was not quite all there. The overall presentation suffered from several large production rifts dividing design, programming and context continuity to the point where the game experience became less than mediocre.

For the second half of this review, I will be revealing several significant plot devices so please, if you do not wish to spoil this game…do not read further!


When I first purchased this game, I honestly wanted this experience to be one of the best ever. I mean come on...it's The Lord of the Rings after all! I wanted this game to be on par with the likes of Onimusha: Warlords, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Resident Evil. I wanted to feel total immersion into the depths of the lore that I both know and respect. I wanted, no…demanded a great deal from this game because it was supposed to capture the spirit and essence of Tolkien's work. It was supposed to offer the grand scope of the complete storyline, which was not (for well-known reasons) captured on film. Unfortunately, this game fell far short of the mark which was quite disappointing. How could this have happened? Here are the main reasons why I feel this game was unsuccessful in trying to convey the essence, drama and vision of the original literary work:

THE QUEST NEVER TOOK SHAPE: The underlying motivating force throughout The Fellowship of the Ring IS to protect Frodo on his journey to destroy The One Ring while being hunted by the forces of Saruman and Sauron. Comparatively, during the entire course of the game, I never once felt that "threat" or "sense of urgency". The entire momentum of the game was generally undefined. To be fair the "core" elements of the story fulfilled the overall sense of plot. However, this component was never integrated in such a way to enhance a dramatic thrust to encourage continual game play.

OVERCONCEPTUALIZED ENVIRONMENTS: Probably one of the greatest drawbacks in the game is something that should have been among its greatest strengths. The expansive environments are indeed well rendered, fully realized and at very certain times, did heighten the enjoyment somewhat. Mostly, these richly textured and vast locations held very little in the way of a fully interactive experience. In a way, there was almost TOO MUCH to explore, causing a directionless and unbalanced narrative mechanic.

SELECTIVE STORYTELLING: After finishing the game, I was quite surprised at the selective nature of the storytelling. There were significant amounts of the text which were either never explored or completely omitted. This game was supposed to reflect the essential The Fellowship of the Ring. However, with the deletion of rather significant storytelling elements, a great deal of the original spirit had been completely lost. There were at times, significant attention to the details: Discovering Gandalf's ruins at Weathertop; finding the Westerness Blade to fight the lord of the Barrow-wights; Tom Bombadil's council and aid to the Hobbits in their dire straits against Old-Man Willow and the Barrow-wights and Glorfindel's assistance after the encounter at Weathertop.

That being said: Why wasn't the confrontation of Gandalf and Saruman at Orthanc added? Why was there no presentation of the Gifts at Lothlorien? Most importantly, why was the Phial of Galadriel completely omitted as a detail - one of the most important in the entire trilogy? ***MAJOR GAMING SPOILER*** Finally, since the strength of this game is focused on promoting an accurate account of the "Fellowship"...then where in the original story was SAM GAMGEE attacked and abducted by a winged NAZGUL on the river Anduin? And, subsequently, when did ARAGORN have to save Sam from this winged Nazgul - which in fact, became the climatic finale of the game.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: There were too many times where more mundane storytelling devices such as illustrations and narrative descriptions took the place of potential additional elements that could have enhanced the experience; fleshing out much more of the plot line than what was presented. For example, at Lothlorien, it would have been much more interesting to have had an interactive environment throughout the Mallorn-Trees where elements such as the Phial of Galadriel were awarded after certain interactive goals were met. Sam could have been awarded the Elven-rope, the Fellowship could have received their Elven-cloaks and so forth. It was unfortunate that plot elements such as these were not fully explored and presented in this format.

LIMITED BONUS MATERIALS: One traditional hallmark of any RPG style game is the ability to gain experience and use that experience to enhance weaponry, gain skills, or unlock bonus or secret material. This game does not offer these standards which would have proved beneficial to certain characters like Frodo and Aragorn as their experience levels DID change from the outset of their journey to the breaking of the Fellowship and beyond. Secondly, there was only one difficulty setting which meant once you have completed the game, that was it - there were no other options but to experience the exact same game over again. Amenities such as extra levels, hidden playable characters, and secret bonus items are somewhat minor details yet were unavailable or unobtainable throughout the course of the game, significantly diminishing replay value.

FINALLY: Properly adapted, the source material available for programming and designing this game (i.e. The Fellowship text) should have been able to create a far more expansive and layered gaming adventure than what was actually presented–which I was able to complete in less than 15 hours (including exploration of every single nook and cranny of every single level.) Believe me when I say that I had every intention to give this game the widest opportunity to win-over my loyalty with its presentation, execution and enjoyment for a console-based adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring. I struggled with the notion of returning it on several occasions because what I thought was to be an all-encompassing gaming experience turned out to be...well...rather ordinary. There is a certain standard of excellence that Peter Jackson has equated with The Lord of the Rings franchise and unless future endeavors like this Vivendi/Universal game can respectfully meet or exceed this "bar", then I'm not sure what type of audience games of this quality will be able to sustain. But then again, it's just my opinion.

Here's my final review and score of the VIVENDI/UNIVERSAL Lord of the Rings PS2 Game:
Rating system: Scale of 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent)

Overall Quality: 4
Sound: 5
Score: 3
Controller: 3
Replay Value: 2

Overall Score: 3.4 out of 10

Thanks for reading,

Lao of Gondor

'Requiem' Music on Two Towers Trailer
Xoanon @ 12:43 pm EST

Josph writes: I found this on a Clint Mansell ('Requiem for a Dream' composer) website, it deals with the music for the new trailer.

It's been the talk of the net for the past week or so, and we can officially reveal the truth! the main theme from requiem for a dream has indeed been re-recorded for use in the lord of the rings: the two towers trailer.

Clint is really pleased with the results - three short pieces were re-recorded with a full orchestra and choir for use in different trailers. the theme is unlikely to be used in the film.

Games-Workshop TTT Figurines
Xoanon @ 12:16 pm EST

Ryan sends us this update on all the great figurines you can get at games-workshop.com. Take a look at these cool pics, wargs included!

DVD Coolness From Taiwan
Xoanon @ 11:48 am EST

Pamela writes: Someone who works for the DVD company here has post the pics of the bookends and the preorder gift-posters. The release date of TTT has been changed to 12/21 about several days ago. And some said that the agent here wants to make it earlier just like in America on 12/18. There's no further news about it recently.

The Lord of the Rings : The Second Coming
Xoanon @ 10:57 am EST

A chance to get the inside story on the making of the most eagerly anticipated film of the year

Middle-earth hits London on November 6 as HarperCollins launches their official children's and adults' tie-in books for The Two Towers, the second instalment of Peter Jackson¹s spectacular Lord of the Rings trilogy, at Waterstones, Piccadilly.

To celebrate the launch of the official publications, film and book fans will be treated to a unique day of in-store events and activities. A must for anyone wanting to get the inside story on the making of the trilogy and the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.

As well as author talks and book signings and an exclusive chance to play the new Electronic Arts game for PS2, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Waterstones is host to a one-day exhibition of exclusive stills from the new film. There will be the opportunity to purchase a limited-edition lithograph by the leading mythical artist and film¹s conceptual artist, Alan Lee, for which 1000 have been produced for this one day only.

Broadcaster and author, Brian Sibley, and fantasy author and publisher, Jude Fisher, will be in store from 10 a.m. to discuss and sign copies of their new titles, 'The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy' and 'The Two Towers Visual Companion', respectively.

The authors will then host a chat forum at 6.30 p.m. for members of the public to discuss Tolkien and the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. This will be followed by a Q&A session.

As the official chroniclers of Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning interpretation of the Tolkien novels, Brian and Jude made numerous visits on location in New Zealand. In the company of Jackson and the principal cast, including Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen and Christopher Lee, they observed the making of one of the most long-awaited and challenging productions of all time.

Brian Sibley is a writer and broadcaster, well known as the presenter of Radio 4's former film programme, Talking Pictures. His 'The Lord of the Rings ­ Official Movie Guide', which topped the bestseller lists in the UK and USA last year, was the latest project in a 20-year long career of writing about J.R.R. Tolkien¹s work.

His lifelong interest in fantasy books and cinema is reflected in his writing credits. In 1981, Brian dramatised the critically-acclaimed BBC radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings in which the role of Frodo was played by Ian Holm, later to play Bilbo Baggins in the film trilogy.

Jude Fisher is the pseudonym for Jane Johnson, who has worked on Tolkien books for more than 18 years, first at George Allen & Unwin Publishers, then at HarperCollins, and is an accredited Tolkien expert. As Jude Fisher she has written two fantasy epics, as well as The Sunday Times bestseller: The Fellowship of the Ring Visual Companion.

10-21-02 Latest News

4-Disc Extended Version a Consumer Rip-off?
Quickbeam @ 10:32 pm EST

Greetings -- Quickbeam here.

I have to take a moment to comment on all this DVD craziness.

Most people around here are shouting to the rafters with joy. They are wildly happy that the new Extended Version DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring is about to come out. Rave reviews are springing up all over the Net; and on major DVD websites like The Digital Bits [click here] we see praise like this from editor Bill Hunt: "Its overall presentation quality, breadth and depth of content and thoughtful attention to virtually every detail is unsurpassed in any other DVD release to date." That's pretty strong praise!

But others are whining that the "bait and switch" routine is pulling extra dollars out of their pockets and in general making a big stink. I've seen articles in the L.A. Times [click here] where consumers and LOTR fans are portrayed as annoyed -- even shocked that New Line should "undercut their customers" like that. Over-the-top entertainment writer Glenn Lovell had a colossal hissy-fit in the Boston Globe online edition [click here]. He nearly burst a vein when he found out in August that his new 2-Disc DVD was just a regular edition. In his view, New Line Cinema is "shameless" and "consumed by greed."

Settle down, Glenn. Please.

I'm going to say some things here that may sound suspicious. I promise you I am not a studio brown-noser trying to score points with the people behind the scenes. I am so not interested in that. I have nothing to gain here. So if I sound like I am rushing to the defense of a big corporation, well, it's not really that simple. I am a huge DVD enthusiast -- with a collection of hundreds of movies. I love everything about the digital format and just want to clear up the air. I'm telling you this as an informed consumer.

New Line is not really "ripping us off," as so many claim. I truly see the reason in this, and I also sense the careful hand of Peter Jackson, trying to do that little extra something for us. Releasing separate DVD editions makes perfect sense....

.... as long as we are told AHEAD OF TIME!

The keys here are the economics of the market.... and more importantly the information that includes you, the consumer, in what is going on.

Consider what it would look like if New Line released a full 6-disc Giant-Goliath, Super-Duper, Mega-Deluxe Edition DVD with both versions of the film and endless hours of supplements. That retail package would be so costly to produce and distribute it would of course be very costly for consumers to buy. We're talking upwards of $80 where most people usually spend $19.99 for a new DVD title on sale. Yes, I look for those sales! Few of us, including me, would be able to buy this item within their regular "entertainment budget." I'm a working class Joe just like the rest of you.

Breaking these DVDs down into separate releases seems to satisfy all of us. There's the regular movie fans who just want to own "that cool fantasy flick" they saw in theatres. Then, of course, there's us. We are toughest to please.... and want all the juicy bits of creativity that P.J. and WETA can show us. We are the true connoisseurs. So he went back to make that 4-Disc set with all that extra footage for us. Really, he made it with us in mind: to feed the "high-end appetite" of true Tolkien fans. I'm not going to buy that regular edition, I know that film and have experienced enough of it. This Extended version is what I really want. I am now free to choose.

Do I sound like an educated consumer? Well, I am. And that's because New Line actually told us ahead of time there will be different editions!! Yeah, it is totally surprising, considering the way most studios treat the home video consumer.

Look, if you want to be really mad, why don't you get mad at Paramount? They totally suck. Look at what they did with the Star Trek movies on DVD: releasing each film with a pedestrian regular DVD (most of them awful transfers, not even anamorphic widescreen) then coming back just a couple of years later to give us "real special director's editions." Now THAT is something worth complaining about. Now I have to go back and re-purchase all my Star Trek if I want the clean, restored, anamorphic discs with all the goodies. I hate Paramount for that. That is truly "double-dipping." I'm even more angry with Warner Bros. They just made me go out and get the new Amadeus Director's Cut, which beats by a mile that crappy old DVD they had released. Oh, don't get me started on Disney. They're the worst.

It is highly unusual for New Line Cinema to have a big press release and spread the word through all the Tolkien fan sites that we have a choice. Pick one. Pick the other. At least we were honestly told early on. So why on earth are all these people bitching and moaning? Of course the studio is making a boat-load of money off these titles. So what? You can still put your money on what you like best. There was no surprise here.... the information was readily available. I think we should say "Thank you New Line" for the courtesy!

But especially we should remember that P.J. wanted to do it this way. Again it feels like he's putting forth a lot of extra effort just to please his fans.

Much too hasty,


Comments? Tell us what you think with Talkback

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 8:19 pm EST

To get more information, use the sites I use like the ones below. Simply find a movie or actor you want to see, go to one of the sites below and see if the film is playing in your area. mydigiguide.com, tv-now.com and IMDB.com

Note: These are films that are listed as being on TV THIS WEEK ONLY, this is NOT a list of all the films the cast has done

Cast List

  1. Viggo Mortensen

  2. Liv Tyler

  3. Ian Holm

  4. Sean Bean

  5. Ian Mune

  6. Martyn Sanderson

  7. David Weatherley

  8. Marton Csokas

  9. Taea Hartwell

  10. John Noble

  11. Alexandra Astin

  12. Peter McKenzie

  13. Hugo Weaving

  14. Karl Urban

  15. Miranda Otto

  16. Noel Appleby

  17. David Wenham

  18. Cameron Rhodes

  19. Elijah Wood

  20. Cate Blanchett

  21. Bruce Hopkins

  22. Ian McKellen

  23. Mark Ferguson

  24. John Rhys-Davies

  25. Andy Serkis

  26. Stephen Ure

  27. Craig Parker

  28. John Leigh

  29. Timothy Bartlett

  30. Harry Sinclair

  31. Orlando Bloom

  32. Lawrence Makoare

  33. Robbie Magasiva

  34. Ray Henwood

  35. Dominic Monaghan

  36. Robyn Malcolm

  37. Bruce Spence

  38. Megan Edwards

  39. Billy Boyd

  40. Sarah McLeod

  41. Sean Astin

  42. Christopher Lee

  43. Sala Baker

  44. Brian Sergent

  45. Bernard Hill

  46. Nathaniel Lees

  47. Brad Dourif

  48. Howard Shore

  49. Jim Rygiel

  50. Peter Jackson

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
28 Days (2000)
Psycho (1998)
Albino Alligator (1996)
Crimson Tide (1995)
Crew, The (1994)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
Young Americans, The (1993)
Boiling Point (1993)
Young Guns II (1990)
Witness (1985)
Purple Rose of Cairo, The (1985)
Swing Shift (1984)

Click here to visit the TORN cast page

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Liv Tyler (Arwen)

One Night at McCool's (2001)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Dr. T & the Women (2000)
Cookie's Fortune (1999)

Click here to visit the TORN cast page

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Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Bless the Child (2000)
Simon Magus (1999/I)
Fifth Element, The (1997)
Big Night (1996)
S.O.S. Titanic (1979) (TV)

Click here to visit the TORN cast page

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Sean Bean (Boromir)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Essex Boys (2000)
Field, The (1990)

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Ian Mune (Bounder)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

Click here to visit the TORN cast page

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Martyn Sanderson (Bree Gatekeeper)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Last Tattoo, The (1994)
Ned Kelly (1970)

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David Weatherly (Barliman Butterbur)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Marton Csokas (Celeborn)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Monkey's Mask, The (2000)

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Taea Hartwell (Child Hobbit)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Frighteners, The (1996)

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John Noble (Denethor)

Monkey's Mask, The (2000)
Virtual Nightmare (2000)
Airtight (1999) (TV)

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Alexandra Astin (Elanor Gamgee)

No listings this week

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Peter McKenzie (Elendil)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Strange Planet (1999)

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Karl Urban (Eomer)

Price of Milk, The (2000)

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Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Jack Bull, The (1999) (TV)

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Noel Appleby (Everard Proudfoot)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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David Wenham (Faramir)

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Boys, The (1997/I)

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Cameron Rhodes (Farmer Maggot)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
War, The (1994)
Radio Flyer (1992)
Forever Young (1992)
Avalon (1990)
Internal Affairs (1990)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)

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Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Shipping News, The (2001)
Gift, The (2000)
Man Who Cried, The (2000)
Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999)

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Bruce Hopkins (Gamling)

No listings this week
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Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Shipping News, The (2001)
Gift, The (2000)
Man Who Cried, The (2000)
Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999)

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Mark Ferguson (Gil-Galad)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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John Rhhys-Davies (Gimli)

Scorcher (2002)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Great White Hype, The (1996)
Stargate (1994)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing (1992) (TV)
Seventh Coin, The (1992)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (1987) (TV)
Firewalker (1986)
Sadat (1983) (TV)
Victor/Victoria (1982)
Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1982)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, A (1979)

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Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Stephen Ure (Gorbag)

No listings this week
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Craig Parker (Haldir)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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John Leigh (Hama)

Atomic Twister (2002) (TV)
Frighteners, The (1996)

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Timothy Bartlett (Hobbit)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Harry Sinclair (Isildur)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Price of Milk, The (2000)
Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Black Hawk Down (2001)

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Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Robbie Magasiva (Mahur)

No listings this week
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Ray Henwood (Man from Rivendell)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Dominic Monaghan (Merry)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Robyn Malcolm (Morwen)

No listings this week
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Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

Queen of the Damned (2002)

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Megan Edwards (Mrs. Proudfoot)

No listings this week
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Billy Boyd (Pippin)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Urban Ghost Story (1998)

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Sarah McLeod (Rosie Cotton)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Sky Is Falling, The (2000)
Deterrence (1999)
Icebreaker (1999)
Dish Dogs (1998) (V)
Courage Under Fire (1996)
Encino Man (1992)
Memphis Belle (1990)
White Water Summer (1987)

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Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)
Feast at Midnight, A (1994)
Howling II (1985)
Arabian Adventure (1979)
Four Musketeers, The (1974)
Horror Express (1972)
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Oblong Box, The (1969)
Hound of the Baskervilles, The (1959)
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)

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Sala Baker (Sauron)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

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Brian Sergent (Ted Sandyman)

No listings this week
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Bernard Hill (Theoden)

Scorpion King, The (2002)
Going Off Big Time (2000)
Loss of Sexual Innocence, The (1999)
Restless Natives (1985)

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Nathaniel Lees (Ugluk

No listings this week
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Brad Dourif (Grima Wormtounge)

Silicon Towers (1999)
Color of Night (1994)
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Critters 4 (1991) (V)
Child's Play 3 (1991)
Exorcist III, The (1990)
Child's Play 2 (1990)
Mississippi Burning (1988)
Fatal Beauty (1987)

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Howard Shore (Composer)

Panic Room (2002)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Cell, The (2000)
Shadow Magic (2000)
Yards, The (2000)
High Fidelity (2000)
Striptease (1996)
White Man's Burden (1995)
Se7en (1995)
Ed Wood (1994)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Guilty as Sin (1993)
Sliver (1993)
M. Butterfly (1993)
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Single White Female (1992)
Innocent Man, An (1989)
Signs of Life (1989)
She-Devil (1989)
Big (1988)
Moving (1988)
Videodrome (1983)
Scanners (1981)
Brood, The (1979)

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Jim Rygiel (SFX)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
102 Dalmatians (2000)
Anna and the King (1999)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Multiplicity (1996)
Batman Returns (1992)
Alien³ (1992)
Ghost (1990)
Last Starfighter, The (1984)

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Peter Jackson

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Frighteners, The (1996)
Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Lining up for TTT already!
Tehanu @ 7:40 pm EST

They're lining up in Norway already, according tho this article in Norwegian

We have here a translation thanks to Andraax the Mad:

Emil BC Johannessen and Tom Bentzen have moved in outside Colosseum Cinema. With them, they’ve brought a tent, sleeping bags, something to help keep the heat – and an angled sofa. The last one they refused to sit in last year.

- But this year we’re opting for comfort, they laugh. And they might need it. The weather forecast for Wednesday spells heavy snow over Oslo, and sleep will be scarce for the pair, who might now call themselves number one and two in the line, before others join them.

(Photo subtext: Emil BC Johannessen (left) and Tom Bentzen are number one and two in the line for "LOTR – Two Towers". Sonja Erlenkamp joined them in sympathy, but had to get back to work.)

It will be worse for Sonja Erlenkamp, who lives close to the cinema, and has been circling around for days to see if anyone got there ahead of her. And someone did.
- It’s always best to be number one, two or three. If you’re number four, you’ll get no benefits, says Erlenkamp, dressed from head to toe in Arwenian warclothing.

To the last detail.
- I’ve got Arwen-dresses as well, and I’ve worked hard on the hairpin. Liv Tyler sports one in the movie, but you only catch a glimpse of it, she says and shows us a beautiful, splendidly crafted silver hairpin. Erlenkamp, however, must abandon the fort – she’s got a job to attend to, before she can get in line.

But the point isn’t who you’re supposed to look like, the costumes are meant to say something about "the spirit".

(Photo subtext: Already slightly tinted on the nose, but tonight they’ll get power for their cooking-plate, cell phones and cassette player with the soundtrack from the first movie)

Experienced liners
Tom Bentzen and Emil BC Johannessen, on the other hand, are experienced movie-liners.

- This will be line number four, says Tom and Emil. The two previous being the "Star Wars"-premieres and the first "Lord Of The Rings"-movie. The Oslo cinematographers weren’t expecting them until the end of the week, but worked up a treat on Monday.

On Monday, number one, two and three were treated to a special showing of the "Two Towers"-trailer. Later today, they’ll get power for their cooking-plate, and an arrangement for lavatorial errands will be worked out.

In addition, the Oslo cinematographers invite them to dinner on Monday night, as a small appreciation of the started effort.

- These are guys who know lines, smiles marketing advisor Tore Gutu. He joined the big Star Wars-line a few years back himself, and experienced a "terrific spirit".

Confident in Jackson.
The last time Tom and Emil queued up for "LOTR – FOTR", they were very anxious as to how the movie worked out. This time around, though, they put full trust in director Peter Jackson.

- They all say this movie is bigger and better, says Tom Bentzen with great anticipation. Now he’s going to freeze with his mate for two weeks, until the sale starts 4.november. Then he’ll have to wait another month and a half until the movie premieres 18.december.

Extended DVD Images
Xoanon @ 6:58 pm EST

Ringer Spy Baba19 sends along these images from the FOTR DVD Special Edition! Take a look!

Harry Potter to Battle Lord of the Rings Again
Xoanon @ 1:54 pm EST

At this time last year, movie audiences were looking ahead to a holiday season dominated by "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings." This year, they are looking forward to one dominated by "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings."

On the surface, it's déjà vu. But there are significant differences this time as the films square off. The "Harry Potter" series is moving into darker territory to attract a slightly older, teenage audience, and there is speculation in Hollywood that the "Lord of the Rings" series will supplant "Harry Potter" as the season's box-office champion.

While the two movie series feature wizards and elves and other fantasy elements, they are really quite different and have appealed to subtly different audiences. The first "Harry Potter" was a classic family film, drawing in children and their parents, as well as enough from other demographic groups to create a hit. "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring," the first in the trilogy, was an action epic that played most strongly to males in their teens and 20's.

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first installment in what Warner Brothers hopes will be a multifilm franchise drawing cash into many AOL Time Warner divisions for years to come, made $318 million in United States theaters after opening last November.

"The Fellowship of the Ring" — an expensive gamble on which executives at New Line Cinema, also part of AOL Time Warner, practically staked the future of the studio — was more of a question mark before its opening. But the film was a box-office and a critical triumph, making $313 million in United States theaters and earning 14 Oscar nominations.

This year, the best guess from Wall Street analysts, professional box-office watchers and Hollywood executives — inside and outside the two studios — is that "Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets" (opening on Nov. 15) and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (Dec. 18) will dominate the holiday season, taking in at least $600 million between them in the United States, and twice that much overseas. But many expect "Lord of the Rings" to beat "Harry Potter" this year.

"I think people liked the first `Harry Potter' movie, but they didn't love it," said one rival studio executive. "And I think it's going to show at the box office."

Another top studio executive, who also insisted on anonymity, put it this way: "Last year, I took my kids to see `Harry Potter.' The curiosity factor was so high. I wanted to see it, too. This year, I'm dropping them off at the theater."

Jessica Rief-Cohen, an entertainment analyst at Merrill Lynch, said that even if audiences were not as blown away by the first "Harry Potter" as they might have been, the series remained hot. "I thought the first movie was O.K., though the book was better," she said. "But it's going to be a monster hit, no matter how you look at it."

Warner Brothers executives say their research shows that anticipation for the second "Harry Potter" film is just as high as it was for the first and carries to all ages.

"You just have to look at all the buzz around when J. K. Rowling will release the upcoming fifth book in the series and you can see that interest in the series is as intense as ever," said Dawn Taubin, the president of domestic marketing at Warner Brothers. The next book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," is expected next year.

Ms. Taubin dismissed any idea that the lack of a new "Harry Potter" volume in bookstores this year might have dampened interest in the series. "Last year, when there was a new book out, it became almost a whole year of `Harry Potter' hype," she said. "This year, we're it."

Whether the second "Harry Potter" does as well as the first — which had a $90-million opening weekend — will depend on many factors, including competition from family-oriented films like "Santa Clause 2" (opening on Nov. 1), "Treasure Planet" (Nov. 27) and "The Wild Thornberrys" (Dec. 20).

"I think certainly the issues for `Harry Potter' and `Lord of the Rings' are different than they were a year ago," said Russell Schwartz, New Line's president for domestic marketing. "Last year, it was all about `Harry Potter' being the 800-pound gorilla, and it certainly delivered like that at the box office, if not with the critics. With `Lord of the Rings,' no one really knew what to expect, so we had the great element of surprise and a kind of wow factor. This year, we both have to live up to what we did last year."

The game of box-office expectations can drive movie studio executives crazy. "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones" made $302 million in American theaters last summer, a substantial sum for any film. But expectations for the lucrative series were so high that when rival "Spider-Man" made even more ($404 million), some people in Hollywood considered "Star Wars" a box-office disappointment.

On Wall Street and among merchandisers, opinions differ about which film will end up on top, though there is unanimity that "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" will each rank among the two biggest hits. Either way, it is good news for AOL Time Warner, which could use some good news.

Other potential holiday hits include "Die Another Day," a James Bond movie; sequels like "Star Trek: Nemesis" and "Analyze That"; and unknowns like "Catch Me If You Can," a Steven Spielberg film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. They are expected to do well, though not as well as "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings."

Warner Brothers executives also point to differences between the first "Harry Potter" film and the second — differences that should be apparent to anyone studying the posters and billboard that have begun to appear. The young heroes in the posters look older, tougher and a little more determined. The one featuring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry shows him grimly wielding a gleaming sword covered in archaic runes, an image that seems borrowed from "The Lord of the Rings" and calculated to appeal to that trilogy's older demographic.

"The campaign is a bit edgier, a bit darker," Ms. Taubin said, in keeping with the more action-packed nature of the second installment.

And while Warner Brothers acknowledges that its family film will not deliver the violent thrills that might appeal to an older action audience, it says it hopes that more viewers between the ages 12 and 16 might be lured to theaters.

Last year, the mantra at Warner Brothers about how to handle the first "Harry Potter" film was "less is more." The idea was to avoid pushing so hard to wring cash out of the first film that it put a bad taste in the mouths of parents and threatened the series' long, lucrative life, so merchandising licensing was modest for such a major film.

This year, the game plan is to do more of the same, and to not get so transfixed on expectations or on out-performing either the first "Harry Potter" film or the latest "Lord of the Rings" installment that it harms the series' long-term potential.

And the mantra this year?

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," said Diane Henry, who manages the "Harry Potter" brand for Warner Brothers.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers from Electronic Arts
Flinch @ 6:30 am EST

For months we've been gifted with screen shots and pre-production notes that have left us anticipating this digital venture into Peter Jackson's rendition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. First installment from Electronic Arts in this series is the upcoming cinematic release of The Two Towers. While a lot of the early game play consists of scenes from The Fellowship of the Ring, the game evolves as a discussion between Aragorn and Eowyn which brings us through the events of The Fellowship of the Ring and explains to her how the Three Hunters and the White Wizard had made their way from Rivendell to Rohan.

First in our jaunt down memory lane is relived as Isildur during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and the stripping of The One Ring from the hand of Sauron. Fighting through legions of Mordor Orcs the game presents its player with a beautiful region swarming with minions of Good and Evil, including High Elven Warriors and Lord Elrond! As these sequences come to an end the opening scenes from the Fellowship of the Ring continue and we're brought to Weathertop as Aragorn fights off the Nazgul on their search for the Ring-bearer. One beautifully rendered sequence after another takes you through the events of the Watcher in the Water, the Cave Troll, and Amon Hen.

Graphically the artistic detail present in the Two Towers game is as close to the real thing as you can get without a plane ticket to New Zealand. Armor and Scenery are taken directly from actual film footage and digitally transformed into a Three Dimensional wonderland for Rangers, Elves, and Dwarves to enjoy. The detail the designers went into with this game seem to equal the detail and dedication of the WETA Workshop workers who first dedicated their creative efforts to bringing Middle Earth to life. Luckily, for all gamers out there, it doesn't just end at detail.

As you progress through the Two Towers you unlock Exclusive Interviews from Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, and Sir Ian McKellan as the voice actors for this game were the actual actors from the film! We're also treated to a preview of the Two Towers by Peter Jackson himself! Leveling up Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli unlock secret levels and art galleries, completing levels unlocks cheat codes and other such goodies. The secret and special content of this game is reminiscent of a DVD Special Features disk, which serves as an added bonus to the already amazing Game Play.

Overall the Two Towers from Electronic Arts delivers more than could ever be expected from a video game, with special features and stunning graphical presentation that will give other games a run for your money, for some time. The only flaws, if this can even be considered a flaw, is the opening load time with the title graphics from both EA and New Line, but after those short loading frames the following experience is second to none. I give The Two Towers from Electronic Arts a beautifully sharpened 9 out of 10.

Want to give The Two Towers a go? Swing by Amazon.com and pick up your copy now! Then drop us a line to Havens@TheOneRing.net and tell us what you think!

10-19-02 Latest News

Howard Shore At LACMA
Xoanon @ 12:19 pm EST

Richard writes: I was debating on whether to post this to the internet world, because it might jepardoze my chance in getting tickets since they go on sale sometime next week and nobody has made mention of it. The website does not contain the information yet. My source is the LAWeekly, a local freebie paper:

Saturday, December 14 at 4:00pm
HOWARD SHORE, composer
An illustrated lecture by the composer
of the score for Lord Of The Rings @ LACMA
5905 Wilshire Blvd. (east of Fairfax)
Los Angeles, California

10-18-02 Latest News

Radio Watch: Alan Lee Interview On NPR
Xoanon @ 4:25 pm EST

From: Trey Kay

I produced a feature story on the Public Radio International program, Studio 360. This show will explore how we define success in art. My segment will focus on "Successful Passages." That is, moments that work perfectly in a piece of art -- the place where everything comes together splendidly, whether or not the artwork works as a whole.

For this piece, I interviewed Alan Lee, art director of the Lord of the Rings films, as well as, Damian Woetzel, dancer from the New York City Ballet and the innovative American painter Alex Katz.

If you are in New York, Studio 360 airs on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. on WNYC 93.9 FM and on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. on WNYC AM 820.

If you are in another part of the country, check our web site www.studio360.org, you will be able to find local station listings and broadcast times.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it airs, you can hear this show or any of the other stories that I have produced on the shows web site. You will need Real Player to listen the segment. Click onto the archives and find the show with my piece.

Also, check out www.nextbigthing.org to the piece that I did with former Talking Head Tina Weymouth. In this segment, she speaks about how seeing Muddy Waters changed her life. "Muddy Made Me" (6/1/2002)

Howard Shore To Perform At WS Awards
Xoanon @ 4:00 pm EST

Frederik writes: I wanted you to know that Howard Shore will be performing a suite from the score of FOTR in Ghent (Belgium) on october 18th during the second World Soundtrack Awards. He might win the price for best score of 2002!

Here are the nominees for 2002 (and his competitors !):

Soundtrack Componist of the year:
- Patrick Doyle ("Gosford Park")
- James Horner ("A Beautiful Mind")
- Randy Newman ("Monsters Inc")
- Howard Shore ("Lord of the Rings")
- Hans Zimmer ("Black Hawk Down")

Best original soundtrack of the year:
- "Black Hawk Down" (by Hans Zimmer)
- "Lord of the Rings" (by Howard Shore)
- "Monsters, Inc" (by Randy Newman)
- "Spider Man" (by Danny Elfman)
- "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (by John Williams)

The Elder Astin In 'Poe'
Xoanon @ 9:31 am EST

Sharon writes: Today’s LA Times Weekend section contains a glowing review of John Astin’s performance as Edgar Allan Poe in “Edgar Allan Poe, Once Upon a Midnight.” The show runs through Sunday, October 20 at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse.

“Edgar Allan Poe, Once Upon a Midnight,”
written by Paul Day Clemens and Ron Magid

Starring John Astin
Hermosa Beach Playhouse
710 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA

Media Watch: The Wall Street Journal
Xoanon @ 9:17 am EST

Concept: Get everyone who came the first time to come back. On the marketing front, make sure people realize it's "the central installment"; never use the word 'sequel'.

Expectations: Giant. In one of the biggest gambles in movie history, New Line spent about $170 million making all three 'Rings' pictures at once. Part I was a smash; the AOL Time Warner unit wants a repeat.

The Buzz: The seasons' big winner. Industry execs think "Two Towers" could be as huge as last year's "Fellowship of the Ring." Helping matters is recent video/DVD release of "Fellowship" that may pique the interest of the nine people who didn't see the first one. "Towers" has even more fighting, the studio says, including epic battle sequences. And then there's Gollum, the schizophrenic freak whom Frodo and Sam meet on their journey. "He's got a good side and a bad side," says New Line marketing chief Russell Schwarts. "I call this 'A Beautiful Mind' in Middle-earth." (nice quote there Russell, blech -Xo)

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