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June 26, 2002 - August 06, 2002


Price War Winner for the DVD in the US and NZ
Tehanu @ 3:32 pm EST
Looking for the LOTR DVD in the US? "To help my fellow "financially challenged" LOTR fans and spare you all the chore of researching it, I have found the price war winner for the new LOTR DVD release. After exhaustively searching ads for major stores in Suburban USA, the winner is WALMART with a LOW cost of $15.78!!!. This is very closely followed by Best Buy for $15.99 (who also had a midnight release party here in Tampa). Circuit City and all other major chains are $16 or higher...over $20 is a bad deal, dont do it!
Also you can simply RENT it now on DVD or VHS and wait a bit more till the EXTENDED version in Nov., for which there will be yet another brutal price war online I'm sure! Blockbuster is offering 10 free future rentals if you buy their LOTR for $24.99. Not a bad deal considering rental costs these days!
Enjoy, KaiaRose"

And in NZ: "Just thought I'd drop you a line and let you know that I was watching TV last night, and I saw that "The Warehouse" is going to be selling the DVD version of FoTR for a meagre $NZD29.95.

Ever other retailer in the country is listing FoTR for $NZD39.95. (That's a measly $USD14.30... Not bad aye?)

Cheers, Turbo99

Fighting over DVD supplies in Ireland.
Tehanu @ 3:07 pm EST
"A friend of mine works in Golden Discs in Dublin. On Thursday the manager came running in in a panic and said that Tescos had started selling Lord of the Rings and that they were losing the march on the "biggest DVD release of all time". So within ten minutes, Golden Discs were shoving all of their LOTR stock onto the shelves for all they were worth.

"Within half an hour the manager of the local HMV was in and apparently came close to fisticuffs when his demands for the DVDs to be removed off the shelves weren't met! Having lost the argument he ran back to his store and got his cronies to stock up the shelves instead! So in effect most Irish stores have been stocking the film since about four days before the release

"Tescos Ireland are selling the box set for •40, HMV for about •30. But I'd still buy the DVD from Play.com (free postage) because at £16.99 (about •26) it's still the cheapest price I've seen east of the atlantic, which of course I tried to tell you guys ages ago. But I'm laughing because I've had the DVD since last Monday... muahahaha."

Thanks to Jon for that.


Extended DVD News!
Xoanon @ 11:42 am EST
PeeJee writes:

Just picked up the new Empire magazine and thought i'd send you some info they featured on the new scenes in FOTR Extended cut. Empire saw the Extended Edition with the rest of the cast and crew during the reshoots for TTT. Theres some info I haven't seen before so here goes:

- The Shire sequence has been greatly extended, including a voiceover from Bilbo "concerning Hobbits". And Pippin sings!

- Aragorn is given a fleshed out backstory, including him visiting his mother's grave at Rivendell. He also sings in Elvish.

- The Council of Elrond is extended including Gandalf speaking in the dark tongue of Mordor and more confrontation with Boromir.

- In Moria the battle with the Cave Troll is longer including Aragorn saving Boromir's life!

- Lothlorien is much longer, including more of Haldir's complaints over Gimli, Celeborn, and the famous gift-giving sequence with Galadriel.

- Gollum as "the log with the eyes" gets another cameo.

- The battle with Lurtz and the Uruk-Hai has small scenes re-inserted that give it far more zip. For example, Lurtz pulls the dagger from his leg and licks away the blood.

Hope this was useful. Love the site!


Annotated Hobbit News!
Xoanon @ 11:31 pm EST
Last week we posted this story on the delayed release of the Annotated Hobbit, well now word has come on high from famed Tolkien author Douglas A Anderson on all the details about the book and the delay!

The Real Scoop on The Annotated Hobbit

I was very interested to see on your site the other day the report from Amazon.com on the availability of my Annotated Hobbit. I thought I’d write in with a bit more information and an update.

The Annotated Hobbit was scheduled to be published on June 26th, and the publisher can’t be blamed for the delay. It’s really all my fault—the book took longer than anyone was expecting to get it done right, and I hope the result will make people forget the delay. The entire book has been reworked and re-written, and besides a much larger introduction, and many more annotations and illustrations (including a color insert), there are a few choice new items by Tolkien, like the short poem “Glip” (who is a precursor to Gollum), and the full of the longest version of “The Quest of Erebor”—Gandalf’s own account of how he arranged Bilbo’s adventure.

The Annotated Hobbit is currently at the printers, and I’ve been told that finished copies should reach the publisher’s warehouse sometime in the third full week of August, after which the book will be shipped out to bookstores. So I’d expect to see it available around the last week of August.

Douglas A. Anderson

Pre-Order the book from Amazon.com now!


More TTT Spoilers!
Xoanon @ 10:56 am EST
From: Ringer Spy Taniwha

Okay, I wasn't going to tell you guys about this in case I got busted somehow, but I was in the shooting of Helm's Deep on one of the 'Riding the Shield' days (Legolas hanging ten), but I'm not going to tell you where in the shot I am.

BUT: The call sheet for Helm's Deep that day was titled "The Death Of Haldir"…only I didn't know who 'Helldeer' was (I only heard them talking about it), just that he got whacked by an Uruk hai before Aragorn could save him. So yes, he's at Helm's Deep, but I'm not sure how long he lasts…naturally, I was already LONG since dead in the shot, like all the other elves.


TTT Wrap Party Ticket!
Xoanon @ 2:15 pm EST
Ringer Spy Taniwha sends us this bit of coolness, a scan of the tickets the WETA folks are getting as invitations to TTT wrap party! Take a look!

Attached is a scan of my ticket to the Two Towers wrap party in Wellington tomorrow night…not sure if it's a Weta-only (art department) party, or if it's all cast & crew and my ticket came through that department. Big party - put it this way, it's from 8.00pm Saturday to 8.00am Sunday! Wonder if they'll let me take a camera in…kinda doubt it, though. Can't send you the back of the ticket with the location (and bar code & serial number, that's the problem) but I'm looking forward to the best / wildest / loudest dressed awards at THIS gig!


MediaWatch: Film and Video Magazine
Calisuri @ 12:30 am EST
Ringer publicist and film/video director, Asfaloth, sends us this article from the June 2002 Issue of 'Film & Video Magazine' (http://www.filmandvideomagazine.com).

While extremely technical at times, there are a few nuggets of info for the average fan. Specifically, check out the great new picture of Elves decked out in full battle gear at Helm's Deep, and the revelation that Gollum will be a mixture of motion capture and traditional key framing.

Click on an image below for a larger version:
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Hutt River Girl Strikes GOLD!
Xoanon @ 8:42 am EST
Hutt River Girl wrote in a report last night (June 25) about Viggo Mortensen and Peter Jackson filming in her area. She went back to the outskirts of the set to have another gander again, and you'll never guess WHAT happened next!

You will never guess what happened after I emailed you this morning. I decided to seize the day and wrote the following letter which I took around to the film set:

To the cast and crew of Lord of the Rings
For the past four hours I have stood knee deep in cow dung across the river and have watched in awe as you have filmed. What an amazing experience!!

I just wanted to say how honored I am to be able to see you all at work, and that you have chosen our neck of the woods in which to film in.

In summer, this area is a popular swimming hole, and it is the reason why we live where we do. It is a little slice of heaven and I am so proud that it is going to immortalised in the second Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Congratulations, you are doing marvelous work, and I am very thankful I have had the opportunity to see you all in action. Making movies is a slow business, but then when you are making perfection, it will take some time.

It was worth the night awake listening to the roar of the generators to see Viggo in action and Peter directing.

Many thanks again, I wish you well and hope this film is a bigger success that the Fellowship of the Ring – which was just amazing

I dropped the letter off with the security guard who said he would pass it on to the producer however, it was a closed set because the horse that was working with Aragon was getting restless. So he told me to go home. Less than five minutes later, there was a message waiting for me when I got home from the producer Zane (what an awesome dude) who told me to come back to the film set but to leave my camera behind.

So I did just that.

AND> I met Aragon (Viggo Mortensen) - had a chat to him about how cold he must have been laying on shingle all day and how brave he was to be so close to a stallion horse. He asked me if there was any fish in the river - I said there was.

Then I was told to come and met "peter" who was lounging on his film plinth down on the river bed. What a delightful man - by this stage I was introduced to everyone as "cow pat Joanne" as my letter had been shown and read to everyone on set.

Peter Jackson was so nice - he told me what they were doing - that they were filming some extra scenes and were nearly finished.
I said how neat it was that he was filming in our backyards as such and he commented on what a wonderful river it was he also spoke about filming at Harcourt Park, at Kaitoke Park and at other places on the Hutt River.

I then was invited to hang around and watch the filming WHICH I DID from the director's tent which was vacant - they had a monitor which was showing ARagon and the horse up close. GOD IT WAS FANTASTIC - the lighting made the river sparkle. It was just amazing.
I thought at that time - I can see this in the movie, but how often do you get a chance to see it up close so I asked if I could stand about 10 feet from the actor, and horse which I did and watched the scene be shot. By this stage the horse was getting restless (it was Viggo's horse) and then after a few more takes a rap was called and everyone was invited to lunch.
I got a chance to look at the weaponary and Aragon's sword. I was holding it as Viggo came to get it from me to take it with him - he likes to have it close the weapons man said.

So off I went to lunch - and was too dumb struck to eat. Then just as I was leaving (after noticing my vet who was also on set) Viggo walked in to eat.

I then decided to go and get my son from school (which I am glad I did) - I thought he will never get another chance to go onto a hollywood movie set - so..... when we returned I walked up to Viggo and introduced my son. Viggo had a chat to him then asked if he would like to see Aragon's sword. He dove into his car and brought out his sword and unsheathed it. He spoke about it to my son, explaining what it was used for (killing orcs) and then spoke of the ring he was wearing (sorry I forgot what he said). He then showed my little boy his knife which was attached to the sheath and said that was for eating and whittling wood.

WHat a wonderful wonderful man, and what a faboulous team of people. They were really lovely. Peter Jackson is an amazing man - you think with all the worries he has on his shoulders, that he couldn't be bothered with a memeber of the public (and now a fan) but he did. He was neat ( a new zealand term for awesome).

Viggo was amazing as well.

I am so buzzing about the whole experience. They said they were delighted to get my letter and that sometimes when they come to town it causes quite a bit of a noise etc - but Ithey really loved to get positive feedback.

Well there you go ,. There is my experience. I MET VIGGO AND PETER and have their autographs.. My goodness. who would have thought!

Later on she sent me this:

my brain is functioning again and snippets of conversations with the crew and Viggo are coming back.

Viggo explained the significance of his ring to my son and also spoke of his sword - saying it killed orcs. He said that the smaller knife was for eating, cutting fruit and for whittling (which is strange and I had to explain it to my son as Whittling isn't a kiwi term). It wasn't in a bewjewlled case like I first saw from across the river, but a leather one. Viggo took it with him in his car at the end of filming. He offered the sword to my son who nearly dropped it, then he dived into his car to take two pictures of my boy holding the sword. How cute is that! I was too scared to ask for a copy His costume was amazing - all leather, with and over cloak of blue grey wool and becuase he was laying on river stone all day I asked if he was cold - and he said no. The costume was amazing - I took notice of it as no doubt, I will be making one for my son. He was so stunned at meeting Aragon!

He asked my son if he had seen the movie, which I had said no too because it was too scary. I told Viggo that he was too scared to get out of the car this morning to have a look at the film set because there were horses there and he thought that the Ringwraiths were about. I said when the video comes out I will show it too him.

There were two horses on set - one was owned by Three Foot Six and one owned by Viggo himself which is shipped over here when he is around someone said. Both were stallions and he (Viggo) got hurt a slight bit when one of the horses accidently stood on him during filming.

All and all the sum total of the day's filming would be 20 seconds on screen. Amazing. they spent all night setting up and started filming around 7am and finished around 1.30pm/2pm.

Someone said that Liv Tyler was singing today with Fran. That it was a really small crew today filming this as it was only a small peice of the film, and they were going back to do Helms Deep fight scenes at the studio next.

By the way - I was not asked to sign a confidentiality clause when I came on set so I suppose this is ok to talk about my wonderful day - it will probably spoil it for anyone else who wants to get on set. But hey - they didn't say that I wasn't allowed to tell anybody and it is too good not to share... What other day in my life will I get to go onto a Lord of The Rings movie set???

I have now gone out and brought all three books and have made a start on reading them so I know what I am talking about - but it was an amazing day all around, and perhaps if I had been a total dedicated fan I would have got too overwhelmed. As it was I was so wrapt to meet PJ - he is a hero here in New Zealand and my favoriate of all actors Viggo.

Coming home in the car from the set my son asked if he could go and now see Anakin Skywalker on a movie set next. Aaaah the innocence of a near six year old. Thinks that his mother can conjure up movie stars at the drop of a hat! I wish I could

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