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September 28, 2002 - October 11, 2002


Asian news: TTT release dates, dubbing, Jim Rygiel in Taiwan
Tehanu @ 8:07 pm EST
Lucifer wrties that Jim Rygiel will visit Taiwan on October 20.(He's heard that Jim will complete his part of work around October 18(!!!)) Rygiel will be one of the three instructors at Taiwan's International Animation Seminar.

Lucifer also sent in the details about the release of TTT in various Asian countries, and offered some options for fans in the area.

"Will it be dubbed or subtitled?" asked a fan? Lucifer wrote "I'm not sure about Korea. In Mainland China , most of the copies will be dubbed( like in Japan). But there would be a subtitled version in big cities (Like Beijing ....)"

In Japan, TTT won't come out til March, according to Ringer fan Abby. [Is that true? - T] She was wondering if there were countries nearby where she might see it earlier.

In South Korea, FOTR didn't come out until January this year, and on mainland China, not until April. If the same thing's going to happen with TTT, fans might be interested in another suggestion from Lucifer: Taiwan's release date of TTT will be December 21 or 28 (Not yet confirmed), it's close enough. "We Ringers in Taiwan are organizing an thousand-Ringer gathering( The biggest theater in Taiwan already agreed to this, it has 1200 seats). Maybe you can join us. According other Ringers, they have friends in Japan considering this option."


News from New Zealand: Figwit, and LOTR Swords
Tehanu @ 10:38 pm EST
Figwit news: He's doing his bit to save the planet. [More]

Meanwhile another diehard LOTR fan from NZ is Ian Brodie, writer of the LOTR Guidebook. He also runs the NZ Fighter Pilots Museum which is proud to announce that they are now the sole New Zealand suppliers of the United Cutlery Lord of the Rings swords. This now means that New Zealanders can purchase these beautiful reproductions from a store in New Zealand. More information on the guidebook and the swords can be found here]

LOTR News from South America.
Tehanu @ 10:33 pm EST
Elenah writes that Valinor.com in Brazil noted TORN's coverage of the possibility that Latin America might not receive the Extended Edition DVD. Valinor sent their petition asking for a the DVD to Warner, and Warner is now (according to Valinor) saying they're interested in releasing the extended edition in Brazil, but it depends on New Line.

Gabriel had much more to say about the situation - including some good news for fans in Brazil:

"I am from Brazil, a die hard fan of LOTR and also of TORN .... About the DVD: Warner IS going to release Region 4 Extended Version of FOTR. It's not coming out the same day as it is in the rest of the world, but they WILL release it. The whole thing about saying that they're not is because they know that, if they announced the release of both versions, the theatrical version wouldn't sell as many. But it IS going to come out.

"In regards to the movie opening date, I can only speak for Brazil: Warner, Brazil's distributor for LOTR, had a national movie to open in December [last year] that featured a great local pop star, and her movies always get nice box office figures. What happened was that this movie was going to open here a weekend before LOTR opened in the rest of the world. Warner could put FOTR to open on the 25th, but that would turn out to be very bad for them. So they postponed it to open January 1st, and you know what? It broke a lot of records. Being that it was such a great move by them, they decided that TTT and ROTK will also open Jan 1st. It sucks? Yeah. But at least there are countries with worse release dates.

"In the rumour section, apparently Warner is planning to show, in selected theaters throughout Brazil, a "premiere" in the last weekend of the year. Nothing sure yet, but just maybe..."

From Chile, Andres writes,
"TTT will be released in Chile on January the 2nd of 2003. That date is the first Thursday after New Year's Day, so that release date will be the same date that the TFOTR was released this year (this year TFOTR was realeased on Thursday, January the 3rd)"

LOTR News from Europe.
Tehanu @ 10:24 pm EST
Spain: Beorn de Valencia gave us the link for the Spanish official LOTR site, which has new Eomer, Eowyn and Theoden wallpapers. Very nice one of Eomer. Babe alert! [More]


According to Ringer spy Ingve, presale for The Towers will begin in Norway on the 4.november 2002, according to the webpages of distributor SF Norway.

Ingve adds, "I' ve spoken to my former colleage at a local videostore, and he said that the release date of The Fellowship SE DVD was 11.november. I told him to doublecheck his papers, and on the papers from the LOTR distributor in Norway, SF Norway, the realese date was 11.november, he says. This is a day before the rest of the world isn't it?

"Though videostores probably get the DVD some days before all others, it is strange that the DVD release should be on the 11th, rather than the 12th. Only the New Line Cinema shop has the 11/11 as shipment date, the rest has 12.November."

There were inaccuracies about this last year about release dates in various countries, so I wouldn't believe it just yet. - T

"In Finland, the TTT trailer will premiere in Finland with the movie xXx. At least in Finnkinos theaters. Check first "- that came in from Isa.

LOTR news from around the world: Japan
Tehanu @ 10:16 pm EST
Wandering Mage Chichiri wrote in to tell us about a unique collectible from Japan:

"The Lord of the Rings: FotR, Shitajiki

"Shitajiki are pencilboards, their original intent is to be used underneath paper you're writing on to prevent any indentation marks or possible ink stains occuring on the furniture. They have evolved into a collectible industry in Japan. They are sometimes erroneously marketed by US concsumers as oversized cards.

"Boards for movies (foreign and domestic) are usually limited to a finite run. The items themselves are only sold in movie theatres showing the movie when it first appears in the theatres. You can find them later on ocassion, both at Ebay, and/or Yahoo Japan (an auction service).

The LotR boards were only available at the movie theatre, or in the re-sale market. Pencilboard.net has scans of the item.

"Odds are, there will be a Two Towers shitajiki released in Japanese movie theatres once the movie releases there."

About the Japanese DVD:

"I recently picked up my copy of FOTR on DVD in Japan and I was pleasantly surprised. When I was home for the summer holidays in Australia I bought a copy only to find it was incompatible with my DVD player in Japan and I have to say that I like the Japanese DVD packaging much more than the Australian. On the box cover is the two teaser posters of Frodo with the One Ring (Frodo looking ahead and Frodo looking down) front and back respectively and inside is a spread of the three boats approaching the Argonath with the DVDs set in clear plastic over them. The DVDs are pretty cool too. The movie DVD has a montage of the good guys and the Special Features has one of the bad guys. In regards to the Passport to Middle Earth that some fellow Ringers mentioned earlier, there are apparently four of them, each a different colour for the different races. You can be either Hobbit, Elf, Man or Dwarf (I got a Hobbit one in red) and the campaigns that the passport is designed for will continue for the next two years.

"In each release of the DVD, in the packaging material will be items that you add to the passport in order to apply for more campaigns - pretty good marketing ploy if you ask me. So far the only campaigns I can decipher at the moment are one to go to the Premiere (two months after everyone else's premiere) and for a few other prizes to be one although my Japanese is a bit shaky so I could be mistaken.

"All in all, I was very impressed with the whole setup. The only drawback is that the Gift Set will not be coming here. Still, the Passport gives Ringer fans in Japan something to look forward to for the next two years." - Lyrian


Saruman's New Devilry on the Trailer?
Tehanu @ 12:30 pm EST
MacJedi wrote in about Saruman's "bombs": On page 12 picture nr. 4 of your frame by frame of the new trailer you can clearly see an Uruk chieftain running towards the Helm's Deep Wall with a lit 'Molotov from Hell'. The Molotov/Mortar has some smoke coming out... And if you watch the trailer in slow/mo then it becomes even more obvious..."

Carwyn also wrote in and said, "In the new trailer at 2:16, you can see a guy running towards the wall (he's moving faster than the rest of the crowd), and he's holding something that is creating a lot of light, sparks and smoke... the kind of sparking you'd get with a fuse for a bomb."


Mortar -bombs of Saruman
Tehanu @ 8:13 pm EST
Leandro of Elfenomenon.com sent us this link to their news today about a mysterious object seen in Games Workshops 'Two Towers' images. Apparently the Uruk besiegers come with "everything from ladders to bombs." And Elfenomeno posts the image for the bomb here The folks at Elfenomeno speculate that these are the objects that cause the explosion we see at Helm's Deep in the trailer.

TORN staffer Demosthenes reminds us that the use of mortar-bombs could be just what Tolkien had in mind - nowhere does it say that Saruman used 'magic' to destroy the Deeping Wall. Couple that with Saruman's "mind of metal and wheels," Tolkien's distaste for "magic" and Gandalf's own use of fireworks ... and you're not far from explosives.

Quotes from the Two Towers chapter "Helm's Deep" reinforce this:

" Even as they spoke there came a blare of trumpets. Then there was a crash and a flash of flame and smoke. The waters of the Deeping-stream poured out hissing and foaming: they were choked no longer, a gaping hole was blasted in the wall. A host of dark shapes poured in. 'Devilry of Saruman!' cried Aragorn. 'They have crept in the culvert again, while we talked, and they have lit the fire of Orthanc beneath our feet.' "

And later Aragorn speaks to Theoden inside the Hornburg:

" 'But the Orcs have brought a devilry from Orthanc,' said Aragorn. 'They have a blasting fire, and with it they took the Wall. If they cannot come in the caves, they may seal up those that are inside. But now we must turn all our thoughts to our own defence.' "

More Info On FOTR SE DVD Specs
Xoanon @ 11:05 am EST
My friend who works for New Line's DVD quality control reviewed the 4-disc FOTR SE DVD and said there was no 'isolated 5.1 sound effects mix', nor was there an 'isolated 5.1 music track'. He double and triple checked this when he was at work. I was so upset I bet him $100 he was incorrect.

I cannot say who he is (for fear of his job security), but he sent me things (possible audio + video things) that proved he did indeed have the disc. I even had him tell me what Elijah Wood said at around 29 minutes into the movie in the commentary. He proved he indeed had the disc.
tkathan got this bit of information for us:

I don't know how someone can get the fact of having an isolated score and sound fx tracks wrong, but someone did.

I can't tell you how upset people will be, and in fact I even know of people who have already sold their soundtrack CDs based on the idea that they would have the entire movie score isolated in 5.1.


Want To Know Just WHAT French Premiere Has To Say?
Xoanon @ 12:38 pm EST
Thioden was kind enough to translate bits of the French Premiere article we posted just a few hours ago. Take a look at some massive spoilerage!

I have taken a look at the TTT article in the French magazine premiere, and have translated for you some interesting tidbits:

[...] some changes from the book have to be predicted, for example Elrond and Galadriel's participation to the battle of Helm's Deep, and the demise of the wizard Saruman.

Now that pretty much confirms that Saruman dies in The Two Towers, as earlier stories reported. And I assume that both Elrond and Galadriel send contingents of Elves to Helm's Deep to help the Rohirrim.


...Fran Walsh promises us a real tragic follow up to Arwen and Aragorn's love-story.

...John Rhys-Davies has given a Welsh accent to the Ent Treebeard, whom he voices.

...The construction of Minas Tirith has taken itself 32 weeks of hard work.

...The flashback scene of Smeagol before he was enslaved by the power of the Ring is in the can, and directed by Fran Walsh.

Xoanon here, I'm not too sure about Fran directing the Smeagol/Deagol scenes, I do know she was writing them the last I spoke with her a while back, could it be she directed that segment with a 2nd unit? Who knows...


Spotted in the Fullscreen Version: Pippin's Hobbit Band
Tehanu @ 6:38 pm EST
Ringer spy Cheeky writes: "Found something interesting last night and wondered if anyone else had noticed it. I was watching the Full-Screen version of Fellowship of the Ring and there it was during Bilbo's long-expected party! Up until then, I had only watched the Wide-Screen version and this doesn't show up in that one. After the first firework of the green tree, they bring in the cake and you catch a glimse of Merry dancing along in front of the cake and then he is lost from view in the wide-screen format, but in full screen you get to see where he goes. Merry moves on up to the top part of the screen in a view that is missing from the Wide-Screen version. Merry is up on the stage watching Frodo dance and talking to Pippin. It seems that Pippin is in the band! I was totally surprise to see Pippin on the Hobbit stage behind Frodo and the dancers holding a guitar and drinking a mug of ale. Merry is beside him pointing out toward the dancing. It's a brief shot from a distance, but I enjoyed the image of Pippin and Merry on the stage looking as though they were maybe plotting the firework theft or just enjoying Frodo's dancing. I also thought it fitting since Billy Boyd does play guitar. Too bad the shot is missed by most people as you have to watch the Full-Screen version in order to see it. By the time Frodo is pushing Sam into Rosie's arms for a dance, the stage shot is over so it isn't very long."


The Entertainment Tonight TTT Trailer Preview
Calisuri @ 12:19 am EST
If you missed Entertainment Tonight's Exclusive look at The Two Towers, not to worry. We've got your back. Here are some links and images that should show you what you missed.

Thanks to Ringer Thomas, we have a Windows Media Player version available. Download the 3MB file. [Download]

LightsoutEntertainment.com also has a version online in both hi-res and lo-res Quicktime format. You can go to their download page by following the link. [More]

Thanks to the efforts of Ringer fan Bernie, here are some screen caps of the Entertainment Tonight Two Towers story. As Xoanon's report earlier states, there wasn't much shown, but what we did get to see was pretty darn neat!

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