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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Lord of the Rings DVD: Your views
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Thousands of fans ordered the film from
The DVD of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, the first in the Tolkien trilogy, has been released in the UK.

The film was a massive hit in cinemas at the end of last year and a spokesman for HMV said pre-orders for the DVD had already broken records in its stores.

"There remains plenty to watch here in addition to a chance to see the kind of movie that DVD technology was invented for," says BBC News Online's Finlo Rohrer.

But what do you think?

Are the extras impressive? What did you think of the sneak preview of The Two Towers?

Have your say

I originally planned to get the special edition when I first saw it advertised, but when I found out the film would be spread over two DVD I changed my mind. Now I've brought the standard edition, not too impressed by most of the extras, so not too bothered by missing another hour or two of that quality material. May someday be tempted by a complete set of the 'director's cuts' even if Peter Jackson himself admits they are not his prefered cuts.
Lee Puttock, UK

The feature disc was full of lots of features, sadly though too many of them were the same. At least four or five features were behind-the-scenes extras. Disguised under different names, they all basically shared the same footage...footage that gets dull after watching it four or five times that day. Film was great though!
Lloyd, UK

Saw Lord Of The Rings six times in the cinema and couldn't wait to see it again, after suffering serious withdrawal symptoms. We were not disappointed watching it again on DVD and loved every second of it! Still, a few points of criticism; the packaging could have been so much better, there was a problem with the sound and we had to crank the volume right up to the highest level and a lot of the material on the second DVD was repeated in several of the features. Also, we love Frodo and Co, but they could have been a little less syrupy in the interviews. Still, it is our favourite film ever, with an outstanding cast and crew and, like everybody else, we are counting down the days to the release of the four-disc version.
Nina and Nora, UK

Hollywood one minute complains it's losing $x billion to piracy and the next trumpets that the LOTR DVD has smashed sales records and Spiderman has smashed box office records. Which is the truth? (I suspect not their 'piracy' claims).
Dominic Jackson, England

I was disappointed with the casing of the DVDs and the low bit-rate at which the movie was encoded. The absence of a director's commentary was shocking too. I'm also suprised that the VHS video version doesn't have encoded subtitles. This is very unusual.

However, even though the documentaries overlap, the extras were very good and give a good insight to the attention to detail that went into the film.
Thom Brown, UK

Wow! It's just as good on DVD! I thought that some of the shots would not be as impressive on the small screen, but I was wrong. Fabulous, amazing and brilliant are just a few words to describe this DVD. The quality of transfer is perfect. No graining, lovely colours and a ton of extras make this DVD the must buy of 2002. The extras on DVD 2 I have seen before, but the Two Towers preview is worth the price of this package alone. Roll on December and the second exciting installment of the best film of all time!
Steve Shovlar, Sherborne, UK

What can I say? The extra footage on the DVD is just fantastic, especially the Two Towers Preview. Roll on December!!
Georgia, UK

Got home last night and put the extras disc straight into the DVD player. The content is great, just one problem. The menus look as though they were put together the day before release.
Davesy, UK

I think it's a very cheap and deceptive move to hype the release of the basic version of the DVD without mention of the Special Edition (4 DVDs) scheduled for three months time.

The delay of three months itself looks to me like a cynical attempt to encourage fans to purchase the movie twice and boost the sales.
Alasdair Russell, United Kingdom

One word -YES! Although I did see the TV shows, enjoyed having them all together. The sneak preview is even better than a trailer - Peter Jackson can take me on a tour anytime!
Denise, USA

The DVD is wonderful. Lord of the Rings is the best movie ever! The extras were great, but I think they could have added more Two Towers footage that hasn't been seen before. Almost all of it has already been put into trailers and on the internet, so most people have already seen what they put on the DVD. Everything else was really great though. It was a very interesting DVD.
Carmen, Canada

Kelly, USA

The Lord of the Rings DVD was dazzling! The sound was explosive and I noticed things that I didn't in theatres. The picture actually looks better than it was in theatres. When I first read a review of the DVD a few days before the release, I was disappointed to hear that there wasn't much to see that we haven't seen before! But I saw it, and it had a lot more than I thought. The first few things on the special features are spectacular! The information is endless! And it is hard to believe they will be having three more discs of adventurous information for us all to wait on!
Kelly Sinkiewicz, USA

Fantastic! I've been waiting for this since I first read The Lord of the Rings in school many years ago.
Chris, Deltona, FL USA (UK ex-pat)

The DVD extras are very impressive, although it is very cheeky how much they rub it in your face how much better the more expensive version, out in November, will be... the preview of the Two Towers was OK... but a trailer would probably have been a lot better!
Dan Tibbett, Manchester, UK

This DVD is fantastic. Being able to watch the best film of last year in your own home is just awesome.

Two things really stand out from this set: the preview of The Two Towers, which looks as if it will easily overshadow the brillance of the first film, and the sneak preview of the extended DVD set with an extra 30 minutes of deleted scences re-added to FotR.

This extended version will also feature a director's commentary, sadly (but understandably) missing from the current DVD.

The other features are standard behind-the-scenes featurettes, which do impress on the viewer all the hard work and talent that went in to bring Tolkien's epic vision to the screen.
David Mosley, UK

Wasn't going to buy it at top price, but what the heck. I saw Rings at the cinema - sad to say I need a bigger telly to watch it on to get the same effects but won't be buying one of those big screens on impulse any day soon. I like what I have seen and can't wait for the next episode.
Trina, UK

Because I am disabled, I was unable to see this film at the cinema. So I really counted the days until its release on DVD. I have read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings many times and to see the story of the One Ring unfold upon the screen was more than simply watching a film, it was an event. Breathtaking.
Marcus Shepherd, London, England

The extras aren't impressive. That's why I'm saving my money for the November release, with four discs and six hours of extras, including half an hour of deleted scenes.
Jacob, UK

I'm surprised that so many are going to buy this version of the DVD when a four disc set with deleted scenes and even more extras is due out in November. Still, I suppose the film company won't complain if people buy both DVDs.
Stuart, UK

A more than adequate transition to a different format. Nothing was lost and the bonuses are excellent.
Robert del Valle, USA

The Lord of the Rings is amazing! I noticed several new things when I watched it on DVD. The extras are outstanding, the wardrobe really brought the movie together. I was a little disappointed with the behind the scenes of The Two Towers. I was hoping to see something about the ents and the destruction of Isengard but it's still very impressive and very much worth watching. I can't wait until The Two Towers comes out in theatres.
Ashley, Lake Worth, FL,U.S.A

I completely agree with Alasdair Russell, there was no mention of the Special Edition DVD in the press, yet it contains 30 minutes of extra footage as well as director's commentary etc so obviously any LOTR fan would prefer this version (which also contains the original version...) Yet how do they let you find out about it?? On the original DVD, forcing you to buy it twice, this is a scandalous marketing ploy. I shall be taking this DVD back to the shop, I hope anyone else who intends to own the extended version will do the same so at least they will see an unusually high amount of returns as well as sales¿
Nick Parson, UK

Overall, a pretty good package. The film is excellent, obviously. I would have liked to have the choice to buy the 4-disc set at the same time. But I will be stumping up the readies for that as well. Yes, I am a sheep, but I can't get enough of this film.
David Hobbs, UK

Great DVD but a bit cheap to promise a better one in November. Also although the sound is fantastic with an epic like this why was there no DTS?
James, Engalnd

You can have the best of both worlds if you rent this version and buy the 4-disc set!!
Fergus, Ireland

Having seen the film several times at the cinema, I had no choice but to go out and buy the DVD. And yes I will be buying the extended four CD version in November as well. £17 to have a copy at home to rewatch at leisure is by far and away worth it.

The extras are great - yes, some soundbites are repeated, but to be honest I don't really care. Hearing Sir Ian saying that once he saw Hobbiton, he "believed" is worth a second listen.
Vik, Manchester, England

Those people should stop whinging about not knowing about the 4-disc set due out later. It has been plastered all over Amazon for example.

I shall be renting the DVDs as and when they come out and buying the complete box set which, no doubt, will be available for some Christmas in the not too distant future.
Gomez, UK

I can't understand why people are complaining about only finding out the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring from the first DVD release. I've known about it for months! The information has been available from many different sources - including the BBC website! As each version contains different bonus material, I shall be purchasing both.
Ingrid, UK

I saw LOTR at a cinema around Christmas time and was disturbed at how uninvolving it was as a movie. I bought the DVD thinking that it must have been me as other reviews have been so glowing. Now I want my money back as the movie is still devoid of any substantial emotion, the dialogue is very low in the mix and the film is too long by about an hour. Harry Potter DVD looked much better and was nearly as enjoyable as the French and Saunders send-up of LOTR.
Julian, UK

I was hoping for more on the second DVD. The movie was spectacular - but lacked the big screen awe of course. I did enjoy the interviews with the stars though and the TT preview with Peter Jackson. I have been a fan of LOTR for over 25 years - Peter did a suburb job in bring Tolkien's pages to life.

Thank you Mr.Jackson, cast and crew for all of your hard work. All I can say is "You made it happen".
Legolas Fan, USA

The DVD is great! The sound quality and picture quality are amazing and not half of the disappointment I thought they would be after the cinema. The menu screen is the only let down. Bring on the Two Towers!
Tom Lefever, UK

Very good although I did have to crank the volume on the TV up to 11! (Maybe that means I'm hard of hearing or something?) The extras aren't up to much I have to say but no matter, the film is all that matters to me personally and it is superb. As for there being no advance publicity for the 4 disk set in November, well, that's nonsense. I, and I'm sure most others knew about this. it's not some cynical ploy, it's called choice and that's a good thing.
Paul, N.Ireland

"Scandalous marketing ploy?" Hardly. How many studios have released special editions a year later despite promising they won't do that to loyal fans? You've been able to pre-order the LOTR Special Edition for months and it's mentioned on the first DVD's cover! New Line is giving both casual and longtime fans of LOTR a version of this wonderful film and they should be praised not judged for being open about their plans.
Beth Miles, UK

I was going to wait for the 4 disc Special, but couldn't wait. Who could? Not me.

Took it home and it looked brillant. Right up until Rivendell when my PS2 gave up and refused to play without skipping, breaking up and generally being unwatchable.

I was very upset. Fortunately it plays fine on my PC.

Have to say that it is as enjoyable to watch at home as it was at the cinema. Just need to buy a proper dedicated DVD player.
Ed, Exeter, England

The Surround Sound for this movie is the best I've heard yet. Amazing use of bass, and very loud. Many movies make very limited use of the rear speakers, but this movie was truly a surround sound experience. As good at home as in a theatre.
Rob, Canada

Although Lord Of The Rings has sold well on DVD, the talk of it being the biggest first-day DVD sales is inaccurate. Harry Potter (whilst an infinitely inferior film) sold at least 100,000 units more on DVD than LOTR on its release date. These quotes of 1.27m units are blatantly untrue - halve it and you'd be closer.
Alan, London

I loved it! Can't wait to get the whole collection.
Susan, USA

I am hard of hearing and to my disgust the video version of Lord of the Rings has no subtitles. WHY, WHY have they done that? I am so upset. SHAME ON THEM.
Maria Ogorman, Limerick, Ireland

Fantastic value for money. I can't wait for the Two Towers now!!
Van E Bater, Holland

Loved the movie. Just bought the DVD and about 20 minutes into it the Dolby Surround Sound dropped out and didn't come back until about 50 minutes later. Then it dropped out again after another 35 minutes and never came back on.
Morris Reichman, USA

The extras should be taken with a pinch of salt: the main feature is the film itself which translates extremely well to TV. As for the special November edition, I would say hold fire because the next two films will be out over the next 16 months, after which you can be sure that the complete trilogy will be packaged, repackaged, and repackaged again. It seems a waste of time to even contemplate getting special editions before the whole story is told. Be patient.
Victor Houghton, England

Saw the movie three times. Bought both the DVD and VHS version of this release and have pre-ordered the next set of releases in November. I can't say anything else because no one has made any words about how much I love this story and this film version of it !!
Tony Martin, London, UK

The video has no subtitles! Unheard of these days. 8.7 million people in the UK require subtitles. They could have sold a lot more copies. The distributors did the same with the cinema release.
Derek Brandon, England

I went and bought my first DVD player just for this and I wasn't disappointed - amazing sound and picture quality! Can't wait for December for the next film.....
Sharon S, UK

The standard DVD is more than enough for my liking, the film is pure class and looks great on the big screen, whilst the extras are informative and enjoyable. I personally didn't want the four disc set as the extra 30 minutes means that the film gets stretched across two of the four discs, meaning having to get up half an hour before the end in order to put the second disc in to watch the rest of the film.... no thanks.
Phil, England

Think I'm definately in the minority of people who had not read any of the trilogy prior to watching the film but - wow, simply stunning are the only words to describe such a clear story, even people not familiar with the characters or plot. Bring on the Two towers (and I'm definitely going to read the book in advance this time!)
E Atherton, UK

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See also:

06 Aug 02 | Reviews
06 Aug 02 | Film
24 Feb 02 | Film
24 Feb 02 | Film
24 Dec 01 | Film
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