Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Finally, crass Hollywood commercialism done right.

It’s been the bane of avid DVD enthusiasts that, when a hit movie has revealed intense consumer interest in the movie, a studio will often rush out sub-par DVDs and then turn around a few months later and release a Special Edition. This penalizes eager fans by making them buy the film twice to get the real goods.

But with its release of the monster hit (for once, deservedly so) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, New Line Home Entertainment is looking out both for people who like the film and Tolkien purists.

It’s recently released the DVD version of the first film in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy, and it’s packed with cast interviews, documentaries and a generous preview for December’s sequel, The Two Towers. In November, New Line will release a super-deluxe-fantastic version with a new cut of the film (30 minutes longer), full-length commentary from Jackson and crew, as well as more behind-the-scenes info than most film students would probably want.

So how does this first edition fare? Very well. In home viewing, the film takes on both a more personal and more epic stature, and the discs give just enough extras to answer every question most sane viewers would want to know.