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And one ring shall rule them all
But three DVD releases from New Line will rule our pocket books...

The Hobbits are here, and so is a major dilemma, which DVD of the three to be released in the next six months should we buy?

If you are a rabid sci-fi fantasy fanatic like my wife and I, you will get them all because New Line has put a little something different on each release. If you are a sane and rational human being who loved the film adaptation of "The Fellowship of the Rings" you should probably buy the second release in November which is the "extended version." (Peter Jackson refuses to call it a "director's cut" because he stands by the cut that was released as the definitive version, which I appreciate and respect.)

I won't break down every little extra feature and how they differ, but I will say this, if you liked the movie and don't need more footage and a ton of extras, the August 6th release is wonderfully complete and not without it's own extra features. It is still a 2-disc set!!! Die-hard Hobbit fans and DVD collectors are going to want the extra footage and commentary that will come with the November release, and the third release which comes with statues, and the National Geographic special is for the people with extra cash who have to have it all. Is all of this excessive? Maybe a little, but I have only had my "Fellowship of the Rings" DVD for two days and I have watched it repeatedly. It is beautiful and does have some nice extras.

People may think I'm crazy but I like the movie even more on my 32-inch television and find the story even more engrossing upon repeated viewings. Generally I hate it when studios release multiple DVDs, each time adding extras, but in this case I excuse it because you honestly get a different product each time. Many fans will just rent this first release, but the general public is going to buy, buy, buy! They should too, because "The Fellowship of the Rings" is a glorious film experience that thumbs its nose and the naysayers who thought it couldn't be done. Don't listen to me on this one, I am so biased it isn't funny.

Terry Osterhout
August 2002

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