Top critical review
Great movie but annoying extras
on 19 August 2002
As the first DVD I have ever watched, this one will take some beating. The great thing about seeing this movie at home is that you get the chance to notice things that might have escaped you in the cinema.
The casting is perfect. Best of all is Elijah Wood wears an expression throughout the film that can only be interpreted as reluctant bewilderment. You can believe he doesn’t want to fulfil his task as ringbearer, but knows he is the only one who can do it.
One of the neat touches of the film is the enhancing of plausibility by the liberal use of dirt. Aragorn’s greasy hair, Frodo’s grimy fingernails, even the elves look like they need a good wash.
Some odd impressions do stick out, not that they spoil the film. Who can watch the flooding river scene and not think about the Guinness horses? What about Saruman’s Klingon-esque orcs? And John Rhys Davies’ impression of Sean Connery pretending to be a dwarf?
I would happily give five stars for the movie itself, but the risible extras and cynical plan for a 4-disc release count against this DVD.
The feature on the Two Towers is interesting but the US specials really grind, especially the wooden performance by the Houghton Mifflin exec. And the wretched Enya video is toe-curlingly awful.
I can’t get excited about the previewed 4-disc version because it seems such a pointless release when everything you saw at the cinema is in this 2-disc version. You can bet that several months after The Return of the King is released at the cinema, then everything will be re-released with all the expected bells and whistles. Why not wait until then?