Behold the Argonath! - Review of the LOTR:FOTR Collector's DVD Gift Set
It all began last evening with a message received at my home. The treasure was enroute and should arrive forthwith in two days.
The Christmas poem "Twas the night before Christmas" kept echoing in my head; I could not recall being this excited about anything since....well, since August when the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DVD was released.
And then today, just around the tenth hour of the morning, a box was placed on my desk. Could it be? I hopped up from my desk and began to dance around with the box, still unopened, in my hands. I waltzed to a co-worker's desk, (another Tolkien geek), and proceeded to open the box as we OOOOed and AAAAAed in stereo.
Oh my, I would not jest you, mellyn, the Collector's DVD Gift Set had PLENTY to OOOO and AAAAAA about.
Let's start with the box. Yes, the box. You won't want to toss this one. No way; no how. It is a journey in itself. From the front, you are upon the Anduin with the Emyn Muil rising on either side and ahead of you is the mighty Argonath. The crags and teeth of the Emyn Muil are visible to remind you of how close to Mordor you are and the peril that lies waiting. Turn the box and you are you are moving through the narrow pass which lies at the feet of the statues of Isildur and Anarion. Finally, the great lake of Nin Hithoel opens before you with Tol Brandir in the distance.
It is as if you are standing upon Amon Hen, in all its glory, ornate columns and carvings all around you, with the Anduin and Nin Hithoel far below. The vision becomes even more satisfying: The Argonath will not disappear as your journey continues; instead, they become heirlooms that adorn your humble abode.
There were several goodies deposited outside of the Collector's DVD GIft Set box:
A "Hobbit sized" Lord of the Rings Official Fan Club Movie Magazine: I'm already a Charter member, so I don't really need the free trial membership that's inside of the magazine, and I've already read the magazine. However, for those of you who are not Fan Club members, this might just be enough to lure you in. Then again, maybe not.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $10.50 Movie Pass: This is actually rather nice; the $75 that I just spent on the Gift Set saved me movie admission price to see The Two Towers. It's called Movie Cash. It's only valid through December 31, 2002...as if anyone who BUYS the Gift Set won't have seen TTT by then.
YUGLY 10% Off Pink Coupon from New Line: Yugly, just plain yugly. I'm tossing this one even if it DOES have Lord of the Rings on it. Yuck.
Lord of the Rings TCG Gandalf Starter Deck: I am not a very good or avid Decipher LOTR TCG player; but I LOVE these images. The pink coupon was YUGLY, but these pictures are PURTY.
Three Hunters Trading Cards w/Fancy Dancy Dazzle: Hey New Line! I received two ARAGORNS and a Legolas; where's Gimli? Very nice TCG cards with dazzling metallic-looking sprinkles on them. Is that Mithril?
National Geographic Beyond the Movie LOTR: FOTR Special Edition: I already have the non-special edition and loved it. The section on the Kalevala by itself is worth buying this DVD. I am excited to watch this one.
The Special Extended DVD Edition Box: Sure, let's begin with the box again. It's beautimous. Is it supposed to be modeled after the Book of Mazarbul? It's in better shape than the Book that Gandalf read from, (and isn't that one of the most spooky parts of the Lord of the Rings?--The Books, I mean); but, you never know, perhaps Gimli had it restored once he found the time. On the back of the box is the West Gate of Moria. Here's something fun and VERY cool: Take the box outside, (it's a half moon as I write this), and hold it up in the moonlight. Yep, you guessed it! The Doors glow as if they are really made of Ithildin!
I'm joking, but how many of you ran outside and tried it? My apologies...*ahem* (Okay, okay... I DID walk outside and try it myself!)
The DVD Case/Book: Beautiful. What IS that sigil that is used on the front of the case/book and on top of the DVD Gift box? I don't recognise them as Tolkien's own designs for the Houses and/or Elven sigils, but they look very Tolkienesque. Hmmm. It is very nifty, though, that the DVD case is designed to be a book. Again, the Book of Mazarbul comes to mind. A restored Book of Mazarbul. On the left is the Special Extended DVD which consists of two DVDs, complete with a map and scale of the Fellowship's journey from The Shire to the Fallso of Rauros. Flip it open once more and a very nice, very well done DVD menu greets you. Very well done, New Line! On the right, The Appendices: From Book to Vision and From Vision to Reality. On the back, The Fellowship just as they've entered Moria and apparently just before the Watcher bashes the doors and tosses the trees up against them. (The Doors are open and completely unscathed.)
The Argonath Bookends: Ah yes, the best for last. (Well, the best 'extra' for last!) They are exquisite. Gorgeous. Detailed. Wonderful to behold. They look SPLENDID on a bookshelf, but I am tempted to put them somewhere else where they can be more easily and clearly seen. Sideshow/Weta, as we have all come to expect, has truly created a masterpiece. They really do make the Collector's DVD Gift Set well worth the money.
Have you long desired to look upon the Kings of Old? Have you long desired to have them in your living room? On your bookshelf? Then, by all means, get the Gift Set and have the Argonath, Isildur and Anarion in all of their majesty, standing magnificently in your home.
And now, I am off to view the National Geographic DVD...or maybe the Appendices DVD.....or maybe the other Appendices DVD.....
Why not the extended FOTR movie?
Believe me, I would like nothing more than to do just that. However, New Line made a fatal mistake for those of us who have children, who are children, or who have made pacts with children: They released this on a school night. You see, I promised my nephew, (who likes for me to refer to him as Fangorn when I write for TORC), that I would not watch the extended DVD without him. He's a Tolkien geek just like me and he, too, is suffering this night as the millions of Tolkien's fans sit in their living rooms and experience the magic of the new scenes....Whilst I sit in front of the computer writing this, and he studies for a spelling test.
Tell me, where is the justice in the world?!
I think that I'll just sit here and stare at the Pillars of the Argonath; you know, the ones that are in my living room!