Does the world need more ”Lord of the Rings” reissues?
Computer-software companies constantly upgrade programs. But home-video labels may be hitting a ceiling on how many times they can remaster and repackage favorite titles, even if the discs offer genuine improvements and substantive additions. Case in point: New Line’s Lord of the Rings reissues. Aimed at LOTR newbies as well as hardcore fans, they contain both the original theatrical cuts and the superb extended versions on single, flippable discs, plus five hours of amusing behind-the-scenes footage on bonus discs?nearly all of it previously unreleased. After I posted an article on EW.com about Costa Botes (ew.com/ew/article/commentary/0,6115,1412831_21_0_,00.html), the New Zealand filmmaker who shot the making-of footage, some fans attacked the new editions. Evidently they feel burned about being pitched again, especially since high-definition versions will doubtless appear down the line. ”This is one of the reasons I don’t purchase DVDs anymore,” fumed one poster. That sounds like a bad omen for sales of other reissues coming our way, including the James Bond films, the Superman saga, and the original Star Wars trilogy. Listen up, Hollywood: Fans are mad as hell, and they may not buy it anymore.