The Tolkien Archives
January 13, 2001

Official LOTR Movie Site Review
Jeremiah Lewis

I was struck by New Line’s most recent attempt at web communication and presentation in the newest unveiling of Not that it’s a bad site. Indeed, the design and layout is far more interesting and "easy-on-the-eyes" than the last one. However, I do have some minor complaints.

I have to wonder who hosts that site, because, frankly, it is as slow as a Huorn in winter. I found myself drumming my fingers waiting for interviews to load up and buffer in RealPlayer, and I have a nice T1 connection at home. I can’t imagine what dialup users must feel like. In defense of the RealClips, they were all very scintillating and entertaining, when they finally did load. And they weren’t buggy, either – all of them played fine. I thoroughly enjoyed Jackson’s answers to the fan submitted questions, and I’m sure they’ll be scrutinized and evaluated to ingest every iota of information concerning these highly anticipated films.

I was disappointed with the scarcity of downloads. Only three screensavers, and four desktop images, with two resolutions each. That’s it. While I’m sure there are rules as to how much actual downloadable content is allowable on the site, I’m also sure they haven’t hit the limit. I just think people want and deserve more than a few measly images and some Macromedia screensavers.

While it is not downloadable, the map of Middle-earth is an interesting and informative source of information. I was impressed with the amount of information contained in each place.

The site itself is quite easy to navigate. The content bar is located at the top of the page for easy access throughout the site, and there are cool Flash effects that should entertain enough until the next iteration of the site. Also, it’s black text on white background, for the most part, and the text is larger in most cases, than the last site, which I often had difficulty seeing on my Macintosh monitor. Props also go to the authors for the in-depth character reviews and bios located under The Film > Cast.

I am happy the new site is out. Sure, some improvements could be had, but, in retrospect, what site doesn’t? For a second iteration, is not a bad venture.