A beautifully crafted film filled with breathtaking location shots, boundary breaking CGI effects and a vast array of intriguing characters, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings–the first of a trilogy adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s best-selling books–is a film worth seeing. But at nearly three hours in length, it also loses some of its panache due to some dull patches.

This epic fantasy begins in the humble, grassy-knolled Shire on the night of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins’ (Ian Holm) birthday party. As he has grown restless in The Shire, Bilbo decides that it is time for a new adventure. He leaves mysteriously, much to his nephew Frodo’s (Elijah Wood) dismay, leaving behind only his precious ring at the request of his good friend, the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), who suspects that Bilbo is up to something.

Gandalf eventually discovers that the ring will grant the world’s evil power to its wearer. It must be taken and thrown into Mount Doom, and Gandalf sends Frodo to carry out this task. And it’s here where the adventure truly begins.

Rings is a huge brushstroke of many well-executed elements. The story unfolds in an engaging fashion, the characters are carefully developed and the action is definitely amazing. The only thing lacking is perfect pacing. The film is mostly satisfying, though, as is the recently released DVD, which features a ten-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, narrated by Jackson, on some of the characters, settings and visual effects of the follow-up, The Two Towers. The two-disc set also includes an Enya music video, theatrical trailers and a wealth of DVD-ROM extras. The only really disappointing fact about this DVD is that the more exciting "Special Extended Edition" will hit the shelves in November.

Film Grade: B+

DVD Grade: B+