The third and final installment of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy arrives in stores this week.
"Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (two-disc DVD $29.95, VHS $24.97), winner of all 11 Oscars for which it was nominated, stars Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett.
The bonus disc includes a National Geographic special on the film, six featurettes and video games.
The film, directed by Peter Jackson, is based on the bestselling books by J.R.R. Tolkien. The good vs. evil epic follows Sam (Astin) and Frodo (Wood) as they continue their journey toward Mount Doom, where the ring was first forged.
Frodo inherited the One Ring, an instrument of absolute power that could enable a dark force to rule the world. He and his loyal friends embark on a mission to destroy the powerful object. Along the way, many battles ensue.
Post film critic Stephen Hunter wrote about the PG-13 movie: "You don't have to love hobbits (I don't) to love this, but nevertheless it's true that the one thing Jackson does brilliantly is capture the exhilaration, fatigue, heroism and despair of war."
Current DVD/Video Releases
Bubba Ho-Tep (MGM: DVD $27.98, VHS $27.50; R) Elvis lives in this horror comedy in which Bruce Campbell stars as the legendary musician. The show follows the aging and cantankerous Presley as he attempts to defeat an Egyptian mummy who steals the souls of the barely living.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Six (Twentieth Century Fox: six-disc DVD $89.98) Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a heroine for a new generation: She fights the living dead, has a social life and still finds time to study. The sixth season follows the college junior as she falls in love and deals with an unexpected death. The DVD includes 22 episodes, bonus features and behind-the-scenes footage.
Dances With Wolves (MGM: DVD $14.95; PG-13) Kevin Costner stars as a soldier sent to protect a deserted U.S. outpost. But when he befriends the area's Sioux Indians, he must make a choice between those he's grown to love and those to whom he swore his allegiance.
Northern Exposure (Universal: two-disc DVD $59.98) The first season of the Emmy Award-winning series chronicles the experiences of Joel Fleischman, a cocky young doctor who has settled in Alaska.
Saving Private Ryan (DreamWorks: two-disc DVD $19.95; R) Steven Spielberg's World War II Oscar-winner, starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, is also available as a collector's edition, which includes two films about real-life war stories, for $49.95.
Welcome to Mooseport (Twentieth Century Fox: DVD $27.98; PG-13) This comedy follows a local plumber who decides to enter the mayoral race against the recently retired U.S. president. Roy Romano and Gene Hackman star.