Middle Earth

In what has become something of a tradition, for better or worse, I spent a lot of time in Middle Earth over the long weekend – the extended Fellowship for Friday, the extended Two Towers for Saturday. Next year I can see a three day numb butt marathon.

I was impressed by how much better the extended Two Towers felt compared to the theatrical release. The added scenes tightened up the movie by showing the interconnectedness of the plot threads and adding just that more information about the motives of the characters. Aragorn and Gandalf’s discussion while looking out towards Mordor tied together all of the hope that is possible in their situation: the purpose of the quest is unknown, the enemy thinks that it’s the hobbits near Isengard have the ring, and the enemy is worried about the return of the heir of Isildur all the while showing Aragorn’s fear of human weakness in the face of the ring.

From the record, it’s pretty clear that the extended edition of the movies has always been the preferred format. It’s just that that preferred format doesn’t really mesh with the realities of the movie theater experience. The intermissions between each of the the dvd disks correspond reasonably well with the series’ 6 books. Each of those smaller books is a nice chunk for a 2 hour movie to bite off and present.

So around this time next year, I’m expecting to spend 3-6 nights with the 3 extended movies, similar to the 6 days that I spent 2 years ago hoovering up the books.

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