Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Superior Extended Edition Versus The Inferior Theatrical Release

I've heard a lot of people voice their opinion about the theatrical release of Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King.  They mainly say, “Why would I want to watch a longer version of the same movie?  The extended versions are, like, forty-five minutes longer than the other versions!  I can't last that long.”
To which I say, “Why on EARTH would you NOT want forty-five more minutes of the AWESOMENESS that is the Extended Editions?!”
Ahem. Sorry about that.  You've heard my opinion.  I'll turn my caps-lock off now.
In preparing to write this post, I've decided that it would be best to not say things like, “Oh, well, there's three new shots in this one scene in Fellowship, and then the next scene has, uhhh... two more shots....”
Instead, I'm going to pick two or three of my favorite completely new scenes from each movie.  Hopefully, by the end, I will have converted you into an Extended Release junkie.  : )
Enjoy the ride.
The Fellowship of the Ring has six new scenes.  The first one, probably my favorite in the Extended Release, is called 'Concerning Hobbits.'  The hard-core Tolkiendils will be pleased to know that a lot of the dialogue from this scene is taken from the book – from the introduction, appendices, or the chapter in the book entitled 'A Long-Expected Party.'  This scene gives you a deeper look into Hobbits and their lifestyle.  I think it should have been kept in because it shows you a further explanation of why Frodo wants to stay in the Shire.
The second of my favorite new scenes is called 'The Departure of the Fellowship,' which is pretty self-explanatory.  Basically, the newly-formed Fellowship is leaving Rivendell and Frodo is leading the way.  He's completely clueless and scared and whispers to Gandalf, who is walking right behind him, “Which way do I go?” Gandalf points him in the right direction and they embark on their quest.
The Two Towers has an incredible fifteen new scenes.  I've narrowed it down to three of my favorites.  The first I'd like to mention is called 'Sons of the Steward.'  It's a flashback of Faramir and Boromir, after Boromir has swooped in and saved the day (once again) after Faramir, Captain of Gondor, was losing a battle.  Boromir came to his rescue and conquered the bad guys – for now, at least.  This scene depicts the aftermath – when Faramir and Boromir are celebrating.  YESTERDAY, I told you a little of why this scene is so great, but I really like it because it gives Boromir and Faramir a deeper relationship.  In the theatrical releases, it's mentioned a few times that they're brothers.  In the extended release – this scene particularly – it shows how close they were, even though they weren't very much alike.
The second of my favorite scenes is a muchly-appreciated lighthearted scene after all of the fighting – the flooding of Isengard and Helm's Deep, to be exact.  Merry and Pippin have just seen the Ents flood Isengard.  Pippin is lamenting the fact that they don't have any food, meanwhile, Merry spies an apple floating in the water. They turn and see more food, all leading into Saruman's storeroom. They enjoy a well-earned meal.  (This, by the way, is the “The salted pork is particularly good” scene from the very beginning of Return of the King.)
The third scene I'll mention is called 'Farewell to Faramir.'  (Yes, there's a reason that I'm picking all these FARAMIR scenes.  Hush.) It contains one of my favorite lines from The Two Towers. The entire movie, Sam has been a little wary of Faramir, mainly because he's trying to protect Frodo and is already on edge because of creepy old Smeagol.  In this scene, Sam apologizes to Faramir and says, “Captain Faramir, you have shown your quality, sir – the very highest.”  To which Faramir replies, “The Shire must truly be a great realm, Master Gamgee, where gardeners are held in high honor.” (I basically melted at that point!)
The Return of the King has fifteen new scenes, too.  I've picked four favorite scenes from this movie.
The first of my favorite is called 'The Corsairs of Umbar.'  I love this scene because it's in the book and it has a hint towards Gimli and Legolas' growing friendship.  Also, Peter Jackson has a cameo role in this scene.  And it also makes more sense when put with the 'The Paths of the Dead' scene.
'Merry's Simple Courage' is my next favorite scene, due to this amazing line by Merry, “My lady.  You are fair and brave and have much to live for and many who love you.  I know it is too late to turn aside.  I know there is not much point now in hoping.  If I were a knight of Rohan capable of great deeds... but I'm not.  I'm a Hobbit.  And I know I can't save Middle Earth.  I just want to help my friends; Frodo, Sam... Pippin.  More than anything, I wish I could see them again.”
I also love 'The Houses of Healing,' which is also in the book.  This scene was cut out of the movie and I have no idea why.  It's short, but shows yet another reason why Aragorn is awesome.  And the look between Faramir and Eowyn at the end is just... sighhhhh.
The last of my favorite scenes from The Return of the King is 'The Captain and the White Lady.'  Eowyn + Faramir = Happiness for all lovers of Faramir.  It's not nearly as long as the scene(s) from the book, but it'll do.  : )
And that's the Extended Edition.  Awesomeness sauce and highly, highly better than the theatrical release.  The. End.

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