An Extra 43 Minutes of LoTR Goodness!!

So my birthday has come and gone and I managed to wrangle some pretty good loot this year.

Aw Hell, I’ll admit it. I made off like a bandit.

I have some looooong overdue computer parts on the way, namely a new motherboard, processor and some ram. I still have my ancient video card but it hasn’t reduced my graphics to pong standards yet so it can last a while longer. I also need a couple of new Hard drives, or one at the very least, and maybe a dvd rom and a larger monitor, but again they can wait until funds appropriate themselves for such tasks.

It will certainly be an interesting change to go from a p3 450Mhz chip on this auld beastie to a p4 2.8Ghz. I wonder if I’ll even notice 5 times more processing power or not….. hrrrm.

Anyways, the real reason for ze blog uf blogs today is that I also got the Two Towers special extended edition version with the wonderfully creepy little statue of Smeagol/Gollum and all the bells, whistles and kitchen sinks that New Line could toss inside a box.

The package itself was cool, though I swear on all that is holy that with the amount of glue, packing tape AND zip ties that were used to keep the statue IN the box, you’d have thought it was the crown jewels rather than a polymer statue. I spent a good 15-20 minutes trying to extract the bloody thing from the box while leaving everything (box included) intact. Grrrr Arrrgh.

Okay. On to the film itself. My initial viewing of the original film was dissapointing. I saw it on an Imax screen (not by choice mind you) and sat too near to the screen to properly enjoy the cinema of the thing. Even with the technical downside of the medium, the movie itself didn’t sit well with me. There were a few too many discrepancies, deviations and ommissions that I felt detracted from the core story as it was told in the novel.

My second viewing in a much more normal sized theater allowed me to see the movie with a much less critical eye. It was a good story, and while I still had problems with certain aspects of Jackson’s retelling of the tale – Namely the Ents being so wishy washy, the arrival of Haldir and the elves to Helm’s Deep and the complete reversal of Faramir’s attitude and personality – I was able to sit back and enjoy the whole of the film. I still didn’t wholly agree with the changes but was able to accept them as part of someone else’s view.

Cut forward to the extended edition dvd. A whole extra 43 minutes of LoTR goodness. A chance for Peter Jackson to add something to the storyline, a chance to perhaps correct the mistakes he made in his first edit, whether intentional or accidental. Well, what do I have to say about 43 extra minutes of footage?

It was good overall. The extra footage added some much needed depth to certain aspects of the film. We managed to see some of the things that were mentioned in passing in the film and that broadened my appreciation of the whole story. The most redeeming feature to the extra footage in my eyes though was the extra scenes with Faramir. They gave him a whole lot more depth and explained why his attitude was different than originally presented. It didn’t wholly redeem the changes made to his character in my eyes, but it damn well came very close.

Sadly though, the untimely appearance of the elves and the ent’s initial decision about Isengard weren’t expanded on and so they still mark as a bit of a detriment to the film in my eyes. Though the addition of the Huons (mobile trees that aren’t quite ents) going to settle their score with the orcs at Helm’s Deep was a much needed and welcome addition.

The chapter from the book entitled Flotsam and Jetsam was even added and it too was a welcome addition because it allowed the end of the movie to much closely mirror where the book leaves off (it still falls short, but they are much closer now).

I still have all the making of Gollum extras and the appendice disks to go through yet but overall I am wholly satisfied with the things I have seen to date.

I love my wife*. She’s so good to (and for) me.

* This footnote was in no way coerced or forced and is a genuine expression of my love, admiration and gratitude for having such a wonderful person in my life and not because she rocks for getting me my favorrite movie on dvd. Still though, such a fine present just means I’m going to have to get her a dinner with Sting or the Indiana Jones Trilogy on DVD now in return.