January 06, 2004

The Two Towers (extended version)

twotowers.jpgOn the Monday following our viewing of the extended Fellowship, we went to see the extended Two Towers. Unlike with the previous movie, we hadn't actually seen the extended cut of this movie before we went to catch it on the big beautiful screen at the Cinerama. Also unlike with Fellowship, there was a pretty good crowd there for this one. We decided to try out the balcony and sat in the third row up there where the entire screen is in your field of view.

Watching these extended cuts, it's hard to remember what the original cut was like.

Since we saw the two extended cuts in the theatre, Becky and I have been watching them at home again with the writer/director commentary. It's very interesting to hear Fran, Peter, and Philippa talk about how they agonized over what to cut to bring the films down to reasonable lengths for a theatrical release. Frankly, I would have made different decisions, erring on the side of reducing action in preference to increasing character moments. But I can't complain about what they've done too much. I couldn't have done as well as they have overall. But the stuff that's coming back in the extended versions is largely small character moments and a few canonical moments from the books that didn't sufficiently contribute to the narrative flow for the short cuts. With full post production behind them, the new versions look just as good as the originals.

I think my favorite restoration in The Two Towers is the scene where Sam and Frodo are using the Elven rope gifted to Sam by Galadriel. They descend a sheer wall and are lamenting the necessity to leave the rope behind since they know there's no way Sam's knot will let loose. Sam shakes the rope to demonstrate how secure it is and it immediately falls to the ground in front of them.

There's a little bit of a scene that explains where the mysterious horse that rescues Aragorn following his little float down the river (carrying a sheathed longsword and a bunch of other knives and such. That Aragorn is one buoyant dude. Must be a little known property of his Numenorian blood ;-). I would have been happier if the whole float down the river thing had been scrapped altogether, it's really the clumsiest bit in these movies as far as I'm concerned.

On midnight the day after we saw Two Towers at the Cinerama, The Return of the King was going to be opening. For the truly dedicated they were showing Fellowship and Two Towers back-to-back before Return started. The reason I mention it is that there was a small group of people already in line for the marathon when we went in. It'd been sold out for ages, so they presumably had tickets and were in line strictly to ensure they would get good seats. We're not that obsessed. Quite.

Posted by jeffy at January 6, 2004 11:07 PM
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