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Subject: Extended version of Return of the King rss

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Mikko Karvonen
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Well... now I've seen it. The real version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Four hours of epic fantasy. In one word: breathtaking.

Over half an hour of new footage and it's all good. Well, almost. I could have lived without couple new special effects during the Paths of the Dead -sequence, but otherwise the additions work perfectly. They give lots of background information, make the story flow more smoothly, give lots of depth for certain events and give much more room for the characters to develop.

Curiously, there is also some extra-footage in the battle of the fields of Pelennor and it works beautifully. It gives a lot of information about the strenghts of different parties and makes the viewer understand, why Grond and Witch-King are so important elements in the battle.

And now on to the extras...

//Gargoyle
 
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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How'd you do that? I didn't think it was gonna be out for another couple of days... I'm jealous! I've been waitin' for-EVER for this edition...
 
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MK
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No kidding...
I second Derk's emotion - how did you get a copy to view? Are you Peter Jackson's best friend's cousin twice removed or something?
 
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Todd Bookman
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I am extremely jealous. My wife has forbidden me to buy it next week, since it's so close to Christmas. Which means I'm almost 100% sure that I'll be getting it for Christmas.

But I want it NOW!! I demand instant gratification!!

 
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MK
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But just think...
Waiting that extra 10 days will make it even sweeter when you open it up on Christmas day... and because it's a holiday (yeah, also Saturday this year), you will have ALL day to watch the entire thing, plus some appendices, and you can force everyone else to sit through it all with you.
 
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Tom Key
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Scouring of Shire?
Cool! and thanks for the update. I too am under the "its too close to Christmas" ruling, but wondered if any of the new version covers Saruman's last return at the end of the book "The Scouring of the Shire" i think - where the hobbits kick him out of the shire etc etc?
ta
tom
 
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Eric Clark
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Nope
"Saruman's last return at the end of the book "The Scouring of the Shire" i think - where the hobbits kick him out of the shire etc etc?"

That sequence was never filmed, and rightly so. ROTK, in its theatrical incarnation, goes on for about half an hour after the destruction of the Ring. The last thing it needs is still more post-Mount Doom footage.

No matter what gets added, it'll still be my favorite movie.
 
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MK
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The ending...
I think the post-Mt. Doom stuff only went on for 20 minutes (may seem like more) but can you imagine what the film would have been like if all that end material from ROTK had been put in? It's great stuff in the book, but when you've already been sitting through 3 hours of tense war and personal conflict... nooooo thanks.
 
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Håkan König
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I received my copy yesterday, even though the official releasedate is the 10th here in Sweden. But as noted above, mail order companies mail the discs out in advance and thell the post ofice to hold the delivery, which they sometimes don't!
 
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Stefan Alexander
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Someone's on the naughty list!
I've seen it on Bittorrent for the past week (A nice xvid rip with AC3 sound). Is someone on the naughty list?

(Arrrrrrrrrrrrr)!

 
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Stefan Alexander
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I was just kidding, BTW - I'm sure there's lots of legitimate ways to get the movie. I was just mentioning that it's been available for download for the past week, and trying to say it in a funny way. Didn't mean to accuse anyone.

Although, it has been a couple of days since we've had a good flame war...
 
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David Brain
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I have to agree - my copy arrived yesterday and although I was supposed to be doing something else, I, um, "forgot" about it and watched this instead.

I can see why Saruman was cut from the theatrical release, but it's a stunning scene. And much of the other stuff is great for filling things out; sometimes just those extra few seconds make all the difference.

(One review called the theatrical version of Return of the King the "longest trailer in history", because we were all really just waiting for this extended edition. And it was worth the wait.)
 
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Nate Merchant
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Scouring blues
That sequence was never filmed, and rightly so. ROTK, in its theatrical incarnation, goes on for about half an hour after the destruction of the Ring. The last thing it needs is still more post-Mount Doom footage.

That sequence was never filmed, and wrongly so. Jackson spent so much time on close-ups, slo-mos, homo-erotic looks between Sam and Frodo that we were all spent after the ten (yes, ten!) minute scene in Mt. Doom. The last half hour was a snooze-fest becausde it was very simply badly done. Jackson had too much Lucas in him in that movie.

And David, I for one cannot see why Saruman was cut from the theatrical release. Imagine if Vader had been cut from RotJ. Jackson's excuse of "there wasn't enough time" and "it'll be on the EE" does not hold water. It's a major mistake, if the deletion of the Scouring was not.

I'm still buying the EE, of course.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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*drool*
 
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Brett David Spain
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Mistakes
Scouring of the Shire absence = wrong
Elves at Helm's Deep = wrong
Arwen as a martial-arts sword-weilding heroine = wrong
Faramir taking Frodo to Osgiliath = wrong

Don't get me wrong (!), the movies are great, I just question some of the decisions Peter Jackson made which seem unnecessary.
 
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Next time on the EE discs
Turn on the commentary with Jackson, Walsh, and Bowens. There are a lot of places where they explain those changes, and also in the appendix discs. It's excellent insight into the differences between telling a story on screen and a story in a book.

For example, elves at Helm's Deep - Jackson reminds viewers that the elves did fight in the War of the Ring, but not told explicitly in the books. Jackson wanted to include that somehow, but he couldn't have a detour to a battle at Dol Gulder, so he incorporated that idea into Helm's Deep. Gave some dramatic weight to the scene as well, and re-emphasized the links between men and elves.
 
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Mikko Karvonen
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In Finland, the official release date of the Extended Edition was today. So I don't have any special connections to PJ or any of the crew. Not that I would mind having one

Personally I haven't had any problems with the changes Jackson made to the storyline, except for dropping Aragorn into the river in TTT. That part I just don't get, but other changes I understand perfectly well. Even taking Sam and Frodo to Osgiliath at the end of the second movie. Books and movies are two very different mediums and therefore same things don't always work in them. Then again, my major in the university is media studies, so perhaps I look at this from a bit different angle than most people.

And you gotta admit that even though Jackson did make some changes into the storyline, he did avoid most of the pitfalls people were afraid of before the movies were released. Arwen is kept at background, even though she is present in all the three movies. Middle-earth is not some bubblegum-fantasy, but a very real and believable place. Gollum is a real character that is very well developed and presented. The casting is mostly excellent, with couple minor exceptions. Considering all the things that could have been screwed up while making these moves, I wouldn't complain too much

Arwen as a martial-arts sword-weilding heroine = wrong

Huh? Where does this come from? Have we been watching the same movies? As I recall, we only see Arwen holding a sword once (at the Ford) and even then she does not use it for anything except bravado. After that she just wanders around Rivendell looking slightly out of place, gazes longingly into horizon and almost withers away.

//Gargoyle
 
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Brett David Spain
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Scouring
I can live with the other changes, but I believe the removal of the Scouring of the Shire chapters ultimately makes the ending less impactful. The whole point of the end chapters was to show how the hobbits had gone out into the world and experienced life outside the Shire, gained knowledge in both combat and politics, and returned with the capability and willingness to solve their own problems.
 
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Mikko Karvonen
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Elves at Helm's Deep
I must add that I loved the elves at Helm's Deep. It gave a very nice touch to the desperate battle and proved that the pointy-ears aren't just packing their things and moving away when the things the rough, but they are actually willing to do something.

Plus that scene of elves marching into Helm's Deep, and especially it's music, is just an amazingly atmospheric piece of work.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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And to Jackson's credit, he pulled off the nearly impossible: Made the Ring itself, as the embodyment of Sauron and his pure evil, into the main antagonist. That's a lot easier to pull off in book form than in a movie.

... although I agree that some of the changes were very questionable ...

Overall I'm very pleased. Just go look at the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy news and tell me you aren't pleased with how LOTR came out. angry
 
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MK
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My only two dislikes of changes
Were the following:

Didn't like that Arwen takes Frodo to the ford, and Frodo doesn't get the chance to stand up to the wraiths, as he does in the books. That was an important moment for Frodo, and it got lost. It didn't bother me that Arwen replaced Glorfindel, though.

Also didn't like Aragorn going over the cliff. Didn't do a thing for me, and wasn't really a necessary component. Having scouts report to the king could have easily done the job of getting news to Theoden, rather than Aragorn spying them in the distance.

Beyond that, I can clearly see the reasons for the other changes and how they don't necessarily ruin the story.
 
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Todd
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Hmmmm. I am so glad he left the scourging out. I had to force my self to keep reading till the end of RotK. Good grief who provides the climax to a story then proceeds to ramble on for another 300 pgs or so. Jacksons films are the only way I can enjoy the Lord of the Rings. How does a writer kill one of his characters as a footnote in the introduction to the second book. Tolkien had great ideas and was a poor writer. Same problem Lucus is suffering from now.
 
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Brett David Spain
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Read
So, would you have preferred the Lord of the Rings Cliff Notes edition? Let's reduce the books into as few pages as possible to keep the attention span of the masses.
 
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Rod Spade
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movie vs book
Yes, Jackson's changes resulted in great movies. But if you're a fan of the book, all the stuff in the book is real - it's what actually happened! Much of the stuff in the movies is false - it didn't happen! It's like watching a Michael Moore "documentary" of Lord of the Rings! yuk

How's that for a flame starter?

(Of course, I'm still going to buy all three movies on DVD - so I guess Jackson was "successful" after all....)
 
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Randall Peek
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A little help, please?
Does anyone know the email address to contact New Line Entertainment? I have had my copy of the extended version of The Two Towers since last Christmas, and when I finally got the chance to check out the appendices, I found that I had two copies of the same disk! I would like to get a copy of the other disk, but there isn't anything I can find on the New Line website to help me. Thanks in advance!
 
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