Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King -- Extended Edition

Welcome back to Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly ramble about one of the many DVDs in my collection.  Today, we finally finish of the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings with The Return of the King.  This entry is originally dated August 5, 2012.

I remember when Titanic first hit home media formats.  People were wondering if it would sell well.  As one critic pointed out at the time, when movies get too long, people can't pop them in the VCR to kill a few hours.  You've got to start setting aside a whole day to watch them.  Which was my original attitude going into the 4+ hours of the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  But then I remembered what Peter Jackson said when he made these extended editions.  The beauty of home media is you can pause it, go about your business, and come back to it later.

So I decided to split up The Return of the King over two days.  Watched part 1 (aka the first disc) on Saturday night, and part 2 (the second disc) on Sunday afternoon.  Probably the best way to do it.

Like with the other two in the trilogy, I won't recap the plot.  If you read this blog, odds are you've already seen it and remember it for yourself.  Besides, with so many kingdoms and soldiers and everything having fancy titles and names in both English and Elvish, I find I get confused a lot.  So I just kick back and focus on the large, epic battles.

But of course, this being the extended editions, my eyes were looking for the new scenes that were added.  Of course, early in the film we get the most famous deleted scene, the final confrontation with the evil wizard Saruman.  I don't know why they had to cut this out...I'm sure there were folks in the theatrical editions who would have seen it, and with some trimming in other areas, it would have been a fine addition to the theatrical version.

As always, it's the little character moments that they added that I noticed.  When Pippin offers his service to Denethor for the death of Boromir, he's presented with some armor to wear.  Added in was a nice little moment between Pippin and Faramir where Faramir reveals that it was his armor when he was a child.  It's a nice little scene that forms a friendship between them.  And later in the film, when Pippin is fighting to save Faramir from being burned alive by an insane Denethor, you see that Pippin is fighting to save his new friend.

Man...Denethor is just bat-shit crazy, isn't he?  Mad with power, mad with hopelessness.  When the forces of Mordor first start attacking Gondor, he starts loosing his shit and telling everyone to run for their lives and they're all doomed...dude was just crazy, man. 

Another scene that was re-incorporated was when the forces of good launch their assault on the Black Gate to distract Sauron and give Frodo and Sam a fighting chance.  In the theatrical version, the gate opens and Sauron's armies come and they just start fighting.  In this extended edition, "The Mouth of Sauron" comes out first and they negotiate a bit.  I only remember a big deal being made out of this scene because I was still reading ToyFare magazine, and when they made an action figure of the Mouth of Sauron, they were all, "OH MY GOD!  A character from the extended editions made it to action figure form!"

And there was more stuff with the undead army.  Love that undead army. 

And it was good to see my favourite parts again.  I still think Minas Tirith is one of the most amazing castles put to the big screen.  And I still enjoy it when Eowyn slays the lead Nazgul.

Nazgul>>  No man can slay me!

(Eowyn removes her helmet, revealing she's a woman.)

Eowyn>>  I am no man!

Such a cheesy action movie line and moment, but it works. 

I'm glad they didn't add more endings, though, for this extended edition.  The ending still extends way too long. 

But other than that, still a good flick.

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