Sunday, December 07, 2003

That's What I'm Tolkien About!

As I expected, my copy of the extended edition DVD of The Two Towers was waiting in my mailbox when I got back from vacation, but I only managed to find the time to watch it last night. As with the first movie, this one included a lot of extra footage, enough so that it was almost like watching an entirely different movie. And, again, as with the first movie, I can understand why most of these particular scenes were (reluctantly) cut. There's some great bits of character interaction (mainly between Merry & Pippin and between Aragorn & Eowyn, though there's some great comic relief from Gimli, too) and a few things that make the plot transitions a little smoother (like a short scene of Rohirrim soldiers finding the wounded Theodred on a battlefield), but for the most part none of it is anything that would have had a huge impact on the movie as a whole. There is one major exception, though: the much-talked-about flashback scene featuring Faramir and Boromir. Having that scene in the movie completely changes one's perception of Faramir, making him a much more sympathetic character and putting an entirely different spin on some of his dialog. Given the understandable accusations from Tolkien fans that the film effectively committed character assassination on Faramir, I do think it was a major mistake to have cut it. (Although, I have to say, I still don't really understand why he changes his mind when he does, unless he was just that moved by Sam's stirring oratory.)

Anyway, to what I am sure will be no one's surprise, I enjoyed the extended version highly and definitely recommend it. And I'm now very psyched for Return of the King, not that I haven't been for, oh, about the past year.

On that note, for those who haven't see it yet, I thought I'd pass along this list which Tamara forwarded to the Phoenix mailing list recently, and which gave me quite a chuckle. I'm not sure what the original attribution is, though, or I'd include it. Oh, and for those who haven't read the books, I suppose I should mention that it does contain spoilers.

What NOT to do at Return of the King:

1. Stand up halfway through the movie and yell loudly, "Wait... where the hell is Harry Potter?"

2. Block the entrance to the theater while screaming: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" - After the movie, say "Lucas could have done it better."

3. Play a drinking game where you have to take a sip every time someone says: "The Ring."

4. Point and laugh whenever someone dies.

5. Ask everyone around you if they think Gandalf went to Hogwarts.

6. Finish off every one of Elrond's lines with "Mr. Anderson."

7. When Aragorn is crowned king, stand up and at the top of your lungs sing, "And I did it.... MY way...!"

8. Talk like Gollum all through the movie. At the end, bite off someone's finger and fall down the stairs.

9. Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep" Monty Python style.

10. When Denethor lights the fire, shout "Barbecue!"

11. In TTT when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout "RUN FOREST, RUN!"

12. Every time someone kills an Orc, yell: "That's what I'm Tolkien about!" See how long it takes before you get kicked out of the theatre.

13. During a wide shot of a battle, inquire, "Where's Waldo?"

14. Talk loudly about how you heard that there is a single frame of a nude Elf hidden somewhere in the movie.

15. Start an Orc sing-a-long.

16. Come to the premiere dressed as Frankenfurter and wander around looking terribly confused.

17. When they go in the paths of the dead, wait for tense moment and shout, "I see dead people!"

18. Imitate what you think a conversation between Gollum, Dobby and Yoda would be like.

19. Release a jar of daddy-long-legs into the theater during the Shelob scene.

20. Wonder out loud if Aragorn is going to run for governor of California.

21. When Shelob comes on, exclaim, "Man! Charlotte's really let herself go!"

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