Lord of the Rings Extended vs. Theatrical

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Baker, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. NerdKru

    NerdKru Auditioning

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    I have only seen these movies once each, all when i was about 10 years old. then, i found them boring and slow with not enough action. I'm fifteen now and wanted to rewatch them. I bought a friend the EEs for Christmas but couldn't resist watching them once. I did a marathon, all of them in a day.
    It was really hard to concentrate for the whole length. I knew the story but was excited when Helms Deep went on and the Balrog and Gandalf were falling down to wherever they went. I haven't read the book so I don't care for faithfulness.
    FotR was the best. I love Sean Bean and the parts of Moria. I know some bits were added like the concerning hobbits section but it all seemed to be a part of it (except when Aragorn and Elrond are talking at the grave place about him being the king).
    TT was the worst of the three and the middle seemed very slow. I'm not sure if there was some added bits with the Ent but those bits bored me, and I know that it is meant to be like that but I didn't enjoy it. The movie overall could have benefitted from some trimming, but I'm not sure exactly when. Either editing or more plot development, not just character development.
    RotK was very good. I noticed the whole section with Frodo and Sam disguised as Orcs and loved that. The mouth part was good as so was the meeting of the white wizards. The end was perfect and while throughout the movie I felt a bit tired and wanted it to wrap up, once the ring had been destroyed I soaked in every minute of it and started to tear up. It was brilliant. I was a satisfying way to end the trilogy.
    I'm going to buy the trilogy for myself and not bother with the TEs. Considering they don't have the extra stuff I can't imagine it adds to the experience. Does it?
     
  2. Ted Van Duyn

    Ted Van Duyn Stunt Coordinator

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    Extended Cuts. Sure, the theatrical editions may be more appropriate in a film making sense and if that's your cup of tea, knock yourself out. For me, I just want to sit back, relax and have a good time. I can do that without caring too much about pacing or little diversions from the main story.
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I prefer the theatrical editions of all three, they're better films in general and much better editing. That said, the extended FOTR is still better than the theatrical ROTK, I think PJ got more indulgent and became a worse filmmaker as the series went along, in part because of the existence of the prior two EEs.

    Ranking/Rating:

    1. Fellowship of the Ring - 10
    2. Two Towers - 10
    3. Fellowship of the Ring EE - 10
    4. Return of the King - 10
    5. Return of the King EE - 9
    6. Two Towers EE - 8
     
  4. Terry Watson

    Terry Watson Auditioning

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    Extended Editions of all three for me - fleshes out character, story and superior transfer in the case of TFOTR. BTW the Orpheum in Sydney suburb of Cremorne is currently showing the entire trilogy in their extended versions in 35mm today. Began at 10am and should finish around 11.30pm. $20 for all three and they are in the largest auditorium. If not for a postponed family get together that is where I would be now!! The sacrifices we have to make for family at this time of the year! Merry Christmas to all from downunder.
     
  5. kingfish

    kingfish Screenwriter

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    i liked the extended editions. john noble from fringe had more scenes in the movies..
     
  6. Bryan Ri

    Bryan Ri Screenwriter

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    If I'm introducing someone to LOTR for the very first time, it has to be the theatrical cuts. I feel like the editing and pacing is much more crisp and easy to follow. I personally prefer the EE's of Fellowship and Two Towers, while I feel as though the theatrical cut of ROTK is superior to the EE.
     
  7. Virgoan

    Virgoan Second Unit

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    The extended version is the way to go. Jackson captured the true essence of the trilogy in these films, but the theatrical cuts are way too abbreviated for my tastes as I've been a fan of Tolkien's trilogy most of my adult life. Once I saw the extended "Fellowship of the Ring", there was no question in my mind. The theatrical cut of that and "The Two Towers" were donated to a White Elephant sale.
    If the plot intricacies aren't important to you then the theatrical cuts might do you fine. But Jackson did such a masterful job on each of the three films (and the Fangorn Forest sequence in "The Two Towers" is absolutely vital, IMO, to that film, but it's only in the extended version.
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    I personally prefer the theatrical versions, though I have to say that I personally wished the plot had been truncated even more. The more lingering over scenes there is, the more the eye and mind have the chance to wander and find fault. Does anyone else think that for immortal creatures who are so (*&(&*ing serene and perfect, the elves have deplorable taste in interior decoration? Half the wood carvings look like something for a very tacky chapel of rest. And for the umpteenth time, as there is yet another scene of Frodo agonising, Andy Serkis chewing the scenery and Samwise's accent slipping, I start drumming my fingers and wondering about the age old criticism that the whole thing could have been over in a few minutes if the eagles had dropped Frodo and Sam off in Mordor. Before anyone produces a response to that, I can give you firm evidence that this is a gaping plot hole. A good friend of mine (who is somewhat older than me) was a great pal of JRRT (as in all his kids have signed first editions of the LOTR trilogies). My friend once raised the very same question with Tolkein, who admitted privately that it was a huge plot mistake. The other gaping error (which is less commented on) is that after the downfall of Sauron the first time around, Mordor would have been repopulated with humans, dwarves and elves. The idea that an area of land a third of the land mass of Middle Earth would have remained uninhabited except for a few orc hovels is risible.
     
  9. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Tolkien's thoughts on the eagles are a matter of record, and he presents a somewhat plausible explanation regarding their lack of use (in that the Eagles themselves are not beasts of burden, and of course, the whole travel in secrecy thing), but of course it will always be open to debate.
    As for the land of Mordor, why would it have been "repopulated" by elves and men? It had never been inhabited by them in the first place. They constructed watch towers to keep an eye on things, but the land itself was uninhabitable as a barren wasteland. Besides, there was no need to inhabit it, as there was plenty of land in the existing kingdoms to support the population.
     
  10. andrew markworthy

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    Actually, Joe, I was trying to be tongue in cheek (though I promise the remark about the eagle plot hole is accurate). Once you start with the plot inconsistencies in film and book, you can spend all day. For example:
    (1) Why in the film do some of the hobbits have an accent best described as 'Zomerset' (Brit phrase denoting all purpose country yokel from the south of England used by bad actors) whilst others (e.g. Merry and Pippin) have Scottish accents, and others have a general purpose southern metropolitan accent? And yet they are all from the same village. Oh, and some of the accents are *terrible*. This might not hit you unless you are a Brit.
    (2) If Mordor is a barren dump, where did Sauron get all the food to feed his army? I mean really, where did it come from? The logistics just do not work out.
    (3) Shelob is a fierce creature who has been forgotten. Really? So that is why there is an orc encampment right by her lair and the orcs (not exactly the brightest creatures in Middle Earth) know all about her and how to handle her. Think about it - a creature that size would require masses of food to stay alive, That means a lot of people must have used that path regularly for her to be kept fed. So in other words, the path cannot have been all that secret. And if the path were secret, then Shelob would have starved centuries earlier.
    (4) All the races of Middle Earth have their own language plus the Common Tongue. The hobbits only speak in the common tongue. Linguistically, the common tongue is almost always that of the dominant race. But nobody has ever heard of the hobbits when the book begins.
    (5) Which brings us to another point - the various races are curiously uncurious about their surroundings. Each of them sticks to their own 'hood and that is it. So much for them being brave and adventurous.
    (6) The Grey Havens seems to be the equivalent of JFK Airport and Heathrow rolled into one in Middle Earth terms. It's almost right on the borders of Hobbiton, yet the hobbits seem clueless about its existence.
    This is before we get to the fact that by missing out the Scouring of the Shire from the film, Peter Jackson kind of missed a key point of Tolkein's message, which was how an age of heroism and self-reliance was making way for an age of dependence on an organised socialist state. Maybe this is a point not worth making (I can think of arguments for and against, but it would turn into a political argument) but certainly the film distorts the final message of the book. From the toe-curling embarrassment of the scene where Frodo wakes up after destroying the ring, the final section of the film is saccharin rather than bitter-sweet.
     
  11. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I thought about addressing your points one by one, but I'm not really sure where you're going with them at all.
    Most of those points, while maybe not explained in the movie, either had their roots in the book or in Tolkien's statements and writings regarding the book, and if you take the time to think about them or search out the answers that are within the context of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, they actually make sense.
    Instead many of your points include false assumptions, like the hobbits all being from the same village (the Shire itself had 5 regions), or Mordor not having an external source of food (Middle Earth doesn't end at Mordor, and where do you think Southrons and Haradrim who are loyal to Sauron are from?)
    There's also the fact that the various kingdoms and territories have been isolationist for a very long time, and that affects their perceptions of outsiders.
     
  12. Virgoan

    Virgoan Second Unit

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    It's really simple to poke holes in just about every story ever written or filmed. One either likes LOTR or does not. It serves no purpose to suggest it's highly flawed without doing the same for other films one admires. I love the "tacky" interior design of the elves' classically inspired dwellings...a combination of rustic and refinement, IMO.
    And if anyone has ever lived anywhere and talked with folks, it's quite common for neighbors/friends to talk differently...different accents, inflections, etc.
    Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks!
     
  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah, like how many different ways can they pronounce Alderaan in the original Star Wars movie? :D
     
  14. andrew markworthy

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    Virgoan - I totally agree about different strokes and the fact that any work of fiction can be nitpicked. My point was rather more that LOTR, like Star Wars, gets more than its fair share of fanboys who think it's a sacred script beyond criticism. I find it vaguely depressing that whilst people will discuss Tolkein or (God help us) Star Wars or Les Miserables (as in the musical, not Hugo's novel) for page after page, discussions on e.g. fidelity of the movie in an adaptation of Shakespeare will be notable for their brevity or absence. I'm not saying we should have discussions about highbrow works, just that we should get a sense of proportion over these things.
    As for the accents thing - trust me, if you're a Brit, those accents are annoying. First, some of them are inconsistent. Second, within such a small area as Hobbiton and hinterland, you would not get such gaping differences in accents. We're not talking about minor differences in pronouncing the occasional word, but distinct dialects. This is not a petty point - remember that Tolkein was a linguist. The nearest American equivalent I can think of is to imagine if Sam had a hillbilly accent, Frodo a Bronx accent, and Merry and Pippin had Canadian accents - and then we are asked to accept that they all lived in or around the same New England town as their ancestors had done for centuries. Trust me, this stretches credulity for a lot of Brits.
     
  15. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I don't think anything is sacred.
    As for languages, I guess it depends on where you're from. The width of the Shire is somewhere around 120 miles. That's wider than Connecticut, so you've got the Bronx at one end and Rhode Island at the other. Or near the border with our Canadian friends, you've got midwest accents and Canadian accents a hop skip and a jump away from each other.
    Also keep in mind that the hobbits had distinct ancestries, as there were something like 3 sub-species that came from different areas of middle earth, and thus would have developed their own distinct accents of the common language that were retained in local dialect.
    Hobbits didn't ride horses, and a human of average height walks about 20 miles in 8 hours, so it would take a shorter hobbit with a smaller stride around a week, more or less, to traverse from one end of the Shire to another.
    So yeah, compared to what we experience nowadays with our newfangled automocars, public transit and airplanes, those villages of the Shire are pretty darn far apart.
    Now, as to the quality/consistency of the accents portrayed by the actors in the films, I can't really speak to that. But I would assume that's not such an unusual occurrence in film with an actor attempting to perform an accent and not doing such a great job. Now, I did notice the occasional New Zealand or Australian accent peaking through with some of the actors from those countries.
     

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