So, as I mentioned, Morbo and I watched the extended edition of Return of the King. I think it’s my least favourite of the trilogy, but that has to do with Tolkein as much as it does Peter Jackson, I’m sure. Seeing it the second time a few weeks ago definitely didn’t have the same impact as seeing it the first time in the theater. I actually got pretty tired of most of the main characters. I was tired of Frodo and Sam and Aragorn doing the same thing all through the movie. The most interesting character work in King was in and around Faramir’s father, the rest of it, for the most part, seemed same old same old. Even for movies I don’t like, I don’t usually say that they’re too long. If it’s a good film, I don’t mind it going on for 4 hours. But I will say it about Return of the King and here’s why: too much slow motion. I wonder just how much time would be shaved off the film if all the slow mo scenes were done at real time, or go mo as I like to call it.
Specifically, for the extended edition, there was some stuff I liked and some stuff I didn’t like. Gimli and dwarfs in general were made fun some more, which is lame. There was a new character called the Mouth of Sauron which I thought was great – he was played by that guy in Road Warrior who flew the gyrocopter (he’s apparently going to be in Revenge of the Sith, too). The scene where Saruman gets impaled I found extremely silly, as was the tidal wave of skulls in the…grotto of the dead. Gandalf’s confrontation with the Witch King was interesting and I think it would have been fine to keep it in the theatrical cut.
One of the best (and coolest) foes in the entire story are the ring wraiths, I don’t know why they had to kick the Witch King up a notch from what he looked like in the Fellowship – I liked him better without the funky helmet and giant flail. It just seems they went over the top in King, I guess that’s what you get when Peter Jackson is at the helm. But it’s still a cool movie. It’s very pretty, the fight scenes are dynamic and interesting despite the fact that they go on and on and involve so many combatants, and Andy Serkis’ work as Gollum is no less amazing than in Two Towers.
The extras are pretty fantastic. We didn’t have time to listen to the audio commentaries, but we watched a lot of the documentaries and I would say that as a selling point for the extended edition they exceed the deleted scenes. I’m just amazed at how much detail and craftsmanship they put into the props on that movie – things that you would never notice or even have the opporunity to see in the film. And to hear the actors and crew telling their stories and saying their goodbyes on set was just as emotional as any musically-enhanced, slow motion drama scene.