I think all us geeks know what the new scenes are, so I won’t bother to list them all. The confrontation between Gandalf and the WiKi is spectacular, and I can’t think of any good reason why it didn’t make the first cut. The Mouth of Sauron (he doesn’t actually call himself that) is good – not how I would’ve done it, but good.
The additional scenes in the Paths of The Dead…eh. Could’ve lived without them.
There’s much more stomping by rampaging mumakil. More buildup to “Grond…Grond…”.
There are many existing scenes with additional dialog – between Merry & Aragorn as Pippin leaves Edoras; between Eowyn & Eomer at the encampment; more from Denethor, etc. Merry probably gets the most additional screen time.
I only saw one of the two bonus features disks. I particularly liked the features on Tolkien and language; they play samples of Finnish and Quenya (Aragorn’s coronation song), Welsh & Sindarin to show the similarities; and one on the process of adapting books to screenplay was quite good. I’ve seen so much behind-the-scenes on building miniatures & armor that I’ve reached overload, though, and there’s still more of that.
Murcielago – it’s implied (in the non-EE) when Denethor says “do you think the eyes of the White Tower are blind?”. But I would’ve made it explicit.
One change that PJ made that I never understood (and this is not EE-related): Pippin looks in the palantir and sees the white tree of Gondor. Gandalf interprets this as meaning (correctly) that Sauron plans to attack Minas Tirith, and heads there post-haste to warn them.
In the book, Pippin sees no such thing. He has a nice chat with Sauron, and Sauron sends a winged Nazgul to Isengard to pick up him & the ring. Gandalf leaves for Minas Tirith because its the logical thing to do; not because he has any special knowledge of Sauron’s plans.
Yeah, I got that it was implied, I just thought it would have been more effective to show his face as the visions did their work on him. Such a scene would have also have given more substance to Sauron’s aura of power. It’s a minor quibble on my part, I simply feel it was a missed opportunity.
Unless you’ve read the books, that implication is really lost on people. I think had they done even some exposition around it, they could have made Denethor seem tragic rather than mad. I would have preferred that.
I am special, but it’s mostly that my kids work for a video store. They get to take movies home early.
More interesting things from the appendices: they shot footage of Gimli and Legolas to be used in an epilogue (Gimli is shown working with crystal; I presume he was mounting Galadriel’s hair), but decided against it. Pity.
They also shot Aragorn fighting Sauron at the Black Gate (which jibes with rumors heard during filming) but changed their minds; and through the magic of CGI, replaced Sauron with a troll. I know this is heresy, but I think Aragorn vs Sauron would’ve worked. It would’ve been a perfect bookend to Isildur vs Sauron from the prologue, and better than the toppling eyeball ending.
This series is still flawed for me. They still left out key themes and scenes that I consider core to the work (cloak of many colors interchange, the scouring) and added a lot of dumb hokey stuff (which I primarily attribute to letting your wife write the script: never let husbands and wives do “art” together, always a recipe for Spinal Tap awfulness). I also can’t understand for the life of me why Peter Jackson uses weird made-for-tv slow-mo effects so often: looks totally amatuerish. I didn’t hate the series, but there are just too many cringeworthy bits that cannot be fixed by editing or the addition of new scenes.
Theres another ROTK EE thread somewhere on CS – too lazy to find.
I got my copy Saturday (from deepdiscountdvd, it shipped the 7th)
I liked most of the added scenes and (IIRC) all of the extended scenes.
I’m particularly glad to see the Merry pledging to Theoden (which was 1st shown in the April 2000 internet preview). Speaking of which, it would be nice if they threw in the 20 min demo reel PJ showed to NewLine.
I was pretty after watching “The Passing of an Age” on disk 4.
And there is definitely a “glad it is done but I don’t want this to end” feeling in the docs I’ve watched so far.
I wish they would have stuck the “whatever happend to” stuff in the appendices (after all, that is where JRRT put them)
Apos: I don’t agree with many of PJ’s choices either; some of his choices were difficult, but necessary. Some (Pipping & the palantir; the motivation of the Ents, IMHO) were completely unnecessary. But to my mind there’s a stunning amount of stuff that works beautifully, and much more that works really well. I think i’m 98% happy with the result.
I think it was 6 years ago that the news hit that these films were in the works. It’s hard to believe that now there’s nothing new forthcoming. Talk about End of an Age…
I’ve only watched it through once, but I actually thought it was the weakest of the Extended Editions, in that the new material added the least to the quality of the overall film. The Two Towers was the most improved by its EE, in my opinion, followed closely by Fellowship, and then ROTK as a distant third. That said, ROTK is still my favourite of the three.
I also would have liked to see Denethor being directly corrupted by Sauron. And I know Peter Jackson, in the Appendices, says something about the post-ring destruction part of the film being long enough as it is, but I would have liked to see some extended scenes there; I know I’m in a minority here, but it all felt a bit rushed to me (and still does, since the post-Mt. Doom footage wasn’t touched for the EE).
Just watched this tonight, as well as 1/5 of the appendices. First impressions:
The Death of Saruman was WEAK. Five years I’ve been waiting to see what that famous white-cloaked-body-impaled-on-spike spoiler was all about, and…that was it? How boring. I hope for the 25th Anniversary Edition (which Jackson hinted at in one interview…lol…) they’re able to finally do the Scouring of the Shire. Sure, the cast will have aged and Chris Lee will undoubtedly be dead by then, but perhaps future CGI will be so advanced you literally won’t NEED actors anymore…
WitchKing vs. Gandalf – looked AWESOME, but G-man seemed a little weak. He beat down a Balrog in Moria, but this Dementor-on-Speed smacked him on his ass with just a wave?? And this was the same Nazgul who got punk’d by a scrawny, greasy-haired man with a flaming stick way back on Weathertop? Hmmf.
Extra Gothmog scenes – funny as hell, reminded me of that toxic-waste man from Robocop (which I also watched tonight, funnily enough.) The makeup job was pretty bad, though…no wonder they got cut.
Houses of Healing, pared down to a very short montage = big disappointment. Plus, it screwed up the continuity, unless we’re to believe Eowyn was fully healed several days later and only THEN did Pippin find Merry on the battlefield…
Mouth of Sauron = my favorite addition, so far. I just love Bruce Spence.
Overall, the various extra bits did improve the pacing a bit and added to the “epic” feel, for the most part. I’m disappointed that they didn’t show Denethor’s Palantir (thus explaining his madness), or describe what happened to the rest of the fellowship in the end (which, as shown in the extras, did have footage shot, but wasn’t shown! Why not add it if you’ve got it?) And I’m doubly disappointed that this Unrated Special Edition Director’s Cut didn’t digitally paint out Frodo’s pants to make the Cirith Ungol scene more accurate to the novel.
I was thinking the same thing. The second half of the montage (from when Eowyn wakes up) should’ve come sometime after the aftermath of the battle; seeing both Eowyn and Faramir up and about while Merry’s still lying injured under an oliphaunt* made me think no one except Pippin gave a thought for poor, missing little guy for about a week!
For the most part, however, I enjoyed the additional Merry & Eowyn scenes, since that team-up has always been one of my favorite parts of the story. I was very happy to see that they both got something more to do.
I also liked Faramir’s and Pippin’s conversation, since it gave those two a little better connection too.
And I’m still not clear on how he got there after his and Eowyn’s battle with the Witch King.
I was surprised when, after his additional lines to Gandalf while standing on the funeral pyre, he didn’t pull the palantir out of his robes and hold it up. I really expected him to do it then.
Also agreed. When I got to the first scene in the tower, I murmured, “Another hope dashed…”
Most of the additional scenes I liked best were little things–the above-mentioned Merry & Eowyn, and Faramir & Pippin conversations, Sam’s seeing the star that night in Mordor, the statue of the king’s head with the flower-crown.
I was hoping for a little more at the end making Frodo’s pain after losing the Ring more explicit (a scene of his bad spell on the anniversary of its destruction, for example), to make it more clear why he had to go West.
If you slow it down when Aragorn confronts Sauron through the Palantir, you can see Sauron holding his end of the line so to speak in the iris of the flaming eye, wearing his armour. Which I thought was pretty cool.
I agree about showing Denethor using his Palantir - it would have added a lot more explanantion to his characters descent into madness. I remember having to explain it to my Mum when we saw it in the cinema last December, saying they’ll stick in the EE i’m sure.
Good stuff though. I would have liked the Mouth of Sauron to actually announce who he was like in the book though.