Tonight was a very good night. A few months back I received an email from New Line Cinema that said they were rereleasing the director’s cut of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in theaters. The catch was that over the course of three weeks, they would show each movie only once. Tonight was The Fellowship of the Ring.
I am a huge fan of the LOTR films and especially love the extended editions, so much so that I passed up a free copy of the theatrical releases on Blu-ray. The added scenes really fill out the story and to those who complain about the added length, you can complain to the packed house of fans that watched the movie with me tonight.
The movie started at 7pm as it was scheduled without any previews. Peter Jackson came on the screen and explained how they cleaned up the movie for Blu-ray and how we were some of the first to see this version of the extended edition. He made sure to mention that he was glad we were able to see it on the big screen as it was intended and I couldn’t agree more. I love my 61” TV and being able to pause the movie, but there is something about sitting in a theater with a huge screen and a killer sound system.
I couldn’t image that the movie needed that much cleaning up but at the same time the resolution on Blu-ray is so much higher than for DVD that they must have done some work on the film. It looked truly amazing. The scenery and the sets are just fantastic! The costumes are great and certain scenes looked super crisp. The fireworks scene was pure eye candy!
The sound on this movie was mind blowing! There are a lot of screeches in the film with all the orcs and the nazgul, and at times it felt like my head was going to explode! The sword fights sounded great and the whispers sounded perfect. I know the go to movie for sound quality is Saving Private Ryan, and I would put this right up there with it.
The audience was also great. Being comprised of hardcore fans, they were the perfect audience. No on talked during the movie, no one’s cellphone rang, and people ducked their heads when they got up to use the bathroom. They laughed at the right moments and they even applauded five or six times during the film.
I went with a friend who had only seen the theatrical version once and he wasn’t a big fan. After the movie he told me how much more he enjoyed this version and how it made a lot more sense to him with all of the additional scenes. We are going to see The Two Towers in a week and I’m sure he’s going to enjoy that as well. Everyone needs four hours of Smeagol once in a while.
Overall I had a really fun time at the movies and I hope that in the future there will be more of these types of screenings. It’s a great experience to see a movie the way the director intended you to as well as with an audience full of fans.