Seeing an extra 50 minutes or so of footage added to the already impressive 3 hour movie gave me at least one good reason why I could never be a movie director. If I was ever working on telling a story I cared about, I’d simply fall too in love with the material and refuse to cut anything for the philistine excuse of time. I spent almost a fourth of my entire waking day watching a single movie and was hungering for another 3 or 4 hours to go along with it. I could’ve happily sat through an additional 45 minutes of just Tom Bombadil and not noticed even a second go by. I’d imagine if I were in Jackson’s shoes I’d be threatening the studio with an open gas can poised above my head in one hand and some matches in the other if they tried to get me to cut even just the stuff Jackson did for the theatrical release.

The scenes that made it into the extended cut were about what one would expect: short on action, long on exposition and character building. Which is to say, just what the movie really needed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a wonderful film at 3 hours, but the scenes such as the one at the beginning that quotes lengthily from Tolkien’s original ethnography of hobbits, the extended scenes in Lothlorien and Rivendell, all of these bring the audience into understanding the minds and passions of the characters more deeply, which allows the action sequences to resonate that much more greatly.

And remember, movie piracy makes baby Jeebus cry.

last update : 23-5-2018

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