15 June 2011

My FOTR Extended Edition Experience

Since everyone else is doing so, I thought it might be sufficient to write about my experience at the FOTR Extended Edition screening last night. I had pre-purchased tickets for my boyfriend and I at the beginning of the month, assuming that the showings would be sold out as soon as they were announced; many seats had been filled when we arrived, but it never ended up being a full house, nor did the movie ever sell out (to my knowledge). The theater we went to even opened up a second showing in another auditorium, presumably because they, too, thought it would be a huge success. I don’t think this event was properly advertised, which was nice for me, because I hate packed movie theaters, especially during lengthy movies. On the other hand, more moviegoers would have meant a higher likelihood of folks dressing up; I was really glad I opted not to wear my Arwen dress last night, because I would have stood out like a hobbit in Mordor. I did, however, adorn myself in a t-shirt from TheOneRing.net: (Front) "If you haven't read the books, you should know..." (Back) "The pretty Elf man dies!" and I wore my replica One Ring and Barahir. Next week, I plan on wearing the Evenstar and Galadriel's ring, Nenya. I will also don my "ELF" pants which are covered in various LOTR drawings and phrases. It was rainy last night, so I opted not to wear them out of fear of ruining them.

Anyway, on to the movie.

There was a bit of LOTR trivia prior to the showing, combined with background music from the soundtracks, which made for a very warm and Tolkien-esque environment. I was disappointed that the trivia questions were far too simple (Q: What is Bilbo’s last name?), and that there were less than ten different ones. It was still a neat little novelty all the same.

The film began with a video from Weta Workshop, followed by a quick “Hello, and thanks for joining us!” bit from Peter Jackson. It was not much of an introduction - certainly not the one I’d hoped for, but again: it was a nice touch all the same.

I don’t think I need to describe the movie in any great detail; the three and a half hours went by incredibly fast, and about halfway through the movie, it struck me that it had been ten years since The Fellowship of the Ring’s original theatrical release. I could not fathom how quickly so much time had passed. Needless to say, the event quickly turned into a nostalgic experience. It was also interesting to note that the special effects were not affected by the passing of time: ten years later, the Balrog was just as awesome as it had been when I was only eleven years old. Unlike other films whose special effects age over time, The Fellowship of the Ring remained unchanged.

Once the film had concluded, a sincere round of applause filled the auditorium. It was amazing how ten years later, the films still have that effect on moviegoers. I have never heard applause during any films but The Lord of the Rings. My heart soared.

Curious and incredibly hopeful for more goodies, my boyfriend and I stuck around for the credits - an extra half hour of run time. Unfortunately, no such goodies were ever found. We are very hopeful for The Two Towers and The Return of the King, though.

In all, it was a fantastic evening. I am very excited for the next two showings.

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