So Cineworld, my cinema of choice, finds its doors closing once again in the face of a bailing Bond and a human race too arrogant even for self preservation. I thought about sticking to shouting the F word over and over again but I want to be intellectual about it all so: oh drat! Just when it looked like the every men that make up the public crowds that fund the industry could continue taking it all for granted and paying top dollar without ever actually giving a shit like nothing ever sodding happened.
While I’m cynical about most things in life, the magic of the motion picture is not one of them; so who knows? Amidst a hundred and one news outlets wondering if this really is the end of the movie theatre, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic; as a string of new releases bursting onto the scene at the start of next year just might be what holds the power to resuscitate this thing! Jolting everything back to the way life was long before some teeny tiny spec of an organism, that we can’t even see, showed us just what horrors it was capable of.
But enough about Trump’s brain, I think everything is gonna be fine, all we have to do is follow the rules, wear masks, maintain social distancing and use your average common sense to dissipate this virus; we can do that, right…?
Oh my God, we’re FUCKING FUCKED!
The Fellowship Of The Ring
The Two Towers
For me, the theatrical cut of Two Towers is the superior version. This is the middle of the grand tale – its second act; the one that risks the loss of momentum the most in all three-act stories. Yet it has a unique responsibility for more than just riding the coattails of Fellowship’s established plot; and introducing even more characters for what’s to come. It’s a much slower burn than Fellowship, being more in line with a political thriller than an adventure. Much of the story deals with characters disagreeing on the best cause of action when faced with their deadly predicaments, like an army of ten-thousand Uruk-Hai for example, and not always coming to a swift/clean conclusion.
I’m not one to complain about length that much, it seems every movie ever made nowadays is accused of being too long if it dares to be longer than 80 minutes – almost like we’re obsessed with moaning about it because it means having to put our phones away for more than five seconds. And, again I must stress, I’m not criticising Two Towers really; I just think that, when you stand its versions side by side, the shorter of the two has the better rhythm, and the majority of the extra footage – while great in its own right and very much welcome, leaves no mysteries as to why it was cut in the first place. I don’t love Treebeard’s compositions or Merry and Pippin’s extra antics like I do Fellowship’s Beren and Luthien campfire story. But hey, while I’m on the subject of Two Towers, at least I can give mention to that opening scene with Gandalf and the Balrog: HOLY ORC FILTH, what an opener!
Return Of The King
OK, the extended cut is definitely the winner for this one because… well, do I really need to explain why? If you’re interested enough to read this far then you should also know all the obvious points: Resolution for Saruman, Gandalf VS Witch King, the Mouth of Sauron, Frodo and Sam amongst the Orcs, more Gothmog, more Pelannor Fields – these aren’t just extra scenes, they’re full on improvements; necessities even! Sure the army of the dead sequence is now very very VERY long and their arrival at Minas Tirith has less impact (due to us seeing them agree to help the heroes right away), and that extra scene between Merry and Eowyn is a little pointless, but the 4+ hour version of Return of the King remains a gargantuan earthquake of a movie master work.