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Star Trek, for the third time, and it was free this time! :P You do get what you pay for...it was a medium-small screen playing what looked like a fullscreen VHS (?!) copy of the film, with a large audience of college students to laugh just a little bit too long and just a little bit too loudly. However, it's still a fun movie. I paid a lot of attention to the music - its editing, the unreleased material, how it all syncs up to the film. I'm looking forward to putting together a complete soundtrack once the DVD comes out.

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the LOTR Extended Editions. I'll take FOTR EE over the Theatrical, but feel that for the other two, most of the added scenes either don't amount to much or just slow down already long films even more despite some of the scenes being actually rather good.

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the LOTR Extended Editions. I'll take FOTR EE over the Theatrical, but feel that for the other two, most of the added scenes either don't amount to much or just slow down already long films even more despite some of the scenes being actually rather good.

I feel that way about all three - actually, I especially feel that way about FOTR. I think it flows a lot better in the theatrical version. As you said, it's not necessarily about the added scenes being bad or even superfluous, but those movies do not need any more minutes added to them.

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the LOTR Extended Editions. I'll take FOTR EE over the Theatrical, but feel that for the other two, most of the added scenes either don't amount to much or just slow down already long films even more despite some of the scenes being actually rather good.

I feel that way about all three - actually, I especially feel that way about FOTR. I think it flows a lot better in the theatrical version. As you said, it's not necessarily about the added scenes being bad or even superfluous, but those movies do not need any more minutes added to them.

I agree, I think all three EEs kill the pacing. They're great to watch in parts, but don't work as a whole movie. And while they mostly do enrich the storytelling, I can think of only a couple of scenes that needed to be in the theatrical (Faramir's flashback to victory at Osgilliath, Saruman's end, and maybe the Mouth of Sauron).

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On the contrary, I would have still enjoyed all three movies even if they were longer. The entire saga of the War of the Ring took about a year in story-time to tell, and covered an enormous span of ground. The movies don't convey that sense of time that well, as they just rush from one video game pitching battle to the next.

So truthfully, if the movies were made even longer, it wouldn't be to add fluff like the Scouring, Tom Bombadil, or any of the other characters they streamlined out of the movies. It would've been to add more action sequences. No thanks.

Yet I say that without having watched any of the EE's in years...because I never make the time to plop down for four hours. Go figure.

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I prefer the EEs as well. The only thing I'd add is the Scouring of the Shire (which would be adding an action sequence, but a really good one), while putting the final confrontation with Saurman at Orthanc at the end of The Two Towers where it belongs. Having the Old Forest and Tom Bombadil cut out of Fellowship really doesn't bother me, it's probably my least favorite part of the book(s) and the movie flows much better without it all.

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Saruman isn't killed in the final confrontation at Orthanc, he's left imprisoned under the guard of the Ents, at least he needs to be if you put the Scouring back in. And that does belong at the end of TTT because that's what that whole part of the book is about- defeating Saruman to eliminate that front of the war so they can concentrate on Sauron and Mordor.

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I prefer the EEs as well. The only thing I'd add is the Scouring of the Shire (which would be adding an action sequence, but a really good one), while putting the final confrontation with Saurman at Orthanc at the end of The Two Towers where it belongs.

I think adding the Scouring of the Shire would be problematic. It would be adding yet another big action scene to an already very long movie, especially at the end of the film which was particularly long winded. By that time, when the Hobbits return to the Shire, the action and battle sequences were over and instead we have epilogue-esque emotional catharsis going on. The Scouring would be overkill and would disrupt the mood.

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You have a point. Then again, it did work in the books. Movies are not books, but dramatic flow is dramatic flow. And seriously, the Scouring is an important point in the concept of the story. But I'm just glad they didn't cut the Grey Havens - the important point in the concept.

the LOTR Extended Editions. I'll take FOTR EE over the Theatrical, but feel that for the other two, most of the added scenes either don't amount to much or just slow down already long films even more despite some of the scenes being actually rather good.

I feel that way about all three - actually, I especially feel that way about FOTR. I think it flows a lot better in the theatrical version. As you said, it's not necessarily about the added scenes being bad or even superfluous, but those movies do not need any more minutes added to them.

Disagreed. FOTR improves considerably, and for TTT the EE is absolutely essential (it flows better, feels more balanced and actually shorter, and Faramir's character makes sense). ROTK is more uneven, it adds some worthwhile moments but also some of the worst (i.e. some of the few really bad) moments in the series.

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the whole Arwen-Aragorn love story was boring in the theatrical, and made even longer in the EE. That killed it for me. I'd take Faramir coming across as a douche over that thank you.

Then again, it did work in the books. Movies are not books, but dramatic flow is dramatic flow. And seriously, the Scouring is an important point in the concept of the story. But I'm just glad they didn't cut the Grey Havens - the important point in the concept.

Problem is, you don't read the book in 4 hours, in one sitting (plus a toilet break or two) unless you are some rabid Potter fan. Another thing is the books don't really have much dramatic flow themselves, or even a sense of urgency for that matter.

Back to the specifics of the EE, ROTK EE suffered from bad scenes, and making it rather repetitive honestly. On top of that the EE doesn't solve the problem (especially to a viewer who isn't familiar with the books) as to why Aragorn doesn't hold on to the Undead Army for just a bit longer and wipe out the whole of Mordor with them. The ideal cuts of these movies exist somewhere in between the theatrical and the extended editions, but given the choice between the two I'm more inclined to choose the theatricals.

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On top of that the EE doesn't solve the problem (especially to a viewer who isn't familiar with the books) as to why Aragorn doesn't hold on to the Undead Army for just a bit longer and wipe out the whole of Mordor with them.

They made a deal. They help Aragorn with the battle, and he sets them free.

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Yes I know. But to someone who hasn't read the book, it can come across as a little silly on Aragorn's part. They are bounded to him by oath, and iirc the agreement was that they will fight. So taking into account the information given in the film itself, whats stopping Aragorn from keeping them by his side for a little while longer? Sauron's army would have no chance, at all.

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Yes I know. But to someone who hasn't read the book, it can come across as a little silly on Aragorn's part. They are bounded to him by oath, and iirc the agreement was that they will fight. So taking into account the information given in the film itself, whats stopping Aragorn from keeping them by his side for a little while longer? Sauron's army would have no chance, at all.

I think the movie even raises that question, by making Gimli grumble that Aragorn so easily dismisses this invincible army. But Aragorn knows that as a King, he is bound to his word. The agreement was to fight, and from the perspective of the ghost army, their fight was over. They defended Gondor, fulfilled their oath, and expected to be set free. They didn't sign on to become an offensive army as well. An offensive gesture is exactly what Aragorn had in mind when he later set out for the Black Gates with an army of (mostly) humans.

Of course an invincible army would overwhelm Mordor and destroy the massive Orc army inside. Aragorn knew that if he commanded that army to such a victory, he'd have thousands of pissed off ghosts to deal with when it was all over, when he finally released them after winning. He averted such a coup by putting his faith in Men and a Hobbit.

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Another thing is the books don't really have much dramatic flow themselves, or even a sense of urgency for that matter.

I agree. I love much of the books, but overall I think the well of ideas is greater than the text itself, which is why I love having the theatricals as a distilled version, whilst the books are, well, the books.

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Yes I know. But to someone who hasn't read the book, it can come across as a little silly on Aragorn's part. They are bounded to him by oath, and iirc the agreement was that they will fight. So taking into account the information given in the film itself, whats stopping Aragorn from keeping them by his side for a little while longer? Sauron's army would have no chance, at all.

I think the movie even raises that question, by making Gimli grumble that Aragorn so easily dismisses this invincible army. But Aragorn knows that as a King, he is bound to his word. The agreement was to fight, and from the perspective of the ghost army, their fight was over. They defended Gondor, fulfilled their oath, and expected to be set free. They didn't sign on to become an offensive army as well. An offensive gesture is exactly what Aragorn had in mind when he later set out for the Black Gates with an army of (mostly) humans.

Of course an invincible army would overwhelm Mordor and destroy the massive Orc army inside. Aragorn knew that if he commanded that army to such a victory, he'd have thousands of pissed off ghosts to deal with when it was all over, when he finally released them after winning. He averted such a coup by putting his faith in Men and a Hobbit.

Don't forget that the Army of the Dead doesn't even go to the Battle of the Pelannor Fields in the book, they just help Aragorn and co. take over the ships before they reach Minas Tirith.

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I look forward to a future LotR Blu-ray release which allows one to pick and SAVE one's own preferred version!

The theatricals are the best, but there are one or two extended bits which I'd feel lost without. Saruman's demise and the Mouth of Sauron springing instantly to mind.

I'd bin the majority of the EE content (like Bilbo's premature ring-in-the-pockets search early in FotR), but there are some added gems I've really grown to love - Merry and Pippin vainly throwing rocks at orcs in FotR for instance...

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Don't forget that the Army of the Dead doesn't even go to the Battle of the Pelannor Fields in the book, they just help Aragorn and co. take over the ships before they reach Minas Tirith.

I must have forgotten that, because it's been way too long since I touched the books. In that regard, the movie already took enough liberties with this invincible army. They fought because they trusted the honor of the King. If he reneged on that, they could just kill him and go back to dwelling in the mountain.

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The theatricals are the best, but there are one or two extended bits which I'd feel lost without. Saruman's demise and the Mouth of Sauron springing instantly to mind.

The Mouth of Sauron bit was something I really missed in the theatrical release, but the ending of the scene is one of the few really bad moments in all three movies.

I'd bin the majority of the EE content (like Bilbo's premature ring-in-the-pockets search early in FotR)

Premature?

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The theatricals are the best, but there are one or two extended bits which I'd feel lost without. Saruman's demise and the Mouth of Sauron springing instantly to mind.

The Mouth of Sauron bit was something I really missed in the theatrical release, but the ending of the scene is one of the few really bad moments in all three movies.

That scene is all Peter Jackson, it's creepy and fun but has a totally different feel than the book. And yes, Aragorn is very out of character at the end there.

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That scene is all Peter Jackson, it's creepy and fun but has a totally different feel than the book. And yes, Aragorn is very out of character at the end there.

It may be all Peter Jackson, but up to the end it's still true to the novel (and I love Bruce Spence's performance). But in the end, Aragorn is not just out of character but out of anything Tolkien would ever have written. It's even worse than Gandalf hitting Denethor on the head, and that was pretty unforgiveable.

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Surrogates:

Enjoyable enough, but I imagine I'll have forgotten it by next week. It had some very strong similarities to MR, but it was worse in just about every aspect.

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the LOTR Extended Editions. I'll take FOTR EE over the Theatrical, but feel that for the other two, most of the added scenes either don't amount to much or just slow down already long films even more despite some of the scenes being actually rather good.

Doesn't Sauruman die at the end of The Return Of The King, when the scouring of the Shire occurs?

Yes, he's killed by Wormtounge. "The final death in the War of the Ring" as Tolkien elegantly puts it.

Not quite. He is killed by Wormtongue, but not at the end of the film. I understand why the film makers probably cut The Scouring Of The Shire out (it wouldn't be all that dramatic), and I am saddened that it was not included, but after you have just seen and heard Aragorn say "my friends, you bow to no man", where on Earth do you go?

Personally, my favourite theratrical version is FOTR, but for extended editions, nothing beats ROTK.

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The Two Towers is the least of the 3 LOTR films, its suffers from being really boring. How many battles can one stand to watch before they don't care.

I too saw Surrogates, but the movie creeped me out. The idea of being perfect is bizarre, and what would you choose to look like if you could change your looks.

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Once Upon a Time in America. Its been a while since I was completely mesmerized by a movie. Some moments stretch believability, but the gorgeous images, the beautiful music and the dreamy flow of the narrative as it drifts in and out of 3 timelines make this quite a fascinating experience.

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Higher Learning. I was really only watching so I could see my precious UCLA, but I inevitably ended up paying attention to the story, too. It was a mess. There's a really great anti-racism message hidden in there, but the film spends so much time showing all the "factions" misbehaving that it ends up feeling more defeatist than anything else. (It's hard to figure out which characters to focus on, too.) All I can say is that I'm glad UCLA isn't really like that in real life - it's effectively dealt with white/black conflicts by largely eliminating non-Asian demographics. :(

And in case that remark somehow gets misconstrued...I have nothing against Asian folks. My last girlfriend was half Filipino and half Chinese, and we had a mostly happy relationship for a year or two.

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Inglorious Bastards. Not a bad movie (quite good acting especially from some of the Bastards; Brad Pitt was awful), but the movie didn't make any sense to me.

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Once Upon a Time in America. Its been a while since I was completely mesmerized by a movie. Some moments stretch believability, but the gorgeous images, the beautiful music and the dreamy flow of the narrative as it drifts in and out of 3 timelines make this quite a fascinating experience.

It really is a superb film. I need to watch it again, but its 4 hour running time is intimidating.

Inglorious Bastards. Not a bad movie (quite good acting especially from some of the Bastards; Brad Pitt was awful), but the movie didn't make any sense to me.

How?

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Once Upon a Time in America. Its been a while since I was completely mesmerized by a movie. Some moments stretch believability, but the gorgeous images, the beautiful music and the dreamy flow of the narrative as it drifts in and out of 3 timelines make this quite a fascinating experience.

It really is a superb film. I need to watch it again, but its 4 hour running time is intimidating.

Intimidating when thinking about it, but not really intimidating when watching it. It's a long movie, but I don't recall it feeling too long.

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Longer movies can feel shorter. I always found that the extended edition of TTT feels shorter than the theatrical release, which strips it down so much that there's not enough character/plot development between the battle shots to keep it going.

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Quantum of Solace.

This movie's awesome! I went in expecting all these bad things and they never showed up. The action scenes are like crack. They're hard to follow, but that's what makes them work. Absolute pandemonium. The movie has a lot of heart: Daniel Craig's wounded James Bond, his relationship with M, with Mathis, with Camille; it was all very well developed. Yeah, Olga Kurylenko doesn't get much screen time, but she doesn't need it. The score is very good, as is the title song. There seems to be a lot of unreleased music, including the most obvious uses of the Bond theme. I guess it's strange that this movie is an immediate sequel to Casino Royale but is directed in a totally different style. Problems? Just a little incoherent. I wasn't clear on Greene's plans. Then again, I missed a few lines of dialogue due to friends talking about German pronouns.

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It's interesting the way people's perception differs like that. I can never get through TTT EE in one sitting myself, but the theatrical version is like a breeze.

I'm convinced that TTT suffered the most from the theatrical running time. FOTR had integral scenes, but still flowed well in the theatrical cut and made sense. ROTK misses some key scenes, but works well without them, and also gets a few ridiculous moments in the longer cut. But TTT flows only moderately well in the theatrical version, and completely messes up Faramir's character.

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It's interesting the way people's perception differs like that. I can never get through TTT EE in one sitting myself, but the theatrical version is like a breeze.

I'm convinced that TTT suffered the most from the theatrical running time. FOTR had integral scenes, but still flowed well in the theatrical cut and made sense. ROTK misses some key scenes, but works well without them, and also gets a few ridiculous moments in the longer cut. But TTT flows only moderately well in the theatrical version, and completely messes up Faramir's character.

I agree there are some essential parts that were unnecessarily cut out, more so than the other films, and I think there's probably a good common ground between the theatrical and the EE.

I wonder if anyone will ever do a chronological cut ala the Godfather saga.

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No Country For Old Men: I liked it a lot. Might be even my favourite film from Coen brothers. Which isn't hard, since I'm not really a fan of theirs. But I have yet to see Fargo. Great pacing and use of silence (no music).

Karol

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Once Upon a Time in America. Its been a while since I was completely mesmerized by a movie. Some moments stretch believability, but the gorgeous images, the beautiful music and the dreamy flow of the narrative as it drifts in and out of 3 timelines make this quite a fascinating experience.

It really is a superb film. I need to watch it again, but its 4 hour running time is intimidating.

Inglorious Bastards. Not a bad movie (quite good acting especially from some of the Bastards; Brad Pitt was awful), but the movie didn't make any sense to me.

How?

I didn't really get why they came up with the idea of an alternate WW history other than to just have an excuse to show slaughtering people without having to feel guilty about it (because they are Nazis).

It wasn't informative, it wasn't exactly funny, however it was shocking at times (but not so much compared to other Tarantino movies). What message did Tarantino want to convey with this fake historic war comedy?

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Inglorious Bastards. Not a bad movie (quite good acting especially from some of the Bastards; Brad Pitt was awful), but the movie didn't make any sense to me.

How?

I didn't really get why they came up with the idea of an alternate WW history other than to just have an excuse to show slaughtering people without having to feel guilty about it (because they are Nazis).

It wasn't informative, it wasn't exactly funny, however it was shocking at times (but not so much compared to other Tarantino movies). What message did Tarantino want to convey with this fake historic war comedy?

It wasn't an excuse, it was just Tarantino. I don't understand what there is to be informed about. Were you expecting to learn something new about WWII?

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