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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

FOTR 'Directors Cut' (aka EE) - sublime

Posted on 2011.06.15 at 16:58
Dear friends,

I just wanted to say I drove the 165 miles to Minneapolis yesterday (that's 165 miles each way, folks) to see the new remastered print of the EE of FOTR. It was sublime. The quality of of the print, even the sound, was better than ever, truly exceptional. The audience in the big theatre was small (150?) but appreciative in a quiet, keenly attentive way. Not to mention there were no hassles finding a good seat. Just my kind of viewing experience.

I can't wait to drive down there again next week, and the next (for TTT and ROTK), in spite of the distance and high gas bill. Luckily I have a friend who is putting me up each Tuesday night of the films. She lives 60 miles on the other side of Minneapolis, making the return drive that much longer the next day, but I think I'd crash the car if I had to drive all the way home afterwards. Im not young. :)

The other nice thing about seeing the film at this screening is that the audience was there to see the movie, not party. The two trilogy screenings I've been to (never again) have been more like large-scale TV parties at a frat house. Not what I want to drive 165 miles each way to experience. The theatre I went to was the one to which I drove to see the EE's of FOTR and TTT, and the opening of ROTK (on Dec. 18, 2003 -- can it have been that long ago???).

Check your areas to see if there is a screening a reasonable distance away from you, if you missed FOTR. These prints are worth it. FOTR was absolutely beautiful, and the quality of the second and third films is supposed to be even better (because the filmmakers could spend more money making them, not because FOTR was a lesser film).



jan_u_wine at 2011-06-15 22:41 (UTC) (Link)
any movie that has the power to still make me cry after over a 100 viewings is....

well, there IS only one. The One Movie:


And doubly beautiful in its re*Mastered* version.

mechtild at 2011-06-15 22:44 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha! Re - "Mastered". Yes, beautifully Master-ed Baggins!

I wept during the opening titles, for heaven's sake. They were so beautiful!
rakshi at 2011-06-15 22:42 (UTC) (Link)
Cathy and I were there with our hearts on our sleeves... and, like you, we were not disappointed. It looked amazingly good and you're right.. even the SOUND was vastly improved. It was SUCH a treat. Can't wait for next week. We have tickets to all three showings.


mechtild at 2011-06-15 22:46 (UTC) (Link)
I've got my tickets for the following weeks, too. Yay!

So it wasn't just my imagination on the sound: I caught bits of dialogue I'd never caught before. I knew from the context and script what was being said, but I hadn't actually heard it before, not clearly. This time I did. And believe me, my hearing has not improved since the films came out. :)

Edited at 2011-06-15 10:47 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2011-06-16 00:08 (UTC) (Link)
You'd have loved it, Mews. :)
shirebound at 2011-06-16 00:37 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy you enjoyed the experience and was part of an appreciative audience. *beams*

Edited at 2011-06-16 12:37 am (UTC)
mechtild at 2011-06-16 00:44 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Shirebound! It truly was a joy.
mariole at 2011-06-16 01:16 (UTC) (Link)
FOTR is my favorite of the 3 movies. I'm sorry I had to miss it-- still recovering from a cold and I crashed hard yesterday after work. Still, it's lovely to hear your experience. Happy viewing!
mechtild at 2011-06-16 01:25 (UTC) (Link)
[Dang, sorry to keep editing this. I need to hit the hay!]

Poor schnookums! Gosh, I hate having a cold.

You would have enjoyed it, Mariole. You know what was cool to see? Even though it was a school night -- and a loooooong movie -- there were a few parents who brought their young children to see FOTR. These would be viewers who had never seen the films in a theatre, even if they'd seen them on their TV's at home. It made me happy. How great to get this chance to see it on The Big Screen, the way it's supposed to be seen. :)

Edited at 2011-06-16 01:28 am (UTC)
julchen11 at 2011-06-16 01:47 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you had a wonderful night, I wish I could have been there, too *sigh*
I don't know how many times I've seen the FOTR, as soon as the music begins I can't hold back the tears, it's just too beautiful.
mechtild at 2011-06-16 02:46 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha! You cry over the music? Me, too. And I go all open-mouthed with suspense and awe as soon as I just hear Galadriel's opening voice over, the screen simply dark. It's so wonderful!
primula_baggins at 2011-06-16 01:54 (UTC) (Link)
I practically bump into a theater showing LOTR with every turn around here. It was "hmmm, which one should I go to?" lol. I know, disgusting. :)

I opted for the one closest to me, but I'm going to a different theater next time. The sound was dreadful at this theater. I have to agree that the high definition picture was amazing. I never noticed so many little details before. In some parts it was like I was seeing it for the first time.

I'm glad you got to see it, Mechtild.
mechtild at 2011-06-16 02:50 (UTC) (Link)
I never noticed so many little details before. In some parts it was like I was seeing it for the first time.

That is so! I hope the next theatre you try has a good sound system. The one I went to has a very good one, which I already knew from seeing ROTK. I figured their sound system, if it had been replaced since then, would be better, not worse. The sound is so important, and the quality of the sound in the new transfer is just excellent. Maybe you could check online for user reviews of the theatres you are considering, in case the sound system is mentioned as either good or poor?

not_alone at 2011-06-16 15:10 (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy to hear it was such a great experience for you. And not a little envious - I don't think there's much chance of the EE's being shown over here:(
mechtild at 2011-06-16 22:19 (UTC) (Link)
This three-week showing of the EE's is only happening in the US? I didn't know that. That's too bad, Paulie. I think this will be the first time the EE of ROTK will have been shown in theatres. :(
pearlette at 2011-06-16 15:58 (UTC) (Link)
My own passion for the films has long faded, probably because I saw them all soooooooo many times. And the things that irritated me back in 2003 irritate me even more in 2011. So much that PJ did fantastically well, some things that grate on my nerves so badly ...

However, I remember that passion with great fondness. I will always be grateful to PJ for many things, not least for proving such an amazingly immersive cinematic experience ... there is simply nothing else to touch this, nor will there ever be. My favourite book made into an amazingly successful film franchise that still enchants people and keeps them spellbound ... what an achievement! So I'm delighted that the Trilogy still gets a response like this from folk.

Not sure I particularly want to see the films again on the big screen ... but I'd sure like to see the Blue Ray versions. ;) Happily, some friends of mine have 'em.

I saw all three screenings at the Royal Albert Hall with the orchestra playing Howard Shore's score. It was that glorious MUSIC that made the experience so special, and the rapturous response from the audiences at the end of each performance.

I was most moved by FotR. I teared up when the young soprano sang 'Aniron' ... it was just sooo beautiful, as if I were really hearing Elves! I also adore the Moria music. Just ADORE it. And hearing that live ...!

FotR remains my favourite, still, after all these years. RotK is amazing but kinda hectic ... TTT is unwatchable after they Osgiliate. :p

Glad you had such a good time!
pearlette at 2011-06-16 18:32 (UTC) (Link)
I forgot to say that driving 165 miles constitutes a major expedition in the UK. :p. As in, if I were driving 165 miles to anywhere, that would be a weekend outing. :p. I'm glad your friend can put you up! :)
antane at 2011-06-16 17:57 (UTC) (Link)
Now that's dedication to drive so far! I suppose nothing more than flying 800 miles like I did last year to see ROTK at Wolf Trap with my sister and her lovely clan. I got my tickets a month ago assuming it would be sold out but the theatre was only half full which surprised me. I went alone too but parents and other sister will be coming with me to Ravinia in August - have you decided whether you are coming or not? yet? The music was louder in parts, but beyond that I really didn't notice a difference. Scary that it's been almost 10 years!! since I saw it in the theatre for the first and only time, having no idea how profoundly it would come to affect me. Looking forward to TTT and especially ROTK. Seriously overslept Wednesday after FOTR, imagine how late it will be after ROTK and it can't be any later since I have somewhere I must be. Listened to some of the soundtrack in the car before seeing it. Luckily the theatre is quite close by. I've missed your posts and glad to see another at last.

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)
mechtild at 2011-06-16 21:30 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you got to see FOTR at a reasonable distance. Woo hoo! The films are playing at about four theatres in Minnesota, but they're all in the Twin Cities, alas. I don't think promoters figure there are enough people who'd want to see them again up here; they're probably right, although the three films played the multiplexes here each time for months.

I'll be skipping the Ravinia concert-to-film, Antane. I had decided that the price of the hotels and food and price of driving was such a lot, and I just didn't feel confident about seeing it in a pavillion with access to the outdoors like that. So I was going to forego seeing it. But now the performance is being offered in CA this fall. That changes everything. I'd been planning to go see jan-u-wine again since I met and stayed with her three years ago, to see Ian McKellen in King Lear. When she told me they were going to be doing the concert-to-film version of FOTR in Los Angeles, and did I want to come see it with her, staying with her for the event, I thought about it for about fifteen minutes, figuring out the finances, madly checking air fares on Yahoo Travel, and said, yes!
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2011-06-16 19:32 (UTC) (Link)
Hello, Mechling! I'm glad you had a wonderful reunion with the Fellowship. I ordered my Blue-Ray EEs yesterday.

The last time I saw the films was, in October of, last year. 'Nothin´like a meal when you´re hungry' :)

Take care Lass.


mechtild at 2011-06-16 21:33 (UTC) (Link)
I have my Blu-ray's on order, too, Este. Heck, I even said O.K. to finally buying a Blu-ray player, a new, big flat panel high definition TV, and a sound system, just because I wanted to watch the new DVD's in their full glory. I can't wait. But there's nothing like seeing epic films in an epic-suitable venue - a good theatre with a big, quality screen and sound system. :)
Jo Ann
yeuxdebleu at 2011-06-17 01:21 (UTC) (Link)
How wonderful that you're getting to see these new versions. I can believe that the experience is amazing.

Unfortunately, living the boonies of New Hampshire, events like that just don't happen anywhere near me....not even 165 miles away. :'(
mechtild at 2011-06-17 02:15 (UTC) (Link)
You know, I thought of you, Yeuxdebleu, when I was driving to the Cities. I was wondering if the films were showing in your state at all. I knew you lived in the boonies, loving the scenery but pining for a fast internet connection. Going by FOTR, they really are beautiful prints of the films. But if you get the Blu-ray discs you may get to see some of the clarity we're seeing. That is, if you've got all the home theatre stuff to make use of it. We didn't, but I dug into savings to upgrade our electronics JUST TO WATCH THE EE's, in Blu-ray. Pathetic.

I thought I'd be sick of the films by now. In fact I rarely watch them, partly because I don't feel the same need, but also so I won't be sick of them. As I sat in the theatre Tuesday evening waiting for the movie to start, tired from the trip and getting there way too early, I was thinking, "I'm not going to bother to drive down next week for TTT." But after the film started, it was so beautiful I could no longer entertain the idea of missing all my favourite parts of TTT on the big screen with such abundance of depth and detail. Ha ha on me!
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2011-06-17 04:57 (UTC) (Link)
Have you leaned anymore about what the digital remastering means? I know one thing it means is that Fran's ringwraith screams are amplified to a high level of terrifying.

I wonder if with the visuals they just focused on clarifying certain things within the frame or the whole frame. I'm wondering if text over all seemed to be more bolded because I focused on those details, or if they really did just zero in on clarifying those particular details.
mechtild at 2011-06-17 07:05 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, there you go: what actually is digital remastering? It would be helpful to know what the editor technicians actually do, other than sharpening the images where possible.

I thought the screams were pretty deafening, yes. Someone remarking on the screening at TORN mentioned how unbearably loud they found a lot of the sound effects (like in the battle scenes) in FOTR, although they loved being able to hear so much more of the dialogue. So you ask a good quesiton: like the sharpening or highlighting of aspects of the visual material -- or so it seems -- in the audio material, is it a matter of accentuating/making more distinct certain things, or is it a sharpening/accentuating of everything on the audio track? I will say that online geek reviews had nothing but excellent things to say about the sound of the remastered films, whereas there were a few criticisms of the visual work.

Edited at 2011-06-17 07:06 am (UTC)
aliensouldream at 2011-06-25 20:48 (UTC) (Link)
That sounds amazing! Just seeing the EE editions in their full perfect glory on the big screen would be great but it sounds like the quality is even better (don't know how that's even possible). I'm happy you got to see these but please drive careful *hugs*
mechtild at 2011-06-25 23:11 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, there, Aliensouldream! Do you live anywhere near a showing of the EE "director's cut"? There's still time. ROTK will be Tuesday. I can't wait.
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