Boromir: It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.
Gollum: You don’t have any friends; nobody likes you!
Sam: Then let us be rid of it… once and for all!
From one 6-hour movie, I lead you to an 11-hour behemoth. You know it, you love it or hate it, but the thing is an undeniable achievement: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Before I go further, let me start with what some might consider bullshit on my part.
Yes, all three. And yes, the extended editions. “How can all three count as one,” you say? Simple, they were all shot at the same time.
Plus, I believe they are all one big movie, one large story. I suppose you could feasibly watch Fellowship and then stop, but why would you? There would have been riots had TT and ROTK not been released. Counter point, you could watch Star Wars and not really feel cheated if you never got Empire. (It makes sense in my head.)
Also, they are all the same level of greatness in my mind. So, if they were not, in fact, three large parts of a greater whole, then they would still be tied on my list, but would count as three spots instead of just one. Oh, and the extended editions were, indeed, shown in theaters, so screw you if you wanted to point that out as a flaw in my argument.
But why the extended editions? Well…they’re better. I won’t watch the other versions. After watching the extended cut, I really started to love this trilogy. I liked it before, but the extended version is when I realized I was watching a classic. Everything extra is great and adds more character and depth to the overall story. It can’t be “too long” if what you’re getting is greatness.
Looking back at the whole 11-hour journey, it’s not perfect, but it’s awesome, epic action, story, and acting, on the largest of scales and touching upon the greatest of themes.