Friday, 8 April 2011

11 Hours of Geekdom and an Imminent Return Home

This week, as a way of relaxing/procrastinating in between uni work, i watched the entire Lord of the Rings series, the extended editions. That's 208 minutes worth of Fellowship, 223 minutes of The Two Towers and a truly epic 251 minutes for Return of the King, coming to a total if my maths is right of more than 11 and a half hours of film.

Some of you might not agree but i don't consider that time wasted, primarily because the Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of my favourite series of films ever. The books are classics in their own right, but Jackson manages to capture the world Tolkein imagined so perfectly and his love for the original texts is so apparent throughout that i find the films to be at the very least the equal of the books, if not perhaps improvements on them.

I'd never watched the extended editions before so excuse me while i geek out a little over them. They really do add depth to the films and actually includes several elements of the books that i was slightly sad to see left out in the theatrical versions. Faramir and Eowyn meeting, the 'Mouth of Sauron', The Witch King breaking Gandalf's staff; all these moments and many more make it into the extended editions as well as a number of enjoyable scenes which add depth to the various characters, many of whose importance is undermined in the original films by a lack of screen time. The battle scenes in the third film are also extended, helping to show that the men of Gondor did put up a proper fight rather than just being over whelmed.

Sadly one of my favourite sections of the third book, the 'scouring of the Shire' where the Hobbits return home from their quest to find evil men under Saruman's command have taken over the Shire and the hobbits have to drive them out, still doesn't make it into the film even in this extended edition although to be fair to do the section justice would have required a good 20 or 30 minutes more being added to an already almost too long film.

To sit through the extended editions isn't for the light hearted but for those like me who really enjoy the films i'd definitely advise it.

In other, less geeky news, i get to go home in 2 days. I can't wait to return to Sheffield; i like Leicester and it is even beginning to feel a little like home, but i can't see it ever comparing to Sheffield. The Steel City will always be my home and i've not found a city so far in my life i'd rather live in.

I love how hilly it is and by extension the views that they make possible. From my house on the side of one of the many valleys that make up the city i can look out and see a huge chunk of the city as well as huge stretches of countryside. Within 5 minutes walk from my house there's a hill top from which you can look out over the entire city centre. Yet within 5 minutes walk in the opposite direction i can be out in the countryside, walking through fields and woodland paths. The city itself is incredibly green with a whole host of parks and gardens that make it, especially in the summer, a lovely place to walk around.

So yeah, i'm excited to go home, but there's a night out tonight to be had that should be great as well.

All in all i'm in a good mood and so the song i'm choosing to finish this blog is one that always makes me smile, partly just because of how damn cute Zooey Deschanel is.

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