Now, when it comes to Middle Earth-set movies, the issue of extended editions is a pretty controversial one. Some of us - this writer included - took the original Lord of the Rings movies' extended editions to be the definitive version of the films - a feeling presumably shared by the many cinemas around the world that arrange screenings of them, and the fans that attend.
For some, though, there'll always be a purity to the original cinematic experience that can't be matched by an inevitably slower, meatier extended edition - even one set in the beloved world of Middle Earth.
What, then, should we make of these newly released extended clips from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug?
Well, let's take a look:
Clip #1 - Beorn Talks Gandalf's Ear Off
In which we get to see more Beorn!
More back story!
And, crucially, more Gandalf emoting!
And, of course, there's...
Clip #2 - Thorin Goes Full Aragorn
In which we get to see a whole...
Thorin, and his back story.
Now, the interesting thing about these clips is that they actually pretty perfectly sum up both sides of the debate when it comes to extended editions.
On the one hand, they flesh out parts of the story that the original movie was forced to skip over for the sake of efficiency - which for any halfway-hardcore fans is a great thing.
On the other hand, that same fleshing out adds a whole lot of exposition that was clearly not vital enough to be included in the final cut of the movie - and so can seem a little like watching footnotes.
The most difficult part of it all? Neither side is definitively right...
And I'm still totally going to watch the extended edition of [The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug](movie:512310) when it arrives November 4th, no matter what...
What do you guys think, though? Extended editions: like 'em?