I thought I was done with Middle-Earth. I watched [The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies](tag:512312) twice in the cinema because I knew that this, for certain, would be the last time I spend time in Middle-Earth through the big screen. Well, turns out I was wrong.
[The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey](tag:21016), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and finally The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be getting a limited cinematic re-release this October. Why should you return to watch these films again? Because in true Peter Jackson fashion, the re-releases will be the extended editions of all three films! The event is a lead up to the release of the extended edition of The Battle of Five Armies on Blu-ray and DVD this November.
In the last few years, whenever I've re-watched all the Lord of the Rings movies, its always been the extended editions, and I assume that if you're still reading this then you're cut from the same cloth as I am. The more of Middle-Earth we get, the better! I'd be a fool of a took to watch the theatrical version of Return of the King and miss out on Legolas and Gimli competing over who can consume more alcohol.
Now, if only I could say the same for The Hobbit films. I did not dislike those films like many others did. In fact, I quite enjoyed them at the theatre. This could be due to the fact that I hadn't read the book at the time and thus, did not notice all the alterations and additions to the plot that a lot of people were unhappy with. At the time, I found them enjoyable adventure films. The one thing about The Hobbit films that certainly did disappoint me though, was the extended editions of the first two parts. I watched these at home and must say, the added material really slowed down what were already relatively slow films and none of it was particularly memorable or engaging. So, for the stated reasons I will definitely pass on re-watching those two extended editions on the big screen.
The one I definitely will consider watching however, is The Battle of Five Armies. First of all, this one has half an hour of additional footage, as compared to An Unexpected Journey which had 13 minutes and Desolation of Smaug which had twenty five. The Battle of Five Armies was the shortest of the trilogy which makes the fact that it has the most added duration even more significant. However, how do we know that this added time would be devoted to more Bilbo, Smaug and the overall battle rather than the drama of Thorin? This is where it gets interesting - The Battle of Five Armies has been rated R for its re-release and is the first Peter Jackson Middle-Earth movie to have received said rating. This gives me hope that there might actually be some real meaty substance in that added half hour. It would be great to see if the R rating is indeed due to some additional violent moments during the battle or horrific ones during Smaug's initial assault. And for a chance at that, there's a good chance I'll probably catch this screening!
What about you? Any of the extended editions interest you enough for a trip back or are you done with Middle-Earth and these movies particularly? Sound off in the poll and comments below!
I first heard of this news in an article by Scott Mendelson at Forbes.