Well, I am happy to report that FOTR, the extended version is the ONLY version I will ever watch again! It was pretty much everything I hoped for and more. With the original version my primary criticism was that it cut way too much out of the Shire and Lothlorien…..both of those issues are now are taken care of…..wonderfully!

The other important difference is character depth……Boromir especially, but also just about everyone else had more depth…….the hobbits, Gandalf, Aragorn, Arwen, Galadriel, Gimili, Legolas……it was great to see those interrelationships between characters come to life!

On the technical side, I would say that the sound has been greatly enhanced and the digital transfer was very clean. I noticed much more surround effect and and the dialog was clearer. The Mines of Moria, the Balrog and the drums of Moria were all noticeably more tense. The sound of the Moria drums actually made my chest rattle and feel heavy…..it was really cool! Hopefully this comes through on my DVD surround system at home!

There was also some great additional fighting footage which was excellent! It really made the scenes flow better and less confusing. The sequence of events in each fight scene is much clearer. The fighting also made it clear that our hobbits are a little tougher than what they appeared to be in the original! Wow! The fight scene at Amon Hen is extended beautifully and we see some great extended action of Legolas’s bow work, Gimli’s Axe and Boromir’s courageous stand.

I could go on and on but then I would be giving too much away…….suffice to say that it was an extraordinary evening and makes me even more enthusiastic to see The Two Towers………this time I think Peter will get pretty much all he wants with no constraints from the studio.

41 days to go! I can’t wait! There is a Santa Claus and his name is Peter Jackson!