I was lucky enough to see the Extended Cut last night in Seattle, thanks to Moviefone. My experience is almost a carbon copy of Miami MOFO s, just on the opposite coast. I had to drive 3 and 1/2 hours from Portland to Seattle…but it was very worth it!

The theater was an amazing experience-no flicker, absolutely AMAZING sound. Everyone should get the joy of seeing it that way.

But it was the movie itself that I really, really loved.

I have loved the books for decades. And I was one of the crazy ones who saw a midnight showing of FOTR last December so that I could be one of the first. I think Peter Jackson has given us an incredible gift. As my brother said last night (he came with me) – It’s amazing to get a great technical director AND someone who loves the books. And he’s right. The original cut of FOTR was a great, great movie.

But this is so much better.

My main complaints with FOTR were fairly minor. They obviously emphasized the action over the depth of story telling in what they put on screen. It was all well done, but it made the first cut seem so breathless and intense. And, I didn t like Lorien-too short, and Galadriel in my mind should have been obviously good but offering a test to the Fellowship, not possibly bad who might be tempting the Fellowship.

Those two areas have been so vastly improved by the extended cut. It’s not just the extra stuff – it s how the extra stuff slows down the pace, gives room to breathe, and adds so much more meaning to the action stuff. You understand more deeply why they’re risking their lives to destroy this ring. You realize what’s at stake. You have time to laugh, and breathe, and know the characters.

And Lorien – it’s heaven. Galadriel now feels right. There’s now a reason for the Fellowship to be there.

I’m glad the first version my daughters will see (in a few more years) will be this extended edition. And if you haven’t seen it, make sure you get the new version and watch it as soon as possible. You will love it!