Last night I had the privilege and LUCK to see the Extended Version of Fellowship. I haven’t had such an adrenaline rush since I saw it all those months ago for the first time!
While the cut we all saw for six months in the theatres (I saw it at a theatre in Cleveland in late JUNE) was great and can stand by itself, the scenes that Peter and New Line have put back in only make it better. Often you can understand why scenes were taken out, but here I don’t know why any of these were cut.
The movie is funnier, first off. There are times when we missed lines because we were laughing so hard! From “Concerning Hobbits” (the new introduction right after Galadriel’s narration) to scenes outside of Moira to scenes in Lothlorien, even when things are sad you get a glimmer of the humor that gives you hope Middle Earth will be saved. Some of the jokes are at Pippin’s expense, but a fair number come at Aragorn and Gimli’s.
The characters are also much more rounded and fuller. The hobbits are much more mischievous, the elves more elegant (Elrond is still the holier-than-all-thou-mortals-and-you-can’t-have-my-daughter-until-you-claim-your-throne-you-greasy-ranger” that we have all come to love) especially Galadriel and Celeborn, and even Boromir is more understandable. There is one part that makes his death scene later even MORE poignant.
As for more violence, I think it is offset by the peace and fun you also get added back in. Yes, the Mines have more killing, and, yes, the final battle has more death, but then there are the scenes in the Shire, especially at the Green Dragon. There is also the gift giving scene, that was sweet without making you sick.
I would highly recommend this to any fan of LOTR. It may not be on the big screen, but it will not matter.