Monday, August 08, 2005

There and Back Again

We picked up our rented silver Chevy Malibu at the Westland Ave. Avis at 8:00 am on Saturday, made a quick stop at Herrell's on Brighton Ave. for coffee, and then got on the road for Greenwich and a Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon (Extended Edition) at the home of our old college friend Alex and his wife Kris.

Arrived Alex's folks' house at lunchtime with preparations underway for an engagement party for Alex's younger sister. We caravaned over to the train station to pick up Alex's younger brother and his girlfriend and to pick up sandwiches, and then it was over to chez Alex et Kris, where we were joined by more relatives.

We completed Fellowship of the Ring (extended 4-hour DVD edition) at about 5:30 and then broke for the tea interval. Actually, the interval was for the engagement party back at Alex's folks' house. With Alex's sister and her intended properly feted, we returned to el casa de Alex y Kris for The Two Towers and Return of the King. Started Two Towers (extended 4-hour DVD edition) at about 10:30, which meant that Return of the King (extended 4-hour DVD edition) didn't begin until after 3:00 am. By this time, I was done, and went to bed, but Helen stayed up until 6:30 am to see just about all of Return of the King.

The extended editions of the movies really add a lot to the telling of the story. Some of the characters' motivations aren't always so clear in the shorter theatrical releases. For example: Boromir from "Fellowship," who we talked about the most. At the engagement party, Alex's cousin-in-law Mike pointed out that "Fellowship" was really all about Boromir, and this really becomes clear in the extended edition. Then Alex sidled over and reminded us of Boromir's speech at the Council of Elrond about how it was the Men of Gondor who were spilling their blood to defend Middle Earth, and in return all Boromir gets are eye-rolls from Gandalf and suspicion from the Elves. So then at this point, I said--

Wait. Before I come off like this big LOTR expert, I should acknowledge that of the two of us, Helen is really the LOTR fan -- she knows the books backwards and forwards and can really run circles around me when it comes to analysis of the movies. But she wasn't standing near us during this particular conversation, so I was on my own. So I just said that the Elves can really be arrogant bastards at times.

Anyway, back to Boromir: the longer Council of Elrond scene also makes the end of "Fellowship" so much more poignant, when Boromir lays mortally wounded, fearing that his greed for the Ring did get the better of him. Aragorn reassures him that he fought bravely and preserved his honor, and then Boromir calls Aragorn his "captain" and "king" before he breathes his last and then it gets a little smoky in here and I've got something in my eye.

Left for Boston the next day at about 1:30 pm, ran into a huge traffic jam on The Hat at the Charlton rest stop, and got back home at 5:00.

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