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December 14, 2003 - December 20, 2003

12-20-03 Latest News

Trilogy Tuesday Reports - Part Four!
Demosthenes @ 9:55 pm EST

To all those who've sent in Trilogy Tuesday reports, I can only say - I've been overwhelemed by the response. There's a pile more that I still haven't touched and I don't know whether I'll be able to get to. Which is not to say that they're bad reports, just that I don't physically have the time to get to them all. Here's some more including a sad tale from Christchurch in New Zealand.

Ringer Micaela, Wichita, KS

I so enjoyed the costumes the kids wore (see news report below). Me, I wore comfy clothes, carried a pillow, and packed Tums, Tylenol and cough drops, (which rescued our neighboring moviegoer during Two Towers).

This all began for me as a birthday present back in October. My favorite theater in Wichita, the enormously elegant Warren Theatre, was granted the Trilogy Marathon, and I stood in line for an hour to get the perfect seats in the balcony... I bought two, in order to bring my friend Roxy along. The balcony hold the only reserved seats, and they cost twice as much as the main floor at $50. But hey, no line to wait in. I was surprised not to see a line at all when we got there at 11:30 for lunch... can Wichita be that out of it, I wondered? Nah.. they'd all been let in early out of the windy bright Wichita weather.

While there were no concession breaks, the show was well managed. Simple rules were announced: no switching seats, order from the concession stand and feel free to eat in your seats, trash to the end of the rows. Those of us in the balcony were served by waiters during the hour-long intermissions (shows at 1, 5:30 and 10 pm) We started on time for every show. We cheered for every show. Roxy, my friend, had not seen Two Towers extended, so it was a special treat for her. I was glad I had my pillow, as I had to squirm a bit to find a comfortable position, but it was great to see tiny details I have missed over the months of watching Fellowship, shocking to see the Cave Troll and Helm's Deep up so close, and thrilling to be that close to seeing ROTK. When it started, no more squirming, I was totally involved and only noticed an hour into it that my leg had "gone to sleep". I did have to ask Roxy if we could hold hands during Shelob.

Our gifts came at the end of the last movie, and I'm so pleased with this, the best remembrance of a special time. Well, this is not a review of the movie, which is so magnificent an achievement...I am thrilled I lived long enough to see it. But as to Trilogy Tuesday, I want them to do it again, with all three movies in Extended mode, and I will be there! (Perhaps next year, when I turn 50, as does Lord of the Rings).

Ringer Susan, Christchurch, NZ

I wish I could say that ALL the theatres in New Zealand (home of Lord Of The Rings, right?!) had done as great a job with Trilogy Tuesday as the those in the US, but I'm afraid I can't. My partner and I had the misfortune to be attending the event at Hoyts 8 Moorhouse in Christchurch - which in a nutshell, was more than a little disappointing. I should have been suspicious when in the weeks leading up to Dec 17th there was nothing in the local paper about it and no special effort made to promote it through Hoyts website, AND that they were billing it as a "double feature" separate from the midnight ROTK screening. Consequently the 400-seat theatre was only half-full, which seemed such a shame.

During FOTR there were a number of problems with the picture and sound quality - white bars would periodically flash across the screen; the picture suddenly became dimmer for long sections of the movie (as if the brightness of the projector had been reduced?); there were several glitches in the soundtrack (which wasn't loud enough to drown out the bass rumble from some other movie playing on the screen next door) the worst of which was a 15-20 second silence during Boromir's death scene!!! I didn't go out and complain for fear of missing a favourite scene, but did give them some "feedback" in the break before TTT. Things were a little better in the second film, but still the white bars, and the long periods of reduced brightness (in places which are not that dark in the original movie or the DVD) kept jolting us out of the Middle Earth experience and back to "reality".

So, we got to the second break, glad to have seen those new scenes on the big screen, but missing the feeling of total immersion we'd been anticipating. The lobby was of course jammed with people waiting for ROTK, which was being shown on 4 screens in the Hoyts complex. Many of those who'd just arrived had seats in the theatre where we'd been watching the "double feature". Because we'd bought our tickets very early we were able to keep the same seats for ROTK, but many of the faces around us had changed and I can only assume many of the people who'd sat through FOTR and TTT with us had to change seats for ROTK - so no great "shared experience" energy among the crowd.

After waiting in a long line for the loos, we got back to our seats at 11:55pm - expecting the movie to start at 12:01am. It got to 12:10am and nothing happening - people were starting to get impatient, but there was no explanation from the theatre. We then sat through at least 20 minutes of trailers, and adverts, some twice! until the movie finally started half an hour late!!! I could possibly just have coped with the poor picture and sound in FOTR and TTT if we'd at least been able to go straight into ROTK, but this long wait and bombardment with advertising bullshit was the worst interruption imaginable to what was supposed to be a continuous movie experience.

I loved ROTK and am off to see it again tomorrow, but am sad that my first viewing of this masterpiece, which was created with so much love and attention to detail, was soured by frustration at the lack of care taken by Hoyts. I feel they really let down not only South Island LOTR fans, but also the filmmakers, and New Line, and Roadshow distributors. Hoyts quite clearly didn't get the point of "Trilogy Tuesday", and now I'm kicking myself for not spending the extra money to go to the Embassy in Wellington. The saving grace of this whole journey was the long drive home yesterday (after a few hours sleep). We spent 6-hours on a glorious summer day travelling through the spectacular Southern Alps landscape where the films were shot - plenty of time to savour/discuss the wonderful memories of ROTK. THIS felt really like being immersed in Middle Earth.

Finally, many thanks to PJ and all involved in making these fantastic films, but definitely no credit to Hoyts 8 Moorhouse, for their presentation.

Ringer Doug, Winnipeg, CA

My name is Doug and I attended the Trilogy Tuesday in Winnipeg, Canada at the Famous Players Silver city at Polo park. That's a very long title eh.

There were four of us who had tickets for this event and were planning to arrive at the theater around am, thinking the doors opened at noon. We had a struggle to get up Tuesday morning and after my friend's NBA live 2004 game, which took 30 minutes, we then headed over to the theater. We were dressed for the cold as it was about 15 degrees F and were at the theater by am.

As we got closer to the theater we saw that there was only 5 people in line. So I waited in line and my friends ditched me to go and get some coffee at the local shop. When they got back I was excited not to see there coffee they had got me, but I was explaining to them that I was on TV. I also noticed a sign on the door of the theater that the will be letting in movie goers at 1030am. I was excited about this and the ability to get out of the cold. The staff let us in only in groups of 10. I was number ten and looked back at my friends and laughed at them, poking fun at them for being number ten. We were ushered to our theater and given the plaque with 3 stills in it. I have two pictures of Pippin and one picture of the shire.

I waited for three hours in the theater before the fellowship started. I was indeed tired from the previous night and was falling asleep throughout this movie. The best cheers during this movie was when Aragon cut of the Uruk's head. The credits soon came and people stood and gave a thunderous applause. It was a awesome moment to be in.

The Two Towers was also an amazing movie. One of my friends had never seen The two Towers and I was excited to see his face during the movie. The hilarious moments were when the Gandalf and the Rohan Army were coming down the hill towards the Uruks, the girl next to me almost to off my head with her arm. She was very excited about that part. The second hilarious part was when Gandalf and the top actors of Two Towers were looking towards Mordor and said that Helms deep was the beginning and the biggest war is still to come. When the last line was said a guy in the audience yelled out the war would start in 1 hour, the audience laughed so much to the point where Gollum's lines were being unheard.

After a match on Game boy Advance, the lights dimmed and we were shown the Return of the King. This was an awesome movie. I do not know how to describe it. I would recommend this movie to everyone and indeed bring tissues if you are a die hard fan, you will need them. The synopsis by the end of the movie was a lot of crying or tears in their eyes and when the lights came up there was such a applause that it gave me Goosebumps. This movie was amazing and I cannot wait to see the EE version. Congrats Peter Jackson and crew, you all did an amazing job. Cannot wait till The Hobbit.

I would also like to say that many of the ringers at the movie mentioned Theonering.net. Your website is cleary huge. Keep up your great work.

Ringer John, New Brunswick, New Jersey

I've never been particularly good at fandom. I'm generally too jaded and cynical. So despite my eagerness to see the films all as one block - I was a bit worried about being stuck in the "crazed fan" climate for nearly 12 hours.

All of my fears were waylaid. The vast majority of people were very pleasant and considerate. Most were amazingly down to earth and did not take themselves too seriously, while obviously holding these films in a huge amount of reverence. I did not hear a single cellphone and I can count on one hand the number of people who shuffled in a disturbing manner, or even breathed loudly during the films...particularly RoTK.

The theater - Leows New Brunswick - treated the fans royally. They took it as seriously, yet as good natured, as most of the fans seem to. There was a quality, catered chicken and rib dinner for those who wanted it (high priced, but all you can eat). The concessions were remarkably reasonable for "entertainment venue" food and drink. They were open to people bringing in outside snacks and drinks - and made sure that any special needs were attended to. And of course, we got those nice WETA freebies.

RoTK went on at 10:00 pm. Thankfully, as for as energized as I was, I was a bit wiped out by that time (happens when you get "old"). At first I thought the cheering and clapping at a screen was a bit silly. But by the time Rohan "answered the call", I couldn't help but feel the emotion and power myself. Not just of the film, but of the sincere love of the fans for these characters, actors, the story, and...the *being* with others who understand this obsession. I've seen the film again with "normal" people in a "normally" crowded theater. Most of the patrons there expressed little difference between the previews for Spider Man 2 and RoTK. They seemed equally (un)excited about both. It was an entirely different experience sharing the moments with sincere fans. In contrast, I will always remember the deft silence, the tense build, and the cheering and thundering clap of the T.T. fans as Sam confronts Shelob, the Rohirrim savage the orcs at Minas Tirith, and the Ring is finally cast into the lake of fire. I haven't felt that innocent, joyful, and truly awed by film or book in a very long time. Probably not since the first time I read LoTR - many years ago.

Upon leaving I asked my girlfriend what she thought (rhetorically). She replied that she loved it, but was sad it was all over. I agreed. Leaving these characters was much like turning the last page of the novel, Return of the King, for the first time. You feel, even if they are with you forever, their journey is over and you'll never quite revisit them the same way again. I'll miss that yearly excitement of the past 3 winters. Waiting, watching, wondering and finally getting my hopes mostly fulfilled. I am honored to have been part of this historic screening. The entire cast and crew of the films, not to mention the fans, should all feel themselves graced for having been part of an experience which can touch so many people. ven jaded cynics like myself. I'm moved very little these days, it says quite a bit about all involved that I feel so inwardly touched by these experiences.

Ringer Nuprin, St Louis

Okay, well. I am going to give you a brief account of the PEOPLE at my Trilogy Tuesday, rather than my reaction to the films themselves. No words can describe how wonderful I felt seeing all three movies together. Take total Tolkien fandom bliss and multiply it by infinity, and it will be a fraction of my enjoyment. But again, I wanted to tell you of the folks around me.

When I arrived early in the morning of Tuesday, I saw that there was a group of about 2 dozen people standing outside the theater that had been there since 9pm the night before. I felt a pang of regret that I did not join these wonderfully jolly folks. I approached them and at first (because it was God-awful windy and cold), we only just huddled around a small grill that was lit with some charcoal for warmth. I caught word of someone going out to get donuts for everyone. This was my first glimpse at how wonderful and kind hearted these folks were.

Then, a fellow who shared my first name approached me and asked "did you sign the seating chart?" Hmmm, well, I hadn't heard of any. Basically, what happened is that someone had put together an exact diagram of the seats of the theater we were going to be in. It was drawn on a huge board of graph paper. People that were showing up were given the chance to sign this seating chart to secure a seat. And when I asked how this was going to be enforced, someone answered "with common decency". I thought the idea not only brilliant, but also very kind hearted that someone would take the time to organize this chart to give people that showed up early and chance to secure a good spot. That also gave me and my wife (who had just gotten over the flu) a chance to wait for the rest of the morning in our car with the heat on. God bless these folks!!!

However, when we got into the theater, only about half the people got their seats. The management of the theater so very very pissed off that someone had the decency to organize this, undermining their authority about a "first come, first serve" seating chance. Well, the organizers of the chart were told to stop "telling people where to sit" and to give up the chart, less they be thrown out. Further investigation on my part found out that a couple of guys who had just shown up went straight to 2 seats that was empty (and it was very good seats, right in the middle). These seats were being tentatively held for folks who had camped out the night before, signed the seating chart, and just had not gotten tot he theater so that they could claim these seats. When the chart was brought up to the guys stealing those seats, they brought it up with the management, and management basically told them to hang it up.

I'm not sure how things panned out for everyone, but there was a bit of tension there. By that time, I had already gotten my seat and was taking care of my wife, making sure she had enough water, was comfortable, took her medicine, etc. So, that's how my Trilogy Tuesday started. I was very unhappy to see the efforts of fans that camped out the night before wasted on such lack of understanding and the failure to just "do the decent thing" and honor the chart. The theater management getting involved to try and "save face" made it even worse (shame on you Wehrenberg...shame on you). But when the movies started, I just got lost and didn't even think about it until I got back onto TORN. I had to share that story to thank the folks that organized that chart for giving me and my wife (along with almost 2/3 of the rest of the theater) and chance at seeing these movies with the best seats possible. What a noble effort!

Ringer Chris, Hollywood, CA

Howdy, I love your site and I was compelled to write in a report on the Hollywood California screening since I hadn't seen one yet.

I went by myself, with a single ticket I had won on e-bay for a meager $96.50. I say meager because groups of tickets had been going for upwards of $200-$400 apiece. And yes, it is true that one particular set of juicy seats were bought for over a grand each. Yoiks.

My friends and I all had tickets for ROTK on 12/17, but I had always secretly harbored a desire to go to Trilogy Tuesday. I had been bitterly dissapointed when the event sold out in 15 minutes, and I thought I would never get the chance to attend the grand event. Also, my friends and my wife turn into whiners when confronted with the prospect of staring at a screen for 12 hours.

Anyhoow, I met the ticket seller at the theater ahead of time, he was a nice gent who had an extra ticket to unload, and I was more than happy to oblige. I didn't have to wait in line for my seat, because dear friends, the Arclight theater in Hollywood is assigned seating only.

A quick aside; I love the Arclight theater. Tickets for regular movies are more expensive than normal theaters - $11 for off peak hours and $14 for prime time; but in exchange you get -

1.) The L.A. Times rated #1 picture and sound quality in Los Angeles.
2.) Assigned seats, which are a dream for big movie events.
3.) A no kid under 4 policy for PG-13 and R rated movies. Awesome.
4.) A no commercial policy, period. Remember when movie theaters showed only trailers?
5.) A no admittance policy 5 minutes after the movie starts. (They waved this one for Trilogy Tuesday, understandably, but for regular movies this policy rocks.)

The Arclight has a dozen top notch theaters, but Trilogy Tuesday was to take place only in the adjacent historic and recently renovated Cineramadome. An 800 seat theater that was one of the first of its kind, a geodesic dome curved screen type thang. Great sound and picture, though the curviture distortion at the edges of the screen isn't my favorite thing in the world.

So, the event. I picked up my laminated pass with lanyard and proceeded to my seat. On the way there were display cases of sideshow Weta Collectables, it looked like all of them actually. Very cool. There were also life sized statues of Lurtz and a Ring Wraith. Nice.

I sat in my seat for awhile, the theater still mostly empty, and savored the moment. The King of the Golden Hall played quietly, this was going to be cool.

I got back up and went back to the lobby, it was getting crowded, with a fair amount of people in costume. As many people in costume as there were, there were an equal amount of television cameras. All the media had descended and they were interviewing anyone who looked remotely hobbitish. At anyone time there must have been half a dozen reporters and camera operators, the bright lights blaring. This was Hollywood alright, and the media was going to portray it as if everyone in attendance, all 800 of us, were dressed to the Tolkien nines. In reality there might have been 2 dozen people in costume, tops.

But, as much as us cynics tend to snicker, I deep down have always envied the spirit of those compelled to literally dress the part, and I truly believe they bring up the energy level and emotional resonance to big movie events. What can I say, I'm a softie; I do get choked up when an eight-year old dresses like a hobbit.

Speaking of kids, THAT kid, some would say that obnoxious kid, from the Jimmy Kimmel show, was there. He was dressed as a hobbit and hamming it up for the camera. Good for him.

Finally, after getting the obligatory bladder buster LOTR souvenir cup, I headed back to my seat. The energy was high for an Arclight crowd, which I will say is usually very subdued. As much as I love the Arclight, you tend to get more old 35 year old fogeys like me. The energy doesn't typically hold a candle to the Chinese or the Village in Westwood. But today/tonight it seemed the gang was up for it. My seatmates all introduced themselves, all very friendly, and very young.

An Arclight staffer got on the mike and thanked us all for being there, and to his credit he didn't dawdle. He explained how it was going to work, with the breaks between movies, the parking validation and assorted details. He also mentioned we would be getting a gift at the end. Cool.

The credits rolled, and we cheered. Once again I was in middle earth, surrounded by friendly people that I didn't know, but shared a kindred spirit with. I was stoked.

The movie was a blast especially because it was the EE on the big screen. I think we all know what the definitive versions of these movies are Mr. Jackson, wink wink.

My butt numb and my neck sore I took a short walk in between films one and two. The Arclight had a nifty food court set up for the big night with a hot dog stand and box lunches available in the adjacent cafeteria. The whole atmosphere in that area, the box office lobby and courtyard, always feels like a hip scene, and this day, now night, was no different. More costumed people, gearing up for the midnight premieres, I saw a young woman in a white robe. Gandalf? Nope, she had Saruman's staff. Very cool. Didn't see any swords and such, the Arclight had made announcements and had signs pleading with people to leave such things at home.

Back in my seat and ready for Two Towers. Another staffer got on the mike and announced we had a special guest to introduce the next movie. My heart jumped. Sean Astin? He lives here you know. Nope. It was THAT kid. Some, and now I, would say that obnoxious kid from Jimmy Kimmel live. Oy. He got up there and yammered a bit with some jokes that fell flat and then tried to get us to chant "Lord of the Rings" after he chanted "Lord". We all chanted "Start the movie!" instead.

And so the movie rolled. While I think Fellowship benefits from the extra stuff in the EE, I think Two Towers is made a wholly better movie. Great stuff with the brothers and Denethor, fantastic floatsam and jetsam scene. Again, the crowd got into it, especially as the movie approached its climax. You could feel the energy rising, and as Gandalf led the Rohirrim down the hill we all cheered like the spaz geeks we are. We were excited because the scene kicks butt yes, but we were also pumped because we knew that the King was soon to return.

After Towers finished, I returned to the lobby to check out the scene. It was more chaotic than ever, just as many news crews, the Kimmel kid was back at it; and I would swear the people in costume were multiplying. The energy in the room was thick.

Back in my seat, Gawd was I tired; but oh so tingly in anticipation. An announcement was made that we had another special guest to introduce the movie. Oh great. Someone in the crowd groaned. "It’s okay" the Arclight staffer said "It's someone good this time."
Up to the mike stepped Sala Baker. Very cool, Sauron, Lurtz and the Witch King stood before us. He was a very sweet man who spoke briefly but from his heart. Rock on dude.

When the LOTR title card came up the biggest cheer of the night erupted. I felt it in my chest.
Personally, big surprise, I think the movie is a master piece. And strangely, I was especially gratified to see it with 800 other people with whom I will probably never see again. We all came with common purpose and spirit, and for those 11 plus hours we WERE a fellowship. A unique experience in my life to be sure. And yes, a spiritually gratifying one. You would never believe, if you saw me on Tuesday, wandering around like a kid on Christmas morning ... I'm a pretty cynical no-nonsense dude who rolls his eyes at new age mumbo jumbo crap. But as I blubbered like a baby at those final scenes in ROTK, I was for that one moment at one and at peace with the universe.

Ahem, mushy moment over. Did I mention we got a nifty gift? As others have described; it was a frame plaque thingy with actual movie cells from each film. I got Gandalf in Moria, zombies in the dead marshes and a bunch of tents in ROTK. Neeto.

Ringer Donna, Oregon Coast

We had to drive 4 hours on Monday night to get up to Portland for Trilogy Tuesday. We wanted to be assured a good spot in line for the movies. We made it to the theater by 8:30pm and the 5 of us pulled out our camping gear and made ourselves at home. We ended up with 22 people ahead of us. A group 20 had been there since Sunday taking turns standing in line. We made friends with a couple of ladies who had to come down from Seattle, Wash to see the Trilogy. They had a hotel room but decided to sleep outdoors instead. We drove up from the southern Oregon Coast.

I was thrilled that the weather was clear no rain. I ended up sleeping in my chair bundled up in a sleeping bag and I would not have missed it for the world. After the Two Towers had come out last year I told my girlfriend wouldn't it be awesome to see all 3 of the movies back to back on the big screen. We figured it was wishful thinking because it had never been done before with any other movies.

I remember the day I heard it was going to happen. I rushed to my girlfriend and told her about it. I was so excited thankfully my boss is a fan also and I got the time off work. We got another friend to go my daughter and my girlfriends daughter. Our own fellowship. That night I discovered we were very lucky to have gotten tickets because the ticket web site had eventually crashed by the overload of people trying to get tickets. Portland was the only place in Oregon it was showing.

One of the groups who was behind us in line for the ROTK had a really sweet couple getting married in line on Tuesday at 6:00pm. We ended up not being able to see it because they started movie # 2 at about 6:05pm. The people at the theater were wonderful. Allowed us to use their restrooms as long as possible. We got to bring food to eat in at the beginning. We got to go in about 12pm and find seats. There was a Trivia contest inside and a costume contest. Our group had 2 hobbits, 2 elves and 1 Lady from Rohan.

We had fun then at 2:00pm the movies began. I had seen the Fellowship several times when it first came out and I also have the Special Director's Edition. I bought the Two Towers Special Director's Edition but we all agreed to wait and see it on the big screen see it and for us it made it much more exciting.

I did rent it in August when it first came out. We had nice little breaks in between movies a free refill with purchase of a large drink which was a nice treat. I would say about 10 minutes before the Return of the King began you could feel the anticipation in the air everyone was excited. That was also when they announced we would be getting our gifts after the picture was over. I have to say I was a little confused at the start of the movie. But then the time flew by.

We loved the movie and I had completely forgotten I only had a few hours of sleep the night before. I was in awe at what I saw and by the end I was sad that after all this time it was finally done. Great job Peter Jackson it was a masterpiece, better than the first two movies and I loved them both also. I want to say that I would gladly pay money to see all 3 extended versions of the trilogy on the big screen again back to back. Because there is just something about watching them on a hugh screen with great sound that makes them memorable.

Thank you New Line and Peter Jackson for having the guts to try and do something different (having all 3 movies back to back) and making my wish come true. Also for the wonderful job you did at making JRR Tolkien's wonderful story come to life.

Ringer Brian, Sioux Falls, SD

I attended the Trilogy Tuesday screening in Des Moines, Iowa. I traveled 280 miles from Sioux Falls, SD. I took my six year old son, who had fallen in love with the first two movies. I felt this day would be more than a once-in-a-lifetime event for him, as this will be a fond childhood memory for him for life.

I write this from the perspective of one who has not read the books and do not consider myself a "ringer". When I saw Fellowship two years ago, I fell in love with the movie, and in a strange way, felt lucky that I had not read the books, as I could enjoy the movies without feeling let down about something being changed or left out. I didn't even think I would be able to get tickets to the event. The Des Moines theater was one of the few that did not sell out the first day. I purchased my two tickets about 6-7 hours after they went on sale.

On Monday, December 15 bad weather was moving in and we decided to drive to Des Moines and spend the night instead of going Tuesday morning. On Tuesday morning, we had a late breakfast and went to the theater about 11:45 am. Whatever line there was had already let in. They gave us the Trilogy Tuesday all day pass lanyard, which was a nice touch, especially with a 6 year old. They put our ticket stub with the all day pass. The theater was about 1/3 full at that time. We were able to get our seats about 4 rows from the top, a little in from the aisle. The theater was pretty good about saving your own seat, as long as you were in the building. We just left our jackets there and we did not have any problems with that. We then had to pass the next 2 1/2 hours as our screening started at 2:15. The time went by pretty fast.

We greatly enjoyed the EE version of Fellowship. I had not watched it for about 6 months and it was fun to see the EE on the big screen. The movie started right on time and was over at 5:45pm. The credits started about 10 minutes before that, though, and a lot of us were running for the bathroom as soon as the credits started to roll. The theater, The Wynnsong 16, recognized this was a big event, and spent the time and money to get sponsors and presented everyone with a T-shirt that read:

The Lord of the Rings
The Return of the King
I Survived Trilogy Tuesday

The back of the shirts listed the sponsers. A very nice touch and a keepsake for life! Also, between the first two movies, they provided a free sack lunch from a local restaurant. Very good, indeed!

At 6:30, The Two Towers started. Since the EE had only been out for a month, and we only seen it a few times, we were very excited to see it on the big screen. The credits started to roll about 10:05 and movie ended a little before 10:15. We were told that Return of the King would start at 11:00 but they would be doing a giveaway at 10:50. We had to fend for ourselves for food, but there were a few fast food places open. We got back in our seats early and the theater had a costume contest for the few people that dressed up. The winner received 10 free movie passes, another nice touch from the theater.

When Return of the KIng started, there was only one preview (thank goodness!) and right to the movie. The theater manager tried to joke with us and say they were having problems with the movie and it might be a 1/2 hour wait. Nobody thought it was funny and he said he was just kidding and gave the signal to start the movie. We were all very relieved and settled in for 200 minutes of pure satisfaction. I was thoroughly blown away. It completed the trilogy with a huge exclamation point. I agree with Christopher Lee, who said Samwise, the ordinary man, is the hero. Now that I have seen all three movies, I will now settle in and read the books and I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy them. All in all, an incredible experience and one I will treasure for a lifetime.

Ringer Deja, Baltimore MD

The Senator Theater and its owner were an absolutely class act, start to finish. First, Tom (the owner) avoided all the confusion and discrimination in favor of those with T1 internet connections by independently deciding to sell his tickets on Saturday morning. In line. For cash only. His only regret was allowing people to buy up to 10 tickets.

While we were in line, he and his staff collected email addresses. A week before the showing, we received an email (and could find on the Senator's website) detailed, specific, and correct instructions on when the doors would open, how seating would be arranged, and how people could get back in and out of the theater. And it all happened exactly as he said it would.

As a side note, I wrote him on Sunday night, since my family had to cancel out on the showing, leaving me with three tickets. He responded within 15 minutes, and connected me to Maegwen, who helped me sell two of the three. Congratulations and kudos to both for going the extra mile.

When I arrived to take my place in line, actors from the local Medieval Times theater were working the crowd, passing out stickers and markers for us to put on our seats once we entered the theater. No ticket? No sticker. This precluded the earlybirds from hogging all the best seats.

Upon entering (single file) we received a complimentary lanyard containing our TT pass, a coupon for the giveaway at the end, and several discount coupons from local eateries, which were heavily used in the one-hour break between FoTR and TTT. There were also pizza places within two blocks of the theater, and the concession stand ran full blast. Also, a local fencing school fenced in between the movies, and a humourous clip called "R2- Beneath the Dome" (think VH-1 Behind the Music-type satire) was shown.

I won't review the movies (since I already did elsewhere), but it was *so* nice to go with like-minded fans to see these films all together. Days later, images and dialog still pop into my head at all hours.

I again really want to compliment Tom and the Senator Theater for an absolutely class act. I can only pray that New Line would consider another TT when the extended version of RoTK comes out.

Ringer Lesley, Montreal

Ever since I heard about Trilogy Tuesday, way back when you first posted speculation about it on TORn, I ve been looking forward to it. I even emailed the theater in my hometown (in Southern California) begging them to participate. Of course, this was before I even knew if I would be home in time to be there, what with starting university in Montréal. And of course, luck would have it that I would have my last final exam at 9am on the 17th of December. However, I knew that I still wanted to attend some sort of midnight showing of ROTK, even if I would become the psychotically crazy person on my floor.

When the first official news came into TORn on where the screenings would be held, I still had to wait, because the dates for Canada hadn t been posted. Then some info started leaking in, and I started to get worried, because there wasn t any information about Montreal. Sure, I would travel farther away for a screening, but only if I didn t have to worry about final exams! Then, the official dates came in for Canada, and I got so excited. The theater in Montreal was only a couple blocks away from my dorm!

So, on Halloween I set my alarm so I could get up and try to get a ticket over the internet. However, the website wasn t showing the Montréal theater, so I started to freak out. I sent an email to the guys in charge of it, and they replied that the website was screwing up, but they were selling them at the theater. So, I ran (well a combination of nervously walking, hopping, and skipping) to the theater and bought my ticket. I think on my way back, I must have had the goofiest smile on my face. Unfortunately, the tickets sold out soon after, and my friend wasn t able to get one, but I was still very excited to participate in this amazing event.

So, December 15th came around. I knew I had to study, because I wouldn t be able to the next day, but I couldn t get anything done. My friends thought it was very funny watching me, because I was so nervous whenever I was talking to them I would start picking up things and moving them, and then moving them back. I had originally planned on leaving at 7am to wait in line, but they talked some sense into me, how would I survive standing in line outside for several hours with my LA blood? So, I called the theater, and they said they wouldn t be opening the doors until 12, however the manager hinted to me that people could still get in line to wait earlier.

Finally, the day I had been looking forward to for about 6 months came. I ended up getting to the theater at 9:30, and I couldn t see anyone waiting outside, so I was going to wait across the street at a coffee shop til I saw people waiting. IR17;m very glad I didnR17;t, because I realized the movie theater is connected to one of the underground malls, and people had already been waiting by the entrance and were starting to go down the stairs. I ended up the second from the top of the stairs, about the 20th person in line.

However, I almost made a horrible mistake. I got up at 10:10 to walk around the mall and try to find a magazine to read, why study! I ended up, without my magazine, back in line at 10:25. Roughly 5 minutes later, suddenly one of the doors opened, and we realized they were letting us in early. Had I tried harder to find a magazine, I would have returned to find my stuff sitting on a step, alone and me being the first person in line outside the theater, while a lot of people were already waiting right outside the room it was being shown in. However, I was upset at the fans waiting in line at this point. If anybody has been to this theater, they know that the theater we were in was on the third floor, following humongous amounts of escalators and stairs next to them.

I decided to follow whoever was in front of me in line to see it they took the stairs or escalators. He took the stairs for the first mini-flight, and I kept going on the stairs, when he transferred to the escalators. Because I was carrying a rather large bag with heavy books in it, I dragged behind trying to climb the large staircase, and I lost my place in line, even when I took the escalator between the second and third floors. I was rather upset that the fans did not calmly walk up the escalators/stairs and keep the same line, but I guess everything went ok, because I still ended up with my favorite seat.

When everyone who had been waiting in line got into the theater, the theater worker closed and locked the doors, without leaving any indication that people were already lined up inside. I know several people who had been waiting were then separated from their friends who were coming later, but everyone caught up eventually. So, I was able to get some studying done in the hour and a half before they opened up the actual doors for us to sit down in. And as they began to let us into the room, we looked at the escalators, and noticed a lot of confused people coming up to wait in line behind us, realizing they weren t first, they were actually pretty far back in line. I felt sorry for them at first, then I recognized the fact, that I had been waiting in line longer than they had, and they were still at the same place that they would ve been had the doors never been unlocked or they had been always unlocked.

So, as we were filling into the theater, we were wondering what was taking so long, then I saw the boxes with WETA on them, and I suddenly got really excited. Yeah, we got free stuff! (Yes, I understand the price was probably just added onto the ticket price, but still, it s exciting getting unexpected presents.) I ran up the rows in the theater, and got a place smack dab in the middle of the theater, about 3 or 4 rows from the top. I probably would ve had the perfect seat one row down, but I was still exceptionally satisfied. Once I got into the theater, I gave up studying all together, I wouldn t want to bump the people next to me with the awful physics book, would I? I got my ROTK popcorn tub, put all my stuff in order, figured out what was in my film frame (Isildor cutting Sauron s finger, Sam sleeping in the Dead Marshes, and a shot of Sam in Frodo and Sam s first argument in ROTK), memorized the commercials they show us while waiting for movies to begin, and then got ready for the long haul.

The manager guys got up and talked to us, first in French (which I didn t understand, but could tell the guy got the crowd more pumped up) and then in English, telling us to not put our feet on the back of the seat in front of us, turn of cell phones, emergency exits, etc. Then the previews started. It was all hush for the preview for ROTK, then someone shouted, That s what I m talking about and that got a combination of laughs and cheers. Then the movie started. It is so amazing to watch the extended version on the big screen. It was just fun, to be with all these other people watching a movie we ve all been looking forward to this movie, and are truly into it, not having to worry about snickers from an ungrateful watcher.

After FOTR ended, many people went out of the theater, just to stretch, grab some food, etc. The theater didn t provide anything, but they also didn t mention anything about not bringing in outside food, so I did what a broke college kid does, eat the pathetic sandwich I brought from the caf. I also got to meet the people around me and had a nice conversation with one of the guys on my right about how much of a difference it is seeing the extended version in a theater rather than back home on a laptop or tv with only a few friends around. So, the 40 minutes seemed to take forever to pass, and then TTT started. IR17;d been limiting my watching of the extended versions of both movies, because I didn t want it to be a bore during the theater showing, so it was exciting because it was only the second time I saw it all the way through. The only complaint I had was that they showed the exact same previews in front of TTT as they did for FOTR, including the preview for ROTK; I actually started to take bets with the guy next to me if they would show the preview in front of the actual movie.

But after TTT, I got out of the theater to stretch and walked down throughout the theater. I discovered several encampments of people waiting for midnight showings. One of the theater workers said they were showing 4, and maybe a 5th, because of the demand. Anyways, I then went back and sat down for ROTK! I lost my bet, they only showed 2 previews in front of the movie, neither was ROTK, but I think I m going to scream if I have to watch the preview for The Butterfly Effect again. Don t get me wrong, it seems like an interesting movie, but seeing the preview several times in only a few hours was getting on my nerve.

So then, ROTK!!! The only problem I had with it was that it seemed too rushed. There wasn t a lot of breathing time in between scenes, and I didn't really like that. Like in the scene with the Witch King and Dernhelm, I don t think it got the applause it should have, because we weren't given the opportunity to do so; it immediately went to Legolas s awesome scene. However, I had chills during the entire thing, and really, really, really look forward to the extended version! I do have to give props to the credit makers-I thought they were beautifully done, and the perfect end to these amazing movies

So afterwards I went back to my dorm (it was very weird walking through the icy streets of downtown Montréal clutching a ROTK popcorn bucket, but even weirder was how a lot of people left theirs in the theater), showed off my film frames to my friend who had spent the whole time studying that I had spent watching the movies. As for the final 7 hours later, I d rather not talk about it. I m sure though I got high enough on it to pass the class, which is all that I was going for.

Ringer Shalane, Hawaii

Here's what happened in Hawaii for Trilogy Tuesday:

The schedule was the doors to the theater would open at 8 AM. Everyone would be ushered into a theater according to date of ticket purchase to wait. Then they would be ushered into THE theater which would be used for the showing of the three films, where they would choose their seat. They then would be given a tag with their seat number on it which would be their seat for the duration of the Trilogy, and then they could leave until show time, which for FOTR was scheduled for 2 PM.

So we got to the theater at 6 AM and fortunately were the first in line. Only minutes thereafter, people started arriving to line up. By 7 AM we were four across and the line wrapped all the way around the long wall of the theater complex, doubling back on itself. The theater management had set up four roped-off isles with signs designating date of purchase, but we were not to actually get into these until a bit later. Meanwhile, we waited. The vast majority of the crowd was cheerful and well behaved; however there were a couple of people who came late, saw the long line, and attempted to cut in line in their own sly manner, much to the jeers and shouts of most everyone else who had been waiting for hours. At around 7:45 we were told to get into our respective lines by date of purchase.

At 8 AM promptly we were taking into the theater, and after that things flowed so incredibly smoothly it was amazing. So many thanks are due to Pono Shim, of the Concierge Services at Ward theaters, for arranging things for the benefit of the majority and for the coordination of all this madness. After we got our seat, we got our sticker put on our tags for our Hobbit meal that was to be served between FOTR and TTT: blue for the "Rabbit Stew" and green for the "Vegetarian Stew". It was great, since we could now come and go at will. There was very nice LOTR merchandise available to all of us at a nice discount as well in the lobby. Our Trilogy Tuesday T-shirts were wonderful also, with the words: "Trilogy Tuesday, The Real Marathon, December 16, 2003, Honolulu Hawaii" on the left sleeve. (The Honolulu Marathon had just been run the Sunday before)

Before the beginning of the first film, Pono Shim spoke, and a member of Tol Andúnë, the Hawaii Chapter of the Tolkien Society, spoke about her recent trip to New Zealand to tour the movie sites. Then it began! We were in Middle-earth heaven! Also, before the start of the ROTK, Tol Andúnë passed out little boxes of kleenex to everyone in anticipation of the emotions which they knew would run high!They acknowledged Mr. Shim with a gift for his hard work to make this event a memorable one. The film strips presented to everyone at the end of ROTK was the crowining glory! We were so surprised and grateful for this wonderful treasure. Truly, this was a day and night to remember!

Bad Sound from Master Copy in UK?
Tookish @ 9:01 pm EST

DISCLAIMER I can't speak for the credibility of this story or what is going on with this situation... but here is the word on the wire:

I have it on good authority that UGC have received an email from Entertainment, the distribution company for Return Of The King. It is to inform that the sound problems that many have experienced on their viewing of the film.

An underwater musical experience is how I would describe it. It is apparently a problem with the master copy for the UK, but there is no mention that there are any attempts being made to rectify the issue.

Personally, I think this is disgaceful for such a big release to be suffering these problems and think it should be investigated.

Call me Frankie From Empire Online.

Update: I live in the UK, and although I saw it at an Odeon cinema, and also at a Showcase cinema, the sound was more than satisfactory-- Ringer NR

It's Cameo Time
Demosthenes @ 3:42 pm EST

Cameos, cameos everywhere ... Here's just a few of the cameos from Return of the King - there's probably lots more as well.

12-19-03 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Frode @ 7:21 pm EST

Years of waiting are finally over; Peter Jacksons 'The Return Of The King' has hit cinemas all over the world. This weekend in #thehalloffire we will go through 'the Return of the King' scene for scene and marvel at the epic conclusion of this fantastic movie trilogy. So if you haven't seen the movie yet; run to your nearest theater now so that you can join us in marvelling at the charge of the Rohirrim, the battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Paths of the Dead and all your other favorite moments.

Upcoming topics:

weekend 271203-281203
The Return of the King; topic to be chosen after first movie HoF

weekend 030104-040104
The Return of the King; topic to be chosen after first movie HoF

weekend 100104-110104
Peter Jacksons 'The Lord of the Rings'; the trilogy as a whole

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday (09:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 5:00am (05:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at

Academy Announces Films in Competition for Visual Effects Oscar
Pippin_Took @ 6:55 pm EST

Beverly Hills, CA - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the seven films being considered for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 76th Academy Awards®.

The films in consideration are listed below in alphabetical order:
"The Hulk"
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
"Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"
"Peter Pan"
"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"

Fifteen-minute clip reels from each of the seven films will be screened for the Visual Effects Award Nominating Committee on January 21. The members will then nominate three of these seven films for Oscar consideration.

The finalists will be announced along with nominations in 23 other categories on Tuesday, January 27, at 5:30 a.m. PST.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2003 will be presented on Sunday, February 29, 2004, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland® and televised live by the ABC Television Network at 5 p.m. PST, beginning with a half-hour arrival segment.

Sean Astin MSN Chat Transcript
Xoanon @ 2:58 pm EST

Joel writes:

I was Zeosoez in this chat (you'll see my comment at the end), but I'd prefer to go by Firestar on your site, if that's okay. Here's the transcript:

DishDiva says: Welcome to MSN Live! This afternoon we are pleased to welcome actor Sean Astin back to MSN!

DishDiva says: Sean stars in the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

DishDiva says: Sean, it's great to have you back! How are you doing today? You have fans here from around the world! Thanks for being here!

Sean_Astin_live says: Last night I made a spontaneous appearance to a Manhattan theatre last night at 12:01.

DishDiva says: I imagine this must be an insane day for you.

Sean_Astin_live says: Today has been a bit more sedate because I did a interview with Rolling Stones and then I had a few hours of radio station interviews. So the rest of the day I got to veg-out and it's been a lot more relaxing than yesterday or the day before.

DishDiva says: There are so many fans online who are so passionate about Lord of the Rings, does this surprise you?

DishDiva says: I mean there are people who know how to speak Elvish!

Sean_Astin_live says: A couple in Portland got married in line, that ran on the news today, and I found that extrordinary. I've been exposed to some of this intense apprecation about the films but it keeps getting more, more extreme. The last 36 hours and the next couple of

Sean_Astin_live says: days will be the pinnacle. It's been unexpected. It's been an "Unexpected party."

HobbitFan2009 in Onstage_1 asks: Yay! I'm really happy! My dad is taking me to see ROTK tonight!!!!! What was your favorite scene to film?

Sean_Astin_live says: I loved finally getting to fight Shelob. I hope you have a great time at the movie.

DishDiva says: That is one scary spider.

Iluvlegolas3 in Onstage_1 asks: this is so cool talk to me

Panamapk in Onstage_1 asks: Thank you so much for being here! We are all crazy fans, don't get too scared!

PatriciaF82 in Onstage_1 asks: Hi Sean. Did anyone play practical jokes on the movie set?

Sean_Astin_live says: But of course. The most recent practicle joke was in Berlin and Elijah was in New York doing Saturday Night Live doing satalite during the night and he couldn't see anyone. Dom possed as Gunther and he asked some rude questions. Elijah was mortified

Sean_Astin_live says: trying not to get worked up at the questions given him by this fake journalist.

greatescape86 in Onstage_1 asks: I am impressed with your short film "The Long and Short of It." Any upcoming projects you are directing?

Sean_Astin_live says: Thank you for the compliment. It is really fun that so many people have seen it on the DVD. I have decided to make myself wide open in terms of my availability and to focus on one project to see what opportunities present themselves with "Return of the

Sean_Astin_live says: King." My publicist said to me that he hopes that I will hopefully be in front or behind the camera very soon.

Mr-Nonickname in Onstage_1 asks: Hey Sean! I heard that your daughter played Elanor in Returrn of the King. Is this True? If it is, did she like acting?

Sean_Astin_live says: Right now I'm relaxing at E News Daily, just kicking back.

Sean_Astin_live says: It is true, she liked being part of the film but I don't know that she likes acting. She does like having her picture taken and has a lot of personality in front of the camera so we need to keep an eye on her.

Palandin1 in Onstage_1 asks: Sam is my favorite character in the books. You have done such an awesome job portraying Sam. What are your favorite attributes of his character?

Sean_Astin_live says: It was a several year project to get her to look like me. I had help from my beautiful bride. (laughs)

Sean_Astin_live says: In one of the reviews I read about the performance the journalist said he thought I captured the quiet strength of the character and I've thought about that idea and enjoyed it. I can rattle of a string of adjectives for that character but I've thought

Sean_Astin_live says: about the character so much that those word change over time. So right now I like quiet strength.

TheDeadParrot3 in Onstage_1 asks: What's the weirdest piece of merchandise you've seen your face on?

Sean_Astin_live says: I can't talk about the airplane, stamps or currency in New Zealand because they weren't murchandise. We are actual legal tender there, I feel like Gulliver. There are some weird puzzles, are we toilet paper yet? (laughs)

Sean_Astin_live says: My wife just looked at me and said "Bobblehead!"

djdeathskiss in Onstage_1 asks: Hey Sean- You rocked in ROTK! Were you as emotional as the rest of us when you finally saw the finished film?

Sean_Astin_live says: When I first saw it in it's unfinished form in England I cried harder than I've ever cried in my life. When I saw the final version I was mostly analytical and dispassionate figuring what had been cut out. I'm hoping in the extended version of the DVD

Sean_Astin_live says: that I can reach the same level of emotional attachment. There was so much that had to be cut out and that impacted how I responded to the film. I'm glad that everyone doesn't know what's cut out so they can have their own opinion of the film. The last 45

Sean_Astin_live says: minutes of the film is very satisfying for me to watch.

DishDiva says: It really is about you and Elijah's character.

Sean_Astin_live says: There's such intimacy in the characterization and so much weight given to it that we ultimately bare, the acute focal point in the film. But if everyone wasn't playing their part and the music coming together so well people wouldn't have that emotional

Sean_Astin_live says: experience.

Ringbearer1127 in Onstage_1 asks: Hey Sean, me and my friends just saw the Return of the King last night. It was awesome! We gave it a standing ovation. If there's anything you'd like to say to the fans, what would it be?

Sean_Astin_live says: Quite simply thank you. The thought that people like you are giving standing ovations in cimemas where you think we can't hear or feel your energy, fills me with gratitude and we feel it around the world.

Sean_Astin_live says: We just ignore the boos and hecklers. (laughs)

hello_huge_fan_101 in Onstage_1 asks: What is your favorite thing about Tolkiens books?

Sean_Astin_live says: I think my favorite thing would have to be how many different, incredible observations of human nature he interweaves into this story. You can read it and learn about yourself, communicated so clearly and articulately. Tolkien must have been a good study

Sean_Astin_live says: of human behavior and he fused that and enlightenment into his work. That's what I like about it.

PleasantPineapple in Onstage_1 asks: Hi Sean, I've heard the final film has created some Oscar buzz. Do you and the other cast members plan on attending? As a CA. Native I'm excited to see how it plays out.

Sean_Astin_live says: I'm excited too. I'm nervous. I don't know that anyone would have plans. I know Peter Jackson would fly from New Zealand. We're all on the edge of our seats for that. I would be lying if I said it wasn't a consideration for us. Knowing that this last

Sean_Astin_live says: episode has been given to the world now, everyone takes great pride and satisfaction that the fans have enjoyed the films. Hopefully our peers will include this movie in their thoughts when the time comes.

Sean_Astin_live says: Peter thinks that people should vote from their heart and let the chips fall where they may.

AnamSamWise in Onstage_1 asks: Hi Sean. Our family thinks you're the best! We love ya! Funny question for you - what did you and the rest of the fellowship do when in an interview you guys found that "Frodo" exposed the secret tattoo?

Sean_Astin_live says: Tell your family I said thank you very much. This story has gotten a lot of press in the last few days. Ian was the first to show his tatoo and then I was next to show it on TV on accident. The Elijah felt like everyone was showing their and he showed his

Sean_Astin_live says: We're all very forgiving of each other with the pact we tried to keep.

WantsOlderWomen in Onstage_1 asks: What was the last scene you shot, and was it really emotional knowing that you have spent the last 2 years with these people and now its over?

Sean_Astin_live says: WantsOlderWoman, hope she's out there. (laughs)

Sean_Astin_live says: The last scene that made it in the final cut Frodo and Sam on the plains as the Eye is bearing down on them. I was exhausted and it was emotional and I didn't experience the full emotionality of the experience until I saw the cut in England.

Sean_Astin_live says: I did cry that night because Peter gave a speach and showed out takes and gave me, my wife and daughter presents including feet, the dress my daughter wore, and an Elvin broach. We did know we had to do press for the film so we knew we'd see the other

Sean_Astin_live says: actors.

©øłøѓãđø_68 in Onstage_1 asks: Wasn't it hard to act with the character Gollum?

Sean_Astin_live says: No, it was not hard in the sense that people might think that working with a "CG" character. Andy Serkis made it so much easier with his sheer force of his intensity of a dramatic actor. There are more fight scenes and a lot more emotionality and those

Sean_Astin_live says: take a physical tole on you. It was difficult lagistically to work with the computer things, but working with Gollum wasn't hard, it was new and innovated but not hard.

Biggertaylorboydstaff in Onstage_1 asks: What do you think about all the quips people make about the hobbit's sexualities?

Sean_Astin_live says: I think it's funny. I enjoy actually seeing other people get off on exploring their own ideas of their own sexuality through these characters. I don't think that those discussions come organically out of the material. I think the material lacks the

Sean_Astin_live says: sexuality people focus on but I don't begrudge people to think about what they feel as long as they are not hurting anybody.

Reesh2009 in Onstage_1 asks: What did your kids think about seeing you on the big screen as a hobbit?

Sean_Astin_live says: I don't think the baby gets it. She did when I was on TRL yesterday, she walked up to the TV and said "Dad, dad" and wanted me to pick her up. Alexandra was uncomfortable with the dirty feet idea but playing a hobbit herself she gets it. At the end of the

Sean_Astin_live says: day when they took off my feet she would pick off the glue that was left behind. I hope she doesn't develop a fetish.

Sean_Astin_live says: I'm looking out over time square and there's a huge Reuetr's newsboard and I just saw myself and Elijah scrolling down it.

HannColl in Onstage_1 asks: Did you enjoy getting the chance to do comedy in Fifty First Dates? How was Adam Sandler to work with?

Sean_Astin_live says: I relish the opportunity to do something so completely different from Sam. I think I've got real comedy chops in me and I was able to show a glimmer of them in the part. Adam Sandler is something to behold. He carries himself with grace and I enjoyed

Sean_Astin_live says: being in his realm.

Zachgo51 in Onstage_1 asks: I was just wondering is their any chance that their will be movies for books like The Hobbit, or Books that have to do with Lord of the Rings

Sean_Astin_live says: Sam isn't in the Hobbit but someone brought up that I might be able to paly Gaffer Gamgee in makeup. It would be fun if they figure out the rights issue and if Peter commits to do it.

Palandin1 in Onstage_1 asks: On the scenes where you are punching out Gollum (GO SAM!), were you punching Andy Serkis or thin air?

Sean_Astin_live says: Punching Gollum, I never punched Andy, I only got to punch thin air or sand bags.

gabrielrose-livejournal in Onstage_1 asks: Out of all the movies you have worked on, which one is your favorite?

Sean_Astin_live says: Hard to say, I would probably say "Lord of the Rings" or "Rudy" or "Goonies" I had fun working on a film called "Kimberly." Not many people saw it but I was in good shape and was at a good time in Philly and Ally was young it was a great time.

Sean_Astin_live says: I'm sort of overwhelmed by the volume of how many people are into these movies. It's great to get off planes and see screaming people but it seems like a more direct communication with fans of the film when I can do chat shows like that and hear such

Sean_Astin_live says: great and interesting questions. Reporters and journalists can be hard, but people like you are pure. The fans rock. Asking the quesitons that have to be asked let the actors communicate their ideas and shape the response of people. But I'm not like that

Sean_Astin_live says: I am more trusting of the audience and what I like about the fan questions is that they are unusually specific and you get the sense of personalities with everyone's handles, names.

curious_mandy_gamgee in Onstage_1 asks: So you act. You direct. You write. You've done some politics. What's next, Mr. Multitasker?

Sean_Astin_live says: (laughs) Grad school? (laughs) You forgot fatherhood. (laughs)

Sean_Astin_live says: I'll tell you what, relaxation, I'm looking forward to studying the fine art of relaxation.

DishDiva says: You deserve it at this point.

Sean_Astin_live says: The only fear is that I'll relax and am ready to get back to work I'll have missed the boat. I don't know if it's necessary to worry about that so I'll keep slogging on and see what happens.

DishDiva says: Well, Sean, from all of your fans from around the world, best of luck with "Return of the King" and "Fifty First Dates."

Sean_Astin_live says: My heart is filled with love and gratitiude for all the fans and the incredible response they've given me and ways they've shown me. It's very meaningful to me and I say thank you.

Sean_Astin_live says: I love the technology age where I can communicate with everyone around the world.

Laubr5151 in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks for everything Sean - I truly look forward to seeing you in future films - you are SO talented!

DishDiva says: Do you have a COMMENT you would like to get onstage? Click the submit question button and enter it now!!

DishDiva says: We'll try to get as many as can up onstage!!

Mr-Nonickname in Onstage_1 asks: We love the technology where we can talk to our favorite actors!

Tsuta1 in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks a whole lot for coming to talk to all of us! It's been a real pleasure. Good luck in the future.

southernbelle_23 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, I love you in all you do. You are a wonderful actor.

åñgë£îç_§ûï©'ðê in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, you've come a long way in the entertainment business and I really hope to see you around for a long time in the future. Good luck!

mermaid4488 in Onstage_1 asks: Thank you so much Sean, I have been a fan since Goonies! You are amazing and keep up the awesome work!

Togart_Green in Onstage_1 asks: I loved the movies. Thanks for making a dream come true

SymposiacFabi in Onstage_1 asks: I love you Sean!! keep up the good work!

PatriciaF82 in Onstage_1 asks: Thank you for letting Sean answer my question.

ElberethElendil2 in Onstage_1 asks: I can't believe I'm actually here! It has been AMAZING to see you! Thanx for coming!

theclassicrockjunkie in Onstage_1 asks: I am a huge fan Mr. Astin. Best wishes and God Bless. I hope to meet you in person some day!!!!!!!!!

¿TJ¿1 in Onstage_1 asks: Looking forward to seeing you in other movies

curious_mandy_gamgee in Onstage_1 asks: You are an inspiration to many people, Sean, especially me up here in Canada. Merry Christmas, YOU'RE MY HERO!

Isildae2 in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks Sean!! We all love you!!

goonies_28 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, you've been my favourite actor. Thanks so much for everything. I have met you in person and you're the nicest one ever =)

Endokryne246 in Onstage_1 asks: It's so great that you appreciate your fans so much. I know I loved the Trilogy!

GildorInglorion1 in Onstage_1 asks: I'm a big fan of you Sean!! Thank you for being here today!

HannColl in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, thank you so much for being Our Sam and for all the joy you've given so many.

EJ0238 in Onstage_1 asks: God Bless you, Sean and all involved with this monumental feat.

bloodytears182 in Onstage_1 asks: I LOVE YOU SEAN GOOD LUCK!

MunggyWunggy2 in Onstage_1 asks: you're very inspiring! you have no idea!

littledawnyk in Onstage_1 asks: you were hands down the BEST actor in the return of the king, sam really kicked butt!!!

WantsOlderWomen in Onstage_1 asks: Fantastico!!!!!! Thanks for the great performance Sean

simplybeingnadine in Onstage_1 asks: Thank you for chatting with us-- good luck and god bless. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Beatlefan412 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean...I have been a major fan for so long. I love you! Thank you for coming!

GooniesGirl8 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean is such a great guy! Very open and honest, just amazing. He deserves every happiness and good thing. Sean rocks! Goonies never say die!!

Dejavu_85 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, congrats on the Lord of the Rings Movies, and thanks for coming and talking to us

Arwen_Undomiel_8708 in Onstage_1 asks: You're amazing and thank you so much for bringing Sam to life!

Lunahobbit1 in Onstage_1 asks: I've gotten into helping the elderly because of your inspirational speech at GenUnited. Thank you Sean, it has blessed me.

Tippman8 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean is truly a wonderful actor a person!!!

mmgosset in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, you an an incredible and gifted actor..I am in awe of your talent keep up the good work!!!1

Samus45 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean, you rock. And Sam rocks. And there is general rocking all around. Yay.

IndigoAphrodisiac in Onstage_1 asks: I hope your future hold more entertainement, and I'm glad you get time to settle down and be a dad now. Parenthood is just as, if not more trying than acting

SpazTheeHalfling in Onstage_1 asks: You, and the rest of the cast are my inspiration. THANK YOU!

Reesh2009 in Onstage_1 asks: I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH MAN

Mr-Nonickname in Onstage_1 asks: There couldnt be a better person to be Sam but you Sean!

dripping_with_punk in Onstage_1 asks: You're so awesome! I wish only the best for you in the future! You're a good soul and the fans really appreciate it.

SpazTheeHalfling in Onstage_1 asks: You are the one who has inspired me to get into acting, now I'm in 'The hobbit' play! THANK YOU SO MUCH! YOU RULE!


elfforest902 in Onstage_1 asks: Bye, you're my favorite character.

WhereTheySellPints in Onstage_1 asks: Incredible. Amazing. Thanks for everything! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sarumanly in Onstage_1 asks: Happy holidays, Sean! May the ponies nance!

¤ßаßγĐøłł¤ŦĭиꙤ in Onstage_1 asks: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


theLASTsymphony in Onstage_1 asks: You must honestly be overwhelmed by the number of times you recieve this comment, but you DESERVE every single "I love you, you're AWESOME!"s that you get. Thanks SO much for coming, keep up the amazing work!

Beatlefan412 in Onstage_1 asks: Thank you for creating such an awesome Samwise. I love you.-Jessica from Evergreen, Colorado

hewene in Onstage_1 asks: You have made movie Sam and book Sam one and the same for me! Your portrayal is amazing!

Mr-Nonickname in Onstage_1 asks: You are one of the purest actors i have ever seen!

DomEntDraft in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks a lot Sean!! You're amazing!!

Tippman8 in Onstage_1 asks: HAPPY Holidays to you and your family

IndigoAphrodisiac in Onstage_1 asks: Give hugs to all the rest of the cast members from all the fans. You all deserve it

djdeathskiss in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks for doing this chat- now go get some rest!!

sorchafeanor in Onstage_1 asks: You really made Sam feel real to me........thanks so much

EveElera in Onstage_1 asks: Poor Sean, overloaded with comments. ^-^ (Laughs) Ah, well, you deserve it! You're a brilliant actor and a wonderful person!

Jordinothepizza in Onstage_1 asks: You seem to be a very nice person, and truly took on the role of Sam....excellent job. Oustanding. Seeing your performance on screen was the highlight of seeing ROTK

beavis99999 in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks for being cool and stuff

Reesh2009 in Onstage_1 asks: BE SURE TO TELL BILLY I SAID HI!! AND I STILL LOVE YOU!!!

lotr311 in Onstage_1 asks: thank you soooooooo much for being here

Zeosoez in Onstage_1 asks: Your performance is nothing short of amazing. We all hope you take home that Oscar. All the best in the future, we all love you!

Panamapk in Onstage_1 asks: We will miss seeing you on the big screen as Sam! Good luck in your future projects! You are great!

x4kowal in Onstage_1 asks: you're the greatest!!!!

Vssangel1 in Onstage_1 asks: Sean I hope you win an Oscar

southernbelle_23 in Onstage_1 asks: merry christmas and happy new year, sean!

Dejavu_85 in Onstage_1 asks: I loved the movie, and good luck with everything!! Merry Christmas!!

DomEntDraft in Onstage_1 asks: Thanks a lot!! Sam is the true hero of the trilogy! Thanks a lot for bringing him to life!!

WhereTheySellPints in Onstage_1 asks: Tell Billy the wacky loons in Alberta send him a huge hello from mario's! Thanks Sean you rock!

Arwen_Undomiel_8708 in Onstage_1 asks: Hope you get an Oscar nod, I can't think of anyone who deserves it more than you!

GildorInglorion1 in Onstage_1 asks: Have a safe Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

HappySmileyFaceOfDoom in Onstage_1 asks: Yeah, you deserve the Best Actor Oscar for your role as Sam!

MunggyWunggy2 in Onstage_1 asks: i can picture it now, you accepting the oscar with "rudy" playing in the background.. it's your theme

Jenn_Thor in Onstage_1 asks: Well i gotta go! HOpe you have a great Christmas and New Year! God Bless.

GildorInglorion1 in Onstage_1 asks: (laughs) be sure to tell Dom I say hi!!!

Sarumanly in Onstage_1 asks: The "S__G ME BILLY!" girls say Happy Holidays!!!

FoolofATook04 in Onstage_1 asks: Sam was one of the best highlights in movies, you are truly a Hobbit

IndigoAphrodisiac in Onstage_1 asks: True... very wonderful person. And I don't know what kind of holidays you celebrate, but I hope they're good and full of.. what was that? REST!!

ChristmasSamweis in Onstage_1 asks: Sean we love all your work , thanks for coming and answering questions tonight. You rock!

ElberethElendil2 in Onstage_1 asks: MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thanx again!

lotrfanbabi in Onstage_1 asks: your talents absolutely stun me!!! your so amazing! thanks for doing a wonderful job as sam!

I love the site, it's been my primary LotR news site since mid-2000. Merry Christmas!

Sean Astin on Good Morning America Transcript
Xoanon @ 2:32 pm EST

Another BIG thank you to Cyloran for this!

Good Morning America: Let me talk to you. If you don't know by now that the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is taking theaters by storm, well, my friends, you need to get out a little more. The third and final installment of the Rings trilogy just opened yesterday but is already being talked about as a front runner for a Best Picture Oscar. With us today, the film's right-hand hobbit, Sean Astin.

Sean Astin: (laughing) I hadn't heard that one before.

GMA: (laughing) I'm sure you haven't. Well, not today, anyway.

SA: No, no! I have never heard right-hand hobbit. That's a good thing.

GMA: Thank you very much. I've got to tell you, your character, you are SO loyal, you are so self-less, you will do anything for Frodo. Excuse me, Mister Frodo.

SA: Mister Frodo, or Master Frodo as is written in the books a lot.

GMA: I heard it wasn't a deviation for you from your character because the way people talk about you is very similar to how they talk about Sam.

SA: Well, that's flattering. I mean, one of the things that I love about the character is that he's an emblem for decency and goodness and determination and faithfulness, and I think if I was judged by the best parts of my life, then yeah, I'm exactly like Sam. If I was judged by the kind of all of my life, maybe not so -

GMA: Fair enough, fair enough! But I mean, you grew up, I mean, we all know that your parents, Patty Duke, John Astin, that are fabulous actors.

SA: Thank you.

GMA: They did a wonderful job, despite being in that atmosphere of keeping you grounded.

SA: Well, you know, I'm very grateful to my parents. I'm extraordinarily grateful because, when I grew up, even though people think that I sort of had a Hollywood upbringing, it didn't feel like that as a kid. My Mom was always more interested in our little league and our normal life.

GMA: (as a picture of a young Patty Duke is shown) I'm sure your Mom appreciates that this is the shot that we show of her.

SA: She still looks like that, interesting enough. Mom, if you're watching Good Morning America, I love you.

(from off camera audience, the sound of AWWWWwwwwww)

SA: (joining in,. bashfully) Awwwwwwww.

GMA: Awwww. See? You are just like Sam! You are.

SA: My dad's probably teaching at Johns Hopkins right now. He's a drama professor, so, and he always stressed the importance of education.

(GMA shows a publicity still of John Astin as Gomez)

SA: He looks very serious there.

GMA: It's what they did. They did not let you be affected by that. It's very difficult to take any clip from the movie. I mean, you just try and choose one but its so difficult to do, but I want to let everybody know what we're talking about. Let's see Sam in action.

(show Frodo, Sam, Gollum clip)

GMA: How do you prepare for a role like that, and the length of time. Was it like four or five years?

SA: Yeah, well, 18 months for principal photography and then going back and doing additional photography each year. You know, we just immersed ourselves in the world and the world of sort of Tolkien culture, and we had six weeks to prepare with the director to talk about it, and we worked with dialect coaches and there was a sword master and we learned how to sword fight, and there was a dialect coach so we could get the dialect. There was a lot of intense preparation that went into making the movies.

GMA: There is something about these movies, and the Golden Globe nominations came out.

SA: Today?

GMA: Yup. The movie just received four . . . this just in!

SA: (laughing) Uht-Oh.

GMA: It was nominated for Best Picture.

SA: Was it? That's great.

GMA: So what is it about it that the public just can't get enough of?

SA: Well, I think two things, really. One, Tolkien was an incredible student of human nature and I think he infused into his life work, these books, lots of incredible observations about what it is that we think and feel, especially people in positions of leadership and in positions of power, and there's poetry and a lot of other things that really connect with people on an emotional level. And then for the movies, they were made with passion. With an extraordinary love and passion and I think when people sit and experience the movies, they can feel that kind of intensity that the film makes put into it.

GMA: But the passion's not only felt here in the States. New Zealand, of course where you filmed these . . . did you know you're money? Did you know?

SA: (laughing as she hands him a NZ minted coin with the One Ring on the back) That a little hush money there?

GMA: (laughing) No.

SA: The Royal Mint came out and actually told us that they sort of forged these coins. This one actually has the Ring on it and Queen Elizabeth, but there are other ones with Frodo and Sam and -

GMA: So what coin are you?

SA: It's a 50 cent piece, because we're halflings.

GMA: (laughing) No, stop!

SA: 50 cents. Like that?

GMA: I set you up for that one.

SA: Yeah, you did. I feel like Gulliver. I said, no, really, if you, if I leave New Zealand and I go to Hong Kong or something and I go to the Exchange, can I actually turn this in and they'll give me other money for it. And they said, yeah, you're actually legal . . . so I feel like Gulliver.

GMA: And finally, since we've had some of your other costars here like Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood, okay, the tattoo.

SA: The tattoo.

GMA: The you guys all got.

SA: Yeah, people are so intrigued by the idea that we did this. It's just a little elf number nine, it looks like Hebrew or Arabic.

GMA: Where's yours?

SA: Mine is on my ankle. Hurt like a bear. My daughter was holding my hand the whole time and was like, "Daddy, if it hurts too much you can just crawl under the table with me."

GMA: And your daughter's in this movie!

SA: (beaming) Yes, she is. Yeah.

GMA: She is? A little cameo?

SA: She has a little moment at the end. She plays the hobbit Elanor, yeah.

GMA: The tradition continues.

SA: It does. (grinning) Hopefully.

GMA: Sean Astin, terrific!

SA: Thank you.

GMA: Continued success.

SA: Here, I'm going to pay you back. (hands her the NZ coin).

GMA: (laughing) What a guy! Thanks. Come back any time!

SA: Thank you.

Trilogy Tuesday Reports - Part Three!
Demosthenes @ 1:16 pm EST

You thought we were done on Trilogy Tuesday reports? There's still more, and here's some from Canada and Hawaii. These ones contain some spoilers - so beware!

Ringer Entwife Wandlimb, Sacramento

Hi! I got home this morning after 2 a.m. from Tuesday Trilogy in Sacramento, California. My husband and a friend got there at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to wait in line for good seats for the 1:00 show. There were over 90 people in line ahead of them, and that soon mushroomed as their friends and family arrived and joined them. The Century Theater began seating around 10 a.m. and my husband and friend got good seats. I called on the cell phone when I got there at about noon and my husband came to meet me. There was still a very long line of people waiting to get in to be seated. When I got there, I was able to sit down right after I got the hot dog, popcorn and drink included in my "orc feast." (It also included pizza and M&Ms, but I was really craving produce -- maybe from all the apples and carrots in the films). I did not go in costume and neither did most people, but there was an very good Sauruman, a family in costume including some decent elves and hobbits, and several people in what looked like Renaissance costumes. Arriving too late for good seats were a pair of women who made an excellent Sam and Frodo, including a large pack with pans and hairy feet. They looked appropriately weary (from waiting in line) and rather lost and discouraged (from looking for seats).

Some people had been sitting in the theater for over 3 hours when The Fellowship of the Ring started with a hearty cheer at the sight of the new line logo. The cheering and applause showered all three movies at appropriate parts and was lots of fun. The only problem was when the applause drowned out some dialog. The audience also enthusiastically hissed Grima Wormtongue, and laughed in all the right places (plus a few surprising ones). One thing I was dreading was a running commentary from the audience. This thankfully did not happen. I think the only time I really heard much muttering is when Elrond says to Frodo "Welcome to Rivendell..." dozens of people must have said "Mr. Anderson." The other time was for Peter Jackson's cameo in Fellowship when there were a few shouts of "Pete!" On the whole, watching these movies with fans was a real joy.

Trilogy Tuesday Souvenir Film Frame

At the break between 1 and 2, an employee with a good set of lungs announced that she had received an email from New Line and that a New Line rep. would be here to give out frames after the Return of the King at 1 a.m. As people relayed this info. around the theater to their companions, I heard them say "picture frames." In fact, they were frames of film. Each of us got a souvenir with a frame from each movie. I scanned in the box so you can get the idea. My frame had one of Frodo, one of Sam and one Aragorn and Theoden. My husband's had one of Sauron, one of Arwen and a shot of what looks like Gondor but is hard to tell. Really, really cool!

At about 9:15, there was a LONG break between TT and RotK -- over 45 minutes. This was a good chance for me to stretch my aching legs but really torture since I was dying to see the conclusion! Wandering around the lobby, there was a local news crew filming people in costume. There were quite a few folks in costume since people were there early to see the midnight showings of Return of the King.

When they FINALLY started the projector at 10 p.m., they started with previews, which received boos. People did cheer the Spiderman 2 preview, but everyone was really just wanting to see RotK (by the way, we saw about 4 previews, none of which were for Harry Potter). Finally, RotK started to much applause. Unlike the others, though, the cheering stopped at the Lord of the Rings title and the Return of the King title was met with an expectant hush.

Well, I will conclude this painfully detailed report to say that we saw the movie we all had been waiting for, filed out at 1:30 a.m., got our souvenir frames and were tempted to sneak into one of the midnight showings to see it again.

Ringer Hugh, Vancouver, BC

My experience with Trilogy Tuesday was identical to that already stayed here. I got to wait in the cold with 200 plus other people for 3 hours, then another 2 in the theatre. It was was fun though. Despite it being rainy, windy, and cold, everyone was in high spirits.

Trilogy Tuesday Filmclip Giftbox

The most memorable piece from the night was the audience. They were really into everything, clapping and cheering during eery "heroic" momment. Many involving Sam. The other stand out of the night (for me) would have to be the Sideshow Weta collectible film frame sets they handed out to everyone with a ticket.

I read another readers submission and I would like to say I'd much rather have an actual piece from each movie opposed to a t-shirt. I can buy one of those. This (unless you go ebay) you can't. The framed film negatives are one of kind, meaning each set is different.

Trilogy Tuesday Filmclip Giftbox

Ringer Lobelia Took, Coquitlam, BC Canada

As far as the three films were concerned - what can one say?! They were incredible! I've seen FOTR EE countless times, but it was a wonderful experience on the big screen. While I've only seen TTT EE a half a dozen times or so, seeing with such an appreciative crowd really improved the experience. Some scenes were really enhanced in the theatre setting.

Ringers At Trilogy Tuesday

But what an experience ROTK was!!!! For the first part I laughed at the humour, during the middle I was gripping my armrest with tension or adrenaline rushes from all the excitement, and for the last part, I cried, then I get myself together only to cry again. I think I cried for 50 minutes straight - sad, happy, tragic, happy, sad - whatever!

But the best part was seeing it with 449 other true fans. They cheered at the great moments in a way no other group I've ever scene a movie with ever has. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Thank you New Line.

Ringer Dana, Fresno

Just wanted to report what a super outstanding job Chelsea did as our TORN line leader. We had the 6th largest line party sign up and Chelsea made sure we all had a great time. I got there with my family at 8:00 a.m. Several of us made Lembas and handed out to folks (wrapped in green napkins of course!) as they were standing in line. Chelsea arrived and immediately showed off her well made and very handsome mini-banners (see photos) with the appropriate Middle Earth insignia! The Rohan one was the coolest! I ended up with the Gondor flag.

New Line had sent a bunch of stuff to give out at the line part including Sideshow-Weta busts, medallions, etc. Chelsea as always had a ton of activites and got people involved in order for folks to have a chance at winning. The mood was festive, there was a lot for folks to do and by the time we entered the theatre we were having fun.

The only dark note, and TORN should take note of this, is the way both Chelsea and the fans were treated by the Regal Edwards theatre. I was appalled at their attitude and, frankly, rude treatment of everyone. This theatre was completely unprepared for the event. Not only did they not have adequate concessions (and the only thing to eat basically besides sweets and popcorn was nachos and hot dogs?) but there were long concession lines and clearly understaffed. Furthermore, the refused to let Chelsea originally do any of her fun activities in the theatre itself, telling her because a local radio station was giving away posters etc. she would not be allowed to do so.

A small selection of images sent in from Fresno

She was taken in and "grilled" by the theatre managment about her intentions, and apparently Regal Entertainment backed their theatre's decision. Chelsea was finally able to do a very small amount of stuff only after the audience was forced to sit through a 5th grade level trivia contest put on by a local radio station, whose announcers had to ask how to pronounce Legolas' name. In addition some of the folks had their flags confiscated and held and I was told to leave and take my camera to the car as I was taking pictures of one of the skits (there was an hour until the movie started for pete's sake!).

They told me "I could not have my camera in there at all - no exceptions. I promised them I would take it to the car when we were finished with the activities. No dice. They escorted me to the door. Most of us felt like we were being barely tolerated by the theatre management...

Bottom line is, Regal is getting an email from me and other people in my line party. Chelsea was the epitome of an excellent host and took everything in stride, although she too was completely appalled at their behavior. I just don't think customers should tolerate that kind of treatment when they are paying $35 a ticket to an event.

Overall outstanding and New Line is to be commended! Enjoyed the event thoroughly in spite if the theatre!

Ringer Diane, Bakersfield, CA

It's amazing that we even got a trilogy showing here. There were two other theaters in Southern California! I was actually the second person to buy tickets because they didn't sell online and the phone line didn't work so you had to go to the box office. For me that is an hour away. I bought four tickets on the day, and then yesterday in line a woman gave me a ticket(!) because her companion had come down with the flu. So my husband was able to come from work, 2 hours away, and join our boys and me. It will go down as one of the most special family days ever!

The Pacific Theater handled it all so brilliantly! They allowed us in at 8:00 am to reserve seats so we didn't have to wait around the theater all day. They also let us reserve with the tickets, so the boys didn't have to get up at 6:00, drive down and wait in line with me. I didn't expect much of a line. In Bakersfield people generally don't line up.

Until TTT I hadn't waited in a movie line in Bakersfield since Star Wars in 1977! But people actually started lining up at 3:00 am! And it was darn cold for us thin skinned Californians! I needed to get 5 seats together and there were 200 people in line ahead of me, but we actually got really great seats on each side of the aisle second row. They gave us beautiful lanyard badges with seat numbers and we were free until 1:30.

During the day they had one door open just for trilogy people so we could go in and out with ease, which was really helpful because we had less than 30 minutes between shows. The theater they chose to use had restrooms right across the hall and the snack bar just to the left. Extremely convenient. They gave free refills on popcorn and soda all day long. Our line party leader had arranged fantastic giveaways between shows which is always fun. A lot of people dressed up. The local news showed up and interviewed people. The crowd was so much fun, cheering and clapping through each movie. The excitement was so high by the time ROTK started they were cheering the Feature Presention screen!

They started it at 10:00, which was really great because many people had long drives home, and it took quite awhile to hand out the frames, which was such a great surprise! Snaps to Newline for that! It was so wonderful to see the EE's on the big screen. Seeing them all together, and without previews or ads, made ROTK so much more intense and enjoyable! I'm so thankful we had the opportunity to experience Trilogy Tuesday!

Ringer Asphodel the PR Hobbit, Columbus, Ohio

I volunteered to do PR for the Columbus, Ohio Trilogy Tuesday line party, so I sent out a news release last week. We were very lucky to get a photographer from the Associated Press to cover the event. (He was amazed at what he saw.) For the record, Scott Davis, pictured in the photo, won the costume contest. And he stayed in character the whole time...12+ hours. He even had a beanbag fish toy that he bashed onto the floor as he sang Gollum's Fish Song from TTT.

Trilogy Tuesday was a fabulous experience thanks to our Line Party co-leaders Sidhe and Sidley and the many other volunteers involved. By the time I got to AMC Lennox Town Center 24 at 10:00 a.m., there were already about 125 in line ahead of me. It was cold, windy and raining on and off, but line party volunteers were handing out brochures from the newly-formed Ohio Ring Council ("ORC"), each with a sample Decipher card, and hot chocolate. The people behind me in line were very friendly and the time passed quickly as we talked about the movies (they hadn't read the books yet.) At about 11:15 Bob, the manager, came out and announced how the logistics would work: each of us would get a hand stamp and an incredibly cool "Trilogy Tuesday All Day Pass" on a lanyard. This would get us into the auditorium, as well as get us discounts on food all day. The doors opened about 11:30 and we all made our way into the deserted theatre, feeling very smug and fortunate! I got three unbelievably great seats in the center of the fifth row. My two friends would come later; they were resting at the hotel. (They both have physical problems and we really didn't know if they'd be able to hold up through the whole marathon.) All of us costume geeks w andered around admiring each other--all in all, about 35 people came in costumes they'd made themselves. We filled up several Toys for Tots collection boxes that the line party had stationed in the lobby. There were also many freebies at ORC's table. ORC/line party volunteers ran a trivia contest (I won a starter deck of Decipher cards and three booster packs!) while we waited for Fellowship to start.

The atmosphere was electric! As it got closer to 1:00 p.m., people were showing up to see other films. I think they really enjoyed standing in the concession lines with characters from Lord of the Rings!

In the few minutes before Fellowship started, the crowd was bursting with excitement and the talk got louder and louder. Then, the theatre went dark and we all cheered! Mercifully, AMC skipped everything (no trailers, no "visit the concession stand," no ads) and went straight to the New Line logo. There was another roar from the crowd and then total silence as the film started.

Excitement and tension built throughout the day as the time just flew by. The crowd was like some kind of multi-celled organism--we laughed and cried together all day long. Everyone--and I mean everyone--was kind, enthusiastic, generous, thoughtful, grateful and so happy to be taking part in such a meaningful experience. The theatre management was tremendously supportive (Thanks AMC, thanks Bob the Manager!!)

It seemed like everyone was back in their seats waaay early for ROTK. The line party leaders started playing LOTR trivia again, just to kill time. My friends had brought a package of Keebler elf-shaped cookies, and they gave them to the line party folks to reward correct answers. Leftover cookies were then tossed into the crowd like apples for Pippin.

By the time Return of the King was ready to start, we had whipped ourselves into a frenzy! And we were not disappointed. We cheered each character as they each had their "hero moments." The loudest was for Eowyn--people involuntarily leapt out of their seats when her time came. We cheered Gandalf and Sam and Aragorn and Pippin and Gwaihir...and we all cried like babies during so much of the film (men and women alike). But it was okay, because we were all in it together.

It's an experience I will never, ever forget...and I want to thank Tolkien for writing my favorite books ever; Peter Jackson and the best cast and crew ever; all of you at TORN, the best "fan-moot" ever; Maegwen from TORN, and her work on the Ticket Exchange that made my Trilogy Tuesday experience possible; thanks so much to AMC and Bob; the line party volunteers; New Line, the businesses that donated line party prizes, my fellow audience members, and the friends who came with me. Despite their problems with chronic pain, my friends made it through the day thanks to the best pain meds around: escapism courtesty of Tolkien and Jackson et al.

Ringer Almarek, Birmingham, Alabama

This past Tuesday, at only two movie screens per state, New Line Cinema gave an early gift to movie aficionados - an eleven-hour marathon showing of the extended versions of the first two Lord of the Rings movies, followed by the premiere of the final installment, Return of the King. We arrived at 11:30 for the 2:15 showing; we stumbled out of the theater about 2:30 am, tired but thrilled.

An event just for geeks? Perhaps, although the audience ranged from teenage to 50s, only a handful wore costumes, and this was the most polite, savvy audience I've ever been in a movie with. Not a single cell phone went off during all three movies. At the dramatic death of Boromir in the first film, not a sound was made by the audience during the sequence - not a cough, whisper, or rustle of popcorn bag or drink. How nice! How rare! At appropriate places during the second and third movies, there was cheering and clapping for our heroes.

The Carmike Summit (Birmingham, Alabama) management and staff deserve great praise. From letting us into the theater early to providing us with (excellent!) food during the breaks to running a brief costume contest, they bent over backwards to make this a special day for us - we appreciate it! As a souvenir, each trilogy "survivor" was given a film cel from each of the three movies - truly cool!

Return of the King has been glowingly reviewed elsewhere, and I concur - the third Ring is golden.

Ringer Pam, Short Pump

I had missed getting tickets originally for it for my husband and me and still offered to help the Line Party at Short Pump with anything, even though I wouldn't see the films (I already was also Line Leader for Commonwealth 20, so knew would see ROTK on 17th (which did, with family)). Anyway, I dresed up in my costume, my husband fixed my pointed ear tips to my ears and I got my stuff and went to the theater, getting there at about 8:30PM. There was a line already, but I was not that far back in my spot. Met up with the neat people of Short Pump's Line Party, including Karyn who made our lovely name tags in Tengwar. thank you, Karyn again! I wore mine the next day at Commonwealth 20, with pride!

Those with tickets were let in around 11AM, I think, and I stood by the theater door, waiting for someone who had e-maield me had a ticket I could buy at face value, but wouldn't be there till about Noon. At maybe around 11:30AM a lady approached me and said that I looked like a real fan of the films and asked if I like to buy two tickets. Well, my husband wasn't there as since never got the tickets originally he was working and I replied I only needed one ticket.

After a bit she sold the one ticket to me and I went into join the others, who had save me a seat with my pillow (thanks guys again!). Thanks again to that unknown woman (never got her name) for my ticket.

We had a costume contest (which I was the judge, along with another, Bill) and had some neat costumes that won (planned on five, which I had certificates made up and another member of Line got bookmarks to give with the certs), a trivia contest (one for movies, other for the books) and our second breakfast, which people donated breakfast non-perishable items (which it went real well) and got to put in their names for drawing of a basket of LOTR items.

Our Line's resident hobbit, Karyn (who looked like Frodo it was uncanny and was only one at theater and won costume contest of most hobbit-like) won the drawing. So between that, and being allowed to get up and leave the theater (long as we kept our ticket stubs and our hands stamped with red stamp), which at one point before the movie another member and I went over to Barnes and Noble Bookstore, the time passed well.

Then the movies started and the time passed greatly for us all, esp. when at 10PM ROTK came on. Before knew it 2AM was there and we had to leave, picking up our New Line/Weta collectibles and go home.

All in all, it was a day and night well spent!

Ringer Scott, Hawaii

Our day was just amazing. As all things Hawaiian, the whole experience was filled with Aloha and good-will towards all Tolkien lovers who d come to participate. The event was 99% sold out and by day s end, the entire theatre was packed. The promoter of our event, Pono Shims, started back in early October to make sure that things turned out perfectly for all who participated by sending out an email telling us what to expect on the big day.

I started by waking up at around 6 AM. As I was getting ready, I was thinking to myself, This will be one of the greatest adventures of my life! I excitedly put on my comfiest clothes and prepared a backpack of books, and put a few tid bits to eat in a cooler for my car.

The email told us to show up at the theatre by 8 AM, though I came at 7 to make sure I got a good parking place! I knew super early arrival wouldn t matter since we all knew that the seating priority would be by (first) the day you bought your ticket and (second) next the time you showed up PAST 8 AM. Then your seat would be assigned to you and a lanyard with that seat number issued and would be yours for the entire day. BEST OF ALL, each person had to either show up personally or send a proxy to take their place. NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO RESERVE SEATS for others by putting a sweater (or the like) on a seat. All was VERY clear, orderly, and most of all FAIR!

At 8 AM, we were lined up according to the day we purchased our ticket, which took about 20 minutes. Then we were filed into the building, our tickets torn and then escorted to a holding auditorium, where we sat and chatted with the people around us. Once we were all inside, we were taken by groups of 20 into the auditorium where we d be watching the films and each person in a group of 20 was allowed to pick their individual seat. I was about ½ way in the line outside and I STILL got a GREAT seat just off to the center of middle section. Only the really late-dated ticket holders had to sit down front (or if the ones who came too late because they didn t read their email close enough to make sure they got there by 8 AM).

After all the seats were chosen, assigned, and lanyards secured, only about 2 hours had passed. Then we were dismissed for the remainer of the morning with instructions to return by 1 1:15 PM (12:00 if you wanted to go to the special LOTR Gift Shop they d set up).

I hung out in the mall until 12, bought some Rings goodies (Trilogy folks got an additional 25% off too). Then around 1, everyone was showing back up in full gear! There were Hobbits, Elves, Wizards, etc, EVERYWHERE! I had only worn my One Ring T Shirt&I felt very underdressed! At 1:15 I took my seat next to my Tolkien family and for the next 12 hours I participated in the cheers, tears, applause and laughter of the LOTR trilogy. Between FOTR and TTT for those who preordered it, there was a special dinner of Rabbit Stew and Lambas bread (it WAS very tasty!). There were film introductions by the Tolkien Society of Hawaii, who issued Kleenex boxes for each row just before the beginning of ROTK and before long they were being passed up and down the aisles as ALL of us needed them! New line was there for us as well. Leaving with my gift of the 3 movie cells seemed a perfectly appropriate parting gift.

It felt so wonderful to be apart of this historic event. There, in the theatre, we were free to experience the trilogy wholly and completely as ourselves. All of us were there - Ring freaks, book geeks, story purists, LOTR movie enthusiasts, old timers, newbies, fans of every age, size, walk of life - to experience together, the complete work of Peter Jackson and final chapter of Frodo s journey. It could not have been a more perfect event.

When I returned home at 3 AM, I got ready for bed, the vivid images still playing in my mind, and as I lay my head on my pillow I thought to myself& I m back !

Ringer Julia, Hawaii

After reading about other's Triology Tuesday adventures, I just had to write a few words about our wonderful experience at Ward Theatres in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Even long before the movie, the theatre and especially one person from the Concierge Services (thank you so much, Pono!) had gone to great lengths to plan everything and let the fans know about all the details in advance (through a mailing list). Apart from lots of great merchandise offered there was a commemorative t-shirt you could order, and for THE day you could also pre-order a real Hobbit-dinner ("rabbit"-muschroom stew with scones) :)

When tuesday finally came, pretty much everybody already knew the procedure. there would be no long lines and waiting outside. Instead, when the doors opened at 8 in the morning people were let inside in order of when they had bought their tickets, first day first. When entering the lobby, everybody was handed an "Air New Zealand" bag with some goodies and a ticket to win a trip to Middle Earth.

Everyboy was then seated top row to bottom in a theatre adjacent to the one that would show the triology. Then, row by row people were led to the "real" theatre and given time to select their seats. Once people selected a seat their name was written on a chart and everybody recieved a cool Triology Tuesday ticket in a little plastic cover (looked like a VIP concert ticket) which also had your seat number and dinner selection on it.

The whole process was very efficient and comfortable... no standing around, no racing for the best seats, no pushing and shoving, and no people taking away rows of empty seats to reserve for others. After a short while everybody had found a seat and we could now come and go as we choose, without ever worrying to loose our seats.

Lots of fans trekked over to nearby restaurants for a second breakfast and hobbits, elfs and wizards were seen wandering all over the mall :) Around noon then, people started returning to the theatre, the merchandaise stand became crowded (with everything at reduced prices for Triology viewers) and TV crews started hunting down people in costume for interviews (hobbits with hairy feet, white wizards, shieldmaidens and even the "royal couple" were amongst those wonderful creations).

Finally, at about 1:45, everybody was back in the theatre and after some opening words from a member of the Tolkien Society Hawaii (thank you Shalane!) it was time for "Fellowship". What an experience to see the Extended version on the big screen! There were also no commercials or previews shown before any of the three movies, so nothing would distract you from the pure joy of it all. After the forst movie was over everybody who had pre-ordered dinner could head over and pick it up in the lobby. The 30-minute break allowed for plenty of time to eat and stretch your legs before "Towers" started.

With two over, there was one to go and by 10 pm everybody seemed tired (people were sleeping streched out on the seats during the last break) but more than ready for "Return of the King". Outside, long lines had already fomed for the three midnight showings, but inside, everybody was happy thatwe didn't have to wait another two hours! The movie itself... what can I say? Apart from it being amazing and emotional it was a wonderful experience to share with all the people in the theatre that night. They were cheers (when Eowyn killed the Witchking and Sam wounded Shelob) and tears (all the way through the long end) and with the other two movies fresh in mind there was a feeling of completeness that was sad and wonderful at the same time.

At the end, picking up the gift from New Line it seemed like a perfect ending to a perfect day. A big Mahalo goes to the staff of Ward Theatres and the Concierge Services for making sure this day would be a a special experience we will always remember.

Ringer Sarkis316, Orange County

The AMC 30 at the block is Orange, CA put on a great show. Everything was extremely well organized and we were well taken care of. There was absolutely zero chaos and for the most part most of the people there weren't too rowdy during the films.

We got free and heavily discounted food along with a special edition film frame collectible after Return of the King. I don't want to spoil anything from ROTK but it was a very highly action packed movie with probably more memorable moments in it than either of the first two movies. I don't think toward the end there was a dry eye in the house. It was tons of fun, AMC did a really good job.

Trilogy Tuesday Reports - Part Two!
Demosthenes @ 12:31 am EST

Wow, I've only just scratched the surface on these reports - there are so many. I honestly don't think we'll be physically able to post them all. Nevertheless, much kudos to everyone who's written in - here's a bunch more from places as far flung as New York, New Orleans, Orange County, Arizona and Portland.

Ringer Earl, Tempe, Arizona

Twenty-and-a-half hours, red eyes, and a full heart. An emotionally draining and supremely entertaining experience.

I arrived at Harkins Arizona Mills theater at 5:30 am, but over a quarter of the audience - about 120 - were already there overnight in sleeping bags, tents, and chairs. The auditorium holds on the order of 440, and on infamous Ticket Thursday back in October all tickets were sold in less than 15 minutes, all to people standing in line at this very spot as the computers failed. So we know how to wait in line. I came at 5:30 am because I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. A fellow in front of me who came at 11pm said he didn't intend to. But he found he couldn't sleep, so he grabbed his sleeping bag and came on down. One of the line party volunteers I met at 6 am told me she had already been up over 26 hours preparing for this. We are the elite - the geekiest of the geeks, and this is EXACTLY the event we want. Apparently, we literally can't wait.

Also already on the scene was the first of four television news teams that would cover the event with live reports that morning. People slept, talked, played games, read, or just shivered in the chilly (though not frigid) Arizona morning. My homage to the event was a simple leaf broach and cloak. Many very more elaborate costumes were in attendance including a full-on Gandalf, and a startlingly real Grima. A four year old with cloak and pointy ears was the image of a hobbit child.

To protect the line order and avoid chaos in seating, the theater established that there would be no seat saving. They started admitting at noon, twenty at a time. You picked a seat, got a wrist band with its number, and it was marked off a seating chart. That seat was your home for the next 14 hours. This caused some scrambling for me personally, as my wife had planned to skip the first movie and join me for the Two Towers - clearly impossible with these seating rules. However, since you could exit and reenter the complex as much as you wished, she was able to join me in time to get a seat assignment, then leave. Three IDs ruled our day - a ticket stub (needed to reenter the theater complex), a Trilogy Tuesday card on a lanyard for admittance to the auditorium, and a wrist band to enforce ownership of (and help you re-find) your seat.

A wide variety of food was available at the Mall's Food Court right outside of the theater, and it appeared that our 440 new customers provided a significant impact on their Tuesday evening business in the half-hour breaks between movies.

FOTR-EE - it was like seeing it afresh - I won't say like the first time, but with fresh eyes, anticipating the jokes and laughing at them as if they were new, knowing what's coming, but getting swept away anyway. Cheers at the start and applause at the end, but mostly rapt attention. I see 440 faces in intense concentration - absorbing, becoming a part of what's on the screen. During quiet parts, the audience is silent - not so much as a popcorn crunch. We - all of us - must have every detail, every nuance. This is active, participatory movie watching.

TTT-EE - even more so. Cheers (louder) start the show. Many, like myself, had not yet seen the Extended Edition, so it was almost like a new movie. From the point of view of watching in a theater, I found the EE edition was better - not because I wanted it to be longer, but the story was clearer, the motivations and relationships were easier to understand. I found myself many times saying "Oh! So that's why ...". If FOTR was savoring an old, well known master, TTT was learning new and interesting things about an old friend. Also, in many places I found I was thinking, as I had so many times before, that it was too bad I would have to wait so long to see how this or that developed - and reminding myself that I don't have to! THIS IS IT! I see it all tonight.

ROTK - It's after 10 pm. The audience has already been at the theater on average for something like 12-14 hours - some much, much longer. So are we dragging? Bored? Complaining? Irritable? None of these. The energy has grown. The anticipation is palpable. Eager, excited faces that you would swear had just awakened. But mostly excitement. THIS IS IT! The culmination of years of anticipation is here in just the right environment. The journey through the first two movies is fresh in our minds, there are no distractions, and the payoff comes NOW! Cheers (loudest) greet the "Lord of the Rings" banner, then really intense movie watching begins. As a body, we say take us away, and away we are taken. We laugh, we cry, we cheer, but mostly we are just there inside Middle Earth. At the end, very heartfelt applause, but even louder cheers come for the first credit - "directed by Peter Jackson".

After picking up our New Line gift, so many wet eyes, so many smiles. A warm glow of satisfaction and fulfillment. This was an unforgettable, and unlikely to be duplicated movie experience. The thanks start with Peter Jackson and New Line. But also thanks to the Harkins Theater management and to the TORN line party volunteers, particularly line leader Steve Thomas.

Ringer Tish, Washinton DC

Trilogy Tuesday, Uptown Theater, Washington, D.C.
The Theater That Turned It Around

TORN covered extensively the many problems that arose with Tuesday Trilogy Tickets to the Uptown Theater, in Washington, D.C. The consternation is understandable for fans who wanted tickets and were thwarted by Fandango foul-ups and problems with the Uptown box office. The Uptown is a renowned venue in the mid-Atlantic. It holds over 800 people, has a 32 by 70 foot screen, a real balcony, a huge, old-fashioned marquee, and, of course, nightmare parking.

The confusion regarding tickets had persisted into the weeks leading up to Trilogy Tuesday. Among other things, it wasn't certain, because tickets were sold individually, and not as a single set, whether we would have to clear out of the theater after each showing. I'd been concerned by the Uptown in the past -- they have frequently seemed to be very unprepared for and caught off guard by the big event movies that always play there. Many were very concerned that the Uptown would not be able to rise to the demands of Trilogy Tuesday.

TORN regulars were really helped by Miriel, our outstanding Line Leader. She and other members came up with great ideas to solve the parking problems, the potential seating problems, food runs, and all other manner of things.

A special thanks is owed to Tom Whittington, managing director at the theater. Under his direction, Trilogy Tuesday went off beautifully. He was obviously aware of the negative reports on the Internet regarding the Uptown and Fandango's handling of the tickets. He asked specifically that we report on the event. Given their outstanding efforts undertaken, it's the least I can do.
Among other things, the Uptown:

Unfortunately, there wasn't anything they could do about the heat 800 excited bodies generated -- it got uncomfortably warm in the balcony. And, the ads and trailers before ROTK were annoying.

And then, there were the moview. Wow.

It was really a great event and those in attendance were really grateful to Tom and the rest of the staff for really making it a great day.

Ringer Lisalas, Michigan

I attended Trilogy Tuesday at the Showcase Cinema West in Flint, Michigan. I'd love to offer my thanks to this theatre and the people there who made this event possible! It was AWESOME!

I planned to arrive at the theatre at 11:30 and go pick up lunch with a friend. The doors were supposed to open at noon. It was raining and cold, and when I drove in the parking lot, the crowd in line was filtering into the theatre early. Very kind of the management! My friend and I still went to lunch and arrived back at the theatre about noon. At lunch we noticed a couple of guys and one was carrying Kleenex and Advil; my friend thought they must be attending the Trilogy also. (She was right, as we saw them there later on!)

We entered the theatre, tickets in hand, and made our way back to where the activity was occurring. A member of management spoke to us about the theatre's policies. We had to have our ticket stub to re-enter the area where the trilogy was being shown; we also needed it to redeem our free gift from New Line. They also had a menu with LOTR-themed names, such as Gandalf Wizard Wings (hot wings) and Frodo fries.

The theatre opened a second auditorium to show the trilogy, so we were NOT crowded at all. Therefore 800 seats were available for the approximately 388 ticketholders which was very spacious! It was very nice to be able to spread out a bit and not to have to walk past many many people's knees to get in and out of our seats. It was also good, due to the current flu concerns.

It was wonderful to see the movies with an audience who obviously cared about the movie - clapping, cheering, laughing in the right places, etc... I heard many people conversing knowledgeably about Tolkien and the movies. I would have liked some organized sort of activity to get people bonding. Almost everyone I saw simply talked to the people they came with. An activity led by an audience member or by management would have been helpful in that regard.

I saw a few people in costume - Frodo, Arwen, etc... Not too many; most people dressed very comfortably - a good idea when one will be sitting in a theatre seat for 10 hours or more!

New Line gave us each a gift - it is a picture frame from Sideshow-WETA with a frame from a movie reel from each of the films in it - so 3 total. Mine has Merry, Frodo, and Faramir.

The first film was scheduled to start at 1:15. The second was at 5:30 and ROTK was set to show at 10:00 pm. There were breaks between each film of about 45 minutes. We had enough time to leave the theatre and go get fast food. The actual ROTK film started at about 10:20 due to all the theatre info reels and previews (6, I think!).

I used a lot of Kleenex from my LOTR-decorated Kleenex box - tears falling everywhere! Amazing, but I still cry at Boromir's death EVERY time. I made it through all of ROTK without needing to visit the restroom, which was very conveniently located JUST outside the theatre door. (Not FOTR or TT,though, lol. I know right where to go in each of those so I didn't miss much - Wizard Smackdown scene and part of the Warg battle.)

We asked a couple of other theatregoers to take our picture and we also took their photo and will send it to them.

It was heaven to see the FOTR EE and TT EE on the big screen! Once in a lifetime chance! I realized as I was sitting in the theatre that I get to up my count for the theatrical viewings of those movies, which makes 10 for FOTR and 6 for TT. YAY! (I plan at least 11 viewings of ROTK, to exceed my previous record. )

ROTK was wonderful. So many scenes from it are running through my mind today! Planning to go see it again tomorrow.

We exited the theatre about 1:40 to be greeted by some slippery looking snow showers. But I made it home in one piece, and during the whole drive was thinking about the people who were still watching it!

And, yes, my rear end was sore by the end, but it was WORTH IT!!

Ringers -Nevlothiel and Nevwethiel-, Silvercity

On December 16th, 2003, we skipped school and lined up at Famous Players Silvercity Richmond at 6:00 am, about 8 hours after the first people had gotten in line (There were 5 of them, and they camped out!!) It was about 2 degrees celcius. We had our LOTR soundtracks, blankets, gloves, schoolwork, and camp stools to sit on. We were in the line up outside the theater for about 5 and a half hours, although it seemed like 1. We met a lot of interesting people in the line up. Lord of the Rings fans are always SUCH nice people. One lady gave us an extra blanket, and the guy next to us in line gave us The Province newspaper (with RotK articles!) for free!! The doors to the theatre opened at exactly 11:35am (Of course, 5 minutes later than they said!) Everyone rushed in to get a good seat, even though the Famous Players workers told us all to walk SLOWLY.

Our seats were smack dab in the middle of the fourth row from the top. It was awesome!! On the way in, we each got a free collectible gift from Sideshow Weta collectibles. It was a film snippet of each film in a frame. Totally cool!! There were also about a million ticket checks to get into the theater, and the workers kept reminding us "DON'T LOSE YOUR TICKET STUB!!!!" At approximately 1:30 pm, The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Version began. It ran until around 4:45pm. We both cried our eyes out!

After that, we got a 45 minute break to go to the washroom and stretch. It felt as though it went by in 10 minutes!! Anyways, back in the theatre, we watched The Two Towers Extended Version. Once again, we cried our eyes out, even though we'd seen the movie a few hundred times before this!

We got another half hour break in between TTT and ROTK. We were both freaking out, and we started crying before the movie even started! At 10:00 pm on December 16th, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King began. Everyone began whooping and cheering at the top of their lungs. It ran approximately 3 and a half hours. We had tears pouring down our cheeks the entire time, and we even started to hyperventilate. Everyone in the theater cheered for the characters throughout the movie, and we even started some of the cheers! It was just so incredibly intense, you couldn't help but feel like you were THERE with the characters. It was so sad, and extremely heartbreaking. We just didn't want to believe it was over! At the end of ROTK, we both got up, faces and clothes soaked with tears, and gave it a standing ovation!!

ROTK was the truest to the book out of the entire movie trilogy. PJ, you did an excellent job on this movie, and that's the understatement of the millenium. Words cannot describe how amazing this movie is. Our advice to all that have not seen ROTK: BRING KLEENEX!! YOU WILL CRY!! We guarantee it. Enjoy the movie and namarie!!

Ringer Sally, Orange County

I was one of the lucky ones to acquire tickets to Trilogy Tuesday at our AMC Theatre nearby in Orange Calif. Let me tell you that right from the start, it was an excellent experience.

I met up with some Line Party people at a local restaurant for breakfast at 6:30 AM. Met some really great folks and had a small breakfast. My stomach was a little too nervous to do the whole big breakfast thing. Anyway, after a quick breakfast, we headed to the theatre to scope it out. They had told us we could not start to line up until 8 AM. When we arrived, there were about 30-40 people standing next to the official line start, just having coffee. So we got right behind them and had some coffee too. At 8 AM we ducked under the official line marker and started the real line. Security was there and all was fine, no problems. Our theater held 576 people, so being about 40-50th in line was great. While in line, we chatted with all the other Ringers, played Trivial Pursuit and generally had fun. Then about 10:30 or so, the "suits" came outside and started telling us what was going to happen... they gave each of us a lanyard with a very cool "Trilogy Tuesday" picture of LOTR with all the cast. It was really cool, and a great memento of the day. You could wear this around your neck and go in and out of the theatre all day. Very handy for leg stretch time...

When it was time to enter the theatre, they allowed about 50 people at a time, so there was no pushing, shoving or anything like that. None of us granny's got run over that way. It was all very organized. Very well run, and since this was my first time at this, I wasn't sure what to expect.

Once in the theatre and you had your seat, all you had to do was ask a neighbor to save it for you if you had to leave during breaks... everyone was super nice about this. Just like I would expect from Ringers.

The FOTR EE started at 1:00 PM, with NO trailers. It was superb. then at 4:30 PM we had a 1 hour break. The AMC offered us hot dogs, nachos and pretzels for $1 all day. A soda was purchased once for regular price, it was re-filled all day for free. Then, at 5:30 PM TTT EE started, with NO trailers, and it also was superb. Big screen and sound is WOW. During each 1 hour break the AMC staff played trivia with us and gave away T-shirts for correct answers... it was fun. Although sitting with 575 other LOTR fans, I didn't stand a chance of winning... way too much competition! During the break between TTT and ROTK the AMC furnished us with Pizza for free. A cool touch indeed.

Then the grand finale... at 10:00 PM ROTK started, again with NO trailers... although I heard that there was supposed to be trailers but they had "issues" with the projector and didn't want to waste the time, or risk a riot if they delayed ROTK... not sure which is true. Anyway, it started and it was spectacular. I won't go into all the details as I've read plenty of reviews already today, but it was not a let down. Peter Jackson did not let us down in my opinion. There were missing things, but just like the other two, the EE should pull it all together for us. After the ROTK was finished, I could not leave my seat for 15 minutes... it was that emotional for me. I LOVED IT. Upon exiting we rec'd a picture frame from New Line Cinema, not sure if the whole country got these, but it was a nice touch. Both that and the lanyard will make a great mementos of a perfect day.

The entire day was a great experience and my AMC Theatre (at The Block in Orange) did an outstanding job of making it a truly memorable experience. A huge Thank You to AMC for the whole day.

Ringer Kieryn Baggins, NYC

I just thought I would drop you a note about my experience with Trilogy Tuesday! Three friends and I had been looking forward to this for months, so we were all excited when the day finally arrived.

We were attending the Trilogy at the Palisades Center in West Nyack, NY. Living in NYC, we decided that we would just take the bus. Well we got to the platform at 8:30 thinking that would give us plenty of time to get there. However, when 9:30 rolled around and the 8:45 bus still hadn't appeared, we started to get antsy.

Being theatre-folk living in New York, we decided that renting a car was out, but if we continued to wait for the bus, who knows when we'd get there! So finally, we made the decision. We went to the nearest U-Haul place and rented a cargo van. Granted there were 4 of us and 2 seats, so a friend and I ended up sprawled out in the back on the nasty floor, ducking everytime we passed a toll plaza or the cops!

Well we arrived at 11:30. Plenty of time to spare. We even got great seats, TOGETHER! Then 1:15 rolled around, and the event began.

It was great to see "Fellowship" on the big screen again... especially being the extended edition. After a 35 minute break, we were back for "The Two Towers". My friends and I had decided not to see the extended edition because we knew we would be seeing it on the big screen... and we were not disappointed!!

The extended edition of "Two Towers" was incredible! As a fan of the books, I was certainly confused about some of the choices made for the film, but the extended edition made it all clear... especially about the change in Faramir. It was like seeing an entirely new movie, and it was fantastic!!

Then we had a 45 minute break before "Return of the King". By this time it was 9:30pm and I thought I would be tired... but not at all! I was so jazzed about the thought of seeing "The Return of the King." I could hardly contain my excitement!

The third installment of the Trilogy was AMAZING! I'm not going to say much more about it for fear of spoiling some of it, but I was incredibly impressed. I never thought that anything could out-do the first two films, but this one blew them out of the water! I was still a little disappointed in some of the choices made for the film, but that was only a very small blemish on an absolutely fantastic movie!

The Trilogy ended at 1:30am, and on the way out of the theatre, we all got commemorative picture frames made by Sideshow Weta. It has three windows in it and in each of those windows is a film frame from the movies (one from each). It was very nice of New Line Cinema to give these to us, and it just added the icing to an already wonderful cake!

Well, we all piled back into the cargo van and proceeded to duck cops once again and head back to the city. We arrived back in NYC around 3am, and we all had to be up in a few hours for work... but it was worth it. Trilogy Tuesday was an incredible adventure for my friends and myself, and we will always remember fondly of our quest into Upstate NY and the Fellowship of the Van!

Ringer Chuck, Hampton, Virginia

I would like to thank Susan and Company at the AMC Theater Hampton for their management of Trilogy Tuesday. Upon arriving at 7:50, there was already a sign indicating what time the theater would open to let us in. After 8:30, Susan came out and informed us that as soon as other staff arrived, they would open the doors to the theaters to get us out of the cold. At 9:30, we were taking our seats. AMC provided a nice lanyard that indicated that we were with the event and provided free refills on large drinks and popcorn; nachos and hotdogs were sold for $1.00.

Once Fellowship started, I noticed immediately an annoying flicker on the screen. I was a little miffed about this, but tried my best to get used to it (in fact, after a while, I did not notice it anymore). Immediately following the movie, the theater recalibrated the projector. They repeated this process just prior to ROTK. The presentation was perfect. In addition, besides the courtesy trailer (The Silence Is Golden Submarine trailer, really funny stuff), they did not show the customary "commercials" or previews. Between the TT and ROTK, they provided 2 slices of pizza: and there was enough for seconds and thirds (seriously, they were trying to get folks down to get rid of the cheese pizza).

But the staff and management of the Hampton Virginia AMC really went out of their way to provide a great experience for us ringers!

Ringer Matt, Seattle

Like the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films itself, this tale shall begin with a brief prologue of grim and dark things, i.e. the ticket mess up. We in the Seattle area hold the Cinerama as our Mecca for movies, an absolutely huge screen, managers that often reply classics, and exactly the right refreshments at the concession stand. However, even despite the mess-up on-line, our beloved Cinerama managed to make things worse by opening up the box office, not telling anyone who was or had been calling and/or emailing in, and thus those who spent hours and hours trying to get tickets were shut out while Joe-scalper could walk up and buy 10 or 20 and subseuqnetly scalp them on Ebay.

The dark ages over, those like myself who managed to get a few honest tickets (one on-line order went through after 7 hours of trying from 3 computers), ventured up to Cinerama at 9:00pm Monday night.

Sixteen hours early, we got our place on the sidewalk, ready to sit it out in the good ol' Seattle rain and cold. The three of us took turns holding the line while others tried to sleep in their car. We made friends with those before and behind us, and even held their spot while they went for coffee or a shower (some rented hotel rooms across the street). I love this new social thing of "Line Parties". I feel they're just beginning to take their true form.

NOTE: Amy and Chris, this is Jessica and Matt (the one dressed up in green and chainmail), and we wanted to know if you'd like to talk in the future, perhaps form a friendship--we really liked you, so if you read this, contact me at golden-fleece@mindspring.com

Back to the tale: It rained off and on, we got soaked of course, and by morning's light there were a good 30 or 40 people ahead of us (others holding places for their friends). We worked it out with them about who would be going for which seats. The Cinerama being after all full of seats beyond count, ours must have seemed of little importance, being neither renowned as great viewing spots, nor counting amongst the very best sound.

The doors were to open at 11:00am. A Dwarf of Lonely Mountain, clad in full mail and gear, stormed up and down the line pumping (and waking) everybody up. Other good costumes included Aragorn, the Witch-King (on stilts), Denethor, Merry, and other Elves and Hobbits, including two young looking (though they were probably of two or three thousand years) Elf ladies whom I imagine must be magical to have not frozen in their thin cloaks, and two hobbit lasses who sat next to us in the film and were absolutely adorable.

11:00am, and the doors stand closed, as if they were the very gates of Moria. Finally, after the crowd begins to get restless, at 11:15 they open, and doubt as to whether the Cinerama can regain our respect looms in the air.

To their credit, Cinerama planned to assign seat numbers once everybody was settled, so during intermission you kept your spot. However, they started handing out these tickets at 12:45, with a 1:00pm Fellowship start time, which thus did not begin until 1:25 as a result. More doubt cast upon our Mecca's management. I mean, after all, we sat inside for an hour and a half doing nothing--why not hand out the seating tickets earlier?

But like the battle at the walls of Minas Tirith, the tide kept turning back and forth, as Cinerama had ordered 168 pizzas to feed everybody during intermission between Towers and King. But with 800 seats, everybody got only 1 or 2 slices, albeit big slices, and that was enough. They did hand those out in an orderly fashion, and everybody was happy.

Now, on to the Trilogy itself.

I saw Fellowship in the theater 17 times, and Towers 3 times (I came down with Mono last year and couldn't get out much), and of course have watched both editions of both films at home several times. So, with little sleep, the first film was somewhat of a trial to sit through, as it was all "been here before, waiting for King", even though fellowship IS my favorite book of the three volumes. However, this initial wariness invited a different experience altogether, and that I could relate with Frodo much, much more, feeling the burden of the journey he knows that lies ahead, and I kept telling myself, as he must have done, how I simply must keep going.

The crowd was into it--the classic cheer for Lurtz losing his head was only a prelude to the cheers that would begin during Two Towers, and grow in frequency throughout the evening. Towers of course was was more exciting and woke more people up, as anxiety built for King.

And the Return of the King? I won't give big spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet, but I will say this: It feels longer than 3:20 hours, but in a goods way. Just as Fellowship did not feel like the three hours it was, but rather like two, King feels like four, maybe even five hours, but it has a relentless pace, and you just cannot take your eyes off it (much like Frodo and the Ring).

This is partially because the film takes its time getting to the Shelob, which I would guess is somewhere late in hour 2, and then the siege of Minas Tirith is all condensed into a huge, single but satisfying battle--the tide does not turn back and forth so much, as it is simply more masses coming in one after another. A bit too much daylight for my taste (I always pictured an endless night filled with siege fires), but that's a piddy preference.

The film makes you start to wonder how much of King will be left, as the film "must run out of time sooner or later", but Jackson pulls it all together, quicking the pace. For example, Cirith Ungol is about as short a scene as Bree was, very rushed, and Frodo and Sam do not at all cross paths with orcs inside Mordor (being forced to march once being mistaken for Orcs). I'll bet those scenes were filmed but cut, and we'll see them (along with Saruman, who was also cut), in the extended DVD. And the end?

The end?

In Fellowship, most people wept when the Fellowship left Moria and mourned Gandalf, and some cried at the end as well. However, with 800 seats, maybe two or three were not soaked in tears for the last hour of King. It was heartwarming, and the ultimate tribute to Tolkien's efforts, to see everybody, including macho 19-yo guys who would normally heckle and joke at the screen to cover up their insecurity when facing drama, openly weeping for this tale of friendship, fellowship, loss and love.

We then left, and after 30 hours of the Trilogy, I came home and slept until now, 12 hours later, when I write this report. I apologize for the length.

Farewell, and may the blessings of Elves, and Men, and all good movies be with you.

Ringer arwen_evenstar, line party leader Harahan AMC Palace 20

I woke up at 3:30am in order to get in costume and help my friend put on hobbit hair. We arrived at the theater around 5:00am. There were two people in front of us who had camped out over the night. They told us they got there at 11:00 the night before. My group consisted of three people at the time, so we all rested on the blankets and pillows that we brought.

Around 6:30am, another group of people showed up. We started playing Lord of the Rings Trival Pursuit (I won!).

People slowly trickled until about 9:00am. Then the line got quite long. I meet up with a few of the people who were in my line party and we took pictures.

We were lucky to be allowed in around 11:30. We got the all-day pass from New Line, which we all loved. There was a private bathroom in the back, which we tried not to let get around. The wait seemed to be mostly talking about how excited we all were.

When the first movie began, there was much cheering at the start. The reaction to Fellowship was very possitive. Everyone laughed even after probably hearing the jokes a thousand times. I even smiled thinking about commentary moments. I must say, I started crying as soon as they showed Samwise gardening in the opening.

Anyhow, we got discounts at the theater with out all day pass. $1 nachos, hot dogs, and pretzels with $0.25 extra cheese. We also got free refils all day on drinks and popcorn. Thank you, AMC!
Everyone clapped and cheered and the start of Two Towers. It got more in-movie reaction than Fellowship, perhaps because we hadn't completely worn our EE DVDs yet.

In the second break, we got pizza from Papa John's. There were four different kinds offered. Everyone was very happy. As happy as I was with free pizza, I could hardly breathe through most of the second break.

The person in charge of the Trilogy for our theater came and talked to us often between breaks, and was always given a round of applause. Before RotK, he gave us one. We had a countdown, and RotK started! We all cheered at the start, and then there was silence. There were cheers, laughs, and tears for most of the film. By the end, I could hear sniffles all around me. I know I shook the entire time and pretty much didn't stop crying for most of the film.

We all clapped when the words "The End" came up. We took a few more pictures, dried our tears, and went out to get our film frames. I got one with two Samwise pictures, much to my delight!
I cannot wait to see RotK again. Thank you so much to New Line and AMC Theaters for this incredible experience. I still feel puffy from tears, but it was worth it!

Ringer Gayle, Colombus

On December 16, Carmike 15 in Columbus, GA opened it's doors early to fans who waited for the eventful day to begin. About 11am they allowed us to get our tickets. The theater owner (we think) told us the basics and that we would recieve badges. Not just any badge, a Trilogy Tuesday All Day Pass.Each Badge had a orange number and a neck strap. So all 600 people had these badges around their necks the entire time. The orange sticker with the number became the number for the giveaways.

After Fellowship, the theater informed us that Outback Steak house was catering the event and to line up in the four roped off areas when we excited the theater. Outback provided steak, chicken, salad, and mushrooms for all 600 people. Everything was done in an orderly fashion. Then before TTT they threw out t-shirts out to the crowd. Well after TTT Outback provided a dessert of cheesecake to everyone. It was a great evening. Before ROTK there was a costume contest, which a Legolas, Gandalf, Witch Queen (yes a Witch Queen) and another person which I can't remember walked away with a prize. There were so many other costumes which were amazing. THey are all winners.

They then had another giveaway. First by the numbers on our badges then they just gave them out to random people. My dad scored a ROTK soundtrack. They also gave away posters which everyone recieved one. THen ROTK started! All that could be heard was a couple coughers which I'm guilty of. After the show tables were set up with out gift from New LIne and WETA. THe Film Frames which were pretty cool. Walking out the theater we said good bye to our new friends and to some old friends. Alot of the movie goers attended Dragon Con so it was a pleasent experience. Everyone behaved and there were no problems except for cameras.

Ringer Dave, Tampa, Florida

Hiya Ringers! Heres a brief rundown on a fantastic experience. My friends and I arrived at the theater around 9 am to wait out the first line to get seats. There was about a dozen loyal fans already there and by 10 am the number grew to at least a hundred.

My friend and I were all decked out in our finest Hobbit attire as were a few other very loyal fans. The local press started showing up and interviewd several people including myself.

We even had a photographer follow my Hobbit pal and I all the way to our seats.The mood was great and the excitement was building.By the way, TheOneRing.net was a major topic of conversation.

As promised at 11:30 we were given a brief speech and our very cool all day trilogy landyards. They let us in and started the second stage of the waiting game but the mood was still fantastic.

Around 1pm the excitement reached a peak. The crowd was chanting (It almost sounded like the orc army at Helm's Deep) and then the lights went down and there was complete silence.All three epics started this way. It was great!

The theatre staff were awesome. We got free refills on dinks and popcorn $1 hotdogs and nachos and $2 pizzas. Between TTT and RoTK 92 (yes, 92) large pizzas showed up free to everyone.

To top off a memorable night we all recieved the very special Sideshow/Weta film cell frames. I am very sad that it is over and would do it all over again. If by chance Peter Jackson reads this... on behalf of many many many lifetime LOTR fans we thank you from the bottom of our souls for bring this epic to life and we look forward to the Hobbit. That's it for now from Tampa Florida.

Ringer Mama Tiger, New Orleans

We got to the AMC Palace 20 Elmwood theater in New Orleans at about 10:00 a.m., and found at least 50 people ahead of us in line already, at least a dozen in costume of one variety or other. It was a comfortable day, slightly cloudy, so the theater folks told us we'd wait outside till 12:15, but at about 11:30 it started drizzling ever so slightly, so they took pity on us and let us in early. There were a couple of near-no-shows; our neighbor in line was expecting her brother from Lafayette, and it turned out there was a chemical spill on the highway he was coming in on (to avoid the congestion on the freeway!) that shut the road down for two hours. But he made it before the movies started, fortunately! And talking with people in the theater during the day, apparently several people had extra tickets that they were giving away to anyone who wanted them; there was no scalping that anyone was aware of. There were a very few empty seats at the very front of the theater, but probably not more than 10-12 altogether.

It was a no-reserved seats policy; if you got up from your seat and didn't have someone saving it for you, it was fair game for anyone. There was only one incident of someone sitting in someone else's seat that I saw, so mostly people settled in and didn't have any problems. And my daughter needed handicapped seating, which was occupied when we arrived inside the theater, but upon a polite request a couple of nice young men got up and moved back a couple of rows so she could have the seating we needed. It was just that kind of crowd, very friendly and pleasant all the way around.

A young man on the theater staff, Robert, was our host for the day. He came in and made periodic announcements, scheduling and the like, several times before the first show and then between shows. Robert was quite a popular guy; he was greeted with increasingly enthusiastic chanting each time he got up to speak ("Rob-ert! Rob-ert! Rob-ert!"). Before each movie, he had us count down from 10 for the projectionist, which actually was great fun in a completely silly way. The theater also gave us the employee discount on a number of concession items (dollar hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels), as well as free refills all day on large drinks and large popcorn; and Papa John's provided free pizza at the second intermission. And bless their hearts, they opened the coffee bar (as well as the daiquiri bar -- hey, this IS New Orleans!) late in the afternoon. (Nobody had too many daiquiris, however, at least in our show!)

It was a really happy crowd, and incredibly respectful of everybody's moviegoing experience. Actually, to put it more plainly, it was the best crowd I've ever had the privilege of sitting in a movie theater with. During FOTR, a cell phone rang a couple of times softly in someone's purse -- but wasn't answered, obviously, or the person might have been throttled! -- but after that, everyone turned all electronics off and we actually had a quiet theater, with no audible conversation at all, during TTT and ROTK. It was just wonderful to see the movies with a whole theater of people -- including a few kids as young as 10 or so -- who appreciated old-fashioned moviegoing courtesy!

Our schedule was FOTR at 1:00, an hour intermission, TTT at 5:30, another hour intermission with pizza, and ROTK at 10:00. There were no problems with any of the films, the theater sound was at just the right level, and it was very comfortable stadium seating. We also brought lots of cushions, so I actually walked out of the theater at 1:20 a.m. after having been in my seat basically for 14 hours no more sore than I am after a day at work. My eyes are still a bit irritated today, though, from crying for 20 minutes straight at the end!

The crowd cheered at the right moments for just the right amount of time, and there was lots of quiet sniffling at the end of ROTK, but generally it was so quiet that during one moment in particular in ROTK when the screen goes dark and quiet for a moment, you literally could have heard a pin drop in the theater. Nobody wanted to break the spell!

We floated out of the theater filled with joy and overwhelmed by the magic Peter Jackson brought to the movies. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I want to extend special thanks to all the fine staff at AMC Palace 20 Elmwood.

Ringer Crow, NYC

Being from New Jersey, there was really no better place to experience the Trilogy than in the crossroads of the world, 42nd St, New York City, in this case, at the Loews E-Walk....

The basic experience was the same as most everyone else's, I gather....there weren't as many people dressed up as I hoped to see(I saw one guy in chain mail, and that was it....), and more than our fair share of news crews (speaking of which, to the good people at ESPN2: Don't be morons, write better questions.)....the breaks between films was a bit too long, but balance that out with a complete lack of ticketing problems at the door like a lot of other theaters seem to have had (in our case, as long as you had an orange "Trilogy" bracelet, you could go in and out of the theater at will during the breaks).....but, the main reason I'm writing is because, since nobody's written from the NYC Trilogy yet, not too many people know about the surprise we all had waiting for us right before ROTK started....

After Two Towers ended, a voice comes over the loudspeaker telling us to be back in our seats at exactly 9:45 for something special.....second they said that, the speculation began......5 minutes later, it's agreed, it's probably a cast member....so, an hour later, everyone's back in their seats, cameras are setting up everywhere when a new voice comes over the loudspeaker....Gollum's.

Gollum's voice, introducing Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Astin, and, of course, himself....Andy Serkis. And obviously, the second everyone heard the voice, the entire crowd went nuclear with cheering.

The four of them were there only for a few minutes, but, all four of them seemed genuinely humbled by the reception they got coming through the door, and, knowing that we'd just sat through the first two films, and the best one was yet to come, they all had these kinda sly grins seeing how ready we were for ROTK......it was a surprise no one had expected going in, but a part of the experience I doubt anyone will soon forget.

And of course, i must share my thoughts on the film....which is, to keep a long story short (too late), simply that it's every single inch as great as you'd expect it to be....I personally didn't cry(came damn close, though), but several others in the audience did.....it's certainly the most emotionally draining film of the year, and the perfect end to the trilogy....and to have experienced it with a theater full of true fans, along with its predecessors was amazing.... I definitely have to thank the geniuses at New Line who helped set this entire day up....they couldn't have repaid fan loyalty any better. And Peter Jackson.....you bow to no one.

Ringer Cristy, Portland, Oregon

The Lloyd Center Regal Theatre took great care of it's patrons. The weather wasn't very nice and they let everyone in 2 hours before show time. I understand they also allowed the midnight showing Line Party goers in early as well. They even provided a tent for a wedding at the Line Party.

The whole atmosphere was wonderful. Everyone was happy and friendly. It was very much like a huge extended family gathering. We all had at least one thing in common and were really happy to be there.

Seeing the first two films in the extended editions on the big screen was really fantastic. I really love these movies and earlier this year I bought a 48" screen television so I can always see them on a large screen but it's still not close to a theatre screen.

The anticipation for Return of the King was palpable. Excitment mixed with a touch of sadness for the ending was very prevalent. The movie did not disappoint for a single second. For me it exceeded all expectation. I felt an absolute wreck by the time it was all over. The tension of the story had me forgetting to breathe and all the crying with sorrow and joy left me completely exhausted.

It would be sick and wrong for this movie to not win every award possible.

It was an exceptionally gratifying experience and I hope it happens again when the extended edition of ROTK is released.

As always, thank you so much for such a great web site - my home page at home and at work.
Ringer King of Prussia, PA

After reading some of the other people who had great experiances with their theaters, I feel the need to express my discontent with ours. We arrived at 10AM and we were, surprisingly, let into the theater by 10:30. We were ushered right into the theater where we could find our seats. Our only identification was our ticket stub so that made leaving and reentering a hassle. The only concession stands were in the lobby so we had to show our ticket stub twice to get back to our seats: once when entering the theater hall and again when entering the actual theater.

The theater itself was rather small. I expected it to have been shown on a big screen. . . their midnight only showing was on their IMAX screen for crying out loud! Their seats were cramped and uncomfortable and there was no leg room at all. The theater supplied no food or drinks outside what we bought at the concession stands and the 25 minute breaks between films did not give anyone without a working knowlege of the area any time to order out for food.

Now, onto the films. I am not sure if it was just our theater, or if the films were rendered wrong becasue the first two were blurry durring quick movements. This problem did appear to ahve gone away once ROTK began. Also, no trailers other than one before ROTK. The theater said New Line requested that but I can't verify that either way.

Our overall experience of Frodo's 13 month adventure made us feel like we were watching every second of 13 months on screne. It just crept by and I was physically and mentally exhausted when it was over. I'm glad I will be seeing ROTK again tonight at my local theater. I now appreciate Cinemark.

12-18-03 Latest News

RotK EE Speculation
Tookish @ 10:35 pm EST

Here's the summary from Ringer Brian C:

After watching Return of the King (didn't it rock?!), I came home and watched the preview for it on the theactrical edition of Two Towers. And I found quite a few scenes in the preview that were NOT in the movie. Could these, perhaps, be scenes that will be in the Extended DVD? For your convinience, I have put exactly where they are in the preview. Here they are...

1. Aragorn walking up to an empty throne in Minas Tirith. That must be Anduril in his hand. (1:24)

2. Aragorn saying to Gandalf "He has gone unchallenged long enough." (1:35)

3. Merry kneeling before Theoden as Edoras. (6:15)

4. Merry taking Pippin's hand and saying "We shall see the Shire again." (10:35)

5. Finally, Gandalf and Pippin apoun Shadowfax riding out to meet the fell beast in Minas Tirith. (11:41)

One more thing I'd like to point out. That scene where Arwen returns to Rivindell and says "You have the gift of forsight. Tell me what you have seen" was in the TTT trailer but ended up in ROTK. Hmm..

Trilogy Tuesday Reports - Part One!
Demosthenes @ 10:25 pm EST

Trilogy Tuesday Reports - Part One!

The server has been under seige for the past 48 hours, I swear! In any case, we are slowly trundling along, posting thing as and when we have time. Here's a bunch more Trilogy Tuesday reports for everyone to read. Thanks to everyone who has been writing in!

Expect more soon, and hopefully some pictures as well!

Ringer Jennifer, Washington DC

After the great ticket debacle in DC, I was expecting Trilogy Tuesday in DC to be similarly chaotic and frustrating. Rumor had it that because tickets had been sold individually for each movie rather than as a package we would be required to exit the theatre and line up anew for each film. The Uptown holds 800+, so needless to say that would have been disastrous.

Things went wonderfully. The highest compliments must go to the Uptown's management and staff, who clearly thought about their situation and came up with a simple and easy solution. They had buttons bearing the words "Trilogy Tuesday" which they gave to those of us with tickets for all three shows. That button, along with our three ticket stubs, allowed us to stay in the theatre between each showing, keeping our seats, and to exit and enter the theatre during the breaks to get food, drink, etc. They even brought in a cart full of sandwiches and other lunch-type foods between FOTR and TTT.

We also got a freebie collectible from Sideshow Weta, three film cells, one from each of the movies, set in a lovely grey frame decorated with dwarven, elven, and Gondorian emblems. Whoever was responsible for this incredibly nice thank-you to the fans, thank you!

And the movies, of course, were fabulous. The Uptown only has one screen, but it's curved, huge, and perfectly proportioned for wide screen. I was up in the balcony, where there is no such thing as a bad seat. We had no problems with the projection or anything else, and except for the fans booing every advertisement and trailer that came between us and "Return of the King" there was nothing but cheers for the theatre management and the films. Truly a party of special magnificence.

Ringer Brielle, Unknown Location

I had planned to go line up for this incredible event at 6:30am. Unfortunately, certain circumstances prevented me from doing so. I was very disappointed, but at 10:30 I made my way into the theatre. As I walked in the usher took my ticket, ripped it *carefully*, stamped it, stamped my hand, and gave me a special gift! It was a Film Frame Collectible by Sideshow Weta! It's basically a plaque with three unique and authentic film strips in it! I was very excited!

When I got into the theatre all the seats in the middle front section were taken, but I found a group of four seats together at a little to the right of where I wanted to be, but still great seats. So I set down my coat on the other three seats and waited for my friends to arrive. At 12:30 the manager announced that we could only hold seats until 1:00...but that was okay because my friends had arrived already!

The atmosphere in the room was incredible! Everyone was quite friendly. Several people were dressed up, but not as many as a I was expecting. Before the movie started, a local tv station came to cover the event. They interviewed lots of people and stayed for about half an hour! When the movies began everyone cheered and clapped. Each movie got a hearty round of applause at the end. People laughed at the right places and it was just so obvious that they were excited to be there!

There were no previews before The Return of the King was shown which I was quite thankful for, because I think it would have wrecked the atmosphere a bit. Several times during the movie the whole audience burst into applause at the heroic acts of the characters. I found myself bawling from quite early on in the movie. :) It was just so powerful.

Well, that's all for my report. I can't wait to see it again!

Ringer ShelaghC, Chicago

The folks running the house at this AMC were collectively one class act.

The first thing you got when you handed in your TrilTues ticket was a souvenir lanyard to hang around your neck - along with an explanation that it would afford you a discount on most of the concessions and in and out privileges all day long. They also were giving free refills on large sodas and popcorn.

The management was willing to let people keep their movie tickets as additional souvenirs (so long as management could write a note on the back of the ticket indicating you'd already received your lanyard).

There was a film crew handy and an emcee for the day and they stuck it out with us all the way through.

The doors were opened at 10:15 for seating rather than the original 11:00 stated. While they did play all the regular promos (though not any trailers) before before and between movies, management was nice enough to turn up the lights and down the sound until right before each movie started.

And after TTT, what must have been a busload of pizza was delivered, free to anyone with a lanyard.

Outside the auditorium, on the first floor of the theatre, a local theatrical troupe, the Free Associates, entertained with snippets of their currently running improvisational parody of LotR "Frodo A Go-Go."

Theatre crews came in efficiently to clean up between showings. The host of the film crew selected a volunteer from the audience to push the button on the projector to start TTT. However, the same honor for RotK went to the man who was first on line sometime Monday night (around 11:00PM) for the whole trilogy event.

Everyone involved with the theatre seemed either thrilled or amused to be present for our 15 hour party.

All in all one of the greatest movie-going experiences I've ever had.

Ringer Dave, Spokane


AMC treated us like family. We were given pizza during the second intermission, a lanurd, the gift from New Line and everyone in the theatre was great. A woman, Karen ?, flew in from Australia and dressed like Eowyn...exactly. The crowd cheered at the right times, stood at the right times although I was a little irritated by those telling us to be quiet - "We missed a line". The cellphone ringing during FOTR was agreed to be the low point of the night -- all in all, wondrous. This had to the best theatre experience I ever had.

Ringer Josh, Kansas

It was one of the greatest experience in my life and it was well worth the wait and the money for the tickets. The movies were outstanding on the big screen and it was great to see the extended editions on the big screen followed by this year's best picture Return of the King. The way this event was handled made the movies that much better everything went off without a hitch which was very nice.

Despite the cold and having to wait outside for about 2 hours which was shorter than some of the others in line it was great talking to people. Once we got inside and could warm up a little meeting some of my fellow Line Party people was another great thing in a great day. The way that the staff and management handled us was great because they made us feel special by having everything roped off for us, having special concession prices and having great pizza their as well was again another great thing.

The breaks between the movies were nice because then all the fans could talk about what they thought so far and talk about what was coming and the anticipation that went with waiting this whole time. Also, in addition to the great service of the theater staff, I would like to thank New Line for the great gift to help commemorate this greatest of events. I will always have great and fond memories because of the way it was handled by all parties, and being able to spend it with such special people including my dad.

Ringer Noumette, Montreal

I went to Tuesday Trilogy at Paramount in Montreal. I was supposed to go there with 2 friends, one a great fan of LOTR, the other who discovered it through us. Given that I was working, taking my afternoon off, and they didn't have to work or had no school, I was counting on them to save me a seat. I had already asked one of them when they would turn up at the theatre, and they had replied they would be there early and that yes they would save me a seat.

Turns out, the night before, one of them called me to tell me at what time they would show up. I was already in bed at the time, and hearing that they would show up there like only 2 hours before the movie totally drove me nuts. I was like thinking what on Middle-earth are they thinking??? I started to get nervous. 30 minutes later, another friend called me, to tell me that she had seen ROTK at a mediatic premiere, and that she had just gotten home. Again, she was introduced to LOTR by me, and she calls me her LOTR encyclopedia. She saw both FOTR and TTT with me, so that she could ask me the questions afterwards. And there she is, Monday night, calling me, to ask me question about a movie I had not seen yet, that I had been looking forward to see since like forever. How cruel is that? I almost hung up on her, so much I was frustrated...

Well, I slept barely 4 hours, had to run to work for the morning, wondering why I was even bothering in going there, why not take care of my seat myself. So I went to work, and stayed there only 3 hours instead of the 4 that I had planned on doing.

It felt as if I were on a quest of my own, as if I were on the Caladhras, trying to go over the snow (we had a big snowstorm in Montreal, on Monday), to reach the bus stop before the bus passes by. To my horror, the bus was there before me, and it was about to turn, and I was on the wrong side of the street, and I was like 'Oh my God!'. The bus driver saw me, saw me struggle, and well, he stopped, and signaled me to come. It felt like I was picked up by Gwaihir, and then dropped again on a mountain of snow, having to dodge filthy Orcs blocking my way on the sidewalk to Paramount.

I arrived at Paramount at around, feeling desperate, because it was 11h15, and I was sure there would be a huge line up. I arrive there, there were 8 people! I was like 'wow, us Québécois are really reasonable about that? What's up with that?' So I wait, chitchat with people there. And then, someone said that there was another line up inside. So I asked someone to keep my spot, and went inside, and sure enough, one of my friends was there waiting. So we both agreed that she'd stay there and I'd stay outside, in case if one door opens before the other. What frustrated me a lot, and lot of the other people who chose to wait outside, sure that the Paramount people were going to open first the door for those who have more merit, that is, those who waited outside... well that's not what they've done!!! I thought it was insulting. Not as insulting as what happened to the people who were hoping to see the 3 movies in Ville Saint-Laurent, organized by Xoanon (remember the rude letter from Alliance Atlantis?), but still, I felt it was a lack of respect towards their patrons. Well, so there we were allowed inside, so we went upstairs, only to find out that there was already a line up of people upstairs, who had been left inside, just a few minutes before we (those who were waiting downstairs) had turned up. Another set back, really...

I sound like I am complaining a lot, but from the moment we finally got in, things started to improve greatly. There were still hardship ahead, like sitting for almost 12 hours, which was hard on some parts of our anatomy, but well, those difficulties were quite all right. As we were giving our tickets to the ushers, there was a manager handing in a gift to each of the attendents. It was from the Sideshow Weta people... It was like a sort of memorial stone, with incrusted in them, 3 stills, with a scene from each of the movies. My friends and I compared them, and we all had different scenes. That was very cool. On mine, I have a scene of Elrond's Council from FOTR, Helm's Deep from TTT and Perigrin Took from ROTK. That was a nice gift, very much appreciated. Miraculously, my friends and I managed to sit together, on the very last row, towards the middle.

We ate a bit, and chitchatted with some people. Then FOTR began. Before both FOTR and TTT, when we had trailers from other movies, both time we had the ROTK trailer, which, in the first round, really got people excited. So FOTR began, and it was cool to be able to see the Extended Edition in theatre. I had a bit of a hard time, because I nearly fell asleep thrice!!!!!!! It is not surprising, given that I hadn't slept much the night before. Anyway, that started me to get nervous. If I was feeling like that, how would I feel during ROTK? Anyway, given that I had seen FOTR like thousands of time, it was ok, as I know it all by heart. That feeling of sleepiness revisited me during TTT, but not too much, as I was busying myself with eating popcorn from my ROTK plastic popcorn container.

During the break between TTT and ROTK, my friend and I went to take a walk to stretch our legs. We spotted line ups for the midnight show of ROTK. We saw a girl with a shirt saying 'I survived Helm's Deep', which really gave us a blast. We were laughing so much, saying that we should make ourselves a 'I survived LOTR Trilogy Tuesday' t-shirts, that we had more merit than only surviving Helm's Deep *lol* We went on with our walk, and saw a friend of ours who was sitting on the ground in one of the line ups. We teased him badly, saying to him that us, we had only 20 minutes to wait before seeing ROTK, and he still had 2h30 to wait. And that we would be in bed by 2h30, and he wouldn't be in bed before 4h30. Ah, we are cruel friends, indeed!

So after a last trip to the loo, we went back to our seats, and when the lights went out, everybody cheared. There was an effervescence in the room. It was great to be there, and cheer on what we saw, laugh all together, getting scared together, it was fantastic.

All in all, I was very much happy with the movie, yet a bit disappointed by some of the lack of resolution I felt strongly with some of the characters. But well, I know very well that Peter Jackson is making great extended editions that clear up the feeling. I just know that I have still a few more months before seeing that version of the movie. Can't wait.

One would think that the hardships were done. Well a friend and I took a cab to go back home, and we had an accident. Nothing to upsetting, no one harmed. But well, it caused a bit of delay before I could reach my bed, and say, like Sam, that I had returned home... ah well... that's life...

Cheers everyone, and for those who haven't seen ROTK yet... look out for that amazing stunt by Legolas! That was like... woah...

Ringer Elric, Minneapolis

My co-worker, Sarah and myself attended Trilogy Tuesday in Minneapolis (actually Edina, a suburb). We arrived about 10:00 for the noon start time. The line party folks were very well organized by the "Council of El'dina". Geek Heaven! Each ticket holder got a numbered badge on a string to hang around their neck, plus a costume contest ballot and some sample trading cards from a local comic shop. We were 309 and 310 of 420 total.

We started filing in at 11:00. Everyone was very good about not trying to jump ahead. Three separate checkpoints checked our tickets before we were issued laminated badges and let in the theater. We got 3rd row center, which is a little close for my taste, but the sound was great. FOTR started about 15 minutes late because of long concession lines, but once it started, it was magic. As always, there were little details in FOTR and TTT that I had never caught before. Sarah had never seen the EE versions, so she enjoyed that very much.

For the intermissions, the staff got us 20% discounts at several restaurants, and we were given free concession drinks before ROTK. They also had a silent auction for the official Trilogy Tuesday banner (which was never hung in the theater) and raised $250 for a local charity. The staff was great. Thanks Megastar 16!

After ROTK, I felt completely emotionally drained. What a journey! The real world outside the theater felt alien after being immersed in Middle Earth for almost 11 hours (especially at 1:30 AM when it's single digits and your car is covered with ice).

I need to see ROTK at least a couple more times. Sitting so close, there were many times when I was so overloaded with imagery that I couldn't take it all in, particularly during the battle of Pellenor Fields. Unbelievable!

The souvenir film frame was a nice touch. A forever reminder of the day. Thanks PJ for the magic and New Line for the guts and the cash to make it happen.

Ringer K, Columbus

Well folks, WOW, what a day!! You know the films were amazing (and glitch free throughout) but I have to make a comment or two about the fine folks at the Columbus Carmike 15. They did a superb job!

The Columbus Carmike 15 is the city's newest theatre. It opened the first week of November and everything about it is fresh and new. The theater sat 615 - stadium style - without question the most comfortable theater I ve ever been in that's saying a lot for 12 hours in a theatre seat! The screen was HUGE - I wouldn't even venture a guess as to its dimensions. The staff was excellent throughout the evening, even though ticket holders began arriving at 9:00 am.

Between FOTR and TTT Outback Steakhouse catered dinner Sirloin, grilled chicken, salad, drinks OUTSTANDING and no additional charge! They then followed it up between TTT and ROTK with dessert (cheesecake). I know I speak for all 615 of us when I say THANK YOU Outback!!!

The extras included giveaways, drawings and a costume contest. It was ringer heaven. All of this went on in between episodes of the achievement that is Peter Jackson s Lord of the Rings.

Many, many thanks to everyone involved. It was a day none of us will ever forget.

Ringer SMarshall, Unknown Location

I was very happy with how the theater that I went to handled this event. I arrived there at 10:45 and found that they were already letting people in. Sadly, I was one of those people that wasn't able to purchase tickets when they first went on sale, and ended up getting them off of Ebay (for a very decent price I might add).

So now I was stuck waiting for the seller to arrive with the tickets. Imagine my despair as I watched group after group arrive and walk into the theater. All I could think of was how bad our seats were going to be. Finally, we get our tickets (about 11:30) and begin the long walk to what I was sure was going to be the back row.

But it turns out our theater had a nice little surprise, while they had only sold tickets for two theaters, they opened up four, so that everyone would have enough room during the long day ahead. Ticket holders were allowed their choice of which theater (pick of two, based on original theater number on ticket) they wanted to sit in. I thought that was a very nice touch.

Ringer Darcie, Edmonton, Alberta

Hi, I see you've been recieving information about the Trilogy Tuesday event. I thought I'd send in my 2 bits worth of news.

Arriving, I found there was no line up, the poles weren't even set up, and the doors wide open. The people accepting the tickets, let us in to obtain our seats. As soon as we got inside the theatre...to our dismay, all the seats were taken, with the exception of 1 or 2 here and there. People were just coming in, throwing jackets, pillows, etc, on lots of other seats and claiming them from there own...when there friends hadn't arrived till just before the first movie started.

This is my only peeve about the whole Trilogy...I feel the doormen, should've had a line up and started seating about a half hour before the movie started, that way, those who actually showed up, would be gauranteed seating. Never having the chance to reserve seating with their property.

Nevertheless, I loved the whole experience. It was worth the 12 hours I spent at the theatre, and the 50 dollars for the price of the ticket. I'd do it again...the crowd went wild every time the movies began. All the love seens, and heroics recieved applauds.

They had a contest for best dressed ringer...it was cool, there was 2 eowyn's, 2 nazguls, 1 frodo, 1 bilbo, and 1 Gandalf, who looked like the real thing and he won a black leather Recliner Sofa and actually got to sit in it during the course of the Trilogy showing. They had a draw for another Recliner. But, everyone walked out a winner. The participants recieved gift certificates (can't remember what for), and all the movie goers at the end of the ROTK was given a LOTR memento. It was a little stand with 3 screen caps cut from the three LOTR films. All in all, very much enjoyable...aside from my body trying to go to sleep, and me fighting the whole way through.

Ringer Brian, Uptown Theatre, Washington DC

I'm happy to report that after many snafus with tickets at this location, for all of us who held tickets to all three shows in the trilogy it was a tremendous success! The Uptown deserves to be commended for responding to criticisms and fixing the problems. No one was forced to leave the theatre between shows.

They brought in very reasonably priced sandwiches to help feed people between shows. They gave us all Trilogy Tuesday buttons and distributed New Line's promo gift. And the staff was courteous and helpful.

Plus, with the biggest screen on the East Coast, the films were incredible! A very memorable event. The only nit was that they were probably contractually required to show previews and commercials before Return of the King. Gosh it would have been nice if those had been cut out.

Ringer Rachel, New Orleans

I took my mom to the trilogy yesterday -- it was her birthday present. Appropriate, huh? We went to the AMC 20 in Harahan, LA, the New Orleans area showing. We got there at about 10:15 and waited in line until 11:30ish, when they went ahead and let us in. We'd been told on the phone that they wouldn't let us into the theater until 12:15 but I guess they decided they didn't want us milling in the lobby, so we were allowed in. We got these really neat passes on lanyards to wear for the day -- they netted us discounts on a few concessions, and obviously were our ID for getting into the theater. It's a great souvenir.

We didn't get to label our seats as another reportee said they could, and in fact the stated policy was that you could only save seats if somebody from your group was watching them, but that was very well respected. There was a minor dispute about a seat in front of us that was quickly and quietly settled with no apparent hard feelings.

During Fellowship I heard a few cell phone rings (AAAARGH!) but before Two Towers, Robert the announcer (who probably begged for the job, I would have!) reannounced the cell phone policy -- off or on silent if you must have it on, duh! -- and there were no further rings. This was possibly the best theater crowd I have ever seen. Everybody wanted desperately to be there and to have fun and to not annoy other people. Between shows the theater had staff going up and down picking up trash from people to try to at least keep ahead of the mess, and between Two Towers and Return of the King we got pizza. Considering the number of people there, the pizza was passed out remarkably quickly and smoothly and was very welcome at that point. I'm sure the guy from Papa John's in charge of the pizza delivery never expected to get a round of applause for being a pizza guy; I think he was amused, as was Robert, who I'm sure never expected applause for working at a theater! I, too, would like to thank everybody at the theater for their hard work on our behalf.

The combination of a great -- nay, fabulous -- crowd plus the staff who handled everything SO smoothly made for an incredibly fun time. We laughed, we cried, we cheered, we jumped (huge spiders are scary!); during one particular quiet moment in ROTK, you honestly could have heard a pin drop, I don't think anybody was even breathing.

I'm sure this was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I'm thrilled that I could go, lack of sleep or no lack of sleep!

Ringer Steve, Seattle

Trilogy Tuesday in Seattle, WA was at the Cinerama, a single-screen theater (not a multiplex) that held 808 people. I arrived with my buddy from work at around 7:15 am (we thought we were crazy going so early, but during the drive to the theater we kept hearing live reports on the local radio news talking about long lines, or around the block already, which just made that drive feel like it was taking forever). Fortunately, "around the block" to the news was just from the side door of the theatre down to the corner and around it. So, we got our place in line and we sat in the rain and waited the 4 hours until the doors opened.

I'm not that familiar with this theater, and can't imagine marathon events are that common, but it felt like this theater new exactly what they were doing. Before the doors opened, they walked the entire length of the line (end to end, about 1 1/2 blocks) announcing what would happen. They would let us in at 11:00, and then at 12:45 they'd give out a card identifying our seat so that it was then reserved as ours for the duration. The first show would go from 1pm to 4:30, the second from 5:15 to 9:00, and the final from 10:00 to 1:30am. They would have $1 hot dogs and nachos, and between the second and third movies they would have free pizza. Finally, they told us that after the third movie they would be giving everyone a gift. (Our current theory is that New Line was funding these discounts and free food as a way of trying to make up for the ticket purchase fiasco - does anyone know for sure).

They did let us in just after 11:00, and I was dismayed to find so many seats already taken when we got in there (this after we had waited 4 hours). After scoping out a couple spots on the main floor, I held them while my friend took a chance run up to the balcony where he found front row seats. Decision time: main floor 4th row (crane our necks for 12 hours) or front row balcony (view that might be slightly blocked by the railing). We chose the balcony, and it ended up being the most excellent seats! (once the curtain opened, the screen was higher and only slightly blocked if we leaned back in the chairs).

There was only one real snag of the event, and that was the passing out of the seat reservation cards. Instead of taking 5 - 10 minutes, we wait 15 minutes, then 30, and us along with many others still didn't have ours (and the first movie start was being delayed). Turns out some of the staff had accidently dropped the sorted tags, or otherwise tangled the strings (we could wear then around our necks). But give credit to the Seattle crowd. Not any complaints, and myself and a few others jumped up to help sort the tags and quickly finish handing them out. The movie finally started around 1:25pm. But, they just shortened the intermissions a bit and got us back on track.

Once the shows were going, things went nicely. The crowd would cheer at the day's first sight of popular characters, and again after any spectacular sequences. It was a lot of fun! (addendum: I got to see RotK again this morning as part of a work moral event - talk about a dead crowd). After a slow cooking start, there were plenty of the $1 hot dogs. There seemed to be plenty of pizza (162 large pizzas only cut into eighths instead of traditional tenths, and I think most everyone that wanted were able to get two pieces). A rep from New Line announced what the gift was before the third movie started, and then they even started the last movie 10 minutes early to give time to hand out the gifts afterwards. They just warned that once you got your gift at the door, you would be leaving the theater and your trilogy experience would be over - in other words, no confusion at all - a very smooth operation!

If there are any more movie marathons of any sort to be had, I sure hope the Seattle Cinerama gets to host them!


P.S. I have yet to identify the cel frame for TT and RotK in my gift, but my FotR frame is of Frodo hiding behind the column with the cave troll looking around it - cool!

Ringer Joe, Indianapolis, Indiana

A little report from the Kerasotes Showplace 16 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Many people woke up that day and headed off to stand in line at Trilogy Tuesday. I stayed in my home and cooked myself breakfast for what I knew would be one of the most exciting days of my life. I arrived around 11 and was given a stamp on the inner part of my wrist that read PLA. I was told that there were two pieces of paper marked and I should take one just in case someone would take my seat and I could verify that I was there first.

Confident in keeping my seat, I headed out to lunch. I arrived back around 1:30 and was told that there were limited popcorn buckets and cups only for Trilogy Tuesday ticket holders. The manager then held a giveaway on who had driven the furthest and who had paid the most for their ticket. Coming in second with $255 the day just kept getting better.

The intermission between the first and second films was 30 minutes and I headed out to my car to get a little nap so I would be good to go for the rest of the day. The Two Towers was again magnificent just as it was a year ago. We had an hour and a half between the second and third film. I got some food and when I came back I had found that they had given away flyers for Weta Workshops.

We then were told that in honor of Trilogy Tuesday that we were going to recieve picture frames with a piece of film strip in it. We were then asked if we were ready for Return of The King and all 300 fans went bezzerk. The film seemed to almost bob up and down but was fixed quickly. It seems all had trouble with the film that day. It was the best. It was great to see all three movies back to back but was sad to see it all end.

I have been counting this moment down for four years and last night I didn't want it to end. I did my best not to cry during the movie but did catch some tears here and there. I pretty much lost it on the way to my car. I can't concentrate today and I feel like a piece of me is missing. I just want to thank the actors, the crew, New Line, and Kerasotes for the great day they made it. They truly understood how much it meant.

12-17-03 Latest News

Uptown Theater Trilogy Tuesday Report
maegwen @ 8:50 pm EST

Ringer Spy Tig shares her report on the goings on at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C.

Trilogy Tuesday's capital location, which by the way is a horrible pun, has been anticipated as the chaotic apocalypse of ticket troubles.

The problem began between Fandango and the actual theatre itself. Those who had stood outside the Uptown for hours could only buy "series" tickets, which were to all three shows. However, Fandango began selling single tickets... (some to an Uptown hundreds of miles away) Thus, the mess became apparent. As the weeks passed, rumors were whispered that fans would have to file out after each show, then standing in line all over again. This, of course, is a big pain in the rear, so you can understand just why many of us were not too happy about the experience as we thought it to be.

But what happened was actually quite contrasting to the preconceived notions.

The line to file in for FOTR started the night before, and by the time I arrived, had reached roughly a hundred or so bodies. Members of the official TORn line party attempted to secure spots in the front of the line for party members, but failed after complaints from fellow Ringers. But despite a longer wait, I was quite pleased with the conditions outside. Everyone shared food, laughs, and even trivia games to pass the time. There were many skilled costumes throughout the line, which enticed various press. (I keep in mind a particular hobbit crazy enough to go about with bare feet on the snow.)

To ensure that the people with three tickets were differentiated, the staff adorned each of us with huge pins. This way we could be easily identified and not kicked out after the show. Around 1 pm, we were allowed inside. By this time, management finally decided to let us in on just what they were planning to do with all nine hundred of us. Much to our surprise, they stated that we would NOT be kicked out after each viewing. Those that held tickets for all three could remain inside. However, those with a single ticket had to wait outside in line for the movie to begin. No one complained about the procedure, as we were all pretty happy that we wouldn't have to relocate time and time again. They even sold sandwiches in between the first two films to lessen the "outside time" (for a price of course).

Despite a few glitches in the film itself (random dialogue spurts, possibly a skipped scene), all of the fans thoroughly enjoyed the event. Everyone applauded, cheered, cried, and yelled in all the same places. It was truly a masterful and momentous occasion where a thousand bodies were bound into one roaring ultra-geek. Trilogy Tuesday was spectacular, and I can confidently say that it made up for many of the ticketing woes in the beginning. (No doubt the WETA film cells eased the pain!)

Trilogy Tuesday In Wellington
Demosthenes @ 6:21 pm EST

Where better to attend the trilogy than at The Embassy, Wellington? Phil Capper was on location and wrote up this report for us.

The day was bright and sparkling as we all arrived in mid afternoon. A bit like the world premiere day actually. The fell beast leaned out over us. But there weren't very many to intimidate. Unlike the North American trilogies the Wellington event was not a sell out. There were two reasons for this;

1. Those who had 'bought' personal seats to fund the restoration had their seats held until quite late. Thus many people had gained the impression that the event was a sell out when it actually wasn't.
2. Wellington is a small city, so fans this committeed are in shorter supply.

In the foyer beautiful harp renditions of parts of the score soothed us as we waited. There was a definite sense of a fellowship setting out on a joint adventure as we all went in. The beautiful new seats were ideal for this sort of thing - we would be here for the same length of time as for a Los Angeles to Auckland flight, but with much more comfort than an economy class airline seat.

At the end of FOTR we all collected our collectible and went out blinking into the warm evening sun for a little before returning to more harp music and TTT. We had exercised incredible self discipline and NOT so far watched our EE DVD at home. By the end of TTT we were so inside Middle Earth that I was scanning Courtenay Place suspiciously for orcs. The fell beast on top of The Embassy seemed to have got more ominous.

Yet more harp music, but now the foyer was very full of all the 'latecomers' who only had tickets for the midnight ROTK. I was so much 'inside' the story by now that my detached critical faculties were nowhere to be heard, and all the grumpy analysis I am now reading on the boards all seem to be incredibly petty. To tell the truth despite over 40 years of reading the books, FOTR and TTT had so drawn me in to the Middle Earth of PJ that I went through the whole of ROTK without making a comparison more than once - and that was to say to myself 'Oh, he DID finish the right way' at the very end.

Only on the way home in the cool morning air did we begin to make comparisons. But we silently agreed to stop. We wanted to hold on to the magic of total engagement for a little longer, falling asleep to dreams of beacons coming alive on long-loved mountain tops.

Trilogy Tuesday Reports Trickle In
Demosthenes @ 3:40 pm EST

Here's a few more Trilogy Tuesday reports to whet your appetite ...

Ringer Paul, Fort Wayne

Don't know if you're collecting information on Trilogy Tuesday experiences, but thought I'd pass along what we saw in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Tuesday.

We arrived at the theater at 10:15. We had been told that the doors would be opened at 10:00 and the theater would start seating about an hour before showtime (1:45). The doors were still locked, but opened for the 50-60 people in the cold at about 10:25.

We turned in our tickets to the usher and were given a 6" length of yellow yarn to tie around our wrists. Our ticket stubs would get us back in the building if we wanted to go out for something and the yellow yarn would get us into the theater.

We were allowed to get into the theater immediately and a manager made an announcement about how things were going to be run. They passed out name tags and allowed everyone to stick a nametag to their seat so we didn't have to worry about losing a seat if we left for some reason. The manager also said to stay in our seats after the Fellowship credits because they had a surprise for us. They had a huge number of pizzas delivered and everyone got at least one good sized slice (with seconds available to quite a few people). They got it done within about 20 minutes and it didn't seem to hold up the start of the Two Towers.

They had a framing problem at the beginning of ROTK, but got it corrected within a few minutes so it was only a minor inconvenience. After ROTK, everyone was handed their Film Frame Collectible as we exited the theater.

I don't know how this compares to other theaters, but I'd like to publicly thank the Rave Motion Picture theater in Fort Wayne for making my Trilogy Tuesday experience a truly great one.

Ringer Lance, Kansas City

I thought I would send you a quick note on the happenings at the Trilogy Tuesday event at the AMC Studio 30 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas (Kansas City). It goes without saying that the movies were as fantastic as we knew they would be. My comments have to do with the venue itself.

It was an extremely cold morning in Kansas City, yesterday. The Wind chill was about 10 degrees. I arrived at the theatre at 5:40AM thinking (foolishly) I would be first in line. When I arrived, I was 15th. At that point, my hopes of getting seats on my favorite row were dashed. Especially since many of those 15 were saving spots for others. And although many people arrived and "cut in line", the crowd stayed pretty well behaved. But... I was just glad to be going.

As time grew closer to the event, the theatre management kept the line members informed on what would happen once we got in the door. They informed everyone they would receive a lanyard for their ticket; they told us they were having many discounted concession choices; and that they were going to let us directly in the theatre once the doors opened at 11AM. At that point, the thought of a 72 degree theatre cheered everyone up.

As promised, they let us in at exactly 11AM. The theatre staff was well prepared. They quickly got us in the theatre. I was extremely impressed of how they set it up. This theatre was roped off. The lanyards allowed theatre staff to quickly recognize if you were authorized in the "holy" area. They had even roped off a section of the concession area to tailor specifically to Trilogy Tuesday patrons. They even provided Pizza for the entire audience between the TT and ROTK. Even "THAT" was done in an orderly fashion. The staff knew this was something special and they treated the event as such.

Kudos to the management team and staff at the AMC Studio 30 theatre.

Ringer Julie, Cleveland

Just thought you might want to hear reports about Trilogy Tuesday from various cities (plus, I can't really get my mind on work yet this morning!) Our theater management worked hard to make it an incredible experience for everyone.
My husband and I got there about 8:30 a.m. and we were 15th in line. We were able to wait inside the lobby, although as the line grew, some fans had to wait outside in the cold. We were told that we could save one seat each in the auditorium, that we'd be served a free lunch, no outside food (although we were allowed to have it in line), and our bags would be searched. Once we were seated, the theater manager jotted our names on a chart so that we didn't have to worry about seats being stolen.

The worst part of the day was the "free lunch" that was catered by a local restaurant. It turned out to be a tiny sandwich (about 1/4 of a sandwich), and we were only allowed one! They served personal pizzas at the second break, and that went better.

A New Line rep turned up before ROTK, and after the movie we got a LOTR memorabilia thingy (I think it has frames from the movies.) It was OK; we would have liked a T-shirt better. We stumbled outside about 2:30 a.m. Several TV stations came and interviewed people in costume. Overall it was an incredible experience, and I wish you all could have participated!

Ringer Anthony, Unknown Location

There and Back Again, A Moviegoer’s Tale

When I first purchased my ticket so long ago for New Line Cinema’s Lord of the Rings “Trilogy Tuesday” I was ecstatic. The fact that I was going to be a part of this unique piece of cinematic history, available to only a select few, was a thought I could have only dreamt of. Little did I know, however, that something seemingly so simple and trivial would affect me so greatly.

I am sure many others, like myself, were tempted to sell their tickets to the event, even if only for a moment, at many times their face value. In fact, I am sure many of the original buyers did sell their tickets. For those of you who did indeed sell your tickets and are now reading this: you missed out. I wouldn’t have traded anything in the world for what I was a part of today.

On the Big Day, I awoke after a scant night’s rest, thanks to work the previous night, and stumbled into the shower…being driven only by the thought of getting to the theatre and securing a good seat. The thought of being stuck in the far corner of the front row, doomed for the entire show to crane my neck to look at the screen, spurned me on faster.

By the time I arrived at the theatre the line of people waiting had already been let inside. I entered the auditorium armed and ready for battle with my giant cup of coffee, an energy bar, and a Game Boy…it was three hours until show time. To my dismay, many of the seats had been taken, and those not filled by a human being were marked clearly with jackets and sweatshirts, indicating that they were not vacant. I despaired briefly, visions of the front row filling my mind, before spotting the Perfect Seat – halfway up, directly in the middle; this was the single advantage of being alone…it was much easier to find a good seat. No person, jacket or sweatshirt marked this seat as taken. Just to the left of it, a man slept soundly.

I hurriedly asked the people around if the seat was being held…no one knew. I took a gamble, hoping the slumbering man was not holding it for anyone, and sat down. I pulled out my Game Boy and prepared to do battle with time. Everywhere around people were talking and laughing excitedly…the atmosphere was very positive. I was about forty-five minutes into my duel with boredom when the man sleeping next to me awoke. I took notice of it, but said nothing. He looked at me dazedly.

“How long have you been here?” he asked.

I turned off the Game Boy and looked at him. He had a very thick accent, and it made him somewhat hard to understand.

“About two hours”, I replied, before quickly rethinking…it had only seemed that long. I corrected myself.

“I mean, forty-five minutes.”

Down below, at the foot of the screen, an impersonation contest was being held.

“That’s my bahs’ seat,” he said, his accent making him almost unintelligible.

“What?” I asked, although I already knew what was coming.

“That’s my boss’ seat,” he repeated.

This was a fatal blow ... not only had I lost the Perfect Seat, but also now that even more time had passed I was almost certainly doomed to a front-row seat.

I apologized and got up, and watched the remainder of the impersonation contest from the aisle, all while scanning for another decent seat. It was during this search that a very courteous woman offered me a seat only four places to the right of the Perfect Seat. I thanked her profusely while settling in to my newfound property, and resumed my duel with boredom.

This woman’s courtesy was a perfect example of the attitude of everyone in the theatre. Not once, throughout the entire show, did I hear ill words spoken. And while everyone did boo and hiss Britney Spears when she came on the screen, it was all in good fun.

As for the films themselves…they were wonderful to see on the big screen, back to back…to back. While the audience watched Frodo and Sam embark on their quest, we were all embarking on a quest of our own. I formed bonds with the people I sat next to, and even though I will probably never see them again, I will always remember them and this one small piece of history that we shared.

Like the fellowship, we endured our own hardships, though they were of a different nature. Instead of Ringwraiths and orcs, we had sore backs and full bladders to contend with (by the time RotK ended I was afraid my bladder was going to explode). But we endured to the end. We received our complimentary gifts, which are quite wonderful, and were sent on our separate ways.

On my way to the parking lot I was filled with sadness - sadness for the event being over, and sadness for the movies being finished. However, I was at the same time filled with hope for the future…the films, RotK especially, were an inspiration to me. They helped me overcome an emotional hurdle I had been attempting to jump for a very long time.

And now that I have seen Return of the King for the first time, I am ready to embark on the final part of Tolkien’s adventure a second time…and a third ... and a fourth ...

Ringer Lilania, Springfield

I've seen Return of the King and it was, of course, beyond incredible, but I'm hoping that everyone else's Trilogy Tuesday experience didn't quite match ours. Springfield, MO had an unplanned intermission. Halfway through Shelob's lair, the screen changed to some unusual effects which changed to the film frying before our eyes. It was restarted in just a few minutes, and I *think* we only missed a couple seconds of the movie, but in the meantime, Springfield nearly saw the rioting of 400 geeks.

Starlady's Trilogy Tuesday Report
Demosthenes @ 2:23 pm EST

Here is my official unofficial report from the Trilogy Tuesday event in Mobile, Alabama! Fans from all over the area came together for what was truly an amazing experience. This is my story of the Mobile event; if you were there and want to add anything (stories, photos, etc), email me at starlady@theonering.net and we’ll add them to the report!

My day began at…

7:30 am. Despite my best efforts to stay up late in preparation for tonight's festivities, I was so tired from driving all weekend (Pennsylvania to Alabama, woot!) that I wound up falling asleep at 10:30 pm and am now wide awake. Ah well... I'll just have to caffeinate myself heavily to make it to ROTK. I imagine once it starts I won't have any trouble staying awake!

8:30. I give up trying to go back to sleep and instead decide to put together a trivia contest for the show. Rummaging through my accumulated LOTR stuff (from conventions, oscar parties, etc) produces two WETA orc medallions (yes, they’re collectible, but they really don’t go with my décor), a couple of hundred TORn bookmarks, a few luggage tags, one Saruman and Wormtongue miniatures set from Games Workshop (see above about collectible, but not useful), three Two Towers creatures books, and a partridge in a pear tree. Just kidding… the last prize is an extra copy of The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien (don’t worry, I didn’t give away my autographed copy!). I make a dozen “Frodo Lives” buttons and add them to the pile, whose size leads me to two inescapable conclusions:

1. I have accumulated way too much LOTR stuff.
2. I need some hard trivia questions.

Off to TORn’s trivia contest (in Greenbooks) for the questions! Everything into a bag and I am ready to meet my line party for lunch.

11:30. I meet Heather, our line party leader, and her daughter Brittany, who impresses me with her encyclopedic knowledge of the films, at the restaurant. We are joined later by Clark and Stephanie, and the five of us geek out happily for an hour and a half (all wearing our TORn shirts ­ go us!) until I get a phone call from my sister informing me that the theater is already seating, an hour and a half before FOTR starts!

Luckily, the restaurant is in the parking lot of the theater, and so we are able to get checked in and seated within about five minutes. The theater (well, probably actually New Line) has provided passes hung from lanyards, which are universally acclaimed as a Good Thing as they make it extremely easy to leave for bathroom and snack breaks. My sister Sarah and our friend Caitlin have saved me a great seat ­ in the center of the second row of the stadium seats ­ and we settle in for the long haul.

1:30 pm. The theater is already three-quarters full and the movie isn’t starting for another 45 minutes, so I decide it’s time for trivia! Heather comes down to help me and we manage to get rid of all the stuff in short order. The crowd is even geekier than I’d expected and there isn’t a single question that SOMEONE doesn’t know the answer to (though the classic “How many teeth does Gollum have?” does take several guesses).

The funniest moment, however, is when we ask “What actor plays Faramir?” and before I can call on one of the people with their hand raised, someone positively screams “DAVID WENHAM!” ­ obviously a committed fan! We hand out all the big prizes and then pass out all the remaining bookmarks and buttons. Everyone seems to enjoy it, and as usual the mention of TORn elicits a huge cheer!

1:45. My fifteen minutes at the front of the theater have made me a fairly visible target for the reporter for the local newspaper, who wants to interview me for an article about Trilogy Tuesday. I successfully manage to pass him off to Heather (though he did corner me later, drat) and spend a few minutes getting to know my seat neighbors.

Wilson and Matthews (I swear these are their first names, I double checked) drove in from Birmingham, Alabama ­ about three and a half hours away ­ and Brad and Steve have come in from Rome, Georgia ­ a six hour drive! Their markets (Birmingham and Atlanta) sold out too quickly for them to get tickets and so they made plans to drive down and join us instead! We commiserate about long drives and the lengths (literally!) we will go to for LOTR.

2:00. A local gym has donated free daypasses to give out to audience members. Some of us have a good chuckle about what is either a brilliant marketing move (target the sedentary geek population) or an absolute waste of time (see above). After those make the rounds, the manager of the theater comes down to brief us on the schedule for the next twelve hours. The plan is: movie, food, movie, mingle, movie, get free stuff from New Line, go home.

2:15. The Fellowship of the Ring begins. Massive cheering at the “Lord of the Rings” title ­ this is the great thing about seeing films like this on opening night, the audience really gets into it! I note several places when seeing it on the big screen really makes a difference; for example, I can actually see the midges in the Midgewater Marsh ­ on my television, I sort of have to imagine they’re there (Ringers with humongous televisions can just ignore that bit).

6:00. FOTR ends and food arrives. Barbecue sandwiches, yum! A local radio station drops by to give out t-shirts and light-up ring necklaces and for a few hectic minutes, the theatre looks like Mardi Gras (a Mobile tradition) as everyone screams and yells for the free stuff.

6:30. The Two Towers begins. Cheering again at the LOTR title and at the end. This is my first time to see the Extended Edition; graduate school being what it is, I haven’t had a chance to buy it on DVD, so I ooh and ahh and gasp at all the appropriate moments, prompting chuckles from my neighbors who have obviously already worn out their DVD copies.

10:00. TTT ends and the theater decides to get in on the free stuff act by cleaning out the poster closet and giving away several dozen movie posters. I experience one of the happiest moments of my life when I discover that this theater sells espresso drinks ­ I am a mocha addict and I really need the caffeine, as it is approaching my bedtime! While I am away securing the caffeiny goodness, the radio station guy comes back and gives a prize to the fan who traveled the longest distance ­ my friends from Rome lose out to a fan from Finland!

I chat with several TORn fans in the lobby, including some I met at DragonCon… hi again guys! A representative from New Line (at least we assume that’s who she was) comes and reads a statement about the collectible giveaway at the end of the film, warning us to proceed in an orderly fashion to get our film frame… which seems a bit hasty, as Ringers are probably the best behaved fans in the world, but we nod politely anyway. Finally, after a few false starts to get the film focused and framed correctly…

11:00. The Return of the King begins. This isn’t a review, so no spoiler worries, but I will say that I cry like a little girl for the last twenty minutes of the film. Truly deserving of every accolade it receives. The biggest cheer of all when the credits begin to roll… what a journey for us all!

2:30. The final credits roll by and I only just now realize how tired I am. I wish my new friends a safe journey home, collect my film frame thingy from New Line, and drive home. Somewhere along the way I realize what an amazing experience it was, and how lucky I was to be able to take part in it.

Mad props to:

12-16-03 Latest News

You Cannot Always Be Torn In Two ...
Demosthenes @ 7:50 pm EST

You Cannot Always Be Torn In Two
Return of the King Reviewed
Press Screening
Embassy Theatre, Wellington
November 29, 2003

"I've seen FX - I know what cool stuff looks like. I don't care how pretty your christmas decorations are: if the tree is dead, the tree is dead. You can hang as many pretty baubles on it as you like, but that's still a dead tree." - Ben Wootten, Senior Designer, WETA Workshop.

This quote pithily encapsulates the greatest fear I had about Lord of the Rings - that it might turn into an action/FX fest without a depth of characterisation to make it more than junk food.

Sure, junk food is tasty in its way, but what I most enjoy is a delicious meal prepared by a skilled cook. Cuisine rather than junk food - this was my secret hope for LoTR. And my secret fear.

In fact, I went into the press screening of Return of the King more concerned that I might not like it, than expecting that I would enjoy it.

Nevertheless, I wanted to give the film every opportunity to shine - both individually and as an arc of three films with its siblings - Towers and Fellowship.

But I felt no certainty that it would. The thing is, I didn't like Towers that much - I felt it suffered from junk food syndrome, elevating action at the expense of character. And when I first saw Fellowship, all the textual deviations prevented me from really enjoying what was going on. In the end, I feel Fellowship is a good film, but I'd never liked a Rings film on a first showing.

So there was more than a bit of trepidation within me when I wandered up to the Embassy Theatre in Wellington on November 29. I didn't want it to suck, but there was always a chance that might be the case.

By the by, the refurbished Embassy is absolutely gorgeous. If you're ever in Wellington, you must check it out. The seats are wondrously conmfortable. Roomy, large ... and leather!

As the 200-300 Australian and New Zealand press take their seats, the lights start to go down. There is warm applause as the New Line logo flashes up on the huge screen ... and we begin ...

About three and a half hours later, I emerge feeling pleasantly surprised.

Now, this may feel like faint praise - it is not.

I never expected to like and enjoy Return of the King on the first viewing. I expected to feel far more conflicted when I walked out into the fading sunlight on Courtney Place. Yet that was not the case. As I walked out I was ... at peace.


The answer is very simple - Return of the King is largely character driven. And the performances, dialogue and emotional impact is sufficient that - for me - it outweighs the deviations from the text.

And indeed, despite the deviations, it still feels largely true to the "spirit" of Tolkien. Of course, a term such as "spirit" is easily written, much harder to nail down definitely. But what I mean is that themematically it reveals many of the same lessons about power, death, corruption, forgiveness, loss and redemption that I believe lie at the centre of what Tolkien's Lord of the Rings conveys to the reader.

And there are some major deviations - both sins of commission and sins of ommission. Not a lot, but some of these instances will have people (both "purists" and not-so-purists) jumping up and down for weeks.

But I discovered at the end of the film that these deviations didn't matter so much in the balance of things.

Return of the King flows smoothly from scene to scene. Yet it rarely feels rushed - a remarkable effort in distilling so much into such a compact space. Yet, just as importantly, it doesn't drag. There aren't lengthy self-indulgent battle scenes, and virtually all the major and minor characters get plenty of screentime. (Eomer and Faramir are perhaps the two exceptions - they both get cyphered substantially)

What's more, it is a great ensemble performance. To me, Towers felt like it was overshadowed by the power of Andy Serkis' performance as Smeagol/Gollum. Return of the King, on the other hand, does not belong to any single actress or actor. I think this is a good thing - it's how it should be when you have so many strong characters in a script.

And although this may cost it awards, in truth Astin and McKellen are just as impressive as Mortensen and Wood. Noble really is Denethor (albeit it an abridged version that plays up the madness and despair at the expense of his inner nobility) and Hill and Otto are also quite wonderful.

I think some dramatic tension is lost after the climax at Mount Doom - several of the press people observed that there seemed to be several endings. It is a noticeable thing, though of less concern and confusion to one who has read Lord of the Rings. But I don't know how I would have done it differently.

Regardless, the ending is as poignant as anyone could wish for, and I doubt that anyone will complain on that account.

Frodo says near the end: "Sam, you cannot always be torn in two ...". This was my moment of clarity; the point where I realised that just like Sam, the viewer has a choice.

Will you accept the idiosyncracies in Jackson's vision? Will you accept the differences in his filmic adaptation/interpretation of the text?

I've stopped wanting the film to be the book. I am at peace. I liked Jackson's Lord of the Rings for what it is, rather than mourning it for what it is not. In this sense, my journey has been as long as Frodo's, and just as painful as well. It's not been completed without loss, confusion and annoyance.

But what of you?

I don't know your answer. That's your choice to make. But do go. you'll be delighted in parts, disturbed and confronted in others.

And like me, you might also emerge at the end feeling "pleasantly surprised".

Wellington Premiere Day
Tehanu @ 12:27 am EST

A brief sleep after Return of the Ringers, and it was time for a jolt of Wellington’s excellent coffee before hitting the streets for Premiere Day. Wellington can sure put on a party. Famous for its awful weather, the capital defied expectations by providing a warm, clear sunny day. From mid-morning there was a sense that tools were being downed and offices emptied. By midday the best spots around the parade route were filling up with a festive crowd. I walked around between the waterfront and Courtenay Place. As described in other reports, the city was full of LOTR references, from the giant Weta sculptures on the buildings to the NZ Post banners on every other lamp post. Various businesses large and small were finding tongue-in-cheek ways to mention LOTR in their advertising.

I was in a funny position in that I was supposedly part of TORN’s reporting crew – I had limited access as a photographer. Our print reporter Demosthenes had a camera too (and permission to be in more places) and the Ringers film documentary crew had a lot of coverage too, so I wasn’t particularly needed. I did want to get to the press conference that morning. But as well as being a sort-of reporter, I was also somebody that the other media wanted to get soundbytes from. Radio NZ wanted to interview me at the same time as the press conference, but were delayed by events so I managed to attend the whole thing without feeling conflicted.

I had some fool notion that I might be able to represent LOTR fans on radio as intelligent and loveable people . The interview got pushed back from the morning show to the afternoon show to the evening show , and ended up being a 60-second soundbyte at 6pm while we were all crushed in the press pen outside the embassy and the radio producers had spent all day juggling time and talent like air traffic controllers trying to manage LAX without computers. By that time I was a gibbering wreck who’d had no food since early morning and no sleep since the Jurassic age. Not a stellar moment and I probably did nothing for Tolkien fandom. Whoops.

Back to the press conference earlier that day – the most notable thing was Mark Ordesky saying that New Line was certainly looking into the complicated situation regarding film rights to The Hobbit. Since then it’s become general knowledge that there is a definite move to film The Hobbit. "It wants to be made," as Gandalf might say.

Most of the questions were directed at Peter Jackson. I asked him if he had any insight into how he and Fran seemed to understand the essential character of the people he cast or worked with so quickly . I guess I wanted an impossible answer - he seems to have a talent for sizing up a person at a glance, and like anyone with an inborn gift, it must be very hard to think about or explain how it works, and harder still to explain what it feels like to have that talent. PJ seemed tired and the press conference no place to go into things in any depth. So he just answered that he picked people who’d be easy to get on with since he knew they would spend a lot of time together. Which didn’t answer the question of how he almost always picked the RIGHT person.

Howard Shore was there. I wanted to ask why he'd called the concert piece played recently aTrilogy Symphony , since there was no symphonic development to any of the themes - it was really just a episodic stringing-together of ideas. By movements 5 and 6 I felt it was out of fresh ideas and badly needed some logical elaboration of the themes we’d heard a hundred times before. (Cut to memory of one of the hornplayers catching my eye and doing the Universal Hornplayer’s Signlanguage for ‘My face will fall off if I have to play much more of this.’) But my question would have been churlish – The three film scores have been a monumental work, and it’d be insane to expect that Howard Shore could have had time, in the last four years, to develop a full symphonic treatment of the music from LOTR as well. But it’s annoying to hear those so-short snippets of such wondrous music, like the hardanger fiddle’s Rohan theme, and not hear them developed and extended over a longer period of time.

I spent some time in the press pen in the afternoon, which was sort of interesting – when somebody’s been sent 10,000 miles to grab a soundbyte from one of the stars for their news organisation, there’s a certain amount of sheer feral competitiveness going on that’s fun to watch for a while. Not sure why a short reporter would ever get this sort of gig. Tall people had such an advantage.

The questions seemed numbingly inane and once again I wondered how the actors stand it. I gave Fran Walsh a thumbs up mentally for steering clear of it all.

Quickbeam and the Ringers crew were doing a great job of attracting the talent over to their spot beside the red carpet – they’d already proved during the previous day’s press junket that they can ask interesting, intelligent questions. So the stars looked relieved to see them among the line-up.

Geez, I’m supposed to be writing about what the stars looked like and what they did. I give up. They looked like themselves, and they acted as happy and friendly as we’ve come to expect. Weird, but peering at Viggo Mortensen from a few yards away between a whole press of press didn’t make him seem realer or closer than what he is onscreen. There are moments in the films where the actors’ performances seem to have an honestly or insight into the essential character of the person that I could never see if I happened to make eye contact for a moment in a big crowd like the premiere. I’m happy enough with that.

Late in the day I was expected for an interview on the balcony that TV3 had commandeered overlooking the Embassy. The interview was brief – I tried to convey how much fun it’s been to be part of the world of Tolkien fandom and meet such a variety of great people from around the world as a result, but couldn’t really get it across.

The interviewer John Campbell had a ticket to the premiere but had realized that he wouldn’t be able to get away in time to make it to the film. In an act of great kindness, he gave me his ticket. I couldn’t thank him enough and he was busy busy busy, so I hugged him and ran, getting into the Embassy just as the opening credits rolled up.

Don’t all go thinking ‘Oh I wish I could have been at the premiere,’ because it was an odd experience – yes, PJ and the stars were there, somewhere way way behind me in the dark. But around me were a whole lot of rich, famous, important people with no real interest in Middle-earth. The gimmicky Hollywood action moments got their applause; I didn’t hear the roar of applause I expected after Eowyn’s scene with the Witchking. It was an honour and a privilege to be there, and I felt like I was taking part in a great moment of our time, at least in terms of pop culture. Not quite like being able to say ‘Woodstock, yeah, I was there,’ but something along those lines. But it wasn’t the ultimate viewing experience - for me that will be tomorrow, when I share the film with a theatre full of diehard fans who’ve made it to the midnight showing. Who’ve been waiting for years and years for this moment. If you’re at a midnight showing, I expect your memory of the night will be every bit as good.

And of the film itself? It felt right. I liked the structure of it very much. The ‘slow start’ that other critics have commented on feels like the only way to go, because we’re gathering in a widely scattered skein of storylines and winding them in tighter and tighter. So at first it’s confusing and we’re jumping around between a whole lot of different conflicts in Gondor, Rohan, Mordor and Osgiliath. It’s like TTT and it’s confusing. Then the stories start to weave togther more and more closely and the events of each story start to refer to each other more. As they do so, the tension is ratcheted up, like a rope that’s being twisted together . And then the ending is a long, lingering farewell – like the book. I’d long dreaded that ROTK would end like the first Star Wars movies, with their victory parades (for me they always bore a frightening resemblence to something out of Lena Riefenstahl’s admiring documentaries of the Third Reich.) The Return of the King does not end like that. It is as bittersweet and soft a farewell as I could wish.

12-15-03 Latest News

Cast Attends Santa Barbara Film Festival
Xoanon @ 9:35 pm EST

K9 writes: Although it will not be formally announced until later in the week, word is that several cast members from "The Lord of the Rings" will be in attendance at the 2004 Santa Barbara Film Festival in January of 2004.

Variety has already announced that Peter Jackson has been chosen to receive the festival's 2004 Modern Masters Award, on January 31, 2004. The awards ceremony involves a Q-and-A with the recipient, along with a retrospective involving highlights of his work. The event is held at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre.

This year, the cast of the film has been invited to be present as well. Additionally, script co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are expected to participate in the festival's panel on screenwriting, also to be held on January 31, 2004.

For information on tickets, visit sbfilmfestival.org

LOTR Props Display at Toys R Us in Times Square
Xoanon @ 9:13 pm EST

LOTR Props Display at Toys R Us in Times Square

Mighty Squid writes: I was overjoyed to hear about the Lord of the Rings props display at Toys R Us in Times Square NYC. Thank you TORn!

I must admit the prospect of going to Times Square this time of year is a bit daunting. Going to Toys R Us felt a bit like Mordor. The line to get into the store wrapped around the block. Luckily my husband is large person and we were able to bulldoze the tourists out of the way. We asked the first employee we saw how to get to the third floor where the exhibit is suppose to be. He told us one floor up by the dinosaur. Found the dinosaur and LOTRs merchandise but no movie props. So the search was on. The promotion also included buying LOTR games for a shot at meeting Andy Serkis (more on that in a sec) so I figured it would be by the games. I picked up a LOTR Risk game and asked the nearest employee about the props display. She informed me that it had closed quite some time ago. I was not happy. So I had my husband wait in the huge check out line while I scouted around. Craning my neck near the elevators, glass cases with LOTR logos were clearly seen on the floor above. So far two employees had no idea about the display. So I impatiently waited for my husband, made sure he had his receipt and waited for the elevator. The elevator operator didn’t want to bring us to the third floor since it seemed obvious that we weren’t the people who had “personal shoppers”. I told her we were looking for the LOTR display. She finally agreed to bring us. Unhelpful employee number three.

Finally I got to see the display. Displayed was the weaponry of the Heroes of Middle Earth. Gimli’s axe, Leggy’s bow and EVERYONE’s sword. Very cool. There was also an entry form to win Wormtongue’s dagger. I filled quite a few out.

Now for stage two. I brought the game receipt to the Personal Shopping desk expecting the same blank stares and lack of information I had gotten so far. I was pleasantly surprised. Away from the mob of tourists and scream of children people have kept their sanity. They knew exactly what I was talking about. They made a photocopy of my receipt, took down my name and phone number, and handed me a ticket to meet Andy Serkis at the private signing. I was stunned. I did not expect there to be any tickets left. After failing to get Trilogy Tuesday and PJ at Lincoln Center tickets I just couldn’t believe I would get tickets to anything. So not only will I be able to at last see the final installment of this history making trilogy but I will celebrate the day by meeting Gollum himself!

If anyone is in the New York City area, get over to Toys R Us! I was only number 55 of a possible 700!

Party Aftermath: A Word from Andy Tookey
Tehanu @ 4:32 pm EST

We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to everyone who attended the Return of the Ringers Party at the Skyline Restaurant.

The party was a night we will never forget, the atmosphere was electric and everyone was so nice! Many of you would have met our two year old daughter Katie, who was the inspiration of our cause to raise awareness into organ donation. Katie has a liver disease and will one day need a transplant alongside many other people in New Zealand, and indeed around the world. Our message is not New Zealand specific but worldwide.

To see Katie at the party you would not realise there was anything wrong with her, she had the best time ever of her two years. She danced the night away and made sure that others danced with her also! When the band finished after 1am she was asking them to play more. Not bad for a little girl who had been up now for 19 hours!

The generosity of all who helped to raise the $13,107 for the awareness campaign was outstanding. With little overheads and no paid staff this money will go directly into the campaign frontline.

We would also like to thank PJ, Fran and P.A. Jan Blenkin. Throughout their incredibly busy year they still always have made time to help us. As well as brilliant movie makers they are lifesavers, their help in raising the profile of the shortage of donors will already be making an impact, and not just in New Zealand.

A TORN member emailed me and suggested that we add a 'donate' button on our website for those who could not attend the party but would like to contribute.
This has now been done. We have also added a small incentive by adding an area where you can send a message to PJ. with the added guarantee that he will actually get the message personally! (though we can't guarantee that he will reply.)

Wishing you a great Christmas and New Year!

the 'Tookey' family
GiveLife NZ
Andy Tookey

TV Watch: TechTv Goes LOTR Mad
Xoanon @ 2:16 pm EST

LQ writes: TechTV will carry some stories on LOTR within some of their regular news/info programs, plus a half-hour special on ROTK. All times are East Coast and each show is repeated several times on the network.

December 17th - The Screen Savers: 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'

December 17th - Tech Live: Opening of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'

December 17th - TechTV: Special - Lord of the Rings: Visits to the sets show the creation of the films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy. Behind-the-scenes look at LOTR trilogy and its videogame spin-offs.

December 18th - Tech Live: Sneak peak at the extras on the 'Lord of the Rings' DVD.

December 19th - Tech Live: Secrets to the new 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' videogame

Royal Selangor Teams Up With TORN for LP3!
Xoanon @ 1:26 pm EST

MrCere here - Just a reminder that today, Monday, is the last day to sign up for the www.Royalselangor.com promotion for LP3 - The return of the line. After today's last-minute sign ups, Royal Selangor will randomly pick the winners of those who have registered HERE.

Here is a reminder in case you have forgotten about the details of this promotion that is available for all Line Party participants world wide.

www.royalselangor.com, an award winning website with more than 600 pewter gift ideas, offers the Lord of The Rings fans a wonderful opportunity to collect coveted Middle-earth inspired pewter designs. The wide selection consists of beautifully sculpted character goblets, shot glasses, wine glasses and tankards. To add to the excitement this year, there is now a new release of commemorative plates and flutes.

The set of four commemorative plates capture the many classic moments from The Hobbit, The Fellowship of The Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of The King. They feature scenes such as the Battle of the Five Armies at the Lonely Mountain, the Council of Elrond in Rivendell, the Entmoot in Fangorn Forest and Éowyn's battle with the Witch King.

The War of The Ring chess set is a true collector's piece for chess
aficionados and fiction lovers. The good side is sculpted in pewter while the evil side is copper-plated. The good side is led by Strider as the King with Galadriel as his Queen. Naturally, the evil side is led by the dark lord Sauron, accompanied by the Great Spider Shelob as his Queen.

Each piece is intricately sculpted and a game of chess with this set will transport you into the heart of the battlefield between the forces of good and evil in Middle-earth.

To stand a chance to win these sought after designs, simply click here to register. Remember to fill in the LOTR line party that you’re attending at the section - ‘Which LOTR Line Party Are You Attending’ to qualify you as a valid participant. Winners MUST be part of an ACTIVE, particpating line party event.

To check if you’re a winner, attend the LOTR line parties near you. Prizes will automatically go to the next winner if not claimed during the party.

There will also be 100 consolation prizes, which will be given out in select locations on a first-com-first-serve basis during the line party.

Tehanu's Ringer Party Report
Demosthenes @ 6:51 am EST

After a wild couple of weeks touring New Zealand and guiding busloads of people through the countryside, Tehanu is back with her report on the Return of the Ringers party.

Parties are Fun…..or are they?

Regular visitors to TORn might have wondered what’s happened to Tehanu for the past few weeks. Well, after the madness of Return of the Ringers and the premiere the day after, I had several thousand hours of sleep to catch up on. But I was also tourguide to a busload of 46 LOTR fans doing a Red Carpet tour of film locations for 2 weeks. Those weren’t very compatible goals, what with the 6:30 starts and the relentless hunting for people, luggage, and film locations.

Tagging along was my fiance, who emigrated to NZ three days before we set off on this magical mystery tour; he was remarkably tolerant of having to share our lives with hundreds of other people since his arrival in the country.

I hear that the party was a lot of fun, and I certainly saw a lot of people dancing and laughing and talking and looking fantastic and glamourous. I saw them in a kind of blur, personally - like I’d occasionally crash into somebody’s plate or dodge their Springle Ring while I was racing around “running” the party (and I use that term loosely.) But other than that, it was like an extension of what TheOneRing.net is all about, for me – a place for Tolkien fans to gather together and meet other people to have fun with. Except we were getting together in real life for once. Seven hundred of us!


After months of running around planning for all this, and worrying that it wouldn’t work out (we thought of a hundred things that might go wrong!) it was a relief to sit on the front desk checking people in and see how the fans were all buzzing with excitement before they even got in the door. Sure, there was a long queue lining up and it took a while to get everyone through, but the mood was good and conversations seemed lively while they waited. From my point of view it was nice to say hello to a lot of people I’d only ever spoken to online before. I think a lot of people were pleased to find old friends from the Net to party with them.

Next LOTR party, I’m going to do all that stuff. This party, I didn’t eat, drink, dance or do anything other than direct traffic all night, and the other party organisers were the same. Everyone thinks we were locked in that VIP room exchanging meaningful looks and witty banter with the stars. Dream on! I don’t think I even had time to say hello to anyone except Bruce (hi Bruce) and Richard T. as I was busy running round getting the food, drinks and security organised for them and doing other things to counter the forces of Chaotic Good (‘cos with 700 people and some film stars and the media all in one place, chaos isn’t what you want.)

I think we ended up with a somewhat freeform party – apologies to all of you that hoped to win something in a costume or dancing competition. We got Ben Wootten and Bruce Hopkins to hand out spot prizes to worthy hopefuls, which was the best we could do once the stars arrived and derailed our schedule in the nicest possible way. Thanks for coming, guys, and I hope you had a good time!

The venue didn’t burn down killing hundreds of LOTR fans, and no stars were trampled into a millimetre-thin smear on the carpet, so two of my major goals were accomplished. (These were the two that had me waking up at 4 in the morning in a cold sweat for weeks beforehand.) So I’m really, really happy. Really happy that it’s over, too.

The Mouth of New Line had told me that the stars had way better things to do and far better parties to attend than ours on that evening. I thought she was likely to be right – this would be one of the last opportunities for the cast to all get together, and I imagined they’d have moments that they would not want to share with 700 of us.

So we’d been pretty blasé about security, in hindsight. Luckily the Chainmail Stuntpeople stepped in to help when the stars dropped in to say hello to the fans. (Lots of other reports have described that, so I’ll simply say ‘Thanks for coming, it was lovely to have you!’) I never did find out what the professional security folk thought about standing shoulder to shoulder with a crew of armed warriors as they escorted the stars on and off the stage. Sean Astin and Sir Ian McKellen acted like it was all in a days’ work, which it pretty well is after filming LOTR.

It’s now two weeks since the Premiere Party “Return of the Ringers” in Wellington and we can finally take stock of the result in terms of the charity we aimed to help. We set out to raise money for a charity that PJ had chosen - the Organ Donor Awareness Campaign. Yesterday I invited Andy Tookey, the campaign head, to come over and pick up a cheque for $13,107 NZD.

The Cheque Handover

Andy has been trying to raise public awareness of the need for more organ donors to help people in need of transplants. Organ donor rates in NZ are low, not from a shortage of compassion, but from the lack of information about the process. Our donation will be used to fund airtime for their ad campaign to run on TV; if that is not feasible, the campaign will direct its efforts to creating an educational package for schools.

To all of you who helped us raise this money – from the organisations and businesses in NZ who donated auction goods, the stars of 3Foot6 and Weta who autographed some of them, and you the people who supported us by buying tickets, drinks and T-shirts – a huge hug and a thank-you.

The Charity Auction

I especially want to thank Joel Bion and his wife Fran, for their generous personal contribution to the auction; Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor and their colleagues for finding time in their hectic pre-premiere schedule to sign our auction goods, and John Noble for stepping into the breach on the night and whipping up enthusiasm (and prices) at the live auction.

Thanks are due to the Chain Mail People (you know who you are) who helped with security and kept our beloved actors and Weta stars safe from our sometimes too-boisterous adoration! I’m never going to forget the sight of those staunch warriors forming a human corridor and shouting ‘Hold the line!’ as they escorted the stars to and from the stage.

Stunt Knights Do Battle

Thanks to Sean Astin, Sir Ian McKellen, John Noble, Bruce Hopkins, Lawrence Makaore, Richard Taylor, Gino Acevedo and Ben Wootten for turning up and giving the fans an opportunity to show how much they love them.

Last but far from least, I have to thank Lyric Apted and Rochelle Powers for their tireless work in organising the party. Although I had the initial idea to have a party for the fans at the premiere, any idiot could have thought of that. Actually making it happen depended utterly on their skills and talent for organising and keeping track of hundreds of details and connections. They deserve a lot more praise and attention than they got. Now you know who they are so there’s no excuse.

Staffer Shell With Gino Acevedo And Lawrence Makoare Staffer Lyric

Next installment: How I got into the premiere and what I thought of it.

ROTK review from Germany
Tehanu @ 3:21 am EST

Barbara is a professional movie critic in Germany. She sent this great review in - some spoilers here in that it really does pick out some of the best bits. But most importantly, her overall impression is emotionally charged admiration and pleasure in the achievement.

The Return of the King

"I've been writing movie reviews for thirteen years now. Never before have I sat in a theater with my heart pounding in my ears as the lights went down. So it's no use denying that I went to see „The Return of the King" hoping that I'd like it. And, oh, I did. While in „The Two Towers" Peter Jackson faced -- and mastered -- the task of continuing a storyline split in three, he now has to follow an even greater number of threads that do not all lead to the one end as the fates of over a dozen main players unfold. More overshadowed than guided by the twisted creature Gollum, Frodo and Sam carry the Ring of Power into Mordor, hoping against hope to destroy it. At the same time, another battle awaits their former companions. Gandalf the wizard and Aragorn, heir to the throne of Gondor, once more call the world of men to arms to ward off the final attack of the evil Lord of Mordor. This battle for Gondor is not only one of the turning points that define the future of the men of Middle Earth, it is also the great canvas on which much smaller fates are painted. As promised by the Lady Galadriel much earlier in the trilogy, it is here that the remaining Hobbits Pippin and Merry find their place in the story, it is here that the unhappy Eowyn shows her true merit -- it is here that mass action and singled-out faces find their perfect balance.

"Yes, there are quibbles. The film takes some time to find its pace -- time it would dearly need later on, when only those who have read the books can guess how Eowyn and Faramir end up where they do. The ghost army doesn't look nearly as tormented as I'd imagined it. There is the sad matter of the missing, magic-voiced Saruman. (And the German translation, which I saw, is often unnecessarily clumsy, not to mention the fact that not for the first time, some of Jackson's Wagnerian imagery stirs uneasy historical memories in the German mind.) But they don't really matter, and if anything, they whet the viewer's appetite for the extended DVD version. What they cannot touch is the powerful vision that underlies it all, a vision that once more captures the essence, if not all the details of the book, turning its words into cinematic moments of the unforgettable kind. The beacon fires of Gondor calling for Rohan's help. The Steward of Gondor feasting at his table as his son Faramir rides to meet his death on the Pelennor and Pippin's voice accompanies him in a simple lament. Aragorn sending his men into one last fight, not for honor, not for Gondor -- but for Frodo.

"So, this is the long-awaited third film after which no other will follow, a much anticipated event that is also a farewell. And Peter Jackson takes his time to conclude not only „Return" but the whole trilogy with it, to let the homecoming Hobbits experience a sense of loss that may well express what the filmmakers felt at the time the shooting drew to a close, and what many viewers may assume to feel as the credits start to roll. But this is the point where „The Return of the King" has one last surprise in store for you, because Jackson does not send you home feeling sad. As the lights go on again, the unexpected feeling that prevails is joy."

Barbara Schnell

12-14-03 Latest News

Another Take on ROTK
Xoanon @ 12:50 pm EST

Devin Grant writes: I see you posted Michael Marano's review and I wanted to give you guys my take.

While I didn’t cry during the opening scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring that showed the Shire, I did have an epiphany. “Holy crap, Jackson actually gets it,” I thought. I hoped and prayed that Jackson’s vision would stretch past those well thought-out opening scenes, and I’m pretty much still waiting to be disappointed.

Sure, this film trilogy hasn’t been perfect, but despite tinkering with the timeline and replacing what many feel are key events in the books with ones of his own imagining (or else simply leaving events out altogether), Jackson has succeeded in doing what no one else has. By that, I mean that Jackson has managed to make a film trilogy stay engaging, exciting, and, most importantly, relevant to the very end. This has not been the case with other cinematic trilogies. The third Star Wars film was hindered by those damn walking teddy bears, the Ewoks, as well as plot holes so big you could fly the Millennium Falcon through them (don’t even get me started on the new batch Star Wars films – George Lucas is now Peter Jackson’s bitch). The third Back to the Future flick got mired down in the muck of the Old West, forcing it to limp to its conclusion. Even The Godfather series, which boasted the only sequel (Godfather II) ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture, found its legacy cheapened by a sub par third installment. Oh, and then there is The Matrix trilogy, which was kind enough to save us a little time by imploding during the second film.

But not only did Jackson keep the momentum going through all three films, the guy actually saved the best for last. I must admit that it has been more than a decade since I last read the books. I pondered rereading them before the films were released, but decided not to because I wanted to (hopefully) appreciate the films for what they were. I feel that I made the right choice. I have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy twice in my life – once at the age of about 12, and again in one long marathon session while I was sitting out in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert during the first Gulf War back in 1991. Did I notice things missing from the film? Sure, but I didn’t fret about them. I’m a fan of the books, but I don't know them by heart.

IR17;m hesitant to even talk about what actually happens in The Return of the King, because let’s face it – if you’ve come this far and seen the other two films, then you’re in for the long haul (and if you haven’t, well, you’re missing out on three of the best films of the last 20 years). The best thing that I can tell you going into The Return of the King is that you can set your expectations as high as you want, and you are still going to be blown away. I promise.

So what struck me most about the film? The battle for Pelennor Field is, quite simply, the most spectacular battle sequence ever put on film. The dead army is every bit as cool as you are hoping it will be, and Frodo’s encounter with Shelob made me all but curl up in my seat in the fetal position. Of the characters in this film, it is Sean Astin as Sam, Frodo’s humble companion, who really stands out here. I’ll go so far as to say that Astin deserves a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Oh, and just wait until you hear Billy Boyd’s character Pippin sing during a key scene. I dare you not to get emotional. But what makes this film so spectacular is the fact that everyone and everything, down to the last tiny CGI soldier in the background, clicks and makes this film a miracle to behold.

I remember seeing the trailers for The Lord of the Rings back in 2000, the ones where it was explained that the three films would be released in 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. At the time I thought to myself, “Man, I won’t see The Return of the King for three years. It seemed like such a long way off. Last year when I exited the theater after seeing The Two Towers, still high on how perfectly they nailed the Gollum character, I was like a heroin junkie who realized it would be a year before he’d get his next fix. So now, with the whole shebang finally over, I’m once again experiencing the symptoms. Let’s call them the LOTR DTs. I just keep telling myself that everything is going to be alright because A) I can see this film in the theater several more times, and B) that in a year or so there will be an extended version DVD that will stretch an already almost 3 ½ hour film to well past four hours. Don’t expect to see me out much next November.

Devin Grant doesn’t speak Orc, but he has been known to smell like one at times. Chucktowncritic@yahoo.com.

RingCon 2004 News
Xoanon @ 12:29 pm EST

Kate Gale from RingCon writes: It's that time again...RingCon, The Gathering of the Clans will be held March 5,6,7 at the SeaTac Hilton Hotel. Ron Cleavland has authorized a "special" discount prices for the event.

Here it is, the official word from Ron. A special Discount for the Trilogy and Line Party only (12/16 & 12/17) Cinerama, Seattle, WA.

Weekend pass per person... $ 35.00
6 - 12 years of age 15.00
Students / Seniors / Disability 25.00
Dinner with the Stars 65.00

Under 6 FREE

These prices for the Convention will not be available on the 18th. This is a one time thing so please if you want to be part of the Convention at these prices. Or give as gifts now is the time to do it.

Guests include:

Authors: Barbara Hambly and Robin Hobbs
Actors : Bernard Hill "Thedoen" (tentative)

plus more...I will keep you posted as I learn more.

From Imagination to Image
Xoanon @ 11:51 am EST

Translated by: hannah

The Lord of the Rings, from imagination to image

Site Francois-Mitterand- North ambulatory - Free admission

To commemorate the theatrical release of the last film of the trilogy "The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King" on December 17, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (French National Libary) will display 120 drawings by John Howe and Alan Lee in the north ambulatory of the Site Francois-Mitterand.

Through their drawings, John Howe and Alan Lee have given birth to an imagery of its own to the modern saga "The Lord of the Rings" and their illustrations have embodied it as occurs rarely with a fictional text. The drawings are known to combine strong images and textual details, already colored by a fiction which encourages the likely ambition simply in the slightest details. This graphic transposition contitutes a nearly unique example in the history of illustration, of a successful combination between a text and its image.

The expostion traces the path of Frodo, the hobbit, of Aragorn, the descendant of Isildur, and of Gandalf, the Wizard. Conceived as a journey across "Middle-Earth", the exposition display the very first portraits of a universe that can be frightening or marvelous- from the Elven Rivendell to the terrible Barad-Dur-, or still give, in drawings of a spectacular size (sometimes more than two meters) the first conceptualisations of scenes of the film. These building designs approach the genesis of a film which has found in them the base of its imagery and the model of its miniatures, decor, and 3-D images. Several filmed interviews, with the two artists, medieval experts and historians, permit one to comprehend what these drawings owe to the long history of fantasy iconography.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" marks the conclusion of the epic voyage of the trilogy "The Lord of the Rings". Produced by New Line Cinema, distributed in France by Metropolitan, the Peter Jackson film tells the end of the grand and passionate adventure of these characters and reveals how courage, the gift of self and the determination of the most humble can change the world.

More Info on Paris' LOTR Gatecrashers
Xoanon @ 11:29 am EST

Kimberley Verburg writes: Here's a little more news on the disrupted premiere party in Paris. I went to the John Howe/Alan Lee exhibition this afternoon at the Bibliothèque Nationale, which was very cool, by the way. While I was there I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask the staff what had happened last night.

A security guard said he'd been told this morning that about four hundred protesters had turned up and that the party had been gatecrashed. All the VIPs, including, apparently, one or more government ministers, quickly left and that was the end of the party. He had heard no reports of any damage, and I am happy to report that the exhibition was intact.

A staff member who had been present confirmed all of the above and added that some of the protesters had just headed for the drinks.

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