Review of ROTK EE from Italy - BadTaste.it
Here's a well, rather jaded review of ROTK:EE -- I think those of us with a dear love for the books will be glad to see a more complete rendition that's much nearer to the books....
I've seen the Return of the King extended edition
As usual, I find it difficult to understand such enthusiasm about the Extended Editions.
Basically, they rest on a false myth: namely that there are "integral versions" of a movie. Indeed, the editing process and the cutting of some scenes are an important part of the creative process.
Perhaps, the only true "integral version" would be an absurd patchwork made with all the tens of hours of reels, along with the many takes of the same scene.
Therefore, the conception of a better movie because is full of new scenes is debatable. As a matter of fact, considering some famous examples (like Apocalypse Now Redux), we would think the opposite.
I think that "The Return of the King - Extended Edition" finds itself in an odd situation. While many fans of the book will be overjoyed at some new scenes (the death of Saruman, the Houses of Healing, Mouth of Sauron), on the other hand much of this material doesn't seem to work properly - for a number of reasons. After all, there'd be a reason for cutting these scenes when they edited the movie...
Essentially, many scenes are based on the same model. There's one character (or more) who have lost any hope, while there's another who consoles him, trying to inspire him some optimism. Somethimes this bring us into a deepening of some character's psychology, but these informations have often been explained in other moments.