With three of my friends (including reveilles), I went to Trilogy Tuesday yesterday at Showcase Cinemas in West Springfield. This was a 1:15PM showing of the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, a 5:30PM showing of the Extended Edition of The Two Towers, and a 10:00PM showing of The Return of the King with a 30 minute intermission between each movie.
The theater handled the showing very well. They sold 500 tickets and showed the movies on 2 screens which had 800 seats combined. As a result, people were not packed in like sardines which is a very good thing if you are going to be in one room for 12 hours. The theater also did not stop people from bringing outside food in with them - one group brought in four pizzas for dinner before The Two Towers started.
I really enjoyed The Return of the King and was glad to have the opportunity to see all three movies on the big screen on the same day, though it is an experience I don't want to repeat any time soon.
The Return of the King was a very satisfying ending to The Lord of the Rings trillogy. The movie starts with a flashback showing how Smeagol came to have the One Ring and at some point, there are a sequence of cuts that show the physical transition he went through over the years from Smeagol to Gollum.
As with the past two movies, The Return of the King has convinced me I need to take a trip to New Zealand in the future. The visuals in this movie are spectacular. The first view of Minas Tirith is awe inspiring and the battle for the city even outdoes the battle for Helm's Deep. The destruction of Barad-Dûr when the One Ring was destroyed was also very impressive.
My only complaint was the scenes with the Palantír felt very disconnected out of place. With the Saruman scenes cut from movie, it was unclear how the Palantír got from Saruman's control inside of Orthanc to the waters outside. I guess I'll have to wait for the Extended Edition to see these scenes.