December 17th! The Battle of Five Armies!
We drove a half hour to the next town over so that we could see the movie in 2D at 1:00. The theater was great -- there might have been twenty other people there, and it is a good sized theater -- but after sitting through all the ads and previews, when they finally started the movie, it was in 3D! The whole theater (all twenty-four or so of us!) erupted in groans and complaints. Mass exodus to the lobby, where the management offered an "Oops, there was a mix-up and 3D is all we have today!" They offered passes to come back another day, or 3D glasses if we wanted to stay and watch it. We decided to stay. It took me about ten minutes to get accustomed to the glasses (so the destruction of Laketown was a bit of a bust for me), but then I got used to them and did okay. Still not my preference, but I was able to enjoy the rest of the movie.
And I did enjoy it very much. Plenty of silly bits, just as in the earlier installments, but also wonderful stuff. References to LoTR, elaborations on things Tolkien left vague (the dragon sickness, the White Council and the Necromancer, etc.), and, of course, plenty that Tolkien almost certainly never imagined. It was great. But Jackson didn't change the ending. And I'd have been outraged if he had, but it still made me sad. I knew it would. And now we have no more Middle Earth movies to look forward to. Except that we do! Next December we will get the Extended Edition version of the Battle of Five Armies, and we'll get to see it again with the deleted scenes added! And it won't be in 3D!