So let me tell the tale of the LOTR Trilogy Tuesday, a long journey but worth every minute of ass-numbing entertainment. My brother Josh (who drove up from NJ, and made banana bread!), Angus the Namesake, Peter (in place of a very sad, sick Jack) and I met for breakfast in the Heart of the Commonwealth -- that's right, Worcester -- at Tatnuck Bookseller, a very cool bookstore/restaurant. After consuming a variety of breakfast meats and carbs, we drove to the somewhat secluded (in an industrial park, anyway) Showcase Cinemas Worcester North, a twin to my favorite local multiplex in Woburn. I have to say, the theater ran the event flawlessly -- it was organized, well-thought-out, and basically quiet and enjoyable, not the insane melee in a stuffy, stinky theater I was fearing. They showed the marathon in two theaters instead of just one, so there was room to spread out a bit, and nobody had to sit next to the wall or in the back corner. We had hours to spare before it started, so we played a little Scrabble in the lobby, and watched the becloaked college kids come in -- yes, we had one or two damsels in elf garb. At 1:15, the extended "Fellowship" came on, to a silent, riveted crowd, and the print looked absolutely pristine, it was like watching an enormous DVD. I had forgotten how much I like the first movie; I haven't decided yet which is my favorite overall, but it might be that one. After a half hour break -- spent mostly cramming in hummus, crackers, clementines, and cookies -- the extended "Two Towers" began, and it was equally well-received. There was almost an hour of added footage, whole scenes! By then end, we were all charged up for the third installment -- I celebrated this by eating some quite tasty mozzarella sticks and walking laps around the lobby to get the feeling back in my legs. I also picked up my Exclusive Collectible, the mysterious freebie we'd been told about, which turned out to be pretty darn cool -- they're going for almost $50 on EBay, of course, but I like mine too much to sell it. So at 10pm sharp, we became some of the first paying customers to see "The Return of the King," and it was mind-boggling...a blend of epic narrative and beautiful imagery, and music -- there's a lot of singing! People were weeping at the end, and not just because it was 1:25am. I can't wait to see it again by itself...I guess that's praise enough! SO my hat goes off to the theater staff, the entire city of Worcester (from what I can tell, it was a good choice not to go to the Boston show), and of course Peter "King of the Hobbits" Jackson.

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