To begin with, my replacement phone was waiting at my doorstep the night before. Since they have to send the same phone or comparable model, they replaced by Sanyo SCP-4900 with a Hitachi SH-P300, which has all the same features, but is much smaller. The web browser is much faster, too.
My new phone
So, even though I have lost some of my phone numbers, most of them are replacable and I have a new toy...
I wish that I could say that I found a crazy legal loophole to get my car back on the road, but the truth is that an opportunity fell in my lap and through the generosity of my grandparents (who, it should be reminded, are ecstatic about my academic performance), she's back and she's bad. My loving vehicle is with me, where she damn well belongs.
I think I will have to give her a name. I never bothered with the Firebird (she always treated me horribly, so I never got around to referring to her as anything more than "bitch"), although the old Chrystler was called Brunhilde.
Speaking of the Firebird, it is finally gone. Good riddance to that flea-bitten, gas-slurping, crappy-handling (except when driving at 80 mph, natch), stinky (okay, that's my fault, I used to smoke), malfunctioning mess.
...there's even more!
With my car finally back on the road and a sleek new telephone, there was nothing left to do with the rest of my day but reserve a rental copy of the extended edition of The Two Towers. This is, of course, the sort of thing that I would have bought the millisecond it came out if I had any sort of income that doesn't cause snickering, but unfortunately, I won't until next year.
That it sounds outstanding is only par for the course. The DTS ES 6.1 track, like the extended version of Fellowship from last year, has thunderous bass, a very holophonic soundfield, clear dialogue and presents Howard Shore's astounding score with the dignity it demands.
The picture is interesting.
Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie has been using a digital process to color these films, and the theatrical prints of The Two Towers went towards a monochromatic look. While effective, this choice ended up emphasizing the extra grain that is a by-product of the Super 35 format the films are being shot in, and the original DVD released in August replicated this appearance, yeilding a sharp yet fairly colorless image.
The new DVD goes for a significantly warmer color scheme, pulling more hues out of the image. The muted quality is gone, and the effect is phenomenal; familiar shots come alive with a new energy. A faint, sickly yellow glow now hangs over Emyn Muil, Theoden's clothing is much more regal, Treebeard has moss growing all over him (does he need the Ent version of Clearasil?)...
The added footage is liberally sprinkled throughout the film. Some of the shortest additions are the most relevant. The camera lingers on Aragorn's expression of failure when Eomer gives him the horses; Aragorn holds out a hand to Grima after sparing him, which is spat at as he escapes; Merry and Pippin's sighting of Isengard is different, making it more apparent that they see something that Treebeard does not. These tiny points often account for what were spotty moments in the theatrical cut.
The more substantial additions are what will draw people to this set, of course. The most interesting of these include a flashback sequence set in Gondor, featuring Boromir and Denethor which does quite a bit to explain Faramir and a jaw-dropping sequence at the end that... well, I let you find that out for yourself.
My only caveat was that I was hoping to see that footage of Eowyn fighting in the caves during Helm's Deep. Hama's son showing up also seemed like it was going to lead somewhere.
Well, then I played for my friend Raz the 5.1 SACD I have of Dark Side of the Moon. He was suitably impressed.
A good day.