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If you've got just a little bit less than four hours to kill, you might consider taking in The Empire Strikes Back (aka "the middle one," aka "the good one") of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers - the extended edition - at your local AMC theater (click here for showtimes). Yes, we neglected to inform you about the airing of Part One: The Fellowship of the Ring last week. But we think you'll hold up. You've always been strong that way.

Reader critic emeritus Duncan Shepherd, bless his heart, wasn't moved overmuch by the theatrical version, but maybe the extended cut improves on what he deemed to be "terrible" storytelling? At any rate, it's a big film on a big screen. Not Lawrence of Arabia or anything, but still, some grandeur there to make the journey from the comfort of The Shire - er, your couch - worthwhile.

An event like this almost makes it tempting to violate The Alamo's "No talk/No text" policy, just for the pleasure of sitting in the back row and liveblogging the thing. That way, future generations would know the precise minute mark wherein Gimli the dwarf asks to be tossed.

"Don't tell the elf."

Special viewing bonus: Gollum/Smeagol team up to channel Barry White:


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