So I went for it. To hell with waiting till the holidays. (But just for the record, kenshi, I still haven't watched it all the way through, nor seen all the commentary or the extras, so there can still be a Thanksgiving movie marathon. Just had to see those new scenes.)
And it's just silly, how happy this made me. I looked in the mirror after watching some of those extra scenes, and my cheeks are glowing like I'm sunburned. This stuff is apparently my drug of choice. How sad.
Anyway, my basic impressions in an untidy list: (linguists love lists)
Cute Bilbo/Frodo moment at long-expected party.
Legolas speaking Elvish! Finally.
Aragorn speaking lots of Elvish.
Frodo understanding Elvish when Aragorn is singing it; nice touch.
Galadriel getting to feel fuzziness of Aragorn's face.
Haldir even more of a stuck-up jerk than before.
Legolas somehow even prettier in the new scenes. Incredible.
Celeborn gets more than one line. Hurrah!
Merry and Pippin get to kill Orcs. Sweet!
Scene Most Desperately Crying Out to Be Slashed: Sam and Frodo lying by a campfire, Sam complaining that he just can't get comfortable there on the ground. Frodo smiles to himself, eyes still closed. (Sorry, but I've been corrupted and could not help thinking that. I know, Sam will kill me if I try anything.)
Legolas is obviously Middle-earth spokesperson for lembas. A little scary.
Legolas also feeling sarcastic, apparently. ("Why doesn't THAT surprise me," re dwarven ineptitude. Hah!)
Cute Frodo line: whisper when leading the pack out of Rivendell: "Mordor, Gandalf: is it left or right?"
Sam really not comfortable in boats.
Gimli rather cute with Galadriel.
I listened to a couple of the scenes with cast commentary, just to see what they said. Actually laughed out loud at Orlando's self-mockery at the "lembas commercial." ("Lembas--one mouthful can fill a grown man's stomach!") Other parts very self-evident. (Sean A.: "That water was so cold.") Looking forward to hearing the rest sometime, though.
I shall put away the DVD's now. Have had my fill, and any more would be like overdosing on exquisite dark chocolate. (i.e., There are worse ways to die, but better ways to spend my night.)