- Release Date: 18 November, 2003
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While it may seem that there would be nothing left to say after the bevy of features on the extended Fellowship, the four commentary tracks and two discs of supplements on The Two Towers remain informative, fascinating, and funny, far surpassing the recycled materials on the two-disc theatrical version. Highlights of the 6.5 hours' worth of documentaries offer insight on the stunts, the design work, the locations, and the creation of Gollum, and--most intriguing for rabid fans--the film's writers (including Jackson) discuss why they created events that weren't in the book. Providing variety are animatics, rough footage, countless sketches, and a sound-mixing demonstration. Again, the most interesting commentary tracks are by Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and by 16 members of the cast (eight of whom didn't appear in the first film, and even including John Noble, whose Denethor character only appears in this extended cut). The first two installments of Peter Jackson's trilogy have established themselves as the best fantasy films of all time, and among the best film trilogies of all time, and their extended-edition DVD sets have set a new standard for expanding on the already-epic films and providing comprehensive bonus features. --David HoriuchiFeatures: Widescreen, Box set, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Color
Customer Rating: 4.46 of 5 (1864 total reviews)
- Great Movie, all time favorite
Director Peter Jackson's movie version of The Two Towers pays full respect to the most sorrowful part of J.R.R. Tolkien's mighty Lord of the Rings trilogy.
This is a sadder, more frightening film than The Fellowship of the Ring, but it is also more exciting, more visually dynamic and more sweeping in its vision. This, film fans, is an epic with a capital E.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(PG-13; epic battle sequences, scary images) Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen. Directed by Peter Jackson. 179 minutes.
The story picks up almost exactly where Fellowship ended, with the original adventurers separated, and Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) facing the next perilous journey alone. All we see from the first film is the wizard Gandalf's apparently fatal plunge into the center of the Earth as he battles the horrendous Balrog monster - a special-effects scene as masterful as modern technology and artistic imagination will allow.
A short while later, an even more astonishing techno-wonder awaits in the character of Gollum, a creature generated entirely by computers based on the body and voice of actor Andy Serkis. Gollum has been kept largely under wraps in advance of the movie, the better to astonish audiences with his shocking authenticity. This is by far the most expressive, least mechanical, computer-generated figure ever seen on screen, and the movie's most engrossing character to boot.
Once a Hobbit-like being named Smeagol, Gollum was corrupted by the One Ring that Frodo now carries. Gollum dogs Frodo, hoping to steal the ring back. Frodo's appeal to the part of him that is still Smeagol reveals a divided person who carries the battle between good and evil in his own head.
Frodo's goal is the ring's destruction in the pit where it was forged, thereby stopping the resurrection of the disembodied Sauron, who has set his wicked wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) to the task of wiping out beauty, peace and freedom among humans, hobbits and their friends.
The movie crosscuts from place to place as Frodo and Sam struggle toward Mordor, tracking friends Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Merry (Dominic Monaghan) in a magical forest overseen by ancient, tree-like beings called Ents, as well as the race by dwarf Gimli (voice of John Rhys-Davies), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) to save their friends.
The action peaks when the Fellowship warriors find a reborn Gandalf (Ian McKellen in another sharp, detailed performance) and rally the humans of Rohan to fight Saruman's massive forces. (Be advised that the movie earns its PG-13 rating with thrilling but often horrific combat.)
Mr. Jackson, who wrote the screenplay with Philippa Boyens and Stephen Sinclair, interprets Tolkien's stormy vision with tremendous insight and empathy. Frodo's weakening spirit, Gollum's pathos, Sam's loyalty, the fury and dread of the final assault on Helm's Deep - it's all there on the screen, as powerfully as it was on the pages of the great novel. Mr. Jackson has taken a few liberties with the book, but none that destroy its sense or sensibility.
Plot complexities are explained in part with flashbacks, flash-forwards and narrative recaps. It is possible the tale could confuse some who are not familiar with the books, but even non-readers of Tolkien stand to be swept up in the film's urgent pace and emotional intensity - not to mention its breathtaking visual riches.
The Two Towers is every bit the momentous event fans have been hoping for. All it lacks is three more hours of the story. That comes Dec. 17, 2003. Mark the date.
Arguably better than the first installment of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, The Two Towers is a more than seamless continuation of the first film. Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue their quest to destroy the ring, and are now guided by the deceitful Gollum. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) join the fight to defend the city of Rohan as Saruman (Christopher Lee) and his dark lord Sauron proceed with their plan of the eradication of mankind. More violent, fast paced, and with a more epic feel; The Two Towers is, as of this typing, the best action/fantasy adaptation yet; and while it may not take place exactly as Tolkien himself had written it, he himself would nod his head in approval of the fantastic job done by director Peter Jackson. Most of the cast from Fellowship of the Ring has returned: including Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Hugo Weaving, and Andy Serkis providing his movements and voice as Gollum, who is a fantastic pinnacle of how far computer animation has come today. The battle scenes are more than epic; including the climatic slickly put together battle of Helm's Deep. All this however is only a taste of what is to come with the third and final film in the trilogy: the eagerly anticipated The Return of the King.
...but definitely better than Part 1. I enjoyed this one a lot!!! Thank goodness Chicago won Best Picture though, otherwise I was going to be upset.