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The Lord of the Rings-The Two Towers


In case you haven't heard: This is the second movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It starts immediately where the first left off (no explanations or introduction) right after Frodo and Sam were separated from the rest of the Fellowship. In this movie we follow three groups: Frodo and Sam's movement towards Mordor (with Gollum), Merry and Pippin's adventures with Treebeard and the Ents, and Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli/etc.'s travel to King Theoden and then a spectacular battle at Helm's Deep.

What I Thought

I am in awe. And speechless. OK, not exactly. :)

I loved this movie. It was amazing. All right, I'll get to some details.

First the good stuff:

  1. Another 3 hour movie. Woo hoo! Can't wait for the 3.5 hour extended DVD version again! :)
  2. Amazing acting, especially from Ian McKellen. His little winks and shrugs just make Gandalf into a whole other person. At one point, he gravely pronounces "Look for me at first light on the fifth morning", and then gives the funniest little "I'm way too old to be doing this sort of stuff" sigh and shrug (right before galloping away on a horse).  Viggo Mortensen, who plays Aragorn also shows some great acting skills. We meet Eowyn for the first time (Miranda Otto), who's just wonderful. We also get to see Grima Wormtongue (wonderfully played by Brad Dourif). VERY interesting scene when he's with Saruman, and his tear when Saruman shows him the army.
  3. Gollum. Wow. I could not take my eyes off him. The CGI is soooo amazingly good. I was constantly surprised how much depth he was given, at points you felt afraid of him, and at others you felt sorry and pity for him. You just couldn't help but want to help him, like Frodo does. Episode 2 Yoda, eat your heart out.
  4. Since this is a transitional movie, Peter Jackson (the director) gives some appropriate "character" scenes, gives many characters time to develop and flesh themselves out. In other words, he doesn't rush anything.
  5. The battle sequences. They're really nearer the end of the movie, but wow. The battle at Helm's Deep is very well staged and played out. Again, Jackson doesn't rush anything.
  6. The music is wonderful. Much better than the first one. I see they learned their lessons and jettisoned the Enya/Titanic flute music. Good for them!

Now the bad stuff:

  1. Another 3 hour movie. Non-fans watch out. My movie partner fell asleep at one point (we went to an 11 pm showing, past his bedtime).
  2. The movie tends to drag a little for you non-fans. I say "for you non-fans" because for a fan, the "dragging" scenes bring through some of Tolkien's poetry and introspection. Not everyone will be interested in the "Who am I?" philosophical question from King Theoden.
  3. Sorry, but I think the guy who plays Elrond (Hugo Weaving, he was the bad guy in The Matrix) is totally wrong for the part. So the scenes with him just don't do anything for me. His voice and intonation are too cheesy, he's playing Elrond as if he were in a B-movie or something.
  4. They REALLY should hand out maps at the theater. It's gonna be hard to follow for non-fans. We finally had a good map scene where King Theoden and Aragorn are pointing at a map, but not nearly enough...


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.