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*** Official "THE TWO TOWERS" Review Thread


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#1 of 81 Jason Seaver

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Posted December 10 2002 - 06:53 AM

Well, since the other thread will likely become the "Discussion" thread, here's my review from last Thursday's Boston press screening (pays to be out of work on just the right day).


Anyone who has heard me discuss television knows I don’t have much patience for episodes I describe as "connective tissue" – where the sole purpose is to get the larger story from point A to point B. There may be big events that go down, but it’s ultimately a somewhat hollow experience, because these events are disconnected from the beginning and end of the story.

Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers is connective tissue. It gets you from Fellowship Of The Ring to Return Of The King, but that is for the most part all it does. Although it's a good movie, it's not an Empire Strikes Back that is interesting in its own right. Put it this way: I can watch Back To The Future II on its own, but I can’t see someone watching The Two Towers without having watched Fellowship the night before.

The movie is enjoyable enough during parts – Gollum is quite remarkably realized, along with the rest of the world. And, oh, the finale is great – maybe not quite as astounding as that of Attack Of The Clones, but definitely in the same league.

And the Ents. I loved the Ents. This is something that could have gone wrong so easily, and they’re not at all how I pictured them when I was ten, but Jackson & WETA get them just right – not quite the trees from The Wizard Of Oz, but just whimsical and delightfully unrealistic enough to jerk the audience out of the theater and into fantasy.

Pippin & Merry with Treebeard and the other Ents is, easily, the best part of the movie. Not just because it is beautiful to look at, and because it shows us something we haven't seen before, but because it tells a story that actually comes close to being complete in and of itself. It's a great example of the macrostory structure - this story is good itself, and when combined with other stories, a larger story forms which is also good.

The rest of the movie, though... On the one hand, you've got Frodo, Sam, and Gollum. And, let's be frank here – they're killing time. As the movie starts, they're approaching close to Mordor, and Frodo is more inclined to be merciful/trustful toward Gollum than Sam. By the end... Well, they're approaching Mordor from a different direction, and Sam has gotten to make a speech.

Meanwhile, things move fairly slowly for the rest of the Fellowship. The pacing feels off, and there's little conflict within the Fellowship. Gandalf returns, but quickly goes off elsewhere. This whole thread feels sloppy, with the same information repeated several times, Gimli being a little too much the wisecracking sidekick, and even though what’s happening is interesting, the telling isn't quite up to snuff.

What it adds up to is a movie that, while quite enjoyable, isn't at the level of its predecessor – where both movies are about the same length, The Two Towers feels long, while Fellowship was "just right".

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image - Heavily skewed toward the production values.
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#2 of 81 Robert Crawford

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Posted December 10 2002 - 07:32 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Two Towers". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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#3 of 81 Christian H

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Posted December 11 2002 - 04:06 AM

Phew, where to begin. Well it certainly was very good - TTT is in many ways darker than the first movie in the trilogy; yet it's also somehow more epic. It takes off pretty quickly as it doesn't need to explain as much as in FOTR, although it means there isn't much of a 'beginning' for those new to the series (but they shouldn't be watching TTT before FOTR anyway Posted Image).

The score is as good as in the first movie and we get to hear some new themes - mostly in regard to Rohan (or was that Gondor, can't remember Posted Image).

Gollum is a disgusting and pathetic creature and WETA did a splendid job on the CG. I would at times forget it was just a CG animated creature and not a real 'person'. And other CG effects were done close to perfection too - the ents / Treebeard especially look pretty cool. And of course the MASSIVE armies are just that... massive. Very impressive, although I can't wait to see the fighting going on in Return of the King. The fights are mindboggling and do not fail to impress, even though I was lead to believe it was 45 mins of straight action - that's not quite the case as it cuts to less action-filled moments inbetween, but still impressive nontheless. Excellent work by everyone involved.

Don't miss this one. It's grand, magnificant, epic. I'm sorry that I can't really do it justice with my words.

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#4 of 81 Seth Paxton

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Posted December 17 2002 - 07:59 PM

TOTALLY SPOILER FREE REVIEW

10 of 10. I am a big fan of the books and TTT is my fav of the three books, but read on because I liked the film for different reasons somewhat.


I expected the changes to bother me. But they turned out to be excellent film-making. Even when they might have been left out without "hurting" the film, they still made for great cinema.

Other parts were exceptionally true to the book in a way that warmed my heart. It's rare to see a scene from a book come to life so well, but it happens many times in the film as well.

TTT is a better film than FOTR, it is more fun and yet also more emotional. The only weakness is also a strength, it is very dense with story info and sometimes cut very quickly. One viewing will not be enough for non-readers. And this cutting does leave you feeling "oh, just when I was getting into that".

However, the cutting is done with a deft hand, always cutting on the right beat even if it means jumping to another story-line before you are ready to leave the current one. The connection points feel right, they share common themes within the narrative or common moments within the film if you will.

The main thing that stands out is that this film is more ACTION/ADVENTURE than fantasy. It is much closer to Raiders of the Lost Ark than FOTR was. And I consider that a good thing, though I wouldn't change FOTR. It's simply the nature of the 2 books, which aren't the same.

PJ has made TTT feel darker than FOTR, and that's not just in story-line (though many of the themes are centered around death and the acceptance of death). The film often goes for a monochromatic look, the greys of despair if you will. The colors of FOTR are long gone. Between the increased humor, the decreased colors, the cutting between story-lines, the increase in information density, and this darker tone overall, I'd say TTT is as different from FOTR as Pig in the City was from Babe.

PJ has done a better job of direction with this film because it does take on a much more difficult narrative task and his specific vision for connecting the scenes was crystal clear and well thought. Plus the film has a solid overall tone that is quite consistent, also due to his visual sense for the film.

My only fault with the film (excluding the cutting, which I thought was also a positive) turned out to be that each Gimli joke was repeated too many times within a scene. But there is one joke that has to be one of the best moments in the film, so I can live with the excess in other places.


In short, this film is Empire Strikes Back, it is Raiders of the Lost Ark, it is a classic big production, richly textured, emotional, action/adventure flick. And it makes enough of a point to reflect on the underlying emotional/moral themes to still keep it Oscar-worthy (a particular bit of dialog by Sam stands out in my mind, for example).

You'd just about have to not like film to not like this film. Posted Image

#5 of 81 Ryan Peter

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Posted December 17 2002 - 08:26 PM

Holy crap, what a great movie. Loved every minute of it. Gollum was perfect, Legolas was bad ass. ****/****
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#6 of 81 Peter Kim

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Posted December 17 2002 - 08:44 PM

2001, 2002, 2003...3 of the best years of film of recent since they contain the release of the 3 films that comprise the LOTR.

How can I portend the third since it is still in the distance? After FOTR and now, TTT, only a disillusioned few can now discount Peter Jackson's ability to hold fast to a vision of romance, sweeping grandeur, thrilling battles, and introspective tension.

I was spellbound, I was swept away by the pageantry of the new paradigm of sci-fi/fantasy, LOTR. I'm also tinted by a sense of sadness, knowing that at the close of '03, there will no longer be the breathless anticipation of another chapter of my most favorite story of all time.

At least for one more year, I'll be able to float upon this delirious and enchanting ride. The Two Towers does nothing to detour LOTR's journey as the most complete and epic fantasy tale ever depicted on film.

10 / 10 This film sets the mark, this film is a giant, this film is peerless,...as will the series be upon completion.
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#7 of 81 Aaron Garman

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Posted December 17 2002 - 08:55 PM

Hello all. The Two Towers turned out to be an excellent film. Overall, I did enjoy Fellowship of the Ring more, however The Two Towers is still amazing. The visuals here are simply breathtaking as they draw the audience into this amazing world of fantasy and myth. The editing was also interesting in that the film jumps between several different stories, yet remains interesting all the way through. As for Gollum: incredbile. This is a terrific example of how good CGI can be utilized in a film. I always felt that Gollum was believeable, not some fake and flat character. Indeed, check out this film again and again!

***1/2 out of ****
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#8 of 81 Chris

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Posted December 17 2002 - 09:02 PM

(This review is written from the basis of a fan of the book series first Posted Image )

I went back and watched "LOTR:SE" before seeing TTT tonight, and found myself once again charmed with the way in which Peter Jackson managed to caption not so much the word of "FOTR" but the spirit of the book. I've always viewed The Lord of the Rings series as a strong case for the coming of age in a post WWI and during WWII world; and the impact it had on the people of England. While the author always contended the book was not sheer allegory, I've always found that - despite the best of author's intent, the surroundings will impact the outcome.

Because of this, I found "FOTR" a touching, true journey not just into the book, but into the meaning of the book - the passing of age; the trials felt by a group of those different; a story about beginnings, as it were Posted Image

TTT, as a book, always struck me as a means of showing the strategies - failed and positive - of the world pre-WWII - the strategies of appeasement, of the lack of action - and of how they played out. The book TTT does so in such a way that you understand the debate about issues - the long broods of the Ents, the inner turmoil of Rohan.

But where I thought Peter Jackson struck gold in FOTR, I found TTT to be lacking in most of what I was looking for - faith within the material. Earlier, in another thread, I had noted that the one thing I was truly grateful to HP:COS was the means in which it stayed true to the book. It is not so much that Jackson has changed the structure of the book (though some elements, specifically those within the Frodo thread, are altered) it is more a matter of the fact that what I believe to be important storylines were significantly compressed to lend toward a vast, screen friendly battle scene.

In leading up to this film, I had concerns that the carnage which could be represented by "Helms Deep" could overwhelm the film, and leave other storylines straggling, or completely left out. I found this to be the case with TTT. I found this particularly troubling in that certain storylines were compressed (and in the case of the Ents, changed) in such a way that I feel as though it impacts the heart of the story the writer was trying to tell. These elements, and the changes within them, did not leave nearly the same feeling as was present within the book (changes within the happenings of the Ent meetings; including the resolve of "younger" Ents) were not dealt with which led to what I felt were sloppy conclusions with contrived happenings - events which were not true to the book.

But alteration of events can happen; especially in a tome such as LOTR. What FOTR:SE presented us with was a true view of some of the events and concepts of the book. Yes, I realize it was long; but even FOTR (non-SE) presented elements of the book in a manner which presented fair pacing and did not get stuck. The books also do this. I felt as though the over attention to Helms Deep destroyed a lot of this within the movie, effectively rendering storylines (like the power of Worm Tongue, his report back; the tale of the Ents, the riders of Rohan; etc.) were so effectively neutered that I felt as though, as a fan of the book, I had been shortchanged.

I think the other big element that made me wince was the use of Gimli as a continuous punchline - something which I thought was "corny" in FOTR (but could be overlooked) was too overplayed in TTT, as Gimley was continously the butt of jokes and provided for comic relief.. which I found unfortunate (after a few "Short" and "Dwarf Tossing" jokes, I wanted to groan)

But before we go into a big "hey! you hate it".. no, I don't hate the film. In fact, it's because I found it to be as enjoyable as I did (watching) that I have to go back and say: why (40 minutes later) am I not as impressed as I was in the theater?

Peter Jackson's direction is fantastic, the battle scenes are truly epic, and the telling of events - including those regarding Frodo, are framed and captured in a way that makes the film a joy to watch. The careful attention to detail, to mannerisms, to the heart of the story shown through. There were elements in the film that I thought effectively captured the meaning of the author, and rose above a normal "event" film.

LOTR:TTT is surely a "must see" for those who are fans of the first film. You will not be dissapointed with the action, the acting (which was largely superb..) the special effects (which were well done and played) or the artistry.

LOTR:TTT will go into my collection on DVD upon release. That having been said, I can't say that I enjoyed what was done with TTT as much as FOTR, and find myself asking as I go to bed "I wonder what could have been..."
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#9 of 81 Paul W

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Posted December 17 2002 - 09:32 PM

First off, the look of the film is dark and gritty with a few flashbacks to happier times. It is what Empire Strikes back was meant to be; without the silly ton tons and Frank Oz caricatures (ED: apologies to all the other SW fans out there and to be fair, I should say the silly Ton tons have been replaced with what might be silly EntsPosted Image ).

The opening sequence with Gandalf and the Balrog was simply amazing. The fall into the subterranean ocean, viewed from a distance was very well executed and the battle at the top of Durin's Tower was fun to watch. The brief visit to Valinor by Gandalf's spirit was very well imagined.

We quickly get into Gollum and the dead marshes. Gollum is simply a joy to watch: creepy, scary and most importantly, pitiful. His argument with his other self is amazing to behold. I actually felt sorry for the little bugger by the end of the movie.

The chase with the Uruk Hai was okay, but I missed most of the battle with the Rohirrim because the front sound stage developed a fault. Man, you never can imagine almost a thousand people screaming bloody murder.

Even with the sound, I think the night time battle with the Rohirrim would have been confusing to those who weren't familiar with the book.

Theoden (well, I'll save that for later). Grima was perfectly sleezly, smarmy, snivelous and sneaky. He was a right bastard. It was fun to see him get tossed out of Edoras. However, he does have his moment. I about keeled over when, as Saruman was making the bombs for the Deeping Wall, Grima held up a candle to see what he was doing. Saruman's look of consternation as he shoved the candle back was priceless (and good thing, since the audience needed a good laugh. Also, when Grima asks how Saruman plans to attack Helm's Deep without an army, Saruman shows him to the door where the 10,000 Uruk Hai are waiting to march. Grima sheds most hilarious tears of happiness. Delicious!

I'll skip the rest of the review until later. I am tired and I want to cover some of the low points.

**********SPOILERS**************

Theoden - while his before and after transformation was remarkable, I thought the whole reference to the exorcist (Saruman posessing Theoden) was just stupid.

Faramir - his character was anally raped, beaten unconscious with week-old lembas and dragged aside to be replaced with some total asshole. The quality of this character left a lot to be desired. And I think I see why. Faramir plays the token set-piece of redemption in this movie. He is redeming himself, Boromir and Gondor by risking his life (upon forfeiture of life) letting Frodo go. It is supposed to add tension to the plot, but I think this was a very bad character.

Another good point, the Nazgul and the winged beasts were very well done. They are much more menacing than the schmucks on horses they had to play in their early quest for the ring. I can't wait to see more of these guys in ROTK.

Well, off to bed so I can see the movie again this afternoon (hopefully at another theater whose sound system doesn't suck ass (shame on Regal/UA!).

===

Come oscar time: This will take the technical awards again (costume, make-up and effects). I liked the score much better this time around. It seemed to flow with the moods much better. However, I don't think Shore will get the nod again. The big awards? I doubt it, although Phillip unch of the Dallas Morning News is calling PJ the 'new' Kurosawa Posted Image It'll be interesting to see how that race tones up. Picture? Hmmm, I'll have to see the field, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say no.
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#10 of 81 Yohan Pamudji

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Posted December 17 2002 - 10:01 PM

It's rather difficult for me to write a thorough review of such an awesome and breathtaking movie, especially in the wee small hours of the morning, so I'll give a brief summary review.

Final score: 9.5/10

As usual, CG creature movements were not perfect, and the flawed physics of Gollum's jumping around were quite apparent at times. But really I'm nitpicking, and I don't consider it bragging to say that I have a good eye for CG flaws. So really what's the point of complaining? Just a heads up, that's all. That's the only reason I docked half a point off the score, otherwise it would be 10/10. Maybe 20 years from now animators will finally have the tools to easily create CG characters with completely believable physics.

This movie is quite the sweeping epic, and being one who has yet to read the books I often found myself tense with anticipation of what would happen next. It has all the elements of a great movie: drama, action, comedy, suspense, great acting, fantastic script, amazing props, costumes, scenery, etc. You really must experience this on a big screen, whether that be at the theater or in your home theater. I would advise against waiting till it comes out on DVD though, because you will be missing out on easily one of the best movies of the year. It's a definite must-see! I'll be seeing it again at least a couple more times before it finishes its theatrical run, that's for sure.
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#11 of 81 Jehan

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Posted December 17 2002 - 10:59 PM

I cannot say more than what's echoed here but that it was certainly the movie event of the year. As Seth mentioned in the Movie List thread, we definately need something like this every year - complements the other films nicely. Gollum was really very well done, on the whole this was the most impressive aspect of the film. The plot did deviate from the book (surprising considering how close they were in the first), but the shear scope of the production and density of material was overwhelming as a viewer - I can't imagine how tough it was to pack in (some scenes do seem a little rushed but the whole package is still very entertaining and isn't slowed down at all). I will definately see this a few more times before it ends its run.

****/****

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#12 of 81 JohnE

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Posted December 17 2002 - 11:02 PM

Most everyone else has said it better, but I have to add, Damn, this movie owns!!! After a single viewing I can't think of a single negative thing to say.

Gollum was absolutely amazing. He put in a better performance than many real actors I've seen. Just incredible! I found myself totally empathizing with the poor little guy.

The next year is gonna be soooo long.Posted Image

#13 of 81 Mike X

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Posted December 18 2002 - 01:45 AM

Overall, an excellent film and a great follow up to LOTR, though I would place it slightly below the first film on the basis of a few small flaws (one being the excess of Gimli "comic relief" mentioned above). I needed multiple viewings of the first film to fully realize its scope and I think this one falls into that category as well. PJ does an excellent job juggling multiple subplots, keeping the viewer sufficiently interested in all while almost never allowing the plot to drag. Gollum was excellent, and while you would never suspect him to be a real creature as some have suggested, you find that he is realized well enough to provoke strong emotion, from hatred and distrust to pity. There were some scenes of over the top action that betrayed the overall sense of the film but for the most part the battle scenes are extremely well done. The sound was incredible and I would warn all HTF'ers to prepare their subwoofers for the DVD release. Helm's Deep alone will be worth the price of upgrading your sub. Again, a great film that begs for multiple viewings. I'm hoping to see it again tonight!

#14 of 81 PhilipG

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Posted December 18 2002 - 03:29 AM

I went in with lowered expectations, and came out thinking that it could have been a lot worse.

I am one of the handful of people who didn't care for the adaptation of FOTR. Since watching the Extended Edition of that, I decided that the first half was awful, and the second half quite good. TTT is somewhere in between.

I found TTT to be rather moribund, but then again I've previously read the book, and listened to the excellent radio adaptation. As an action movie it succeeds, but as an adaptation it falls flat. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. PJ has done a lot of fixing, stripping away all subtlety and charm from the text and going for dizzying camera pans and CGI.

The major problems from the first film, IMHO, carried over to this one:
1) Various important characters were miscast, namely Aragorn, Saruman and Gandalf. Lee/McKellen should have swapped roles - it would have been much more interesting. Viggo Mortensen just doesn't deserve to be in this picture.
2) The ridiculous Elven dialogue with subtitles is back.
3) Most importantly: the emphasis has shifted completely away from the Hobbits, which means that PJ has entirely missed the point of the trilogy.

The comedy was better this time around, but still a little hit and miss. The CGI was excellent, but still looks like CGI. Such a shame not to have Peter Woodthorpe voice Gollum again.

The bottom line: I'm still waiting for the thinking man's fantasy film.

Posted Image Posted Image .5 out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#15 of 81 todd stone

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Posted December 18 2002 - 04:00 AM

well I liked the movie overall, but it didnt captivate me the way the first movie did.

Also there was TOO MUCH use of the dwarf and too many comedic moments for a movie like this.

Also, legolas and the part where..

he flung himself on the horse.. good god how horrible. the audience laughed and groaned. how could jackson keep that in?


The ents were pretty cool. They reminded me of the neverending story rockbiter with the speech.

overall Posted Image Posted Image
Lo, there do I see my mother, and my sisters, and my brothers, Lo, there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning, Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them, In the halls of Valhalla,where the brave may live...

#16 of 81 Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 18 2002 - 04:05 AM

My friends, this will be the first of two reviews. This one will be the experience, and it starts a LONG time ago.

Having finally made it through the densely packed LOTR books last fall, I was ready to see the film. I enjoyed the books, but did not (yet) love them. The film was the first midnight film showing ever, and the earlier day had seen me giddy at my computer, reading review upon breathtaking review. My excitement culminated in my finest theater experience ever. The three hours I spent in Middle Earth were the most wondrous I had spent in a theater in years. And quickly (like immediately) TTT became my holy grail of films (along with ROTK). It was a long year, and I poured over stuff, trailers, details, etc. One of my favorite days of the year was getting the FOTR:EE and watching it entire over a two week period, including all FOUR commentaries. And at that time, I felt burnt out. The next few weeks didn't really recharge my batteries. I didn't watch the trailer too much, I listened to the CD a bit (great, great music), and I avoided these threads (which I love dearly) and reviews. Seth mentioned saturation...I was saturated. Big time.

But my tickets were bought, alone at midnight and again tonight with my wife. And I CANNOT wait to see it tonight. But my theater experience was NOT the same. I felt detached throughout most of the film. Much like when I saw AOTC at midnight earlier. The film was still haunting, and beautiful, and wonderful, but I couldn't seem to STAY connected. Some scenes were so powerful I was THERE, but I'd drift away. So I CANNOT wait to see it again, fresh and unfettered, and finally excited about seeing it.

The film itself is marvelous, and it only gets better with hindsight. Let me start with a few things I didn't like:

- Bluescreen of Legolas jumping down to whack the Warg scout.
- Some bluescreen of Treebeard walking with Merry and Pippin.
- Samwise's speech at the end seemed overdone, and will likely remain so to me. It's not at all bad...just conventional.
- I am not a huge Faramir fan, but I remember liking him a lot in the books, he was barely a character here...I hope ROTK (or the TTT:EE) remedies that somewhat.
- Too little interaction between many of the characters (the primary ones)...that's really due to the story though.
- Way too little Saruman (mostly REACTION shots).
- It will fit much better between FOTR and ROTK. It's very unconventional this way, and it took some adjusting.
- NO mention of Merry and Pippin to the Three Hunters by the big G? Must be in the EE...
- Where is Aragorn's line at Edoras?

What I liked:
- Visually, the most beautiful film I have seen. Middle Earth lives and breathes again.
- Great opening and transition to Sam/Frodo.
- Deft cutting between the three stories.
- The middle sequence with Arwen and Elrond was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. My favorite scene in the film. Liv looked transcendentally luminous.
- Miranda Otto was excellent.
- Great use of humor during many of the action scenes
- The Legolas "cool" shot of the film for me...jumping onto Gimli's horse, received applause at my showing
- And my favorite storyline - Gollum. Interesting hearing how others take him. He's always been the most tragic figure to me, and he elicited the greatest emotional response in the film. Wonderful portrayal. He looks nothing like I expected, and exactly the way he should. I get excited thinking about how perfect he was.

In short, the film is wonderful, but my experience was not. My excitement grows for tonight, when I can truly enjoy this magnificent film with my wife, and just lose myself in the telling.

No rating yet.

Take care,
Chuck
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#17 of 81 Rob Gardiner

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Posted December 18 2002 - 04:07 AM

I just got back from the 4am screening at the Seattle Cinerama and I am just stunned! This film is spectacular. Some high points:

The opening scenes:
Gandalf battling the Balrog, only this time the camera follows the combatants down the pit and we get to see what happens.


The climax of Merry & Pippin's story:
You're going to have to see the film to find out what wonders await you.

GOLLUM:
Easily the most impressive CGI character to date. Makes Dobby look like a sock puppet. His eyes and face are as expressive as any human (or hobbit) character.

However I did not enjoy this picture as much as I did FELLOWSHIP. A few items to point out:

The film had plenty of battle scenes, both exciting and brutal, but no scenes of serene beauty to balance them out (such as the Shire, Rivendell, etc.)

Since Merry & Pippin are separated from the group, Gimli and Legolas become the new funny man/straight man team-up. Some of the comic relief seemed a little forced.
Gimli to Aragorn (when faced with a gap wider than he can jump): "Toss me. But don't tell the elf."


We all know that CGI is still not quite indistinguishable from reality, but I was surprised that there were several instances of what looked like SLOPPY BLUESCREEN.

The three stories were intercut throught the length of the film but some of the transitions were awkward and interrupted the flow of the film.

Merry & Pippin's adventure took 2 or 3 chapters in the book but was expanded to nearly 1/3 of the film, causing these scenes to drag in relation to the other plotlines.

There was less of Gandalf and he was not as charming as he was in FELLOWSHIP.

The elves (Arwen, Elrond, and Galadriel) seemed to be dropped in the middle of the second act a little awkwardly.

Still it was a phenomenal film overall. I'm sure this review will have little to no influence over anyone's decision to attend. Anyone who enjoyed the first picture would be a "fool of a Took" to miss this one.

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#18 of 81 Steve_Tk

Steve_Tk

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Posted December 18 2002 - 04:44 AM

First of all I'll say that I came out of the fellowship not liking even half as much as I do now. I think that is because I just want to see the movie and get a taste of it all the way through. It's not till the 2nd time that I actually really just relax and enjoy it. So I'm assuming this will be the case also.

Everyone I was with loved it.

There are some spoilers.

Gollum, all I can say is what a believable character.

Next, the only thing I didn't like was it did feel like the timing was off in some parts. Almost like they really had to work hard to get all the material in, so the characters that you loved from the first one, Gandalf, had maybe 15 minutes in the movie.

Also, this one included a few campy things. The one for me was the marshes, when frodo falls in the water. Well you can see for yourself but it reminded me of Ghostbusters with the effects. That could have definitely been removed I thought.

Overall I have the same feeling about this one as I did the first movie, which I love now. Like I said, it's due to not knowing what to expect at all, and not letting myself enjoy the first viewing because of feeling like it still may get screwed up.

Definitely see it.

Oh and because this is the HTF, the theater is becoming a miserable place to watch movies. I go to a great theater, but for some reason I definitely prefer my surround to this theaters. Also, it felt like 100 degrees and everyone was burning up near the end. It really made me just want to get out of there, kind of ruining my movie experience. Plus dealing with the crowd is just not worth it. If it was anything but LOTR, I would have waited for the DVD.

Ah yes, previews for Finding Nemo, XMEN 2, Dumb and Dumberer (teaser), Almighty Bruce, The Core, and Pirates of the Caribbean (teaser).

#19 of 81 Masood Ali

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Posted December 18 2002 - 06:12 AM

I saw it Tuesday night at midnight.

I liked the battles, small and large. Massive (the software used to create the leagues of CG soldiers) was spectacular in creating a believable non-uniform crowd. Gollum showed a great amount of emotion, which led to a few laughs and some pity as well. All scenes with Gandalf carried a sense of importance that kept my eyes glued to the white wizard.

I didn't like scenes focused on Frodo and Sam. Some felt painfully slow, and some were insignificant in carrying the story. Sam's speech at the end was a poor way to cap the film; too cliched, and Sam's character doesn't have the screen presence to make the words stick.

The flow of this movie was definitely off. There were long stretches of slow plot development, which made the film seem "too long".

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BTW, the trailers before the film were the best I've seen in a loooooooong time. T3, Bad Boys 2, the new Vin Diesel movie, Almighty Bruce...

#20 of 81 MikeRS

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Posted December 18 2002 - 06:45 AM

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I might need to see it again. On first viewing I'm extremely mixed, almost like Smeagol and Gollum regarding it's merits and serious flaws. I can say that FOTR touched me like few films ever have, and if I was completely honest, TTT wasn't even close.

Sigh.

SMEAGOL side.......

-ENTS were great. I shouldn't have worried. PJ might have made some minor changes at the end, but I don't care. I got my Ents.

-GOLLUM was perfect. Tolkien would be rolling around in his grave if he realized his creation was put on film so completely intact. PJ captured the arc! God, I felt for the little bugger. Especially when he was "betrayed" by his master. Fan-fucking-tastic.

-Unlike many, I had no problem with Faramir/David Wenham. I also completely understood the change in his character, and how it will play into FILM 3's storyline.

-Sean Astin has given me every confidence he will break my heart in FILM 3. I love SAM.

-Helm's Deep was really cool. I liked how PJ structured the different beats of the battle. Very pronounced. I don't think it touches MINES OF MORIA though, for sheer intensity or emotion.

-Miranda Otto was exactly as I imagined Éowyn. And PJ was (contrary to pre-release speculation) completely faithful to her Aragorn thing. Just as subtly played as in the book.

-I actually enjoyed that first (flashback) Rivendell scene between Aragorn and Arwen more than the one in FOTR. Incredibly sexy moment!

-I liked Gimli in this film more than FOTR (especially his comic relief). Combining Treebeard with Gimli, makes me think of John-Rhys Davies as the MVP of this flick.

-I loved the tension between the Uruk-Hai and Orcs. It felt condensed, but still consistent with the books.

-The film did dwarf FOTR in terms of epic fantasy imagery.

-I love the way the Easterlings looked.

-Balrog Vs. Gandalf rocked!

-Bernard Hill was cool.

-I've always loved Viggo Mortensen. I still love Viggo Mortensen.


GOLLUM side.....

-This film lacked the focused feeling of encroaching evil that film one had in spades. People say TTT is darker than FOTR. On one level, it certainly is. But FOTR had a relentless vision of evil always prevalent and in the air. Consistent throughout the whole film. Once the hobbits leave the Shire, there is a shadow over the complete journey. A dark undercurrent that raises the stakes of our heroes. That's LOTR. That's what gives it it's power. PJ was able to use all the tricks in his arsenal, to transfer the unique mood of the novel to a new medium. Remember the omni-present EYE, or Saruman's dominance, or the ferocity of Lurtz, or even Galadriel ominousness. All these things payed off by having us primally relating to each and every character of the Fellowship. It was like caring for good soldiers going into hellish battle. FOTR earned that beautiful last scene between Sam and Frodo looking over Emyn Muil and Mount Doom---Sweet hobbits under a shadow of ferocious evil. So powerful. So heartfelt. So relatable. TTT's fractured narrative may have cost the new film that focus. I viewed much of the events in TTT from the outside looking in, as opposed to the complete identification I had in film one.

-Some of the scenes feel terribly sketchy. Especially Rohan. Could just be an artifact of PJ expanding from 2 to 3 scripts, could be having to cut the film down to 3 hours, could be a fuck up on a screenwriting level, or it could have just been impossible to make some of this stuff meaty on the big screen. All I know is, it was incredibly lacking for me in quite a few areas.

-The music was just okay this time. And extremely repetitive.

-With less hobbit focus and a concentration on the WORLD OF MAN, PJ's vision felt very much at times like a generic medieval film. I'm sorry, but viewing it on that level makes the film lose alot of it's texture...it's pedigree. It becomes interchangeable with many other less worthy films.

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I still have every faith ROTK will be the best of the 3 (like PJ says). I hope repeat viewings smooth out the rough edges TTT has left with me. And I truly believe these first two films are so different, there will be people who will like Film 2 more than film 1.