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Peter Jackson truly outdid himself when creating the Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring and he fails to disappoint us in the 2nd
part of the Trilogy. The Two Towers shows us that he is not a one-hit
wonder, like so many directors are. I actually think that The Two
Towers reaches the same level as the Fellowship of the Ring, and
sometimes even surpasses it.
This film is the biggest film in the trilogy. What do I mean by that? Well this film has so many things going like the amazing Battle of Helms Deep. Frodo and Sam journey to Mount Doom, to destroy the Ring. But the one who's leading them through the way is Gollum, he looks so creepy and realistic, that he doesn't feel disconnected from us. A powerful performance by Andy Serkis as Gollum, he should of been nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
The Best part of the film, is quite easily and everyone knows it the ending. The ending of the battle of Helm's Deep is quite breathtaking, and as Gandalf the White comes in the distance with another army to defeat the Orcs. When Treebeard and his army of Entz tear down Isengard, the destruction and the battle is so immense in size, that you truly have to see to believe.
In size and scale, Peter Jackson has truly redefined the word "epic" and he also pays attention to the small things that truly elevate this movie from great to amazing. I definitely recommend this film to everyone, but you really should watch the first movie to truly understand what's going on.
It seems ridiculous to want to add my own comments to a slew of others
are already in IMDB's records, but I feel like I cannot sleep nor cease
throbbing in my chest until I release some of what I have so recently
Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is one of the bravest projects ever attempted by a filmmaker. Mr Jackson deserves every ovation he will receive, every award, every bit of the praise and adoration that will be spoken and written.
This second installment of the story is a masterpiece in every sense, forget your prejudices about the books, they are another way of looking at this beautiful story (I know this is slightly against the rules, but a I cannot resist saying that a previous writers comment - a comment that compared the Lord of the Rings Films and Books to the difference between Romeo and Juliet in screenplay and ballet formats - was entirely accurate).
Gollum was an excellent amalgam, so easily could he have been an annoying Jar-Jar-Binks-Alike. Instead the way that Jackson and Serkis (and doubtless many many others) chose to portray the CGI incarnation of "Smeagol" was incredibly emotive and powerful. Gollum is profoundly disturbing, amusing, almost lovable... Not even John Ronald Reuel himself could induce that range of emotions for Smeagol in me...
A truly skin-crawling performance by a superb Brad Douris as the evil Grima Wormtongue was just beyond words. Douris _Became_ Wormtongue in a skillful fulfillment of what was already inspired casting.
Probably the most definitive casting of this film though was Manchester born Bernard Hill as Theoden, King of Rohan. The casting for "The Two Towers" makes one shake ones head and wonder, in retrospect, whether anyone else could have filled these roles. Mr Hill's performance was truly first rate, a performance which contributed greatly to "The Battle of Helms Deep", scenes which were a spinning tornado of emotions for the viewer.
Viggo Mortensen goes from strength to strength. His performance is visceral and yet sensitive. The overriding emotion that Tolkiens vision of Aragorn induced (at least for me) was awe at his heroics. Mortensen's portrayal in Jackson's frame brings new aspects to the Aragorn character. Mortensen's Aragorn is emotionally dextrous to go with his physical dexterity, he is sensitive, seemingly empathic, warmer and more fundamentally human, and yet super-human in presence and charisma. "Definitive" is not strong enough of a word.
If you still view Jackson's epic with scepticism I implore you to put down your preconceptions and your prejudices, but most of all put down the books... This is beautiful way to see middle earth, don't pass it up - The books are the ultimate fantasy epic - the pictures you draw in your head are better than anything you can imagine, but The Lord of the Rings "The Two Towers" is one wonderful interpretation of that epic story.
Go, Laugh, Cry, and Sit in Awe of this cinematic treat.
The opening scene of The Two Towers provides an outstanding, yet very
taste of action, cinematography, and special effects, only to be matched
(and far surpassed) in the final hour of the film. The stunning events of
the third hour of The Two Towers are undoubtedly the centerpiece of the
film, and while the first two hours serve finely as story development,
primarily build anticipation for the final hour, which mostly depicts the
battle of Helm's Deep. More than anything else, the first two hours
tease and torment the patient audience. It's a shame that such a gap has
exist between the first minute and the final hour, but I take no
reservations in saying that despite how you feel about the first two
of the film, the final hour will make the wait entirely worth its
As stated, the road to the battle of Helm's Deep can be enormously long and painful for any viewer aware of what breathtaking scenes await towards the end of the film. Perhaps The Two Towers' biggest fault is in its own accomplishments; the first two thirds of the film are well shot, well paced, and they necessarily and adequately progress the storyline, but when compared to the spectacular final hour, the first two hours seem uneventful and insignificant. However, to be fair, I feel that it's simply impossible to create two hours of film that could appropriately lead into the battle of Helm's Deep. It's difficult to comprehend how such scenes came to exist in the rather short amount of time Peter Jackson has had to create six hours (so far) of finished film. The battle of Helm's Deep is simply unreal; it's unlike any event that has come to pass since fantasy films gained, and regained, popularity.
As assumed, The Two Towers begins where The Fellowship of the Ring ended. The majority of the film follows four separate groups and their story lines: Frodo and Sam; Aragorn and Legolas, Merry and Pippin, and Saruman and his army. The performances live well up to the standards of the first film, with a particularly notable performance from Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, whose role is significantly larger in The Two Towers. Aragorn satisfies a thirst for someone to root for, a thirst that was left partly unquenched in Fellowship. It's much easier to root for Aragorn than it is for Frodo; Aragorn has many more qualities of a leading man, a soldier, and a hero. More than once did the audience, filled mostly with academy voters, applaud the heroics of Aragorn. Gollum also shines in a much-welcomed large role, due to extremely realistic computer animation, and a fine performance from Andy Serkis, upon which the animation was modeled. In Fellowship, it was appropriate to consider Gollum one of the many great 'features' of the film. However, here he is more of a leading character and a 'star,' and his convincing dual-personality, stabbing voice, and well-choreographed body movements make him consistently eye-grabbing and the center of focus of nearly every scene in which he appears.
As was The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers is a visual delight. Those who have seen Fellowship are no doubt familiar with the beauty of the landscapes of New Zealand. The cinematography is, again, one of the best aspects of the film. The swooshing camera movements that follow the armies and horsemen throughout the fields are extremely satisfying in this post-Matrix era. The shots of the ascending enemy-laden ladders in the battle of Helm's Deep are terrifying and chillingly gorgeous all at once. The visual effects take an appropriate leap forward from those of the first film. While the visual effects in Fellowship were outstanding, the battle of Helm's Deep provides for the best application of CGI since the rippling waves of The Matrix's 'Bullet Time.' The battle of Helm's Deep features absolutely awe-inspiring and seamless integration of acting, stunts, and computer animation. Each orc seems to have its own personality, demonstrated in its movements and visual features. The masses of armies fight with strategy and true character, which I imagine is much harder to accomplish than animating thousands of identical clone troopers. The only problem I have with the visual department is the look of Gimli, the Treebeard. Gimli's visual features seem a bit childish and uninspired, inconsistent with the standards set by the rest of the film. But again, there is simply nothing that compares to the battle of Helm's Deep. George Lucas and the Wachowski brothers certainly have not created anything that approaches the grandness and magnificence of The Two Towers' final hour, and I doubt they will do so anytime soon.
In The Fellowship of the Ring, I had a few minor problems with Howard Shore's score. While I thought it was gorgeous and it established several very memorable themes, I don't think it handled the sentimental scenes (opening in the Shire, Gandalf's passing) properly. I thought it caved in to the melodrama a bit too much, resembling the emotions from James Horner's Titanic. However, I believe that The Two Towers requires the type of score which Howard Shore accomplishes best: dark, continuous, and unrelenting, as demonstrated in Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. The theme used in many of the action scenes in Fellowship (low brass, six notes repeated with a rest in between) is much more present in The Two Towers, appropriately. A brand new theme is also unveiled, the theme for Rohan, a prominent kingdom in Middle Earth. Rohan's theme is played more often than any other melody in the film, underscoring most of the memorable and heroic scenes with great effect. Howard Shore undeniably exhibits his skills as an 'A-list' composer, and with a possible double Oscar nomination this year for The Two Towers and Gangs of New York, he could get propelled to the very top of the 'A-list,' right beside John Williams and Hans Zimmer in terms of demand.
If not the picture itself, there should be a way to recognize and award the battle of Helm's Deep. The battle sequence alone represents successful filmmaking in its highest form. The choreography of the battle, the visual effects, the pacing, acting, cinematography, and music, all work together in perfection to achieve grand filmmaking which is as entertaining and enjoyable as film can be. For this very reason, no one, whether a fan of Fellowship or not, should miss The Two Towers.
Seriously, I never thought a movie could get better than the Fellowship of
the Ring, but it did. This movie should be #1 on the IMDb top 250. This
movie, as long as it was, captivated me from start to finish, and those who
are not entertained by this movie can not be entertained period.
Yes, I have read the book. Any chapters cut out at the end of books III and IV will probably themselves in the next installment. If you haven't noticed, the beginning of the Two Towers was actually closed the Fellowship of the Ring on the big screen.
Gollum was a CG masterpiece. He added some light to this incredibly dark movie. At the same time, there are areas where you feel sorry for the poor guy, or just want to kill him. Smeagol was probably the most diverse character I've ever seen.
Elijah Wood put on a better performance than he did in the first movie, as did Sean Astin. Ian McKellen, who captivated us in the last movie, captivated us even more in this one. Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, and Orlando Bloom made a great trio. They laughed together, cried together, prospered together, and suffered together. This trio gave life to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Eowyn expressed her emotions clearly through Miranda Otto.
The music need not be discussed. Its greatness speaks for itself.
Favorite Scene: The Battle of Helms Deep. Possibly the greatest scene in the book, 50% of the trailer, and action packed climax to this beautiful movie.
The movie, like its predecessor, fails to bring us closure, but that's ok. Closure will come next year. I look forward to the Return of the King.
The Two Towers is now my favorite movie of all time.
The scale is broken. 10 is not a capacity sufficient enough to hold this movie... my movie... my... precious...
Yes, it's true. Return of the King may have won more of the Oscars as the
culmination of Peter Jackson's magnificent cinematic achievement, but
history will in fact adjudge "The Two Towers" as the greatest of the three
Rings. If Fellowship was a road movie and ROTK was a friendship film, then
Two Towers is an unadulterated war movie of heroic proportions. Peter
Jackson said he based it on "Zulu"- and we can see why. It has a dramatic
intensity and flow which none of the other films quite share. Good against
evil are so sharply contrasted that you could cut your fingers on them. TTT
also has the best score Howard Shore has produced. And it has the best
The screenplay explains (with barely disguised contemporary resonance) what we are protecting in Western civilisation when we defend ourselves against those who would wish to destroy it. When Sam tells Frodo that there are "some things worth fighting for", when Merry tells Pippin that there "won't be a Shire" unless they do something about it, when King Theoden laments that "the sun has gone down in the West" this film could be entitled not the "Two Towers" but "the Twin Towers". It is Miltonic in its scope. It is cinema as art.
Yes, one may quibble about certain Entish details, and I know that the Elves weren't supposed to be at Helm's Deem, and that Faramir is a little undeveloped, but does this matter? Not at all. The Extended version is better than the original, but does not need to make such a quantum leap as Fellowship managed with its EE. However it will be a film that is seen as a landmark in cinema. A trilogy which may never be bettered. And a reminder of what we are all here for
Really, I should probably let this film soak in a bit; I am, after all,
something of a "post-viewing" high right now. However, at this moment, my
feeling remains the same from the first installment - this is the movie
experience I've been waiting my whole life for. In case you haven't
gathered, this movie is visually stunning, literally breathtaking. I mean
that, some of the scenes in this film simply stopped my lungs in their
tracks, shocked at the pure, enveloping beauty of the shot. Peter Jackson
has a profound grasp of visual manipulation like few directors have ever
The acting is, as always, superb. Kudos for hiring "actors" not "stars"; "Oscar-worthy" over-acting could have threatened the realistic touch the film's remarkable cast supply. Specific mention goes to both John Rhys-Davies in his well enjoyed comic turn, and very largely to Andy Serkis, who was a major role in creating the most realistic and brilliantly well-performed CGI character I've ever seen (Gollum).
For the most part, and as a fan of the books, I take no offense to the slight plot modifications. My understanding is that Tolkien himself realized that visual adaptation of LotR would require a somewhat different take on his work, and was apparently open to such minute changes. There are also a few tiny bits and pieces I was disappointed to see not make the final cut, however, I'm sure a future inevitable extended DVD will take care of those.
In short, if you found the continual enjoyment I did with the first movie of LotR, this movie will in no way let you down. Not even for a minute.
Highly recommended, 10/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Two Towers can only be explained in one word, beautiful. This film
me breathless. I was hoping for a film that could stand in the same
of the Fellowship of the Ring, and I must say that it has surpassed the
completely. I will have a hard time watching the Fellowship and seeing
ending, knowing there is so much more waiting.
Let's start with Gollum. Gollum gave an astonishing performance. The poor misunderstood beast, or the darkened soul creature whose cares are only based on the One Ring. The performance given in CGI is at times very human. The facial expressions given could strangely give this character a personality as you would see in any great actor. Gollum's voice is still haunting, even when the beast appears to be the loving guide to the dark gates of Mordor. For these reasons and more, Gollum has become my favorite character in the film, replacing Legolas in the Fellowship.
On the other side of Middle Earth we see Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. I have to say that the dark times of this movie are at times overbearing, and saddening. There is a perfect mix of humor in the film given by the characters Gimli, and Legolas, while still keeping the viewer in understanding that these are very darkened times. Aragorn's performance is outstanding. He has proven that he can be put on an A-List of actors, and deserves appraise for his performance.
Gandalf "the White" in this film was a twist. We remember the friendly Gandalf The Grey in the Fellowship being a kind elderly wizard. Shouting off fireworks for the children of the shire, and smoking "leaf" as explained in the novel. There are no cute scenes with the new White Wizard. No fireworks, or pipes. Just a Wizard that knows the daunting task ahead, and the quest seems to have taken hold of the great wizard.
Very dark are the times for Frodo, and Samwise. Gollum seams to give Frodo hope, as the two ring bearers can associate the pains of the One Ring. Frodo gives an amazing performance this time around as well. It seams that the Ring of power has taken hold of Frodo, and our hero is slipping. But the surprise was aimed at Samwise. Proving that Sam is the definition of a true best friend. Even at times when it seems there is no hope for the troubled trio, it seams that Sam brings hope to the moment. This is what keeps the Frodo's story this time around even more extraordinary, is the hope that is there, even when all odds point to despair.
Merry and Pippin's story is very odd initially. The Ents in the story are very wise and newly troubled creatures from the amazing mind of Tolkien. This story goes back to cut scenes during the worries of the rest of Middle Earth, and gives us a feeling of hope, in the troubled times of Aragorn and the others. The Ents were very well done CGI wise, but it was there personality that moved the audience. They are curiously wise, and well spoken and give the impression of an elderly college Professor. Their story is eventually given a wonderful opportunity, and for those of us who know the story, know that greatness is upon them.
This movie honestly moved me further than I thought any film could. I could see my face and the emotion I felt as I was watching this mammoth film. Peter Jackson has truly given us all a gift of a magnificent. This story has captivated my heart, and the film has taken my breath away. There is no words that can express the greatness of this film. 10/10
Every great adventure story worth telling has a solid hero - someone who
puts others before themselves and uses their talents to do their best at
keeping the forces of evil at bay even if it means the loss of life and
limb. At its core, this movie has eight such heroes and each one lives up to
the call. From Pippin and Merry, the lost hobbits who aid the Ents in
battle, to Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas who held back the hordes at
Helms Deep to Frodo and Samwise who continue to make their dangerous and
arduous trek to Mount Doom. All of these characters are heroes and they're
played with love, respect and meaning.
Though the acting in this film was top notch throughout, I found myself amazed by Gollum's (motion captured body and voice by Andy Serkis) overall performance. Though obviously CGI, there was so much emotion in this character that I couldn't help believe he was real! Though "Final Fantasy" was the only movie that created the most realistic CGI characters that dominated an entire film, Gollum is lightyears ahead with the simple fact that this deformed li'l hobbit seemed human. He had the spark of life behind those eyes that the FF "cast" lacked.
As a film, this movie has it all - action, drama, comedy - but none of it would've worked without characters we cared about, villains we despised and heroes we cheered for. With the obvious success of the first two installments, the release of the final film next December may prove this to be THE BEST trilogy ever made!
I considered The Fellowship of the Ring to be one of the greatest movies
ever. This one is better!
The scenery is marvelous, the animations great, and the story superb. This episode strays further from the books when it comes to the unfolding of events, but I feel that it stays closer in atmosphere and realism; the nazgûls are now the fear-inspiring creatures they should be. Gollum, excellently implemented, even becomes more realistic then I remember him from the books, not to mention other attempts to portray him. His schizophrenic monologues are among the highlights of the movie.
The major drawback is once again the apparent incapability of the dark-side creatures. Aragorn with fellows can ride back and forth among them unhurt, while the Uruk-Hai fall in large numbers just for being nearby. Though I enjoy many of the jokes made at Gimli's expense, this still is another thing I partly dislike. Gimli sure is no clown in the books.
I rate the movie 9/10 (my highest so far).
From the beginning to the very end, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is interesting and enjoyable. The books and the movies alike grasp one's attention as if they were real. You, the reader or viewer, can sense the pain of the characters, their emotions. The trilogy is truly powerful on screen. The second movie, however, I believe has something the first and third are missing; it feels like a bridge connecting two great islands. There is something unique about it that cannot easily be described. Metaphorically, the first movie is, say, a soldier. The third movie is the path home from war. And the second movie is the act of coming home because it contains the obstacles that must be passed through before achieving the goal. Although not 100% loyal to the written trilogy, the movies are done in such a way that the mainstream audience and LOTR fans from before the movies came out can say they were enjoyable and well made.
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