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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 avid 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 instalments 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 Horiuchi
The extra footage, adds depth and suspense to the story, which makes it more gripping, particularly during some of the extended scenes during the battle of Helm's Deep. There is more character evolution, which gives one a more indepth view of the more mystical sides of the main characters (their backgrounds and their power), particularly Aragon and Gandalf.
Furthermore, the extended material gives a larger role to Merry and Pippin, to which many hardcore lord of the rings fans is a great boost to the story. They are a greater aspect of the story and unlike in the theatrical cut, don't just sit in a tree all the film.
What I enjoyed most however, was the realism of the film that the extented edition gave to Tolkein's writings, though true some aspects were not entirly accurate to the 'The Two Towers' book, the extended editon gave one the feeling more that they were in Middle-Earth, than the theatrical cut.
'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Version' is an ideal viewing for any lord of the rings fan, but furthermore, it is a great epic to watch of any person, even those who saw the theatrical cut, before reading the book. That is why I give this great extended edition of an epic five stars.
Honestly, there is no need what so ever to watch the theatrical version after you got your hands on this one. Almost every single added scene raises the overall quality of the movie; things are explained that I could never understand after watching the original movie (and I have read the books countless times). Scenes such as the Voromir-Faramir realation in Osgiliath or the Huorns attack on the orcs after Helm's Deep add so much to the storyline and characters of the movie, that I can't understand they were not in the theatrical version.
The DVD-box also contains tons of extra material; documentaries, commentaries and information on the reserach job, that makes your understand the beauty and quality of these movies even more than the movie itself does. In other words: this is a great box, well worth its price. If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings, there is simply no excuse for not getting your hands on this film.
Once again, I was amazed with the added footage. Even the smallest differences are able to bring out the most from the film. One of the great things about this edition is that we get to see more of the Hobbits (which the story is supposed to be centered around in the first place). Seeing more of Frodo and Sam, and Merry and Pippin' was a great way to balance the film with action and drama (I'm always more interested in seeing what's going on with the Hobbits, anyway). The smallest differences are very noticeable and tie up some of the loose ends that were presented in the original.
What really stands out to me the most in this film are not the epic battle scenes (although they are extremely fantastic and perfectly executed). No, what stands out to me the most in this movie is the relationship between Frodo and Sam. "The Two Towers" is a much darker film than the first one, and the cinematography does an exceptional job of establishing this. We really begin to see Frodo lose himself more and more to the Ring. We fear it because we know what is has done to Gollum. In fact, one of the most touching scenes (even though this wasn't an additional scene; it appears in the original) is when Frodo tells Sam that he wants to help him. When Sam asks why, Frodo somberly replies, "Because I have to believe that he can come back.Read more ›
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