on 29 April 2004
If you are a fan of LOTR, then this 4 disc DVD edition is well worthhaving.
The extended version of the film makes the story more complete, andexplains storylines just that little bit more, particulary theFaramir-Boromir-Denathor family connection, which helps to explain partsof ROTK.
I personally thought that the extended version of the film alone was worthbuying it for. Though there are also two other discs of extended features.As with the FOTR EE, this is mainly explaining the conceptual designs,minatures and general behind the scenes things. These can drag on quite alot, they last for quite a few hours.
Other features which ipersonally enjoyed were the filming parts, which had interviews with theactors and actresses, which a lot of people are likely to be interestedin.
The film itself, is of course amazing. Great acting. Great directing.Great set. Great graphics - and of course the great story continues. Thisfilm has everything in my opinion.. there are the characters which you getattached to, there is intense battle scenes, the emotion, and of coursethe wonderful story. The actors did a brilliant job, particulary ViggoMortensen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin... well actually every singleactor/actress was cast perfectly.
Anyway, what I'm saying is - if you appreciate the Lord of the Rings, thenI would strongly advise buying this edition of the film.
on 12 December 2003
'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Version' might rasie a few eyebrows when one sees how long the extented version is, however the extra 40 minutes added to the theatrical cut actually make the 'The Two Towers' a better film to enjoy as a lord of the rings and/or film fan.
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.
on 28 November 2003
I was already in love with the original version of "The Two Towers," but now, this extended version has insured that I will never go back to the original ever again. The additional 40 minutes really brings more out of the movie and transforms it into something magnificent. "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Special Extended Edition)" is a must-have for anyone who was a big fan of the original version but wanted a little more.
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." This is a crucial moment in the story, because Frodo is slowly beginning to realize what the Ring is doing to him, and if he isn't careful, he will end up exactly like Gollum. Also, if Gollum can't come back, then Frodo knows there's no way he can ever help himself out of the darkness as well. Seeing more of Frodo and Sam really does make the film that much better, or at least that's the way I see it.
The four-disk set is loaded with extras, featuring a number of documentaries. One in particular stands out (I believe it is the second one on the third disk) because it features the director and writers going into great detail to explain why things were changed, moved around, or removed altogether. And I have to admit, a lot of it made sense. There were just some things in the books that would not have translated as well onto film. So, I highly recommend that fans of the books or films check out that particular documentary. Commentaries are also featured as well as a very neat "Easter Egg" on the first disk (hint: look deeper into the "scene selection" page). The movie also looks and sounds incredible, as well.
"Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Special Extended Version)" is the only way to watch this movie. What was once a great movie is made into something even better. This is shaping up to be one of the most incredible epics on film (and boy, do we ever need one with the horrific things happening with the new "Star Wars" movies!). While people may be satisfied with the original version, this new extended version is something that should not be missed. I loved every minute; all 223 of them.
on 24 September 2005
When I watched the Two Towers in the theatres, I was slightly dissapointed. The Fellowship of the Ring was just so good, and after watching the extended version of that film, I couldn't imagine that the Two Towers would raise so high in my esteem, with just fourty minutes of extra material. But it did!
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.
on 19 December 2003
My Missus bought me this for my birthday. I was well chuffed as she usually buys me things that get stuck away in boxes. Not this. Apart from needing a very careful procedure to extract Gollum from the box without completely crumpling it to pieces this product has stood up to all my expections, and is easily the best birthday present I’ve had in ages.
The film was wonderful. I’ve seen the theatrical version several times at the cinema and DVD, but this film was much more whole! After my wife and I had completed watching the film, the first words she said were, “that made more sense”. Obviously knowing the story anyway, I was already clear of the plot, but I still know what she meant. Also DTS makes the viewing experience all the better.
Anyway, I’ve now got two extras discs to watch. If they’re as good as the fellowship extras I’m in for another treat.
on 7 September 2003
What can I say...? Exciting, entertaining, close to the book, but somewhat lacking. The film itself is brilliant with exciting battles at Helm's Deep and at Isengard and the Ents. The costumes are superb and how you'd imagine them to be. The characters are generally faithful to the book. If you haven't read the book and loved the book you will love the film - but if you loved the book you might be disappointed for these reasons;
Peter Jackson has ruined Faramir - Faramir in the film takes Frodo to Osgiliath (where is that in the book?). In the film Faramir wants to take the ring which I think ruins his character. In the book Faramir is a great example of the men of Westernesse, and one of the more honourable characters.
Theoden doesn't argue with Aragorn so much if at all in the book although he does in the film...but it's understandable in the film as Theoden is frutrated. But in the film (unless I didn't hear him saying it) Aragorn doesn't reveal himself as the King of Gondor and Anarion.
In the film the ents decide not to go to war at the entmoot and it is not until Pippin leads Treebeard past Isengard that the ents go to war. However, in the book they decide to go to war at the entmoot.
Maybe it is in the extended version (available in November), but it doesn't show Saruman creeping about Fangorn forest when Legolas and Aragorn are sleeping and Gimli is keeping watch which I think would make for a tense scene but possilbly a bit irrelevant to the main story.
Finally Eomer is banished from Rohan in the film... but in the book he was just killing invading orc and uruk-hais and was welcome at his uncles court.
These things will only really annoy purists and if you're like me you wont mind these changes but wonder why they were done the way they were.
As for the DVD it has loads of special features (I haven't watched them all yet) but the documentaries are good and there is even a preview/documentary on The Return of the King which will be the best of the trillogy...
To be honest, if you haven't already got this on DVD, I'd wait for the Extended version which looks to be loads better but as a film it is one of the best films that is based on a book in my opinion.
on 27 March 2004
The Two Towers had a lot to live up to. The Fellowship was an amazing, mind-blowing film, and it was high hopes for the sequel to compare to that. In my opinion, the Fellowship was the better film, but the Two Towers has its good points.
The film encompasses what all fans of Tolkein have come to love in the films - the scenery, the action, the involving storyline. The Two Towers introduces Gollum, the creeping creature that guides Frodo and Sam, and all credit must go to Andy Serkis for performing this extremely difficult character with prowess.
The Two Towers is more of a war film than its predecessor, and there are many involving battles. However, the storyline can suffer because of these, and I feel that the film is less accessible due to them.
The characters are still just as enjoyable however. Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) becomes the main comedy character, providing jokes in hostile situations, making for a break in the repetetive battle scenes. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) still shows his heroic side with Legolas (Orlando Bloom) again shining as the mysterious elf. All credit must go to Elijah Wood and Ian Mckellen for providing two lead characters that viewers can become involved with intimately.
However, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) become somewhat disassociated with the other characters, and the pair interupt the flow of the main stories in my opinion.
The film is provided with an excellent soundtrack by Howard Shore, who again shines as a composer.
The final battle sequence at Helm's Deep must be mentioned, as it is by far the best battle sequence in the film. In some ways, this made the film gain its 5 stars, as it is exhilirating and interesting, as well as involving.
Effects - 10/10
Storyline - 8/10
Soundtrack - 10/10
Characters - 9/10
Rewatchability - 7/10
on 16 November 2003
Peter Jackson's movie trilogy adaptation of JRR Tolkien's epic literary trilogy was always going to go one way or another: terrible travesty or breathtaking masterpiece. Luckily, the first installment, "Fellowship of the Ring", fell into the latter category, transferring the stunning vistas of Tolkien's world - vistas we had all pictured a thousand times in our minds - to the screen with mindblowing power and emotion. However it remained to be seen whether or not Jackson's second installment would be a masterpiece, too. The good news? It's a goddamn masterpiece alright. The bad news? It isn't QUITE as accomplished as Fellowship. But, after all, that's by no means an insult, as there are few films as accomplished as that.
"Fellowship of the Ring" captured viewer's hearts with the wonderment of the Elves (Rivendell, Lothlorien) and the Dwarves (Moria), with a structure of one amazing setpiece after another. "The Two Towers" has to work in a different way. Considerably darker than the original installment, it doesn't offer as huge a variety of different places - almost the whole of the film is spent in either Rohan or Ithilien. However the scale is far larger and the characterisation is much more detailed. We are introduced to Theoden the King of Rohan, Eomer his nephew, Eowyn his niece, then in the other storyline, Faramir the son of the Steward of Gondor. But best of all, there's Gollum. Gollum is a wonderful CGI creation that manages to steal the show. And then there's the Battle of Helm's Deep - the literally jaw-dropping centerpiece of the movie. Words cannot express how incredibly this battle is portrayed. Then there's wonderment in the menacing Black Gate of Mordor; the ruins of Osgiliath; and the golden halls of Edoras.
Unfortunately there are a few rare parts of the Two Towers that are REALLY bad. In my opinion these parts are mostly involving Frodo and Sam. Elijah Wood's acting, quite good if not brilliant in Fellowship, seems to have got a thousand times poorer, and his scenes with both Sam and Gollum are so sentimental and, it pains me to say it, corny that it lets their side of the movie down - witness Sam's sickening speech in the ruins of Osgiliath, much like the speeches he was continually making in Fellowship. Also, taking Frodo, Sam and Gollum to Osgiliath - something that never took place in the books - was an unnecessary idea, and one hopes that moving the scenes in Isengard and Cirith Ungol to the start of the next installment won't offset the feel of the whole trilogy.
Despite those little nitpicks, the Two Towers is truly an epic - astonishing battles, amazing characters and wonderful vistas combining to make the middle part of Jackson's adaptation trilogy a classic that will be viewed for years to come - and Return of the King looks even better. Though it is probable that this means The Two Towers will be remembered as the poorest of the trilogy, that is by no means something to be ashamed of.
I must confess to complete and unassailable bias - I have been a besotted fan of Tolkein since I was pre-teen (and therefore pre-hormonal!). However, this film (and The Fellowship) have caused huge surges in my hormones. It's all down to Orlando Bloom, I'm afraid. He is just perfect - exactly as I imagined Legolas to be. As are virtually all the other characters in the film - it is one of the film's strengths, that the characters look pretty much how I imagined them from the book. I could do with a bit more decision and a little less wavering from Aragorn, but now I'm just being picky.
However, like many other uber-fans, I have to suspend what I know of the book (and believe me, I can quote from the book!) in order to enjoy the films. What irritates me the most is the director's insistence on changing the plots unnecessarily. What are the elves doing at Helm's Deep - and where are the Huorns? Why do Frodo and Sam get taken to Osgiliath (even Sam points out that they shouldn't be there!) Aragorn is not attracted to Eowyn in the book - he feels sorry for her! Also irritating is the director's insistence on having cliff-hangers at intervals where a major character seems to be about to be wiped out: and then isn't - see Pippin and the horse, Aragorn and the cliff, and from the first episode, Frodo and the cave troll.
I think, on balance, trying very hard to be objective, that this is a better film than the first and I hope very much that the third one will be better still.
I love the books with a hopeless passion and I'm sure I will enjoy the films with an almost equal passion for many years to come.
PS Why do video purchasers get a raw deal compared with DVD purchasers? I want previews, interviews, behind the scenes etc too!
on 19 November 2003
Reading some of the reviews on Amazon, I sometimes feel that I have watched a different film, and indeed read a different book. Peter Jackson has done a wonderful job on the adaptation of Lord Of The Rings, and the trilogy will stand the test of time to become a defining moment in movie history. All of you out there who are griping about petty differences between the book and the films should be on your knees thanking God that Hollywood didn't get their hands on the project. (i.e. U571, Enigma etc. Need I say more? Arnie as Aragorn? Bruce Willis as Legolas? Pamela Anderson as Arwen perhaps?) I've read the book countless times in my 48 years, and have no complaints. And to answer one reviewer - Gollum is perfect. Read the book again. We SHOULD feel pity for this poor tortured soul, as Frodo does, and understand that it is the power of the ring which has made him this way, not any inner badness. The scenes where Gollum is at war with his former self are some of the many highlights of this fantastic film. The casting is perfection, the costumes and armour are excellent and the locations - my God - New Zealand is so beautiful!! Mr Jackson and his team have done one awesome job on this incredibly difficult project.
I have bought the first two parts of the trilogy in their boxed presentation form, and have not been disappointed. Fellowship was great, but Two Towers was outstanding. The statuette of Gollum is a work of art, and the boxed bonus DVD of the creation of Gollum was an unexpected extra which makes fascinating viewing.
Whatever you do, be sure to buy the extended versions of these movies. They are more much complete. Fellowship was much improved by putting back the gift presentations by Galadriel, and Two Towers benefits greatly by having a more complete ending than the cinema version.
I can't wait for next November and the release of the final boxed DVD set of The Return Of The King. Can I place my order now please Amazon?