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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any fan must have this
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...
Published on 29 April 2004 by me

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new..
The 3 stars rating is for this edition rather than the movie.

For what concerns the movie.. It's GREAT! Worths 10 stars in its extended version, and I would reccomend this to anyone who still haven't seen it.

BUT

This new edition is not adding much to the previous ones. The ONLY difference is this documentary (that you can find elsewhere...
Published on 10 Oct. 2006 by Charles Wolf


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an awesome achievement!, 26 Aug. 2003
By A Customer
In one word.......AWESOME! This movie is the second best film I have ever seen!(The first being The fellowship of the ring). Peter jackson riding high on the success of the Fellowship, delivers again in the best film of 2002!
Just a look at the cast-list tells you that this film is going to be something extra-special, every character is fantastically portrayed by the actor/actress chosen to play them. The locations are magnificent (New Zealand is now high on my list of places I want to visit)the majestically sweeping helicam shots of mountains and plains and valleys are an awe inspiring reminder of the first film, watching Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli running along the top of a mountain and knowing it is real rather than CGI is fantastic!
The battle scenes are beyond belief! the warg attack is great and the battle of Helm's deep is jaw-droppingly incredible. Also good is the ent's attack on Isengard.
None of the feeling of the first movie has been lost and as ever the costumes, make-up and special effects remain second-to-none.
There is so much that is good about this movie I could go on forever, see it if you haven't already, in fact buy it even if you haven't seen it, you won't regret it I promise!
Peter jackson is an absolute genius and also are Fran walsh and Phillipa boyens (who work just as hard but never seem to get a mention) I can't wait for the extended edition!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now That's More Like it!!!!!, 22 Nov. 2003
This DVD is GREAT! Not only is the extra footage wonderful (especially "Sons of the Steward") but it has really given me a better understanding as to why certain things were left out of the theatrical version. In this DVD is more Faramir, as he was in the book,more of Merry and Pippin and the Ents, More Helm's Deep (Peter Jackson cameos as one of the Defenders), more of Aragorn's background, and the funeral of Theodred.
Then there are the Appendices. I haven't watched it all, but there is a very good, in depth documentary about the evolution of Gollum's character, from drawings, to casting Andy Serkis, to the finished digital character. Plus some stuff to really whet the appetite for ROTK.
Go out and buy this, NOW!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential purchase, 29 Mar. 2004
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Almost 3/4 of an hour of extended scenes - some brief and subtle, others surprisingly important, was an absolute delight and brought Jackson's masterpiece even closer to Tolkien's. The commentary offers many great insights and is often genuinely amusing. The bonus disk and book, devoted to the creation of Gollum, is utterly fascinating in its own right. The Gollum statuette is beautifully detailed, satisfyingly heavy and now has pride of place in a display cabinet in my lounge!
What else is there to say about the movie itself that hasn't already been stated? Surely THE most spectacular battle scene ever filmed vies for your attention with the most stunning and convincing non-human creature ever to grace the big screen! Gollum is utterly believable and the alternating pity, tragedy and horror that Tolkien wished us to feel, is conjured forth with astonishing skill by Jackson. Sumptious, sweeping landscapes and not a duff piece of acting in sight complete this marvellous movie experience.
This edition is SO much better than the 2-disk theatrical version, that it is indispensible to the Tolkien fan.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic DVD Part 2!, 7 Mar. 2006
By 
Mr. J. WARE "wolvieware" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Special Extended DVD Edition) [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The middle part of a trilogy is always the more difficult installment to create. It doesn't have a beginning, nor an ending, but rather bridges the two parts that do. Still, Two Towers is arguably the best section in TLOTR Trilogy.
This will be down to one thing: The epic canvas really expands in this installment. The characters are not in a safe Fellowship anymore, and find themselves all across Middle-Earth.
Frodo and Sam are trying to destroy the ring. Merry and Pippin are captured by Orcs. Aragorn, legolas and Gimli are trying to protect the kingdom of Rohan. And there's the return of everybody's fabourite wizard...
Storylines, therefore, are far more complex than Fellowship of the Ring, which had a simple story. There's more interwoven plot lines and the introduction of many new, exciting characters.
The kingdom of Rohan is pictured magnificently, and are real heroes to get behind. Particularly Bernard Hill as the King, and Karl Urban in a role yet to be bettered as Eomer.
But the real kudos in this part should go to Gollum - astounding, amazing, brilliant. Andy Serkis proves that Gollum is more than just a CGI creation, giving the character feelings, emotions, humour, sadness and scariness. Gollum is a true cinematic acheivement.
The Two Towers also holds the trilogy's greatest set piece - Helm's Deep. It may not have the open, savage fight as appears in Return of the King, but its claustrophobic feel, and tension filled battle really makes the stand-off between Rohan and the Orcs a real set-piece. The build-up is superb, the battle even better, as it is far more personal than any other fight in the series. We're there with the characters, and those who don't feel overwhelmed by the sight of the Orcs advancing hasn't got a pulse. Incredibly well paced, this is the best action scene ever put on film.
The extended edition improves on the theatrical version in many ways. There's more development between Viggo Mortensen and Liv Tyler's characters, giving them a rich backstory, and there's a bit more info about the giant Ent trees.
As before, the four disc set has the movie on two discs, with the bst commentary going this time round to Peter Jackson. He's a wealth of information and ideas, and points many ecxiting things out. I would have said the cast commentary, but while for the Fellowship of the Ring commentary they were all mostly in the same room, here they are'nt, and the commentary has been pieced together from separate sittings.
Once again, plenty of documentaries and art galleries. It's all far too much t owatch, so I'd recommend, again, the doc on Tolkein, the filoming doc, and anything you can find on the creation of Gollum and Helm's Deep, all of which is riveting viewing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quest continues..., 20 Sept. 2003
By A Customer
I impatiently counted the days until the release of part two in the trilogy, and having watched it, at first, had a problem with some bits of the film that differ from the book. The biggest change being, as people have said already, Faramir's desire for the Ring, which was unexpected and disappointing but I think required. To have Faramir not attempt to seize the Ring, and yet not go into his mental outlook, which wouldn't have been possible given the time limits of a film, would have been like Faramir saying to Frodo 'Oh whats that in your pocket? Oh its only that 2000 or so year old ring capable of world domination. Keep it.' The only person you can credit having the restraint to ignore the Ring's power without question or explanation is Gandalf, well he's a wizard isn't he? But when faced with the unknown face of Faramir its a different story, therefore to have followed the book strictly in this instance would have undermined the crux of the story which is the Ring's power and the threat to middle-earth from Sauron and basically be a damp squib to the unfolding story line.
I personally didn't feel there was anything else missing from the film (apart from discovering the nazgul weren't mounted on winged-horses - I hadn't read return/king yet, which describes the beasts how they logically would have to look to be capable of flying) and consider it to be a faithful adaptation especially when you consider what a huge under-taking it must have been to plan a film from such complex books, the result is all the more staggering.
At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I suppose it would have been good if the trilogy could have been on TV and be as long as '24' and have a whopping 18hrs at its disposal but hey, thats just being greedy (and breaking it up would spoil it anyway).
At the end of the day you have to accept a book is one thing and a film another, and in this case I don't think it humanly possible for LOTR to have been brought to life more impressively than it has been. The Two Towers is an excellent film like The Fellowship before it and like The Return of The King will be after it.
The special features are really good aswell and make you appreciate the work involved even more, I spent all night watching them all. 10/10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic behind the scenes! Precious stuff here!, 9 Dec. 2006
By 
Antonio Cunha Silva (Stb, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Since the films are top notch, specially the Extended cuts and this editions have new purpose for the older fans - the (new) documentaries.

I thought the reviews about this edition were accurate about the "needless" new documentary.

Well, even so I bought the R1 Box. And I have to say that I'm glad I did. The documentaries are absolutely for the fans and casual viewers. It gives the feeling how the filmming, production processes went on. It is raw but is soulful - In the studios with the designers, special effects, production people, customs, Peter Jackson behind everything that went on screen (even the Boromir's pocket!!!)... Hilarious stuff, Wow.

This is a special movie. I know that the 4disc SEE DVDs are better, BUT this was a behind the scenes camera, filming what wasn't supposed to be filmed, even if the director Costa Botes was chosen by Peter...

Grab it. Treasure it. Even if you have the SEE DVDs or you love "The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I own this, 13 Sept. 2005
By 
Mrs. S. J. HAYMAN (Lincoln, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Ever since I received this box set way back in the Christmas of the year it was released on DVD, I have loved watching it.
I even watch it with the actors commentary which was an experience all on it's own (Dom and Billy are hilarious).
Sir Ian McKellan, Ian Holm and Christopher Lee are just wonderful actors and are truly convincing as Gandalf, Bilbo and Saruman.
You also have rising stars like Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd and Viggo Mortensen who are just great and perfectly chosen for their roles.
I would buy this extended edition over the original for the extended scenes, the Gollum figurine and all the extras. Any die-hard LOTR fan must have this.
I am just sad I missed the first LOTR EE Box Set for FOTR...
Peter Jackson and his the crew have really brought J.R.R. Tolkien's books to life. I hope he does the same with The Hobbit
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Vs Movie, 29 Aug. 2003
When you start comparing a book to a movie, you’re always venturing into dangerous ground. You may capture a little of the atmosphere, detail, and other ingredients that make a book the superior form of story telling - but not all. I suppose my point is, by not giving this film 5 out of 5 because it doesn’t live up to the book isn’t being fair. Especially in the case of the masterpiece that is Lord of the Rings. In my opinion Jackson has tried hard to remain true to the roots, something that must be hard for a director who would normally start steering towards their own vision of things. I totally believe the movies are in good hands with Peter Jackson and will surpass even Star Wars as the greatest trilogy ever made. This DVD is a must own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return To Middle-Earth - The Journey Continues!, 17 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Special Extended DVD Edition) [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
17/24 of Tim Bradley's Amazon Advent Calendar 2014

"That Peter Jackson and his remarkable team have done it again...!" - Newsweek, 2002

After enjoying 'The Fellowship of the Ring', the first film of `The Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy, it was little surprise that I would soon come round to watching the second film. I wanted to find out what happens in the story next with Frodo and Sam on their journey to Mordor and to see what happens to Aragorn in his journey to becoming king and a leader of men during the war of Sauron.

I remember speaking to my dad about purchasing the DVD of `The Two Towers' in 2003 before it came out. In August that year on a family holiday in Scotland, the original `Two Towers' DVD release came out that month and I couldn't wait to see it. We eventually saw it at home when we came back from our holiday in Scotland. `The Two Towers' got me re-immersed back into the world of Middle-Earth again! I enjoyed everything from Gollum to the Battle of Helm's Deep.

Here's the story of 'LOTR' so far. The story is about a hobbit named Frodo Baggins who leaves the Shire on a quest to destroy the One Ring, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron. He is joined by his friends who become a Fellowship helping him on his quest to Mordor. This Fellowship as well as Frodo includes Gandalf the wizard; Sam, Merry and Pippin the hobbits; Aragorn, a ranger of the North; Legolas the Elf, Gimli the dwarf and Boromir of Gondor. During their journey, Gandalf had seemingly fallen into Moria; Boromir got killed by three Uruk-Hai arrows and Merry and Pippin got captured by the Uruk-Hai. At the end, Frodo continues his journey to Mordor with Sam whilst Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli pursue the Uruk-Hai to rescue Merry and Pippin.

The title refers to two specific towers belonging to the enemies of Middle-Earth including There's Orthanc, the tower of Saruman in Isengard and Barad-dur, the tower of Sauron in the land of Mordor. Saruman and Sauron seek to destroy the world of men and our heroes must overthrow them in order to save Middle-Earth and prevent it falling into shadow.

As I said, I bought the original 2-disc DVD of `Two Towers' in August 2003. But I was keen to get the four-disc Special Extended DVD Edition of the film containing more scenes which I got for Christmas in 2003. The film is about 3 hours long and the extended version of `Two Towers' contains 44 minutes extra footage. There's a really helpful booklet containing information about the extended DVD edition. The film is divided into two parts with Part 1 on Disc 1 and Part 2 on Disc 2. The Scene Index inside the booklet identifies which scene is new and extended with the following legend:

*new scene
**extended scene

Disc 3 and Disc 4 contain `The Appendices' which are `making-of' documentaries and extra material from the making of the film.

DISC 1 + DISC 2 - SPECIAL EXTENDED EDITION OF THE FILM

The story of `The Two Towers' is divided into three sub-plots. There's the Ring Quest with Frodo and Sam journeying to Mordor; there's the Captives' Journey with Merry and Pippin and there's the Companions' Journey with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli.

Frodo and Sam's (Elijah Wood and Sean Astin) journey takes place with them journeying through the Emyn Muil - a gigantic maze of rocky hills. They come across Gollum who's been following them since `Fellowship'. Gollum is played by Andy Serkis who does an incredible performance. Gollum is a combination of both CGI and actor performance as Andy doesn't just do the voice but actually performs with the actors on set in a skin-tight suit as well as motion-capture. Gollum is the result of brilliant CGI imagination by Peter Jackson and his team as well as a great performance by Andy Serkis. I like that scene where Gollum has a conversation with himself as Smeagol and Gollum.

Gollum becomes Frodo and Sam's guide as he knows the way to Mordor. He leads them out of Emyn Muil and into the Dead Marshes. These marshlands are filled with ancient corpses that were once elves and men during the great battle against the armies of Mordor in the Second Age of Middle-Earth. The Dead Marshes are eerie and strange and Frodo and Sam have to spend the night there and avoid Nazgul/Black Riders on winged beasts called Fell Beasts hunting them.

Pretty soon Gollum takes Frodo and Sam to the Black Gate of Mordor. The gate is closed and Frodo and Sam have a job of trying to get in. Frodo and Sam are stopped by Gollum from going through the Black Gate as he suggests another way to get into Mordor. Sam distrusts Gollum, but Frodo allows him to lead the way to find another entrance to Mordor.

Merry and Pippin's (Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd) journey occurs from `Fellowship' after they've been captured by Saruman's Uruk-Hai army. Merry and Pippin are in deadly peril as they're amongst the evil Uruk-Hai taking them back to Isengard. The horse riders of Rohan attack and kill the Uruk-Hai one by one. This gives Merry and Pippin the chance to escape as they run from the battle and enter Fangorn Forest.

Merry and Pippin find themselves in a twisted, dark, tangled world in Fangorn Forest. They meet a walking-talking tree like being called Treebeard (voiced by John Rhys-Davies who plays Gimli as well). Treebeard is an Ent - a shepherd of the forest called tree-herds. The Ents have lived longer than the Elves and Treebeard looks after Merry and Pippin keeping them safe and giving them drinks of Entwash at his place known as Dwelling Hall. Treebeard however can be sometimes boring when singing songs to entertain the two young hobbits and sends them to sleep. "Don't be hasty!" is Treebeard's motto.

Parts of the world are threatened by Saruman, the Master of Isengard (played by Christopher Lee). Saruman has joined forces with Sauron using the palantir - a seeing stone - to communicate the Dark Lord. Saruman also builds armies of Uruk-Hai to terrorise the neighbouring lands near Isengard including Rohan. Saruman sacrifices the trees for his industrial workings at Isengard. He also summons the Wild Men and Dundelings to attack the land of Rohan, including villages in the Westfold. Saruman manipulates people by using the power in his voice to manipulate the free people to do what he wants and that includes taking control of the king of Rohan who has a great hold on him.

The journey with Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys Davies) takes place from the end of Fellowship where they pursuit the Uruk-Hai who have taken Merry and Pippin with them back to Isengard. They pursue the Uruk-Hai trail for three days and nights with no food; no rest; (probably no toilet), seemingly not being able to get anywhere.

The three companions eventually meet up the Rohirrim, the Riders of Rohan. They surround Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli with spears when meeting them. The Rohirrim are like Viking warriors with horses. They are led by Eomer (played by Karl Urban), who is King Theoden's nephew in Rohan. Karl delivers a fierce yet valiant performance as Eomer, who has been banished from Rohan. They meet and interrogate Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli before they destroyed the Uruks but left no sign of any hobbits in the burning.

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli find where the Rohirrim burnt the Uruk-Hai and eventually follow the hobbits' trail into Fangorn Forest. Inside the forest, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli soon discover they're not alone and visited by the `white wizard' who turns out to be Gandalf! Yes! Gandalf has returned! He has now become Gandalf the White (played by Ian MacKellen). Gandalf tells his story of how he survived his fight with the Balrog and that he has been sent back to Middle-Earth.

Gandalf takes Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli with him to Edoras, the capital city of Rohan. Edoras, which is a rural-Viking-like place set on a hill. I like the location work of Edoras set on a hill in New Zealand. There's the thatched-barn like houses surrounding the side of the hill and at the top there's the Golden Hall of Meduseld. The inside of the Golden Hall is even better as we get to see what the king's throne room looks like and feels very majestic and kingly.

King Theoden of Rohan is played by Bernard Hill, who first appears as a frail, fragile old man ignorant of the outside world under the influence of Saruman. He doesn't acknowledge his son Theodred who dies in the movie. Theoden is eventually freed by Gandalf who pushes Saruman out of him. Theoden acquires a more youthful self and is cured of the poison by Gandalf, but knows now the harm caused by Saruman to his people which he believes he's let down, including the death of his son Theodred.

Grima Wormtongue is played by Brad Dourif (who has appeared in episodes of `Star Trek: Voyager'). Wormtongue is King Theoden's advisor who has been feeding whispering words to weaken the king, as he secretly works for Saruman. Wormtongue persuades the king to banish Eomer from Rohan and has a secret desire for Eowyn, lady of Rohan, which she doesn't return. Wormongue is thrown out of Theoden's hall when his true colours are revealed.

Eowyn, White Lady of Rohan is played by Miranda Otto. Eowyn is a lovely character, played wonderfully by Miranda. Eowyn is Theoden's niece and is known as the `daughter of kings' or `shield maiden of Rohan'. Eowyn is a strong woman who has learnt to fight and ride to defend Rohan. She knows how to use a sword but isn't allowed to fight in the battle. She has a close father-relationship with Theoden and gradually falls in love with Aragorn during the course of this movie.

Horses are very important in the kingdom of Rohan, also known as the Riddermark, and there are two horses of particular importance in this movie. There's Shadowfax, who is a beautiful white stallion that Gandalf rides and happens to be the `lord of all horses' in Rohan. There's also Brego, a dark brown horse that Aragorn rides after he manages to tame him in the stables using Elvish words and magic as seen in the extended version of the movie.

Theoden orders the city of Edoras to be evacuated as he; Eowyn and his people make for Helm's Deep with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli joining them in the exodus. Gandalf rides off on Shadowfax to search for help elsewhere. Meanwhile with Frodo and Sam they follow Gollum in the land of Ithilien, a beautiful woodland area pretty close to Gondor and Mordor. They are soon caught by Faramir and his Ithilien rangers of Gondor who capture them and take them away. Faramir orders the hobbits' to be bound which ends Disc 1 of the movie...

Disc 2 continues the story back to where we left Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli with Theoden, Eowyn and the people of Rohan on the exodus from Rohan to Helm's Deep. Gimli talks to Eowyn about Dwarf Women at the start. There are some brand new and extended scenes at the start of Disc 2 including Aragorn having a bowl of stew prepared by Eowyn, and it turns out she's a bad cook which I found really funny.

The Rohan people are soon attacked by Warg-Riders on the way to Helm's Deep. These are Orcs riding on beasts that a cross between a hyena and a bear. They're pretty frightening and there's an all-out battle between Theoden, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the men of Rohan against these Warg-Riders whilst Eowyn leads the people to Helm's Deep. The Warg Battle is one of the first sequences I ever saw of `The Two Towers' before purchasing the DVD in Scotland when on holiday in 2003.

During the Warg battle, Aragorn gets caught in a fight with a Warg-Riider that sends him off a cliff and has him falling to his apparent death. But Aragorn manages to survive and riding on Brego the horse who manages to find him, he makes for Helm's Deep.

Arwen (lovely Liv Tyler) appears in this film. She is faced with a choice of staying with Aragorn whom she loves or to go with her people the Elves to the undying lands. There are some beautiful, lovely flashback scenes with Aragorn and Arwen before `The Two Towers' in Rivendell. It's lovely to see those scenes where Aragorn and Arwen are together and they were one of the first scenes I ever saw of `The Two Towers' before buying the DVD.

Elrond (Hugo Weaving) also appears having scenes with his daughter Arwen. Elrond tries to persuade Arwen not to stay with Aragorn but she is determined to stay. Elrond tells her what will happen if she does stay and we get a glimpse of the future where Aragorn dies and Arwen is left to live the rest of her days alone until she dies. It's a pretty heart-breaking moment and Arwen is persuaded by her father to go with the Elves. Will she leave Aragorn behind forever?

There is also a telepathic conversation between Elrond and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) as she talks to him about what's will happen to Middle-Earth with Saruman attacking Rohan and Sauron attacking Gondor. She also mentions Frodo and how the quest goes for him and the future is uncertain. This is like a `prologue in the middle' sequence of the movie before we cut to Faramir going over a map of Middle-Earth with one of his men, talking about the situation with the War of the Ring.

With Frodo and Sam, they are interrogated by Faramir, Captain of Gondor (played by David Wenham). Faramir is the younger brother of Boromir who appeared in `Fellowship'. There's a lovely flashback scene in the extended version of `Two Towers' where Faramir with his brother Boromir (Sean Bean) and their father Denethor (John Noble). It's one of my favourite scenes from `Two Towers' as it was interesting to see how Denethor favours his on Boromir more than Faramir, and explains what Faramir does in meeting Frodo and Sam in the story and also capturing Gollum.

Faramir is played well by David Wenham whose character is depicted to having a journey in the film compared to the book. Faramir seeks to win favour with his father and is upset by the loss of Boromir. When Faramir discovers Frodo has the ring of power, he seeks a chance `to show his quality'. He decides to take Frodo, Sam, Gollum and the ring to Gondor. Could Faramir end up the same as his brother did and be tempted by the ring?

With Merry and Pippin with Treebeard, they see Saruman's massive army of Uruk-Hai marching out from Isengard. In Fangorn Forest, Merry and Pippin with Treebeard witness gathering of many Ents who turn up for a meeting. This is the Entmoot - a gathering of Ents of various kinds from oak to beech to acorn. Treebeard has summoned these Ents for the Entmoot to decide whether to go to war or not against Saruman. This meeting takes a long time, and Merry and Pippin get impatient as by night-time they've only finished saying `good morning' in the extended version. Pretty soon the Ents make a decision that doesn't please Merry and are soon taken by Treebeard to go home.

On the way, Pippin suggests to Treebeard to `go south'. Treebeard goes along with Pippin's suggestion and they soon come across a number of broken down tree stumps . This upsets Treebeard as the trees that used to be there were his friends and becomes angry when realising it's Saruman who's cut down most of the forest of Fangorn down. With this motivation, Treebeard and the Ents make their `last march' to Isengard and attack Saruman's fortress to bring it down. Can the forces of nature overthrow Saruman's industrial workings at Isengard as easily as that?

With Aragorn, he makes his way to Helm's Deep on Brego, to spot the massive army of Uruk-Hai approaching. He rides onto Helm's Deep to warn King Theoden. He arrives and is reunited with his friends Legolas and Gimli. He goes to the king to tell him that 10,000 Uruk-Hai are approaching Helm's Deep (He counted the number of Uruk-Hai when he saw them, did he?) "10,000?!" says a shocked Theoden. "It is an army bred for a single purpose," says Aragorn, "To destroy the world of men!" "Let them come!" declares Theoden and soon the men of Rohan prepare for War.

Helm's Deep is where the action takes place in `Two Towers'. Helm's Deep is the fortress and refuge of Rohan where Theoden takes his people to be safe. Theoden orders the women and children to get into the caves under Helm's Deep. Helm's Deep was built in a quarry for the filming in New Zealand both as a life-size set and a huge miniature. It's very impressive both in design and atmosphere when the actual battle takes place. It's pretty bleak when the battle takes place and I sympathise for the actors and stunt-people who worked long hours over night-shoots to film the battle.

The men of Rohan prepare for battle. It's pretty grisly and grim, and it seems like there's no hope on the Rohan people's chances of winning. Legolas doubts the Rohan people winning this fight and believes they're going to die. But Aragorn defies Legolas as he's prepared to `die as one of them.' There's a lovely scene between Aragorn and the boy soldier Haleth, son of Hama, who he encourages to believe in hope, a recurring theme throughout the LOTR trilogy.

Soon the men of Rohan are not alone as, they are joined by another small army of elves led by Haldir of Lothlorien (played by Craig Parker). Hadlir and his elf army have been sent by Elrond to help the men of Rohan in their fight against the Uruk-Hai army. This is in honour of the former alliance between Elves and Men during the Second Age of Middle-Earth when they fought against Sauron and the armies of Mordor long ago. This gives the men of Rohan a fighting chance and a shining glimmer of hope when fighting against Saruman's army when all odds are against them.

The Uruk-Hai army approaches and arrives and it's pretty `massive' (and I mean that in every sense of the world with Weta Digital creating the Uruk-Hai army in long-shots using the CGI computer program `massive'). The Uruk-Hai army is divided into four categories. There are the swordsmen; the pikes men; the crossbow-men and most importantly the Berserkers who are pretty ruthless fighters when attacking the Hornbug and Deepening Wall of Helm's Deep.

The Battle of Helm's Deep is very impressive. It's a battle of emotional and epic proportions lasting for about 45 minutes with cuts to Fangorn Forest in-between. It starts off pretty exciting, especially with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli joining the fight. But it goes downhill as a Berserker Uruk-Hai warrior blows up the Deepening Wall and the Uruk-Hai manage to get in. It seems pretty hopeless. Will Aragorn and Theoden led the army of Rohan to victory or will Saruman win and destroy Rohan?

TO BE CONTINUED...

The special features on this four-disc DVD of `The Two Towers' are as follows on the following discs.

On both discs of the film, there are four full-length commentaries by various contributors in the making of the movie. The four commentaries are `The Director and Writers'; `The Design Team'; `The Production/Post Production Team' and `The Cast'.

`The Director and Writers' commentary is with director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. `The Design Team' commentary includes many people from the design department of Middle-Earth and Weta Workshop including Richard Taylor (Weta Workshop); Alan Lee and John Howe (artists); Grant Major (production designer); Dan Hennah (art director), etc. `The Production/Post Production Team' commentary includes people from the production of the story including producer Barrie Osborne; executive producer Mark Ordesky; co-producer Rick Porras; music composer Howard Shore; visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel, etc. And again there's another entertaining commentary with `The Cast' that is my favourite including Elijah Wood; Liv Tyler; Sean Astin; Dominic Monaghan; Billy Boyd and new cast contributors including Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, Andy Serkis, etc.

Are there any Easter Eggs to look out for on this special extended DVD of `Two Towers'? I'll let you find out for yourself.

DISC 3 - THE APPENDICES PART THREE - THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

The third and fourth discs of the four-disc DVD set are `The Appendices' which is the continuing story of the making of the LOTR films covering the making of `The Two Towers' in detail from book to screen, containing many documentaries; video material and picture galleries. I found it interesting how Peter Jackson described `The Two Towers' as the most difficult of the three movies to make.

The first disc of `The Appendices' covers how challenging the process was of adapting the middle chapter of the trilogy from book to screen and the continuing story of Middle-Earth's design.

There's an `Introduction' by director Peter Jackson explaining briefly the difficulties of making `The Two Towers' and what happens on this disc. There's a `PLAY ALL' option that allows you as a viewer to watch all the documentaries on this disc lasting for 3 hours. Please note, there are some video material and photo and pictures galleries to enjoy on this DVD. There's also an `Index' option on the bottom left-hand corner of the main menu to help you navigate through this DVD easily.

The sections on this DVD include the following.

There's `J. R. R. Tolkien - Origins of Middle-Earth' looking into what things inspired Tolkien to create the people and places in Middle-Earth including his personal connection to trees as well as his development of characters like Frodo, Sam and Gollum.

There's `From Book to Script - Finding the Story', looking into how the writing team adapted Tolkien's second book into a screenplay for the movie and the difficulty and challenges of adapting the middle chapter of the trilogy.

There's `Designing and Building Middle-Earth' which contains the continuing story of designing the world of `LOTR'. It contains two documentaries including `Designing Middle-Earth' and `Weta Workshop'. There are also Design Galleries containing many pictures and photographs of the People and Realms of Middle-Earth.

There's a `Gollum' section looking into how the character of Gollum was developed. It contains the documentary `The Taming of Smeagol' as well as two video featurettes including `Andy Serkis Animation Reference' and `Gollum's Stand-In'. There's also a design gallery for Gollum on the DVD,

There's a `Middle-Earth Atlas' that is an interactive map looking into the three journeys of the Fellowship in `Two Towers'; and there's `New Zealand as Middle-Earth' which is an interactive map containing mini featurettes on how the locations of NZ were used for the places in `Two Towers'.

DISC 4 - THE APPENDICES PART FOUR - THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH BEGINS

The second disc of `The Appendices' covers the cast's involvement in the filming of `Two Towers' to the troubled post-production process before the movie's release at the cinemas.

There's an `Introduction' by Elijah Wood (Frodo) explaining what happens on this disc. This disc contains 3½ hours of documentary material which can be played in full using the `PLAY ALL' option. Like with the first disc there is additional video material; photo and picture galleries and the `Index' feature to navigate your way on this DVD disc.

The sections on this disc include `Filming "The Two Towers"' which contains two documentaries including `Warriors of the Third Age' and `Cameras in Middle-Earth' which again I enjoyed watching following on from `Fellowship'. There's also Production Photos to view in a gallery in this section.

There's a `Visual Effects' section containing two documentaries. There's the `Miniatures' sub-section containing the documentary `Big-atures' with design galleries of the miniatures in `Two Towers' as well as `The Flooding of Isengard animation' featurette. And there's `Weta Digital' looking at the CGI effects of `Two Towers', plus some design galleries of abandoned concepts including the `Slime Balrog' and the `Endless Stair'.

There's the documentary `Editorial: Refining The Story' which looks into the editing process of `Two Towers' with director Peter Jackson and editor Mike Horton and how troubled that process was in editing the film before its completion.

There's `Sound and Music' that contains two documentaries including `Music for Middle-Earth' and `The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth'. There's also a Sound Demonstration for `The Battle of Helm's Deep' to play on this DVD.

Finally there's the finale documentary `The Battle for Helm's Deep is Over...', looking into the film's release at premieres and cinemas and how the making-of story is drawing towards its conclusion, ending the Appendices of `The Two Towers'.

TO BE CONTINUED...

On the original 2-Disc DVD of `Two Towers' it contains the original theatrical version of the movie on Disc 1. On Disc 2, there are some promotional special features including documentaries, featurettes and trailers.

There are two in-depth documentaries revealing secrets behind the production of `The Two Towers'. These including `On the Set - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' featuring interviews with cast and director Peter Jackson. There's `Return To Middle-Earth' which is my favourite featuring lively interviews with cast and crew including Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortenson, Miranda Otto, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, etc. and features a sneak preview before the film's release which is `The Wolves of Isengard' - the scene, as I've said before, that I saw at HMV in Scotland before purchasing the original `Two Towers' DVD.

There's a very special short film directed by Sean Astin called `The Long and Short of It', starring Peter Jackson and director of photography Andrew Lesnie. It's a silent film that's introduced by Sean Astin at the beginning. There's also a short documentary on `The Making of The Long and Short of It' afterwards.

There are 8 lordoftherings.net featurettes looking into the people and places of Middle-Earth including `Forces of Darkness'; `Designing the Sounds of Middle-earth'; `Edoras: The Rohan Capital'; `Creatures of Middle-earth'; `Gandalf the White'; `Arms and Armor'; `The Battle of Helm's Deep' and `Bringing Gollum to Life'

There are two exciting trailers promoting `The Two Towers' including a Teaser and a Theatrical Trailer. There are also 16 TV commercial spots to watch promoting `The Two Towers'. There's the `Gollum's Song' music video which is performed by Emilliana Torrini. There's an `inside look' into the Special Extended DVD Edition of `The Two Towers' as well as an exclusive 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview of `The Return of the King'. Finally there's a preview of the `The Return of the King' video game from Electronic Arts' (EA) games - challenge everything!

`The Two Towers' is a superb second film in the trilogy of `LOTR'. It turned out to be the hardest of the three films for Peter Jackson and his film-making team to make in terms of adapting the story into film, filming `The Battle of Helm's Deep', creating Gollum and finishing the film in post-production. But Peter Jackson and all the hard work he and his team have put into this movie has paid off really well and is one of the best films ever to be made in 2002 when it was released in cinemas. The themes of hope and overcoming temptation and corruption are strongly evident throughout this film as well as the entire trilogy. I enjoyed watching `The Two Towers' very much and I couldn't wait to find out what happens next with Frodo, Sam, Aragorn and all the other characters in the trilogy as I was going to watch the final film in the cinemas that year in 2003.

The story of `The Lord of the Rings' continues in 'The Return of the King'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a truly enthralling continuation of the classic trilogy, 21 Jan. 2011
A splendid sequel to "The Fellowship Of The Ring", "The Two Towers" is yet another masterpiece directed by native New Zealander Peter Jackson. A film as incredible as its predecessor, it takes us on the separate journeys of Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. This time we are introduced to the kingdom of Rohan, known for its herds of magnificent horses named the Mearas, led by the snowy white Shadowfax, a beautiful stallion that had once belonged to Théoden, King of Rohan, though he could not tame the beast until it finally came into the possession of Gandalf the Grey. We meet some new characters, most notably a sneaky little creature, King Théoden, his nephew Eomer, also known as the Third Marshal of the Mark, his niece Eowyn, also known as the White Lady of Rohan, and my favourite female character, the aptly named Grima Wormtongue, an elusive, slow minded guardian of Fangorn Forest and the Rangers of Ithilien led by Faramir of Gondor. The locations are, as ever as thrilling and spectacular, the music as charming, moving and memorable, and the storyline is, like that of the first film, as cleverly defined and condensed enough that it provides plenty of action and drama while staying relatively true to the source material, with the exception being that the roles of Arwen and Eowyn are elaborated on in order to attract female interest in the story as they are in the other two films. A gripping film in its own right, "The Two Towers" is wonderfully epic and captivating, and as fantastic as the other two films are, my all time favourite out of the three.
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