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 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?
on 18 August 2003
This is undoubtably a brilliant film, but I feel a few more words are needed to defend it against (unfair) attacks on the grounds that I strays too far from Tolkien. Firstly, as is always the case with adaptations from a book, this is a film, and a certain licence is both necessary and desirable. However, none of the extra pieces added by the film makers can be said to have been done so without due consideration to Tolkiens world and to cinematic integrity. To take a few examples: the presence of the elves at Helm's Deep does well to evoke the 'ages past' feel that is so intruinsic to Tolkien's writings, and it explores further (as Tolkien does not) the fragility of the elves' nature, complementing the Arwen story. This last part is necessarily extended to boost the female presence in the film and to counterbalance the Eowyn tale. Regarding the Arwen/Aragorn story, all has been lifted from Tolkien, just not from the actual 'Two Towers' book, the only exception being the 'Warg riders' bit. This borrows from passages and events in the first books of LotR and the appendices, and the whole episode contributes to our involvement and understanding of the other members of the fellowship and of Eowyn - without it, their relationships with each other would seem thinner and underdevelopped: Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn come into their own in the second film, not the first.
One could carry on like this forever. It seems that the Screenwriters and Directorial team have not left a stone unturned in their quest for a faithful rendering of Tolkien that can at the same time stand alone as a cinematic work. We have only to look forward to the extended version - lets hope it adds as much to this film as did the the re-release of the 'Fellowship'.
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 3 October 2003
The Two Towers is a remarkable film and while I take issue with some of the changes made to the story, this DVD is an essential purchase for fans of this film.
This 4-disc set showcases the DVD format at its very best. A whopping 40 minutes extra has been integrated into the original theatrical version to give the complete story as Peter Jackson wanted it told. You wouldn't see that happen back in the prime of VHS! The same was done with the Fellowship of the Ring extended edition and it made an already fantastic film near flawless!
The two-disc DVD set released in August was just to satisfy those who couldn't wait to get their hands on the film. But in truth, it's wasted money, this is the version to own. Once the extended version comes out you won't want to go back to the theatrical version, believe me.
Then come the extras. If they're anything like what was included in the Fellowship of the Ring EE DVD, we're in for a treat. Two discs full of unique, original documentaries, not the rehashed TV promo documentaries found on the 2-disc version. The quality and depth of these documentaries is terrific and really make you appreciate the incredible amount of effort that went into producing these epic films.
Not to be overlooked are the 4 separate audio commentary tracks featuring the cast and crew. Beyond all the other features included in DVDs, audio commentaries are, for me, the best. They give a unique insight into the film from the people who created it and although it is easy to be distracted by the film itself while listening to the commentary, it is well worth sitting through.
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 6 June 2003
Having waited for what seemed an eternity to see the second installment of Peter Jackson's epic trilogy, the Two Towers finally hit the big screen in December 02.
The opening few minutes grab you by the scruff of the neck and drag you kicking and screaming on a stomach churning descent into the heart of the mines of Moria and out the other side, as Gandalf battles with, and finally defeats the Balrog. This sets the scene as the rest of the film rarely lets up on the non-stop action, which takes you from the plains of Rohan to the final dramatic battle of Helms Deep where you actually come out of the theatre feeling totally exhausted.
Having read the book several times, I suppose like lots of fans I wanted everything, every chapter, paragraph and piece of dialogue faithfully transposed onto the screen. I remember going over the litery version of TT before seeing it on the big screen and thinking, 'this is a lot to fit into 3hrs'. Peter Jackson manages to do this, just.
Whereas the book was able to concentrate on the developing relationships between the Fellowship, the film tends to feel slightly rushed as it hops from scene to scene as we follow the fortunes of Frodo, Sam and the superbly crafted Gollum, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in their pursuit of Merry and Pippin and King Theoden in his mission to save his people from the hordes of Saruman.
I can't help feeling that when the extended version of the film is released in November, with the additional 43mins the film will be seen as it was intended to be. This was the same with the extended version of the Fellowship of the Ring. The additional 20 odd minutes extra, really rounded things off nicely, for example, the giving of gifts by the Lady Galadriel.
This is not to say that this is a thoroughly enjoyable, superbly acted film to rival, and possible better the first installment, but like all Tolkien fans, I always want more. Roll on the Return of the King!
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.