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Lord of the Rings Media Movies

LOTR: Two Towers Extended Edition Reviewed 626

akahige writes "The Digital Bits has just posted an exhaustive review and analysis of extended edition of The Two Towers, everybody that can't wait to get theirs -- or wait even longer to see the uber-cut in the theatre -- check it out. There's 43 minutes of new footage (not including the extended credits), and comparable extras to the extended version of Fellowship: 4 commentaries, documentaries, behind the scenes, etc. " I felt that FotR's Extended Edition was far superior to the theatrical release- usually these extra cuts add little, but this was the exception. I've been waiting with held breath for this one. I just wish it would ship a few days early!
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LOTR: Two Towers Extended Edition Reviewed

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  • by Gavin Rogers ( 301715 ) <grogers@vk6hgr.echidna.id.au> on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:31AM (#7416135) Homepage
    You mean they've made the movie even longer?

    I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

    • by Dicky ( 1327 )
      I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

      It does, if it's done in the same way as the FOTR extended edition. The film itself comes on two disks :-)

    • I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

      Silly... The DVD's don't have these features, but your player has. It's called "Pause button".
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:37AM (#7416165) Homepage
      no it doesn't. in fact the RIAA has decided to disable the pause and resume features of the DVD as well as chapter points to help eliminate the movie piracy that is hurting them so badly...

      Those people that go to the bathroom and want to pause it are violating the MPAA's IP rights!
    • Yup, it's called pause. All DVD remote were build in anticipation of this release. While viewing LOTR: Two Towers Extended Edition this feature is being enabled between action scenes.

    • Ben Hur (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rleyton ( 14248 )
      Check out the video to Ben Hur [amazon.co.uk], there's a 5 minute "interlude" included on the video itself which had me chuckling.

      It demands to be honoured. Pop out and relieve yourself, AND make a cup of tea, without using the accursed pause button.

      'tis for wimps.
      • Re:Ben Hur (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Stickster ( 72198 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:49AM (#7416254) Homepage
        What you're talking about is the intermission from the original theatrical release. They restored it to the film, including the original score from that segment. Going to the movies to see a big-budget epic was a lot more like going to the theater in those days. Having an entr'acte (opening musical segment) to quiet everyone down, and a scored intermission in the middle, was more common. Many restorations of classic films also include restoring these segments as well.

        I'm with you though, I don't like pausing movies and playing musical chairs during them. It takes me out of the emotional experience and interrupts the flow of the film.
        • by hughk ( 248126 )
          I have the restored version of Lawrence of Arabia with a running time of 228 minutes. This has the 'overture' and the intermission (time to change discs), still it is a good time to use the bathroom and to fetch more cold beer - watching all that sand makes me thirsty).
        • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:18AM (#7416470)

          Obviously, you don't order and consume a 'super-sized' beverage that is at least twice the maximum human bladder capacity in the first hour of the film.

          I missed the penultimate 15 minute segment of Lotr:FotR because I DID. I also discovered that when sufficiently motivated, I can be back in my seat in a time that would shame an Indy pit crew.

          • by gid ( 5195 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:28PM (#7417065) Homepage
            That's one thing that really annoys me. That's why I don't buy food at the theaters, I don't WANT 32-64 ounces of pop and a giant tub of popcorn. A 12 ounce can, and a small thing of popcorn would be enough, thanks, but since I can't buy the sizes I want, I buy nothing, I just make sure I eat before I go to the theater.

            They give you massive quantities so they can justify charging you up out the ass for it, it's just annoying. I know the arguement behind it, the theater makes all their money on the consessions, well too bad, if they want to make money on me, they have one of two options, charge less for concessions, or charge more for the ticket.

            Sure you could argue that I buy the big gulp and not drink all of it, but I'm just a dumb animal, I'll eat/drink whatever's put in front of me to completion, which leaves me needing the pit stop. And wait a minute, it took you 15 minutes to take a piss, or did you drop the kids off at the pool while you were at it? :)
            • by sparrow_hawk ( 552508 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:52PM (#7417288)
              I'm a theater employee, and I can sympathize with you on the bladder-capacity issue. If I have even the smallest amount of soda, I will inevitably have to run the the bathroom. I got lucky in LotR:FotR -- even though I didn't buy any concessions, I still had to dash, and got back just in time to watch Gandalf's fight with the Balrog. (The upside is that concessions can make certain movies more bearable, however.)

              if they want to make money on me, they have one of two options, charge less for concessions, or charge more for the ticket.

              Sadly, the second option isn't available to us -- the studio wants its cut of the ticket, whether we charge $4 or $10, because in that case we're making money off "their" movie. This is why groups can't passes for a fundraiser (ie. they buy $4 passes and sell for $5), because the studio wants that money. We make nothing off the tickets regardless of how much we sell them for -- every theater is a popcorn-and-pop shop that happens to show movies, which is why we can't charge much less for concessions either.

              I know the situation sucks, but there's not really a whole lot the theaters can do about it. Blame the studios, not us.
        • Seven Samurai (Score:3, Interesting)

          by autechre ( 121980 )
          Recently, the Charles Theatre in Baltimore began a Kurosawa marathon. They'll be showing a different one of his movies each week, once on Saturday night and once on Thursday night.

          I had actually never seen the Seven Samurai before, so I figured this was the time. My martial arts teacher gave me permission to skip class for something so important ("I would not be completely unhappy if you skipped class to see the Seven Samurai.")

          For those who don't know, it's over 3 hours; it started at 9:30 with no ads
      • Lawrence of Arabia has the Intermission, too. One reason to leave it in is that they play the overture.
      • Re:Ben Hur (Score:4, Funny)

        by xanadu-xtroot.com ( 450073 ) <xanadu&inorbit,com> on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:08AM (#7416390) Homepage Journal
        there's a 5 minute "interlude" included on the video itself which had me chuckling.

        Cue the Holy Grail intermission music...
      • Re:Ben Hur (Score:3, Interesting)

        by artemis67 ( 93453 )
        I'm dating myself here (not that anyone else would), but when Excalibur came out, way back in the day, and HBO would show it, they'd have a 10 minute intermission for popcorn, bathroom, whatever. That was great, except for one tiny little problem... THEY NEVER STOPPED THE FRICKEN MOVIE WHILE THE INTERMISSION SCREEN WAS UP. You'd miss the whole transition to the quest for the Grail, and be totally lost when the movie came back up.

        Ah, the pointless things I remember...
    • The more important question is, why have Hollywood directors taken to making such incredibly long films? They are a pain to sit through, especially as there is no break in the middle so one can go to the bathroom and get a drink refill (so one will have to go to the bathroom again, but I digress.)

      This is all James Cameron's fault.
      • Well, depending on how shy you are, you can always go to the bathroom and get a drink refill while sitting right there watching the movie...
      • Perhaps because not all stories can be condensed into 90 minutes without losing significant parts. Personally I wouldn't mind if they continue to make films even longer - it would help justify in my mind the exorbitant cost of a movie ticket these days, plus I hate when important plot or character development is glossed over for the sake of cutting down to 90 minutes. (although an intermission in the 3+ hrs films would be nice)
      • Re:Extended edition (Score:3, Interesting)

        by corbettw ( 214229 )
        I saw TTT when I was in Turkey last year, and it had an intermission (right before Frodo and Sam see the oliphaunts and get captured by Faramir). It's a common custom there to play an intermission in a movie, even ones only 90 minutes long. Of course, they also have assigned seating when you buy your ticket, no scrambling for four or five seats adjacent to each other, so the whole experience is much more like going to the theater than a movie.

        Interesting sidenote: since the movie was in English with Turkis
    • It's called the pause button! Check it out!
    • Actually, if you look behind disk 4 in the case you'll find the special Lord of the Rings branded colostomy bag. Limited edition!
    • by artemis67 ( 93453 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:18AM (#7416463)
      I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

      Oh, you mean like the Rave Scene in the Matrix Reloaded?
      • Hey if you wanna miss out on seeing Carrie-Anne Moss (as Trinity) gettin it on, fine by me... but that's definitelly not my chosen bathroom break :)
        • Hey if you wanna miss out on seeing Carrie-Anne Moss (as Trinity) gettin it on, fine by me... but that's definitelly not my chosen bathroom break :)

          That depends on what he was going to do in the bathroom...
  • Pah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:35AM (#7416160) Homepage
    I'm waiting for the 36 hour super extended expansive authorative double wide big mac and fries too many pies massive elongated turgid spactular extravaganza sustained another beer please endless superbit DVD release.

    You aren't a true fan unless you buy one. And with every purchase you get a free Lucasarts (tm) branded marquee to store it in.
  • by dafz1 ( 604262 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:37AM (#7416164)
    Here are the added/lengthened scenes:

    "Among the new treasures in store for fans are several more moments with Gollum, more background on the Ents and additional scenes involving Treebeard in Fangorn Forest, Gandalf telling Aragorn that Sauron is afraid of what he may one day become, Theodred's funeral at Edoras, more of Faramir capturing Frodo and Sam, new scenes between Aragorn and Eowyn on the road to Helm's Deep, more intense footage during all of the major battles... and this is just scratching the surface. There's also a major new flashback scene in which we see Faramir with his brother, Boromir, and their father, Denethor, who is the Steward of Gondor. We learn why Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo in the last film, and why Faramir struggles with the same decision here. It's fantastic stuff that really fleshes out both Faramir and Boromir. It's also important for introducing us to the character of Denethor, who plays a larger part in the forthcoming Return of the King."
    • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:40AM (#7416185) Homepage
      Crap, now I actually want to see it. I really didn't like TTT, mostly because rather than actually doing the plot of the books, it was a 3 hour battle scene with only the slightest trimmings of the plot thrown in - and the battles just got really old with time. You know that somethings wrong when the ents are less boring than the battles.

      Now I have to see it, 'cause they actually put the plot back in the film.
    • It's fantastic stuff that really fleshes out both Faramir and Boromir

      Alright! more stuff to further ruin/change Faramir! I still don't get why that changed him so much from the book

  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:38AM (#7416168) Homepage
    I've been waiting with held breath for this one. I just wish it would ship a few days early!

    Let's put it this way... if you're holding your breath, and it doesn't ship a few days early, you're not going to get a chance to see it.
  • by Dareth ( 47614 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:38AM (#7416169)
    In a previous story there was rumors of theatres that would be showing the entire trilogy on the same day... Anybody got any lists of theatres that will be doing this with dates and times....

    I hope the local theatre here will be doing this. I will be checking shortly. I guess I am just slow, I won't be seeing the third Matrix until tomorrow.

  • bleh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HBI ( 604924 )
    Do you think they could offer a version that returns to the book continuity, without the gratuitous appearance of Arwen in Rohan and the silly Aragorn dream sequence?

    Or am I asking too much?
    • Re:bleh (Score:2, Funny)

      by UncleOzzy ( 158525 )
      Return to the book? And make it even *more* boring? You must be mad.
    • Re:bleh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:44AM (#7416216) Homepage
      Not to mention the bizzarre little side plot of the Warg battle and Aragorn falling down.

      And Theoden being posessed instead of manipulated.

      and fscking elves at the battle.

      To think they cut out good Ent time for that.
    • Yes, yes you are.
  • gaah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:39AM (#7416176)
    one movie, TWO movies, the second movie extended, and when i was the library the other day i realized there was even a book about this stuff!
  • What's the big deal? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kombat ( 93720 )
    I know I'm going to get flamed and mod'ed into oblivion for this, but seriously, what's the big deal about LotR? Why do people lash out viciously at movies that actually make an attempt a real depth (Matrix), while simultaneously holding up the LotR as the cinematic "Gold Standard?" I mean, sure, it's a moderately interesting story, but does it need 9+ hours to be told? Sure, some interesting fights happen along the way, and the effects are great, but are there subtle metaphors, philosophical references,
    • LotR is impressive not necessarily because of the story, but because Tolkien CREATED THREE OR FOUR LANGUAGES and then the entire history to explain them and their cultures. He was a linguistics professor.

      The Matrix doesn't really do anything new. It's a watered-down version of lots of different philosophy with imagery from various religions thrown in. If you look at it like a kung fu movie with western sci-fi trappings, it works, but it ISN'T a deep story, and all the questions it asks were taken from some
      • The Matrix didn't push the envelope in any single area, except maybe cinematography. What it did extremely well was to blend in Bruckheimer-style "blow shit up" mechanisms with a good plot and some interesting highbrow philosophical overtones.

        You can get better philosophy from an arthouse flick, sure. But how many movies do you know of that have flannel-shirted, trucker-hatted, shitkicker-clad rednecks walking out discussing ubermenschen and brain-in-a-vat theories? While not exactly pioneering anything, i
    • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:54AM (#7416285) Homepage Journal
      Why do people bitch and complain that the Matrix was too much gobbledygook (translation: they didn't understand, and hate movies that challenge them to think about it anywhere beyond the concession stand on their way out), then act like LotR is this untouchable masterpiece?

      That's because the two Matrix sequels had most of us thinking about all the gigantic plot holes [dynamicobjects.com] that the LotR books and movies didn't have.

    • Well, part of the problem is that LOTR is being judged differently than the Matrix. When I judge LOTR, I look for how well it captures the book (poorly in some cases), and its cinematography (amazing throughout both of movies). With the Matrix, I judge it by how good the story is and by the cinematography. The problem from my view is that in the Matrix (though I have not seen the last one), the Wachowskis concentrated on the special effects. They're amazing, but they do very little to help the story, and I
    • One word (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:01AM (#7416331)


      That's what separates the Rings trilogy from the Matrix's gobbledygook.

      They are both fantasy stories, but Rings doesn't try to be much else. Rings isn't trying to mix heavy religious themes, moral allegory (Tolkien himself hated allegory) and pseudo-philosophy into it's storyline. It's just a cool fantasy story.

      The Matrix on the other hand, tries to look "deep" and "heavy" where in reality, the themes and ideas it presents have already been exhaustively discussed in PHIL 101. The Matrix trilogy tries so hard to be important that it ends up a parody of itself.
    • While matrix has some interesting things to say... I don't think you can compare it to LOTR in it's depth. Maybe it's because I've read the books... but LOTR has much more subtlety, sub-plots, and sub-text than Matrix does. The plot isn't just about that there is a ring that's evil... it's about power, and how it affects people, it's about destiny and fate, it's about the every-man having to step in and do the right thing at his own expense, it's about putting aside differences for the common good, and i
    • by Dusabre ( 176445 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:05AM (#7416364) Homepage
      Tolkien created a world with such stunning depth that it would take a lifetime to get to know intimately.

      It has languages, thousands of years of detailed histories, many epic tales as well as intense and interesting characters. Stories end and then stories begin.

      The Wachowki's created a world in which people with cables in their brains become supermen and kick the crap out of computer programs. There is one interesting concept, how do we know that the world we experience with our senses exists away from our senses?

      The rest of the Matrix "philosophy" is a mishmash of words or plays on words that imitate depth through ambiguity. Playing on words and their meanings is sophistry, not philosophy.

      All in all the Matrix backstory is just to give geeks an excuse to proclaim the Matrix as cool not just because its about a hacker with a girlfriend that dresses in leather who learns kung-fu through a ROM chip and gets to shoot a lot of guns. Sex AND violence packaged with a nice 'deep' wrapper. Wow.

      Give me five examples of depth in the Matrix?

      Five from the Lord of Rings:
      a) Boromir wants to use the ring to defeat Sauron. But the ring will warp its wielder to its masters will. The tool becomes the end.

      b) The rebels of Rohan leave their king out of their love for their king.

      c) The elves of Middle Earth help the men of Middle Earth even though they are leaving that land. Elves are immortal in normal circumstances but they do not flinch from death in combat.

      d) Gondor is a shadow of itself at its height and in turn is a shadow of Numenor (the kingdom left by Gondor exiles when Sauron corrupted it). There is a rich and vibrant history behind everything. The films do not convey all of this but there is a complete absence of history behind the Matrix (apart from 30 mins of Animatrix).

      e) Sauron is not defeated by force of arms but by a combination of luck (Gollum falls into Mount Doom) and heroism (Frodo and Sam). The interesting thing is that Frodo is not a messianic pure strong hero, at the end he betrays the trust in him by wielding the ring. Gollum seals Sauron's doom.
      • e) Sauron is not defeated by force of arms but by a combination of luck (Gollum falls into Mount Doom) and heroism (Frodo and Sam). The interesting thing is that Frodo is not a messianic pure strong hero, at the end he betrays the trust in him by wielding the ring. Gollum seals Sauron's doom.

        Okay, slightly offtopic here, but I'm going to comment anyhow...

        To call the ending "luck" is simply not fair to Tolkien. The ending was setup way in advance. Several factors come into play:

        • Gollum has been compl
      • Give me five examples of depth in the Matrix?

        I'll play.

        1. The Meralvinchian's Train Master is used to 'sneak programs in and out.' From, or to, where?
        2. The child program which was being moved at the request of her parents ends up, entirely without comment, in the custody of the Oracle and her guardian (who also aparrently has a history with the Meralvinchian). What is the relationship between the Oracle and the Meralvinchian?
        3. The machine city boasts some heavy defences, overkill when you consider t
        • No, we wanted some examples of emotional, philsophical or moral depth in the movie. If you can't see why these are meaningless unanswered questions are "depth", let me translate them into LOTR terms:

          1) Barliman Butterbur served ale at the Prancing Pony. Where did he get the ale?
          2) The children at Bilbo's birthday party bear a strong resemblance to the children cowering in fear in the caves under Helm's Deep. What is the relationship between hobbit and human children?
          3) Elrond says Rivendell does not have t
    • by jjo ( 62046 )
      LoTR the book is impressive because it indeed works on many levels. At the surface, it's a well-written adventure tale. Below the surface, it works at many other levels, including linguistics, history, and the nature of good and evil. Character dualities abound (indeed one could argue that they are the central theme of the book). Few of the major characters are presented in a completely unambivalent light, if one reads the text closely.

      Having said that, the movies mostly gloss over the depths of the bo
    • by jefu ( 53450 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:19AM (#7416476) Homepage Journal
      I should apologize in advance for this. But what the hell.

      I know I'm going to get flamed and mod'ed into oblivion for this, but seriously, what's the big deal about The Matrix? Why do people lash out viciously at movies that actually make an attempt a real depth (LOTR), while simultaneously holding up the Matrix as the cinematic "Gold Standard?" I mean, sure, it's a moderately interesting story, but does it need more than 10 minutes to be told? Sure, some interesting fights happen along the way, and the effects are great, but are there subtle metaphors, philosophical references, and character dualities (besides the obvious Keanu=Christ thing, obviously) that I'm missing?

      Why do people bitch and complain that LOTR was too much gobbledygook (translation: they didn't understand, and hate movies that challenge them to think about it anywhere beyond the concession stand on their way out), then act like The Matrix is this untouchable masterpiece?

      There's this bunch of machines. They're evil. They has to be destroyed. That's where we left off after the first one. "Matrix Revisited" and 3 hours later, that's STILL where we are. Still got those evil thingies. Still has to be destroyed.

      Why is this such amazing work, while Peter Jackson's out-of-the-book conclusion to LOTR is seen as hack-work?

      I don't get it. I'm not a Matrix fanboy, but I watched the first one, and I'll watch the second and third (when they reach TV). But there's really nothing cool to discuss about them, is there? The LOTR movies work because there are so many different interpretations of what they mean and how they all interrelate, and it's fun to discuss. But, as far as I can tell, the Matrix trilogy "is what it is," isn't it? They lay the whole story out there in front of you, and hold your hand. They don't challenge you to try and figure out what Neo really represents, or if maybe, just maybe, the good NEEDS the evil to give it a purpose to exist? The LOTR suggests these kinds of things, but the Matrix seems to shy completely away from them, afraid of challenging (and alienating) their audience.

      Am I wrong? What gives?

      • by tim447 ( 552776 )
        That the Matrix deals with just exactly the issues you're saying it doesn't:

        What Neo really represents: Is he human? Is he just another program introduced by the Architect to cull the dissenters from the Matrix and make ever-more-perfect iterations of the simulation world?

        Good needing evil and vice versa: Not only in this case does good need evil, evil also needs good. In fact, Neo coming back from "death" and "killing" Agent Smith in the first movie is what showed Smith that the "purpose of life... is
    • They don't challenge you to try and figure out what the ring really represents

      You're right. That's your future ex-wife's job. :)
  • by revividus ( 643168 ) <phil.crissman@NOsPAm.gmail.com> on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:43AM (#7416212) Homepage
    ...the "based on the book by J.R.R.Tolkien" edition?

    They are still fantastic movies, of course. But when I watched the Two Towers again, recently, with my wife, every time she asked me, "Was that in the book?" I found that I had to say, "Well, no, not really."

  • Marathon showings. (Score:4, Informative)

    by -kertrats- ( 718219 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:45AM (#7416229) Journal
    A complete listing of showings for the marathon can be seen here [lordoftherings.net]
  • wheres the spider? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:53AM (#7416283)
    In Toklein's TTT, the cliff-hanger ending is Shelob the spider almost ends the quest. I guess Jackson moved this to the part III for some reason or the other.
    • by Martin Doudoroff ( 116376 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:10AM (#7416404) Homepage
      Answer: running time. The movies have shifted end points because the books are of different length, RotK being the shortest. Any time you make a film for theatrical distribution, running time is a huge problem, because long run times cut down on the number of screenings per day, which cuts into ticket sales revenue potential.

      It is to Jackson's credit that he is taking full advantage of the DVD to release a version of each film that does not take theatrical scheduling into account.

      You'll get the spider in December.
  • I haven't seen the extended FOTR being reissued for a theatre? Does it even exist as a real print, as opposed to the digitally assembled master for the DVDs? I haven't heard of it being available other than as DVD.

    However the thought of three Uber-editions running sequentially in a theatre (think a total of a tad over 11 hours running time) would bring a whole new meaning to the Ring Cycle and endurance. Even Germans, raised on Wagnerian opera may have problems there (usually the other Ring is shown on co

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:00AM (#7416314)
    I presume all three movies plus outtakes can be molded into a 12-15 hour special edition. I'd guess there is certain "background material" out there like the description of Hobbittown, the doom of the elves, the earlier wars, etc. that has been filmed, and can be more creatively presented in an expanded edition.
  • by LittleGuy ( 267282 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:00AM (#7416322)
    I've seen only a portion of the trilogy (saw part of "The Two Towers" while snowbound at a con in Baltimore), but my feeling has been to wait until "Return of the King" comes out on DVD, and then collect the set in a Super Extended mode.

    My wife brought up a good point: if the DVD(s) is will be stoked with so many "extra features", how much of an effect will that have on getting people to see the movie? Why bother going at all?
  • by ader ( 1402 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:23AM (#7416517) Homepage
    Pah, this shallow review tells us almost nothing about the DVD! What about:
    • The thickness of card used for the outer packaging;
    • The exact reflective index of the disc surfaces (individually for 1-4);
    • The exact wavelength of the red light used in the Moria sequences;
    • The precise modulation of Elijah Wood's voice in the commentary when he says, "Yeah, working with Andy was rilly cool";
    • How much smaller my life will be after digesting every second of the documentaries, and whether my remaining friend will also desert me when I tell them all about it like I did the others after watching FotR extended.

  • Special editions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rupert ( 28001 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:43AM (#7416674) Homepage Journal
    Which edition of the DVD do I need to buy to see the scene where Faramir passes the test and lets Frodo and Sam go without taking them to Osgiliath?
    • by dvicci ( 22294 )
      Absolutely agreed.

      Given that Sauron has a sizeable army at Minas Morgul.
      Given that Minas Morgul is within marching distance to Osgiliath.
      Given that Sauron now knows the location of the ring in Osgiliath, on his very borders through the Nazgul that Frodo encountered there.
      Given that Sauron wants the ring back.

      Seems to me that Sauron would do two things at this point.
      1. Send more forces to Osgiliath to secure the ring where it is.
      2. Keep forces at Minas Morgul to guard the pass instead of sending them into
  • by codesmith.ca ( 251628 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:47PM (#7417234)

    From digitalbits.com:

    Discs 1 and 2

    [tech stuff snipped]

    "It is an army bred for a single purpose... to destroy the world of men."

    And so we come to the crossroads. The Two Towers is the second installment in Peter Jackson's epic film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings - the installment poised to make or break the trilogy. Could Jackson and company follow up on the blockbuster success of 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring? Would the film continue with the same level of quality? Would the momentum of the story build upon the climax of the first film, and prepare audiences for the ultimate confrontation between good and evil in the soon to be released final chapter, The Return of the King? The answer to all of these questions, of course, is a resounding yes.

    As the film opens, we find ourselves plunged into the dark mines of Moria, to relive a few moments of Gandalf's confrontation with the fiery Balrog. But instead of playing out as we remember it in Fellowship of the Ring, this time, when Gandalf falls into the abyss, we fall with him to watch as his fight continues. The consequences of these moments will resound throughout much of the remainder of the story, as Frodo and Sam continue their quest to carry the One Ring into Mordor, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to save Merry and Pippin from the orcs. Along the way, two important new story elements come into play. The first is the character of Gollum, who is bound to the Ring in such a way that he simply must follow it to Mordor. As we watch, Gollum's dual personalities fight for dominance, one wishing to help Frodo and Sam in their quest, and the other seeking to kill them and take back the Ring that was stolen from him (as told in The Hobbit). Meanwhile, Aragorn and company have made their way into the horse realm of Rohan, whose king has fallen under Saruman's dark spell. The people of Rohan are made to suffer too, for Saruman has built a army of murderous orcs numbering ten thousand strong. Together, the white wizard and the dark lord, Sauron, mean to rule Middle-earth, and their first step in this conquest is to wipe out the kingdom of Rohan, and all of Mankind, once and for all. What follows is nothing less than a truly epic battle, in which the fate of both Middle-earth and the Quest of the Ring literally hang in the balance. Trust me when I say, it's like nothing you've ever seen before on film.

    What I appreciate most about The Two Towers is that Jackson has made no compromises for the audience. Middle-earth is a world where violence is commonplace, much blood is shed and evil stands a very real chance of winning and must be confronted head-on. There is no sugar coating on these bitter pills to make them easier to digest. As a result, the journey one takes in this film is just that much more satisfying. An additional compromise that Jackson manages to avoid is obvious right from the opening frames of The Two Towers. You simply MUST have seen the previous film in order to understand what's going on, because there is no recap of the action. Other than the very brief opening flashback, this film launches you immediately into the story, picking up right where Fellowship left you hanging. And the pace throughout much of the film is relentless, pausing only occasionally to let you catch your breath.

    In addition to Jackson's deft direction, the savvy adaptation and great performances by cast members new and old, there is much technically to be impressed with here as well. The character of Gollum, entirely created by computer graphics, is astonishing. At last, we have a CG character that gives a real dramatic performance on screen. This is thanks to the work of WETA Digital, as well as the strong acting of Andy Serkis. Serkis not only provides Gollum his voice, but his movent as well thanks to the process of motion capture. Serkis also performed the character on set with the actors, lending the final digital creation a particular presence and immediacy it would otherwise have lacke

  • by crashnbur ( 127738 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @01:22PM (#7417571)
    Because it is not mentioned in the story or any of the highly modded comments yet, I thought I'd remind the masses once again that the extended version of The Two Towers will be released to the masses on November 18. I will be among the first in line!

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