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A massive improvement on the original

Posted : 5 months ago on 1 March 2014 06:42

My expectations of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' were average because I didn't really care for the first one, to my surprise, I liked it much more

A massive improvement on the original, 'The Two Towers' is scarier, darker and more interesting than 'The Fellowship of the Ring', I just thought it was really clever how here there were different stories including Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) being joined by Gollum (Andy Serkis) while they're on their journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring

Gandalf (Ian McKellen)'s lack of screen time didn't bother me a lot and the battle scenes completely blew me away and while only the first hour of the first movie was great, here, I was completely impressed by all three hours which says a lot

My expectations for 'The Return of the King' are really high and I hope I will enjoy it (at least) as much as I enjoyed this one

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 6 months, 2 weeks ago on 18 January 2014 08:40

Amazing battle sequences with new characters developed to tell the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings.

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Fantasy Movie Fan (Pt. 2)

Posted : 7 months, 1 week ago on 27 December 2013 02:39

I think this second movie in the trilogy was just as good as the first one, maybe a little better because of the added suspense and the anticipation of seeing the final chapter. I really like the elves in these movies. I also find myself rooting for the Hobbits.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 10 months, 2 weeks ago on 15 September 2013 03:59

*Slight spoilers to Fellowship of the Ring ahead*

In trilogies like these, it is often the middle film (or middle book, for that matter) that drags. Second films often feel like they exist only as a form of build-up, that they have little worth getting excited about on their own. I feared, that, after a very strong first movie, The Lord of the Rings would fall to second-story-of-trilogy-itis. I'll put it simply: it doesn't...kind of.

Yes, The Two Towers has many, many flaws, but, at the end of the day, I was more than won over by the once-again stunning visuals, characters you really hope stay safe, and incredible final battle.

The Two Towers has three stories:
Story number one follows Gimli, Legolas and Eragorn. In their quest to find Merry and Pippin, they get caught up in the whole battle and escalating tension of Middle Earth. They try to make people safe, and fight in a couple of fun battles.

The second story follows Frodo and Sam, as they try to get into Mordor. Helping them find the way is Gollum/Sméagol, the owner of the ring before Bilbo Baggins, Frodo's uncle. Frodo trusts Gollum to lead them to Mordor but Sam is scared of him, and doesn't trust him in the least. This leads to some conflict and awesome scenes of Gollum talking.

The third story, and the one that is rightfully given the least screen time, is the story of Pippin and Merry, as they are kidnapped by talking trees. This part, oddly enough, is mostly just listening to a tree talk. Had the tree had the voice of, say, Gollum, maybe I would have had fun. But he doesn't...so I didn't.

As a whole, there's no one of these three segments that sticks out as being by far the superior. The Pippin, Merry and Tree segment is by far the worst and is pretty boring, but, of the other two, no one sticks out. The first story with Gollum starts out really, really strong as we get to see into Gollum's psyche and get a little more taste of Middle-Earth and its landscape, but, then it fades into OK-ness. However, at the time that it becomes less interesting, story number two about Gimli, Legolas and Eragorn keeps the film from becomes boring, as the story's focus turns to man and the Battle of Helm's Deep, which proves to be madly entertaining.

This battle really is something to behold. The steadiness of the camera has gotten much better since the last film, but you'll hardly notice, because the actual battle is pretty darn fun. Peter Jackson manages to mix perfectly "Oh, gee, we're not going to make it" with "Yeah!! Give it to those Uruk-Hai's! We're awesome!", making it so much fun. Although the tree segment does intersplice the battle, which disrupts the pacing a bit, the battle remains an extremely fun climax that will leave you with a very positive impression of the film after it ends.

Still, it doesn't feel like you have sit through five hours, bored, waiting for the film to come to the climax. It still provides a reasonably good amount of entertainment beforehand. Granted, most of this comes from Gollum, but, hey, it's still entertaining. Gollum is a pretty great character. He's got two personalities, one of which, named Sméagol, trusts Frodo and Sam and is trying to get them to Mordor, but the other one, named Gollum wants the Ring at all costs, and will do anything to our hero Hobbitses to get it. This leads to him always talking in first person plural, which is a really clever touch. Instead of saying "I want it, I need it", he says "we wants it, we needs it", which is really inventive writing. His talking to himself gives us some really well-done scenes, and you can tell that Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis are having fun with him. And, as a result, so does the audience.

The other characters are still interesting and endearing, but none of them reach the heights of Gollum. It's a bit sad to see Gimli reduced to a obnoxious comic relief at the beginning, but, I didn't mind him as much as the film gets closer to the end. Legolas's lack of personality is a little more obvious in this film, but that's all made up for when he rides a shield down a staircase, shooting bows into a whole group of Uruk-Hai. Frodo and Sam are a little less entertaining this time round, but they're still good characters.

The acting is also pretty good, but, again, nobody reaches the heights that Andy Serkis reaches with Gollum. Elijah Wood is very good again, but not quite as subtle as he was in the last film. Orlando Bloom isn't very good as Legolas, but there probably wasn't much potential in the character to be that great, so I forgive him. And John Rhys-Davies also isn't given much to work with, but he's still decent. Still, the star is Andy Serkis. He's terrific as Gollum! He captures the dual-personality of the character really well, and his facial expressions are really convincing.

However, there are two main reasons that The Two Towers falls short of great. One of these is that the stories overshadow each other. When Gollum has a big focus in Frodo and Sam's story, you're not happy when it goes to Aragorn and his group. When the battle is happening, you're not happy when it turns to Frodo and Sam. And when the trees are on screen, you're always unhappy.

The main flaw, however, is that the film doesn't feel very cohesive. The second-story-in-trilogy-itis that I mentioned earlier doesn't entirely kill the movie, it's still very entertaining, but you can nevertheless tell that the film is a middle movie. It's just not cohesive; it features three stories that are entirely different from one another, and you know that's it building up to something big, but you just can't shake the feeling that this is three movies edited into one. An abrupt ending, and some strange cuts really gives you this feel. The film falls sick of our disease, but, thankfully, it doesn't quite fall from it.

Though it's very flawed, The Two Towers still has a lot going for it. It's got Gollum, jaw-dropping special effects, and a terrifically entertaining climax. In spite of all the little problems, I can't wait to see Return of the King.


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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 1 year, 4 months ago on 29 March 2013 02:07

This movie came out when I was still in High School, they would play lord of the rings music the whole week before the movie came out. It was well worth the time waiting to see the movie, a good movie with a good set of people in it and fitting with the first and the last of the lord of the rings movies. I highly recomend this moves five out of five for me.

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The Sword & Its Sharpness

Posted : 1 year, 10 months ago on 9 September 2012 10:46

{Another Peter Jackson movie, with that same Peter Jackson mediocrity that I've learned to recognize.... And this one is, in a way, especially *disappointing*, because I was always especially impressed with the Riders of Rohan.... Primordial.... Because there is something about it, when Mercury comes to call at Wednesbury, bearing roses from the South.... But there's also something about it, when the old god wanders in the forest, or treks across the plain in his travelling cloak.... I don't know-- Rohan is very different from the Shire.... And sometimes you have to leave, so that you can return.... *sighs* Though there's melancholy in it....}

*Adagio*, ragazzo. Adagio. (Or, as somebody actually said to me once, "Tranquilo, (dot dot dot), tranquilo.")

Like the 1st movement of the "New World Symphony"-- adagio.

Faramir said, "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."

Although the problem with Faramir Jackson is that he's played by.... Liam Neeson, I think.

But I think that Ben Stiller might have made a better Faramir.

Although, then again, the last frame of the movie is really really cool-- so that's worth something.

(7/10)

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Review of The Two Towers

Posted : 1 year, 11 months ago on 21 August 2012 09:04

After a strong, if somewhat wobbly first film, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy goes significantly downhill with it's inferior sequel. The Two Towers has all the strengths and flaws of the first, though the strengths have diminished slightly, and the flaws have an even bigger presence.

The Two Towers is a continuation of the original film, in which a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins, as well as some friends, attempt to destroy a mystical ring, though dark forces oppose them.

At the end of the first film, the main characters are split up, which unfortunately, makes the film extremely complicated. Various plot lines are juggled and if the audience doesn't keep track of them all, things can get extremely confusing.

One plot line, involving Frodo and Sam attempting to destroy the ring on their own meet the Gollum. The Gollum is truly the most interesting character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His conflicted nature splits him into two personalities, one who wants the ring, and will kill to get it, the other that truly cares about Frodo and Sam.

The most uninteresting plot line involves Pippin and Merry being taken by walking trees and forced to do....nothing. We scarcely ever see the duo, and when we do, it's often dull. The primary source of comic relief in the first film is gone, making The Two Towers especially hard to watch.

There's less action and more talking. The length has actually been increased by a quarter hour, which makes the film even more tedious than the original. Even the dramatic battle at the end of epic scale is little compensation, as it doesn't feel very exciting.

At times, it feels like The Two Towers is repeating itself over and over again. You can count on the fact that every hour or so, someone almost dies, only to be saved an arrow to the offender's head. It's the primary source of escape in this film.

The acting, at the minimum, has not been hurt. Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and the rest of the cast are as strong as ever. Christopher Lee's role, however, is significantly smaller, which is unfortunate.

Special effects also have not been affected in a negative way, and they are just as grand and marvelous as ever.

The score, by Howard Shore, feels a bit weaker than that of the original. The main theme is used less frequently, and the usage of lighter pieces are almost completely gone, due to the film's darker nature. It's still a good score, but it's weaker than it's predecessor's.

Dull to the point of hair pulling, The Two Towers fails to entertain. Even with the addition of Gollum, The Two Towers is boring beyond belief, and the action scenes are minimal. With little to excite viewers, it's a marvel that this tedious sequel actually has a positive reputation.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 21 March 2012 08:22

The director Peter Jackson's scrupulous devotion to the spirit of J. R. R. Tolkien's ''Lord of the Rings'' trilogy manifests itself in a gripping, intense fashion for the second of the film adaptations, ''The Two Towers.'' It may be the first sequel that does not bother to reprise the major plot elements of its predecessor immediately; the plan is to simply drop us right into the action.

Even for those deeply immersed in the material, this stratagem creates a few moments of apprehension -- the same disconcerted quality that the hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are experiencing on their journey; this mission began in ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' when Frodo was entrusted with the ring that gives its bearer enormous powers and, incidentally, begins the end of life in Middle Earth, as was indicated in the first ''Ring'' movie, ''The Fellowship of the Ring.''

Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material. Mr. Jackson's ploy in this beautifully considered epic is to give viewers the same feeling of confusion that his characters are experiencing. By doing this he simultaneously answers those who complained that too much of the previous ''Rings'' was about setup.
A brief recap of a climactic battle between the friendly wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a fire demon -- one of many climactic battles from ''Fellowship'' -- is shown near the start. But this scene is used to set ''The Two Towers'' in motion. It is a daring gambit to have viewers enter a movie bearing such complex preceding action with so little information. Even though the first film took in enough cash to jump-start the flagging United States economy single-handedly, Mr. Jackson does not seem to understand that there are people who haven't absorbed the ''Rings'' chronology into the entirety of their beings. And there may even be folks out there who haven't seen ''Fellowship,'' but will be lured into theaters for ''Towers'' by all the attention that ''Fellowship'' attracted. Such moviegoers may feel left out, puzzled and unable to keep up.
With the narrative of ''Rings,'' Tolkien was investigating determination, loyalty and, finally, faith, finding innumerable ways to offer up the concept of purity of heart, as found in Matthew 5:8 and in Kierkegaard, whose contention was that purity of heart was the ability to will one thing into being. The pursuit of purity is at the center of ''Towers.''

For our hero, Frodo, whose quest is to purge the forces of menacing evil from Middle Earth, purity is demonstrated by combating the temptation to wear the ring and be consumed by its corrupting power. He gets a taste of what the future might be like when he and Sam meet Gollum, a hobbit who was once seduced by the ring. He is now an emotional and physical shambles; emaciated and slunk into a perpetual crouch, Gollum's translucent, waxy skin is a membrane that just barely contains his insides.

Gollum is divided within himself; he is an infantilized wreck who wants to please and befriend the hobbits. But he is also a hissing, bitter child-man whose paranoia keeps him breathing, and plotting. Gollum is a computer-generated creation and as fully realized a character as can be found in ''Towers'' -- perhaps the most fully realized. (He has been dropped into the movie more effectively than George Lucas crammed Jar Jar Binks into his recent ''Star Wars'' addenda.) With the voice of Andy Serkis, whose movements were also copied by the animators, Gollum is torn by his nature, and Mr. Jackson allows him to be conflicted in a way none of the other characters in the film are.
This is partially because ''Towers'' is more or less a bridge to the finale of the ''Rings'' trilogy due a year from now, though this picture is one of the most accomplished holding actions ever.

So, much of the flow of ''Towers'' is dictated by the amount of information that has to be saved for the next installment. Mr. Jackson compensates for that by inflating the warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) into an even more assured, reflexive action hero. He helps a bewitched king (Bernard Hill) defend his castle against the endless, possessed armies of the villainous magician Saruman (Christopher Lee), the foe responsible for the fate of Gandalf. In his flowing white gowns and beard, Mr. Lee's warlock is a force to be reckoned with because he alone has a voice as commanding as Mr. McKellen's.
In sheer action mechanics, Mr. Jackson's achievements in ''Towers'' are even more compelling than what he managed the first time around; he has given the martial scenes of this sequel a completely different thrust. His engrossing action style is exciting and dramatic; when the swells of Saruman's army crash into the walls of the king's castle, we could be watching Orson Welles's ''Chimes at Midnight'' as directed by George A. Romero -- Shakespearean-scale bloodshed and loss as an exploitation movie. The exultant creepiness of horror films is Mr. Jackson's instinctive filmmaking style. He exaggerates it here in epic terms, and the grandeur is astonishing -- one scene of Saruman's creatures flinging themselves at the castle is framed as an overhead shot, with their shields moving like the wings of a peculiarly lyric and fatal insect.

Mr. Jackson's mastery of craft in some areas is so powerful that the flaws are more noticeable than in the first film. The little-boy allure of the storytelling in ''Towers'' is sure to evoke the same reaction that it did in ''Fellowship.'' ''Towers'' is like a family-oriented E-rated video game, with no emotional complications other than saving the day. Women have so little to do here that they serve almost as plot-device flight attendants, offering a trough of Diet Coke to refresh the geek-magnet story. (It is a lapse in Tolkien's work that Mr. Jackson has not figured out a way to correct, even with the token reappearances of Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett from the first film.)
Mr. McKellen is a marginal presence this time around, which is unfortunate because he is needed for ballast; ''Rings'' is such a kids' fantasy that a daddy figure is required. He is the father who soothes his charges under the spell of Tolkien's bad-dream threats. But he does get one -- only one -- whooping chance to do so in ''Towers.''

The most incredible accomplishment of ''Towers'' is that at its heart it is a transition film that lasts nearly three hours and holds the viewer's attention. Because ''The Two Towers,'' which opens worldwide today, has to keep so much story in reserve for the last installment, the movie falls short on emotional involvement. Still, Mr. Jackson rises so completely to the challenges here that I can't wait to see his next movie -- by that, I mean the one after the ''Ring'' cycle ends.


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A perfect sequel to a perfect franchise!

Posted : 3 years, 5 months ago on 3 March 2011 02:47

After the giant success that was Fellowship Of The Ring and the ending of it that built up to the sequel, expectations were probably the highest I have ever felt about a film. I can remember watching all three films in the cinema and they all did blow me away but The Two Towers is perhaps the most different of the trilogy because we go on a journey where the One Ring isn't the main key focus of the story so we go to the other side of Middle-Earth although we do see the One Ring and Frodo and Sam on their quest a lot now seeing as the Fellowship has fallen apart and the stories have separated. The end of The Two Towers that lead to the build-up to Return Of The King was even more of a tease than the ending of Fellowship Of The Ring was.


Over the years there have been many sequels that have been disappointing failures especially when their predecessors have been great successful and I am glad to say that The Two Towers managed not to do that. Despite that it is a different story to what we saw in the first film, it felt so real like I was literally there with all of the characters and was epic all the way through and that is simply what I love the most about the entire trilogy. I loved every single action scene in this; especially the Helm's Deep battle and the fight in the field with the Isengard wolves.


The Fellowship has been broken, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee have gone to Mordor to destroy the One Ring, Merry and Pippin have been captured by the Uruk-Hai and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli have made friends of the Rohan, a race of Men who are upon war, led by their aging king Théoden. The two towers between Mordor and Isengard, Barad-Dúr and Orthanc, have united in their lust for destruction. The corrupt wizard Saruman and his slimy assistant Gríma Wormtongue, under the power of the Dark Lord Sauron, have created a grand Uruk-Hai army bent on the destruction of Men and Middle-Earth. The rebellion against Sauron is building up and will be led by Gandalf the White, who was thought to be dead after he fell down that dark abyss in Moria thanks to the Balrog. One of the Ring's original bearers, Gollum, has tracked Frodo and Sam down in search of his 'precious', but we see a nicer side to Gollum when he becomes Sméagol (his old original self before he became Gollum) and is used as a guide to Frodo and Sam by getting to Mount Doom to free the people of Middle-Earth from Sauron once and for all.


I thought the ensemble cast in Fellowship Of The Ring was just fantastic and in The Two Towers we see even more actors who have joined in to make their careers even more worthwhile in this landmark trilogy such as Andy Serkis (who was voicing Gollum for one or two scenes but there was hardly any body motion capture like there was in the sequels and will be in The Hobbit films), Bernard Hill, Karl Urban, David Wenham and amongst others. As for the actors who were in the predecessor, pretty much all of them deliver fantastic performances although there was one or two that weren't all that great and could have been better in my opinion. For example, I wasn’t entirely impressed with Liv Tyler as Arwen or Miranda Otto as Éowyn so basically just the women in the films. Everybody else gave a great or at least satisfying performance. Elijah Wood was good as Frodo once again but not one of the best. I’ll tell you what his performance is like in comparison to another's, and that is it is rather similar performance to Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars original trilogy. Ian McKellen wasn't involved in The Two Towers as much as Fellowship Of The Ring or Return Of The King but that doesn't mean he gave a weaker performance! He is just perfect for the Gandalf character and he proves that in the sequel. Viggo Mortensen was pretty good too as Aragorn and so was Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee (in my opinion, the most underrated performer in the trilogy). Orlando Bloom doesn't annoy me in Lord Of The Rings like he did in Pirates Of The Caribbean so that’s good and I really liked the funny chemistry between him and Dwarf Gimli. Andy Serkis was amazing as Gollum! He and McKellen are the best performers in the trilogy! Fact.



Peter Jackson, a director who most people had no knowledge of until Fellowship Of The Ring was released and he blew us all away with a film that really felt real. However, did he do it again with The Two Towers? Ohh… hell yeah! Unfortunately, Jackson didn't receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director but he damn sure deserved to win the bloody award, let alone be nominated! Peter really is the only guy who could have made Lord Of The Rings as successful as it is now and he really is the only guy who can pull off The Hobbit too seeing as they came before Lord Of The Rings in the books but the films are prequels to the trilogy. Anyway, the way he handled making this film was literally flawless and it was spine chilling throughout every second of it. You might find this weird and be gob smacked at this but even the extended versions of the trilogy aren't even long enough despite that they are all at least 3 ½ to 4 hours long so yeah, that goes to show how much I love Lord Of The Rings and will love The Hobbit which are most likely to be at least 3 hours long (both films).


Overall, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers is another fantastic film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and when it ended, it became the biggest build-up and most exciting film experience ever when it led to Return Of The King which is my favourite film of all time. No, this wasn’t completely about the Ring but it is still a masterpiece and a very serious, dark, gripping adventure where we visit another region of Middle-Earth. It also has its rightful place as one of the greatest sequels of all time.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 3 years, 7 months ago on 19 December 2010 10:15

It seems ridiculous to want to add my own comments to a slew of others that are already in IMDB's records, but I feel like I cannot sleep nor cease the throbbing in my chest until I release some of what I have so recently seen.

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is one of the bravest projects ever attempted by a filmmaker. Mr Jackson deserves every ovation he will receive, every award, every bit of the praise and adoration that will be spoken and written.

This second installment of the story is a masterpiece in every sense, forget your prejudices about the books, they are another way of looking at this beautiful story (I know this is slightly against the rules, but a I cannot resist saying that a previous writers comment - a comment that compared the Lord of the Rings Films and Books to the difference between Romeo and Juliet in screenplay and ballet formats - was entirely accurate).

Gollum was an excellent amalgam, so easily could he have been an annoying Jar-Jar-Binks-Alike. Instead the way that Jackson and Serkis (and doubtless many many others) chose to portray the CGI incarnation of "Smeagol" was incredibly emotive and powerful. Gollum is profoundly disturbing, amusing, almost lovable... Not even John Ronald Reuel himself could induce that range of emotions for Smeagol in me...

A truly skin-crawling performance by a superb Brad Douris as the evil Grima Wormtongue was just beyond words. Douris _Became_ Wormtongue in a skillful fulfillment of what was already inspired casting.

Probably the most definitive casting of this film though was Manchester born Bernard Hill as Theoden, King of Rohan. The casting for "The Two Towers" makes one shake ones head and wonder, in retrospect, whether anyone else could have filled these roles. Mr Hill's performance was truly first rate, a performance which contributed greatly to "The Battle of Helms Deep", scenes which were a spinning tornado of emotions for the viewer.

Viggo Mortensen goes from strength to strength. His performance is visceral and yet sensitive. The overriding emotion that Tolkiens vision of Aragorn induced (at least for me) was awe at his heroics. Mortensen's portrayal in Jackson's frame brings new aspects to the Aragorn character. Mortensen's Aragorn is emotionally dextrous to go with his physical dexterity, he is sensitive, seemingly empathic, warmer and more fundamentally human, and yet super-human in presence and charisma. "Definitive" is not strong enough of a word.

If you still view Jackson's epic with scepticism I implore you to put down your preconceptions and your prejudices, but most of all put down the books... This is beautiful way to see middle earth, don't pass it up - The books are the ultimate fantasy epic - the pictures you draw in your head are better than anything you can imagine, but The Lord of the Rings "The Two Towers" is one wonderful interpretation of that epic story.

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