The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
"The battle of Helm's Deep is over; the battle for Middle Earth is about to begin." - Gandalf
release year: 2002
viewing setting: home Bluray 5/13/18 and 4/25/15 and 12/19/13 and home DVD, 11/27/09 and theater, 12/21/02
synopsis: The battle for the Ring heats up, as three sub-groups of the broken Fellowship each go their own way.
impressions: This one was as good as the first - the moviemakers have worked magic. The outdoor shots, the castles, the armies, the creatures...everything was just amazing. Both big battles (Helm's Deep, Isengard) were very well-done, though I have to say that it hurt the movie to break away from that action so frequently. The smallest characters seem to have major roles in the fate of the world (Frodo has the burden of carrying the ring, Sam has the burden of helping him, and Merry/Pippin end up convincing the Ents to fight Saruman.)
things to watch for: The big battles...Helm's Deep and Isengard. Yes! The filmmakers have done an outstanding job of giving us huge, serious, realistic battles with thousands of combatants and plenty of fighting, gore, and humor.
overheard: (humorous comments from the 2009 viewing, courtesy of my former wife, who had never watched these and took a more practical point of view)
"They wasted their only boat on the dead guy."
"They still don't have shoes. Look at all those mountains. And they're gonna be hungry...it doesn't look like there's any berries or anything for them to eat."
"Now if they're on this mountain with no shoes...it's going to take them a long time. And they'll get frostbite."
"Don't you think they'd get to Mordor faster with shoes? You'd think by now they'd have gotten shoes. I have an idea: when that white witch elf lady was giving out presents, she could have given them some shoes."
"See? They're climbing down a mountain without shoes. They're never going to make it to Mordor like this...not before the headless guys and those ugly orcs catch them."
"Oh look! It's raining and they're all wet...with no shoes. Uh-oh, there's that Gollum guy...and I bet he doesn't have any shoes either."
"Why didn't they kill him? They know he wants the ring. Why are they bringing him along? It's gonna take them twice as long to get to Mordor dragging his stupid ass. And he doesn't have any shoes either. And he's bitching about the rope burning his neck."
"Frodo and Sam never should have gone to Mordor alone, because they're too stupid to make it."
"Look! The orcs have shoes! They're RUNNING...because they don't have a rock in-between their toes."
"Who's chasing who?
"I don't know, but they could sure use some horses. You can't just run across the land. Look, that little guy's way behind."
"Is that Dumbledore? I think it is."
"Where are they going? And where are THEY going? Are they chasing them? This shit doesn't make sense. The only one who knows where he's going is Frodo."
"See? Horses. Faster!"
"Fangorn Forest? Where do they come up with the names of these places?"
"Oh look, it's that old orc again. He must be really hungry."
"I hope that tree's not hungry."
"Gollum sounds like Jar Jar Binks."
"Is that the ringwraith?"
"I don't know, but now he's got a dinosaur. And it flies. What's the one that flew? Triceratops?"
acting: Same as in the first movie, good jobs throughout. It's an ensemble cast and I can't spend three paragraphs mentioning them all. There were a few new characters here: the toadie Wormtongue and the warrior-woman Eowyn.
final word: Must-see fantasy entertainment.
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