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Torben, The Sinful Dwarf Provides The First Real TWO TOWERS Review

Hey folks, Harry here... The first at large screening took place tonight in Los Angeles as an Academy Screening. That let out a couple of hours ago, and this is the first review to come in regarding THE TWO TOWERS. It is extremely positive with a couple of nitpicks that ultimately did not ruin the film for him. So the reward for first review goes to a spy I'm calling Torben, The Sinful Dwarf!

TWO TOWERS:

I'm writing less of a review than a compendium to the gushing reviews you should be receiving about now. Key question, is it better than FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS. Nope. But it is its equal and for me, that is a profound compliment.

For I cannot think of a single film trilogy where I have been fully satisfied with every installment. Even with the STAR WARS or the GODFATHER, the series would be irregular with their quality. I felt these were a series of films, not one complete epic film (except GODFATHER I & II are a complete movie). Pieces may be great, but it feels like an assortment of different flavors. With TWO TOWERS, it feels like a puzzle piece that clicks completely together with FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS. For once, I believe that we could have a popular genre movie series that feels like one complete story.

What has impresses me specifically with the film is that it increases the scope, but never loses the human element of the story. Like the first film, TOWERS ends on a character note as opposed to a cliffhanger moment. I think that Jackson has improved the story of the books and has given Middle Earth a tangible place. Not just in technical details like the siege ladders that attach themselves to the walls of Helm's Deep to the ghostly faces lurking in the waters of the Dead Marches. Or in the fact that he actual bothers to actively show events that are told in flashback in the books. Or the great Weta Effects work (The Ents in action will thrill many many a fan out there). But it lies in the characters.

I went in thinking that Gollum was going to be a photo-realistic character. And set up with the proper expectations, he isn't completely 'realistic.' The technology isn't quite there yet. But me and my associate at the movie agreed he is without a doubt the most believable CGI character seen in a live action movie. He's a true person and not a gimmick. No distracting flourishes or irritating "look at me's." And it makes a difference with the effects. There plenty of subtle moments in the movie that will take you breathe away. Gollum's internal conflict over his love for his precious is beautifully externalized in a scene that kicks the ass of a similar one in SPIDER-MAN.

The movie is not perfect and I want to specifically note the parts that are not to set proper expectations. Several scenes with Elrond and Arwen are fairly redundant and seem to be in there only to remind the audience that they're there. Not that they shouldnít be in the movie, but good scripting could have combined their bits into one great scene. And thereís some sloppy plotting with the Ent subplot and the …owyn/Aragorn romance is unnecessary. Not that Miranda Otto is bad, but when you have the fate of Middle Earth on your shoulders, you've got no time for an additional love triangle.

But for these few little things I have pointed out, there are many more that will awe you with wonder. This is the real deal folks. Get excited, because warts and all, TWO TOWERS is another piece of a classic.

Torben, The Sinful Dwarf

FOR SPOILERS SCAN DOWN (taken from Torben's Talkbacks Below)




















There is nothing dubious about my review or that the first shot of the movie is the snow covered mountains hearing Gandalf's voice deep in Moria. Or that the shot of Liv tyler running up the stairs is not in the movie. Or that there is something Legalos does with a horse that will make you shit yourself. Or that the Helm's Deep is intercut with other scenes, which is why people keep saying it is 45 minutes long. Or that the last shot of the movie ends on Mordor, only much much closer to it. I just don't like to cram my comments with spoilers, especially when there is a lot to be surprised by with the movie. I want you to get the impression of the film, not spoil the WHOLE thing. I guess you wanted more, I tried to get it in quickly so you'd have something...

okay HELMS DEEP is a solid, great sequence. I like the Cave Troll attack better, but this is a different kind of battle. What's great about it is the sense of hopelessness of it. That the odds are so great against them. That they are fighting with old men and boys (like meantioned in the book). There's a great moment in the moment where " the first stone is cast" so to say. Like the first film, Jackson has a way to make action seem kinetic and exciting without being confusing. There's a great fight sequence that you've only seen a shot or two from the trailers (Legolas on a rock watching rides approach and the shot of the dogbeast attacking). In fact there's more action in this movie than in the book which made a friend that was with me much happier with this film than FOTR (he didn't like it much). And for the record, I LOVE FOTR.

I don't want people to think I didn't like Gollum, I thought Gollum is one of the greatest CGI characters EVER MADE. That is not a mild compliment. He's wonderful and you are going to be thrilled with him (in fact the climax of the movie is about him, but not as BIG of a moment as you think. It is a small character moment, hinted at in the book that here, Makes him a truly interesting character. In fact, I've always felt the books were thin on characterization and the films have just fleshed these people out. Like how the first film had Boromir, Pippin and Merry more interesting, Gollum equally has be brought to real life. He was easily the most liked character at the screening from audience reactions.

Second was Gimli, who has most of the comic relief in this film. The supporting characters aren't as well flesh out, due to the fact that they are competing with screen time with our already abundant cast, but even at their worst, they service the story well. Wormtongue was Brad Dourif, or was it the other way around, but he stands out the most, though Bernard Hill is great before and after his Rejuvenation.

Maybe people will be impressed with the love triangle, but I was unmoved (and I like what they did in the last film with it a lot).

The Ents, like Gollum, don't look photo real, but they are wonderful fluid. When I say not completely real, I mean real reality. And they fit in perfectly with the consistent fantasy reality that the series has established.

And there are some great new vistas: The completely built Mordor tower looks fantastic, the caves beneath Helm's Deep get a tantalizingly brief glimpse. In particular, the depths of Kazadum in particular took my breath away. Forgive me if my LOTR spellings aren’t correct, I’m not spending time cross-referencing them. Also, ask me questions. One.) the voice scene is not in, we don’t get that far in the story. Remember what Jackson said about the film's structure? Two.) Stickman, Yes. Three.) A New Line plant? don’t even start that, because I’m even listening. I want to give a fair level headed reaction to the piece before the over-praising and backlashing comes in. oh, "and don't tell the Elf." The movie doesn't get to the post-Helm's Deep stuff. It doesn't avoid them, it simply doesn't get to them. There's plenty going on to end the movie (and there's a whole subplot that is different from the book that I refuse to take about). But it is emotionally satisfying to end that way.

Aragorn come across similar to the first film, a leader of men both a bad ass and a real human with real emotions. He really doesn't change as a character and if you liked him in the first film, you'll like more him here (because he gets more to do).

Eomer's performance is strong without overacting. He's not as important as Theoden, thus doesn't have as much scene time as him, but he makes a strong impression.

The effects on the Oliphaunts and the winged Fell Beasts are beautiful, again, what's great is that they are part of the scene and never take it over, which makes the effect even better. The Ringwraiths are very very scary on them. Forget the horses, these things are choice steed of ultimate evil.

Quick answers on our cast.

We do see the power struggle inbetween the breeds of Orcs, in fact it has been condensed beautifully and made organic to the story (fans will notice it non-fans won't - which is the way it should be).

Gandalf the White is different from Grey in that he is more sure of himself, sure of his power and ready to take on evil. Otherwise he still has the same sense of sly humor that makes him lovable. Remember, he does A LOT of running around in this one, so mostly he's serious.

Legolas and Gimli's "friendship" is non-verbally there and they do have their competition at Helm's Deep. As for Gimli being comic relief, what if your comic relief had a huge axe and fells dozens of Orcs? That's a pretty cool comic relief.

Again, I'm trying to be careful not to reveal big surprises, so I'm avoiding some questions. I simply trying to reassure you that what you want is there, because this is not as faithful as FOTR, but that makes it no less as good.

But I will make this clear so that this question cease, Do we see the Ents smackdown?YES YES YES!!! That is the one thing I will gush about besides Gollum. Helm's Deep is great, but greater for me was seeing the wrath of Treebeard and company against Isengard. It is amazing, it filled me with the fist-pumping "YES!" that you WILL enjoy (and Harry will use several paragraphs to describe in his review). I always felt the books suffered from the Syndrome I like to call, “Dude! You just missed the coolest thing! Now let me tell you all about what you missed!”

Well you finally see the coolest thing and it is the coolest thing in the movie (for me).

As for other's reaction, it's an industry screening and it is always hard to judge them. But from what I know it was a good reaction. But people were excited to be there and people laughed at jokes referring to the other films, but it is not the same as being with a real public audience. An audience that paid to see it, that will be making a lot more noise than these people.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:12 a.m. CST

    "Only" as good as FOTR, eh?

    by Boba_Fett

    Well I shan't see it, then! Not! Can't wait........only a couple weeks.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Can't Wait

    by MiyazakiEboshi

    I just can't wait. :)

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Now this seems like a real review

    by JackLint

    A review that is not flat out gushing has so much more validity.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Another Dubious Review

    by The Mistress

    Again a review whose details can easily be gleaned from existing media. Bah!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:20 a.m. CST

    sounds a fair review to me, devoid of hype.

    by mansep

    we'll probably all have our own nitpicks when we see it, but i'm glad you've brought our expectations back to earth about the cgi gollum.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Gollum

    by Statik

    Nice to hear a reasurring review of gollum. Can't wait to see him in action!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Well....hell!

    by DarthSamwise

    I'm counting down to this movie like i'm counting down to my 21 birthday this month, and I really don't know which one I'm look forward to more? And whats with putting out the soundtrack so late?? I got the Fellowship just in time for thanksgiving break and talk about the best drive home ever! Those 3 hours just flew right by! well, here is to a movie that fits in with the mold of the first. so this is why these movies where made at the same time...lets hope the same is said for those Matrix movies! and on a side-note. If I see another WHOS THE MAN? YODA-MAN commerical on TV i'm going to scream! CHEERS!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Those damn Harry animations!

    by DarthSamwise

    Nobody fucks with the Jesus!...classic!! hahaha..You'r like a small child that wonders in a converstaion!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Hotdog Review Part 2

    by SlayerVixen

    This review is just more or less the same as that other review...it could have been done by anyone who knew spoilers. He hasn't told us ANYTHING new and why hasn't he even discussed the most important part of the movie??Helm's Deep...pah i'm losing faith in the system here when are we going to get a genuine review cos these fakers are really starting to bug me.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:30 a.m. CST

    peter jackson is a GOD

    by FOBnation

    george lucas is a hack and needs to be replaced by a new king of fantasy, bring on that lovable pudgy kiwi treasure known as Jackson

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:33 a.m. CST

    huh?

    by DarthSamwise

    You know, if you look at it. If it was not for Lucas. Then maybe these films might not have been made. I'll be the first to say that I think that Lucas lost it. But what he has done for the film industry is worth more then the last two crap films we all watched over and over again!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Fuck you right in your sinful dwarf ass

    by 007-11

    The jealousy is overtaking me!!!!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:43 a.m. CST

    GODDAMN IT!!! I want to see this NOW!

    by nazismasher

    You can never tell these days but despite the lack of solid evidence (spoilerific details) this one seems real (no hyperbola but just honest assesment) and boy! is it looking gooooooood! Soon here, baby... soon here.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:43 a.m. CST

    There is nothing dubious about my review...

    by TorbenTSD

    or that the first shot of the movie is the snow covered mountains hearing Gandalf's voice deep in Moria. Or that the shot of Liv tyler running up the stairs is not in the movie. Or that there is something Legalos does with a horse that will make you shit yourself. Or that the Helm's Deep is intercut with other scenes, which is why people keep saying it is 45 minutes long. Or that the last shot of the movie ends on Mordor, only much much closer to it. I just don't like to cram my comments with spoilers, especially when there is a lot to be surprised by with the movie.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:44 a.m. CST

    bring on the talkbacks!

    by imageburn13

    heerre we go, the fire gets some more wood on it... I thought the review above was decent enough in that he didnt gush with fanboy-ism. A nice little appetizer of a review. Regarding gollum, from what el reviewer said, I still think he'll be fine. The cave troll in FOTR was a tiiiny bit fake, but I actually liked it becuase it looked fantastical. You all know what I mean. I think the same rules will apply to Gollum, so it'll fly. I think we'll all about to be captivated. no doubt.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Spoilers! I want Spoilers!!

    by RamanPotential

    How does it open, how does it end, what's in the middle etc etc etc... spit it out, Dwarf!!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:53 a.m. CST

    This is a review?

    by Messyjoe

    I'm sorry but this review is not good enough. Not that I worry about the film. It will be great. But we need something to chew around and there is nothing from this "Dwarf". Harry get somebody who has more! And - does anybody know about details of controversy over the actors' salaries for the 3 movies? ie. not getting their fair share of the big profits (with more to come)?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST

    The question is "How much did he like FOTR?"

    by ribbitking

    Well if it's just as good as FOTR, not better or worse...well how much did you like the first one????

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Ninja Scroll to be done in live action

    by anuar

    Akadot.com has the story. Threshold entertainment will be responsible. Hold your breaths!!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Okay, here's some more...

    by TorbenTSD

    I want you to get the impression of the film, not spoil the WHOLE thing. I guess you wanted more, I tried to get it in quickly so you'd have something... okay HELMS DEEP is a solid, great sequence. I like the Cave Troll attack better, but this is a different kind of battle. What's great about it is the sense of hopelessness of it. That the odds are so great against them. That they are fighting with old men and boys (like meantioned in the book). There's a great moment in the moment where " the first stone is cast" so to say. Like the first film, Jackson has a way to make action seem kinetic and exciting without being confusing. There's a great fight sequence that you've only seen a shot or two from the trailers (Legolas on a rock watching rides approach and the shot of the dogbeast attacking). In fact there's more action in this movie than in the book which made a friend that was with me much happier with this film than FOTR (he didn't like it much). And for the record, I LOVE FOTR. (more to come)

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:07 a.m. CST

    thanks

    by masterblogger

    Thanks for the review, Torben. One question: is the Voice of Saruman scene in the movie?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Unnecessary?

    by ElanorSam

    Thanks for the review. Just thought I'd mention that the "unnecessary" Eowyn/Aragorn romance is straight out of the book, and crucial in understanding Eowyn's motivations in the third movie. Jackson would have made a huge mistake to leave this out, AND gotten crucified by the fans of the book.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Question: After the battle...

    by Stickman83

    It has been said that the battle at Helm's Deep finishes 10 minutes before the end of the movie. Is this true? *** Damn it! Since i live in Chile, i'll have to wait till January 3rd to see the movie! I can't even begin to imagine how will i manage to not spoil the entire thing for me by reading reviews...

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:11 a.m. CST

    FAKE!!!

    by PattyOGreen

    Dude, that's so photoshopped! I could make that on my own computer! You can see the lines! Oh wait, it's not a photo this time... okay, let's go with this complaint: PLANT!!! PLANT!!! My GOD this guy's such a New Line plant! Chreeist Harry, can't you check the sources you have to make sure these things aren't plants? Oh wait, that's right, your pockets are being lined with New Line's money! SELLOUT!!! Lol, just fuckin' with ya. Very cool, looking forward to it as much as I was looking forward to Fellowship (and more than likely, TTT will not let me down, just as Fellowship did not let me down).

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:17 a.m. CST

    This guys an idiot!

    by RicardoLuv

    Improved the story? Eowyn/Argon romance unnecessary? WTF? Go get a life bozo.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:20 a.m. CST

    and more..

    by TorbenTSD

    I don't want people to think I didn't like Gollum, I thought Gollum is one of the greatest CGI characters EVER MADE. That is not a mild compliment. He's wonderful and you are going to be thrilled with him (in fact the climax of the movie is about him, but not as BIG of a moment as you think. It is a small character moment, hinted at in the book that here, Makes him a truly interesting character. In fact, I've always felt the books were thin on characterization and the films have just fleshed these people out. Like how the first film had Boromir, Pippin and Merry more interesting, Gollum equally has be brought to real life. He was easily the most liked character at the screening from audience reactions. Second was Ghimli, who has most of the comic relief in this film. The supporting characters aren't as well flesh out, due to the fact that they are competing with screen time with our already abundant cast, but even at their worst, they service the story well. Wormtongue was Brad Dourif, or was it the other way around, but he stands out the most, though Bernard Hill is great before and after his Rejuvenation. Maybe people will be impressed with the love triangle, but I was unmoved (and I like what they did in the last film with it a lot). The Ents, like Gollum, don't look photo real, but they are wonderful fluid. When I say not completely real, I mean real reality. And they fit in perfectly with the consistent fantasy reality that the series has established. And there are some great new vistas: The completely built Mordor tower looks fantastic, the caves beneath Helm's Deep get a tantalizingly brief glimpse. In particular, the depths of Kazakdum in particular took my breath away. Forgive me if my LOTR spellings aren

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:28 a.m. CST

    please answer some q's Dwarf-guy

    by Mr President

    Torben, if you'e answering questions, I have a couple... As has been already asked, is there a scene after Helms Deep where Gandalf and the others go to Sarumans Tower and talk with him? Is there a flash back scene with Faramir, his brother Boromir and their father Denethor? How does Aragorn come across? How is Eomer's performance? (Karl Urban) What the special effects of the Oliphaunts and the winged Fell Beasts? Thanks dude.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Wow

    by Stickman83

    Voice of Saruman is out?? I can understand leaving Shelob for the next one, but now also this has been moved? If it keeps going like this, Return of the King will be 5 hours long! Not that there's anything wrong with that... I don't really understand how it'll work like this, but i'm sure it will be fine. By the way, thanks.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Torben, run for your life!

    by Stickman83

    Otherwise you'll die from the continious attack of questions about the movie! They won't leave you alone! Run! :) Anyway, i guess that's the price to pay for seeing a movie that everyone here wants to see.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Thank you Torben

    by JacksonsBane

    "And don't tell the Elf", Does this refer to Gimli being tossed off the wall by Aragorn at Helm's Deep? *Sigh*

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Answers to endless questions

    by TorbenTSD

    Hey, I?m justing listening to the Chevy Chase roast on Comedy Central while typing this. Watch if you haven?t. The movie doesn?t get to the post-Helm?s Deep stuff. It doesn?t avoid them, it simply doesn?t get to them. There?s plenty going on to end the movie (and there?s a whole subplot that is different from the book that I refuse to take about). But it is emotionally satisfying to end that way. Aragorn come across similar to the first film, a leader of men both a bad ass and a real human with real emotions. He really doesn?t change as a character and if you liked him in the first film, you?ll like more him here (because he gets more to do). Eomer's performance is strong without overacting. He?s not as important as Theoden, thus doesn?t have as much scene time as him, but he makes a strong impression. The effects on the Oliphaunts and the winged Fell Beasts are beautiful, again, what?s great is that they are part of the scene and never take it over, which makes the effect even better. The Ringwraiths are very very scary on them. Forget the horses, these things are choice steed of ultimate evil.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 2:47 a.m. CST

    MORE questions........

    by sparticusmaximus

    Was substantial time given over to the POV of the orcs that captured Merry and Pippin? Do we get that power struggle between Saruman's URUK HAI and the MORDOR Orcs? How different a screen presence was Gandalf the White from Grey? Does Sean Astin begin to take on the role of audience surrogate from FRODO? Is Viggo better in TTT? Legolas and Gimli's "friendship"?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Torben! Now, fly you fool before the trolls overwhelm y

    by nazismasher

    After the last "review" (i.e. fake review) we got we've all become a little cautious. Again, good, honest review and the film sounds FAAAAANTASTIC!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:21 a.m. CST

    reaction from others?

    by Mr President

    Torben, you mentioned other peoples reactions.... where they impressed? what was the feeling? Were they astonished? or left feeling like it didn't live up to the hype?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Go back and read the book for real this time Narsil - skimming t

    by nazismasher

    Sorry, son, but after a while you get to be able to sniff talkback posers a mile away. After you've done reading LOTR a few times, reread The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien's various reconstructions and The Professor's collected letters... having a solid background understanding films, fundamental vocabulary... all the good stuff ma' n' pa' should have taught you right after Jr. High. At a, boy. Sky's the limits. Run along now. Over and out.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:29 a.m. CST

    "I wish you found me a better spot!"

    by TorbenTSD

    Sorry, finally noticed you had questions way up at the top. Quick answers on our cast. We do see the power struggle inbetween the breeds of Orcs, in fact it has been condensed beautifully and made organic to the story (fans will notice it non-fans won't - which is the way it should be). Gandalf the White is different from Grey in that he is more sure of himself, sure of his power and ready to take on evil. Otherwise he still has the same sense of sly humor that makes him lovable. Remember, he does A LOT of running around in this one, so mostly he's serious. Legolas and Gimli's "friendship" is non-verbally there and they do have their competition at Helm's Deep. As for Gimli being comic relief, what if your comic relief had a hug axe and fells dozens of Orcs? That's a pretty cool comic relief. Again, I'm trying to be careful not to reveal big surprises, so I'm avoiding some questions. I simply trying to reassure you that what you want is there, because this is not as faithful as FOTR, but that makes it no less as good. But I will make this clear so that this question cease, Do we see the Ents smackdown?YES YES YES!!! That is the one thing I will gush about besides Gollum. Helm's Deep is great, but greater for me was seeing the wrath of Treebeard and company against Isengard. It is amazing, it filled me with the fist-pumping "YES!" that you WILL enjoy (and Harry will use several paragraphs to describe in his review). I always felt the books suffered from the Syndrome I like to call,

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Does anyone have any imagination any more?

    by Vitaly Chernobyl

    How can anyone agree that PJ is improving the books? FOTR is great and technically superb. TTT looks brilliant, if a little action-orientated from the trailers. But they are not better then the books. Also, if Aragorn's character hasn't changed, then he is still going to be the self-doubting loner and his arrival in Gondor is going to take on magically and unbelieveable proportions.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Torben, just one more question?

    by JackLint

    The one thing that I am more curious about than any other is the ending. just tell me, cliffhanger: yes or no? If yes. How severe?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:56 a.m. CST

    dont forget the subsequent Extended Edition

    by dahveed72

    just finished watching the extended version on DVD (my g-friend got it for me for my b-day bless her heart), and i have to say that it addressed almost all the nitpicks i had with the theatrical cut of FOTR. For me, the Extended cut is the definitive version of FOTR. So if the theatrical cut of TTT seems a bit "light" or rushed, just keep in mind that the "complete" version will be ready in 11 months or so. I just hope the IMAX cut retains all or most of the Extended stuff.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Even MORE questions.....

    by sparticusmaximus

    Is Rohan as indelibly etched a world as the Shire, Rivendell, Mines of Moria, and Lothlorien? How dark does PJ get with Frodo? Is the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog shown in two parts? Is it a showstopping sequence to rival FOTR's prologue (as they both opened their respective films)? Was Treebeard's mix of animatronic and CG seamless? How violent did the film get?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:26 a.m. CST

    So are there any brothers in this movie?

    by barrywhite

    That is a damn sweet review looking even more forward to it. But a brother needs to know is there any rick james jerry curl sporting mofo's in this movie?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:31 a.m. CST

    this fantasy epic lacks the mystical space-helmeted monkey that

    by FafTheHappyPie

    Tolkien initially included the dark monkey Momogoth (elvish for "monkey enemy") but it was cut from the trilogy by the publishers due to pressure from angry freemasons. i think peter jackson should show the world he doesnt care about the freemasons anymore and let Momogoth have his day in this epic saga.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Books vs Movies

    by Tomten

    I for one really do think the films in many ways have improved upon the written word. Let's face it shall we? The books are at times a little draging, not to say boring, and there's really only one good characterization (Gollum). They are all great characters in the book, but they don't come allive untill they enter your own head and imagination.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:59 a.m. CST

    Torben?

    by NemoRange

    Just a quick question, how do you think it will go down with the Academy in general come Oscar time, do you think it will even get a nomination for Best Pic? Oh, and are there any moments of high emotions, anything akin to Gandalf's fall in Moria or Boromir's death? On that level? Thanks

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:09 a.m. CST

    Before writing a review...

    by workshed

    at least try to have some grasp of English grammar. It just leads me to see you as an oik with little understanding or intelligence. The quote 'Peter Jackson has improved upon the books' sent me into a blind rage that cost me about three pounds (I have a 'swear jar' jar[obviously the origin of the name]). This guy is 'industry'/Hollywood and (the GREATNESS of these movies being due to the fact that they are made outside of the L.A. structure, free of their tinkering) therefore his review should be dismissed out-of-hand. Harry, but how can you allow this jerk to have the first bite at the cherry that is TTT. Get off your fat arse and go ask Mr.Jackson for a private screening instead of palming us off with the excuse you gave ('I'm waiting to see it with my family and friends' - what the f**k?. You could sit on that old brown settee they brought in 'specially for you. If you can't manage this then (and I hate to say this after all these years) I think it's time to call it a day ol' buddy and let Moriarty run the site. Cut out the corn dogs and lose some weight. Then you might have the energy to go to New York in three days time and give the report your readers at AICN deserve (not this badly cobbled together tripe). BUT (and here's the real problem) Could you remain objective? Now, there's the rub.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:10 a.m. CST

    this is a LIEEEEEE!!!

    by marmaduc

    you're a liar:you haven't seen this film.I've heard in other addres one REAL opinion.Please don't say bad things about this picture.It will be wonderful!!!!!

  • at least try to have some grasp of English grammar. It just leads me to see you as an oik with little understanding or intelligence. The quote 'Peter Jackson has improved upon the books' sent me into a blind rage that cost me about three pounds (I have a 'swear jar' jar[obviously the origin of the name]). This guy is 'industry'/Hollywood and (the GREATNESS of these movies being due to the fact that they are made outside of the L.A. structure, free of their tinkering) therefore his review should be dismissed out-of-hand. Harry, how can you allow this jerk to have the first bite at the cherry that is TTT. Get off your fat arse and go ask Mr.Jackson for a private screening instead of palming us off with the excuse you gave ('I'm waiting to see it with my family and friends' - what the f**k?. You could sit on that old brown settee they brought in 'specially for you. If you can't manage this then (and I hate to say this after all these years) I think it's time to call it a day ol' buddy and let Moriarty run the site. Cut out the corn dogs and lose some weight. Then you might have the energy to go to New York in three days time and give the report your readers at AICN deserve (not this badly cobbled together tripe). BUT (and here's the real problem) Could you remain objective? Now, there's the rub.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:23 a.m. CST

    WHAT ABOUT FARAMIR?

    by Praetor

    He is a crucial character and sets up important events in ROTK. He must be able to induce a sympathetic reaction from audiences. Tell us more dwarf guy.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:23 a.m. CST

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    by Vitaly Chernobyl

    Oh my God, how can people think the movies are better than the books? If you do, I truly pity you, because you must be totally devoid of imagination. I appreciate children these days are raised on PS and Ritalin, but this is beyond a joke. Them books have those wordy things, but the movies shure do have purty pictures. Is that what we are reduced to? This is PJ's version. It is beautiful and shows a great amount of effort on behalf of thousands of people. I'm not saying I could make a better film, but no film ever made can match my imagination. And will all you muppets stop asking this reviewer questions! Have you no sense of anticipation?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:41 a.m. CST

    First review positive

    by Ribbons

    Kinda figured it would be anyway, but it got me that much more stoked to see this movie. However, I agree with the guy who said in the last post that certain people tend to gloss over flaws in these movies. It's cool that you're really enthusiastic about the material and all, but matters regarding CGI believability, redundant and/or unnecessary scenes, and sloppy pacing are not "nitpicks." Still, not everybody's going to have problems with the movie, and it still seems like it's gonna kick ass, and there are worse things in the movie biz than being just as good as 'Fellowship.'

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:48 a.m. CST

    Again, or "Arrgh!"

    by Ribbons

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:52 a.m. CST

    I'm out of here.

    by TorbenTSD

    Either take my porrly spelt comments ot nothing at al. If I spent time checking, editing and cleaning it up, you guys wouldn't have prompt responses- which is what I know you all want. I'm just shocked there aren't more people with reviews. You can ask them for good grammar. I give you my time. I like the books. They are great with imagery and detail. But a clean, forward narrative they are not for me. NOTE: I said for me, this is my opinion and not stated as gospel. They exist in their own medium. Movies work on a visual, musical and theatrical form, details are meant to be lost and unstated and as a narrative, the films have their own pleasures and the books their own. What I feel is the genius of the films are to dramatize with incredible shorthand the themes and concepts of the books. It is a lovely movie. You

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:05 a.m. CST

    Again, or "Arrgh!"

    by Ribbons

    I love how some people (not all, not one in general, but a handful)shit all over Lucas when he helped Jackson and WETA out. Vitaly, man, you're right. As cool as the Balrog was in the first film, the way I pictured him in my head was always creepier than what I saw on screen, and that's probably true for anybody who read the books. Now, though, whenever I try to go back and read it, I keep seeing the damn one from the movie. Also, I'm not trying to be pompous when I say this movie will have considerable warts (and wargs!...um, sorry), I mean, Jackson has still done a hell of a job, considering he's been working on endless hours of postproduction and hasn't really gotten a break from this film in three years, AND he has to tie everything together thematically and sequentially and still make everything in the individual movies stand on their own legs. It's mind-blowing how much hard work has went into these films, including in pre-production, and it's really paid off big time. So, I mean, these films aren't sheer perfection, and no, the problems aren't just little trifles, but you still gotta appreciate all the work that Jackson has done, and their quality as it is just shows how good a job he's done. Yeah, I'm rambling, but I got one more thing to say: Harry, don't listen to these herk-offs when they tell you to screw the whole experience with your family so that you can give them the goods early. Both parties have their personal interests in mind, but Harry's intentions are a little more noble. He wants to be with his family, and appreciate their reaction to the movie, and I appreciate that. And for those of you who did insult Harry, I'm not trying to pedantically scold you. So before you go attacking me, I'm not judging you for what you said, I just sympathize with Harry's decision. Lastly, yes I fucked up my post again. I know. I'm a moron.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Oops

    by Ribbons

    I meant 'jerk-offs.' This is what happens when you don't sleep in 30 hours.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Return of the King length

    by rizla

    They are saving Shelob, Voice of Saruman etc. for the third film BECAUSE they have room for them. Remember, no 'Scouring of the Shire' PJ said, which means the last film would have been too short if they hadn't overlapped with TTT. Of course, I'll take seeing the Ents in action over the Scouring any day :-)

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:22 a.m. CST

    New Review Online!! full of spoilers!

    by Benu

    http://www.lightsoutentertainment.com/movies/reviews.php?filmID=2&reviewID=31

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:29 a.m. CST

    YES

    by originalskoobx

    I can't wait to see this. I know some people have complained about the rewatchability (is that a word) of the first one, but I could watch it every day.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Adaptation & Imagination

    by Sir Mordred

    Film improves on the book for someone who has no imagination. Someone mentioned that the characters only come alive in your head and imagination. WELL NO SHIT. That's what characters are supposed to do. If it doesn't make you think then it isn't art, it's entertainment, not to say that there's anythign wrong with entertainment, I mean, it is entertaining, but as long as we realise it isn't art. The book is Tolkien writing his complete vision of LotR in a way that readers can read and interpret, and think about it. The film is how PJ and Walsh's imagination made the novel. If you want to think and such, you may like it, you may not; if you want to pay seven to ten bucks to hoot and holler at something that looks and sounds cool, go for it, have fun. I for one will pay seven to ten bucks to seek out that one grain of beauty that the great acting and/or the cinematography will provide, FotR showed me that PJ and co can't handle the scripting and directing parts. But my God, the acting, even if it's a pussy aragorn, Mortenson brings him to life wonderfully. That's about all this tailender has to say. au revior. [no i can't speak french]

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Birthday wishes

    by Sir Mordred

    To Pallando that is, I read Miami's post underneath, I hope yall don't hate me, but I seem to agree more with Custer [or was it Custard?] now that I've seen it. I'd love to sit back and enjoy it like I do every other film, but something rubs me the wrong way about it. There are some great bits, but I'll stop bitchin. happy birthday pallando, hope that corn cob is gone by now, cheers miami, and where the fuck did everyone else go? oh, and long live procrastination!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:11 a.m. CST

    Hotdog magazine take note...

    by MrBabbage

    A review that's actually plausible, well-thought out and contains information about the movie! Compare and contrast with the ridiculous Hotdog "review".

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:15 a.m. CST

    The most unlikely character imaginable

    by Tomten

    I do like the books, but I love the movie(s). My point is that if you do not have an imagination of your own, the characters of the book is about as deep as the paper they are printed on! Tolkien uses extremely archetypicall (?) characters, which is quite suitable since this is supposed to be a mythology. However if you want something more alive you need to make some serious adaption of your own (in your imagination). If you have a very limited imagination then perhaps tolkiens shallow characters are all you need to be happy.. For me however I would have liked to have more, more of tolkiens own visions and ideas. The way the books are written now, half of what's in my head is Tolkien, half of it's mine. My point is, I would have wanted more tolkien, but obviously he wasn't capable of giving me more. When I want to use my imagination in such a creative way, I'll rather write my own book. For me PJ have succeeded in a lot of places where JRRT failed. The movies are not perfect, but at times it feels like they are. The books on the other hand doesn't feel like it, and are far, far from it.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:16 a.m. CST

    so.... what do u think of this review?:

    by Benu

    http://www.lightsoutentertainment.com/movies/reviews.php?filmID=2&reviewID=31

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Readdress

    by Sir Mordred

    I think I forgot to mention something. There's a profound difference in the characters of teh book and the film. He's the most succint way I can think of, the film shows you the development of fairly good characters through this amazing and trying time. The book shows you this amazing and trying time, and has fully developed and fleshed out characters in it. Tolkien never explicitly shows us how fully developed these characters are because a) they don't change, and b) they exhibit characteristics which in this setting, provide for a typical character. Some call this shallow, in fact most from the looks of it call this shallow. I say nay. Shallow is the opposite of it. Each and everyone of these characters were completely fleshed out in Tolkien's mind, he jsut didn't bore us with expositions into each of the characters explicitly telling us why this person does this. This is what I meant about the difference of art and entertainment. Tolkien's work leaves each character's explicit motivation up to the reader, or in this case, the actor. PJ read it and saw the motivation he saw. That's what we see. I don't know how he works with actors, but his interpretation was so hand in hand with the script that the actors couldn't help only being able to use PJ's interpretation. Yes Tolkien's characters appear shallow, but they only appear so because the depth is so intertwined with the words and poetry that everyone will see it differently. PJ's characters have depth, but it's depth that is explained and shown time and a again through script and directing. [I'm not trying to discredit Walsh and Boyens, but it's a lot easier to type PJ.] I'm not saying PJ is bad, I'm saying he explains too much for my taste. I hope that resolves what I was trying to say earlier.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:34 a.m. CST

    ANOTHER REVIEW THIS TIME FROM LIGHTSOUT ENT!!!

    by Arnold J Rimmer

    Go straight to http://www.lightsoutentertainment.com/movies/reviews.php?filmID=2&reviewID=31

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Lightsout Review

    by Harry Proudfoot

    This is more like it! Very good indepth review from someone who was obviously there. He is obviously a fan, but still picked out a few things. The fact that faramir is a different character from the one in the book is interesting, and also Aragon's "death" sounds a bit off the track, but it will make good cinema. 16 days and counting!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Haha! Read this...

    by Monkey Lover

    http://film.guardian.co.uk/lordoftherings/news/0,11016,852217,00.html

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Halloween68

    All that movies better than books crap aside (because that's just asinine), this review sounds pretty promising. Though, I suspect this movie will be better than the first because it's only natural. Listen to the logic here... PJ tried to turn Fellowship, the story, into an action adventure. Fellowship, the story, has very little action to it. A few chapters, that's it. It's more ominous build-up, the world is being threatened and suffocated sort of stuff. By comparison, The Two Towers is nearly all action; it's the beginning of war after all. This story should be more easy to adapt within an action-adventure setting. The story is more exciting, so why shouldn't the movie being made from the story be more exciting? You want edge of your seat stuff, you should have it heads and tails more than you had it from the first. I think this guy even hints at this. When thinking of it as Fellowship's equal, I think he's comparing more the aesthetics of filmmaking and not looking at the individual moments and scenes within the film per se. Still, this seems pretty positive. My biggest complaint about the first one was some of the cheezy, unnecessary dialog (ie. "She-elf", "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring", "Let go hunt some Orc'!"). As long as they've fixed that, I'm good.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Fuck's Sake

    by Sir Mordred

    I never said better, well I tried not to. I was showing differences, and analising, but yes, that does get asinine fast, so I'll shut up now.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Great Silly Gits....

    by Mr. Smegma

    .....why don't you understand that without the love story/triangle, these films don't get made? No one, not even New Line, is going to commit millions to a fantasy epic that lacks anything soft and warm at its center.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 8:56 a.m. CST

    I CAN'T BELIEVE "Voice of Saruman" isn't in this film? So what,

    by Ralph Cifaretto

    I thought for sure that TTT would end with Merry & Pippin being separated. Is anyone else think this sounds totally fucked up?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 1 p.m. CST

    Damn out of order TB

    by ThingsThatTimDog

    For the love of Kill Bill and Comic Books Harry would it really be that hard to timestamp the message with the servers time and then keep them in descending order? Its like trying to read something written by a phsycopath.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Fix the Forums!!! Sort them by time!

    by scottbell

    Hear Hear to the guy who says the forums need to be fixed! Messages should be ordered by timestamp! I have no idea how they're being ordered now. I'll fix them for free! Please! Anything!

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 3:51 p.m. CST

    "there is something Legalos does with a horse that will make you

    by rev_skarekroe

    Oh. My. God. sk

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:29 p.m. CST

    for Torben (please answer...I really would like to know)

    by Big Papa

    First of all, I only skimmed through the whole TB (don't have a lot of time) so sorry if this has been asked; if it has, just ignore me, and I'll find your reply later when I take the time to read the WHOLE TB. Ok, there was an interview with Howard Shore where he said the Smeagol/Deagol flashback has been cut...but will be on the DVD. Is this true? And if it is, is it still made clear in some other way that Gollum used to be a hobbit? Or did they completely brush over that? Thanks in advance.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 4:34 p.m. CST

    for Torben (please answer...I really would like to know)

    by Big Papa

    First of all, I only skimmed through the whole TB (don't have a lot of time) so sorry if this has been asked; if it has, just ignore me, and I'll find your reply later when I take the time to read the WHOLE TB. Ok, there was an interview with Howard Shore where he said the Smeagol/Deagol flashback has been cut...but will be on the DVD. Is this true? And if it is, is it still made clear in some other way that Gollum used to be a hobbit? Or did they completely brush over that? Thanks in advance.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:21 p.m. CST

    First real review, huh?

    by Dan_Average

    So is the LightsOut review fake or what?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:24 p.m. CST

    007, top secret lichhobbit

    by GypsyTRobot

    http://www.lordoftherings-soundtrack.com/ The Gollum song. Justify that, hardcore PJ worshippers. Or is your god less than perfect after all?? --tongue somewhat in cheek, GtR. P.S. That's pronounced lich as in "litch", not "lick". Get your mind out of the gutter when you're reading your Monster Manuals.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Thim the dog

    by GLucas24

    The Talkback IS written by psycopaths. Where have you been?

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 5:35 p.m. CST

    My one online thing for today.

    by TorbenTSD

    LIGHTS OUT is dead on. I didn't want to review it like that, though I know that's what a lot of you want, but they saw the same thing I did.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 9:17 p.m. CST

    For those who've read the LightsOut review...

    by The Schlock

    Are you worried about the Aragorn on Warg off Cliff scene? It sounds kinda ridiculous to me and I was wondering what the rest of you think about it. Here's the link to the review: http://www.lightsoutentertainment.com/movies/reviews.php?filmID=2&reviewID=31 Hoping this won't somehow stem into a Star Wars vs. LOTR argument, The Schlock

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Sounds Like A Funny Movie

    by NickFoley

    Ha ha ha

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 10:17 p.m. CST

    The Two Towers is the BEST film of the year!

    by VistaSierra

    This review from FILMJERK.Com proves it!! "The Two Towers" is the film of the year. It's an epic battle and some that loved "The Fellowship of the Ring" might be shocked because of the sheer power, violence and volume of impressions "The Two Towers" features. That doesn't mean it is bad. In the contrary: It is cinema to my liking. The sort that makes the screen explode. I've read the books about five years ago so excuse the mistakes I'm probably going to make. Also excuse that I am reviewing the film, not the book. I loved the book, but Jackson's job was that of an adaption. And he did a brilliant job. The rest of the text contains spoilers. Don't read on if you want to see the film unspoiled. "The Two Towers" opens with the camera hovering over snowy mountains. We hear voices and screams. Then, the camera enters the mountain and we see the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog again. This time, from a slightly different perspective - and slightly longer. That's good: The film opens with my favourite scene from "Fellowship." It starts with an impressive bang. That's because Peter Jackson did all the character introduction and the geography of Middle Earth in "Fellowship." He can now dive right into it. At the bginning, that causes some problems, because the intercutting of the scenes make the film appear episodic and uneven. However, as soon as all the plot threads are interwoven, The Two Towers becomes a bulldozer you cannot stop until the very end. In it's pure kinetic style, I was reminded of James Cameron's Aliens which also had such a relentless energy. Each of the three story parts (Aragon/Legolas/Gimli - Frodo/Sam - Merry/Pippin) has a distinctive style. The Merry/Pippin-plot for example starts out rather grisly and later becomes the calm part that acts as a counterpart to the battle at Helm's Deep. This different style and different speed of the three threads make the film more vivid than the rather linear Fellowship. One thing is alike to all three plots: The darkness. Frodo's and Sam's walk through the marshes is extremely gritty. The landscape is chilly and the bodies floating under water are truly creepy. It's an eerie landscape and one can see that Peter Jackson is a genius when it comes to portraying evil. The hobbits then reach the black gate which is operated by two cave trolls. The impressive thing about the scene is the weight of the portal. The use of models and CGI is perfect and gives this set the depth and weight it needs to be convincing. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas search for the two hobbits. The story of the three makes up the biggest part of the film. After they re-unite with Gandalf, they set out to free Th

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 10:52 p.m. CST

    The Review Proves It?

    by slaterc3

    Maybe some of us are finally owning up to the fact that critics do, generally, have good taste. But does it really take a review to prove Towers is going to be a great movie? Do you think ol' Jackson's gonna do a Lucas on us after only one year? This is how I see it: they were all shot together, same crew, actors, everything's the same. For Towers, and Return of the King, stylistic congruity is a given. The only difference, really, is the story. But most of us know the story, and guess what? It kicks ass. Just ignore the hype and you'll love it.

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 10:59 p.m. CST

    test

    by tamarac661

    test....

  • Dec. 2, 2002, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings....

    by tamarac661

    I am really and truly looking forward to this film. I've read the trilogy (plus The Hobbit) twice, and I've watched Fellowship three times. I have to say, the books are some of my favorites thematically. It's true that they are filled with archtypical characters and themes, but that's what makes them so wonderful. I also have to add that the movie has been my favorite to watch, ever. I guess that I am one of the few who can appreciate both the book and the movie. Together and individually. If you watch it with an open mind AND the knowledge that it is Peter Jackson's vision, I can't see how someone would be dissapointed. Of course, a few of my friends were, and we went into long arguments about the merits of the movie. Of course, one in particular (a film student) didn't like the books either, so who am I to judge?

  • Dec. 3, 2002, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Balrog's Death

    by daughter of time

    Don't know what the film's rationale is going to be, but my impression from the book was that what actually killed the Balrog was being thrown from the top of the mountain (that is to say, the landing, not the fall!), though in a deeper sense, this could not have happened if Gandalf's positive spiritual essence had not overcome the Balrog's negative spiritual essence. "Swords are of no use here" is another way of saying that mortal weapons are of no use here. The Balrog is demonic, as Gandalf is angelic; their struggle is on the spiritual leve - light vs. darkness, not blade vs. whip.

  • Dec. 3, 2002, 2:47 p.m. CST

    looks like it has begun

    by raker

    stay low - avoid spoilers and for god's sake don't mention the other trilogy. 15 more days, just 15 more days. I can do that.

  • Dec. 3, 2002, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Is it safe here?

    by Shards of Narsil

    I'm trying to avoid most spoilers but the other boards are full of them. Even if I don't read all the reviews the talkbacks give away too much! But then again, do I want to know some things so they're not so jarring when I actually see them? Oh, the dilemma! But what a delicious dilemma.

  • Dec. 3, 2002, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Shards

    by daughter of time

    I think I'm glad I've read some serious spoilers regarding Frodo, Sam and Faramir... or I'd be too upset in the theatre to deal. As it is, I have time to get used to it. But I'm willing to camp out here to talk. The trolls are still all over the more recent talkbacks. (By the way, they have shipped my Dell!)

  • Dec. 3, 2002, 8:22 p.m. CST

    DoT

    by Shards of Narsil

    Congrats on the Dell! Especially with the witchy new boss and all. How's that going, by the way? Just read the cover article in Time, and in it Elijah tells the story of when he was in Austin filming "The Faculty" and Harry told him that he (Elijah) was MEANT to be Frodo. I'd heard that before but wasn't sure if it was true or not - pretty cool, huh? ***OK, if TTT is pretty much an action flick, I just hope the action is NOT all close ups where it's hard to tell exactly who is lopping off who's body parts. I want to see some long continuous shots at medium distance. Those close-up, quick cuts are like cheating; just a big old MTV-like mess. Speaking of which, MTV's really taking a (much-deserved) beating over on another talkback. Even my 12 year old daughter disdains MTV.