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MORIARTY Stands In The Shadow Of THE TWO TOWERS!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Okay... let’s do the short version first.

Everything you’ve heard is true. Smeagol (it’s hard to call him Gollum once you see how tortured he is) is the single most persuasive CGI character in a film so far, due in large part to the exceptional performance by Andy Serkis. Helm’s Deep is a jaw-dropping sequence, one that would make Akira Kurosawa weep tears of joy, choreographed with an eye for epic imagery but also executed with an awareness of how well an intimate moment pays off in front of such a spectacle. Peter Jackson and his exceptional team of creative collaborators have not only created a worthy follow-up to FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, they’ve also expanded Middle-Earth and given us new characters to love, new adventures to be enchanted by, and new lands to revisit. THE TWO TOWERS is more than just a sequel or a middle film in a trilogy; it’s a shining example of just how big we as filmmakers have been given permission to dream now.

Having said that, I’d like to get specific, so if you haven’t seen the film yet or don’t want to know what’s coming, here’s the point where you hit the “BACK” button on your browser. I’ll even give you some spoiler space, just in case...















Still here? Good. So you won’t mind if I lose my mind a little bit? Because, honestly, I don’t know any way to talk about this film without engaging in outragous hyperbole. I am so smitten with the cinematic legacy that Peter Jackson is creating that I find myself wanting to grab random strangers on the street and buy them tickets just so they can see for themselves. When I was a kid and films like STAR WARS and RAIDERS and CONAN and BLADE RUNNER and THE THING and JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS were coming out, I just assumed all films were supposed to be that good. I believed they would always be that good, all the time.

Little did I know...

This time around, there’s a special feeling that I get when I see each new chapter unfold of Peter Jackson’s triumphant trilogy of fantasy epics. This time around, I’m well aware of how special these moments are, how truly few and far between. And this time around, I plan to savor every beautiful, breathtaking frame as the gift that it is.

One of the ways that Peter Jackson demonstrates his almost absurd sense of control over the material is with pacing, something that can confound even the most gifted of filmmakers when working on an epic scale like this. See GANGS OF NEW YORK if you want the perfect example of that. And, no, don’t start crying to me about how there’s supposed to be some magic 20 minute longer cut of GANGS floating around that solves all the problems it has. Both versions of FELLOWSHIP, the theatrical and the extended edition, delivered as complete experiences. One simply fills the other out in different ways, and even if Jackson goes back next year to re-edit THE TWO TOWERS and puts in a half-hour or an hour or whatever, it won’t matter. He got it right already. He is a masterful storyteller, confident and always working to advance each of the multiple storylines he’s juggling even as he stops to bask in the particular wonders of this world.

The film’s opening is, in my opinion, just about as perfect as anyone could ask. First there’s that long shot as we move over the mountains, a reminder of how beautiful Middle-Earth can be, then the gradual introduction of familiar voices, and then that sudden, dizzying plunge right back into the events of the first film... it’s so much better than any cheesy “Last Week On LORD OF THE RINGS”-style montage would have been. It doesn’t distance us or remind us that this is only a film. Instead, it immerses us into the world right away, and by showing us more of the struggle between Gandalf and the Balrog, it reminds us just how high the stakes are. And then Frodo wakes up, and with a simple “It was just a dream,” we are shown the full toll these events have taken so far on these characters. It’s important that the first new scenes take place between Frodo and Sam. These two small, infinitely vulnerable creatures are, after all, literally carrying the fate of all Middle-Earth between them.

Their friendship, their support of one another, is all that allows the dawn of each new day, and the performance work by both these actors is note perfect. There’s an almost startling physical change in Elijah Wood, the effects of carrying The One Ring more and more pronounced now. The interplay between him and Sean Astin is both brotherly and also increasingly sad. It’s starting to dawn on Sam now that Frodo isn’t going to survive this journey. Somewhere along the way, Sam’s found himself on a death march, and it horrifies him.

These frustrations and fears are only exasperated by the introduction of the most arresting new character, Gollum. Yes, we caught glimpses of him in FELLOWSHIP, but they were wordless teases, as unrevealing as they were fascinating. This time around, we meet him face to face, and Jackson’s smart to get right to it. I’d be surprised if it’s more than ten minutes into the film before we see him up close. For fans of the books, this is a moment they’ve been waiting for their whole lives, and one of the miracles of the film is just how easily we accept him as real.

Are the CGI effects absolutely flawless? Nope. But that’s not the point, and anyone who belabors the fact isn’t fit to converse with because they just don’t get it. What makes Gollum such a landmark is the quality of performance work and character animation by Andy Serkis and the team of remarkable talents at WETA Digital led by the brilliant Randy Cook. Look into his eyes at any point in the film, whether he’s the main focus of a shot or not and you’ll see a soul. You’ll see real intelligence at work. Gollum thinks. Gollum feels. When he first attacks Sam and Frodo, he’s horrifying, but once they subdue him and Frodo has him immobilized under the point of Sting, he begins to cry. That’s the moment where he became real for me. The moment where he ascends to classic fantasy character status for me comes later, when we see him wrestle with the two sides of his nature, Gollum and Smeagol. It’s only after he’s reminded of the Smeagol side of himself by Frodo that he dares dream of a new life, a chance to live outside of the shadows once more, and this scene manages to be heartbreaking and funny and ominous all at once. There’s a similar moment in SPIDER-MAN with Willem Dafoe, but truth be told, it’s Gollum who gives the better performance, and if Serkis is nominated for awards this year, expect this to be the clip they show.

Gradually, we are reintroduced to each of the characters from the first film, and in each case, we meet them already embroiled in the action that was suggested by the first movie’s finish. Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) are still in the clutches of a band of Uruk-Hai, and I love the way Jackson’s horror movie influences inform the design of much of this film. He can’t resist wallowing in the freakier side of Middle-Earth, nor would we want him to. There’s Uruk-Hai that look like blood sausages stuffed too full and ready to burst. There’s one loathesome thing that looks like Richard O’Brien in THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW that wants to eat the legs of the hobbits. Much more of Jackson’s identity seems to be creeping into the films as they progress, and to my eyes, it’s a good thing. Already, I’m being innundated with letters from purists who can’t tolerate the changes that Jackson has made, and they have their impassioned defenses of why each and every mistake ruins the films and renders them useless, but I just don’t believe it. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read the books since I was young. I retain fond memories of them, but I’m hardly a slave to the source material. What delights me is watching the way these stories unfold as films. I don’t rely on my prior knowledge of characters or relationships because I’m afraid it would continually pull me out of what I’m seeing. I have no idea what the details are of Merry and Pippin’s encounter with Treebeard in the book, and I don’t care. I was enchanted by the way they met him here and by the way Jackson and his co-writers (Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Stephen Sinclair) introduce us to the notion of the Ents, the shepherds of the trees, ancient beings that are totally alien.

I was equally taken with the way we find Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies, who also voices Treebeard) on the trail of Pippin and Merry, determined to rescue their friends. Aragorn’s skills as a Ranger come into play more in this film, and Legolas and his abilities are also key. Gimli’s role in this film could be described as comic relief, except Rhys-Davies gives the dwarf a dignity and a genuine sense of physical danger that keeps him from being so easily written off. The relationships between these three actors are etched in small moments, subtle details, but there are obvious bonds that have formed, and the cumulative effect is quite powerful.

Then there’s the story of Rohan, featuring a whole slew of new characters, and this is one of the film’s most imposing potential stumbling points. If there’s an opportunity in the film for Jackson to just plain confuse his audience, it’s here. We’re asked to soak up quite a bit of information all at once, and again... my reaction isn’t based on the books. I felt that we learned just enough about King Theoden (Bernard Hill), his disgusting private advisor Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif), his niece Eowyn (Miranda Otto in a role that is sure to launch her as a major name), and his loyal but frustrated nephew Eomer (Karl Urban, making the most of a small role). The torment of Theoden is evident in the way his skin hangs off of his slack and saddened face and the way his eyes barely focus on the world around him. Wormtongue pours poison into the King’s mind with each whisper, and it’s obvious that he’s leading Theoden astray, turning Rohan into an extension of the ever-spreading kingdom of Saruman (Christopher Lee) for reasons that are hinted at, but not made explicit up front. Would I like to know how Wormtongue slipped into this position of influence? Sure. I would love to see the gradual seduction of Theoden, the way Saruman slowly moved in and set up camp in the head of this once-beloved ruler, but that’s not the story we’re seeing here. Jackson picks up at a very particular moment, at a turning point, and what we’re given is just enough to understand why it’s so important when a resurrected Gandalf the White(played here with a sort of befuddled majesty by Ian McKellen) arrives in the court of Rohan, ready to do whatever it takes to restore Theoden to his former self.

Even without a lot of action in the first hour of the film, Jackson gives us enough memorable moments and unforgettable imagery to keep us rapt. The scene where Frodo collapses into the marshes filled with the dead is right out of Jackson’s worst zombie nightmares, a vision of real horror. The gates of Mordor, opened by twin trolls tethered to terrible machinery, are a remarkable image, imposing and forbidding, a mere hint of what we might see on the other side of those gates when RETURN OF THE KING finally rolls around. And when that first big action sequence finally arrives in the form of Orcs saddled on the backs of Wargs, it’s worth every moment of anticipation, delivering a visceral kick that will set your pulse racing.

From there on, the film begins to pick up a head of steam, even as we are treated to quiet moments of power between Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and his daughter Arwen (Liv Tyler), or between Elrond and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) or between Aragorn and Eowyn or, in one melancholy half-dream, Aragorn and Arwen. Merry and Pippin gradually convince Treebeard that they’re not Orcs, peppering him with stories of the lush green of the Shire, their home. And during it all, the shadow of Isengard grows longer, driving the people of Rohan to the supposed safety of Helm’s Deep, a fortress that has always spared them from the worst fury of any storm in the past. This time, though, they’re cornered by an army unlike any I’ve ever seen on film, a rolling black wave of purest evil made up of 10,000 of Middle-Earth’s most heinous visions, and when they make their stand, joined only by a group of elves determined to honor an age-old alliance with men, it is convincingly hopeless. Jackson tightens the screws until we can barely breathe. He shows us children being suited up for war because there are not enough men of the right age to do the job. He gives Rohan enough of a personal face to make it count. We understand that this is one of the last places where free men are going to make a stand, and if they fall here, they may well vanish altogether. And it’s during the film’s final hour that I feel it really comes into its own as something special, something better than just a fantasy or just an action film or even just an epic. It’s here that I was forced to ask myself, “At what point does a historian become a prophet?” Tolkien wasn’t trying to see the future as he wrote his story, but here we are, fifty years after its first appearance, and it feels more timely than ever. In fact, it seems to me an act of nearly-divine coincidence that this film at this moment should be called THE TWO TOWERS, because seeing the way these characters make their stand for what they believe and what they love, and seeing how willing they are to sacrifice to protect not only their own lives, but the lives of others, I am both heartbroken and healed in equal measure. Some people have criticized Sam’s speech in Gondor, but I find myself incredibly moved by it, and I hope some part of this sentiment finds its way into the mainstream so that, as we contemplate stepping into the mouth of hell in the months or years ahead, we do so for the right reasons, and that we remember that there are some things worth fighting for, just as we must remember that there are some powers we might use that will destroy us just as easily as our enemies.

If there’s one character that feels underutilized this time around, it’s Faramir (David Wenham), who seems to get shortchanged a bit. He’s got a few nice moments, including one in which he places the life of Gollum into the hands of Frodo, forcing a choice which shall echo through the rest of the saga to come. Still, that’s a minor complaint, and I don’t know what I’d be willing to give up in order to make more room for Faramir. I am still dazzled, a full 24 hours after seeing it, as I think about the way Jackson intercuts between the events at Helm’s Deep, the events in Gondor, and the final stand of the Ents at Isengard. It’s all handled beautifully, and I couldn’t have predicted how much of an impact these images would have on me. The fell beasts, the oliphaunts, the Ent army in full attack... these are things I have never seen in a film before, and they are images I will never forget. Time and again, Jackson tops himself with some fresh flourish that seems to set an impossible standard, and there are at least ten or twelve sequences here that any other filmmaker would be happy to feature as the climax of any other film. Jackson’s overstuffed his film with magic, but it’s not like he’s showing off. Instead, it all feels organic, earned, and it all ends up working in service of the larger story being told.

And, in the end, it all comes back to a very personal tale as Sam and Frodo and their guide into Hell, Gollum, end up back on the road to Mordor, each with their own agenda, each with something very different on their minds. “The battle for Helm’s Deep is over,” Gandalf observes, “but the battle for Middle-Earth is just beginning.” If Jackson manages to pay off all the emotional and visceral crescendoes that he’s laid the groundwork for in this film with the final chapter of this saga next Christmas, then it’s safe to say he’s guaranteed himself a place in film history. He’s made me believe in the unlimited power of cinema and imagination again in a way I didn’t think was still possible, and he’s convinced me that it all comes down to passion. He believed he could do the impossible and bring these books to life, and he convinced a team of brilliant madment that he was right. Together, they’ve woven a tapestry of every possible emotion, creating something I look forward to wrapping myself in at every possible opportunity, a timeless classic, and a tease that will have me positively agoraphobic in the year to come. I’ll be hiding inside, careful to the point of phobia, determined that nothing prevent me from making it to next year, when we’ll see just how magnificent the conclusion to this symphonic cinematic masterwork can be.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:17 a.m. CST

    First! And TTT was superb!

    by The Game

    First! hahaha. Totally agree with Moriarity, how can anyone criticise this film? who would you prefer making it? Micheal Bay?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Second and TTT ROCKED!!

    by elwen

    Can not wait for RotK!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:28 a.m. CST

    STUDIO PLANT!!!

    by TheFoywonder

    Only someone working for the studio would write such a glowing review using so many adjectives like this one. :)

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:32 a.m. CST

    CGI Gollum has humiliated and officially dethroned Industrial Li

    by The_Lion

    CGI Gollum is simply an unbelievable accomplishment. ILM and George Lucas have been taken to the woodshed. ILM has been riding on its name lately, turning in incredibly shitty work like the Mummy 2 and the weak-ass troll in the first Harry Potter. The cave troll in FOTR should have been a warning sign for ILM. Now they have been tied down like a schoolgirl and raped upstart FX house. GOLLUM SINGLE-HANDIDLY ENDED THE ERA OF ILM.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Yes yes YES!!!!!

    by Splinter

    Absolutely right Drew! I'm still in a state of numbed shock at the achievement 24 hours later - Gollum/Smeagol is quite simply breathtaking! TTT is staggering!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Gollum

    by olm

    I think I liked TTT, I will see it again before I am realy sure as I did with fotr which I love (both editions). But somehow everybody seams to be raving about how great Gollum is. He is wonderful no doubt, but the dialoges and the basic idea of the character is all in the books. Take any average actor and let him read through the lines and you get a heardtouching performance. Anyway I saw it in the German version only, so perhaps the original version is different regarding Gollum. By the way, am I the only one not seeing the point in nearly drowning Aragorn. I would have prefered more Merry/Pippin - Interaction with the ENT's as in the book.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:38 a.m. CST

    nice review

    by patchx

    not as drivel filled as they usually are here -patch

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Not first and I don't give a shit!

    by Gabba-UK

    'Cos I saw a masterpiece last night!! Moriarty was so right about it, except the bit of meanings of Sams speech. I didn't read into it the whole shitstorm that is on our way in the coming months (I won't say because you should already know) because to turn that speech into a current political metaphor demeans the intent of that speech. It wasn't a call to arms in any way. Not in my opinion. It meant more to me for other reasons which I could bore you with but won't. That's the beauty of that speech. It will mean many thing's to many different people. Great writing. Gollum was a triumph. If Andy and the team at WETA don't get an Oscar nod there is no Justice. That's all I have to say cos Mori said it better. Fantastic movie!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Quick Sidetrack

    by VanHelsing

    An excellent and very well written review from Moriarty. (I never expect any less.) I grew up on Star Wars and knew it would be the movie epic I remember for my childhood. After seeing TTT tonight, I am very well aware that the LOTR trilogy will be the epic my children will be holding in their memories. I do appreciate Moriarty's subtleness in referencing today's real-life conflicts with those on the big screen with both tact and without a "Hit-you-over-the-head-with-my-political-opinions" approach. ::cough:: Harry ::cough:: Few visuals will stun you like the Battle in Helm's Deep, or even the frighteningly effective emotion conveyed through Smegol/Golum's eyes. (He's not perfect, but damn. Makes Dobby look like a freakin marionette.) Christmas 2003 never looked so far away...

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Did anyone else notice...

    by vroom socko

    that the end of TTT was almost exactly the same as the end of the Bakshi Lord of the Rings?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Disappointed

    by BoltUpright

    I guess I'm just too familiar with the source material having read The Lord of the Rings some twenty times in the last 35 years, as well as owning both radio dramatized versions, and the complete work on CD. Frankly, I was disappointed by the deviations from the canon. What Jackson presents is wonderful, and if I were less familiar with the material, quite amazing...but it's not Tolkien, at least not enough to satisfy me. I had a long conversation with my son who has only read the book twice, and he accepted the changes as necessary to fit certain cinematic precepts. While I understand that intellectually, it's hard to integrate on a viceral, emotional level. I'm going back to see it again today, and will do so several more times, and I can only hope that immersion will ease my saddness (sigh!).

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:45 a.m. CST

    OMFG!!!!!!!!!!! ***SPOILERS***

    by Snake-eyes

    Well I've just woken up from seeing TTT last night. My mind is still awash with thoughts and imagery from this film. As Harry says, I reckon I'll need to see this film again to be able to fully digest what I've just seen. It

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:54 a.m. CST

    I'm speechless

    by Davdo

    Great review Mori, I'm not sure I could adequately put into words my thoughts about TTT just yet, but thanks for giving us your two cents. What an utterly outstanding, moving, brave film! I have never seen a standing ovation for any film in England before until last night, and it was fully deserved. I swear, when the last ride of the Rohirrim took place, I've never heard a bigger cheer in my life. But it wasn't just about Helm's Deep. I refuse to believe that Gollum was CG, those eyes alone had more soul in them than Attack of The Clones, and the way in which he inspired both complete repulsion and utter pity was just perfect. But this is just scratching the surface, all I can say is that if anybody on this site is a true fan of films, then please go and see TTT in a packed house on a big screen. You'll thank yourself for years to come. It's not too often that we get to see film history taking place in front of our eyes, so take the chance while you can.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Moriarty a Studio Plant.. LOLOL!!! That was too funny!

    by TallScott

    You must not have seen this site that much me thinks..

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:11 a.m. CST

    Americans, you Bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by rickyrix

    I HATE you ALL! I really HAAAATE you All! I'm from Italy and TTT is coming out only on January, 16... and that's a loooooong wait.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:13 a.m. CST

    NICE JOB MORIARTY!!

    by Snake-eyes

    Good one...summed it up much better than I could. Its 12pm here in the UK now I saw it at 8pm last night, and I still cant put into words how I feel -at least not as elequently as you have. I totally share your view though....what a FANTASIC FILM!! I cant wait to see it again tomorrow!!! By the way, everyone today has asked me what I thought of TTT.......and without realising it I find myself each time talking more and more about Smeagol. The little guy made such an impact on me I can scarely believe it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:14 a.m. CST

    She might help us, yeess!

    by flyboy21

    Gollum is my favorite in the books and my favorite in the movies. Can

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:22 a.m. CST

    If The Hulk looks HALF as good as Gollum did...

    by Otter

    ... we are in for quite a treat this summer.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:24 a.m. CST

    When are we going to get...

    by CountVaseline

    ...a sensible review that doesn't read like the reviewer isn't wanking while typing their review. I know you lot adore these films, but jesus get some balance in there. It might be considered a Fresh Tommy-ato, but thats because its been pulling 3 & 4 stars rather than the 5 that seem to be hinted at here. I'm sorry, but I can't take a review seriously when it meanders into misty-eyed jibberish. Why not put a straight review for once. Is that too much to ask?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Davdo and Vroom Socko....

    by Praetor

    Davdo where did you see the film? I live in Manchester and am seeing the film at Printworks tonight. I hope for a good crowd but UK audiences are often restrained. Vroom Socko, yes I was just thinking that apart from the Ents attack on Isengard the film apparently ends about the same place as Bakshi (which I stupidly watched recently Yukk!) Would be quite ironic (tragic)if TTT flopped and there was no ROTK. Glad you blokes all liked the film. I have just been on theforce.net and most Star Wars fans are quite entralled; a better response than from Tolkein forums like Tolkeinonline and Warofthering.net.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:30 a.m. CST

    TTT: a sorry, woeful, unspeakable mess of a movie

    by Orson W

    I can't believe I'm writing these words. I loved FOTR, despite its (few) flaws - I've seen it dozens of times in the theatre and on DVD and it has many superb qualities. But now I am forced to conclude that FOTR was a lucky accident. Because TTT is, in one, dreadful, regretful word: shit. It's an unfocused, incoheret mess. It's in the same league as TPM and AOTC - and I don't use that comparison lightly. My worst fears for this movie came true: Jackson has tried to juggle about ten balls at once - and has dropped ALL of them. I sincerely believe that, like George Lucas, he has lost all notion of how to make a film and the success of FOTR has freed him from whatever constraining influence the studio or his collaborators had on him. I don't know where to start with describing how this movie fails so badly. Well, let's start with the word 'movie'. This is NOT a movie, but a collection of random, weak, meandering scenes which have absolutely no connection with each other. Jackson has abandoned any attempt to hold together a coherent narrative and has settled for making a blind stab at creating some sort of visual accompaniment to the book - but this 'movie' absolutely cannot stand on its own feet. The cutting between the different scenes which accelerates towards the end of the movie is a misjudgement of monumental proportions. I will go into this more at a later date, when I've had time to think about this, but here's some general, random impressions: There can no longer be any doubt: Jackson cannot do action scenes. The Helm's Deep seige is unbelievably mediocre - a massive anticlimax. There is absolutely no pacing or rythm or coherence to this 'battle' which is edited so strangely that I challenge ANYONE to have the slightest idea of what is actually taking place. The constant cutting between pointless scenes is excessively tedious which is something I never thought I would say about LOTR. In fact, the word 'pointless' is one that crops to mind when I think of most of these scenes. They are dead weight, they drag the plodding narrative down and just add up to nothing.... Question: why are the orcs all a bunch of 'china plates' from South London? I can see them being in a mockney Guy Ritchie film, but they're completely out of place here, me old mucker. Question: Why on earth does Faramir suddenly decide to let Frodo go??? After 'overhearing' an impassioned speech from Sam about there being good in the world? Surely not. No way could Jackson come up with such a bargain-basement motivation("Mom, the biggest problem in the universe is that people don't help each other...") Surely not....Question: What on earth is the purpose of Aragorn 'dying' and being brought back to life? Anyone? That was Gandalf's gig. It serves absolutely no purpose.....Frodo Vs winged nazgul: hello? Now Sauron knows who has the ring and where it is. Goodbye element of surprise: now all Sauron has to do is take it instead of wasting his time building armies and conquering the world. End of story - no need for Return Of The King. A bold revisionist move from Jackson, designed perhaps to save the cost of making a third movie after this one SINKS LIKE A STONE.... Return of the Balrog: Oh Jesus, Gandalf stabs him in the heart and that's it. A far cry from the amazing metaphysical/symbolic/abstract confrontation in the book. After all, why do something brilliant when you can get by with something mediocre? The Eye Of Sauron: Yes this wonderful symbol/metaphor from the book and 1st movie is now.....an ACTUAL GIANT 3-D EYE floating on top of Barad-dur like a gas-filled weather baloon. Oh, and it's got those electrical lightning bolts running through it that Jackson promised he would NEVER use as it is so crap. You're right, PJ - it IS crap. Thanks for showing us how much. And I could go on and on and on...but there are two things I will say to put into perspective how I feel about this movie: Firstly, that when the closing credits appeared, I fully expected to see the words: "Directed By George Lucas". And secondly: I have no desire to ever see this movie again. Or Return Of The King. I'll be sticking to my FOTR DVD -the THEATRICAL cut, thank you very much.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Why doesnt anyone mention the Saruman speach and its realtion to

    by flyboy21

    Saruman holds a speech in wich he reffers to that industrialism is going to rule the world. Isn

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Action Jackson

    by Indiana Clones

    All this junk about Jackson evolving as a filmmaker and introducing personal views as the series develops is such crap. People seem to forget they were all made in one consistent style all at once. People's imaginations are running away with them- the only reason i can think of for the success of these boring films.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Sauron knows the ring is in GONDOR

    by ogemaniac

    While the movies have been quite unclear about this aspect of the book (unfortunately), at least PJ is not producing anything inconsistent. Sauron knows that the ring is in Gondor. This is precisely what the good guys want him to think.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Variations from Tolkien

    by Elegor

    I, like many other people who have read the books, was initially disturbed by the detours that Peter Jackson has taken from Tolkien's source. However, as I lay awake - still buzzing from watching TTT - last night, another way of thinking about this emerged... Tolkien wrote the trilogy, along with his other works, as a mythology for Britain; adopting the elves, goblins and dwarves of other European cultures and creating a wonderful, imaginary past. Like any 'real' mythology (there's an oxymoron for you!), Tolkien's would have been passed down orally through the millenia, changing subtly as it was retold and passed on by bards and storytellers. After so much time, there would be a myriad different versions of the myths and legends of the past. A fact mirrored on a smaller scale by the work of Christopher Tolkien, who has wrestled for years with the numerous versions of the myths and legends that Tolkien himself created. Just as there aren't single, definitive legends of Merlin, King Arthur, Robin Hood, et al, why should Tolkien's be seen as a single, definitive version of the story of Middle Earth? In many ways, for Tolkien's mythology of Britain to be more authentic, there _must_ be many different versions. Whilst I'm not saying that I particularly want to read the story told in numerous different ways, it would be entirely consistent for there to be different tellings if this _were_ a mythology of Britain. When watching the films then, sit back, relax and think of them as a telling of the story of the One Ring passed down through the ages by a different path. Imagine that Tolkien wrote down the stories as he heard them told, and Jackson created films based on the stories as he'd heard them. Okay, so this is an imaginary ploy to help you to enjoy the films, but then the films, the books, the peoples and the creatures are imaginary themselves, so why the hell not?!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Acting

    by BDT

    The acting was superb, it brought all the elements together, but also allowed me to see deeper into the characters than I have ever been able to in a book or a movie. I do agree that Faramir needs more development. This movie is incredible. I love this movie!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Praetor..

    by Davdo

    You're not going to believe this mate, but I saw it at the Printworks last night, on screen 18 (apparently the biggest one in Europe,(what a fucking amazing cinema it is by the way!)). Everybody went nuts, the biggest buzz I've ever seen or heard for a film, and every evening showing was apparently sold out days ago. Only problem was, every single seat was being used, meaning there were still people being shown to their seats when it began (only about 5 mins of trailers). The ushers had to shout at the crowd to budge up so they could squeeze more people in (& it's a pretty big room!). All in all an amzing night, went with 15 uni mates, & everyone was stunned. Hope you enjoy it tonight....

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:48 a.m. CST

    TTT

    by agentsculder

    I'm so glad I live in the DC area for one reason: the Uptown. If you live in the area, and want to see this film the way it should be seen, you must see it on their huge screen with phenomenal sound system. As for the film, I was blown away by the achievments of all involved in the project. But I must admit, Gollum/Smeagol is particularly worthy of praise. The CGI work is impressive, but that would be nothing without Andy Serkis's performance. I really hope he gets nominated for an Oscar, because the man deserves it. I can't really put my feelings into words about Helms Deep. There has moments of exhilaration, fear, and great sadness. All of which make it one of the most emotional battles put to screen. I can't wait to see this film again!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Maybe I'm the only one...(potential spoilers)

    by MemBirdman

    ...who isn't sure he liked the movie yet? I'm a fan of the books, and some of the diviations kind of killed my appreciation for the movie. I means, it's the Ents who make the save at Helm's Deep, not other riders. And Faramir shows more courage in the book than he did in the movie. I've got to go see it again and assess the movie on its own merit.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Stone the Crows !! * TTT complaint !!!

    by BankyEdwards2309

    I got back in last night, from the 4pm showing of TTT in Liverpool,England.With a huge smile on my lil face..totally over whelmed yet again by Mr Jackson's movie making! Breathtaking for 99.9% of the time.But why not the full 100%? Well, in my many years of movie going I've had to suffer armies of humanoid aliens with loud brashy US Accents and virtually every respectable Crime Lord with stuffy brit accents in smart suits, but my only complaint for TTT is...Orcs and Uri Khai ( excuse my spelling I'm not a geek) with cockney accents!! I almost choked on my popcorn. 'cor blimey guv'nor lets eat them lil fellas legs,not alf innit'..But one very very very minor fault is not gonna deflect me from this being the best movie I've seen since..hmmm..FOTR :) "And with that..we cue the music"..BOOOOOOOONG!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Davdo..

    by Praetor

    Ah, bollocks. I could have gotten seats for Wednesday night but not good ones. Yeah I'm going to screen 18 too (8 o'clock showing). Printworks is a great cinema. Going with mates tonight and then with girlfriend on Sunday. Same time, same screen but up in the gallery. P.S. you get fantastic surround sound up there and of course free food!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Jeez Louise, Snake-Eyes...

    by Shad0wfax

    I don't mind you jerking off, but would you mind watching where you aim that jizz?

  • Dont be absurd.....how can u possibly compare Eddie Murphy's Donkey to Andy Serkis' Gollum???? Idiot!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:01 a.m. CST

    C'mon, Moriarty! There must be SOMETHING you didn't like in the

    by darthflagg

    Don't get me wrong, TTT is a great film and your review was mostly spot-on. Gollum is indeed worthy of an Oscar. But it's not perfect. Christopher Lee is almost totally wasted in this one, for example. And the pacing felt a little off to me in the early scenes (too much information, too quickly). I guess I'm just tired of every little flaw in the Star Wars prequels being blown out of proportion by people, while everything Jackson does is hailed as a flawless masterpiece.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Sorry Shadowfax...

    by Snake-eyes

    I try to watch where I aim as I masterbate but perhaps what would really help is if you werent kneeling in front of me with your mouth wide open! hehe (only kidding m8 -I'm just excited about these films)

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:09 a.m. CST

    well done

    by Z of X

    Mori's review is spot on perfect. Everything from the specific points to the shell-shock you get after seeing this movie. TTT is really, REALLY, good!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Moriaty I have to disagree on one point

    by Starbuck1975

    I agree with everything you said about Jackson and FOTR except for one key point...the theatrical release of FOTR was off in pacing...off by a long shot...and as a Tolkien fan, I felt some key scenes were definitely missing...I am not talking about Bombadil, and for the most part, I agree with the changes Jackson made because the story still had the feel, craftsmenship and attention to detail that Tolkien poured into his world...I thought the extended cut of FOTR was far superior, and I wish that was the film they released in the theater.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:16 a.m. CST

    I would have paid so much more...

    by workshed

    P.J. should raise the price to see this movie. Shit movies should be at least half price. Is there any logic in my statement? Well - it has to be the best

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Seems like...

    by Piddle

    the only people who didn't like TTT are the ones that don't understand that it is just 1/3 of one long ass movie, and whiney Tolkien-purists who don't understand film-making.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Please understand

    by MemBirdman

    I'm trying to work out the changes in my mind. But I REALLY wanted to see the shepherded forest at Helm's Deep, so it was disappointing. I'm working out the changes in my head, and I'm sure I'll appreciate it. But like someone else said, some changes were just....jarring. And you've got to give fans of the book some time to be able to get past that.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:35 a.m. CST

    PeterNorth....easy fella.....

    by Snake-eyes

    I was just pointing out how daft comparing those two performances are. Surely you cant believe the two are equal?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:42 a.m. CST

    This one will split the fans.......

    by NoOpinion

    Maybe not a 50/50 split, I still think most will love it, but a split none the less. The reason I think is this. Fellowship has become part of our conciousness now. It's like a comfort movie, no matter how many times you see it, it'll still hold your attention and you'll enjoy it, and even grow to love it the more you watch it. Like the Original Star Wars movies. Two Towers is a shock to the system in some ways. It's the same characters as Fellowship, but in so many ways completely different. I'm not saying this is the case for everyone, but I think it will be for a lot. Some will love this movie straight away, some will have enjoyed it but grow to love it with subsequent viewings others will always say the trilogy went down hill at this point. Me, I'm somewhere between the first two.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:44 a.m. CST

    My absurd look at TTT

    by MinasTirithII

    First, I have to see it again before I decide how good it is. Like with FOTR, the more I saw it the better it might become. There is information overload taking place in TTT, partially cause I read the books every year and partially cause there is a lot of story for PJ to tell. So when I see some very gross, very confusing additons and changes to the source material, I get thrown for a loop. Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath?? Aragorn falls from the cliff?? Would have perfereed a better longer ent-moot where they decide to go to war, not where they decide no, then change their minds rather HASTILY I might add when Treebeard sees the dead tree stumps. I can live with the slight ent changes, but the other two I get thrown for a loop. ------------------ Faramir, his character is fine. I think it gets pretty close to the book. Remember, he is not in the Good Favor of his father, the Steward of Gondor, Denethor. He his more of an out cast and a loser compared to Boromir. Faramir then sees the ring as an oppurtunity to fall back into favor of Denethor, who is struggling with Boromirs death still. Faramir was fine, but why Osgiliath? Why go there at all?? Why then have Frodo nearly taken away by the Black Riders on there fell beasts? That, I dont' get. But alas those are main gripes about changing the source marterial. I almost got the feeling he was using the 2 movie script he came up with years ago. I can deal with all the other changes though, even when the Elves came to Helms Deep, no biggie. Even the Arwen stuff etc. Alas, I must was poetic a little later. ANd I must see it one more time before I love it, and many more times cause I love it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:47 a.m. CST

    I Saw TTT... And I Can't Sleep!

    by Cygnus

    It was simply incredible! Last night was one of the most sleepless nights I

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Some questions for you guys

    by locke1230s

    I saw the 8:00 PM showing last night. I have been thinking/obsessing about this movie every since, and I feel, as many on this list have stated that I must see the movie again in order to full decide how I feel about it. Here is what is keeping me from making up my mind.(1) Did the pacing feel a bit rushed to anyone else? I understand they are telling upwards of six stories at one time, which is very difficult, and I guess I miss the simplicity that "The fellowship..." gave us with most of the major characters being together for the better part of the film. (2) Comedy? I was pretty distracted by all of the one liners. I feel it took away some of the weight of what was coming, especially in the battle of Helms Deep. An entire region is about to be slaughtered and Legolas and Gimli are goofing on each other...it left a very bad tast in my mouth (3) Gollum/Smeagol -- Mor. is right. As soon as they stopped wrestlin' around, and god down to business Gollum was awesome...the audience was something else. He had his funny moments, and I laughed. However, the scene with him dealing with his inner being(s) lost all its levity because the damn audienced kept laughing...everytime he switched between Smeagol and Gollum they would laugh, like insanity is some kind of knee slapper. Maybe it was supposed to be funny and I missed it, but it just felt wrong to laugh at those moments. (4) I know why Peter Jackson did the whole Aragorn/Arwen thingy, but I would have really like it a lot more if we never got to see them together, so we would feel, as he does...being totally separated from his true love, instead of living vicarously through his tortured dreams. (Closing) Well I guess thats it. Did anyone else have a smiliar experience? I just know that I went in looking for something very similar to the first movie, and I got something else entirely...I desperatly need to see it again, maybe with a smaller audience in order to solidify my opinion. --James

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Someone mad because HP choked at the Box Office it's second week

    by Sabretooth1974

    The pacing and switching back and forth between stories in TTT was right on! The individual cliffhangers would have been even better had they not revealed Gandalf survived and came back as a white wizard in the trailers. ( For those who were not familiar with the books, I left quite a few friends and family in suspense about that, then they give it away durnit!) Mr. Jackson did an awesome job of cramming all the plot developments and story arcs and the added sequences like the Ents sacking Isengard into the three hours, as opposed to taking a crapfest Like Harry Potter and dragging it out way too long. Granted the two are entirely different, but they are black and white examples of how not to and how to take a book series and render them into a timeless masterpiece that will be enjoyed and played annually in TV reruns 50 years from now (ala Wizard of Oz) Do you really think someone 50 years from now will be flipping through TV Guide and say to themselves, "WOW! A Beautiful Mind is playing on FOX tonight! I remember watching that as a kid with my parents!" As for the supposed confusion understanding what was going on in the Helms Deep sequences, try watching it again without your head up your ass, because that is the only way I can figure you were watching it and not having a clue as to what was going on. Excelsior!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:53 a.m. CST

    people, you make me laugh

    by kaoteek

    let me explain... I'm French, 22, and I haven't seen TTT yet; However I read the books a long time ago , and I decided not to read them again bfore the PJ trilogy for a simple reason : you cannot expect the same things from a book and a movie. Contrary to all of those who are die-hard fans of the books , I never expected Peter Jackson to make carbon-copies of Tolkien's books ,

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:54 a.m. CST

    TTT (Spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen the film)

    by Phimseto

    SPOILER WARNING! ********** The jury is still out for me regarding which of the first two films I like better. I have serious doubts about how successful "The Return of the King" is going to be now that it extremely overcrowded with events (and that is absent the Scouring of the Shire sequences, based on what Peter Jackson is saying). That being said, I enjoyed TTT immensely and I think what makes the film a success in taking its audiences into the story is the fact that the biggest cheer in the crowd came when that one Ent that was set on fire with arrows is seen dunking himself in the oncoming flood waters.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Don't get blood on the carpet!

    by yodapoop

    The Faramir change was puzzling along with the change of the Ent scenes. They never enraged me though like some of the posts I've read. The movie was awesome. I have read the books many times but seeing the movie, even an altered version, is beyond words. Let me compare it to masturbating and actually sleeping with a real woman. The angry posts written by ear bleeding stressed out uber geeks have only known the touch of their own hands but when a woman comes along and fucks the shit out of them, confusion sets in. They don't like having their small stature exposed. So then comes anger. Everyone who is actually enraged over the changes needs to go back into their caves and lube up. Don't come out again. Go back to playing your XBox.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:01 a.m. CST

    kaoteek

    by MemBirdman

    You're very right, we know there's supposed to be deviation. But PJ showed us with FOTR how true you can be with the book. He is less so this time, and I'm trying to figure out why it helps the story. Maybe it'll all be figured out with ROTK, but I don't want to wait a year to think about it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:04 a.m. CST

    like it or not...

    by Piddle

    the fact is this is the closest we're ever going to get to a faithfull adaption of the book. yes, book. LOTR is a single book that is actually devided into 6 parts. It was the publisher that wanted it published in 3 volumes. "The Two Towers" as a title wasn't even Tolkiens idea. Someone suggested it to him and he said "Sure, whatever.". I think that when ROTK is released, people will be much happier with TTT, only because it will make the whole trilogy of films feel complete.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:04 a.m. CST

    oh dear.....PeterNorth.....

    by Snake-eyes

    *sighs* Ok, so I really didnt wanna make a big deal of this however I do have a problem with your remark..."Andy Serkis did not act in this movie. He did a voice". So what youre saying is that in order for someone to be deemed to be 'acting', we as a viewer have to see their faces on screen as well as hear their voice? So tell me....when James Earl Jones voiced Vadar, by your logic he wasnt acting, cos that wasnt him on screen? Surely this is 'acting' albeit a different form of acting but nevertheless its ACTING!!! Also as we all know, he WAS actually there with Frodo and Sam when they filmed the scenes and just cos he was replaced afterwards by the CGI Smeagol/Gollum takes nothing away from the brilliant acting job Andy Serkis did. Go and tell that to your fucking dog and girlfriend.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:09 a.m. CST

    This TB..

    by Piddle

    ...is FUBAR.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:13 a.m. CST

    FILM GOOD...but could have been great

    by shyhoulud

    Hi peeps, I am not the nuttest Tolkien fan around but I do love the books. I was shocked to read a review in one of the UK's more stuck up papers rating TTT as merely average rather than phenomenal. It thought...stuck-up, picky, european arty cinema loving heathen; how dare you. Admittedly the review still said it was very good but dared to critise. Now i've seen it I afraid, may my fingers fall off for typing this, that the stuck up reviewer was pretty accurate. Peter Jackson and co made a rather large mistake while creating TTT. He did not stick to the source material. Every time he deviates the film falls a notch and I truly believe he could have made this film much closer to how it was written in the same time. Come on Pete, that aragorn/Arwen dream was naff and Faramir was short-changed. These are all small gripes though. I still love the film. It does have two major bones of contention for me though. 1. The editing seemed more akin to channel hopping than Lucas-style multi-story integration. 2. There were NO HOURONS!! (Evil mobile forests which kill most of the orcs at Helm's Deep)These were, for me, one of the darkest and most unsettling 'characters' in the book and should have been left in. What happened Jacko?! HOWEVER GOLLUM MAKES UP FOR EVERYTHING (except lame aragorn/arwen scene) AND I WILL STILL SEE THE FILM A FEW MORE TIMES IN THE CINEMA. Cheers all.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Yes, Vroom Socko!

    by rev_skarekroe

    I noticed the exact same thing about the ending. It's not the first time Jackson's LoTR has been suspiciously close to Bakshi's. The scene with the Hobbits hiding from the black rider, and the scene with the Nazgul stabbing the beds from "Fellowship" spring to mind. Heck, I half expected to see Gandalf toss his sword into the air just before the credits on "Towers" rolled. sk

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:18 a.m. CST

    ILM's End?

    by Nixumb

    The_lion, Gollum giving a good performance but if your talking about Gollum on a technical level he was still average. The closeups up Gollum had some incredible facial expressions but it just didn't do it for me. The texture of his skin was too soft and I didnt feel any sense of form with him. The closest scene in which he became a viable actor was when we first see him confronting with his inner "demons" while Sam and Frodo sleep, but this is credited to Peter Jackson's direction. ILM has always had strong competition, especially in the 90's. if there's any indication of this, look at the year's oscars in the past few years. And if there's any indication that people cant tell a difference in quality of effects look at the year Gladiator won over The Perfect Storm and Hollow Man. When there's a good story like Lord of the Rings one will get consumed in the story, but the effects for Gollum were standard and I admire WETA for doing an outstanding job, but ILM is still king.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I wanna wait for Geekmaster Harry's review before i go into big

    by XTheCrovvX

    My personal short version: It is more glorious than i could have possibly imagined. Mori hit the nail on the head with Smeagol(and yes, after seeing his turmoil, it's impossible for me to call him Gollum anymore either), and if Andy Serkis doesn't have a small vault full of gold statues come award season, i will exceedingly pissed. Helm's Deep lives up to every inch of its hype, action-wise, and dramatically...and i dont suggest seeing this flick anywhere unless it has a ground-shaking sound system.....because those scenes where they cut underground, to hear things from the women and children's standpoint....its frightening in the best way imaginable......Frodo's steady fall into darkness and Sam's consistent worry and fear and sadness about it broke my heart....and remembering Galadriels words..."The quest WILL claim his life".....it just compounds it all....and having just watched the Fellowship Extended version, in the scene where we see Frodo, evil-eyed, about to hand the Ring to the Nazgul(fucking cool, i might add), my mind wasnt on the consequences...not entirely, anyway...my mind was on the extended opening...on the Hobbits....laughing...playing...drinking....and Frodo sitting under the tree...how far things have come....its sad in a way i couldnt concieve....and its captured in all its glory on film...and i havent even gotten to the other greatness.....the real end to the fight with the Balrog....Ent Berserker rage....the great comedy relief with Gimli(and yes, it IS relief)....the wonderful way the events in Rivendell are being handled....our first look at Gondor.....i'll save everything else for a real review...but i will say this....I'm glad i havent read the book. because, from what ive been hearing on this board, reading the books seems to be spoiling the experience for some people, and i wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. there's plenty more, but, again, I'll wait for the jolly fat man's review. until then, Revolution is my name

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Keep on Whining... "WHAAAAAA!"

    by TheWoodMan

    Piss and moan, piss and moan. "WHAAAAA... the CGI isn't convincing at all! Gollum sucks! The wargs suck! The Ents suck! WHAAAAA!" What can I say? I'd rather see 98% perfect effects NOW than wait ten years for technology to catch up to the demands of fan-boys, who are impossible to please anyway. "WHAAAAA... the characters are two-dimensional and undeveloped... WHAAAAA!" Try to bear in mind that these are FICTIONAL CHARACTERS who exist only in the form of dialogue in scripts and images on celluloid. They're not even based on real-life persons (unless Tolkien was privy to knowledge that the history books lack). Might I suggest you go outside in the fresh air & sunlight once in a while... you'll find a whole world, six billion three-dimensional, fully-realized characters just walking around. You can even interact with them, if you dare... ya dorks. "WHAAAAA... Jackson's making changes! He's utterly failing to make the movies EXACTLY the way I imagined they'd be! WHAAAAA!" This brand of neurotic, demanding geek has laid waste to whole stretches of Pop Culture, from Comic Books to Science Fiction to Dungeons & Dragons, with their bottomless appetite for continuity and irrational insistence on "accuracy". In the words of Jack Nicholson, addressing the late Rod Steiger in "Mars Attacks"... "SHUT UP!! Shut up shut up SHHUTT... UUPPP!!!" Like I said... keep whining, losers. I am the world's biggest Tolkien Geek and #1 fan of The Lord of the Rings, and I dig what Jackson's doing here and totally approve. While I and about fifty gazillion others count the seconds until The Return of the King, you whiners just sit there and wait for something more your speed, like Lucas' upcoming crowning achievement, "Action Figure Commercial Episode Three". And SHUT UP!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:35 a.m. CST

    A bit disappointed

    by Kerrak

    Ok, I had some problems with this movie. I fully expected, with all the great source material they had for the second movie, and especially after the first movie was done so well, that I would be blown away by TTT. Instead, I am left with that same kind of "groping for explanations" feeling I had when leaving the theatre after TPM and AOTC (not to say TTT wasn't better - it was). The Gandalf/Balrog scene was good, as was Helm's Deep, as was gollum, as was the acting by Bernard Hill and Elijah, but these were offset, in my opinion, by a series of questionable decisions by the filmmaker: 1) Why make Gollum a complete schizo? I understand that there is a duality in his character, but in the book this was subtly done, whereas in the movie they bang it over head like Sam with the frying pan. 2) The Sam/Frodo scenes at the end smack a little of the homo-erotic angle Jackson said he was trying to avoid. If he wants to play that up, fine, but it is generally agreed that that is not how Tolkien viewed their relationship. 3) The cheesy hero-shots. That shot at the end with Gandalf atop Shadowfax rearing up into the air brought a "Dear God" to my lips, and not in a good way. Why so over the top? They have such a powerful story as it is, why cheapen it by going for goofy hero shots like that. The same goes for when Shadowfax is first introduced. They have this great sweeping music...and it's just a horse. I mean, for Godssake, its a horse! It looks like every other horse I've ever seen (how could it look different?), and to have that cheesy hero music attributed to the horse was just silly. Why bother? Gandalf throws out a line about how this is king of the horses, or something like that, but it would have been better to drop that part altogether, as it doesn't further the story at all (they keep out the backstory about how Gandalf got Shadowfax from Theoden, and that was part of the reason for the king's dislike of him), and I imagine people not acquainted with the books are going "What the hell?" I mean, maybe if Shadowfax had racing stripes along its flank, but really... 4) The ents. For one, the CGI was very apparent here. Treebeard sounded just like Gimli. And they cut out all the fury of the Entmoot. Treebeard goes to great lengths to say how long the ents take to decide things and then - bingo! - as soon as they see Isengard they go nuts; no discussion, no talk at all. It totally contradicts what Treebeard just said, as well as contradicting what were really great parts of the book. Bad. 5) Faramir. I thought the whole point of Faramir was to prove the valour of men and of Gondor, how he was not like his brother. They changed the book to make him more of a bad guy. Why? What purpose does this serve? The only thing it does is make that whole scene with Sam and Frodo and Faramir at the end absolutely ridiculous. Faramir, who moments before was ready to hand a "great gift to his father"(Good God!), now, after hearing Sam's cheesy soliloquy, is suddenly ready to forfeit his life? What?! I mean, talk about stretching credibility! In the books Faramir understands the danger of the ring, in the movies he's swayed by Sam's speech like a pre-pubescent girl (I'm sure he would have loved the Shadowfax hero shots). 6) The soliloquys. Jesus, I think every single character has their "passion moment". Sam's was the worst, although the scene with Merry berating the Ents was nearly as bad. Then we had Aragorn berating the king. And legolas berating Aragorn. And Pippin and Merry having their own "Sam/Frodo" moment together, weepy-eyed over the shire; Eowyn's soliloquy, it goes on and on. And in each one, cheesy dialogue that does a disservice to the books, the sweeping hero music that goes on and on ad nauseum - where was the haunting music of FOTR? - the music for TTT is so over the top, a perfect complement to so much of this film. 7) The overabundance of CGI. I don't know if this should be a complaint, because I don't know how else they could have done so many of these scenes. That being said, however, many of the scenes were very obviously "effects" shots, especially the close-ups of the towers (though I know these were models, not CGI). Whereas in FOTR I felt the special effects were integrated, if not seamlessly, at least well enough so as not to distract from my enjoyment of the movie. In TTT that is not the case. An exception is Gollum who, while obviously a CGI creation, was so well portrayed (despite my earlier comments, he was beautifully acted by Andy Serkis), that you didn't notice so much. 8) Gimli. Gimli used as comic relief is not a problem. Gimli used exclusively as comic relief is a problem. While the first couple of jokes with him at Helm's Deep were good (especially the one where he can't see over the ledge), the just keep coming. And coming. And coming. He never f-ing stops!!! It's like he was getting ready to go on tour or something. For a major character in the books to be turned into a recurring gag was very, very poor. 9) While Helm's deep was good, the way it ended was again, very poor, the moreso because they had a perfectly good ending already described for them in the books - why change it!? Why add the elves? Why have a host from Rivendell led by Haldir, from Lorien? It don't make no sense! And why did all the elves move like robots? Unnecessary. Are we supposed to believe that the ten men left in Helm's deep were able to cleave a path through the thousands of orcs between them and Gandalf? What?! How are we supposed to believe that? I thought Peter Jackson wanted these films to be grounded in reality. That was totally off the wall. And where were the ents? I was really looking forward to watching the leagues of Saruman, driven between Theoden's forces and Gandalf's, march into the forest of trees that sprung from nowhere...and then disappear forever. That would have been great! Why change it for the worse? They seemed to have taken all the strengths of FOTR - the intimacy of the characters, the beautful, haunting score, the adherence to the books, the restrained performances, and jettisoned it out the window. I was disappointed with the result, moreso because I had so thoroughly enjoyed FOTR. I can only hope that we see a return to form from Jackson and his crew in Return of the King.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:36 a.m. CST

    The only real serious flaw in Jackson's vision...

    by CHEET

    Is his casting of Mortenson as Aragorn. Don't get me wrong - I think he's a wonderful actor in his right, with his work in The Indian Runner being one of the towering performances of the 90s... But that's just it. Mortenson is at his best playing remote, feral psychos. There's no regal sense of command emanating from him. Just solitude and purpose. I just watched Reign of Fire, a movie so cheesy I had to take Lactaid to get through it... But imagine... CHRSTIAN BALE AS ARAGORN. Think about it. That would've been the icing on the cake. Wasn't Mortenson a last minute replacement anyways? And would someone for the love of acting put Bale in something decent?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:42 a.m. CST

    To Peter Jackson and cast and crew--thank you for this film.

    by Andy Travis

    And an advance thanks for Return of the King. And for mentioning Helm Hammerhand, Mearas, the mounds of the kings of Rohan, Gandalf Stormcrow, and Forth Eorlingas! Holy shit I'm going to see this movie again today.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Remarkable achievment, remarkable review

    by Oberon

    ...as usual. I am a Tolien purist, first and foremost. And while I would like to have seen a movie more faithful to the text, Jackson's deviations worked for me, and worked surprisingly well. The three major deviations (aside from the moving back of Shelob and other events to ROTK), were Faramir's decision to take the hobbits to Minas Tirith by way of Osgiliath, the alterations in the flight to Helm's Deep (including the warg attack, Eowyn's presence, and Aragon's seeming death), and the arrrival of Haldir and the Elves at Helm's Deep, all serve to heighten and deepen the tension and themes in the story. None of them fundamentally distort the storyline or the characters - not even Faramir, who in the end does the right thing, even if (and I agree with Moriarty here) we don't get quite the glimpse into his character that the book provides or that we'd like to see. The set of Osgiliath was so amazing that I can forgive Jackson for the liberty taken just to see it; as was the very moving flashback sequence to Elron's monologue to Arwen, depicting Aragon's funeral and Arwen's final despair as she loses everything she has gained before dying (which is right out of the Aragorn and Arwen appendix). All in all it was a stunning achievement, and I find myself in agreement (asuusual) with Moriarty in saying so - if not so well as him. Postscript: Did I miss it, or did Faramir fail to explain just how he came to know of Boromir's death?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:53 a.m. CST

    The Care and Feeding of your Purist

    by hildebrand

    A subscpecies of the more common Fundamentalist, the Purist is a strain of creature that magnifies the traits of the Fundamentalist, and requires a very steady hand when raising these creatures. First, know exactly what it is to which they pledge their lives, make sure to know exactly what edition and in what language it was written, for the slightest variation, even within the sacred text itself, may prompt the very common reaction called 'purist rage'. Suffice to say, the reaction is dangerous to your health and the sanity of those not attempting to raise a purist. Thus, the fewer opportunities for this rage to erupt, the better. Therefore, make sure that their source material is all they ever read, and never, ever make the mistake of allowing them access to an adaptation. Also, do not make the almost always fatal mistake of thinking that simply because an issue is small within the context of the text, that it is a small issue to the Purist. To the Purist, there simply are no small issues. Each jot and tittle is worth going to the barracades for in the mind of the Purist. The injunction at the end of the book of Revelation regarding adding or subtracting parts of the Judeo-Christian scripture is a gentle reprimand compared to the fury of a Purist who has discovered that something in their text has been altered, even if it makes the story smoother. All is sacrificed for the original text itself. Also, in your discussions with your Purist be sure not to introduce different interpretation of the text then your Purist, for this is also likely to create much consternation and gnashing of teeth. In fact, you may be in danger of your Purist leaving you should you follow that kind of intellectual path. Always remember that you are dealing with a creature that, at its heart, cannot abide change in any form from what they hold to be the original. Thus, care really comes down to a simple solution, simply do not talk to them, it may be the best way of dealing with your Purist. If you have difficulties with your Purist, dial the Purist crisis hotline, and they will put on a fellow Purist to calm your beast and assauage their inherent fear that somebody has tried to change their precious.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:55 a.m. CST

    YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

    by shyhoulud

    Piddle & BankyEdwards2309 have fucked me right off. Normally I am a mild mannered giant but after reading through the responses I want to find you too, rip your hearts out and feed them to you. Have you got something against cockneys BankyEdwards2309 you scouse twat. I thought the scene played out great (if a little short. You are only a small gripe BE. As for you Piddle (Your name suits you because you talk complete and utter piss. Complaints come from people who know nothing about filmmaking? Tolkien geeks? I've forgotten more about films than you will ever know. I am not a geek either (you ever seen a geek rip someone's arms out of their sockets?!) Thare was a lot of needless chaff in TTT which could have been replaced by gripping scenes in the book which were left out. The Fellowship set a high standard and TTT would have surpassed it if only Jackson and crew had trusted the original material a little more. Oh and i've never pulled someone's arms out of their sockets (tried to once but they just broke). Cheers all Shyhoulud (Militant cockney)

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:01 a.m. CST

    shyhoulud

    by hildebrand

    Forget our anti-psychotic medication this morning???

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Stop the Whining!

    by EricJ

    Wood I am so glad to see that I am not the only one that feels that these LOTR snobs are doing nothing but bitching and moaning! I have never posted anything to a movie site before but I am so crazed by all this complaining! What, it was time to tear down LOTR because it has gotten to big? Were you people not at a movie theatre to see this? I was, and everyone in the theatre was clapping and cheering. My wife who doesn't even like fantasy yet she was even blown away. What does PJ have to do? What I experienced was far superior to FOTR and much more exciting. This man has poured everthing into his film and all of the sudden after cumming in your pants over the first movie your going to just dismiss this one? They were made at the same time! It is one movie! I would rather see a visionary heart and soul movie that may be "imperfect" than 99.9% of the dribble that Hollywood produces on a daily basis. If you want to see a movie that is word for word the book and is not its own entity than go see Harry Potter and SHUT UP! Oh I am sorry you people will complain that Harry Potter was too much like the book and has no soul of its own. Give credit were credit is due people and to quote wood SHUT-Up, SHUT-UP, SHUT-UP, go outside and enjoy life.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Saw the film yesterday.....

    by simpsonite

    and for the most part was extremely happy with the film. The only problems I had were the same as when I saw the fellowship for the first time last year. This is simply to do with pacing. So many characters and images hit you with the two towers that it is a bit overwhelming, and this is coming from someone who has read the books many times. Thankfully, the extended version of the fellowship sorted out any problems that I had with pacing and character issues in that movie, and I am confident that I'll feel the same when the extended TTT is released next year. For right now, I've gotta get back to the Flicks and see this baby again. Gollum was everything I hoped for and more, the characters are superbly played by all involved, and if ROTK proves to be the fitting finale we all know it will be, then we have the greatest movie trilogy of all time.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:01 a.m. CST

    LOVED IT, but what about....?

    by Gandalf--Rules

    Saw the film last night and it's a brilliantly composed masterpiece. Being a filmmaker myself, I can understand the the magnitude of commitment and artistry and went into making PJ's vision a cinematic reality. But I have a couple of questions about 2 plot points that deviated from the books. #1. Was I the only one that initially thought that the boy and girl refugees were supposed to be Eomer and Eowyn as children? Was I the only one that was taken a little by surprise when the boy and girl show up in Rohan just before the exodus to Helm's Deep? #2. When Aragorn goes off the cliff and is washed ashore, is Arwen using some kind of spiritual and elvish power to rejuvenate and heal him? Did she send the horse to him? I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be some kind of inner turmoil that Aragorn was experiencing or if it were actually happening and that Arwen was saving him. If anyone has a clue about this, post back. Peace out!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:02 a.m. CST

    HAHAHAHA THAT FLAMING TREE WAS THE SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by zillabeast

    DID YOU SEE THAT FUCKER DIVE INTO THE WATER?? ROLMAO!!!!!!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Golden Globes

    by Swifty Slowpoker

    For what it's worth, the AP is reporting that TTT is nominated for Best Drama in the Golden Globe Awards and Peter Jackson for Best Director. The story didn't mention any other nominations.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Sure didn't feel like 3 hours

    by GypsyTRobot

    Well I went into the theater knowing that there would be many changes from the book, dumb dwarf jokes, shield surfing, etc. Going in with slightly lowered expectations, TTT blew me away. At one point, this thought came unbidden: "This is the equivalent of Empire Strikes Back" and another: "Holy mother of god, this is the best sword and sorcery movie ever." When the movie was over, I couldn't believe it had been 3 hours (more like 3 hours and 20 minutes with all the trailers, etc.). Although when I got up, I felt as stiff as an ent. Gollum kicked ass. I don't care if he didn't look 100% realistic, his movements, facial expressions and voice made him truly wonderful. Sure the movie had its problems, there was some mediocre acting, the wargs looked fake and too hyenalike, Saruman didn't do a hell of a lot . . . but overall, it was frickin' awesome and I can't wait to see it again. I guess I surrendered my Purist strains and decided to enjoy the movie for what it was. I do intend to sign up for cryogenics so that I can be reanimated in 200 years time when they do an even better version of LotR in Holovision.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:11 a.m. CST

    hmmmm

    by raker

    I have been humbled.

  • Perhaps I didn't word my complaints correctly: Yes, the overall action in Helm's Deep is fairly straightforward - the problem is that the way the battle is staged is utterly, utterly crap. Quick, frustrating cuts whenever the action threatens to become interesting or exciting; bizzare hiccup-style pacing and rythm; no personal involvment in what's going on; no drama WHATSOEVER... and what happened to MASSIVE - the revolutionary technology for making armies fight each other? They barely used it at all! I kept waiting for some great MASSIVE shots (like in FOTR prologue) but they never came! What is the point of developing such amazing technology, hyping it up for a year, and then NOT using it??!!!!! And then the battle ends with an apologetic whimper, instead of with a bang. It looks like they had a gigantic amount of footage for this battle and didn't know what to do with it. So they set the editing machine to RANDOM and just used whatever it spewed out.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:15 a.m. CST

    PeterNorth.....Shelob is......

    by Snake-eyes

    Oh.....wait a minute.....you called me a son of a bitch a few posts back didnt you. Hmmm....and after I tried to restrain myself and explain to you calmly why I thought you were wrong when you said Andy Serkis wasnt acting. Ok....well how about this....while I dont think he deserves the best actor oscar (and I never meant he should win that, I meant maybe best supporting actor), I certainly think he deserves something for the superb acting job he did. Clearly this was the best character voice-over of all time. Oh and one more thing, when you said........ "Acting involves physical expression. You can have the coolest most emotional voice in the world but if you are standing there with your thumb up your ass it isn't very effective"!........ WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ON ABOUT!?!?!? Firstly, he wasnt standing there with his 'thumb up his ass' he was acting WITH them on set, and secondly I happened to think his voice is VERY EFFECTIVE!!!! STOP BEING A STUPID PRICK!!!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:22 a.m. CST

    TalkBack-idiocy

    by MuroMancer

    First; I can't for the life of me understand how anyone can seriously claim that The Lord of the Rings is poorly made. Dislike, hate, scathing criticim yes, I can grasp that (though I won't agree), but contemptive dismissal? Rediculous. Now, that said; With all respect to the majority of sensible and civilized posters; I have never, in all my years on the net seen such a collection of monumental idiots than here in the TalkBack columns. Yes, I am in this case referring to a specific individual, and I know, this isn't very constructive, but I had to say it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Serkis DID act in TTT.

    by minderbinder

    Not only did he do the voice and act on the sets, but he did MOTION CAPTURE for Gollum's motions. The movements you see onscreen are largely created by Serkis. Yep, that's "physical expression". Acting.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:30 a.m. CST

    REQUIEM FOR THE TWO TOWERS

    by sir nougat

    Hasn't anybody noticed that the musical score that was written by the Kronos Quartet SPECIFICALLY for the movie, Requiem for a Dream, is exactly the same musical score for the Two Towers, only fully orchestrated?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:37 a.m. CST

    THANK YOU MINDBENDER......NOW......PETERNORTH GO FUCK YOURSELF!!

    by Snake-eyes

    Maybe that ignorant little TURD will piss off now. He was beginning to annoy me. By the way PeterNorth, earlier when you said you had spoken to your girlfriend followed by your mongrel dog? Well...were you in actual fact still speaking to your girlfriend? hehe

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Shelob (spoilers)

    by GypsyTRobot

    She = she as in female, lob = old word for spider. As in, the last offspring of Ungoliant to trouble the world. Ungoliant being a giantic all-devouring spider that even Morgoth (Sauron's old boss) fled from. Anywho, Shelob is a giant spider who lurks in a complex of tunnels near a passage into Mordor. Gollum ran into her in the course of his travels and although Shelob's goal in life was to eat every living thing that she encountered, Gollum was just too nasty even for her. Apparently they have an understanding, although how an undead hobbit communicates with a giant spider is unclear. Shelob poisons Frodo at the end of the book, however this is not in the movie (presumably to leave more action for the Sam/Frodo storyline in RotK). Sam leaves Frodo for dead, and later finds to his chagrin that Frodo was just unconscious, and the orcs have taken him . . .

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:48 a.m. CST

    I give The Two Towers a "9" or an "A."

    by WarDog

    Mori, you're right in a lot of things, although I was far more awestruck by the way Gollum was than you were. Not to criticize your evaluation of him, but I didn't see any flaws in the creation of that character. I thought everything was spot-on, from the skin tone (I don't agree that was bad, as one TBer did) to the movements, which were 97% realistically fluid. Only in the fighting with Frodo and Sam at times did that seem a bit overdone. I also thought the musculature and facial expressions were astounding. In any case, you did get to feeling for this miserable, perverted wretch. Mori's evaluation of his internal psychological debate was exactly right. I was surprised when it elicited laughter widely through the audience, but then I realized that this also was playing out pretty funny, but still largely true (not completely) to the way that debate was in the novel. Anyway, enough about Gollum. ******* I love the movie for what it did right and gave us far more than our expectations. Those balance out the things I didn't like in it, mainly the things Jackson & Co. put in which weren't in the novel, and I don't think deserved to be. Some "non-scriptural" things, on the other hand, did work, and I didn't mind them being there, like the whole of Edoras being evacuated to Helm's Deep or the Elves coming to their aid. I still wish they'd not added wholly original (non-book) things as much as they did, since then they could have included the things in the book they left out. They didn't need Aragorn's dream sequences or his separation from the Rohirrim; it added nothing to the character or relationships or the main plot. And they shouldn't have changed Faramir the way they did, even though that all turned out the same in the end. While it's unfortunate that the climactic final chapters of The Two Towers are postponed (which would have been a fan-damn-tastic climax to this movie, had they not padded it with all the extraneous scenes) the way they finished the movie was very much like the ending of the FotR movie, so it works on that score. I can only assume that because the actually final narrative of the trilogy (minus all the appendices of the book) is the shortest, that Jackson felt he needed to shift the climax of TTT to the RotK movie. And what a stunning opening that will be next year!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:49 a.m. CST

    that was one pathetic review!

    by koie

    What is the deal with so many amatuers who pass themselves off as movie critics, who have no clue, how to write a decent film review? Ok mort. its time to go back to school. Rule #1: you don't write a review where over 70% is spoilers. You write a full review of the film, with no spoilers, and if you are unable to fully comment on the film without a few minor spoilers, then you write one or two paragraphs towards the end, regarding the spoilers. The review you wrote would get an F.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:54 a.m. CST

    The_Lion is an ass

    by Burp Fartman

    ILM only made the effects for the 2nd Harry Potter. The first one suffered from the work of some Sony-related fx company (I think).

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Fettastic......RE. BOMBS

    by Snake-eyes

    You asked "How did the Uruk-Hai get ahold of bombs? They have gunpowder in Middle Earth." I think this was Saruman's doing. I remember seeing him concocting a special brew when he was with Wormtongue, using what looked like the Middle Earth equivalent of gunpowder or at least something which seems to create explosive results when ignited. As for the weakness in the wall of Helms Deep, not sure, although same could be said about the DeathStar's exhaust port (or whatever it was). I buy it anyway....that wall exploding was just excellent!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11 a.m. CST

    Can't give it higher than a B-...

    by Universal Noir

    Boyens gets the benfit of the doubt for what she submits in the 4-disc version of FOTR...that, for example with the Bombadil sequence, we - as viewers - don't KNOW that the Bombadil sequence DIDN'T happen, its just not mentioned...ok, fair enough. I didn't understand the Arwen change, but okay, fine...not a big deal (IMHO, it was more of big dea lto leave out the voicing of "Come back, come back ,to Mordor we will take you"!!!) But with tihs second film, PJ, Fran and crew have missed the mark, and here's why... There was no reason to change much of the things PJ changed in this one...and each of those changes hurt character development, not helped it, as some poor sods are submitting here. Film-Faramir exhibiting more wisdom than book-Faramir? Rubbish. Absolute bullshit. Tolkien makes apoint to manifest Boromir in the image of his father, and Faramir in the image of Gandalf. Where was Faramir's "Gandalfishness"? There was none. In addition, how are we supposed to beleive that Eowyn will choose to marry THIS Faramir? What subtle strength of characte did he exhibit? The "elf allegiance," the failed version of the Entmoot (not to mention the TOTAL abdication of any mention by Treebeard of "hastiness" on the part of the Hobbitts, which could have been easily done and without question serves the develpment of Treebeard), the failed "love triangle," the POOR Theoden transition, the abdication of the doom of choice for Wormtongue (why, in the film, are we supposed to beleive that he got into that position in the first place? Oh yes, the Exorcist-like possession of Theoden by Saruman...puh-leese), the lack of Hurons dooming the orcs (btw, where in the fuck did they run away to at the end? weak..)...all of these things, and more I've probably forgotten have driven this film into the Lucas realm...STORYLINE SERVING SPECIAL EFFECTS, whereas most of FOTR was SPECIAL EFFECTS SERVING STORYLINE... Why else did we interject a trio of Nazgul-on-flying-steed moments into this film? What did the Nazgul actually do, other than look good? Oh yes, on Nazgul, in almost snatching the ring, "triggers" Faramir into wisdom. PAH! You see, the whole logic of the situation fails the story at this point? Why would Sauron, now KNOWING where the fucking ring is, not send the overwhelming might of his Nazgul and earthly forces to Osgiliath at that moment, for the sole purpose of retreiving the ring? When you fuck with Tolkien, you fuck up...simple as that.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11 a.m. CST

    Nice...

    by Halloween68

    My only complaints about this film were the liberaties taken with the story, and the spastic use of "shakey-cam". You know what though? These are preferences. I don't think the film should be judged on how closely the movie follows the book, and doggonit, some people must love "shakey-cam" because it it's continually used and favored by the biggest of the biggest. I just happen to prefer steady angles and fast paced cuts so you can plainly see what's going on but still keep that sense of urgency. That out of the way, I find no fault with this film... I found several with Fellowship. Albeit they were minor. This goes to show that this film deserves every bit of credit if not more than last years beginning film. Not that I think we should compare, since it's all big film anyway, but still to let those apprehensive few out there know. It is a must see. Whether you're a fan or not. Even if you hate Tolkien and all things fantasy, you should still see this film because if its accomplishment as a film. Wonderful. One last thing... You know, the only criticism I've heard to date about this film really (outside of departing from the book which again, I don't count) is that some find it not as emotional or character driven as the first. Well, I'd like to address this. The Fellowship of the Rings was by and large a drama. Even though it was the beginning of an advanture it was seeped in emotion and family and love of your brother, culturally speaking. It was also the beginning of the film where everything is set up. That counts exposition, character development, emotional growth and whatnot. Where I'm going here is, The Two Towers is part of what Fellowship was building to. The Two Towers is a fast-paced action thriller. There are no quite moments in this film. When there are, it's used to develop and introduce the new family of cast. And all of these additions are quite excellent. Eowyn, Eomer, Faramir, Theoden, Grima Wormtongue, Gollum, Treebeard, and even Hama were all excellently portrayed. The returning cast members kept up there performances and the ones in the forefront emotionally grew. There was really no time for furthur drama, wimsical dialog, and character development other than what was taken out of battle and the comradery. And there was plenty of that. The casting continues to be brilliant and the acting continues to be topnotch.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:01 a.m. CST

    SANCTIMONIOUS PRICKS!

    by boylepants

    Do you know what I hate? It's when people come on and try to justify their reasons for loving or hating a film, especially those who hate a film. They always seem to be the worst. Its as if they're trying to change the minds of everyone by their unreadable dribble. Sanctimonious pricks who feel the need to rant and rave about their deep rooted hatred for a film, I mean for gods sake! People are not going to listen to you!!! They will go and see the film themselves. They will make up their own minds!!! The same goes for those who like to write as if they orgasmed for the entire duration that a film was on. keep it to yourselves. Go have a wank if you feel the need to get off. Oh and you know who I really hate? Those knit-picking bastards who complain about every little change and alteration to source material. If you want to see a book exactly as it should be on screen, then go a buy a camcorder, open page one of the book and start recording from there, turning the pages as you go. I bet it wouldn't make for half as good a movie.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Yo, Peter North

    by micben1

    1. Andy Serkis performed on location as Gollum, so that the other actors would have a reference. 2. Andy Serkis performed for the animators so that they would have a reference. 3. Andy Serkis face was the model and reference for Gollum's facial expressions. So - Andy Serkis did more that 'a Voice'. Gollum looks like, and performs as Andy Serkis.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:05 a.m. CST

    As I said after another TTT-related article, if ANDY SERKIS does

    by Much Too Tall

    He was excellent. Thank God someone in Hollywood still knows how to act! The rest of the TTT cast is A + as well, but Andy really stands out.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Here we go again.

    by Aquafresh

    Listen, I know that this point has been made ad nauseum by the few sensible people that post here, but if someone has a reasonable, well thought out criticism, cut them some slack. I have not yet seen the film, but am looking forward to it. However, I may have some valid criticisms about it, and I can rest assured that by posting them at AICN I will be subjected to the venom of the LOTR zealots. We all have favorite films that that can be scrutinized; it shouldn't be seen as an act of war. I would never seek to diminish another person's love for a film, HOWEVER, I would like to discuss ideas and critical thoughts without feeling like I'm dealing with an angry cult. Not pointing any fingers, just noticed a few posters on this thread getting railed on for making seemingly valid comments. Sorry for sounding like Captain Sensitive and all. Excuse me while I go cry.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Wrong Halloween68, wrong!

    by Universal Noir

    You say that there wasn't time for "more drama,"...but there would have been if the false (and IMHO poorer) storyline had not been inserted... BTW, "shaky-cam" shots of the battle scenes are to acheive the PG-13 rating...PJ has already submitted that the "Special Edition" will be rated R, so maybe they are "unshook" and we get to actually see what happens clearly in the up-close battle shots...now if only the SPecial Edition was a full rewrite...

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Minor things but overall enjoyed

    by burningbabyfish

    I think it is possible to be too close to the source material. I think that was my problem with TTT - I read the trilogy on a regular basis, so some of the changes PJ made were screamingly obvious to me. And in a few cases, I prefer the nuances of the book to the movie.////Was the movie bad? No. A little slow in the beginning? Yes. I loved the interplay of Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli. Their bond as actors and characters is obvious and well-played. Sam and Frodo are beautifully poignant characters, as is Gollum. Though I was a bit distracted after somebody hissed that he looked like the Tales from the Crypt guy. It kept sticking in my head that way. Wonderfully realized character, though. Gollum-speak is about as catchy as Yoda and Jar-Jar though. But as to becoming a character, Gollum certainly outshines them all.///I didn't like Theoden all that much for some reason.///I didn't like Aragorn's "death" scene - anybody who read the books knows he's not dead and it just felt blatantly manipulative.///Bottom line - brilliant moments setting up what I'm sure is going to blow cinema off the map in RoTK. Now a question - I thought when Harry first started reporting on this there was a rumor that they weren't going to show the scouring of the Shire in RoTK. Anybody know or remember if that's true? I hope not, because I think it provides the final bookend to the trilogy.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Star Wars 2 1/2: The Two Towers

    by Orson W

    Firstly, I am NOT a Tolkien purist. I am a huge fan of the books and of PJ's FOTR - I WANT to see PJ add new ideas - as long as they are GOOD ideas! If PJ has a scene with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas in drag singing 'Dancing Queen' and it works in the context of the movie then I will quite happily go along with that. What I do NOT want to see is PJ copying the lamest ideas from George Lucas latest 'movies' and putting them in TTT! But this is exactly what he has done! I still can't believe it. TTT is a one-note movie, incoherently edited and paced, about one hour too long, laboured with tedious 'action' sequences and full of redundant, repetitive dialogue. (Was there NO-ONE to proof-read the script to make sure that characters weren't repeating the same dialogue and ideas over and over again????)The tragedy is that amidst all this mess, there IS a great movie begging, crying, scratching to get out. What this movie NEEDS is a phantom edit. Once the DVD is out, I'll do it myself if I have to. ******** In answer to Graham Minnesota: You were polite enough to ask so I'll be polite enough to answer: Gollum put in an excellent performance and I didn't really mind that he was CGI. From a technical point of view, I am impressed that they managed to make him mostly 'solid' and three-dimensional, which is a definite advancement in CGI (which usually looks a bit wishy-washy). I think they have advanced the technology to the point that Gollum looks like a solid, brilliantly animated puppet - and I put him in the same league as ESB Yoda for screen presence and believability - which is a hiigh compliment indeed.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:22 a.m. CST

    TEMPLE OF DOOM

    by saintaugust

    Being the huge fan of FOTR that I was(still am) I have to admit that I was rather underwhelmed/confused by the TTT. Maybe it's because I haven't had long enough to discern the absurdly great moments from the absurdly bad ones. TTT is one of the most over the top movies I've ever seen. It was Temple of Doom. I haven't decided how I feel about that yet; I need to see it again to make sure but Gandalf riding the Balrog? Aragorn's hand getting stuck in the warg strap and falling off a cliff and dying and coming back from the dead? Gandalf going into outer space? Legolas' hop on to the horse? The Uruk-hai olympic torch guy? This movie was insane. It is only comparable to the most absurd of movie sequels Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Like I said though, is that bad or good? I'm not sure yet. Gollum was amazing though.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Faramir was just done WRONG!

    by Alex Rogan

    I'm prefectly able to deal with changes that don't violate the spirit of the book, but with Faramir they really blew it. Faramir comes off as being almost exactly like his older brother. In the book he is very much different. He figures out they have the ring, but has NO desire to take it or hinder Frodo and Sam from their mission. Boromir was a pure warrior, Faramir was a leader and warrior, wiser and nobler than his brother. Those virtures play a role in his winning over the heart of Eowyn later on, the conflict with his father etc. I hope the extended version can fix this up a bit, even if all they do is add that line where he says even if he found the ring by the side of the road he would not pick it up, it would be enough.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Missing Scene

    by New Jerusalem

    The film is fantastic! I just had one question for those who might answer it. Was the pullback shot of Eowyn at Edoras, the shot that displayed the grandeur of the city and the mountain backdrop, in the final picture? It was presented in most of the trailers, but I didn't see it. As a scene, it helped to sell me on the Two Towers. I missed not seeing it in the theatrical version. Someone, let me know if it was in there, and I missed it. Thanks!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Where's Harry on This???

    by Russman

    Did he have a heart attack after seeing it?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Well I just git back from seeing it a second time...

    by ANGELS-EGG

    ...I will say one thing how Moriaty felt about this film was EXACTLY the way I did.He obviously LOVES FILMS where as a lot of nitpickers really should keep to the books if there is such a problem with it. If anyone thinks they can do better try creating a screenplay from a dense book. Try creating a ENTERTAINING FILM from a very stuffy book. This film was superb...GEEKS ARE NEVER SATISFIED WITH ANYTHING!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:30 a.m. CST

    As an effects guy, myself...

    by empyreal0

    (SPOILERS INTERMINGLED HERE, but if you're reading the TBs before seeing the movie you're running that risk!) ...I'd have to say that while I was positively stunned by the incredibly convincing performance by Gollum (because he actually ACTED, he wasn't simply an animation, keyframed by folks such as myself slaving for months over a computer, nor did he feel like just a simple motion capture, but he was an actual freaking actor), I did find many shots of the Ents to be rather underwhelming. Specifically, I mean any of the many head-to-toe shots where Treebeard was walking around... and he didn't have any sense of weight or presence. Merry and Pippin clinging to him never seemed the least bit precariously perched, in fact, they never seemed to have any weight either. Many of the close-ups appeared to have faked the rocking motion of walking with pure compositing, just a simple rotation to the left, and then the right, with neither of the hobbits seeming to shift balance or anything. Maybe I'm the only one to notice, but it bothered me. With the exception of the attack on Isengard (beautiful!), and a few of the groups shots with several different Ents (who all seemed a bit influenced by Brian Froud in terms of design!) they just seemed very Never-ending Story. They quite simply just did not spend a lot of time on the Ents (and perhaps they couldn't, considering the incredible and nearly flawless work that went into Helm's Deep and Gollum). Maybe I'm expecting too much out of a great film. It's difficult, though, when the rest of the film is so beautifully and carefully done and the Ents felt a bit rushed (how ironic). As far as the movie in general goes, I have only three criticisms: lack of significant character development, Saruman's comparitively weak (almost cowardly) presence in this film, and the general feeling that there is absolutely no net change from beginning to end of the film. For example: Frodo and Sam start out the film trying to get into Mordor, and end the film trying to get into Mordor. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli start out the film looking for Merry and Pippin, and end the film still never coming across Merry and Pippin. I'm not sure how I could really criticize a lot of this legitimately (after all, I found the middle book to be rather slow-going and dull), but I don't know, maybe if a more significant change in character had come over Frodo, maybe if it felt like the stakes were higher now even after Helm's Deep (because Sauron's forces were more powerful after having used Saruman's as a distraction or whatever)... I didn't get that second-act cliffhanger feeling I really thought was necessary to legitamize the whole story. We needed to end on an "oh, shit, we've lost the ring" kind of moment. Remember Back to the Future II (as long as the DVDs just came out, we can bring it up, right)? The story itself didn't feel like it needed to happen, and it generally got you back to where you started (one minor problem solved) but it opened up a real pandora's box of a problem, namely, Marty stuck in the past. GREAT cliffhanger. At the end of Two Towers, did it feel as though the stakes were higher? Nope, it felt like the good guys kicked some serious ass against some pretty hopeless odds and should have no problem kicking ass next round. I wanted to feel like everyone was in for some deep shit next movie... and I didn't feel it. We see the fire over the mountains, but not the big fucking monsters that should make us very afraid for Sauron's wrath. We see Gollum's character change back to threatening, but feel cheated that the payoff come next movie. Don't get me wrong, I loved Two Towers. Thought it was beautifully and very carefully and lovingly presented on the screen. Every little detail was magic. But the big picture, the story arc, felt lacking.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:30 a.m. CST

    2 things...

    by quiz monkey

    1)saw TTT yesterday totally agree with moriarty. this is an AWESOME film. 2)linking this epic with the "war on terrorism"? one is a beautifully crafted tale of the journey to destroy an evil threatening to destroy the world. the other is a spoilt brat trying to finish off a job that his father failed at in an attempt to prove whose got the biggest b******s in the yard. I rarely post, and i rarely disagree with moriarty, but this time, you've got it plain wrong

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:32 a.m. CST

    The best praise I can give it -

    by Damitol

    There were moments that I had a beaming smile (upon first seeing Gollum act) and moments when I had a tear or two rolling down my cheek. This from someone who has seen countless movies passively that were pulling out all stops to get an emotion going. One tear moment was at Helm's Deep pre battle. It wasn't even a tear jerker moment like a Mom hugging her kids. I honestly can't tell you what it was, but the moment was just so visually arresting, that along with the emotion running throughout the whole sequence, it got to me. The last time I got teary at a movie was FotR when I first saw the Fellowship stand together. Before that, I have no clue. It's not perfect and I could nit-pick here and there, but that would be like receiving $1,000,000 and complaining it was not $1,000,037. I will see it again, I will gladly buy two versions of the movie on DVD, and I will be at the theater on December 17, 2003 (I'm assuming) for Return of the King. For the record, I will also see and own Star Wars Episode III when released, but the difference will be one movie I will enjoy and one movie I will cherish for a lifetime.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Declaration of Independence

    by funkybritches

    We hold these truths to be self evident: That while all films are not equal, it is the responsibility of the studio and the artists behind the project to henceforth not spew out crap. In the recent years, rising filmakers such as Pete Jackson and company, the Cohen Bros, and many more are presenting audiences with quality art that is redefining what it means to go to the movies. George Lucas, though I dearly love your original trilogy and your effects on the new prequels make me go "hmmmm..." you are merely a pale ghost of nostalgia for what is more and more turning out to be an over rated B movie compilation of 50's science fiction serials (with the exception of Empire and the character work of harrison ford - god bless both for giving that work some longetivity beyond my nostalgia). Oh, George, how I once loved your work, but please, take note: EFFECTS DO NOT MAKE A GOOD MOVIE - THEY MAKE GOOD VIDEO GAMES (which incidentally is how well you direct your actors, as if they're pixels on a drawing board - (NO, THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO SMEAGOL - FRIGGIN BRILLIANT WORK SERKIS AND WETA)). Effects are there to be interwoven with delicacy and flourish and a passion for the STORY. Remember the STORY George? Hollywood Blockbusters, thou shalt still draw me in to goggle at your effects, but only when coupled with some kind of substance to reduce the pain of your poorly drafted storylines from registering in my mind. This is my declaration of independence from your SHIT, oh hollywood, for I have tasted real freedom and true satisfaction with a film, through Pete Jackson and company's marvelous piece of cinematic history. BRAVO ALL. PS - for anyone who hasn't seen it, get a taste for the exquisite previous work of WETA and Jackson and friends in Heavenly Creatures - rewatched it the other night and it's a treat in the purest form.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Two Times the Adventure....Two Times the Excitement....Two Times

    by Moriarity Report

    The major problems I had with Fellowship of the Ring were corrected in Two Towers. There was no humor in FOTR; there was great humor here. The action was unbelievable in FOTR (the 7 of them fighting off thousands of Orcs in Moria? Aragorn fighintg off the Ringwraiths by himself?), but here it was much more believable. Jackson really went with his strengths this time out. I think FOTR was so popular as a fantasy film because of its realism. But the ridiculous action sequences destroyed that reality for me. Plus, it just wasn't a lot of fun. Two Towers was simply astounding for its first half. The Orlando Sentinal said it best when they said "It's more of everything that's good in a fantasy film - more majestic, more heroic, more passionate, more poetic, more comic, more thrilling, more menacing. And more biblical." Yes!!! This is classic storytelling folks. There has never been a "High Fantasy" film even approaching this scope. No lame Enya music this time. All majestic Medieval European kick-ass knight action all the way. And then there is....Gollum. Hands down the greatest film creature to grace the screen since the early eighties puppet hey day of Yoda, ET and Jabba. This is Lucas all the way folks! He is scary yet very funny. And REAL. What made Yoda and ET so fascinating was that they were humourous, magical and REAL. Gollum is a MIRACLE. What Jar Jar almost was and certainly could have been. I must say that I am a fan of Jar Jar. The design and animation and speech pattern for Jar Jar were all great. Lucas fucked up though by making him too cartoony. Making him do things Roger Rabbit would do. But Gollum did none of those things. This is what CG was meant to be folks. A continuation of where puppetry, animatronics and stop motion left off in the early 90's. And on top of the realism, he's just such a fascinating character. The conversation he had with himself was one of the greatest fantasy film scenes of all time. In fact, I would say the film actually suffered after Gollum pretty much dissapeared for the final 3rd of the film...if for the only reason because he was not in it! >>> The Helm's Deep battle was great. The army of Orcs didn't look CG! THis is probally because the battle was at night and in the rain, but kudos! I loved the hopelessness the heroes felt as they started getting their asses whopped. Very passionate, reminded me of Empire Strikes Back and Pearl Harbor. The Ents were great, again because they weren't too cutesy. Great Celtic Mtythological characters here. The Easterlings were great in their cameo, as were the gates of Moria...very realistic! >>>Miranda Otto was excellent. All of the Rohan knights were very majestic. Rohan itself was AMAZING! I'm assuming it was a real place. This is what fantasy is about folks. THe ELf flashbacks didn't work for me. I actually thought the Elves were on of the v ery best things about FOTR but it seemed so out of place in this story. Liv Tyler's scenes were very misconceived this time out. >>>>As awesome and big as it was, none of the action measures up to what Lucas can do, sorry. I wish it would have. It came close in parts. But there wasn't the creativity, reality and pure CHARACTERIZATION that Lucas is so great at. They did come a whole hell of a lot closer than FOTR did. FOTR was not a great fantasy film, sorry. Frodo and Samwise just don't do it for me folks. Merry and Pippen are FAR more interesting characters and I think, are being played by better actors. It might just be me, but Wood and Astin's acting seems just plain amateurish. They get their asses handed to him by the actors who portray Merry and Pippen (although I didn't care for them in FOTR either) I don't think the lines Frodo and Sam have to speak helps though. I'll cut Elijah-wan a break since his character is zoned out most of the time because of the ring. But this is probably why they should have gotten a more talented actor for this difficult part.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST

    It was worse than FOTR.

    by velocity

    I didn't think it was possible but Hackson has actually made a film that's worse than FOTR. My problems with FOTR - 1/ The dialogue. OH MY GOD HOW AWFUL IS THAT DIALOGUE!? "Hence, go forth into the firey chasm of murder and vanquish the evil, terrible, dark, threatening, creature of the deep!" Pleeeeeeeessseee. I was praying that it would be better but some the dialogue in this movie is actually more popous than the first. 2/ The characters. I simply couldn't give a damm about what happened to them. The Hobbits are whiny, cry-babies with absolutley NO likeable qualities. Aragon has NO charisma and Gandalf came across as a creepy old man. In TTT we get a new bunch of characters to not care about! Yeeeeaahhhh!!!!!!3/ CGI. If you are going to rely on CGI then you better make sure it's goo. Too many times in FOTR I was taken out of the story by shit CGI and it's the exact same here. I mean, that shot when Legal Ass grabs the front of his horse and swings onto it? How bad was that!!! It looked like something you'd see in a mummy movie. I went to see TTT hoping that it would get me into this trilogy but quite frankl it has made things worse. This trilogy has no soul or heart and in the end it looks like it will just be considered an action story which I am told by fans of the books, that it's not meant to be.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST

    After reading this TB, the following snippet from "Friends" keep

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    I think it's Chandler, who says, "Oh, two gorgeous women are in love with me! My wallet's too small for all my twenties and my diamond shoes are too tight!" Anybody else know why I'd be thinking this while reading this particular TB? Incidentally, TTT rocked my world. Like FOTR, it gained in weight and majesty the second time - probably because changes from the book always throw me out the first time - the second time you can just roll with it and chill the fuck out. I'm mad about Faramir though. And I'm still having trouble recognising Frodo from the book, but hey, why kvetch? It ruled. My favourite bit was any part with Ents in it. And Frodo on the tower at the end. Awesome review by the way, Professor. Namarie, tailenders...

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Since when was Aragorn from Queens

    by willybobo123

    Don't know if anyone noticed but there is a point late in the film, when Aragorn is pleading with the King from Rohan, and he states that he would stay there and die with them. But he completely drops the pseudo English Arthurian accent that everyone uses throughout the flick. Reminds you that Viggo is not much more than a pair of cheekbones -- ones that could be bought for cheap and entice women to try and sit through three hours of geek boy fantasy. Other quibbles -- The entire Arwen nonsense romance/dream/not a dream/ subplot is weak, most if not all of it, entirely created for the movie. Which is to say, not from the book. The overtly manipulative shots of some unknown woman being separated from her children, only to be reunited later in the film to give us an idea of what was at stake for ordinary people, was clunky. The suspension of disbelief required to acceot the outcome of Helm's Deep is immense. I understand it's a movie--a fantastical one at that--but how a few hundred elf and men survive an onslaught of 10,000 'ferocious uruk-hai' is beyond me. Doesn't anyone else think the editing was a bit shoddy during the climax--one minute gandalf and the backup horsemen meet with the ork army, the next their standing there victorious. Right... And what about the fact that a few horses were able to trample their way through orks on that bridge...what do they take us for...oh...right...fanboys. Women have little or nothing to do in the film, which leads back to my Arwen gripe. And maybe I'm reaching here, but exactly what was the symbolism between Aragorn dreaming of Arwen only to be wakened by a horse, whom he caresses and proceeds to mount. Is it that she sent the horse to him with her elfish magic or that she resembles the species enough to have me screaming, Dude looks like...

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:39 a.m. CST

    20 min longer Gangs of New York

    by Hank0527

    Yes indeed there are more scens as this film has been long delayed. The Rough Cut is around 190 mins. There is a mysterious wp floating around I have seen screenshots and they look like the payback wp that floated around eons ago. Anyhow here's hoping that extended cut of Gangs makes its way to DVD as there are extra scenes.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:43 a.m. CST

    VOICE OF REASON

    by Grandalf

    people who do not like the two towers and say mean things about it are just being childish. if you dont like it you are a big giant poo-poo face with lots of smelly poo-poo all over your body. you like jumping into large vats of liquid poo-poo and drinking your way out. you stupid childish poo-poo face person!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Simply because I want to put in my 2 cents.

    by dorfer

    I read the books over a decade ago. I need to reread them. Regardless, Peter Jackson's liberties with the text did not bother me.... as I didn't want to watch a 10-hr movie. However, the pacing of the movie really got to me. Especially the cut scenes between the Ents/Pippin/Merry and Helm's Deep. The pacing also affected the feeling I had for the vastness of Middle Earth. FOTR was successful in conveying the sheer size of the lands, but I feel that was lost in TTT. As a storytelling device, I would give a 6/10. I want to read the book now for the story, as opposed to watch the movie again. However, this was the most beautiful movie I've ever experienced. The story didn't move me as much as I'd liked, but the sheer artistry involved was huge. I don't think it has what it takes to be a "Best Picture" because the storytelling didn't hit home for me. But TTT was the most beautifully orchestrated film I think I've ever seen with regards to the visual interplay. To say it was a successful artistic endeavor is an understatement. I have to give it a 10/10 on the artistic scale. I must disagree with some folks regarding the use of CGI. I think Peter Jackson used it where he needed it, and I believe some other directors *ahem* could learn from that. Books will always conjure more vivid imagery, especially in the youth. This movie certainly did justice to the ideas and images I created in my head all those years ago when I read the book. Great flick. So, combined, I give it an 8/10. --d

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:44 a.m. CST

    empyreal0

    by simpsonite

    I agree with you in some of your statements, particularly the character development angle, but, as I stated in an earlier post, I'm confident that the characters will receive the necessary padding in the extended version. Jackson has said that the ents will get more screen time, helm's deep will be grittier, and we will see Gollum's history. I'm sure there'll be more Faramir, Theoden, aswell as more from the other story threads also. The story needs room to breathe in my opinion, but in the Theatrical version I honestly couldn't see where he could free up more run time from the 3 hours that rush past you on the screen. Still loved it though.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:46 a.m. CST

    God Bless Faramir - spoilers

    by raker

    Now I have been wondering about Faramir for quite some time, because almost every review has said he is either weak, or the change of his character is for the worse, or the review doesn

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson needs to learn how to direct action.

    by Darth Siskel III

    The wide shots were fantastic. The battle special effects were stunning. But Peter Jackson is a shitty action director. None of the closeups of the action were clear. It was all dark, blurry, shakey abstract bullshit. He should have watched Braveheart a few times to see how you do it right. It seems like he watched Gladiator instead. What a shame...the only real thorn in a great movie.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, noon CST

    PETER JACKSONS DIRECTING

    by Grandalf

    IS TH BEST! anyone who thinks otherwise a just a big fat poo-poo head and you probably have bm poo-poo in your pants. grow up already!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Problems with purists

    by Donald123

    One thing I've noticed about purists is that they don't always seem to know Tolkien as well as they think. For instance, at Helm's Deep it wasn't just Huorns showing up who saved the day--it was Huorns in the valley, and Gandalf with Erkenbrand up on the hillside. I would have preferred it if PJ had kept the Huorns. I don't care much about the way he's dropped Erkenbrand and substituted Eomer. PJ has made a fair number of changes and some of them actually make more sense than what we had in the original. One change that's gone unmentioned is the fact that the Ring is stronger in the movies than it is in the book. It's not until the hobbits actually enter Mordor that Sauron would be able to see them when they put on the ring. And the ring's corrupting influence is stronger in the movie--Aragorn has to struggle against it in FOTR the movie, but you don't see that in the book. Frankly, Jackson's version makes more sense if the Ring is supposed to be this all-powerful corrupting force and if men are the weakest of all the species in resisting it (as Tolkien himself implies). Which means that it wouldn't make much sense for Jackson to stick to the incorruptible version of Faramir. I love that character and I'd rather see him in the movie than the PJ version, but I think one would have to show the movie Faramir having to fight the temptation to take the ring, just as Aragorn did in the first movie. PJ went too far and made Faramir into a warrior who initially only sees the Ring as a new weapon--something in-between the Jackson version and Tolkien's would have been my preference. I'd also like to have seen more of Treebeard and the Ents, including Quickbeam, and would have sacrificed the Warg sequence (which I enjoyed on its own terms) to achieve that, but then maybe most of the non-Tolkien crowd would have been bored, just as they wouldn't have liked Bombadil. Personally, I thought the Gollum/Smeagol theme was handled superbly. If the audience didn't see the underlying tragedy of a soul almost repenting and then falling back into evil as a result of Frodo's "betrayal", then that's the audience's fault. I hope PJ includes the scene of Gollum's last near-repentance just before Shelob's tunnel--for me that was one of the climaxes of the book. But if he doesn't, though I'll be unhappy I'll also admit that he's already captured the basic theme. I could go on and on (even more than I have), but it boils down to one thing--the movies aren't going to be just like the book. I like some of Jackson's changes, am indifferent to others, and dislike a few. But taken altogether, these two movies have been good beyond hope. If it helps, think of Jackson's version as a retelling of an ancient legend, similar to the way there are various versions of the King Arthur story. Jackson hasn't given us a literal rendition of Tolkien, but he has given us one of the greatest film epics ever.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:03 p.m. CST

    PeterNorth

    by dorfer

    I hear ya. But I already had to piss once during TTT and I don't want to miss anymore by getting up during a half-day of single run movie. Maybe when it's on video I'll appreciate a full 10 or 12 hours of movie from the confort of my home. --d

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Inconsistancies

    by HeMoNk

    This movie seems to have been cut severely, and an Extended Edition much like the Fellowships would add tremendously to the film. In FOTR you never see the fellowship get their gifts from Galadriel, just Frodo. This causes a strange problem since Sam's elvish rope is obviously burning Gollum, but to an audience that hasn't at least see the Extended Edition they don't even have a hint as to why say for instance that rope burns but the rope applied by the men of Gondor doesn't. How does Faramir know of Boromir's death? How do the fellowship know that they are indeed battling the Uruk Hai(sp)? There are probably more, but it's been a good 15 hours since I've seen it. I do hope the Extended Edition fixes this because quite frankly it's poor filmmaking to entirely leave out how people know things, or why certain things happen.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Thes most entertaining feature of this site is watching MWeiner'

    by Guzman Returns

    "just how big we as filmmakers have been given permission to dream now." Get over yourself McWeiner , if you had a wide palette to work with you woudln't write some 80's Dolph Lundgren hack shit like Post Human.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:12 p.m. CST

    More TTT thoughts....

    by Phimseto

    (Spoilers below for those who have yet to see it, so if you haven't, STOP READING) I felt this one (and believe me when I say I am all about films that presume the audience knows what is going on to that point) was devoid of the deep character scenes and emotional heft that made the first one such a gem. What's interesting is that I did not really mind anything that was not in the book, but was in the movie (in fact, I was surprised and sad to see Haldir and the elves arrive, then have Haldir die). What bothered me was that sequences from the book should have been in the movie but were not - most strikingly they should have had the showdown at Orthanc between Gandalf and Saruman that basically ends that portion of TTT novel. I can live, I suppose, without Shelob though it strikes me as strange that the one natural cliffhanger built into the novels is abandoned for the films. But not having the Orthanc ending (as an example) does a few things: first, it really robs a fuller (and more necessary) defining of who and what Gandalf has become, which is really critical for THIS film and too much of an after-the-fact if they do it next film. I guess more than anything...well...here's what The Return of the King, which is already the longest book (even without the Scouring of the Shire, which we already know isn't part of the plan), now has to contain (or give up) that should have been in The Two Towers: - The resolution of Saruman (as opposed to exile, one supposes). - Pippen and Merry's individual journeys where they really find out about themselves (Pip finds a fellowship in Gondor, Merry with the horsemen). ROTK is really what defines these two characters, but the movie is going to busy enough without the wheels having to start turning AND get to all the meaty character development. - The Lair of Shelob, Frodo's capture, and the beginning of Samwise's pursuit. Add that to everything in the Return of the King, and I think you have a recipe for disaster. The joy of ROTK is that it ends like FOTR begins - a methodical, measured pace. It takes its time to say its goodbyes just as FOTR took its time to give its helloes. If ROTK gets so crowded that it is forced to have the hyperkinetic pace of TTT, it will fall flat very badly because the entire emotional impact of the last chatper is in that long, drawn out parting of ways. So ultimately, while TTT was quite an achievement and a victim, perhaps, of the high standards I expect it to meet, I am very concerned that the next film is going to suffer for choices made this film. Just my two cents. PS - Am I the only one who thought that that shot of Gollum, Frodo, and Sam at the Black Gate looked like the ultimate "Wizard of Oz" homage? All that was missing was the Easterlings going "oh e oh ohhhhhhh oh."

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Does Hackson think we are all morons?

    by Skeletor500

    I've posted here before as I am a HUGE Tolkien fan. But I hated FOTR. I thought he took too many liberties and completley failed to capture the magic of Tolkiens world. He made a hollow action movie that failed to capture the heart of non-Tolkien readers. And I say that because most of the non-Tolkien readers I know, who saw the film, didn't like it and aren't going to see TTT. The ones who did like it, liked the "Cool" effects and "awsooome" action. Not the characters or the intimacy of the story and most of them couldn't even name a character! And so I walked with dread into the theatre, hoping that Jackson would FINALLY stick to the story. but NOT A CHANCE! HAS HE EVEN READ THE FUCKING BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!! The guy should never have been allowed to touch these books. No wonder Tolkiens family are trying to distance themselves from it. There are too many changes to mention but I will try later on. The biggest one is the whole Arwen affair. BLOODY HELL!!!! As if casting the awful Liv Tyler wasn't bad enough but he completly re-writes her story, and come up with some incredibly cheesy scenes. The script is awful again. No wonder people are giggling in the theatre at some of it. My biggest fault is that Hackson treat the viewers as if they are complete morons. Forget about the MASSIVE holes in the plot of the action because there is even worse. In FOTR he showed us a close up of the ring every five minutes. Why? Did he think we were all stupid and we'd forget about what the film was about? In TTT during Helms Deep he consistantly shows us, ariel shots of the battle. Why? It was totally inapropriate. I kept waiting for the documentry voice-over to say "and now the orcs approached from the left". Hackson has a complete contempt for Tolkien fans and the intelligence of the audience. He's a fat, smug little man who should never have been allowed to touch Tolkiens masterpiece.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Skeletor500?

    by dorfer

    Stop seeing the damned movies, man. I mean, if it infuriates you that much, you should save yourself the time. Obviously you could produce a better adaptation of Tolkien's vision, no? So, skip Peter Jackson's "hack" job and write it yourself. Your criticisms lack any detail or depth. You have griped over supposed "miscasts" and inappropriate camera angles/shots. Too many shots of the ring? Too many aerial shots of the battles? Explain to me how one might convey the importance of the ring and the enormity of the battles WITHOUT shots like that? The alternative is a voice-over, and you made it clear that you wouldn't want that. Your assertion that "Hackson has a complete contempt for Tolkien fans and the intelligence of the audience," is absurd. Nobody in his right mind would take on something this huge if he had "contempt" for the FANS. If he and the cast/crew didn't care, this movie would have been released 2 years ago. Finally, calling the director "fat" and "smug" does nothing but discredit anything you say. You are a hack. --d

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:23 p.m. CST

    $28 Million Wednesday

    by NickFoley

    Not the fanboys will say its because its a 3 hour movie and came out on a "School Day". Let the spin control continue......

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Gifts from the Elves

    by BIGfatgeek

    Anybody notice this big hole in the story. Unless you watched the extended version you wouldn't know where that cloak came in the scene at the gate or the brooch that Pippin dropped when they with orcs. I can't wait to see how they explain the phial that frodo uses in shalobs caves.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:26 p.m. CST

    I told you so

    by elfkiller21

    I told yall TTT would suck but you didn't listen. ROTK will be even worse. Its all down here from now on. PJ really fucked this film up. Just listen to the back lash from the fans. They hate it. Wait until Gangs of New York kicks its ass. Happy Gilmore is going to make more money than TTT. Just shows how good ATOC really is, a classic digital movie. I was right along that PJ can't direct shit. He'll most likely die of a heart attack before ROTK anyway. His colesteral level must in in the 1,000s. Hope he goes on a Subway diet. Elfkiller

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:27 p.m. CST

    I'm halfway with Skeletor

    by Jar Jar Boinks

    I agree with Skeletor that FOTR was total shit. However, unlike Skeletor, I didn't line up to watch the first screening of TTT. I didn't have to wait in a line and actually pay money like Skeletor did to confirm what both of us know already knew that Jackson is a terrible filmmaker, and can't wipe the sweat of George Lucases testicles and scrotum.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Harry

    by KneelBeforeZod

    "My review will be a bit late, but that's because I just want to watch it again, because any and all critical faculties left my body upon watching the film. All I'm left with is to see this again..." Harry is a shitty reviewer. Look no further than this quote for proof. The fact of the matter is that guys like him and Moriarty are going to go in liking this movie no matter what. Look at his TPM review. Look at AOTC. It's part of Harry's geek-life, he must love it. TTT was ok, but really nowhere near as good as FOTR. It had numerous flaws and issues with characterization, dialogue, and pacing among other things. "The Battle for Helm's Deep is OVER!" --- what the??? One of the most basic things my English teachers used to say is that you must SHOW, not TELL, actions in your writing. Geeeeez... Oh and Gollum was pretty cool but wasn't taken as seriously as he should have been. Every time he spoke, the audience was laughing at him.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:35 p.m. CST

    TTT Special Edition DVD...

    by Vetinari

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Mr. Frodo I can really use your hairy taters.

    by Cuntress

    Not as good as the first one, and I wasn't a huge Tolkien fan to begin with. At least the first one was fresh. Just like the original, a lot of running around, my friend and I both almost fell asleep at various points. Special effects very impressive for a near three hour Xena episode. Mr. Frodo, like Radcliff from the horrible Potter films can't carry the film. His homosexual fatman sidekick peaked with his work in "Goonies" and

  • I swear, there were people groaning during that scene. It was CRINGE WORTHY, but then so was most of the dialogue. There were a group of about 4 women in their 20's sitting next to me. Now, normally that would be a good thing but the couldn't stop laughing. Everytime one of the characters, turned slooooowly to the camera in their blue tainted light and delivered on of those shit lines, they burst out laughing.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Brilliant!

    by BrianBoru

    Once is NOT enough,sensory and emotional overload.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Again, more lame comments.

    by dorfer

    I seriously question the intelligence of a lot of posters out there. First of all, I love how some set up movies as gladiators that can kick each other's asses. "Gangs of New York will kick [The Two Towers]'s ass," so to speak. How could one possibly compare GONY and TTT? Whatever. Shit, personally, I haven't really appreciated DiCaprio in a dramatic role yet. I think he'll be fun to watch in Catch Me If You Can, but I think GONY will suffer because of his presence. #### Ah, and then there is the inevitable attack on Jackson's weight. Brilliant, elfkiller21. Yes, it is obvious by your rant that large folks can't direct worth a shit. And you've also proven that prepubescent assholes shouldn't critique. --d

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Jackson can't direct action!!

    by madeofstone

    Is someone going to tell this guy that he can't direct action? All his action scenes are a muddled mess. They are appalingly done. Using Shaky-Cam doesn't turn you into Spielberg, Peter!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:42 p.m. CST

    two words to the trolls

    by raker

    Golden Globe. I bet you thought I was going to say somethin else.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:44 p.m. CST

    by DoogieHowitzer

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Andy Serkis should get an Oscar Nomination

    by JAGUART

    Everyone knows that the Academy loves actors in mental/physical handicap roles. And he's a Brit to boot. He's a shoo-in.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Definitely see this again

    by Mikah Kurtz

    I saw it twice yesterday and it plays totally different each time. What was interesting was the first time I was surprised by how far they strayed from the source matierial. The second time I was surprised by how true to the book it actually was. Even Frodo and Sam's story is just about chapter for chapter out of the book. It's just that after 'The Forbidden Pool' chapter Peter adds a chapter of his own (Osgiliath). I won't go into all the wonderful things in this movie (even I'm sick of hearing how awesome this flick is). I will say however there are two problems with the film that became even more apparent the second time around. There's a section of the film shortly after the Warg attack and before the battle of Helm's Deep begins where the pacing seems to just stop dead. I noticed this both times. We spend too much time away from Frodo and Sam here. Also the ending is very abrupt almost as if they ran out of time and had to tack an ending on. Sam's speech about people in stories keep going on because there's good in the world and it's worth fighting for while we see scenes of Helm's Deep and Isengard made me cringe the second time around and I hardly believe his speech could have caused Faramir to change his mind and sacrifice his life. Now let me say I had similar problems with the first film (Lothlorien was to abrupt and awkward) and they all got fixed with the special edition. All these problems I mentioned could be fixed with some editing and additional footage. It is a shame about the ending because I noticed at both showing the audience seemed a little confused at the end and there was just a smattering of applause rather than the big round of applause I always heard at the end of FOTR.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Moriarty Rocks

    by DoogieHowitzer

    Amazing how Moriarty's reviews make me appreciate a great movie even more. Only one gripe......enough with the damn sweeeping flyover shots of characters running through the beautiful New Zealand landscape. I'm beginning to think maybe PJ was brainwashed by the NZ tourism board.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:57 p.m. CST

    It was bloody awful.

    by theFury

    I was dragged into going to see this by a Tolkien fan. "You'll change your mind when you see this one", I was told. NOT A CHANCE IN HELL. There are two big problems with this - 1. There is about 1 hour of nothing. Watching boring characters talk gibberish to each other while it never helps or moves the story forward. I and most of the audience were bored. You can tell when people are bored when they start leaving and going to the shop for refreshments. 2. The action scenes should have perked things up, but they didn't. Good ol, PJ has no idea what he's doing during these scenes. So he just throws a camera in amongst the poorly choreographed fighting and hopes for the best. I can't believe that the choreographer here is the same guy that did Star Wars and Indy.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 12:59 p.m. CST

    yo fury

    by raker

    PJ is up for a Golden Globe.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1 p.m. CST

    I was disappointed...

    by 0007

    I found myself falling asleep while watching it, and walked out VERY disappointed, for three main reasons, all of which were the exact same thing I was very suspicious of every time I had seen any pictures or trailers for it: 1) Very Dull and Dreary settings this time out, 2) A very recycled and poor score, 3) And mainly, Structure: Too much action, not enough intimacy with characters. When the characters were not wandering aimlessly in what looked like volcanic mountains, marshes, or depressing Kansas plains, they were in a too-Earth bound medieval castle that could have been the set from a Xena: Warrior Princess episode. I know the landscapes are exactly as they are described in the book, however, it is not "what" in filmmaking, but "how". As the lands are portrayed this time around, they serve only to put you to sleep. Plus, the castle was too medieval European to work for Middle Earth. Even though many things in Fellowship of the Ring are things or structures we have in our real world, the way they were rendered in that film gave them a unique, fresh, awe-inspiring feeling, unlike this time out. One may argue, "But that land and castle were the human areas, that is why they look too familiar." To which I would counter, "Well if you are pulling from medieval Earth, why limit it to English/European only? Why not mix it with Asiatic/South American/Indian culture as well, so that it would be a familar yet very new looking take? It would be unique to Middle-Earth, but very representative of humankind at that level of civilization. And not only did we have to watch 40 min. of preparation for the big battle, we then had to sit through 40 min. of the actual thing, with so much hacking and slashing it melodically set a tune to sleep to! The Battle at Helm's Deep I have seen before: It was the long-ass 40 min. castle siege from the Messenger: Joan of Arc, and it was just as boring there. Too much clutter on screen can actually distance you from the characters and events. Gollum was pretty good. I thought he was a little overused, not mysterious enough. Plus he was lacking the green-tintng to his skin we have all been used to forever, including on Fellowship of the Ring. But despite his cartoony Max Fleischer eyes, he is the best CG character yet in cinema. Treebeard was pretty good as well, but the Ents in general looked too CG. They should have used puppets there. And what character-driven scenes there were present, were mishandled. Namely, the Merry & Pippin in the forest scenes were essentially a single scene or two (a single chapter in the book), stretched out to infinity, as it was cross-cut into the whole length of the movie, when it should have merely came up front of the film all at once. I realize that the event was handled that way in order to keep Merry & Pippin's presence strong throughout the film, but it got tedious going back to such a simple scene over and over until the end. Every time it cut back to them, particularly in the latter half, the whole narrative thrust was lurched to a halt. And as for other character-lacking, Gandalf stood around smug in his power, with none of the humanlike warmth from before. He was much too distant and one-dimensional. Kind of like Superman: If a character is suddenly too powerful, they become boring. Back when Peter Jackson was told he could only make the trilogy of novels into two films only, fans were upset. However, I feel that missing this second act would not matter at all. There was nothing of note that occurred in this film other than the big battle, and that could have well been told in summary during the first ten minutes of Return of the King. Remember how effortlessly and economical the opening narration to the Fellowship of the Ring was? Well, everything of note in Two Towers could have served as a great opening to the next one as well. Even though a big battle is a major thing, it is usually better not to actually see the tedium involved. Reservoir Dogs is a jewel-heist movie in which you never even see the heist. That is why I am so glad to know that Lucas will not show us more than a glimmer of the Clone Wars on film. A lot of people will be upset thinking they get to see a whole Clone War movie next time around, but instead it will just be the ending. We do not need to know the details, just the results. Cause and effect are the points. The transformation between the two is usually boring. Fellowship was all building up and driving towards something big. Same thing applies with A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, or with the Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. The building tension is great. Seeing it expelled is not, unless it is the end act, the money shot, where we know it is coming to a close. Do not get me wrong. I think it is a good movie technically and faithfully to the novel, but it really bothers me to the point that I do not really want to watch it again soon. I will give it another chance however. When I first watched Fellowship of the Ring, I thought it was good, but not glorious. However, once I watched the new extended version of it, I fell in love with the film, and cannot get enough of it now. Maybe the same thing will happen when I see a different cut of the Two Towers. It is hard to assess structure of a film when it is an adaptation of a novel. I know it was tremendously faithful to the novel, and it should recive praise for that. Like I said, I am sure I will like the film much more as an extended version, and will definitely like it a lot when it is put together with the other two films as one giant 10 1/2 hour movie. Yes, it is only a section of one story, but since that one section was all that was shown as a movie unto itself, then I had to judge gut reaction to what I saw and heard. All I know is that I walked out with one of the biggest feelings of disappointment I have ever experienced after a movie, based upon my expectations for it. I do not mean that the events in the story were unimportant to the whole, I just meant that the battle at Helm's Deep could have been summarised MUCH quicker than it played out. No matter how technically good the film is, I do not see why it had to be dragged out so long. Yes, as I said before, Gollum was very good. In addition to Yoda in Episode II, I think he was the most near-flawless CG character ever. I know I sounded like I hate it, but in actuality I was just majorly disappointed. Not because of story, but in HOW the story was executed. As for the European slant on Gondor, I know all about Tolkien as the Anglo Philologist. I have read biographies of him, and know the sources he drew upon. I just feel that in the area of the castle, visually it was a little too ordinary to match the grandeur contained in Fellowship. My criticisms are directed at one section of one long story, as it stands alone. As it stands by itself, I do not think it makes a good movie. But within the course of all three films it will play out absolutely wonderfully. All I know is that I do need to see it again.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:01 p.m. CST

    WTF???!!!!!! Has Jack$on gone totally fucking insane?

    by Ranchero

    What the fuck happened?? FOTR was a great movie, but TTT is a big stinking pile of dung. This is almost as bad as the piss-poor AOTC. It's just a three-hour promotion for toys and videogames. Jack$on was the right man to direct FOTR but the WRONG man for TTT. You know, much as I hate what Luca$ does these days, I reckon he should have directed TTT - at least the battle scenes would have been good. This is one VERY disappointed and pissed-off fan.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:02 p.m. CST

    The Ents were ok

    by Flipao

    Those complain about the shots of the ents need to remember that they are friggin' trees. They are meant to move rigidly, and the reason Merry and Pippin seem to have no weight it's probably because they are standing on a walking piece of wood. I loved the concept, the texture is amazing and the (I hope this won't count as spoiler =) attack on Isengard was gorgeous.... it's just as I had pictured it while reading the book.... a bunch of trees tearing chunks out of the whole site. Great movie, and I don't understand those who criticise Viggo Mortensen's performance....

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Elfkiller21, Jar Jar Boinks, Skeletor500 et al!!!

    by Snake-eyes

    Pricks the lot of them!! I wouldnt mind if they could actually put together a cojent arguement but of course thats never gonna happen!! All they resort to are insults rather than genuine gripes! Its sad!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST

    It wasn't as good as FOTR.

    by Razic_Ore

    The people I was with, didn't like it. I guess the "new" and "fresh" effect has worn off for most.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, I disagree; I thought the pacing/editing in TWO TOWERS

    by JohnnyTremaine

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:09 p.m. CST

    TTT Good, FOTR better

    by whoisjohngault

    just saw TTT. first blush, not as good as FOTR. LOTS more eye candy, but, story depth not there. LOTS of changes from the book. Good, but, think FOTR better. Farmir plot line change just plain wrong. That being said, gollum deserves best supporting actor. don't care if he is cgi or not, it was just dead on. audience laughed (doubt if any of them could read, much less have read book), but, it was actually very very sad. showed a very tormented soul.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:11 p.m. CST

    All the effects in the world can't save a film from being uninte

    by Neutral_Density

    I went to see this film because I saw the first one. I was underwhelmed by the first one because of the lack of human drama. The story is about destroying a ring. It seems to simplistic to me. When I saw TTT, I was hoping for more, something to sink my teeth into like "War and Peace" or "Dr. Zhivago". But instead it turned out to be elves and dwarves running around trying to destroy a ring. The human characters are devoid of any real substance of character. I think that is the crucial flaw of the film, but it is not any fault of the director or writer. Fantasy films create the most baseless and fictonal characters in the medium. They are hard to relate to because they are not in a world we can identify. I would kill to see an "American Beauty" or "Godfather" moment in this series. Those films sparkle with the real human depth of feeling. If I went to see TTT purely on the spectacle of it, I found some battle scenes interesting to watch, but because I didn't care about the characters, it didn't have any dramatic weight for me. In any case, just like the first film, the action on screen happened too fast for me to see. They were framed too close, and there was, AGAIN, no moments of anticipation and tension in the fight scenes. I have to give Peter Jackson credit for thrilling me by ripping of "Requiem for a Dream's" theme, because it allowed him to con me out of my money.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:12 p.m. CST

    patriotism?

    by challabuck

    You know, when I was reading that sentimental patriotic tripe in the AICN review, it occurred to me that he was right. He was unspecific about what country was standing up against an evil force in his comparison, and it suddenly came into my mind that we are Morder. America is preparing to invade Iraq just as Sauron readies his armies to crush the strength of Men and Elves. We are motivated by base emotions: lust, greed, self righteousness. We are an overwhelming power which none can hope to resist. We are straight-arming and seducing other nations to fall in line for war, just as Sauron did with the Easterlings, the Corsairs and the Haradrim. Iraq is not innocent or helpless, but it will fall for no particular reason other than our lust for power (oil), and our post disaster paranoia. I am sure Sauron had his reasons, too. I think there is a powerful allegory here that should give us a mirror to examine our true nature as Americans on the world stage. We are evil

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:14 p.m. CST

    well as long as were pointing out errors...

    by Harrierthanthee

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:17 p.m. CST

    well as long as were pointing out errors...

    by Harrierthanthee

    In the Fellowship of the Ring The Special Extended DVD Edition when Isuldur falls in the water, there are tiny splashes of water on the camera for a scene.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:18 p.m. CST

    challabuck

    by Kerrak

    Get over yourself. This is a TTT talkback, not a forum for you to spew your own self-loathing.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:18 p.m. CST

    2nd place all time

    by raker

    opening day box office for a wednesday... 27.3 million.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Andy Serkis' acting

    by hokie350

    PeterNorth, you obviously don't have a clue when it comes to how this movie was made. If you did, you would know that Andy Serkis did not only do the voice, but acted the part in the filming of the movie. He was there, did all of the stunts, did all of the movements. They created the CGI image over where his body was in the film. When you see Gollum slithering and bouncing down the stream to catch the fish, it was Andy who was in the freezing water stream trying to catch a fish that wasn't there. CGI overlay a Gollum and a fish. The only difference between he and and CGI animation. Basically it's like a costume. They did an entire documentary about this already on TV showing how it was done. So the part WAS acted, and it wasn't just a voice.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:21 p.m. CST

    TTT Special Edition DVD...

    by Vetinari

    First of all, TTT is awesome beyond words. My only problem with it is the same problem I had with _Fellowship_, which is that it seemed to teeter on the precipice of being too rushed, too crowded. It felt like reading a story in which there are no spaces after commas or periods. Adding in just a few brief moments of "empty space," such as travelling, staring at the horizon/landscapes, etc at the beginning or end of a scene would alleviate most if not all of the rushed feelings. A wish list of extra scenes and modifications for _The Two Towers_ Special Edition DVD: 1) An extra 30-40 seconds of the Orc band at the beginning of the movie, before Merry and Pippin escape, demonstrating more emphatically the differences between the vile, slimy Moria orcs and the proud, brutal Uruk-Hai of the White Hand. And I want to hear one of the Uruk-Hai say "I AM UGLUK! I HAVE SPOKEN!" and _then_ chop off another orc's head. 2) An extra 3-4 minutes of scenes between the return of Gandalf the White, to his interactions with King Theoden in Rohan, developing both characters just a smidge more, and maybe developing Shadowfax as a character, contrasting him with other, regular horses, etc. For that matter, one or two brief scenes in which someone makes a comment along the lines of "Da Rohirim are da bestest horse-guys in da whole world." 3) An extra 3-4 minutes of scenes with Treebeard and the Ents, in which we get a better sense of how incomprehensibly old Treebeard is, and of melancholy about how the Ents are fading from the world, like the Elves. Also some scenes of Treebeard's conversations with Merry and Pippin, in which the hobbits tell Treebeard about the Shire, Treebeard likes the sound of it, and he asks them if they have ever seen Entwives, etc, would be very poignant. 4) An extra 1-2 minutes of battle scenes at Helm's Deep, _after_ the Charge of the White Rider, showing the rout of the Uruk-Hai more clearly, and giving a better feeling of closure to that particular battle. 5) A minute or so of Faramir relating to Frodo and Sam just exactly _how_ he knows Boromir is dead. 6) A very breif scene in which Treebeard turns around to go gather up the Ents for the assault after seeing the devastation of Orthanc, instead of having them all just immediately appear, and an extra 1-2 minutes of scenes from the Ents' assault on Isengard, drawing out the coolness a bit more.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:22 p.m. CST

    What is the story about Aragorn-

    by ptindy

    Does Aragorn die in TTT? He is in the the 3rd book and is alive at the end. Will he appear in the 3rd movie?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Its official the movie is a big disappointment

    by elfkiller21

    Everyone says FOTR is a better film_ than TTT. FOTR wasn't much more a pile of stinking dog shit. So what does that make this movie a_larger_pile of dog shit). Everyone agrees PJ isn't action director. He has very poor choices when directing action. Well no doubt the man is very, very fat he doesn't get into action much. Think he should have watched TPM much more and studied it carefully to learn how to build and execute a story. Many effects in this movie are fake looking. Were in ATOC has much better graphics so good you can't tell the CGI from the models. I'm sure the facist hippies that populate these TB will love this pile of shit no matter what PJ puts on the screen. I'm sure they had a religious XP while watching it, cried (while holding onto their stupid rings) didn't get up to go to the bathroom and simply pissed their pants. Then after the movie is over they waddle out with the load in their pants, what a fuckin mess. Oh well now you can go back to work at your comic book store. Elf Killer

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:28 p.m. CST

    0007, You make some excellent points....

    by Orson W

    You're absolutely right about the blow-for-blow battle scenes being tedious. Compare this to the battle in the prologue of FOTR which was breathtaking. By comparison, we had to trudge through the Helm's Deep battle, hoping to see some spectacular shots which never arrived. I think that it is a very good point that LOTR would have been better served by TWO films rather than three. It would have improved the structure enormously. If Helm's deep had been part of the prologue of the second movie it would have been superb - because we would have seen some intriguing highlights and would have imagined all the rest.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:30 p.m. CST

    0007, You make some excellent points....

    by Orson W

    You're absolutely right about the blow-for-blow battle scenes being tedious. Compare this to the battle in the prologue of FOTR which was breathtaking. By comparison, we had to trudge through the Helm's Deep battle, hoping to see some spectacular shots which never arrived. I think that it is a very good point that LOTR would have been better served by TWO films rather than three. It would have improved the structure enormously. If Helm's deep had been part of the prologue of the second movie it would have been superb - because we would have seen some intriguing highlights and would have imagined all the rest.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:37 p.m. CST

    I reiterate the question...

    by New Jerusalem

    The wide-camera shot of Eowyn at Edoras...Was it in or out? Anyone?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:38 p.m. CST

    ROTK review 1 year from now.

    by elfkiller21

    Hey, I just got back from watching ROTK. Now don't get me wrong I'm a HUGE Tolkien fan read the books 12 times. I was thought to believe this was going to be the best of the three. PJ says its his favorite so I trusted him. Well, I was really disappointed as it didn't follow the book in several areas. PJ added his own crap in again just like TTT and this is not Tolkien at all. I was hoping he'd fix that crap after TTT disaster and learn how to do better action scenes. To my disappointment he hasn't learned a thing over 7 years. There is an hour in the movie were nothing happens. Pimpin' say alot of dumb stuff. I just wanted to Cringe everytime he opens his mouth. I counted 19 times Frodo was holding the ring and he died twice in this one (not in the book). The soundtrack was basically the same from FOTR and not moving. At the end of the movie I said out loud. "That's it?" I was shocked there were several loose ends PJ didn't cover I can't believe it. Instead he included a bunch of dumb things not in the book. He should of stuck with the orginal source material instead of rewriting Tolkiens masterpiece. The end of the movie is not even close to the book at all. This is the Return of the Jedi in the series with FOTR the best TTT, Ok and ROTK a dissapointment. PJ you fucked up this one shot at bringing Tolkiens work to the scene. You should of stuck to the books you ass. This goes to show never do a trilogy at the sametime. Directors need time for technology and feedback before they dive into a sequel. Oh well then again I don't know I better see it again before I make my mind up. signed a mindless idiot.__________________________Archive that mutha fuckers because thats exactly what you'll be saying 1 year from today. Hell its exactly what your saying now just as I predickted. ElfKiller###

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Jackson has blown it! Joel Shumacher would have directed those b

    by RockinChair

    That's not a joke. It's a fact. ANYBODY could have directed the battle scenes with more clarity than this monkey.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:42 p.m. CST

    BUT WHAT ABOUT MORIARTY'S GIRLFRIEND!?!

    by IncredibleYoda

    PLEASE MORIARTY, DON'T GIVE US A REVIEW WITHOUT INSERTING SOME GRATUITOUS REMARK ABOUT HOW YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS SOMEHOW INVOLVED IN THIS PARTICULAR FILM EXPERIENCE. HOW ABOUT THIS; "THE FILM WAS WATCHED BY PEOPLE WITH EYEBALLS, MUCH LIKE THE EYEBALLS THAT MY GIRLFRIEND HAS." OR; "PEOPLE IN THE THEATER SAT IN SEATS, IN THE SAME MANNER OF SITTING THAT MY GIRLFRIEND OFTEN PARTAKES IN."

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:46 p.m. CST

    AWESOME film in the sense of the word before it began referring

    by Trav McGee

    Now, a quick history lesson for those who've only been AICNing this millennium, hope you enjoy it. This's #20 from the original 20 Questions PJ did here back in--holy crud--1998: ....... 20. What gets you shaking like a kid on Christmas Morning on this project? In other words, when you look at the films, what are you dying to capture on film, and how will you do it? PJ: "These types of intangible questions are the toughest. I guess I'm lucky to have only one! I want to take movie-goers into Middle-earth, in a way that is believable and powerful. <p> Imagine this: 7000 years has gone by. We take a film crew to Helm's Deep ... it's now looking a little older, but still impresses as a mighty fortress. The Art Dept set to work, patching up holes and removing tourist signs. The current owner strikes a hard bargain, but New Line money finally gets us permission to film there for 6 weeks. Rohan heraldry is studied and faithfully reproduced. Theoden's original saddle is in a museum - far too valuable to use in the movie, but an exact copy is made. Archeological expeditions have unearthed an incredibly preserved mummified Uruk-hai carcass. We make exact prothestic copies of these vicious killers ... use CG to give us a 10,000 strong army. We have cast actors who look like Aragorn and Theoden. In an amazing casting coup, Legolas has agreed to return from Valinor with Gimli to recreate their part in this cinematic retelling of the events at the end of the Third Age. They stand on the battlements of the Deeping Wall, wind blowing in their hair, leading a group of extras proudly portraying the brave garrison of Rohan soldiers ... Uruk drums roll up the valley ... huge lighting rigs flash simulated lightning ... rain towers send gallons of water into the air ... on an assistant director's signal, twenty 35mm cameras start rolling simultaneously ... the battle of Helm's Deep is about to be captured on film. <p> Sure, it's not really THE LORD OF THE RINGS ... but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie." ...You can't tell me that PJ hasn't pulled off EXACTLY what he has intended. Bravo, maestro--aching to see this again many times, and dying to see the next one.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Thoughts on Some of the Difference between the Books and Movies.

    by babygrace

    Hello. I

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:52 p.m. CST

    I don't understand.

    by EricJ

    Do you people live in your own little world? I was just at the movie and people were clapping and going crazy. The Tomatometer is at like 98% positive reviews, it is on tons of critics top ten list and yet it is a disapointment? You know I am done with this site and other fan sites, you are all imposible to please and you exist in this little world. I am not saying that you can't have an opinion but come on. Your expectations are insane,you put down how the director looks(what the hell does this have to do with the movie?)I am sorry if it did not turn out exactly like the book, but they never do. This does not mean that the movie will be bad. If PJ set out to destroy the book do you honestly think he would have given a decade of his life to it? He loves the books, but at the same time he has to make it commercially viable. A studio is not going to give 400 million dollars to someone if they cannot make a movie that appeals to the masses. He had to amp up the action. If he had made the movie with only literary scholars of the trilogy in mind it would have flopped. Unfortunatley people want to make money on their investment. PJ did the best he could and I do not believe that anyone else could have come close to this. Can you imagine how all of you would have reacted if Michael Bay had gotten a hold of this? Why can't people just enjoy the movie? Over analyzing it just kills the fun and that is what movies are about, having a good time.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Just seen the movie...

    by Avon

    and overall first impressions are that it works BUT one thing I dont like about books 2 and 3 is the excessive 'Old English' type language of which was prevalent all over the movie. Nothing sticks to mind so I can't give an example right now(which is part of the problem). All I'm saying is that a lot of the dialog spoken by the Rohans, Gandalf, Theoden etc seemed very abstract..almost Shakespearean which is probably understandable in the books but could well have been left out of the movie. My only other gripes (the good far outweighs the bad) are a bit of the CGI, most of which was great, though CGI can never really escape some criticism can it? and Wormtongue, who was acted well enough but in the book I don't remember it being THAT obvious that he was evil and on the side of Saruman yet everyone seems to know this before Gandalf turns up in the movie... Gollum is amazing, really realistic as was the battle and so on. One final point, I actually think that any more material added to this would be a mistake...So for me a 4 out of 5.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Seeing It Tonight!! OR... King_Yoda Is Just That

    by jollydwarf

    Here's the deal about this site. Come for the trailer links and reviews, stay for the TBs. Most of us can't take most of the contributors' writing (including Mr. Bowlingball-Licker), but we're willing to down an extra glass of the carbonated beverage of our choice (or maybe a double shot of our preferred hard liquor)to read what good ol' "Drew" has to say. But even then, we normally have to hear about his movie-going partner, even though it's COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. What, do you think Ebert tells us about his faithful companion, Raisinette? But that's how good this movie must be, I suppose. It made him forget his "significant other". Can't wait.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2 p.m. CST

    "WTF movie where you people watching?"

    by Orson W

    That's exactly the feeling I have when people say TTT was a good movie. I simply don't understand it. And I am NOT comparing the movie to the book - that would be nonsense. I am judging it purely on its own terms as a movie - and I loved FOTR on those terms. But there is just so much in TTT that is out-and-out lame that I find it impossible to see what some of you people see in this movie. I mean, I loathed TPM and AOTC, but at least I could see what SOME people could appreciate in it - i.e. special effects, explosions, laser beams, googly maonsters etc - all the things that teenage guys adore. But with TTT, I can't even see that. I literally cannot see why some people like it and why it has got such good reviews. My only thought is that so many reviewers received death-threats last year from rabid fans for writing negative reviews that none of them are taking any chances this time out.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:08 p.m. CST

    WTF movie did you people that are bitching see?

    by King_Midas

    I saw this movie twice yesterday and all I can say is holy shite!!! I'm speechless. Smeagol is definately the highlight of the film but everything else is also handled so beautifully and so flawlessy by Jackson and his team that there is absolutely nothing to complain about. The movie is intimate and touching, stirring and epic, dark and funny - all in one. People are certainly entitled to their own opinions but I certainly don't envy the ones that came out of this movie dissappointed. At least there isn't very many of them judging by the sold out theatre of 1000 people that cheered loudly during both screenings of this that I attended.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Ralph Bakshi, all is forgiven

    by Orson W

    I want to interject one more comment here that no-one else has mentioned. 0007 has suggested that the entire TT movie would have been much better summed up as a prologue in a two-part adaptation of LOTR. As further proof, I would add to this that the events of TTT were handled much better in Bakshi's version of the movie, which let's not forget, handled both FOTR and most of TT in ONE two-hour movie! Yes, for all it's faults (and there are many), I believe Bakshi's storytelling is far better in this instance than Jackson's. Less is definitely more. Bakshi's Helm's Deep has far more tension and drama, even if the orcs are just guys in sheets and gorilla masks.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Come on Orson

    by King_Midas

    I know not everyone is going to like this film but when you say that you can see absolutely nothing in this movie that somebody might appreciate - it seems to be over doing it. How about great acting, interesting characters, incredible special effects, beautiful cinematography, a potent and pertinent storyline?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:20 p.m. CST

    by BrianBoru

    First,I like how we are brought right back into story.Its at that point we are brought back to one of the most emotional parts of FOTR,Gandalf battling the Balrog.It was like I was in the same theater at the end of FOTR.From there I was taken into Middle-earth again.I will not comment on everyone's performance,which I feel all the actors nailed(yes even Farimir) but there was one thing I did not expect,my emotions for Gollum.I never thought that I could be so ridden with repulsion, and then pity on him.There were several moments where I hated him and then in almost the same moment have the utmost compassion for this creature.It left me almost sick.There was a moment of horror too,not when Gollum attacked,but when Frodo looks at Gollum as a mirror in himself,that stopped my heart.It also made me think,it can happen to anyone,it could happen to me.Helm's Deep,if there has ever been a more jaw-dropping scene in a film,I don't recall it.I found myself wanting to grap a broadsword and start to slay as many Uruk-hai as I could before I died.I have to see it again.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:20 p.m. CST

    READ THIS!!!!!!!

    by New Jerusalem

    I'm sorry to shout, but I was hoping someone could answer my question... was the helicopter shot of Eowyn at Edoras in the theatrical version, or just in the trailers. Here's hoping I can finally get an answer from someone.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Let's not forget that Bashki's version

    by King_Midas

    Only covered Fellowship and part of the Two Towers and then just stopped in the middle because he ran out of money. Those cartoons are absolutely incomparable to what Jackson has done - by even the most pedestrian of standards.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Sorry, I meant Bakshi

    by King_Midas

    I better correct myself before people start bitching about the inept spelling of half the people on this talkback.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:24 p.m. CST

    King_Midas...

    by Orson W

    What movie did I see? Good question. I saw a senseless rigmarole made up of scores of half-baked scenes which never went anywhere. I saw poorly paced and incomprehensibly edited battle sequences. I saw a movie that lurched from one half-hearted subplot to another without resolving any of them properly; a movie that above all, had no ambition. And by that I don't mean the ambition to squash as many unrelated scenes as possible into a movie - I mean the ambition to rise to cinematic heights - which is something Jackson definitely attempted in FOTR. Remember that I am a huge fan of PJ's FOTR. But I swear to God, it's like TTT was made by an amateur director.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Big dissapointment. The changes ruined it.

    by DarthBane35

    I also am sorely disappointed with the movie. Given that The Two Towers (the book) is so much more action-packed than the first, I thought there would be fewer changes in the movie. I was wrong. I can tolerate minor changes, omissions, and even additions, but I draw the line at major, sweeping changes to the plot. I feel like Frodo and Sam's arrival in Osgiliath and confrontation with the Nazgul to be one of these. This all but ruined the movie for me.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:34 p.m. CST

    No ambition?

    by King_Midas

    Orson, I'm not trying to flame you or anything. I'm certainly interested in what you have to say because I have yet to have an intelligent converstation with someone that did not like this movie. I just saw it yesterday and everybody I went with loved it. Anyway, I could understand (even though I don't agree) if you didn't like the editing or what not - whatever floats your boat. But how could anybody say this movie was made with no ambition? Jackson has done things with these two movies, especially TTT, that I never dreamed would be possible to see on screen. Even critics that have given the movie a negative review recognize the miraculous amount of effort, energy, and ambition that went in to crafting them. I just cannot fathom where you are coming from.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Book Fans Must Submit...

    by tunesmith

    I hate to say it, but some of ya'll are just sour grapes. Let me extrapolate. I got in line for the 7:00 pm showing of TTT at the Mother Of All Movie Theaters : Mann's Village in westwood. If you try to tell me there is a better theater in the world, you're incorrect. I waited, nervously for 3 hours as the rest of my party struggled with the AWFUL L.A. traffic caused by the protest on Wilshire and the world premiere of Sandy Bullock's next piece of shit at the Bruin across the street. My crew literally made it as the line was letting in and we were off to claim our perfect seats. Now, let me tell you this. I am a serious L.A. fanboy when it comes to movies. Opening nights, long lines, screaming crowds, booing at previews, the whole works. I would have to say TTT ranks in the top three moviegoing experiences I have ever had. The thunderous THX logo reminded me that all theaters are NOT created equal no matter what Uncle George says. The Balrog opening got me in the door. The emotion on Smeagol's face dimmed the lights. When Leglolas hopped a slow motion ride on that horse, a cry of joy erupted from my 26 year old body and I submitted myself to the wonder of what a great movie can do to you. My sister, a Tolkienite to the nth degree had some of the problems with the story that the rest of you did. I told her the same thing I am telling you. You're being a dork. So FOTR was more faithful to the book and more charming. So the fuck what? THEY'RE NOT THE SAME STORY. TTT is dark and impersonal and Jackson made some changes to make a better movie. Get over it. TTT is a masterwork. Probobly the best adventure film since Raiders of the Lost Ark, and for me (a Tolkien fan but not a true believer) perhaps an even more satisfying CINEMATIC expericence then FOTR. Blasphemy, I know. But I am right and you know it. P.S. You're theater does suck. Come to the village for the opening weekend of ROTK and you'll see why. But don't even try to get my seats, I'll kick your ass.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:40 p.m. CST

    The cartoons are a fu**ing mess

    by King_Midas

    I think it's the only movie I've ever seen that can't even keep the name of one of its major characters straight. Is it Sauraman, is it Auraman, just who the fu** are we talking about now?

  • Elijah Wood has an appropriate name because he's as wooden as Keanu. He has the same gormless expression throughout the entire fucking film! So does the Backstreet Boy who plays Legal Ass and the guy that looks like he's in Guns N Roses. What's his name? Argorn or something. No, wait a minute! It's AAAAARRRRAAAAGGOOORRRNNN!!!!!!! How could I forget that, when everytime someone says his name it's drawn out like they are making some big announcement. Peter Hackson has had 2 fucking movies and around 6 hours to get some character developement going and I still couldn't give a toss about these guys!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:42 p.m. CST

    ANYONE WHO DOESN'T LIKE TTT -

    by Grandalf

    probably has a steaming bm poo-poo log clenched tightly between their teeth. they also probably come from the bm poo-poo planet. ttt is the best movie ever and only the smelly poo-poo people believe differently because they are immature and like to use bm poo-poo logs in place of cookie dough!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:42 p.m. CST

    I ain't red the books. I ain't going ta see the movie.

    by Wee Willie

    Them there Wizard of the Ring movies is fulla sin and demon worhsippin'. Same wit Larry Potter. You all going straight to hell fer seein' 'em.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Let's hope that Gangs Of New York is better.

    by theFury

    And to the guy who said Hackson and TTT have Golden Globe nominations - Who cares? Chicago is nominated 8 TIMES!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:44 p.m. CST

    TTT

    by TSH

    Lords of the Ring: Two Towers was absolutely fantastic. I saw it last night with a jam packed crowd and it received a standing ovation at the end. It's a great film, plain and simple. I'll be seeing it again this weekend.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Gollum, Jar Jar - same difference

    by ComandrTaco

    this movie was crap aompared to the first.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:44 p.m. CST

    What they did to Faramir

    by Achilles

    This was very upsetting. As a true Tolkien afficianado, I was really disappointed that they turned Faramir into a quasi bad-guy for most of his time on screen. The point of Faramir is that he is everything that Boromir in terms of good qualities, and even more. He is the connection to establish that Gondor is not made up of haughty (but valiant) men like Boromir, that the blood of Westernesse still exists in the kingdom. He is meant to resist all temptation. Schooled by Gandalf, he is aware of hobbits, and having been the first to receive the dream that eventually sent Boromir to Rivendell, he knows of Isildur's Bane and the power it holds. He is NOT tempted by that power, instead is resolved from the start that it is not meant to be used and must be destroyed. "Not if I found it by the side of the road would I take it," he says. Turning Faramir into a bad guy who takes Frodo, Sam and Gollum captive is a major and unfortunate deviation from an important story point. What possessed Jackson to do that, I have no idea. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum wound up where they were supposed to be in the end, so this deviation was not necessary and did not save any screen time. I foolish choice. Gollum was spectacular, though. Very well-played, he was heartwrenching.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Challabuck = Wormtongue

    by sidneyreilly

    Yeah and Hitler was only proactive about forming a European Union. You're right that the U.S. has a lust for oil. Oil fuels our way of life. A way of life that those buggers are coming over here and killing us for. Saddam reigns within striking distance of much of the world's oil. Giving a pass to a dictator with proven expansionist dreams is out of the question. Either he plays ball and demilitarizes, or it will be done for him. The U.S. is doing what the elves and men of Middle-Earth should have done after the Second Age. Keeping evil contained so that it doesn't gather strength and threaten the good peoples of the world. But that doesn't mean you can't be oil independant, Challabuck. I suspect, you expel enough methane to power your own computer.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Are the characters boring? Or is Jackson a shit director?

    by madeofstone

    The biggest disappointment for me is that I've now watched 2 LOTR movies and still feel like I know nothing about these characters. Who's fault is this? Jackson or Tolkien?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Purists need to . . . (minor spoiler)

    by King_Midas

    Shut the hell up and realize that this is an a-d-a-p-t-a-t-i-o-n and not a god damn word for word translation. I love the books - I have since I read them in second grade. However, these movies are as good as Tolkien could ever be on screen. Actually better in a lot of ways. Take the Ents storming Isengard. Do I want to seem them charging around, stepping on orcs, and destroying shit left and right on screen? Hell yes! In the books Tolkien basically says, "Oh yeah, while we were away, some cool shit went down. No need to go over that." The books are great but Jackson is actually better at filming action sequences than Tolkien was at describing them. Except for the battle of the Pellinor (sp?) fields. That was sweet in the book and we'll have 12 long months to wait before we see Jackson's version.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST

    King_Midas - in answer to your question

    by Orson W

    First of all: respect to you, King_Midas, for making an intelligent and polite query. Once again - I love PJ's FOTR and am a big fan of the books. But I judge the movies in their own right without comparing them to the books. I think I've listed some of my problems with TTT in a long post somewhere up at the top of this TB. But briefly (I only have a few minutes - will be back later): Watching this movie felt like watching Attack Of The Clones (which I thought was terrible). I found TTT to be an incoherent mess - trying to tell too many stories at once - cutting between them was incredibly tedious. To me, the action and battle sequences were poorly staged and unexciting. I felt no drama, no tension in this movie. The focus on the poor defenceless homesteaders was a dreadful cliche and was for me, the equivalent of centering a movie around the ewoks. And also, Jackson's horrible tendency to have some character EXPLAIN what's happening when we can SEE IT WITH OUR OWN EYES is unbelievably annoying and just kept pulling me right out of the movie. For me the whole thing was a gigantic example of poor judgement. Whatever genius Jacskon had for FOTR, he has lost it. On a positive note: Loved the Frodo/Sam/Gollum scenes. Thanks for asking. Must go now!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST

    This is driving me NUTS!!!

    by exPFCWintergreen

    I won't be able to see this movie until, at least, Saturday - due to a vector calculus exam I am studying for.-----------------------------------> I just hope I'm one of the people who like this movie. I've just skimmed through the TB and there seem to be quite a few people here - who I know aren't trolls - that really seem disappointed...

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Character Motivations

    by hector

    I want to talk for a minute about character motivation. First off, I loved the film as a whole. The Smeagol/Frodo/Sam dynamic was a movie in itself. Secondly, Im a Tolkien fan, but not a purist or fanatic. The problems I had with the film revolved around the actions of several characters in the 'added' footage. Nothing irritates me more in a movie than pointlessness and out of characterness. This is what grated on me in TT. Why would Eomer ride away with the entire army when Rohan is under attack? Why would Haldir of Lorien be with the Rivendell elves? Why would Faramir suddenly change his mind and let Frodo go after watching him freak out? Now maybe its a coincidence that all these scenes were 'Jackson' scenes, but to me it seems that not enough thought was put into character continuity in the screenplay. Didnt ruin the movie, but it did take it down a peg for me. We complain about characters doing inane things in less emotionally personal movies, we should hold TT to that standard as well.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Fair enough Orson

    by King_Midas

    I'll have to disagree with you until my dying breath but it is nice to get a cordial response to my question rather than having this degenerate into a flame war. Anyway, we can agree that Fellowship was great. Perhaps you'll like Return of the King better? Cheers!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Discombobulated...

    by Endwell

    Long time lurker, first time poster...I have to agree with Orson_W. The great scenes in the movie where negated by cuts to other "slower" scenes which took a lot of the air out of the movie. I thought that Gollum was nicely done and the marching of the orcs was impressive. However, it seems that Jackson thought, "I'll show my love of Tolkien by putting neat little touches into the film (i.e., ent putting out fire in water, Legolas mounting horse from knees, etc.) It seem he forgot the forest for the trees. Finally, one quick question. As Frodo, Sam and Gollum get closer to Mordor the terrain gets more foreboding. Yet when Gollum tells them of another way in, they immediately are back in the beautiful forest without a moutain in sight. I couldn't tell if they were coming or going, alhthough this may be a case of the 11 o'clock showing.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:04 p.m. CST

    People hate it! It doesn't matter. The Zealots are in control.

    by velocity

    I've very quickly e-mailed and phoned around a few friends and relatives who saw TTT and asked them for a reaction. The result? And OVERWHELMING DISAPPOINTMET. THE FANS OF THE BOOK ARE IN AN UPROAR BECAUSE OF ALL THE CHANGES, WHILE THE FANS OF THE FIRST MOVIE ARE SAYING THAT THIS ONE SUCKS BECAUSE IT DOESN'T REALLY GO ANYWHERE.-----------But this doesn't matter because the hardcor extremists will ensure that it reaches the top of the IMDB and wins every "best movie" poll for the next 50 years. And I agree with whoever said that the critics are giving it good reviews because of the death threats. I would probably do the same.-----------The extremists are in control now and we just have to live with it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Come on people

    by King_Midas

    You can't seriously be ripping on the Smeagol arguing with himself scene? That was one of the best scenes in the movie. One of the best scenes I've seen on film period. It was funny and sad and ultimately heartbreaking - all in the span of about 3 minutes. It's not easy to pull off something that touching with a digital character. I was in awe. He looked anything but silly.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:07 p.m. CST

    everyone who criticises Jackson's altering of the book TTT's sto

    by ol' painless

    the argument will always come back to the fact that books are movies are completely different mediums. Heard this one before? Well, you will continue to hear it. TTT simply is NOT structured as a film in its book form. As with FOTR, there were large stretches of not much happening. Tolkien was able to take his time, and luxuriate in the details, and in the motivations. Jackson only had 3 hours to work with: hardly any time at all in book terms. Shit has to give, characters motivation have to be painted in broader more overt strokes, action has to be amped up, and THINGS HAVE TO BE CHANGED TO SUIT THE MEDIUM. Hell, I'd like to have the full TTT book translated to film. It would be a movie about 22 hours long, and would cost about 1 billion dollars to make. And yes, I understand some of you are not faulting the fact that changes had to be made, but the nature of the changes . . .fair enough. I await you version of LOTR with great anticipation. And I would have liked to have seen the Huorns too: but this would have been just one detail too many for a punch-drunk audience to absorb at the end of the Helms Deep sequence. "What the fu-? What the Hell are those things? More trees? I though those were at the other place . . . did they teleport in or something? Or is teleporting only in Star Trek? AAAAAAGH! Brain . . . MELTING . . . "

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:07 p.m. CST

    sidneyreilly your about right.

    by elfkiller21

    Sadam invaded Kuwait because they were using a technique called Slant Oil Drilling to be sneaky and drill into Iraq and steal their oil but those rich Kuwait bastards don't have enuff money already. The U.S. state dept said they didn't mind if Sadam invaded Kuwait so we tipped our hat to Sadam after Reagon and Bush helped arm with while he fought those damn Iranians faggots. Needless to say Sadam is a fool in the internation chess game of oil and resources. The U.S. will invade Iraq and install a Christian believing puppet president to "liberate IraQ" and help their women and children after the B-2 bombs the fucking shit out of them first. The new puppet will have to have previous employment with Unocal on his resume' with standing stock options in the Carlye group. You see we have all that gas comsuming SUVs that demand 23% more oil every year on the US oil national demand. So because of that the middle east needs to be over thrown so we can drive at cheap gas prices in our over sized cars and egos. I guess many will die because we won't use our cruise control on the highway. Those Saudi bastards that fly our planes into the WTC will all be minimum wage earners in 5 years Fuck the Saudis and fuck the TTT and don't sign up my email to gay spam you fuckin cock smokers. What a day with so many agreeing with ElfKiller. Hell, Elfkiller for president!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:08 p.m. CST

    babyface

    by raker

    I read your essay. Great stuff.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Okay, I'm a purist... and Jackson just doesn't get the debates/c

    by RoboBagPiper

    The Hobbit was the first book I ever read, at age 6. I read it and LotR something like once a year, the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales every other, and own and have actually read the entire History of Middle Earth series..... That being said, I am perfectly forgiving of most of the changes. Now the Aragorn-falling-off-cliff scene was kinda useless, that time could have been better spent on stuff that was in the book that was cut, but ultimately forgivable........ But what Jackson simply doesn't get, what he ruins every time he touches it, are the debates. It's as if perfectly understands a character's motivation on his own, but get more than three characters in a scene trying to decide on a course of action, and Jackson becomes stupid all of a sudden. Cases in point: the groan-worthy Council of Elrond scene in FotR, and the utterly neutered Ent-debate scene in TTT. In both cases, the characters stumble into the decision, rather than deliberate on it....... In the Council of Elrond, it's as if the races assemble simply as representatives of the races, a la some sort of D&D adventure. In the book, we see why each is there, how it plays into the greater picture. The Ent debate simply is reduced to a vehicle for making Merry and Pippin seem less retarded than Jackson made them to be in the first movie, but at the expense of the Ents themselves being made into buffoons. One of my biggest disappointments in the SE FotR disk was that none of the problems with the Council of Elrond were fixed - and when I talk to people who've seen the movie but haven't read the book, that's the one chapter I tell them to read...... Sorry, Mr. Jackson, most of these movies are visions to behold, but whenever you rewrite a debate or council, you ruin it. Shame on you, because that's where the characters are often at their best and most revealing.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Somewhere in the middle

    by Sinistar

    I came into work this morning to a bunch of people who wanted my review of TTT. As I started sputtering the good and the bad, somebody finally just said, "Did you enjoy it?" The answer to that is: yes. But that doesn't mean it was all wonderful. 1) Faramir, Boromir, Osgilliath - As somebody else pointed out, there was NO reason to go to Osgilliath. And there was also little reason to frame Faramir as being as weak as Boromir. That news of Boromir's death reached Faramir ahead of any contact with any member of the Fellowship was blithely passed over so as not to require explanation of Faramir's vision and the significance of the Horn of Gondor (that significance was also downplayed in FotR). 2) The Ents, post Moot - I think I know why PJ went the way he did on this one. There just weren't any chances for Merry or Pippin to make a visible difference in the film (whereas in the book, they have plenty of time to chat things out with Treebeard). This is not unlike Frodo suddenly solving the riddle at Moria in FotR - it's a device by which you make a character have positive impact. I can accept that. But are we to believe that there were 20 Ents just waiting at the edge of the forest for Treebeard's call? It took long enough to call the Moot, gather everybody, and get the Hobbits in the lists, but one loud bellow and there's suddenly an Ent army? That bugged me. 3) The elves at Helm's Deep - Well, at least Glorfindel got some screen time. Even if he did die 15 minutes later. Though I don't recall his name actually being mentioned and wouldn't have known it was he had it not been for the extended FotR DVD. 4) Arwen - Are we quite done with this fabricated sub-plot now? Certainly, PJ had to come up with some way to sew up the hole he tore open in FotR, but had that hole never been opened, we could have been spared this distraction. Those are the big things that stick with me the day after, but there are also several high points. 1) The Nazgul on the fell beasts - I loved the look of the beasts. And I especially loved the shot of the rider over the marshes with Mount Doom in the background. For just a moment, I stopped to think of Smaug circling the Lonely Mountain. 2) Gollum / Smeagol - Near perfection. CGI is still too smooth for my liking (mouth movements in particular looked like the victim of over-tweening), but as a character and as a part of the world, Gollum was executed expertly. I was disappointed at the audience laughter during his Gollum vs Smeagol monologue/dialogue, as I felt it was a scene of inner turmoil that evoked empathy and not an attempt at humor. 3) Theoden - While some might feel the age morph a bit cheap, I thought it was a great way to show the power of the spell put upon him by Saruman. I was iffy on the exorcism, but ending it with the shot of Saruman thrown to the floor (reminiscent of the fight from FotR) was a great touch. 4) Legolas / Gimli interaction - Some may feel it was too chummy, too cheap, but go back to the source. Their friendship by this point was deep and their comfort with one another genuine. It's too bad that dwarf mistrust of elves was downplayed in FotR, as the knowledge of that gives deeper meaning to their bond. 5) Use of MASSIVE - Amazing! I can't believe how realistic the huge armies were! The clash of Rohirrim and Uruk-Hai was beautiful. I'm likely to see TTT two more times (once with the wife, once more to use that free ticket from the 4 disc set), so it may be that my dislikes decrease to nothingness by then. For now, I'm somewhere in the middle on this one.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:16 p.m. CST

    The one moment TTT Lost me

    by Hurricane Andrew

    I'm going to say I liked The Two Towers, though not as much as FotR but there was one moment of CGI that ripped me out of the spell the movie weaved: Legolas Mounting the Horse. That single moment of film took me away from looking at the movie as a story and gave an opening for a critical eye that I could not shrug through the rest of the movie. For god sakes, I was arguing that charging cavalry into a row of waiting spears was a horrible plan at the end of the battle of Helms Deep because I still couldn't stop nitpicking after that one poorly executed CGI moment. *sigh* And that's just too bad. Here's hoping PJ fixes that before it's released to DVD. Well, I'm still psyched about Return of the King and to be honest, I really did enjoy The Two Towers, even though all the new characters were not allowed to flesh out as much as I would have liked to see (Kinda like Batman 2, IMHO) but here's hoping the last leg of the epic is as majestic and well loved as the first two were. Andrew

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Great Movie

    by neverbrainwashed

    FOTR was better though, especially if you never read the books. If you read the books, then TTT is about the same as FOTR. Pretty Simple.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Just goes to show it's safe to stop reading after the bunny slip

    by Nordling

    Dear God, the sheer stupidity astounds.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Sorry, pink slippers. Thought they were bunnies for some reason

    by Nordling

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:20 p.m. CST

    bla, bla, bla......

    by Dfresh

    If you didn't nut your pants when you saw this movie you should be shot, nough said.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Interesting Reactions

    by MikeSal222

    I'm surprised at how many negative reviews there are on this TB. I haven't seen the movie yet, but since I'm a "Tolkien purist, I have a feeling I may be a little disappointed. Then again, I've gotten over my disappointment at Tom Bombadil not being in the movies, so maybe the other deviations from the books won't bother me as much.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:23 p.m. CST

    mike sal

    by raker

    if you struggled with T. Bombadil then stay the hell away from the Two Towers.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:25 p.m. CST

    One thing that bugged me about TTT, and FOTR, and pretty much ev

    by JustAnotherGuy

    Showing characters with absoloutly blank faces with artificial tears going down their cheeks is NOT EMOTION. People don't really cry like that! What happened to collapsing in a hopeless fit of despair and sobbing like crazy?? Why, WHY does every character (with the exception of Theoden, briefly) not do any real crying except to stand there with no emotion, not a single sob, with tears all over their faces??? Yeah, I know, I'm an idiot. This was still a very entertaining movie that somehow altered time and made what was obviously thirty magnificent minutes pass in three hours. But...still, isn't anyone else really annoyed with the fake crying?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:25 p.m. CST

    The end battle was a disaster.

    by Tailgunner22

    I've posted here a few times about FOTR which I hated. I went to see TTT because I wanted to see this battle at Helms Deep. I was expecting something spectacular, but as usual it was soooooo badly done, I actually had to look away on a few occasions because it hurt my eyes. It was a complete mess and very badly edited. I had no idea what was going on and it was a MASSIVE dissapointment like the rest of the film especially the giggle inducing dialouge.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Great review, Mori. Jackson really did nail this one in ways I c

    by a goonie

    And who the hell criticized Sam's speech?!? That was my favourite moment in the entire film! Frodo's comment about not being able to go on, about quitting, and then Sam's speech about tales and legends and how the people in those stories kept going and they never turned back no matter how scary the adventure became... that was brilliant. Having his speech played over the images of our two other stories was genius. Extremely powerful. And then in answer to Frodo's question about what do they have to hold on to, Sam says something along the lines of "the idea that there is good in the world." What a beautiful moment! Anyways... I'm glad to hear you loved it so much, Mori. Reading that review, I know how you feel.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Bombadil

    by MikeSal222

    Well, I admit I was very disappointed when I heard that Bombadil wasn't going to be in the films, but as I said, I'm over it now. I hated FOTR the first time I saw it, but after watching it on DVD, it's really grown on me. Reading these reviews, it's obvious that Jackson is taking massive liberties with the books. That's not necessarily a bad thing, although some of the stuff I'm reading does have me a bit worried. We'll see.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Jackson dropped the ball.

    by Sabirs

    It just goes to show you how quickly things can turn around when it comes to geekdom. Looks like most have found this a disapointment. I personaly hated it. The critics only love it because it's pretentious and it makes them look good.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Mixed feelings

    by 1982 veteran

    ...I'm waiting for the REAL TTT to turn up in the DVD extended edition, 'cos this current version just feels rushed, lacking the pathos and character moments that I wanted. I felt the same way last year with FOTR, and fell in love with the extended FOTR. It's clear whole scenes are missing from TTT. Yes Gollum is breathtaking but MiddleEarth looked tame and dull, where it soared in FOTR. Roll on the multi-disc DVD in Nov 2003. Sod 3 hrs, gimme 4 hours, anybody?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Gollum Kicks Yodas ASS!!

    by delwin

    Perfect review. This is what dreams are made of. I'm still in awe of this movie. I never want it to end, I want to pack up and leave for Middle Earth. If I didn't know better I'd think Gollum was found at a circus as a sideshow freak. He was so amazing, give Gollum the Oscar. What a totally beautiful and emotional epic. Peter Jackson has me under his spell. I thank him and his crew for this movie and for FOTR, I have restored hope that Hollywood hasn't gone to complete shit and sequel hell. I don't see this as a sequel, it is just a part of a nine hour movie.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:35 p.m. CST

    wow

    by YaGottaBeKidding

    Whoever expects perfection from a movie adapted from a book better take a closer look at his/her ownself in the mirror. Geesh people get a grip not a gripe. The movie was jaw dropping, incredibly excellent!!! Still sitting in the blissful land of - WOW. Need to see the movie again and soooooooooo can't wait to see how PJ brings them all together in ROTK.

  • It took me longer to get into TT, and the changes they made to teh story in this one did not quite make sense to me. In Fellowship theyw ere logical and needed to move the narrative to film, but in TT they seemed arbitrary.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Mike Sal

    by raker

    For the most part these aren't reviews. They are just people looking to get a rise, or people who are bitter because of the success. The way I got over the shock of fellowship being different is to not relate this movie to the book. It is a telling of a tale about Middle Earth. It is different than Tolkien and yet at the same time there are bits that are so close to Tolkien's story.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Oh shut up

    by Glass

    All of you haters out there, shut the fuck UP. No one believes a word you are saying. You know you're all crying inside, wishing with all the pathetic strength you have that YOU could have created such a masterpiece. Anyway, no one cares what you think, either way. You aren't convincing anyone that the movie was bad with your lies and propoganda. And even though I KNOW you loved TTT, because there's no way anyone actually didn't like it, I also know that you have the worst taste in movies imaginable. I can tell by your undaunting vitriol and inability to make any points other than "The byg fite seen at the end wuz bad. I koodent undirstand it. I want to see more asse sekshooul innercorse." Fools.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:45 p.m. CST

    weres the 12 pack of super geeks

    by elfkiller21

    What a wonderful day this has turned out to be. I have been vindicated twice this year!!!! I notice the usual group of Euro gypies/hippie pot smokin, homo luvin' LOTR fanboy/girls are not in these talkbacks? WFT. I guess reality came crashing down on them as they fello sleep at the rings again. Now as they sober up and say "I gotta see it again to make up my mind" even Harry says that. They are coming to realize their stupid movie sucks. They don't dare come in here and start spreading gleeful fanboy reviews of how great the film is. Is this the TPM of LOTR trilogy? Its hands down a worse movie than the original. Just count how man people say its disappointing verus people who loved it. MorGoth is probably burning her DVD and books now and hitting Walmart to get ATOC on DVD. Smart move. Elfkiller@@@

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:45 p.m. CST

    The Two Towers - A Shrug Movie

    by Waylander

    It is a Srug Movie. Yes It is! Well Gollum it'll simply always be remembered for Gollum ...Jackson Tore the book up, which for the sake of cinematic/dramatic narrative I can live with but simply its not as good as they say. We'll discuss when u see it. Helms Deep is Breathtaking, Treebeard and the Ents???? Too Difficult. The pacing is all wrong and the editor should be shot. It's no doubt a towering cinematic achievement but EMPIRE STRIKES BACK it is not!!! AS a member of the audience you simply don

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:50 p.m. CST

    My LOTR facination ends here. It's over for me.

    by T_W

    I've never read the books but enjoyed FOTR, mainly because it was new. But I really didn't like TTT. I saw it last night and the reaction in my local cinema was mixed. There were quite a few laughs and giggles and moans at some of the dialogue. The Arwen and Aragorn thing was tripe and people started moaning during the dream. I think the fans of the book might have problems with the changes because my younger brother did. He went home and read the book and spent all night telling me how bad the film is compared to the book. I think my facination with LOTR ends here. I won't see it again and can't see myself watching Return of the King.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Yup, What Dreams Are Made Of....

    by delwin

    "Mine's a tale that can't be told, My freedom I hold dear. How years ago in days of old, When magic filled the air. It was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum and the evil one crept up, And slipped away with her."

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:53 p.m. CST

    obsticle?

    by hector

    What obsticle did they overcome by going to Osgiliath? A nazgul scared them and Frodo freaked out. Then Faramir let them go for no apparent reason. Frodo and Sam had a debate. All this could have happened in the cave setting. Nothing about Osgiliath itself did anything to advance the plot, or the character arcs. Granted it looked really cool.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Way to go Waylander!!!

    by neverbrainwashed

    Nice to see someone isn't afraid to speak out against the movie. Most people just decided TTT was awesome before they saw it. Jerking off to the trailers and what not. Seriously, they could have showed Battlefield Earth instead of TTT and half the fucking audience wouldn't even have noticed. Fucking sheep!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Strange

    by Zignor

    I'm having serious issues understanding the harsh feelings of some towards this film. Then again, I was confused last year around the time that FoTR was released for the same reason. I saw it twice opening day. The first viewing was actually quite jarring, I'll admit. In the year I spent anticipating this film, I suppose my brain construction a version of TTT that I expected to see. When the movie strayed quite forcefully from that vision, I was left dazed rather than either uhappy or thrilled. My second viewing changed all of that. Critic mode was off, and I could sit back and let the film wash over me. Wow, what an amazing experience that was. I actually loved how the movie went to a few places that the book didn't. Seeing Osgiliath was great. I don't need a word for word account of the book, folks, and neither do most people. I already own the books themselves. The movie is supposed to provide a vastly different experience than reading the books, because if it didn't, why in the hell would I bother to watch the films?!? My only real issue with TTT was that certain parts did feel rushed along in order to fit in as much as possible. That's not a fault of Jackson, however. There's just so much to tell and so little time to tell it. The Aragorn "death" scene was also unecessary, but I wasn't bothered by it. It added a little drama for the novel virgins to munch on. It wasn't a perfect movie by any stretch, but I've never seen a perfect movie, by any stretch. I was accompanied to see it by a slew of casual fans, and they liked it even more than I anticipated. In fact they were pretty thrilled with the whole thing. To the people above saying that all of the fans and/or nonfans are coming back disappointed, you're absolutely incorrect. People just tend to be more vocal when they have bad stuff to say, which unfortunately is what these forums have become a disturbing repository for.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4 p.m. CST

    I agree with you Glass

    by Harry Proudfoot

    There are a bunch of trolls on here trying to stir up the shit. The TT is magnificent. I saw it last night in a packed cinema and the crowd wer lapping it up, cheering, laughing, shocked and thrilled. Gollum, Helms Deep, Isengard, all superb parts of a fantastic movie. I read the total bullshite from Elfkiller and others. They are fucking joke Star Wars nutters who realise that LOTR has taken over as the number one fantasy of all time and they can't cope. I will give all you trolls a tip. Get yourselves a length of hosepipe. Drive out to a quite car park on the edge of town. Then put one end of the hosepipe in your cars exhaust, and put the other end inside the car through a small gap in the window. Tighten the window up so that the pipe doesn't fall out. Start you engine, then put your beloved Star Wars disco theme on and die fuckers! Star Wars was yesterday. Lord Of The Rings is TODAY. Get used to it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:02 p.m. CST

    STILL nobody has answered this: If you hated the first movie, w

    by minderbinder

    Just trying to figure it out.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:03 p.m. CST

    TB Discussion

    by funkybritches

    This was the first time I've really followed a TB discussion and I've gotta say I'm amazed - you want more adherance to the books? So we'd have a three page song recited how often? Don't get me wrong, the books are classic, but they're literature, not film. Get a Book On Tape if you want that, otherwise, go into the movie with the expectation to see an adaptation. As far as that goes, I think no other director/production team out there right now could have pulled this off so well. Think when Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn are riding to the gates of Edoras - queue that beautiful violin solo theme for the Rohans - that spectacular view (the scenery, you perves, not the backside of the quite-spectacular-herself Miss Otto) - just breathtaking. There were so many parts of that film that just the pure beauty of the film making literrally took my breath away. Diffrn't strokes for diffr'nt folks as my gaffer used to say, but please count me in for saying that this movie nailed it for me. Somebody put me in a time warp to next year. Must see ROTK.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:03 p.m. CST

    No Spacehunter

    by neverbrainwashed

    It's not that we want to be different. It's just some people aren't gonna praise something because it is suppose to be good!! Fucking moron. You may also be interested to know that some professional critcs don't even see the fucking movies, hence TTT's Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97%, they send people do do it for them. Sometimes they plain just don't see them at all. You fucking tool.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Do the Hobbits have to be so annoying?

    by TooReal

    They really bugged me in this film. Do they have to be so idiotic?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Morons

    by neverbrainwashed

    I liked FOTR and TTT. I think FOTR was a better film. That's all. I'm not gonna sit here in a circle jerk with you guys about TTT. It was good, but it wasn't the greatest movie in the history of the world like most of you are trying to say. Face it!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Saw the movie last night..

    by Moosehead1867

    OMG! 3 hours went by like it was nothing. Much quicker pace than FOTR due to the 3 story lines. Good lord, I gotta see this again on the weekend. If this is what TTT is like, think what ROTK is going to be like!! One girl had tears coming down her face after the movie. I haven't seen anything like this in a long time.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:29 p.m. CST

    T_W.. hehe

    by hokie350

    "I think my facination with LOTR ends here. I won't see it again and can't see myself watching Return of the King." -T_W What a laugh. You will be at ROTK opening night, as will every negative poster here. We hate it we hate it, cry cry cry. You crack me up. You'll buy the DVD, you'll watch it several times, you'll go to ROTK opening night. To even consider comparing either of these films to AOTC is laughable. The only thing they have in common in quality is CGI. TPM was a terrible movie. The only good scene in it was the lightsaber fight, which had absolutely no point at all in the story. Dark Maul was just there for no reason other than to throw a light saber fight in the movie. AOTC was only slightly better, the first half was trash, the acting was horrible. Christopher Lee was excellent in his few shining moments, but the movie mostly sucked until the last 10 minutes of the movie. Even the battle in AOTC was terrible. Now LOTR shows up with back to back inredible flicks, both made with astonishing quality, beautiful sets, great makeup, quality acting, and a great story, and all you can do is complain because it's not like the book. Peter Jackson said from the beginning he is out to make a movie first and follow the book second. Film wise, this film did what it was supposed to do, and it did it well. So what is some of it was not up to par with the quality of character development/story as the first. It was still an excellent film, and that is what a "movie review" is, not a review of how close it is to the book.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:37 p.m. CST

    TTT - Surfin' at HD

    by Loachboy

    Legolas "surfing" down the steps while taking aim...total cheese!!! Everything else was fantastic. Smeagal was chillingly authentic...I felt sorry for those 0's and 1's. I had no trouble following the battle sequences at all. Shaking cameras? Well, Imagine you were standing in the middle of all that...you'd be jostled around a little, dontcha think. Why is this hard for people to figure out? Sigh... Thank you , Peter Jackson, for doing the best that you could...and thanks for finding SO MANY others that worked their asses off for you and your vision. So much talent must have been hard to come by! Can't wait for ROTK.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:37 p.m. CST

    In defense of Arwen, Eowyn, and Aragorn

    by romantic

    One of my major complaints about the books is that Arwen is merely referred to in the first in passing yet you find out in the appendix of ROTK that she was actually a motivation and companion for Aragorn. (Elrond tells him that she can't marry him until and unless he's king and thus worthy of her). Also, Elrond is very bitter about losing her, this is also mentioned in the books. I'm absolutely THRILLED that PJ has brought this aspect of the story out earlier, as an appendix to a movie wouldn't make much sense. It's important that we know the choices she and Aragorn are making NOW! After ROTK will be too late. Furthermore, to all of you who state that the Eowyn thing comes out of left field, it's supposed to. She has lived a closeted life with no available men around her of valor. Besides that, she wants to be a warrior herself. When she sees Aragorn in the book she instantly falls in love with him because he is exactly what she has been dreaming about and hoping for. It is all over TTT and ROTK that Eowyn wants Aragorn badly and is very depressed about his not returning her love until another finally snaps her out of it (***SPOILER****... virtuous Faramir woos and wins her). Aragorn doesn't love her in either the movie or the book as but enjoys her company and respects her. I don't see why it's wrong for PJ to show that.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:38 p.m. CST

    You know what would make these TB battles more fun?

    by WhiskeyRiver

    If some of you would fight them with actual firearms. That would be entertaining.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Wednesday Estimates are now down to $26 Million (nt)

    by JoeGillis

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:41 p.m. CST

    LOTR Fans Are Getting Like STAR WARS Fans

    by PadmesLoveSlave

    I'm much more of a STAR WARS fanboy than I am a Tolkien one(for the record I loved AOTC and even have affection for PHANTOM MENACE), but I loved TTT and found it to be one of the greatest fantasy films of the modern era. So I'm shocked to see so many fans of LOTR expressing bitter disappointment for TTT here and elsewhere in cyberspace. Some of the whining and carrying on hits this SW fan close to home, as he has to endure it for the past three years. To disappointed Tolkien fans I say this: it was a damn good movie! Was it absolutely 100% true to Tolkien's vision? I don't know, since I haven't read the books(yet), but I assume not from the reactions. But I say: So what? Cinema and literature are two different mediums, and a good filmmaker needs to reassess material and adapt literature for the big screen in a way that will retain the flavor of the original without destroying the medium of film. I believe, with my limited knowledge, that the TTT retains the spirit of Tolkien if not the letter, and is a worthy cinematic achievement. It ranks among the top fantasy films of all time, and is a monument to what is possible in cinema. TTT is a great film, and should be hailed as such, regardless of how "faithful" it is to the text of the story. The story will stand on it's own,and so will Peter Jackson's tremendous filmic achievement.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Face it, the ending SUCKED

    by Atticus Finch

    It wasn't even really a cliffhanger. If PJ hadn't wasted so much fucking time taking Sam and Frodo to Gondor, having Aragon fall off a fucking cliff, and inserted the fucking afterthought that was Arwen's role, he could've included Shelob, had Frodo "die", Sam take the ring, and had a perfect cliffhanger. Also, the storyline of Merry, Pippin, and the horrible looking Ents was a throwaway, doing nothing more than being a distration for the Helm's Deep sequence.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:46 p.m. CST

    So TTT sux?

    by mulvaney

    Please tell me this isn't true. Having yet to see the movie reading this talk back has made me very dissapointed. I was really hoping for something very special from PJ like the FOTR and by the sound of things from the comment I am reading here PJ dropped the ball. Such A shame because FOTR was a true classic. Is it even worth while seeing TTT now?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:46 p.m. CST

    ILM's End part 2

    by ABAR

    ...in some parts, gollum looked real..what a phenomenal work. you could sometimes tell that it was a cg character. but 40% he looked photo realistic..it was stunning! ILM should be ashamed, WETA is now years ahead from them. just look at yoda (from atoc), it is almost insulting to compare the these two cg characters.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Aww shaddap already

    by GypsyTRobot

    Everyone should have known by now that Jackson would take more liberties with TTT and RoTK than Benicio del Toro did with Christina Ricci in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Any of you purists who haven't seen the movie yet, just go in with lowered expectations and thinking this movie is very loosely based on the book. Then you'll be pleasantly surprised.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:51 p.m. CST

    PeterNorth/Andy Serkis

    by DrowRanger

    How stupid are you? Andy Serkis did not just VOICE Gollum, he was also the model for all of the movements, and was physically present in nearly every scene.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 4:58 p.m. CST

    One again....

    by neverbrainwashed

    Spacehunter you just don't get it. You are a child. I said a lot of professional critics don't see the movies reviewed in their names. Everybody knows that. I never said Moriaty didn't see it. I was just stating a fact, unlike talk about TTT, which is all opinion. My opinion is that TTT was a good movie, but I liked FOTR better. Simple.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:01 p.m. CST

    My Verdict... See the Movie

    by romantic

    Oh! I forgot to add my two cents to rebut elfkiller. Unless you're a Tolkien snob incapable of realizing that movies must deviate from books so as not to be 20 hours long (ala Pride and Prejudice miniseries) or boring (ala Harry Potter C of S), see this movie. It's fantastic. Also, it has more of a coherent storyline and plot than anythign George Lucas ever put forth. I'm fond of Star Wars but it's fundamental problem with coherency is inherent in a movie that's script was made to accomodate special effects. LOTR was coherent and laid out for 20 years by one individual and due to that it excels despite of (or perhaps even more so because of) the changes made by PJ. Rock on PJ! You did a great job! I can't wait for the next one!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Farimir

    by PurityOfEssence

    Got short changed becuase they made him out to be to greedy.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Okay you convinced me

    by mulvaney

    Morgorth and fluffygreycat2 convinced me although my expectations for TTT will now be a bit lower still I

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:09 p.m. CST

    No fuck you

    by elfkiller21

    Morgoth your not a man. Real men don't use words like ADORE nor do real men use words like TREAT YOURSELF. Homos might use those words but I won't know for sure. You are the real fag. If dicks were cigerettes you'd have lung cancer by now. Your a old hippie bitch that gets their kicks by calling anyone anti-semitic they don't like. HEY MORON my mother is a semtic dipshit. HEY everyone don't see TTT on the big screen just wait until 3 different version of it come out on DVD next year and see it. Before that a phantom edit will take place and make these dumb movies better. Many people on these TB and others are disappointed in TTT. I'm not I expected and predicted it would suck along time about. Hahahah your movie is not a masterpiece, nope. Willow is better than this dog shit.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:09 p.m. CST

    my two cents.

    by inkymae

    The movie rocked my world. That is all.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:11 p.m. CST

    FOR the people who think the movie is a "mess"

    by sejin

    Sure, TTT isn't flawless, but it's very close to it. And loved every single second of it (though I was slightly disappointed at the portrayal of Faramir). I read that some people complain that it's a "mess." For ANY movie, if you only saw the middle 40 minutes, it would seem like a mess. This movie isn't meant to be a stand alone. It's meant to be part of the whole. That's why so much is going on. In my opinion, Jackson does a great job of threading all these narratives together. I love the books too, but as a cinematic adaptation, I think LOTR is fantastic so far.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:12 p.m. CST

    PJ back in Hollywood and suffers from Parkinson

    by Bungholio

    It's sad but for me the dream is almost over. FOTR is brilliant while TTT is just average. My complaints: - bad storytelling: while the first film unfolds itself in a wonderful way, this movie jumps from scene to scene, mostly without a hand for good connecting or keeping the atmosphere. Why give Arwen and Elrond so much time, they had it in FOTR, now GO AWAY! This wasted time slows everything down and could've been better used for the plot with the important characters - the dialogues are completely different. FOTR showed real people talking, TTT has more from a Shakespear drama, you don't believe them - the overpushed humor! Gimli changed from a serious charakter to a comedian. Every time he's on camera you think: what joke comes next. That's much better in FOTR because it's natural in the Hobbits way, this time it's Hollywood. And the horror has to grow in this story so there's no need for so much artificial comedy -battle scenes: PJ should take a lesson in cutting by Ridley Scott or Mel Gibson. Close ups are so shaky that you never know what's really going on at this moment. Not one real sword battle, just a hack and it's done. The "glorious" Helms Deep is mostly a torture for the eyes and wasted time. - crappy CGI: beside Gollum, who's very good but not THE GOLLUM, the rest is fake. I'm not kissing Lucas' ass but ILM can beat the shit out of WETA I guess. YOU SEE that Treebeard walks through cyberspace, not through a forest, YOU SEE that the nazgul flying in front of a blue or green screen and I even don't mention the wargs... So I'm serious thinking about not going to the premier of the third movie, but we'll see. Just disappointed... sniff

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:17 p.m. CST

    "HEY MORON my mother is a semtic dipshit"

    by King_Midas

    Holy shit, I can't believe somebody actually typed that! Then again, we are talking about elfkiller. Thanks for the laugh, though. A little bit of irony always cheers me up.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Justifying the changes

    by Mad Barchetta

    I figured out after several hours of pondering Jackon's changes why he made them: Primarily for time considerations (altogether now: Duh!), but secondarily to emphasize the dramatic theme of this movie. That theme is the choice between the impulse to despair, the impulse to hope and the courage to persevere in the face of hopelessness. In other words live or give up. We see Theoden initially choose to fight, then to fight without hope, then almost despair and finally to fight with hope. Aragorn nearly gives up on his seemingly hopeless relationship with Arwen (as does she). Treebeard want's to play Switzerland and bail out as a neutral party until he realizes that the war touches ALL life. Same kind of realization Pippen has when Merry points out that there will be no Shire if they lose the war. Frodo fights with the choice to give up or continue, and would have chosen the former if not for Sam. Legolas has his moment of doubt. The Elves choose to join again with men rather than simply forsake Middle Earth. Faramir is put much more to the test and comes much closer to failing than in the book. His choice, in despair choose the easy route or put faith in a pair of noble strangers. Smeagol chooses hope for a better future briefly, but ultimately is too broken and without trust to hold to his choice, thus propelling the drama of the next film. This film is about perseverence, with or without hope. The changes Jackson made drive that message home!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Peter North

    by smashmouthD

    Everyone here knows that you have neither a dog nor a girlfriend, because if you really had either, your girlfriend would have already killed you (seeing as your parents failed to) and your dog would gnaw on your dead body. Well, maybe with a little hot sauce he would. You care not for the movie yet for some reason have a hard on while talking shit to people who loved it. You're worthless and any true opinion you had on the movie is rendered useless because of your 9 year old mentality. Guess what bro, I love torchin suckers like you, so you're in for a treat.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Its funny

    by mulvaney

    If you just read the posts on this talkback and don

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:31 p.m. CST

    mulvaney

    by raker

    I think they are jealous. Nothing more than that. Except maybe elfkiller who is a couple cans short of a six pack.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Right on barchetta!!!!

    by romantic

    You so nailed it. That's EXACTLY what's going on!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Here's the breakdown so far:

    by King_Midas

    At least for me and the 1000 other people whose minds I could read that attended each show yesterday. 70% totally loved it - it was the best movie they had ever seen. 20% loved it - it was the second best movie they had ever seen behind Fellowship and will take a second viewing to move up. 5% thoroughly enjoyed it but had a few minor gripes. 4% were too stupid to know what was going on but liked the pretty pictures. The other 1% hated it because they couldn't stop thinking about fucking their sisters.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:34 p.m. CST

    re:mulvaney

    by ABAR

    why are they doing it?..I think that maybe, they must be 14 or 16ylds, with no friends. so they kill their useless time by posting tons of messages on aicn.com

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:34 p.m. CST

    re:mulvaney

    by ABAR

    why are they doing it?..I think that maybe, they must be 14 or 16ylds, with no friends. so they kill their useless time by posting tons of messages on aicn.com

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Moriarty...

    by TheIronGiant

    You are a god. That is probably one of the best reviews I have ever read.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:36 p.m. CST

    elfkiller

    by smashmouthD

    If being able to use the english language effectively is for fags, I'd rather be a fag than an impotent psychopath raging because of the fact that he's incapable of communicating beyond the sixth grade level. Anyhow, I'm sure your semitic mother loves the fact that she raised an idiot who can think of nothing better to do that cuss at people who can find joy easier than her puke of a son. Go back to filetring the net for beastiality porn.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:37 p.m. CST

    the reality....

    by stuftseveredhead

    The only real criticism I can give to the Two Towers is that if you go in wanting to hate it, you will. If you want to love it, you will. Which seems to be the basic situation on this talkback. Every criticism comes from people who were just intent on hating it and the people that wanted to love it, did love it. Now for everyone that wants to say that the film failed compared to "Fellowship", I'll counter with the fact that Jackson has always said it was the most difficult of the three films to do and it was not his original intention to do three films. He knew he had to flesh it out more. He knew it would have the purists up in arms and he knew that alot of people would not like it like FOTR. but I look it as I do with Empire Strikes Back. It's setting up for a huge payoff next year. And unlike Jedi, I believe ROTK will deliver.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Universal Noir...

    by Halloween68

    I disagree. That is not "wrong!" as you say. Ever made a film? Ever made one the size of Lord of the Rings? Of course you haven't. You, nor I for that matter, have no idea what its like to cram 500 pages of story telling into a 100 page script and a little under 3 hour movie. Peter Jackson was faced with trying to get all the major scenes of the book onto the screen. Just as important was trying to get the same outcome in the film as in the book. At the same time, he had to carry over the whole Arwen / Aragorn plot from the first film so as to develop it for the final. Rather than cut entire elements of the story, it seems to me that he tried to adapt the film so as to fit it all in. I think he did a rather admirable job. Sure, I could, and it sounds like you already have, come up with different ways to get some of these scenes across. But we don't know the facts or kind of difficulties we might have faced in the adaptation process. I'm willing to give the man the benefit of the doubt... As long as he stays respectful of the novel. Which, in my opinion, he has. Once again, the outcome is the same. All the events have transpired. We've arrived at the same conclusions and we still face the same obsticles as with the novel. How can you find fault with that? I suggest as you do as I have done... Until you've made a film adaptation in the same scope that Jackson is dealing with, butt out and let the experts handle it. He must be doing something right. Not only is he accomplishing what many thought was impossible, but he's also garnering public and critical acclaim.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Slightly off topic: did Buffy cop FotR music?/

    by GypsyTRobot

    Did anyone else notice that the last Buffy episode featured some mighty familiar music? Sounded like music stolen and slightly changed from FotR, playing during Buffy's rah rah speech to the troops. I'm posting it here cuz no one's reading coax TB's while Herc's away. Wouldn't be surprised, Whedon's a big geek and in between the Star Wars references there's the occasional hobbit joke.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Chuckwalla - So we're Mordor and George Bush is Sauron???

    by Oberon

    I guess this would make Saddam Hussein the noble Aragorn - or perhaps the selfless Frodo? I had no idea. I must have missed the bit where they gassed and tortured thousands of hobbits, or forced wives watch their husbands cruelly put to death - I must have been distracted by Saddam's pursuit of his Ring of Mass Destruction (as opposed to trying to destroy it forever). Amazing how some people will indulge any amount of irrationality to justify their hatred for America or simple sense of societal guilt.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:51 p.m. CST

    ELFKILLER!!!! What is your problem?

    by Snake-eyes

    Why come here and accuse everyone who shows the slightest passion about a film of being gay? One day, when you have made love to someone without having paid or drugged them beforehand, you may suddenly develop what the rest of us call maturity. This is something which empowers us to become emotional and passionate about something or someone and not assume that we must be gay to feel that way! I can watch films and get moved by them and I personally think thats whats makes a film great -its ability to move you. To play with your emotions and take you for a ride away from the troubles of real life. When I watch FOTR, I still get blurry-eyed at key points and I dont care telling the world that!!! FFS grow up will you! Sad little pricks like you are exactly the reason I lose faith in the human race.

  • For those of you who are dismissing out of hand the negative criticisms of TTT, please bear a few things in mind. Firstly, many of us who hated TTT are NOT comparing it to the book. I am a Tolkeinite who loved PJ's version of FOTR. And at the same time I WANT to see PJ adding new ideas. Even if PJ makes Frodo and Sam have a gay relationship, I will ACCEPT this if it WORKS DRAMATICALLY. So I DON'T OBJECT to any changes from the book. (The hobbits go to Osgiliath? Fine: let's see what PJ does with it.) What I DO object to is a poorly constructed movie with no focus, tension or drama. I object to the same dialogue being repeated over and over again throughout the movie (How many variations can you have of the line "THERE IS STILL HOPE!" in a single movie? About fifty according to Jackson). I object to the most tired, ill-conceived cliches being used as central plot devices (Q: how many fantasy movies have helpless, sackcloth-wearing villagers under attack from fire-raising villains? A: Every single bloody one of them. The "women and children" factor in TTT is excrutiating and is this trilogy's version of the ewoks.)I seriously object to one of the movie's key selling points being the MASSIVE technology for creating battles. We have been bombarded with publicity regarding the spectacular impact this technology will have for about three years now. WELL, WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO USE IT? I didn't see it in TTT. Did anyone? I was expecting a gigantic, exhilirating battle between thousands of Uruk-Hai and humans. But it never happened. Why was this cut? People are comparing Helm's Deep to a Kurosawa battle scene. Have any of you actually SEEN a Kurosawa movie? How can you possibly compare the majestic and shocking battle in Throne Of Blood to the tedious, edited-into-senselessness debacle of Helm's Deep??? I honestly cannot understand why some of you like this movie. I expected to find unanimous outrage on this talkback at what has become of such a promising series of movies. Can any of you actually EXPLAIN what is so good about the The Two Towers?

  • From reading the appendix, it was my impression that after Aragorn dies, Arwen goes to the woods of Lothlorien and wanders around and dies. But after seeing the movie, I am confused. Is she still immortal and doomed to wander middle earth alone? And why can't she go to the Grey Havens after Aragorn dies? Thanks!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:57 p.m. CST

    The Two Towers is INCREDIBLE, Assholes!!

    by Dink Meeker

    Let me begin by saying that the problem with sites like these is that they empower every jackass on the planet to act like he knows something about film. How about some damn perspective, assholes! This is a project that people have poured their hearts and souls into for an INSANE amount of years (perhaps even the bulk of their entire careers), and the results are ASTONISHING! What in the hell is wrong with you people? Does nothing impress you? This "seen-it-all" attitude that everyone has adopted is the REAL problem with cinema today. It saddens me deeply that people have become so jaded that this beautifully conceived work of art can be scoffed at and called things like "boring," "snoozefest," and "lame." FOTR was the setup, and this was the PERFECT payoff. This is perhaps the most epic struggle ever depicted in the history of film-making, and all some of you can muster is, "it was OK, but it wasn't like the book." F*CK the book. This movie is a helluva lot more than "OK." This movie was STEEPED in character development. We see the developing friendships, people losing all they've ever known and loved, people sacrificing their very lives for one another. Isn't this MORE like life? Do soldiers usually sit around bullshitting endlessly about world affairs and current events while the war is going on around them? These characters were developed by their ACTIONS...they didn't need pages of dialogue...it was time to ACT! And in the real world, isn't our true character is revealed in our most desperate circumstances? I'm just blown away that you geeks were finally given something that was almost SOLELY intended for you...something so stark and fully realized and fantastic, and you just SPAT IN IT'S FACE! Stop being so damn sarcastic and full of yourself and try to show some appreciation and respect for someone who's not only trying to ENTERTAIN you, but to bring to life something that is insurmountably difficult to film!! This is an INCREDIBLE achievement, and anyone who doesn't acknowledge that has some conflicting personal agenda.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:57 p.m. CST

    MorGoth, Daughter of Time, Fluffygreycat2, GypsyTRobot, KingMida

    by Snake-eyes

    You guys (and gals) are all cool in my book!!! Dont let the fuckers get to us!!!!! *smiles*

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 5:59 p.m. CST

    orson

    by raker

    movies are subjective. If you are looking for a great review then read Moriarities. He says it all and then some. You didn't like it. You've been psyching yourself out for months. I am not suprised that you didn't like it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:06 p.m. CST

    OrsonW

    by Snake-eyes

    Ok....we get it, you didnt like! Thats fine! You wanna hear whats good about this flick? Well....try this....first open up your closed, negative little mind just a fraction. Then look up and down this talkback at those who loved this flick and read what they say, then look at Moriarty's review, then look at all the positive reviews on RottenTomatoes and the press, then go away and think about it. Watch it again in the cinema if u must. But either way, stop posting youre fucking gripes with the film and challenging us to tell you what we liked about it when 99% of the world who have seen it and loved it are doing JUST THAT!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:13 p.m. CST

    raker: what does 'psyching yourself out' mean?

    by Orson W

    If it means I've been getting excited about this movie, hoping it would be as good as FOTR, then yes, I'm a little guilty of that. But who isn't? After seeing the excellent FOTR, can you blame me for expecting a sequel of similar quality? A sequel with the same intelligence, daring and occasional brilliance? Surely I wasn't being too unrealistic in expecting this after Jackson showed us what he could do?.....If, however, you mean that I have been preparing for this movie to fail, then I really don't follow you. I have bought BOTH FOTR DVDs and have played them to death, I have greedily been lapping up every image of TTT on the net whilst at the same time protecting myself from spoilers. I have watched the movie on its day of release. If this is what you mean, then which part of my fanboyism don't you understand?

  • TTT is a very nice continuation of the trilogy. I concur on the level that this film is more action orientated and less dramatic. In FOTR, I teared when Boromir shared his last words with us. I also felt sad when Gandalf was holding on for dear life and Frodo was yelling for him as if he was his father. I look forward to watching ROTK after I settle down from being in the Army for eleven months... _____---KNEEL---_____ before Z0D

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Miranda is my new fantasy girlfriend.

    by Marcboy

    i am sure PJ will justify the Faramir deviation in the next movie because there is no other way to rationalize it. i look forward to him and Eowyn gettin it on.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Whoa, Raker, slow down!

    by Orson W

    This TB is a public forum for LOTR fans to discuss the movie. That's what I am and that's I'm doing. I'm afraid I give no credit to any of Moriarty's reviews. He adored TPM and AOTC and he is therefore lives in a world I can't understand.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:23 p.m. CST

    someone answer this question though

    by Mattdub

    I haven't had the whole 12 hours it would take to read all of the talk back...and it might be addressed but. I loved the movie. Classic and epic. BUT, why did Pete put in all the extra shit about the elvin beeatch and chop out all of the Good ENT pussy? What purpose did it have to have Merry and Pippen convince the Ents to destroy Isenguard? It was good and all, but If you are so smitten with the books to try to make a movie out of them, don't take liberties with shit you didn't have to! Is that hollywood making Jackson do that? I swear to God, if in Return of the King we see Sauron as more than the Eye that we have known so far, ie: an actual person as flesh and bone, trying to get the ring because it would be more dramatic for the people, Peter Jackson will be pissing all over Tolkien's grave and everything the book makes dear. AT that point, it will not be Lord of the Rings anymore but a pale Hollywood Comparison sham. At the end of the next movie, Sauron will come out when Frodo is about to be attacked by Gollum at mount doom and take off his helmet to reveal...It's Saddam Hussein or Fucking Osama Bin Sauron!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Orson

    by King_Midas

    I'm not going to lump you in with elfkiller because frankly he's an ass and you have actually attempted to explain why you didn't like the movie. I respect that. I will answer your question, though, as you did mine earlier. Actually, it might be easier just to say what I didn't like about TTT because its pretty much nothing. To tell you the truth, I absolutely loved the movie the first time I saw it (pretty much even with Fellowship) but upon the second viewing, I liked it even more. I thought Gollum was incredible. He was revolting and pitiable, funny and sad - pretty much the same way I remember him in the book. He also displayed more emotion and subtle character nuance than most real actors in other films. The battle of Helm's deep was awe inspiring. True, there were a lot of close-up, quickly edited moments but that only served to make me feel like I was in the middle of the action. There were plenty of distant, overhead shots to give you a good picture of the scope and scale of the battle as well. I like the entire Rohan section. Yes, we've seen peasant villages destroyed in many fantasy flicks but never has it been done to further an atmosphere of such palpable fear, tension, and despair. I loved how heavy and dark the entire mood of the film was, and Gimli's comic relief was quite welcome and funny in contrast. What else? I liked the relationships between the characters, the sense of loss and friendship, and the hope of something worth fighting for. Oh yeah, and the Balrog battle and Ents kicking ass that bookended the film were spectacular. Just my opinion, though, since you asked.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:30 p.m. CST

    ROTK question

    by Endwell

    A friend of mine who is a grip on the film said that Snoop Dogg is cast as Sauron in ROTK. Is anyone able to verify this?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:32 p.m. CST

    a quote for you Olson

    by raker

    "just have to wonder about PJ's judgement: will his overconfidence at FOTR's success lead to more of this hokeyness in TTT?" That is what I mean by convincing yourself that this will be a bad movie. That is from TB#13927. And I didn't say anything about anyone not posting upon this mighty web site. I am a defender of free speech.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:33 p.m. CST

    sorry orson

    by raker

    I apologize for mispelling your name.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Orson

    by Madyn

    Obviously there is little that we can say that will sway you one way or the other. I felt that the dynamic between Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, was moving and quite effective. Sam trying desparately to protect his friend, Frodo slowly susccumbing to the corrosive power of the thing he is sworn to carry, Gollum representing to him a vision of what he might or will become. You no doubt do not see these things. I can do nothing to persuade you otherwise, as this is subjective. I could rave on about the technical achievement behind Gollum but I am more impressed with the way his spirit is so nicely captured in this movie. Does he repeat himself one too many times? Perhaps. But this does nothing to undermine how brilliant his characterization is in this film. To me. Obviously not to you. I could go through shot by shot, catalogue everything I was amazed by, and it is really moot, because you will be unmoved. Would I have done things differently if I had been granted 300 mil to play with. Absolutely. As would any of us. But I think Jackson's vision and commitment are striking, and while you might not agree with his choices, I think you are nearsighted to not acknowledge what he and his crew have accomplished. I'm not in the conversion business, but I think if you left your initial disappointment in the car and went to see another showing you might appreciate TTT a little more. Maybe not. Either way, is it really worth tearing into the movie everytime a new poster shows up, just for the sake of repeating yourself?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Peter North Started His Porn Career In All Male Films

    by GayBlade

    He was called "Matt Ramsey" and did a film called COUSINS directed by William Higgins in which he gets his ass fucked by another guy. The macho Peter North on these talkbacks should have picked another name. Or is he just a closeted and repressed homo like so many of the TTT haters? You know he digs Frodo, and wants to see Sam give it to him where the sun don't shine.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:39 p.m. CST

    TTT: Sauron Wins?

    by MorgothWasFramed

    NAZGUL #5: My Lord, I just saw a hobbit with the Ring in Osgiliath! SAURON THE GREAT: Shit. Take 100,000 orcs and 10,000 hill trolls and 50,000 Haradrim and 50,000 Easterlings and several hundred Mumakil and scour all the lands within 100 miles of where you saw it. Also, I'll send your brothers and the Witch King to assist. NAZGUL #5: Anything else my Lord? SAURON THE GREAT: Yes. Hmm. A hobbit in Gondor with the One Ring can only mean one thing: Gandalf is trying to smuggle the ring into Mordor to destroy it. Otherwise Denethor or Boromir or his wimpy brother Faramir would be using it against me. Wasn't that creature Gollum a hobbit once? Sneaky little fuckers. ... TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER ... NAZGUL #3: My Lord, we found the little bastard in the woods. I killed his servant and that Gollum creature. Then the hobbit put the Ring on so the Witch King stabbed him in the face. Messy. We got it. SAURON THE GREAT, LORD OF MIDDLE-EARTH: Good. Bring it to me. FADE TO BLACK

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:40 p.m. CST

    wake up! the TwoTowers sucked big time

    by joe stalin

    I'm really sad to say that the Two Towers was a huge dissapointment. If you blow a zillion dollars to make a movie, there shouldn't be any local amateur actors in it sayin things like "It's the king" when you're perfectly capable of understanding that all by yourself. The alterations from the original text are really horrible in this movie, especially the meeting with Faramir, well that and the orc wolfbrigade(!!!!!!!). I liked the first movie and I had great expectations on this one, but Peter Jackson didn't want to make the Lord of the Rings, he wanted to make a new StarWars movie with fun sidekicks and plenty off coolstuff to make toys of. Pleeaase massster, no more stupid dwarf jokes in the next movie, and stop this Middle-earth on Titanic crap before it hits the iceberg and sinks.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:40 p.m. CST

    King_Midas - now that's more like it...

    by Orson W

    Well, I agree with a lot of what you've just said actually and I'm very jealous that you found the battle scene effective. I have exactly the same reaction as you to the Gollum scenes - very poignant and fascinating. I also loved the very beginning of the movie, where we are flying over the mountains and hearing the muffled sounds of the clash on the bridge of Khazad-Dum. Now, that's storytelling! I just wish that the rest of the movie had been as ingenious as these scenes. I am not saying that I hated EVERYTHING: the flash-forward to Aragorn lying in stone was also a very effective moment - but my main gripes with the movie are just too big to overcome. By the way, what do you think of Ralph Bakshi's version? A lot of people seem to hate it (though PJ doesn't - as he borrowed some ideas from it and put a little 'homage' to it in FOTR)

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Er, Raker - thanks for wilfully quoting me out of conext...

    by Orson W

    That quote is from my review of the FOTR SEV which I BOUGHT. If you read the whole review you will see that there are some things I hate about the SEV and some things I adore. Which is fair enough. Why didn't you quote some of my positive stuff? Like when I said about the addition to the Boromir scene in Rivendell. "This scene is brilliant. I say it again: this scene is brilliant". But you know all this already 'cause you seem to be collecting my posts (not sure if I'm flattered or spooked!). In any case - isn't it amazing how that prediction turned out to be true? (for me, at least). At the time, I was saying that in anxiety - but hoping it wouldn't come true. It has, unfortunately.*****That's okay, Madyn - I love the Gollum scenes just as much as you. It's the rest of the movie I don't care for.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Orson

    by King_Midas

    I certainly don't hate Bakshi's version - I actually own all three Tolkien cartoons on DVD. If anything, I'm more bothered by the lack of consistancy than anything else - the way the Hobbit and ROTK go together as the WB cartoons and then Bakshi's version stands alone. I also hate the way it just ended in the middle because he ran out of money. The first time I bought the tape when I was a wee lad, I couldn't believe it just ended there. I felt cheated. He certainly sticks close to Tolkien, though, and did some pretty interesting animation with the orcs and that rotoscoping technique or whatever it was called.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Orson

    by Madyn

    I caught your exchange with Midas after posting. I'm not going to say I feel sorry for you because you aren't in love with the movie, because that's condescending and pretensious, but I will stand by the statement--go se it again. I know a lot fo people who had all sorts of issues with FOTR, but the movie grew on them with each viewing, and for some of them it's among their favorites now. It seems to me they went in with fixed ntions of what should or shouldn't be on the screen and weren't open to viewing the movie on its own terms. That *sounds* like what happened to you with TTT (all the buildup and expectations, etc.) So I say again, give it another shot. If you still hate it (or have massive problems with it), so be it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:57 p.m. CST

    I've got Bakshi's LOTR on DVD too, King_Midas

    by Orson W

    It's interesting that PJ's and Bakshi's technique for rendering Gollum are very similar - they both used real actors to obtain life-like movement: with Bakshi it was rotoscoping, with PJ it was rotoscoping and motion-capture. I would say that both Gollums are very good interpretations.......I have to say that I prefer Bakshi's staging of the Helm's Deep battle - even if the orcs look ridiculous. I find there is more tension and drama - and I love the bit when Gandalf arrives and starts slicing up the orcs in slow motion = I's have loved a bit of that in PJ's TT. Pity Bakshi fell out with the studio and had to 'pretenf' that the victory at Helm's Deep was actually the end of LOTR!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Bakshi

    by King_Midas

    Oh yeah, and him not being able to keep Sauraman's name straight bothered me too.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 6:58 p.m. CST

    orson

    by raker

    I am not collecting your posts; and I think the quote speaks for itself. All I am saying is that you had convinced yourself long ago that you wouldn't like it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7 p.m. CST

    Fair enough, Madyn

    by Orson W

    Yeah, of course I'll see it again and will probably buy the DVD. Well, that's fanboyism for ya. Hopefully I'll warm to it a bit...

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Orson

    by King_Midas

    Yeah, it was a pity that Bakshi ran out of money - that's what forced me to buy and watch the pretty atrocious WB version. Although I did rather like their Hobbit cartoon. Anyway, I can't say that I preferred anything in Bakshi's version to PJ's. I never dreamed that they could make these movies in live action. I thought the best we could ever hope for was a descent (and complete) cartoon. That's why I was so pumped when I heard about what PJ was doing and needless to say he exceeded all of my incredibly high expectations. I feel for you, though. I know what it's like to be disappointed when you've really been looking forward to something.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Mispronounciations...

    by Orson W

    Ha! Yes! Aruman or Saruman! That's hilarious. Funnily enough, a similar confusion crept into PJ's FOTR. Ian McKellen can't decide if it's pronounced Saw-ruman or Sah-ruman. Also, is it "Mordor", Morrrrrdor", or Mor-Door"? No-one seems sure.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Well, that's all folks...

    by Orson W

    Time for me to limp off and cry myself to sleep...Nice talkin to ya, King and Madyn...I'll let you know if I change my mind.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Orson

    by King_Midas

    I never noticed Gandalf's pronunciation changing although I will admit that Elronds "Threat of Morrrdor" line at the beginning of the council in Fellowship always stood out a bit.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:16 p.m. CST

    by Madyn

    King Midas, That reminded me of Edward I trilling his "r" in Braveheart. Some people like trolling, I like trilling.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Madyn

    by King_Midas

    If you were referring to my post when you mentioned being condescending and pretentious, I wasn't being either. I didn't feel sorry for him like he was missing out on something only the rest of us 'cool' people could understand. He said that he was incredibly excited for the TTT to come out and was then disappointed that it did not deliver. I can sympathize with that because I've been more excited than just about anybody for this movie, and I would have been rather disturbed to not like it - especially after loving Fellowship.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Perhaps this will help clear up...

    by DaveJ

    why so many who have read the book found the changes jarring. First let me say that I really, really loved FOTR, especially the extended edition. I missed some things from the book, but the adaptation was right on, even better than the book in some cases. TTT is a very good movie on its own, but I am scratching my head at what Jackson has done. The alterations will have a huge impact on ROTK.-------------First off, he hasn't just changed things, he has abandonded about 40% of the story. To put it in perspective, there are 21 chapters in the TTT (though one was covered at the end of FOTR). Of the remaining 20, PJ used only 12 of them. And of those 12, he left out or significantly changed a LOT of material, and (unlike FOTR) often not usually for the better. This is not a matter of necessary adapting for the cinema while keeping the spirit of the book. FOTR did that, TTT doesn't. Why add mediocre new scenes and leave out good stuff from the book? Some of the changes reduced great moments to average movie level. It's still very good cinema, but could have been much better.---------------Also, and more importanatly, the story does NOT end at Helm's Deep, not by a longshot. There are 8 chapters that come after the battle, eight!! That's a lot of material to push into the beginning of ROTK, which is already very crowded with huge events. Unless the 3rd film is 4 or more hours long, it (and the entire trilogy) are going to be shortchanged.---------That said, I am going to see TTT again tonight and plan to enjoy it for what it is.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:32 p.m. CST

    George Lucas has been dethroned! Star Wars is over!

    by JarJar25

    I know I said I wouldn't bash Star Wars, but all bets are off, now that I have seen the genius that is "The Two Towers" Even though I still like the original Star Wars Trilogy. I now know that the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is the best! This film is titanic in every way. I laughed, cried and was stirred with such excitement that I am now scared to think what Peter Jackson has in store for us with "Return of the King" You morons who don't like this film, secretly loved this film,and are wishing that AOTC was half of what this film is. Guess what? It's not! Not even close. These new Star Wars films will never be what the "Lord of the Rings" films will be in achieving a level of surpreme greatness. You have George Fucking Lucas to thank for that. My god, everything was beyond coolness with "The Two Towers" I could not believe what I was seeing, nor what I felt. Don't worry people about these losers that say the film is no good, because they are full of shit and will fall in the wake of the greatness that is "Lord of the Rings!"

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:32 p.m. CST

    King Midas

    by Madyn

    K M, No, actually it was just a random reference--I was trying to post and work while you two posted a few times so I didn't get mine out there until afterwards. I hear a lot of zealous people look down their noses at poeple who don't share their tastes or beliefs, and it bugs me. Generally when someone says "I'm sorry you didn't like ________" it usually translates "I'm sorry you lack the intelligence/sensitivity/faculty to appreciate _________. Poor soul." Again, just a generic reference on my part.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Madyn and Davej

    by King_Midas

    Madyn, sorry to single you out. I didn't mean to sound defensive. I know what you mean, though, these talkbacks get pretty ugly. On another note, Davej, just out of curiosity, what specifically did you think PJ added that didn't need to be there? I've read the LOTR about 3 or 4 times in my life but it's been some years since I did it last so I'm hazy on the specifics.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:39 p.m. CST

    TTT Very Good with some questions??

    by baseball83

    This movie was stupendous. All of the special effects looked more than real, and Gollum was great. Although some of the comedy is kind of not needed. Espically in the heat of a few battles when men are dying everywhere and Legolas and the Dwarf are trying to make a joke out of each orc they killed. A few questions 1) What's up with the Olympic Torch runner who could not be killed by the greatest archer in Middle Earth (Legolas). I found it funy that he was running what seemed to be the Olympic torch and all the orcs got out of his way, when most of the time there killing each other.2)Who were they men who entered the gates that Gollum led Frodo and Sam to, but they did not go in? 3)Are the swamps where the first was took place? 4)If all the archers kept firing the way they started they could have easily defeated these orcs. I mean there had to be at least 300 or so archers shooting arrows at a speed of at least 4 per a minute thats at least 500 orcs dead every minute come on Peter Jackson. 5)Also there was obviously more than 10,000 orcs attacking HELMs Deep i would estimate at least 15,000 troops. 6)Whatever happen to all the man protecting Helms deep they just kept switching to the dam trees and before you know it they just keep retreating and after the last retreat there are like 10 men left???? 7)Why in the world was there only one black rider in this one instead of the intial 6 kings?

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:42 p.m. CST

    To those worried if they'll enjoy the film or not

    by Zignor

    If it's any help, the biggest LoTR fantsite, theonering.net, is currently running a poll to gauge audience reaction. Obviously the people voting are going to be your more serious Tolkien fans. Out of 4020 votes thus far, 1.1% didn't like it, 5.9% thought it was "merely" decent, and the rest thought it was good to amazing, with the vast majority voting on the later category. Do the math, see the movie, and hopefully, enjoy! And witless trolls take note: Orson W has been able to articulate his points with intelligence, poise, and politeness. I may disagree with his negative thoughts on the film almost to the point of incomprehensibility, but if you're gonna bash the film, at least make an effort worthy of someone above 2nd grade intelligence.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Bakshi didnt run out of money! Everyone hated his version so muc

    by stuftseveredhead

    and I can't believe I am still involved in this stupid talkback.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Zignor

    by Madyn

    You forget Zignor--most trolls have no interest in engaging in critical discussion. They just want to piss people off, feeding off reaction and attention. As hard as it might be, if we all collectively ignored them they'd shrivel up and die. Of course, if we all fed the starving no one would be starving, and the poulation might explode, and then we might all be starving, but hey, you get my point. Just don't feed em. The trolls. Not the starving.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 7:54 p.m. CST

    10 REASONS why TTT SUCKS!!!

    by Grandalf

    1) Peter Jackson does a poor job as the character of Gimli! 2) The name "Frodo" sounds like some lame snack food product. 3) Real trees look nothing like Treebeard, and don't walk... this is totally unacceptable! 4) Gollum is poorly portrayed by Brad Pitt... they should have gotten sombody else to play him! 5) Legolas' skateboard had NO WHEELS!!!! WTF!!! 6) Elrond is just another attempt to shove scientology down our throats... DAMN YOU JOHN TRAVOLTA!!!! 7) In real life, Strider would obviously ditch the elf for Eowyn! 8) The balrog's teeth were so fake I couldn't concentrate on the rest of the movie... am I alone on this??? C'mon, those teeth were so obviously CGI!!! 9) Gimli was WAY to tall to be believable! 10) DAMMIT!!!... Helms Deep looks nothing like a helmet!!! 11) In real life, Hobbits would have to make poo-poo's to survive... and not once in the movie did the hobbits make poo-poo logs. Were they perhaps afraid they would anger the trees??? because they would probably have to use moss to wipe, and that would really tick off Treebeard! 12) Gandalf the "WHITE" ???????? Will the racism of J.R.R. Tolkien even end!?!?! 13) Arwen cannot possibly possess the powers necessary to transform into a horse!!! 14) Wormtongue is not a real person... and therefore should have no place in this movie! 15) The part of Theoden should clearly not have been played by Patrick Stewart!!!... VERY POOR CASTING!!!! 16) The cave trolls at the gate were not in a cave, and therefore would have turned to stone! 17) The fell beasts are a direct rip-off of Big Bird!!! 18) We got to see Oliphants.... BUT WHERE THE HELL WERE THE WOOZLES!?... and where was Tigger and Winnie the Pooh?!?!? 19) Bilbo riding a warg???? c'mon, that was just plain stupid!!! 20) The Samwise and Smeagol love scene was not in the book, so Peter Jackson shouldn't have put it in the film!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:10 p.m. CST

    A Tolkienist's comments on The Two Towers

    by Prof. Ransom

    I have read the talkbacks, and I have some comments. I am a Tolkien fan. Lord of the Rings is my favorite book. It has been for years and years. That said, I understand the difference between literature and film and the necessary changes to create a compelling film story. For example, I am also a huge James Bond fan. The Ian Fleming stories are far superior to the films; however, I also love the films. The same goes for Robert E. Howard's Conan and the movie Conan. I appreciate each for its merits. After viewing THE TWO TOWERS, I have the same general feeling I had after my first viewing of THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: it was ok, but disappointing. However, that is because, during both first viewings, I was mentally comparing the film to the original story. I absolutely love FOTR now . . . it just took a second viewing to get there. I expect the same will happen for TT. Now for some specific comments: 1) Gollum was very good, although his voice was too "cartoony." His Slinker vs. Stinker moments were excellent, and conveyed what The Professor wrote in that respect. However, the first debate between Smeagol and Gollum created laughter for my audience, which I felt was inappropriate (I was reminded of how they laughed at the scene in PULP FICTION where Marvin is shot in the face . . . inappropriate). 2) Sam's speech on heroes in stories was perfect, and very faithful to the original book. If some found it sappy, that may be a comment on their own views of good and heroism (we live in very cynical times). 3) The best line in the film, I felt, was: FARAMIR: Who is he? You're bodyguard? SAM: No, his garderner." That was a bit of dialog not in the book, but fit perfectly! It filled in for the part where Sam bathes his face before dinner. 4) I was disapointed in the portrayal of Faramir, he didn't come off as a "bad guy" but far, far less noble than Tolkien wrote. I didn't mind the use of Osgiliath . . . it was neat to see the ruined city. 5) I understand the inclusion of some of the extra material, particularly the Arwen/Elves sequences; however, they should have been cut in favor of the true ending of TT: The Choices of Master Samwise. Shelob attacking the hobbits and Frodo's capture would have been the perfect cliffhanger! That is all the comments I have for now. Just to reiterate: I do like the film, and I will probably like it more in subsequent viewings, but it seems to me at this point that it failed to live up to its potential, not just as an adaptation, but as a epic film.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:11 p.m. CST

    10 REASONS why TTT SUCKS!!!

    by Grandalf

    1) Peter Jackson does a poor job as the character of Gimli! 2) The name "Frodo" sounds like some lame snack food product. 3) Real trees look nothing like Treebeard, and don't walk... this is totally unacceptable! 4) Gollum is poorly portrayed by Brad Pitt... they should have gotten sombody else to play him! 5) Legolas' skateboard had NO WHEELS!!!! WTF!!! 6) Elrond is just another attempt to shove scientology down our throats... DAMN YOU JOHN TRAVOLTA!!!! 7) In real life, Strider would obviously ditch the elf for Eowyn! 8) The balrog's teeth were so fake I couldn't concentrate on the rest of the movie... am I alone on this??? C'mon, those teeth were so obviously CGI!!! 9) Gimli was WAY to tall to be believable! 10) DAMMIT!!!... Helms Deep looks nothing like a helmet!!! 11) In real life, Hobbits would have to make poo-poo's to survive... and not once in the movie did the hobbits make poo-poo logs. Were they perhaps afraid they would anger the trees??? because they would probably have to use moss to wipe, and that would really tick off Treebeard! 12) Gandalf the "WHITE" ???????? Will the racism of J.R.R. Tolkien even end!?!?! 13) Arwen cannot possibly possess the powers necessary to transform into a horse!!! 14) Wormtongue is not a real person... and therefore should have no place in this movie! 15) The part of Theoden should clearly not have been played by Patrick Stewart!!!... VERY POOR CASTING!!!! 16) The cave trolls at the gate were not in a cave, and therefore would have turned to stone! 17) The fell beasts are a direct rip-off of Big Bird!!! 18) We got to see Oliphants.... BUT WHERE THE HELL WERE THE WOOZLES!?... and where was Tigger and Winnie the Pooh?!?!? 19) Bilbo riding a warg???? c'mon, that was just plain stupid!!! 20) The Samwise and Smeagol love scene was not in the book, so Peter Jackson shouldn't have put it in the film!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Yoda, Jar Jar, and ILM have been put to disgrace by WETA.

    by The_Lion

    I just looked at my DVD of AOTC. The short scenes involving Jar Jar show how far behind ILM has fallen. Sure, ILM deserves credit for their pioneering work on CGI creatures, but now they have been surpassed, and embarrassed, by Jackson's upstart WETA FX. Jar Jar looks like traditional animation (like Roger Rabbit) compared to Golllum. Yoda couldn't even buff and polish Gollum's nuts. ILM, YOU HAVE BEEN PUT TO SHAME.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:41 p.m. CST

    TTT: A verdict from someone who disliked FOTR and hates the book

    by Shad0wfax

    This movie is everything it had to be and more. For all I liked the setting of scene, story and characters in the realm of Middle Earth in FOTR, I felt the film itself dawdled and had very little, or no, soul. Fuck me with an orc battering ram if Peter Jackson hasn't just gone and turned my world upside fucken down. This is one of the best movies I've ever seen on the big screen, and that list includes SW:ESB and RAIDERS and FIGHT CLUB and GODFATHER and OMEN, and many million others. --- Here is a film that demands concentration. Mostly gone is exposition and off we are with the plot unfolding, where is the ring going, where are the other hobbits, where the fuck is Gandalf, what will become of the traitorous Saruman, and what's gonna happen IN GENERAL? --- Simply put, these questions are mostly answered, but with impeccable timing and staging. --- The opening. Wow. Best opening ever. Gollum. Holy shit, the most convincing character other than Donnie Darko I've seen on screen all bloody year. (Although I hate all the spastic SW vs LOTR rhetoric going on in these talkbacks of late, I must say that ILM has been done and dusted by WETA. Pure effects genius). Anyway, add that to the Ents - THEY EVEN SAID "HOOM" - and Isengard and Helms Deep, all scenes worthy of a couple of paragraphs each, you have a film that should sweep more oscars than FOTR. Andy Serkis nomination included. -- Before anyone quicktalks me, yes, I know my previous post was somewhat snide, but I hadn't seen the movie yet. I know understand that passion, but I refuse to spank off that badly to it. -- Yeah, the fiery Ent had me in tears. It was so damn funny.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:52 p.m. CST

    ...Some people think Star Wars is better than "Empire"; Alien ov

    by Moriarity Report

    The five greatest sequels according to imdb. 1. Godfather Part II 2. The Empire Strikes Back 3.The Two Towers 4. Toy Story 2 5. Aliens >>>All of these films have the original ranked higher in the top 100 then they are, except for Toy Story 2. But I think most of us can admit that in every case the second film is better, except it seems some people have difficulty admitting that Two Towers is far superior to the original FOTR. I guess when people fall in love with a popular movie than they can't accept change when it comes, in the eventual sequel. Even if it's change for the better. I'm sure there were fans who hated what "Empire" did to the story and style of Star Wars, when it originally premeired. And people who didn't like Godfather II because Brando wasn't there. And people who didn't like that Aliens was a big action movie compared to the horror film that was Alien. Peter Jackson improved upon Fellowship of the Ring. I think some people "might" be in denial because they now see that FOTR wasn't the perfect film they thought it was. Because it's sequel just puts it to shame. Let go people. This is your "Empire Strikes Back". This is your "Aliens"

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Hey Phimseto

    by Canyda

    Return of the King is NOT the longest book. Fellowship of the Ring is the longest book, at 398 pages. Two Towers is 321 pages. Return of the King is actually the SHORTEST book at 277 pages. I'm 356 pages into the trilogy, reading it for the first time after seeing FOTR. I saw Two Towers today and loved every moment of it. The books are the books and the movies are the movies and I can enjoy both of them for what they are.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, wake up..

    by Crybaby

    Comparing Tolkien's vision of a world at war to Bush Jr's sick vendetta against starving arabs is the height of Bad Taste. Much of his material was written when the world was embroiled in conflict with a technologically advanced and deeply evil regime. The mouth of hell that this wanker mentions is a blisteringly hot desert with a few camels and a shitload of malnourished, poorly equipped tools led by the greatest moustache in the middle east. The only nation in this world likely to threaten our fragile peace with a weapon of unspeakable power is the USA. I suggest Moriarty looks to his own ring and pulls his head out of it.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Amazing

    by ManosTHOF

    Thumbs up, nothing positive I can say that hasn't already been said, and said well.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 9:54 p.m. CST

    For the best in LOTR porn...

    by Kenshiro_Kane

    Personally, I much rather enjoyed THE LORD OF THE COCKRINGS: TIFFANY TOWERS- THE TWIN TITTIES, playing exclusively on DVD at a smut shop near you. Bret Ratner is a coke addicted hack. And he smells bad, too! Oh yeah... and the cool new war (IRAQ 2- ELECTRIC BOOGALOO) begins on January 27th 2003... Now, THAT'S a spoiler, fanboys!

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 10:08 p.m. CST

    JarJar25, you stupid whore...

    by Sea Bass

    Why must every single Goddamn LOTR talkback have to include some asshat bitching about Star Wars? What the fuck does one thing have to do with another? Drool all over the incredibly ponderous and repititious (hey! another battle against orcs!) LOTR all you want but justify your enjopyment of the films on their own merit, not by ripping on another movie franchise. And Star Wars is not "over". AOTC made a huge profit and so will Episode III. What is the purpose behind this constanst trolling regarding SW? Some people's children.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Some thoughts...

    by BrianT

    I love this movie. Let's get that out of the way right now. So, I'm going to go through some points I particularly loved, and respond to some objections I've heard (hopefully in an undemeaning way). 1.) Arwen's scenes - Beautiful. Arwen weeping as Elrond describes her future is really, truly moving. My god. 2.) Gollum - Never has one character gone from being menacing to cute and back so adroitly. I mean, look at the scene again when he's singing that song in the Forbidden Pool. He's so happy that you have to feel happy with him! 3.) Grima - The scene where Grima sheds a single tear at seeing the amassed armies of Uruk-Hai. This may be me, but I think he's crying out of pity for Rohan. Yes, he's Saruman's creature now, but that wasn't always the case; Rohan was his home. And I doubt Grima envisioned his whole people's annhilation at Saruman's behest when he signed on. That tear actually made Grima sympathetic for a moment; it was subtle and brilliant. 4.) Helm's Deep - Every part of this battle was spell-binding. If your blood didn't rise as the White Wizard and co. rode down the steep hill in the shafts of the morning sun, you're a corpse. 5.) The Beginning - Ah, so THAT'S what it looked like when Michael cast Lucifer down from Heaven! Seriously, that whole opening was Biblical in its majesty, nothing less. There's just too much to comment on...the movie felt too big for me as I was watching it, and I need time to digest it all. My god, this is an experience.

  • Dec. 19, 2002, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Oh, I forgot...

    by BrianT

    Faramir was absolutely perfect. Some have complained that he is Boromir-lite. Well, if he behaved as he did in the books, considering the strength of the Ring in the movies, he would have been too virtuous to be true. Even Aragorn felt the pull of the Ring after all! Faramir displays his own character, different from Boromir's. He is decisive, even in the face of death, and yet sly and cunning, as befits his role. I can't wait to see his story play out next year!

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 12:15 a.m. CST

    simply amazing

    by Blurred

    The movie started off where I knew it would. Giving us the situation each character is facing. I liked how they continued the fight lingering with Gandalf and the Balrog. I was amazed on the job they did on Smeagol. It made you believe he was a real creature with the hobbits. Where Smeagol/Gollum is talking to himself while they're sleeping, and in the cave with Faramir looking on. It just made you feel bad how the ring has corrupted his mind and made him this way. I disliked how everyone in the theatre laughed at those parts though. It was kinda funny, but in the whole picture, he's gone mad! His personality his debating back and forth in a madding way. I loved the fight sequence's at Helms Deep and at Isengard. It lived up to my expectations and how Tolkien himself described it. Just the sound of the Uruk-hai marching sent chills up my back. I just fucking hate sitting in the theatre listening to each geeks conversation haha. This movie was great and Peter Jackson is making a classic. oh and the end is perfect "we'll lead them to her, then the precious will be ours"

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Purist Naysayers Begone!

    by chalumpa

    Any so called "ringer" who feels he has a better grasp on the LOTR than anyone else in the world and is ashamed of the changes made by Peter Jackson, only makes this point to get attention because there are so few naysayers. I have read the LOTR (including the Hobbitt), the Two Towers twice, and the Silmarillion and what Peter Jackson did was not outrageous. Sure Aragorn never fell off a cliff during a warg battle but it didn't change the story. He was still at Helm's Deep and all was the same in the end. I would understand if Jackson made Gimli gay or Legolas a woman, but the changes that have been made ARE NOT BAD and some, dare I say it, make the story better and clearer than the book does. Sure there could be some improvements here and there but the best movies of all time could be improved. I was a little disappointed that Aragorn didn't assert himself the same way he did in the book when he met Eomer and the other Rohan riders at the beginning, but does that mean the movie was an abomination to the book, HELL NO. So to all you purist naysayers, I say relax and enjoy what will likely be the best movies of your lifetime or simply begone and let us enjoy these movies in peace.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 1:41 a.m. CST

    TTT -- A 35 year old fan's perspective

    by davidober

    Loved Gollum. Couldn't have been better in my opinion. Battle sequences were repetetive and could have been shortened considerably. Absolutely blown away by the decision to (SPOILER ALERT!!!) have Faramir take Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath. WHY?!!!! WHY?!!!! A THOUSAND TIMES WHY????? Because the current scene has more "heft"? More "dramatic tension"? Bullsh*t!! There was NO reason to change that part of the story. That story change single-handedly moved TTT from a 9 to a 7 for me -- but that's just one man's opinion.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Quit the crying

    by turdferguson665

    Ohhh lordy lordy... he strayed from the book. Big deal, go write your own script, learn to direct films, get an ass load of cash and make your own movie that follows the book VERBATIM. If you are to lazy to put down the cheetos and Dragon magazine and commit yourself to the above than move on with your lives. P.S. if you are in the theater no one is impressed by the fact that YOU know what is different, no one really cares. Accept it.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Cheetohs and Dragon Magazine

    by davidober

    I'm partial to good ol' Lays potato chips, and I haven't played D&D since I was 13. Nice try, though. One question for you: Why does my taking issue with certain scenes in TTT excite you enough to incite you to post?

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 2:12 a.m. CST

    adaptation

    by balrog84

    This is one of the best adaptations I have ever seen. It is certinlly one of the best films I have ever seen. Why go to a film except to be etertained.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 2:55 a.m. CST

    neverbrainwashed, not to pick a fight...

    by The Killer-Goat

    but maybe you'd have seemed less like another Troller if you hadn't placed "TTT" and "Battlefield Earth" in the same post. If I didn't know better, I'd say that was essentially asking people to take the bait to want to verbally abuse you. I liked LoTR a little better than TTT, but hey, I also like Raiders the best out of the Indiana Jones trilogy. But your comment was akin to comparing Lawrence of Arabia to an Ace Ventura film, and that would get just about anyone pissed to kick some ass.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 3:13 a.m. CST

    waylander, one little flaw you forgot in your commentary

    by The Killer-Goat

    Because your post included a SW reference, I will return in kind, and pay attention because it's very important: Lucas did not direct Empire Strikes Back. Don't give him credit for anything other than writing a good story, when Lawrence Kasdan (a highly superior director to Lucas) was the one who adapted it to a great film, with a great handle of character and dialogue. Hmm, funny, that sounds suspiciously like Tolkien and...Peter Jackson. Except that Tolkien craps all over Lucas for having a story lightyears better than the SW Trilogy, was written half a century before. And unlike Lucas, who made it up as he went along after the first successful film, Peter Jackson's challenge was to adapt an already completed epic, and attract people who don't give a damn about Middle Earth. That's a daunting task for ANY director to undertake. And my opinion on the new SW trilogy is that Lucas can write a great story and has alot of imagination to throw on-screen, but he can't direct for frogshit. Sure, there were great moments in TPM and AOTC, mostly from melee and battle scenes (jedi fighting, space battle, clone war), which Lucas left in the hands of other choreograph professionals. But none of the actors made the most of their roles. Except maybe Palpatine.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 3:17 a.m. CST

    oh, goddammit,

    by The Killer-Goat

    I meant Irvin Kirshner. I confuse them because they were separated at birth. Really. Frickin' lapse of memory. Well, there goes the steam out of my last rant...

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Fellowship/Towers Arwen's fate inconsistency? Anyone?

    by ar42

    In "Fellowship" Arwen tells Aragorn that she "forsakes the immortal life of her people," "choosing a mortal life" since she would "rather spend one lifetime with you than all the ages of this world alone." This all seems to point to the fact that if Arwen decides to get together with Aragorn she forfeits her immortality and will die. But in Towers, it is indicated that Arwen won't age and will remain immortal even if she stays with Aragorn. Is this a plot hole or is there something from either movie that covers this? (And I'm talking solely about the movies here, not the books).

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Gollum

    by Oneslayerlover

    I saw TTT last night, and I'm still absorbing it now. I won't have fully absorbed even a part of it before watching it at least twice more. There was so much to take in, so much spectacle, so much characterisation, so many little, beautiful details. But, outstanding above all the rest, is Gollum. Andy Serkis deserves at least an Oscar nod (although he probably won't). The CGI is the best yet seen, giving complete believability to a fantastical; character. The schizophrenia scene is beautifully shot, immaculate film-making, making Jar Jar Binks seem like a very distant memory. His eyes convey more depth and emotion than many human performers (Faramir and Eomer included). He is the best thing in a film rammed to the brim with best things (I haven't even mentioned the marvellous Ents, the Wargs, the orc armies). For anyone who doubted that Peter Jackson was redefining movie history after "Fellowship", this film is the answer.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Nixumb you is crazy

    by Redbox

    Star Wars and its greenscreen effects pale and pale deeply to this master work. Yoda got his ass handed to him by Gollum. I'm in the industry, WETA is kicking ILM deep in the Arse, in CG and real scale model and special effects. Everyone knows it but you. Merry Happy Holidays

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 7:56 a.m. CST

    I still think Milla Jovovich should have played Eowyn

    by Rick Avery

    I do like Miranda Otto, but I really do not see how her housewifely aspect will be able to pull off some of the hairy things that waits her character, Beside, Eowyn's romance for Aragorn has often beed quoted as an example that "the old professor Tolkien" was actually very aware of the sentiments, the inner tribulations and the feelings of the girls of a certain age - something that with an actress of Miranda's age strikes instead a jarring note to me. And, beside (MINOR SPOILER) you should have chosen an actress acttually capable to pass for a man in the third film - something that Milla, with her androginous charm would have pulled off without effort. To see an example of what I would like have seen from a "millesque" Eowyn, go to http://www.millaj.com/pics/joa6.jpg (and notice how she * can * actually pass as male warrior and still remain a stunning beauty. To me, this will ever remain the never-realized image of Eowyn charging on the Pelennor Fields, ready to kick the shit out you-know-who at the battle of Minas Tirith in the third book. With a so perfect all-around cast for these movies, Miranda's choice is still the single one I do not undestand.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Hey Canyda

    by Phimseto

    You are absolutely right. It was completely reversed in my mind. I want to be able to seperate, as you do, the movies from the books, but I cannot - not truly. What I am trying to say is that, as I was watching The Two Towers, there was an underlying dissatisfaction with what I was seeing. Things were moving too quickly, characters that I felt needed more depth and more explanation never got it. Like I wrote earlier, things that were not in the book but were in the movie I generally enjoyed and approved of, so in terms of seperating the two experiences (reading vs. viewing), I have not had that problem. What unsettled me was that, while watching the movie, I found myself being dragged back to the book by what I found lacking on the screen. I did not compare the movie to the book so much as I had the advantage of knowing what the answers were to my question of "how could they have done this better?" And that made me sad, because I think FOTR is a masterpiece and because I fear that so much has been thrown into ROTK, that that film will be too crowded. ROTK may be the shortest story, but it is the densest of the three as every character really and truly finds themselves in those moments of truth. Such moments need to be portrayed cinematically with a comfortable, sure rhythm. It concerns me that the pacing of ROTK will be focused on making sure all events are accounted for, not making sure those events are pulled off right. At this point, ROTK would have to be a four-hour film, I believe, to get things right. I do believe that the movie needs the same long, deep-breathing resolution that the books have because it is the full-circle counterweight to the methodical start to FOTR. If the movie ends with some wipe from Gondor to the shores of the Grey Havens, a bunch of goodbyes and end credits, I will view it as a marathon runner who collapses and dies right before the finish line. He might have run a world-class race until then, but he didn't finish and therefore it was a failed attempt. On that note, let me tangent a bit and say that the ending of ROTK, with Samwise's final line, is one of the best, most fitting literary finales ever and I hope that PJ has the good sense to retain it.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Re: grandalf, "10 REASONS why TTT SUCKS!!!"

    by empyreal0

    Thank you, I nearly pissed myself that was so funny.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 11:41 a.m. CST

    I can live with the hastily-created Ents. The only real problem

    by empyreal0

    ...was the lack of any punch to the ending. Any thoughts on why? All we needed was to see what horrors were beyond the black gates, ever so briefly, to know that the world was in trouble now that Sauron is pissed off. We needed to see that Frodo was losing it by the end of the story, not that he had a couple episodes here and there, but that something was truly and terribly wrong and there's a very real risk they'll lose the ring to Sauron. Pull the rug out from under us, stir us up, make us uneasy, something to get us salivating for ROTK, to legitamize the running in circles that was TTT, so that we know that the story has actually gone somewhere. That's all I wanted. That's the point of part 2 in a trilogy. Part 1 sets up the problem. Part 2 expands the problem, and pushes toward Part 3 which resolves the problem. Part 2 has to end with uncertainty, because resolution is the entire POINT of part 3. Instead, PJ's Part 1 set up the problem and complicated it, Part 2 set up new problems and resolved them and most of the problems from Part 1, but didn't remind us (viscerally, with emotion, gut feeling and all) that we've still got the biggest problem of all left. The ring. My suggestion: (and I didn't read ROTK, so I'm making things up, bear with me...) Frodo loses the ring to Gollum. BIG cliffhanger. Very nice. Ties up all sorts of loose ends (like giving a purpose to Gollum who is a great character but does little to advance the plot thus far) and pushes toward ROTK. If that's how it happens in the book, then damn it, that's how PJ should have done it. And if that's how it happens in the books, sorry for the spoiler. But hell, PJ's taken so many liberties with the text, I think that would have been just one more (and a good change at that!) Think the battle's over just because we won Helm's Deep and trashed Isengard? The ring's in enemy hands. We're fucked. Now that's an ending.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 12:47 p.m. CST

    kerrak, sidneyreilly, elfkiller, oberon

    by challabuck

    The context of my patriotism comment was the suggestion by Moriarty and others that Americans can take inspiration from the story of LOTR. Brave people standing against powercrazed evil...blah, blah, blah. It seemed to me that an Iraqi might be more apt to identify with characters struggling against mighty invading power/oil crazed forces. No, Saddam is no Gandalf, and if I believed in evil I might slap that label on him. Self loathing is not necessary to be made violently ill by the suggestion that we should take heart in our war against terrorism and Saddam by extracting some allegory from TTT. There is no clear good and evil in modern geopolitics the way there is in LOTR, only a mix of relative right and wrong that all sides share in. So lighten up, Orcs! We are not all bad (or good).

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Where is the Narsil?

    by Windblade

    Does anyone know if the Narsil is ever going to make its way to the movies? I mean I thought the reforging of the sword was a symbolic and good part of the book, but it still hasn't been reforged in the movies yet.

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Visual Quality

    by TheDarkMage

    Ok, did anyone else think that the quality of the film looked like shit? I remember walking out of FOTR and thinking that they whole movie looked overexposed or something.. I know that they used digital grading on the prints, but I can't believe the difference between the FOTR theatrical release (on film in the theatre) and the colour in the DVD. It's like night and day. I felt the exact same thing this time watching TTT. The picture quality is really poor I thought.. Does anyone else think so? Don't get me wrong, I liked TTT and loved FOTR, but I don't understand why the film look so poor up on the big screen (grainy, poor colour gamut, overexposed look)...

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Helm's Deep Disc

    by madoo14

    I enjoyed Helm's Deep just as much as the next guy but there definitely could have ben more. Unfortunately most people are not like me and aren't willing to sit through a 4 or 5 hour movie so we take what we can get. Personally I would like to see an entire Helm's Deep Disc included with the extended version. That way we can see all the work that went into it and see the battle the way it was meant to be seen at least 45 minutes long with no cut aways. There is just so much that got left on the cutting room floor that is worth seeing (I never saw Legolas with the Rohan sword nor Eowyn's fight sequence in the caves).

  • Dec. 20, 2002, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Windblade - Good question

    by Sinistar

    With most of the elves off for the Undying Lands, who will be left to reforge Narsil? Aragorn was supposed to receive it in Rivendell. Hell, he was supposed to have it with him in Bree... but I can't argue PJ's reasoning... people WOULD have laughed if Strider/Aragorn whipped out a broken sword. But now, some lucky elf has to find Aragorn and deliver it. Here's hoping Narsil doesn't get forgotten.

  • I will have to say i have trouble with both movies but it is more on the line of the argument with a brother or a sister. I loved FOTR Tom Bombadil exclusion made me sad. but i could understand ,too much posse. I had much more trouble with the too much elf bitch changin' the plot but it was a guy movie and i could see they needed some females in the film. I loved TTT but i cannot see why Jackson could not have had just as good a movie without changing so much plot. Moving Shelob to movie three is fine. I expect that the too little character thing will be solved in the extended DVD. Even with the Orthac change it is still much more movie than we deserve.

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    yoda vs gollum

    by I_am_so_Bob

    I dont know. I think Yoda beats Gollum in the visual effects department, but Gollum might have the better role. I hesitate to say he has the better performance because I will never forget Yoda's light saber duel, ever, ever, ever. But Gollum is too freakin sweet, and I pitied him, literally felt bad for that crazy, ugly, creepy, realistic effect. Its amazing. I still think Star Wars has the best effects of any movie this year, but LOTR will win the award, like The Matrix beat Phantom Menace. Jar Jar was heads over heels better than "bullet dodging", but the Matrix's effects were part of a revolutionary movie style, giving it the nod. LOTR has comparable effects to Clones, in a much grander movie. That will give it the nod as well.

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Picture Quality

    by TheDarkMage

    Ok.. I saw it again tonight, this time at a very small intimate theatre (I've only gone to big SilverCity's and Collusium's up until this point).. I can honestly say that the picture quality looks FAR FAR better on the smaller screen than anything I've seen on the big screen.. (I saw FOTR 5 times in the theatre, and this is my 2nd time viewing TTT)... The only reason I can think of is that LOTR was filmed on super 35 film, and maybe it's just pushing the medium a bit to go all the way to SilverCity size.. It obviously wasn't DVD quality, but it was the best quality of all the viewings I've seen so far.. Go for small and imtimate next time everyone!

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Sam

    by TheDarkMage

    Here's a question: how does Sam know that Boromir is dead? I mean, Faramir asks "you would grieve if Boromir was dead,", but that's the closest he comes to knowing in the movie (and that's shaky, since Faramir doesn't comfirm that he is in fact dead). An Sam didn't know Boromir tried to take the ring (I mean, we can presume that Frodo told him sometime between FOTR and TTT, but it's also a bit shaky)..I hope there is a scene that makes this a little more clear on the extended DVD, otherwise I have a hard time believing that Sam knew Boromir died..

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Hey Mo...

    by crimsonrage

    ...don't be dissing "Gangs of New York". The pacing of that film is perfect, and frankly, it wipes the floor with "The Two Towers" (which was still damn good). And what's all this talk about WETA replacing ILM? Listen folks, without ILM's help WETA would still be doing mediocre severed arms and heads. "The Lord of the Rings" is hardly seemless, and there are many points where the visual trickery is so flawed that it takes you right out of the film. For example, the size and proportions of the hobbits changes from scene to scene. At one point they have the same proportions as humans but are shrunk down, while in the long shots they have the proportions of midgets or children. It bothered me throughout both films and this talk that it's unrecognizeable is bullshit. Oh yeah, and remember how Harold said in his "Minority Report" review that he hates shaky cam? Well does anyone recall his Canne preview saying that the fight with the cave troll in "FOtR" was the best action scene he'd ever witnessed? That fucking scene was so shaky I couldn't tell what the hell was happening. However, I'm not saying this to harp on the films. It just makes me angry when people specifically praise things in the films as being flawless (the size of the hobbits, the visual effects, the battle scenes) when clearly they are not.

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 2:34 a.m. CST

    a quibble

    by God Shamgodd

    Both films were spectacular, but here's one teeny question/complaint: how often is Viggo Mortensen going to plop down in the middle of a couple hundred Orcs and not pick up so much as a shaving cut?

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 2:44 a.m. CST

    whine whine whine...

    by silverstar

    wah wah, bitch bitch, moan moan...sound familiar? it's the clarion call of the purist. i LOVE tolkien's work, i've read LOTR and the hobbit in particular several times and adore them. that said, i think that PJ's film (not filmS, film, since this work is really one film in three parts, which so many fail to see) is FANTASTIC!! it's epic cinema at its finest, with all the breadth and depth and scope required. yes the opening 1/2 hour is a bit choppy. that doesn't distract from the overall story in the least! yes there are some story changes. that doesn't detract from the film at all, except for those who were expecting to see tolkien transcribed word-for-word into the medium of film. film and the written word are two entirely different kettles of fish. some things that work well on paper simply DO NOT translate well to film. just because it wasn't what you imagined when you read the book doesn't make it any less fantastic as a film. PJ has stayed true to the spirit of tolkien's work, which is the most anyone can ask of a project this ambitious. this is not meant to be tolkien's LOTR, this is PJ's ADAPTATION of tolkien's LOTR. far from the same thing. and i honestly cannot say that one is better or worse than the other, because that would be comparing apples and oranges. i like them both equally, but in different ways and for different reasons. now, on to my raves... smeagol: i simply CANNOT call him gollum anymore! andy serkis' performance is sheer brilliance. smeagol's schizophrenic dementia was perfectly portrayed! blame the laughs on umintelligent twits who think that insanity is funny. and ILM has been dethroned. WETA is the new world order (lol). CGI will never be the same! frodo/sam: absolutely heartbreaking. of the three stories told in the second part of tolkien's master work, this was the one that i was most anxious to see onscreen. and i was not disappointed. frodo's gradual decline and descent into darkness and sam's grim determination to not let it happen are well-acted. the moment in which frodo offers up the ring to the witch-king...AMAZING! merry/pippin/treebeard: they got time-shafted. that said, watching merry and pip's evolution, especially pip's, from the carefree ale-loving shire-hobbits of FOTR to the tacticians that they will become in ROTK was the second-closest story to my heart, and billy boyd and dom monaghan are giving me what my heart craves. TTT is the turning point for these two, and we see it in fangorn/isengard. fantastic. the ents aren't exactly how i pictured them (they're not quite as stiff as tolkien suggests) but they work well enough. aragorn/legolas/gimli: god, aragorn's regal air is just becoming more and more pronounced. no mere ranger this...this man is a king. love his interactions with theoden especially. he is, in effect, learning from theoden the true meaning of kingship, and it's fantastic to watch. legolas breaks my heart. let me explain. as an elf (a woodland elf especially, not much on contact with mortals i gather), he does not deal well with death. we see it in FOTR, first when gandalf falls, then boromir. it becomes even more pronounced in TTT, first with the hobbits' 'death' and then with aragorn's. he is, quite simply, devastated. then his argument with aragorn, which stems from his fear that more of those he has come to care about will die. this revelation didn't even hit me until haldir died. after the movie, doing internal review, i imagined how horrible it must be to watch an elf die. it's almost like slaying a unicorn, seeing something so beautiful cut down. gimli's stout heart and quick tongue get to me everytime. plus the dwarf's a little dynamo in battle! cutting down orcs/uruks/goblins/wargs left and right! faramir: people complain that this faramir is not canon. i applaud that this faramir is not canon. first reason, even aragorn, the great king of all men is tempted by the ring. why should faramir not be? and what most have missed is that faramir has no desire to USE the ring. he sends it to denethor. he refers to it as 'the chance to show his quality'. if you will remember, faramir's desire is for his father to love him as much as he loved boromir. he figures that the gift of the ring will earn his father's respect. i like this characterisation of faramir much better than tolkien's. i may even root for him to attain eowyn's love in this version, rather than my canon view that eowyn settled for him since aragorn was taken. helm's deep: at the risk of being redundant, epic cinema at its finest! the preparation (theoden and gamling, arming children! tell me that didn't make you gasp! aragorn/legolas argument, elves arrive *yes, not canon, but it made the emotional impact of the battle even more!*), the anticipation (elves and men with arrows at the ready, aragorn leading the volley, legolas telling them where to aim), the tension thick enough to cut with a knife, and then, the most amazing battle that i have ever seen! PJ drawing this out and interspersing it with gimli's one-liners and scenes from fangorn/isengard/osgiliath (and YES i know that the happenings in osgiliath are NOT canon, but that doesn't bug me!) make it even more incredible. gimli's little funnies keep you from just jumping out of your seat and screaming at the screen 'just fight already!' and they are perfectly in-character for him. the desperate last stand/ride by theoden/aragorn and others, gandalf and the rohirrim at the top of the rise...by the time the rohirrim ride down the mountain, with gandalf at the helm and the sun rising behind them, you are exhausted! you have experienced every single emotion that you can experience. this sequence made me want to grab a sword and start slaying uruk-hai! the ents at isengard...FANTASTIC! special mentions: grima. truly slimy. theoden. so kingly! arwen/elrond. this was my one gripe with FOTR, arwen's presence as part of the story. i don't have a problem with it in TTT, since her scenes have a 'time out of time' quality to them. she doesn't chew the scenery, and she doesn't interfere with the plot *cough*glorfindel*cough*. the scene between her and elrond where she glimpses her future...well done! hill men, southrons and easterlings. i had hoped that they would show them! fell beasts, oliphaunts and wargs...wikked cool. final thoughts: how am i going to wait an entire year for ROTK?!

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 4:23 a.m. CST

    TTT flawed but entertaining overall

    by JohnBigbooty

    TTT was a fun theatrical experience. The books are wonderful, but I don't hold the movies to replicate the books page-for-page. However, i was left wondering when and how exactly it was that Aragorn and Aowen fell in love... Was is during the march to Helm's Deep when she asked about his necklace and he went into a dream sequence? That bit just didn't make any sense at all and I wish these reviewers would at least mention this... otherwise it seems like a true suck-off. There was no time or event shown that would explain their "love"... anyway, I enjoyed the film... Gollum ROCKED! I thought however, his character kept throwing me back to the earlier animated versions... I could just cop out and go with that Tolkein's exquisite and rich description of this character would have all renderings of it look similar, but I also just thought it was uncanny in certain ways and even in the ANIMATION of the character not just the modelling. The other complaints I had were the comedic bits that kept trickling in... I know that this is just part of Hollywood movie-making because the pop-culture world can only take dark and dismal situations when broken up by stupid and poorly-written comical whips by standard characters. Tolkein never bothered and the journey into the blackness and to the brink of dispair was part of the overall message which Tolkein was conveying... Also note that Tolkein would have hated with every fiber of his being the making of his story into a movie and even worse as a HOLLYWOOD movie... Tolkein would have hated all the PR and the merchandising which are part of the mechanized society in which we live... these are the very things which he (rightly) believed were the downfall of humankind... so any so-called "purists" of the Tolkein novels can just shut the fuck up because they shouldn't even be watching the movies or contributing their dollars to the pop-culture machine. This is rambling, but I know I've made some good points and I could go into greater detail, but why bother... this is at the bottom of the posting and who the hell reads all this shit anyway????????? THINK... DON'T EMOTE!!

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Gandalf vs. Balrog

    by Akai

    Someone asked: "I did wonder how the heck Gandalf and the Balrog got from the bowels of the Earth to the top of a snowy peak. They must have been 100 miles down at least. We see them splash into a giant underground ocean which is somehow getting light from somewhere, the next time we catch up, they're on top of the mountain. Everything between these two kicked total ass, it's just a little confusing. Did the Balrog finally figure out how to use his wings and fly them both up there?" As I recall from the book, Gandalf and the Balrog fell into the depths of Moria and their battle continued, Gandalf chasing the Balrog out into the open and up the side of the mountain, finally defeating it up on the summit and tossing it's carcass down to the bottom. Then he died and his body was carried off to Valinor by one of his giant eagle friends so he could be resurrected. Quite a bit of effort there but then Gandalf isn't exactly human, either. For what it's worth, I saw the movie Friday evening and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Yes, there were details that were changed, scenes that were deleted, altered, added, or just moved. I wish all of the details of the books could have been there intact but to pull that off would have required a t.v. mini-series instead of a feature film. Maybe in another 20 years or so someone will make that mini-series (and maybe someone will do DUNE right for once), but until then I'm very happy with the movies, warts and all. It's rare enough to see a well done fantasy film, but two in a row that are both excellent, with a third on the way, that is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Isn't it funny.......?

    by Lukecash

    You know, when A movie studio makes a change to their comic book character and the movies bomb, then the studios "JUST DON'T GET IT" They cry that they veered away from the original concepts, that they failed to understand the basic meaning behind the character....HOW DARE THEY!. _____________________________________But when a fan of a work complains about the terrible treatment of an work in a popular movie...then am told that I DON"T GET IT!

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Isn't it funny.......?

    by Lukecash

    You know, when A movie studio makes a change to their comic book character and the movies bomb, then the studios "JUST DON'T GET IT" They cry that they veered away from the original concepts, that they failed to understand the basic meaning behind the character....HOW DARE THEY!. _____________________________________But when a fan of a work complains about the terrible treatment of an work in a popular movie...then am told that I DON"T GET IT!

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 1:14 p.m. CST

    to shyhouludto and all who have complains..

    by EllyJelly

    shyhoulud: wrong peter jackson 's style of this movie was NOT TO RELATE ALL UPON SOURCE MATERIAL..it would ruin his way of imagination of the book.. if it were all the same..why don't ppl just go read the book? of course having it different would be a new taste to the tolkien's fans..and as one of them..i loved it! the fact that he's added the details of the romantic moments because the whole film was too involve with action and to balance it out would be the love between the couple..quote he said "making the part of arwen and aragon was the hardest moment because it wasn't mention much in the book"..and he also said he didn't want it to be similar..trust me..if he wanted to be the same as it was in the book..he DEFINATELY CAN..but he chose not to...clear?

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Where were you "Andy Serkis should get an Oscar" people last y

    by rsortor

    To paraphrase the late, great Klaus Kinski: What filthy arrogance to award an artist a prize! The Acadamy can shove their disgusting trinkets up their asses for having the gall to suggest that their crummy awards have any merit over an artist's work! Personally, I used to take stock in the Academy Awards despite some foolish choices in the past. (RAGING BULL, STAR WARS et. al.) But last year was the last straw! The annual awards show is nothing more than a stupid beauty pageant and an excuse for the bigwigs of Hollywood to take a break from snorting coke and go on TV & suck each other's dicks for four hours. Andy Serkis' performance was indeed great. It's a legacy that will last forever and make him immortal. Whether or not some lamebrained Hollywood group of snots give him an award for it would never change that.

  • Dec. 21, 2002, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Saw it

    by ThingsThatTimDog

    Saw it last night. t was awful. First movie was great but this one certainly wasnt. The two kids momma send off for warning...christ. Too many sappy doe eyed moments. The final battle was pretty cool but nothing seemed to come together during the whole film.

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    RE:JohnBigbooty

    by marsume

    "However, i was left wondering when and how exactly it was that Aragorn and Aowen fell in love... Was is during the march to Helm's Deep when she asked about his necklace and he went into a dream sequence? That bit just didn't make any sense at all and I wish these reviewers would at least mention this... otherwise it seems like a true suck-off. There was no time or event shown that would explain their "love"... anyway, I enjoyed the film... " First things first. I'm glad to see that, while some have not been as fortunate, you have been able to overlook some of the flaws in TTT and actually enjoy it. Now to answer your question. The reason why you were confused as to when and how Argorn and Eowyn fell in love is because they enver did. Ewoyn has indeed become smitten with Aragorn but he never returns the sentiment. That is the purpose behind the flash backs to Arwen, to show that at all times he thinks of her and that she serves as his motivation to go on. I could go on about this, but that should be enough to answer your question. Hope that helps.

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 4:01 a.m. CST

    BEGONE YOU GRIMA-WANNABE TROLLS! TTT IS A CINEMATIC SPECTACLE

    by Butch_McTavish

    First off, I urge all of you to see this film on a quality print, if you have not done so already. The first I saw this film, the screen looked fuzzy and the sfx (particularly Treebeard & the Ents) didn't look as convincing. After the movie finished, I walked about the theater complex and found THE PRINT of the movie and bought ticket(s) for this particular screen's showing two days later. Upon seeing film a second time on a much clearer, plush print I knew I was right -- BIG difference! The whole look of the film, every special effect was enhanced to the nth degree (Treebeard and the Ents looked seamless this time around). Really, see this movie on a quality screen/print. It makes all the difference and is well worth the extra effort, albeit the hassle. I suspect this is the future of celluloid -- multiple prints of a movie, but only one of which is really any good. More & more I look forward to digital. ******* My review of The Two Towers, in a nut shell, is... EXCELLENT! Solid A, as was The Fellowship of the Ring, but each for very different reasons. I will say, however, that I left the theater complex liking this movie even more than the first. Perhaps some day I will get into the specifics, but suffice it to say I loved this movie. BREATHLESSLY PACED, ENGROSSING, FEARSOME, BEAUTIFUL TO BEHOLD, PASSIONATE, COMPASSIONATE, AND SPIRITUALLY FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE. What it lacked in coziness and charm (two strengths the first movie had in abundance) it made up for in awe inspired spectacle. I am still a bit overwhelmed and find myself thinking about this movie from the moment I wake up till... now. I am compelled to convey, however, my admiration of the magnificent rendering of the Gollum character. That alone earns the movie SFX kudos well and beyond anything I've seen recently on the silver screen. I am absolutely floored by Gollum. CGI? OK, maybe if you stop and squint a critical eye. But for me, within a minute of his first appearance I stopped 'seeing' SFX and started watching, listening to as genuine a character as Frodo or Sam. I cannot offer enough laurels for this feat of acting and f/x wizardry except to say that I have never really pitied Gollum till I saw him here on the screen. I know from Tolkien's work that both Bilbo and Frodo pitied him and so spared his life, and that I as reader am to take their word for it, but honestly, for the first time since my first foray into Middle Earth I finally understand what they meant. For the first time, I SAW him and truly pitied Gollum. For me, Jackson has accomplishd an immeasurable task, he has improved upon Tolkien's own words and I bow humbly before this sublime feat. ******* More than anything, I did not want this film to end, I wanted to journey on and witness the wonders that lay ahead with The Return of the King. The critics are right -- this is an epic masterpiece in the making. And to all you fans (and BTW, I've noticed too many fakes are trying, unconvincingly, to sway opinion on this site--not gonna work, thought you should know)... to all you true fans, thanks for keeping the faith. We are indeed fortunate enough to be in the midst of cinematic history; Peter Jackson is setting the precedent by which all other fantasy, science fiction or horror movies should be tackled. I GUARANTEE YOU THAT HISTORY WILL HERALD THESE FILMS AS NOT ONLY MASTERPIECES IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, BUT ALSO THAT THESE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES ARE THE NEW VANGUARD BY WHICH ALL FORTHCOMING FILMS OF WONDER WILL BE MEASURED. This was true of Star Wars in the '70s and now in this new century of doubt and despair, the Lord of the Rings movies remind us of the same message the books did years before. Middle Earth exists! even if we can't find it on any earth-bound map or atlas. It exists as a reminder of the blessings of friendship, especially when you find youself with your back against a wall and, seemingly, the whole world against you. It exists as an example that love, true love, is worth pining for, fighting for, praying for, even when those near you say "she is too high above you." It exists as a message of reason & tolerance of those whose belief structures may at first seem staggeringly different from our own, especially true when world leaders threaten one another over arms or, perhaps, fuel. It also exists as a primer for those of us who yearn for a simpler if bygone age when it was noble, not foolhardy, to fight for a cause larger than yourself, whether that cause be Greenpeace, world peace, or the peace that comes from working a Sunday afternoon at a local food kitchen. Yes, yes... J.R.R. Tolkien convinced me of all this years and years ago, of course. But, Peter Jackson SHOWS me Tolkien knew what he was writing about. Thanks PJ. ******* Peace to all this holiday season. Good night.

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 1:29 p.m. CST

    RIP ILM

    by Cacophonous

    anybody defending ILM or SW saga against LOTR and WETA is either blind or an absolute gibbering fool.

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Faramir knowing of Boromir's death

    by babygrace

    The one part of the book that I think should have been left in was the discovery of Boromir's body still intact in the water...I found this scene very poignant, that in some way, Boromir was redeemed at the end. I had read in interviews with Sean Bean that he had filmed a scene where he comes to Faramir in a dream...Hopefully, that scene may be put back in on DVD...

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 2:09 p.m. CST

    gollum

    by ice2cu

    Was it just me, or was Gollum's dialogue with himself reminiscent of the Pixar short Geri's Game? (I am aware of the comparisons to spider-man)

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Waiting's over...

    by Xyzan

    and i'm finally able to properly read all reviews. i've been trying to stay away from minor spoilers, having read all the major ones. But it's a great film, and i'm now waiting for the thrird film. elanor, i agree with you, but i think my favouirte (at least on first viewing,) and what i'm thanking everyone the most for is the bit about tales between Frodo and sam. i really need to see it again, several times, for the images to be fully appreciated! I'll have to wait again till after christmas though. plenty of new swoon moments, especially about the valar. maybe ulmo's doing more in these versions than was i realised when reding the books. MorGoth, i admit i was slightly disapointed with faramir, which will hopefully improve with successive viewings, cos Frodo didn't even question how faramir would have known, or whether he would have seen any of the rest of the company. But why haldir?!

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Box office totals

    by Hoof Hearted

    Weekend of December 20-22 1/0 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $61.5/$101.5 2/0 Two Weeks Notice $14.4/$14.4 3/1 Maid in Manhattan $11.0/$35.5 4/0 Gangs of New York $9.1/$9.1 5/3 Drumline $7.6/$22.8 6/0 The Wild Thornberrys Movie $6.1/$6.1 7/5 The Hot Chick $4.5/$13.7 8/6 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $4.4/$228.9 9/2 Star Trek: Nemesis $4.4/$26.4 10/4 Die Another Day $4.0/$138.4

  • Dec. 22, 2002, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Golumn Is The Best Thing Out Of Weta

    by NickFoley

    Props to them, but ILM's body of work cannot be touched. Good job with the LOTR trilogy, Weta.

  • Dec. 23, 2002, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Finally a Director with Heart

    by GET_STORY

    You can find a thousand things wrong with TTT, you can question the casting, the pace, the CGI and all, but as a Tolkien Fan of 25 years if this film can make me weep then it suceeds. A Million thanks to Peter Jackson for restoring my faith in Cinema, after years of decline into cheap, teenage banality. The fact that Jackson has made a grown-up film for Adults may explain why so many people are trying to find holes. Believe the hype about Gollum, Fall in love with the landscape of Rohan/New Zealand (The two will now be forever linked in my mind), and weep openly at the inventive imagining of the Ents and the sacking of Isengard (Hardly mentioned in the book). If you're a Tolkien Fan then 98% of you will love it, if you're new to Tolkien then 50% of you will love it, but if you don't like Fantasy - Just don't see it, and leave the Cinema's free for those of us who are going back to see it again. Don't give Jackson an Oscar - He's too good to be lumped in with all the Hollywood Rubish.

  • Dec. 23, 2002, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Plot problems

    by ellid

    Two things that I found gratuitous: Aragorn's "death" (the warg battle isn't in the book, and neither is Aragorn's disappearance), and the sudden appearance of Elves at Helm's Deep (the closest thing to that in the book was Legolas wishing that he had a few hundred Elven archers).*********I was also disappointed that Shelob didn't appear, that Saruman wasn't cast down from Orthanc, and that so much time was spent on the Three Hunters and so little on the aftermath of Helm's Deep. I'm wondering how the rest of the story, even without the Scouring of the Shire, can possibly fit into a three hour movie.*********Overall grade IMHO: B+, and that because of the effects and the battle scenes. Peter Jackson can, and has, done better.

  • Dec. 23, 2002, 11:42 a.m. CST

    And what's more, BladeRunnerUnit...

    by Glass

    ...it shouldn't be an offense to keep the original name! It's an amazing coincidence, a miracle of a kind, and it would be a shame to turn our backs on it! It's just too much of a coincidence to look at it with anything but awe. Yes, there's a difference between "Twin" and "Two," but the difference is slim, and adds to the majesty of this grand achievment. The film is a miracle, the title is a miracle...any complaints regarding either one come from illiterates, and that's it.

  • Dec. 23, 2002, noon CST

    if you can laugh at yourselves...

    by God Shamgodd

    ...then check out this link at The Onion. It's exploring the question: "Why are we so excited about TTT?" http://www.theonion.com/onion3847/infograph_3847.html

  • Dec. 23, 2002, 1:03 p.m. CST

    RE: Morgoth

    by JohnBigbooty

    I've read the interview you are referring to and yes, he went back and forth, but really my point was (and I was trying to be brief in my last post as I hate comments that just go on and on) how Tolkein despised the Hollywood entertainment machine and openly criticized Walt Disney for taking European fairy tales and turning them into franchises. He definately would have hated seeing Frodo and the rest pasted on everything from aspirin to radial tires. He did not like the modern mechanized society and he had no need or want for money. The only reason he did give in was from being tired of being asked the question (at least that's my belief) the same way he let his publisher cut his one book into three and even let them come up with the names for the books... he wasn't in it for the money and PJ is in it for the money. I don't see PJ as some kind of untouchable hero for working to bring these movies to the screen (it's been the dream of many a film director) because due to the advances in technology and the lack of any good source material that hasn't been raped and pilliaged by Hollywood, these movies were going to be made by someone at sometime. PJ was a lucky bitch and when you look at a production on the scale of this one, you can't even really call PJ the director because he was only on one of 6 or more different crews and there's no way he could handle all the decisions that went into creating this series of films. Still I love PJ and "Forgotten Silver" is still the only mockumentary since Spinal Tap that actually does something new with the formula. So to end this, I stand by that Tolkein would have hated all this attention and money grubbing and adding fuel to the very machine he despised... Thanks for the intelligent comeback WITH quotes... WOW I am impressed and glad to see there are some who know how to actually discuss a topic rather than just tearing people down for small things just to tear them down... anyway... we the human race is lost and the universe is expanding into nothingness so what does it really matter anyway?

  • Dec. 23, 2002, 7 p.m. CST

    DeadManWalking

    by sadnil

    If you saw Dead Man Walking without knowing anything about it (as I did a year or so ago) then you should know the feeling you get at the end. I was moved for days. The feeling was...well...questioning everything I had ever believed and feeling like I was beaten with a club, yet happy to have been clobbered. If this movie can make me feel an emotion similar to this, than I will be very pleased, indeed. However, though I have not yet seen it, I do not understand why so many people speak of this movie as if it is almost the greatest film of all time. The fact is, no movie is the greatest. Only moments in movies can be called "the greatest." When I want to love a movie as badly as I want to love TTT, I will not tell myself that this movie could be the best ever. Simply, I will tell myself that this may be the best movie I have seen since the last Greatest Movie I've seen.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Merry and Pippin

    by Sprouts

    If I have ANY criticism about this movie (And I'm scraping at the molescules of melted ice cream at the bottem a gallon of ben and jerry's "LOTR Kicks major @$$") I would have to say I seriously wanted more of Merry and Pippin. In FOTR, they were the comic relifs and damn good ones at that. In every interview they've done, Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) have made it clear that their pretty darn close and are used to each others comical rhythms, which is obviously reflected in the characters they play. Monaghan is wonderfully cheeky and mischievous and Boyd's innocent big eyes and naiveness is enough to wanna eat him up (but you won't, cuz than you'd have pissed off Scotsmen chasing your *ss.) I loved their scenes in the movie, especially when Merry makes Pippin realize what's at stake, but for any fans of the book, you know that those two were supposed to have a helluva lot more screen time than given. Of course, the almighty Peter Jackson has assured fans that certain parts missing from TTT will indeed be found in ROTK. And, honestly, I can't frickin' wait.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Merry and Pippin

    by Sprouts

    If I have ANY criticism about this movie (And I'm scraping at the molescules of melted ice cream at the bottem a gallon of ben and jerry's "LOTR Kicks major @$$") I would have to say I seriously wanted more of Merry and Pippin. In FOTR, they were the comic relifs and damn good ones at that. In every interview they've done, Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) have made it clear that their pretty darn close and are used to each others comical rhythms, which is obviously reflected in the characters they play. Monaghan is wonderfully cheeky and mischievous and Boyd's innocent big eyes and naiveness is enough to wanna eat him up (but you won't, cuz than you'd have pissed off Scotsmen chasing your *ss.) I loved their scenes in the movie, especially when Merry makes Pippin realize what's at stake, but for any fans of the book, you know that those two were supposed to have a helluva lot more screen time than given. Of course, the almighty Peter Jackson has assured fans that certain parts missing from TTT will indeed be found in ROTK. And, honestly, I can't frickin' wait.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Ok, I'M here, and here Iwll stay until the other Tailenders show

    by Skyway Moaters

    NT

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:48 p.m. CST

    AWP! Pollando!

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... sent you an e-mail on the subject before I saw your post back at the "Harry Marvels" TB. Please forgive my redundancy bro...

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 4:40 a.m. CST

    I've made it...

    by Conan_the_Humble

    I think we still need to find a shorter TB. Not for me, but perhaps others who don't have Cable? Cheers

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 6:06 a.m. CST

    okay, I'm here...

    by Mithril

    and there's not much going on. Are we going to Mr. Beaks or staying here?

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 1:11 p.m. CST

    It's official: Tailend is now at "Mr. Beaks" sorry for the confu

    by Skyway Moaters

    NT

  • Jan. 6, 2003, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Small nit to pick...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ...was just looking around over at blade.com. Apparently reproductions of the swords used in the films are a smash hit with knife collectors. Anyway it occured to me, I havent seen the name "Anduril" "Flame of the West" used anywhere in association with the reforged Narsil. What's up with that? Think they'll leave the "re-christening" out?