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elTee
12-19-2002, 05:57 PM
I didn't come online yesterday, so I didn't get to come and add to the post about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Shock Horror! There wasn't one. So, I'll do it.

Wednesday, december 18th. Anticipation has reached fever pitch. Why oh why did I book my tickets for 9.00pm?? I had to wait all damn day before I could go and see it.

As most of you will also have seen it by now; its been on general international release for... coming on 47 hours now, I won't re-call the plot. Needless to say, The Two Towers is a resounding triumph. Completely different in pace to the first film, yet still riveting. The battle, predictably, is amazing. Also, the computer effects will blow you away. This is like ILM with spaceships, but with living characters - they look real, and you believe they are real for the duration of the film. I refer of course to Gollum and the Ents when I say this, but also the Wargs and "Oliphaunts" look amazingly realistic. And Gandalf's continuing battle with the Balrog is breath-taking, easily the best opening to a film I can remember seeing.

I can imagine that with repeat viewing it will become slighty boring, as there are far more slow dialogue scenes than the fellowship, but I already have my tickets booked for another screening.

On a final note, anyone who has read the book will notice some large changes from the original text. As with the first film, moments of dialogue from the book are in parts converted completely the same, and at other times events and characters change, as well as the timeline. Faramir for me was the biggest change, as in the book Sam described him as having "an air of Gandalf" about him, but in the film he doesn't come across as the wise man who lets Frodo leave for Mordor without harrassing him for the ring, which in the film he does. Also, the film misses the last two or three chapters from each book in The Two Towers. This is the parts involving the Palantir, Sarumans conversation with Gandalf, and the whole Cirith Ungul / Shelob affair. Presumably this is to add to the third film (Frodo and Sam have a much smaller part in the final book) or maybe just because the film was running too long. If that is the case, these scenes will almost certainly appear on the DVD.

Verdict: 5/5, go and see this remarkable film.

Huz
12-19-2002, 09:22 PM
Hah! I strolled into the cinema a few minutes before the 4pm showing, a whole 5 hours before you! Imagine my surprise when I not only got a ticket, I didn't even have to queue...

Agreed on the special effects! Gollum looked fantastic. While in the film, I could barely believe he was entirely CGI, and started thinking of wild and crazy methods they could have used to get a real actor to look like that. :) Amazing. Another part that made me go "whoa" was the close-up of the tower at Mordor, then the 'eye' and the panorama behind it. Can't wait to get my hands on the DVD of this one. ;)

It was entirely different to the first, naturally. Sadly I was tired while watching it and found my attention wandering at some of the quieter moments. The first film seemed fantastic in keeping up the tension and the pace, while this film somehow manged to miss that opportunity. Perhaps I need to see it again...

Yes, 5/5, could have been marginally better. Or perhaps I should have had a good night's sleep before watching it.

bgbennyboy
12-20-2002, 06:33 AM
They did use an actor. For the entire film an actor 'acted' as gollumn, then did it again in a blue motion capture suit, then they cgi'd him. But that smiley means you probably already knew that.

I cant wait to see it, erm im just not sure when I will now.
Curse this thread! I shall avoid it and its dirty spoiler-ridden comments like the plague from now on.

MeddlingMonk
12-20-2002, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by bgbennyboy
They did use an actor.

It's kind of funny, I think, the belief that digital characters don't involve people. You sometimes hear the paranoid fear that digital characters will take jobs away from people. But, really, a digital character requires more people than a flesh-and-blood character; all you need for flesh and blood is the actor. But for a digital character you usually need someone to perform things for motion capture (preferably the same person who's going to do the lines) and a small army (almost) to handle the digital part.

Gabez
12-21-2002, 07:46 PM
I thought it was amazing. Couldnít have been better, in my opinion. It was slow to begin with, yes, but then so is the book. It didnít bother me. Also: Helms Deep = best sequence ever. Excellent. I can't wait untill the DVD, my precccccccioooooooous.

Alien426
12-23-2002, 03:50 AM
I wanted to go to a premiere to avoid being stuck with a bunch of kids who don't know what to expect and will be noisy at the slower scenes... But I had to find out that my local cinema has fallen behind again (not enough copies I guess) and I had no means to attend the premiere at the cinema in the next bigger town.

So I guess I'll go today and hope for the best. Yet, there will be a tough choice to make: watch LOTR:TTT or buy Xmas presents for my family...

Alien426
12-24-2002, 02:32 PM
"These tears we cry
Are falling rain
For all the lies
You told us
The hurt, the blame!

And we will weep
To be so alone
We are lost!
We can never go home

So in the end
I'll be what I will be
No loyal friend
Was ever there for me

Now we say goodbye
We say you didn't try..."

Cookie3118
12-24-2002, 09:38 PM
No, no. *I* win. I saw the midnight screening Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at my theatre . . . then again, many of you are probably time zones ahead of me, so there's only a few hour difference of when each of us was actually in the theatre watching TTT. Ah well.

I too found the film fantastic, also slightly taken aback by the change in Faramir. I'm quite sure the third film will continue with the return of the Palantir and the introduction of Shebol. Remember, Boromir's death was attached to the end of the first film, though it's in the second novel; but the decision was appropriate for movie scripting. No one would want to see a familiar and liked character die at the beginning of the second film, especially for general audiences who have not read the novels. I noticed more humor in the second film as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Only the extended LOTR dvd adds a bit more humor to its scenes (eg. Gimli snoring through Gandalf's lament ;))

I've been watching the dvd extras a few parts at a time for the past few days. Such fun. :) Can't wait to see the Two Towers film again.

elTee
12-29-2002, 10:42 AM
I saw it again on boxing day, and I have to say it is far better the second time. Knowing what is to come at the Helm's Deep ending, the slower earlier hours are appreciated much more.

Mort-Hog
12-31-2002, 04:33 AM
Biggest con I found was having like half the film being the battle of Helms deep. I shudder to think what they'll do with the battle of Pelennor fields, as that battle is way more significant than Helms deep. It just went on...and on...and on...and on...and then when finally I thought it was over, they got the ending wrong! I thought it was really odd, they seemed to be implying all the way through that the ents would save them, as it is in the book, like with Aragorn saying 'there is always hope' or something and then the shot turning to Treebeard. That's the second con, the ents were horribly underrated. There is no way that the army of men could win against those hordes of Saruman, the only victory imaginable could have come from the ents! The hordes of orcs just seem to magically dissapear with the coming of the Rohirrim. They put in so much new and useless stuff, like the scene of Aragorn falling into the river, and then also cut out some of the best scenes of the book, such as the dialogue between Aragorn and the Riders of Rohan.

Also, that of Gandalf's battle was awkward. I can perfectly understand that those who haven't read the book would find it boring, but that is an extremely significant event in the book, the coming forth anew of Gandalf. What you must realise, as is not told in the film, is that Gandalf is immortal. What you must also realise, is that Gandalf does die, and when any immortal being does die, an elf or a maia, they are sent to the Halls of Mandos to the far North, where they will be returned to life at a later date. Now Gandalf was returned not by Mandos, but probably by the word of Ilķvatar himself (God, in the creationist sense), and they tried to present this in the film, showing the Universe and stuff. It really didn't work, I didn't think. A very good effort and I am quite glad that they did attempt it, as then they begin to show Ea as a whole, and let the audience see the bigger picture (something which I think is lacking in both films).

However, I'll end on a positive note. I thought that the relationship between Aragorn and Arwen was presented beautifully. It is a terribly hard element to put into a film, as not only is it mostly in narrative (you only hear of the row between Arwen and Elrond in the narrative), a lot of it isn't even in the book. This event is an obvious paralell to the tale of Beren and Luthien, and I think they did an amazing job of managing to portray that. It also begins to show the significance of dreams, as to elves dreams are not just imagination, they are quite significant alter-realities (they exist partly in the wraith-world dimension) Elves can be said to be in a state of dreaming all the time, and it is especially poignant that Aragorn, a man, should experience this.

I look forward to the special edition DVD to see the 'proper' version, as I know that I was much happier with the FOTR special edition than with the theatrical version. :-)

elTee
12-31-2002, 11:30 AM
The thing I was wondering about the next DVD is what colour it will be. The last one was green, are they sticking with that throughout or are we getting a multi-colour thing happening, with blue or red or something for this one, and a final colour for the third movie? If they replicate the FotR release, what are the odds that the bookends will be... you guessed it, THE TWO TOWERS??

I wanna know.

Mort-Hog
01-05-2003, 07:42 AM
Didn't you get the Argonath bookends in the collector's edition of FotR?

Gabez
01-05-2003, 03:11 PM
Yeah, I think that's right.

I was wondering about that last night, LT. I hope they are different colours. I don't want to waste precious second reading stuff, do I?

BooJaka
01-05-2003, 03:17 PM
About 2 years ago I got the three books in a boxset, the first was primarily green, the second mostly blue, the third was red. I always figured they'd do it like that.

Mort-Hog
01-05-2003, 03:46 PM
There's hundreds and hundreds of different versions of the books, from three-book to six-book to seven-book to one-book editions, all different colours...

MeddlingMonk
01-07-2003, 01:46 AM
My paperbacks are white (sort of...they're older than some of the people who post here :eek: ). My one-volume hardcover is brown. That makes the dvd covers, what, surfer-dude tan?

Hellbeard
01-07-2003, 05:23 PM
Howdy, and Happy New Year Guys!

Anyways, as for the Two Towers. It was excellent. but it just wasn't the same as The Fellowship. I can't get as in depth as you guys considering I haven't read the books (shame on you Hellbeard, Shame on you!!), but all I can say is I didn't feel the same watching TT. I rememer when I first saw FOTR in the theaters, after it finished I sat in my chair for 5 minutes, speechless. All I could do was think about what an amazing movie it was.
When I finsihed TT, I just didn't feel the same sense of satisfaction. I felt the same watching it as I did watching any other movies. TT was still excellent but I found it somewhat dissapointing.

Btw, imagine going to see TT without seeing the first movie! That would be very confusing.

Gabez
01-07-2003, 07:01 PM
Well, itís one movie thatís been split into three parts. So you shouldnít really look at it individually.

Also, when the Fellowship came along it was more new and exciting, but that "new" effect has worn off now. It doesnít mean itís not as good, after all it's all really part of the same big film.

Hellbeard
01-07-2003, 08:04 PM
When All 3 movies come out, Im going to sit down and watch them all in One Marathon- The way its meant to be!

btw, Did they make a Hobbit movie? I heard something about one I think but it bombed Terribly. It would be cool if they made another one.

Mort-Hog
01-08-2003, 05:56 AM
There's actually been loads of films on Tolkien's stuff, but as you might expect, they all really suck. The Beatles even made a film of LOTR, but I don't know what happened to it. Lennon was Gandalf.

MeddlingMonk
01-11-2003, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by Hellbeard
Did they make a Hobbit movie?

Yes (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0077687). An animated TV movie in 1978. I don't remember it as being very good though the battle was ok (like I can remember clearly something I watched a quarter century ago :rolleyes: )

Faith
01-13-2003, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by Mort-Hog
Biggest con I found was having like half the film being the battle of Helms deep. I shudder to think what they'll do with the battle of Pelennor fields, as that battle is way more significant than Helms deep. It just went on...and on...and on...and on...and then when finally I thought it was over, they got the ending wrong! I thought it was really odd, they seemed to be implying all the way through that the ents would save them, as it is in the book, like with Aragorn saying 'there is always hope' or something and then the shot turning to Treebeard. That's the second con, the ents were horribly underrated. There is no way that the army of men could win against those hordes of Saruman, the only victory imaginable could have come from the ents! The hordes of orcs just seem to magically dissapear with the coming of the Rohirrim. They put in so much new and useless stuff, like the scene of Aragorn falling into the river, and then also cut out some of the best scenes of the book, such as the dialogue between Aragorn and the Riders of Rohan.



I agree so much witheverything you said... it seemed like they would never beat the orcs and uruk hai (which were of a higher level, didnt portray it too well) and then gandalf appears and they do seem to dissapear...



Also... they didnt show Evil enough for me... its because its a PG12 but i think that the doom and gloom side should have been better portrayed without all the jokingness of the battle @ helms deep (gimli and legolas).

Mort-Hog
01-14-2003, 12:48 PM
Indeed. Making LOTR into a movie is possibly the hardest task for any director, as the Lord of the Rings has several huge complications that set it aside from all other works of fiction:

Firstly, it is not just a fiction, not just a fantasy, it is a mythology. Just like Norse mythology (from which Tolkien got a lot of inspiration), you must treat the events as if they actually did happen, although you know that they never actually did. It's this element of 'realism' that makes the story so hard to portray, as it is much much more than just a story. The Lord of the Rings is but an introduction to the introduction of his mythology (the Silmarillion), and is continually hinting and suggesting at elements far more significant and/or older than the events at hand (such as various elements talked about in the counsel of elrond, the lament to Boromir, and of course Gandalf's return) and to fully understand it all you really must investigate much further into his works. Reading through the Lost Tales, I'm continually learning new aspects and elements that keep changing how I view the mythology as a whole. It is much like a literary jigsaw puzzle, but with each piece giving clues as to which piece goes beside it.

Secondly, it is not written by Tolkien personally. An element that few people realise is that Tolkien never wrote any of his work as if he himself were writing it, something which I am sure is not unique to Tolkien, but contributes wonderfully to his mythology. The Lost Tales is written by Eriol, the Silmarillion is written by various elves, the hobbit is written by Bilbo Baggins and the Lord of the Rings is written by Frodo Baggins (using various bits of information from Bilbo) and it is exactly this that must be considered when reading them all. All of the narrative of the Lord of the Rings is from Frodo's perspective, though he may not have been there at the time they would have been told to him by the other members of the fellowship, and so you would see a lot of anti-orc propaganda. It would indeed be interesting to read a book written by Sauron, or Morgoth, or indeed by a Balrog or orc, but no such work exists.
This is also why you must read the different books, as you will get a different perspective on things; indeed, the first few chapters of the Silmarillion may well be considered somewhat unreliable as it is all just the 'best guess' of the elves, possibly using lore and wisdom taught by the valar.


And this makes it practically impossible to make a film incorporating these elements, unless Frodo is listed as the director.

scabb
01-29-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by MeddlingMonk
Yes (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0077687). An animated TV movie in 1978. I don't remember it as being very good though the battle was ok (like I can remember clearly something I watched a quarter century ago :rolleyes: )

I remember seeing that. It wasn't that bad, it was filled with extremely cheesy songs. I think South Park did a parody of it, actually, but instead of it being the hobbit Bilbo travelling to the lonely mountain, it was the gerbil Lemmiwinks, seeking escape from the inner workings of a perverted man of homosexual persuasion. I shall go no further on that topic.


As for the movie, I didn't enjoy it as much as 'Fellowship'. Partly because of the stale dialogue that cluttered up the middle, partly because I was trapped near the front of a cinema, praying for god (Or, of course, Ilķvatar) to make my legs shorter before they fell off.

The Arwen/Aaragorn scenes seemed a little pointless to me, and it was a tad annoying when Aaragorn just fell into the water for no reason but to dream about her. I also agree that Farimir was completely off-character, and that whole part seemed botched. My other gripe is Gollum, who seemed to be exaggerated, and also appeared to be 'good', only coming up with his plan to feed Shelob towards the end, when it was supposed to be his motive all along.

Other than that, everything was done superbly. The Ents looked and sounded superb, the battle scene was brilliant, and Gollum did look astonishingly realistic.

I'm sure the extended edition will be a lot better, and I'll probably only be seeing it once at the cinemas...what with the use of a broadband connection and the knowledge that a DVD-Rip is readily available.

As for my books, well I used to have a single edition, that belonged to a clan of hardback brown Readers Digest style books (Including 'The Entire works of Shakespeare' etc). However, pages fell out, and I recently replaced it with the rather funky black books, which are yellow, red and green respectively.

Also, there's an easter egg on the FotR Extended DVD if you haven't found it yet - on Disc 1, go to scene selection and scroll down to the bottom. You can highlight the ring and watch the two towers trailer. On Disc 2, if you have the US version, you get a spoof of 'The Council of Elrond' scene which you've probably all seen anyway - With Sarah Michell Gellar and some others. It was considered unsuitable for the PG DVD (In America it was PG13).

MeddlingMonk
01-30-2003, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by scabb
The Arwen/Aaragorn scenes seemed a little pointless to me, and it was a tad annoying when Aaragorn just fell into the water for no reason but to dream about her.

Those sequences brought in material from the appendices. As for the water bit, it's been speculated that this was meant to be a link to Turgon (and it's just too bad for anyone who doesn't know about Turgon 'cause I ain't gonna 'splain nothin', so there).

Mort-Hog
01-30-2003, 08:03 AM
Why would there possibly be a link between Aragorn and Turgon? That would just confuse the plot. A link between Aragorn and Beren would make much more sense, but would also confuse it.
But anyway, they can't even get the storyline of LOTR right, so why should they try and fuse the storylines of the Silmarillion or the appendices into it?

scabb
01-30-2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by MeddlingMonk
Those sequences brought in material from the appendices. As for the water bit, it's been speculated that this was meant to be a link to Turgon (and it's just too bad for anyone who doesn't know about Turgon 'cause I ain't gonna 'splain nothin', so there).

Yes, but my point was that they didn't really have to make this link - Just like they didn't include Tom Bombadil. It was beside the point, and they were just trying to make Liv Tylers role bigger, because she's Liv Tyler.

On another note, the old book I have has an appendix 7 or 8 pages long, entitled "A part of the tale of Aragorn and Arwen, from the Annals od the Kings and Rulers". My new set, however, has a appendices A-F, weighing in at 140 pages, with family trees and calenders. Which is strange.

Gabez
01-30-2003, 05:52 PM
Hmm, Peter Jackson said that he made the film by the rules of cinema, and added the stuff that would please LOTR fans afterwards. As a result, Arwen would have been seen as a weak character if she didnít have a decent amount of lines. Itís easier to tell a story through film if youíve just got a few characters with sizeable parts, rather than a whole host with hardly anything to say.

scabb
01-31-2003, 11:24 AM
Granted, yet Arwens role was still meager, and it would have been easier to leave out those parts anyway. Besides, there are many significant characters from the book that have been made less significant in the film (Wormtongue, for instance), so why expand Arwens role? To attract more of the male population, to add a touch of 'girl power', and to add another big name to the list who would most likely not have participated had her role been of little importance. I really don't want to sound like a whiny "fanboy" who reads the book like a bible, because I'm not a huge Tolkein fan - I just felt that these parts were merely occupying rather than entertaining.

Mort-Hog
02-04-2003, 11:28 AM
Indeed.

Another problem that haunts the films is that they are far too separate. The Lord of the Rings is one story, and, originally, one book, not three. It was never written to be as like three separate stories, and so Jackson has had a horrible time of trying to juggle everything about to try and make the three films good individually. and it doesn't work.

MeddlingMonk
02-04-2003, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by Mort-Hog
Why would there possibly be a link between Aragorn and Turgon?

I need to make a correction. I should have written Tuor (Turgon was the king of Gondolin and Tuor's father-in-law). That correction made, Aragorn is a descendent of Tuor. And of Beren, come to mention it. (As is Elrond.) But I don't know why (or even whether) a link should be made. I think it's just speculation based on the fact that Aragorn seems to be carried by water and gently brought to shore; and because Tuor was sent to Gondolin by Ulmo, Lord of Waters. I suppose the idea is that, maybe, Ulmo continues to take an interest in Tuor's descendants.

Jake
02-05-2003, 05:03 AM
They're a lot less separate than they could be. I think Jackson acheived a good balance. They're movie adaptations of a book, not direct visual representations of the story which would take way longer than even the 9 hours its given. The fact that audiences have reacted to both of these films with "what? that's the end of the story? wheres the next part" is a pretty decent indicator that Jackson left the single story arc pretty intact. It doesnt have the huge end of the film Star Wars or BTTF episodic mini-conclusion. Yeah, the first movie went a little farther than the first book did, and the second one ended a little early for both Frodo and Aragorn's story, but I would hardly classify that as a big problem.

Mort-Hog
02-05-2003, 05:54 AM
Oh, that's the very least of my concerns. What I meant was that he is trying to give each film the same film-like structure;
build-up and character development; build-up to action; action; conclusion.

The books really aren't like that, at all, and the translation doesn't really go very well.



Also, the paralell between Aragorn and Tuor is interesting, if a little vague. I guess it's just speculation, but I'd be interested to see whether Jackson had actually intended that. I doubt it.
The paralell between Aragorn and Arwen and Beren and Luthien is pretty obvious, and the lament to Luthien was in the extended version of FOTR, which I thought was great. Many think that Arwen is the 'reincarnated' spirit of Luthien, but of course this is impossible.

MeddlingMonk
02-07-2003, 12:39 PM
Well, of course the link between Arwen and Luthien was intended by Tolkien. Not only is she Luthien's great-great-grandaughter, but their appearances are similar and they faced essentially the same choice: remain an immortal elf and be separated from the (mortal) men they loved, or remain with those men but become mortal and share the uncertain fate of all mortals. The difference being, though, that Luthien made the choice under a kind of duress: she was pleading with Mandos to restore herself and Beren to life. As an elf she would have come back to life--in Valinor--anyway, but Beren would eventually pass out of the world. As the price for a second life for Beren Luthien had to become mortal herself. Arwen had the choice of immortality simply because she was half-elven. Like Elrond's brother, Elros, she could have chosen to be mortal just for the hell of iit.