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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Four-Disc Special Extended Edition)
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Not seen in theaters, this unique version of the epic adventure features over 40 minutes of new and extended scenes integrated into the film by the director. DVD set consists of four discs with hours of original content including multiple documentaries, commentaries and design/photo galleries with thousands of images to give viewers an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the film. Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship continue their quest to destroy the One Ring and stand against the evil of the dark lord Sauron. The Fellowship has divided and now find themselves taking different paths to defeating Sauron and his allies. Their destinies now lie at two towers - Orthanc Tower in Isengard, where the corrupted wizard Saruman waits and Sauron's fortress at Baraddur, deep within the dark lands of Mordor.
DVD ROM Features
The extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was perhaps the most comprehensive DVD release to date, and its follow-up proves a similarly colossal achievement, with significant extra footage and a multitude of worthwhile bonus features. The extended version of The Two Towers adds 43 minutes to the theatrical version's 179-minute running time, and there are valuable additions to the film. Two new scenes might appease those who feel that the characterization of Faramir was the film's most egregious departure from the book, and fans will appreciate an appearance of the Huorns at Helm's Deep plus a nod to the absence of Tom Bombadil. Seeing a little more interplay between the gorgeous Eowyn and Aragorn is welcome, as is a grim introduction to Eomer and Theoden's son. And among the many other additions, there's an extended epilogue that might not have worked in the theater, but is more effective here in setting up The Return of the King. While the 30 minutes added to The Fellowship of the Ring felt just right in enriching the film, the extra footage in The Two Towers at times seems a bit extraneous--we see moments that in the theatrical version we had been told about, and some fleshed-out conversations and incidents are rather minor. But director Peter Jackson's vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's world is so marvelous that it's hard to complain about any extra time we can spend there.
While it may seem that there would be nothing left to say after the bevy of features on the extended Fellowship, the four commentary tracks and two discs of supplements on The Two Towers remain informative, fascinating, and funny, far surpassing the recycled materials on the two-disc theatrical version. Highlights of the 6.5 hours' worth of documentaries offer insight on the stunts, the design work, the locations, and the creation of Gollum, and--most intriguing for rabid fans--the film's writers (including Jackson) discuss why they created events that weren't in the book. Providing variety are animatics, rough footage, countless sketches, and a sound-mixing demonstration. Again, the most interesting commentary tracks are by Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and by 16 members of the cast (eight of whom didn't appear in the first film, and even including John Noble, whose Denethor character only appears in this extended cut). The first two installments of Peter Jackson's trilogy have established themselves as the best fantasy films of all time, and among the best film trilogies of all time, and their extended-edition DVD sets have set a new standard for expanding on the already-epic films and providing comprehensive bonus features. --David Horiuchi
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Top customer reviews
There are several distinct elements of high quality here which combine to create something rather marvelous. They Include:
THE RAW MATERIAL:
J.R.R. Tolkien’s original books constitute an entertaining, whimsical fantasy tale when taken at face value, but they were also consciously written with the intention that they be firmly rooted in pre-Christian northern European mythology, history, and culture.
In other words, although this is a fictional story, it resonates deeply of something which is ancient, and real.
Even before the opening credits have finished rolling, you will come to understand that the musical soundtrack will do an excellent job throughout, anticipating, interpreting, and intuiting the events and emotional context of each scene.
It was no accident that composer and conductor Howard Shore won the Grammy Award for the ‘Best Score Soundtrack Album’ for The Two Towers.
The South Island of New Zealand presents a target rich environment for an outdoor camera crew.
The first images on the screen - a close-up aerial flyover of the spinal crest of a row of glaciated mountain peaks - demonstrates that the director understands this, and that he is going to take maximum photographic advantage of the high ridges, the boulder-strewn plains, and the wide, wild vistas upon which this story unfolds.
Gandolph’s summoning of Shadowfax.
Aowyn’s singing of the Old English funeral ceremony for Theodred.
Aragorn in the stables soothing the frightened horse.
Aragorn washing up on the riverbank, dreaming of Arwen as he is rescued by his horse.
Sam seeing the Oliphant.
The moment when Treebeard changes his mind and decides to go to war after all.
When the boys discover the provisions and the pipe weed after the battle, and decide to light up.
The casting for each of the main characters was quite strong.
Ian McKellen was a perfect fit for Gandolph. Likewise Brad Dourif was absolutely made for the role of Wormtongue.
In addition, there were three distinct groupings where the chemistry between the characters seemed just right - Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin, and the warrior band of brothers Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.
Succinct dialogue where each character gets to express themselves in their sharply unique voices abound. A sampling of my favorites:
‘You shall not pass!’
‘They’re thieves, they’re thieves, they’re filthy little thieves!’
‘They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard!’
‘The forest of Fangorn lies on our doorstep. Burn it!’
‘Why do you lay these troubles on an already troubled mind?’
‘Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!’
‘What business does an elf, a man, and a dwarf have in the Riddermark?
‘Give me your name, horse master, and I shall give you mine.’
‘Side? I am on nobody’s side, because nobody is on my side.’
‘Gandolph? Oh yes...that was what they used to call me.’
‘Your witchcraft would have had me crawling on all fours like a beast!’
‘There is nothing for you here. Only death.’
‘Captain Boromir, you have shown your character.’
...and best of all:
‘You’ve some skill with the blade.’
‘The women of this country learned long ago that those without swords can still die upon them. I fear neither death nor pain.’
‘What do you fear, my Lady?’
‘A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accepts them, and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.’
‘You are a daughter of kings. A shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.’
If you haven’t seen this yet, do so now. If you have seen it, go watch it again!
Fortunately moviegoers only had to wait a year for the answer, when "The Two Towers" debuted in December 2002. The second part of Peter Jackson's astounding adaptation lacks the surprise of the first movie, but it continues the strong storytelling, amazing acting, and one of the greatest battles of the silver screen.
The fellowship has been split, and two members are dead. Now Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) are pursuing a band of orcs who kidnapped Merry and Pippin (Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd). But soon Merry and Pippin are rescued by an ancient treelike creature, and the others encounter an old friend -- Gandalf (Ian McKellen), reborn as the White Wizard.
Meanwhile, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are making their way towards Mordor, and soon Frodo realizes that they are being followed by Gollum (Andy Serkis), who once possessed the One Ring and still lusts after it. But Frodo begins to pity the degenerate creature, and agrees to let Gollum lead them to Mount Doom -- but Sam suspects that Gollum cannot be trusted.
"The Two Towers" is not really a sequel. Instead, it's just a continuation of the story that left off at the end of "Fellowship of the Ring," and the focus spreads past our little band of heroes to include all of Middle-Earth. It's not all about Frodo and the hobbits anymore, but about whole kingdoms being crushed by the bad guys.
This film is much darker than the first movie, although we still get some funny moments from Gollum and the hobbits, but some creepy ones as well. Gollum/Smeagol's argument with himself is absolutely chilling. To top his previous work, Jackson creates three simultaneous climaxes, including the grimy, rain-soaked battle of Helm's Deep.
But as he tells the epic stories, Jackson doesn't neglect the smaller stories, like the hobbits befriending treelike ents and battling a wizard. The scripting is impeccable, mixing the funny moments ("Don't talk to it! Don't encourage it!" Pippin wails when a "tree" speaks to them) with the dramatic speeches, and ending with a simple, powerful speech by Sam.
And WETA Workshop's CGI effects don't disappoint. Not only do they manage whole armies and battles, but they brought the gruesome Gollum to life. He's probably the first convincing CGI character, to the point where you can actually forget that this Ring junkie is just a bunch of pixels.
Elijah Wood continues his magnificent performance as Frodo Baggins, with the deep friendship, compassion and weariness that he started to show before. But his performance deepens to include some serious Ring-lust. Sean Astin's performance grows as well, as he does whatever it takes to protect Frodo -- from soldiers, Gollum, ringwraiths, whatever.
But the supporting cast gets plenty of attention too, including a love triangle involving Aragorn and the warrior-maid Eowyn, and Legolas and Gimli becoming best buddies (even competing to see who kills the most orcs). McKellen gets to play "Gandalf 2.0," a less grumpy and wiser Gandalf, and movie veteran Christopher Lee gets more juicy scenes as the warped wizard Saruman. The scene where he sees the ents attacking is outstanding.
The journey continues in "The Two Towers," crammed with so much action and pathos that it never has time to suffer from "middle chapter syndrome." An amazing continuation.
The three films are Director Peter Jackson's crowning glory. They make a magnificent trilogy, and I know my wife and I have watched all three of the films at least a dozen times. Our favorite of the three is the concluding film, The Return of the King, but really, they're all fabulously entertaining movies. Having said that though, I have to say this: Those who have only seen the film versions of the three LOTR books owe it to themselves to read the trilogy. There was so much more in the books that could not be shown in the films due to time constraints. For example, in The Return of the King, the third book of the trilogy, there is a whole mini-story of what happens to the hobbits in the Shire after Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin return home. Even after defeating the Dark Lord Sauron, there was more evil to be confronted in the Shire, and from a most unexpected source.
Most recent customer reviews
All the new and old charecters, Helm's Deep, Gandalf as Gandalf
the white! Also Treebeard!!!!!Read more
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