The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (DVD) (WS)
In the part second of the Tolkien trilogy, Frodo Baggins and the other members of the Fellowship continue on their sacred quest to destroy the One Ring--but on separate paths. Their destinies lie at two towers--Orthanc Tower in Isengard, where the corrupt wizard Saruman awaits, and Sauron's fortress at Barad-dur, deep within the dark lands of Mordor.]]>
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a seamless continuation of Peter Jackson's epic fantasy based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring of Power with the creature Gollum as their guide. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) join in the defense of the people of Rohan, who are the first target in the eradication of the race of Men by the renegade wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) and the dark lord Sauron. Fantastic creatures, astounding visual effects, and a climactic battle at the fortress of Helm's Deep make The Two Towers a worthy successor to The Fellowship of the Ring, grander in scale but retaining the story's emotional intimacy. These two films are perhaps the greatest fantasy films ever made, but they're merely a prelude to the cataclysmic events of The Return of the King. --David HoriuchiSee all Editorial Reviews
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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!
Viggo Mortensen kills it as Aragorn and he has to since this film is largely on his shoulders where the first movie was more on Frodo, Gandalf and the Hobbits. Mortensen just seems like a guy that you would want to follow and can range from sympathetic to straight up badass. The film is pretty much split into three tales. Frodo and Sam transporting the ring, Legolgas Aragorn and Gimli helping out Rohan, and Merry and Pippen with the Giant Trees which really may feel like the film is dragging when it switches to them but it really helps build to the ultimate pay off at the end battle.
The special effects and score in this movie, just like the rest of the series are amazing. The pace really picks up in this film and the stakes get raised for the final battle set to come in Return of the King.