I saw the Two Towers this noon at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, CA, a marvelous old theater with Dolby Digital projection and sound. TTT is a great, great film in any genre. Is it is great as FOTR? On first viewing, I’d say equal but not better. The wonderment that so much a part of FOTR is, of necessity, gone in TTT. This is true of the films because it is true in the books, for me. After five readings, FOTR is still my favorite book in LOTR. The TT film felt enough like the Two Towers book to make me a satisfied viewer.
NEGATIVE ASPECTS FIRST
The pace of this film is so relentless I was frankly relieved and moved by the Arwen sequences, which really helped you to catch your breath. Helms Deep was a masterful piece of filming, without a doubt, but some of the violence I found too unrelenting. The storming of Isengard and the Ents tale was a relief after Helms Deep. The audience gave desolutary applause to the end of Helms deep but went wild during the storming of Isengard.
Which leads me to the Merry/Pippin/Treebeard arc. I am dismayed that PJ and company have devoted less time to the young hobbits’ adventures. Billy and Dom have created such wonderful characters out of too little screen time. They deserve, and certainly should get, much more screen time in ROTK.
As wonderful a creation as Gollum was, I kinda wish PJ had decided to use Andy Serkis’ performance, rather than digitize him.
My biggest gripe about the new characters is the paucity of screen time for Eomer. Others have said this as well. Okay, I admit that I loved <A HREF=”https://www.theonering.com/movies/profiles.cfm?ID=21″]Karl Urban[/l]’s Hercules/Xena characters and would have liked to see more of him as Eomer.
POSITIVE ASPECTS NEXT
Though most film time was devoted to Aragorn’s journey, to me the most compelling part of the film was Frodo, Sam, and Gollum’s story. I must thank PJ again and again for reshooting the film to put more stress on this trio. Elijah’s performance, for me, was the finest in the film, with Andy Serkis’ (and the <a HREF=”https://www.wetafx.co.nz/” TARGET=”new”]Weta[/l] folks) Gollum a very close second.
I loved the Aragorn/Arwen scenes. In fact, the scenes where Arwen sees her fate as Aragorn’s wife and the Ents’ storming of Isengard were the only parts of the movie where I cried.
The Elrond/Galadriel meeting of the minds was a wonderful and unexpected touch. I’m reading the Silmarillion and right in the chapters concerning Galadriel. So it was fun to see this formidible lady again in a cameo.
And speaking of ladies, I was just delighted with Eowyn. As many have said, Miranda Otto IS the white lady of Rohan.
Finally, TTT, like it’s predecessor, is hunk heaven. I want to personally direct some swoons to Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Karl Urban, and, yes, David Wenham, whose case I take up in my next subject–
FINALLY, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL!!
Spoilers are both good and bad things. But often they cause people to over-react before they ever lay eyes on the films. The classic case is AATF.
I’m glad that I was “spoiled” about Faramir. When I finally saw TTT, I accepted what PJ and the writers were trying to achieve with the character and feel comfortable knowing that he’ll evolve to Tolkien’s Faramir in ROTK. In the meantime, David Wenham did just fine with what he was given. He’s a true Aussie hunk and I’m ready to swoon for him.
Tolkien refers to Faramir as “grim” when he is introduced. That’s the way David W. played him. Also, this character is a plot device in book TTT, to give Frodo & co. a rest, and in film TTT, to give Frodo and co. some tension in their story. Faramir really comes to his own in ROTK, so I’m fine with him right now. SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
I’m not so glad that I was spoiled about Gandalf and the Balrog. People have been raving about the battle scene between them, but folks, I had trouble getting into such an action moment so early in the movie. Sorry, I have to ask on this one, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
And finally, Arwen again. I think there must be a clandestine pack of Liv Tyler haters out there. Again, the little bitty parts of the movie that she’s in are wonderful. Besides, she and Miranda Otto get to wear fabulous costumes WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL
And now, I can’t wait to see what PJ & Co. do with Return of the King.