I have never been so drawn into any film ever before as I was with the Two Towers. I was sitting with my wife and she had to tap my shoulder for me to stop squeezing her leg so tightly.
An absolute masterpiece. The Rohan where everything I had imaginied them to be. I was not taken to the ents at first but the second time I viewed ithe film, treebeard really started to grow on me.
Now for the changes, I consider myself a purist, I was so against any changes from the book that I would have been willing to brow beat PJ with his script over any deviations. However when the elves showed up (a very small party, though) and told the hopeless men of Helms Deep that they have come to honor the alliance that once existed between men and elves, It was very hard to choke back the tears welling in my eyes. It was not as some say who have seen the film that because the elves came that made the scene any less desperate. It conjured up images of the ages lost when the Númenor and Elves fought together and even before that against the malice of Morgoth. It seemed to me in that moment how obvious it was that all the people of middle earth shared one common doom. And how very hopless it seemed indeed.
Faramir one of my favorite characters from the novels, took a turn for the worse, however, in the film. It was evident in the end that he was coming around to how he acted in the book anyways. So I have hope that he will become the Captain of Gondor more like Aragon then Boromir, that we know so well.
Overall, it is a really compelling film. After seeing it the first time I felt exhausted, and tired not from the three hours in theater but because I had felt like I had been in the battle of Helms Deep, walked through the forest of Fangorn, saw the beauty of Eowyn (a truly great performance by the way!) and hunted the orcs across the plains of Rohan, not to mention the pity I felt for Smeagol, one of the most convincing characters in any movie I have ever seen human or CGI!