There and Back Again, Day 2: The Two Towers

Summary

Yesterday we joined the Fellowship of the Ring on the first part of our quest to plow through Peter Jackson's extended Lord of the Rings movies, with everyone agreeing -- to various degrees -- that the extra dimensions worked well for what was already a solid opening chapter. Today, as the fellowship splits and Gollum leads his unsuspecting charges toward Mordor, we take on The Two Towers. How does it play? Back to Article

Comments

Josh Janney

Josh Janney

I actually felt the additional scenes in the extended cut improved The Two Towers and balanced out all of the characters. While I still love the theatrical cut, it was too Aragorn centric. I liked seeing the side characters (Faramir, Eowyn, Pippin) fleshed out more. And unlike these guys I thought the theatrical cut of the Fellowship was perfect while the added scenes dragged the movie down.

Dec 13 - 04:56 PM

Scott Love

Luke Simpson

"Yeeeeaahâ?¦ Why can't we have some meat?"

Dec 13 - 08:01 PM

Skip Klauber

Skip Klauber

I have to agree the theatrical release was far superior to the extended cut. It was also my favourite of the Trilogy films, though all were excellent. The Helms Deep siege was recognised as setting a new standard for a battle scene, much as Road Warrior (II) did for chase/stunt action. The value of the extended cut is in appreciating how Jackson & the other people making (creating) the Trilogy time and again made the right decisions in what to cut from the movie. It proves that Editing is just as essential to the movie process as Directing.

Dec 14 - 05:26 AM

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

I think this movie suffers from what I think is one of the biggest changes from the books. For those who haven't read it, the book The Two Towers ended in a cliffhanger, which I think the cliffhanger in Empire Strikes Back was inspired by. Frodo was captured by the spider queen and Sam thought he was dead. Then Sam realized he was alive and he'd have to figure out a way to save Frodo from the orcs and that was the end of the book, leaving Frodo's fate in question. That would have been a better ending I think, but instead this seems like a middle part of a series that drags on in parts. It's my least favorite of the three movies, although don't get me wrong, it's still an awesome movie. It's just that the other two are better.

Dec 14 - 06:47 AM

King  S.

King Simba

The thing is though what worked for the books just wouldn't work for the movies. In the books, both Two Towers and Return of the King were divided into two volumes, one volume covering the plight of Frodo and Sam, and the other the plight of the rest of the Fellowship. The problem is in Return of the King, Frodo and Sam's journey through Mordor was over in three chapters while the rest of the volume was an epilogue as well as Frodo and his friends freeing the Shire from the control of Saruman, which would have felt anti-climatic in the movie. This meant that if Peter Jackson had followed the books, we would hardly even see Frodo and Sam throughout most of the film because there was so little of their story left to tell.

Not only that, but leaving the Spider for Return of the King allowed them more time to build the story of Frodo going corrupt by the ring, making it much more effective (having him turn on Sam was a great addition). Also, personally I never really got the deal with cliffhangers. I prefer movies give some sort of closure even if they are building up towards another film. For example, even with Empire Strikes Back you knew when the screen was going to fade away, not like say The Matrix Reloaded where it happened without warning leaving you unsatisfied, something that would have happened had they followed the book.

Dec 14 - 01:33 PM

James Card

James Card

I liked the theatrical cut of TTT least among the three. I'd still put the extended in third place, but I think it much improved the characterizations and rectified a terrible mutilation of Tolkien's Faramir in the theatrical cut.

Helm's Deep was beautifully done but some parts were silly (Legolas's shield surfing).

Dec 14 - 07:04 AM

Danny K Cabrera

Danny K Cabrera

You fell asleep? are u mad hahahahaha; you arent true fans =)

Dec 14 - 09:08 AM

William Karinen

William Karinen

Bullshit, the extended versions were far superior to the theatricals, god damn snobs.

Dec 14 - 11:36 AM

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans

Absolutely agree William!

Dec 14 - 02:35 PM

King  S.

King Simba

The thing is though what worked for the books just wouldn't work for the movies. In the books, both Two Towers and Return of the King were divided into two volumes, one volume covering the plight of Frodo and Sam, and the other the plight of the rest of the Fellowship. The problem is in Return of the King, Frodo and Sam's journey through Mordor was over in three chapters while the rest of the volume was an epilogue as well as Frodo and his friends freeing the Shire from the control of Saruman, which would have felt anti-climatic in the movie. This meant that if Peter Jackson had followed the books, we would hardly even see Frodo and Sam throughout most of the film because there was so little of their story left to tell.

Not only that, but leaving the Spider for Return of the King allowed them more time to build the story of Frodo going corrupt by the ring, making it much more effective (having him turn on Sam was a great addition). Also, personally I never really got the deal with cliffhangers. I prefer movies give some sort of closure even if they are building up towards another film. For example, even with Empire Strikes Back you knew when the screen was going to fade away, not like say The Matrix Reloaded where it happened without warning leaving you unsatisfied, something that would have happened had they followed the book.

Dec 14 - 01:33 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Personally I'd rate this second best in the franchise, though that's not saying much as they're all nearly the same level quality wise (in other words, they're all outstanding). I know this film gets something of a bad rep for all the changes it made to the book, yet in all honesty there wasn't a change that I didn't think was for the better. I loved how they made Treebeard and Faramir much more reluctant to listen to the Hobbits rather than having Pippin and Merry/Frod and Sam convincing them of their plight right away. Also, the buildup to the Battle of Helm's Deep was incredible due to how hopeless they made it seem because most of the people there were too old or too young. I also loved the inclusion of elves in the battle. Yes, I know the books stressed out that the age of elves in the book was ending to be replaced by the age of man, but I never really like that the elves left just when the situation in Middle Earth was at it's most dire. Having them stay and fight alongside men was much more satisfying.

Dec 14 - 01:46 PM

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans

What everyone wants is a miracle, and if you would allow it, a miracle occurred. Peter Jackson and company did the unthinkable in making a movie that is enjoyable theatrically and also very true to the source material. Very tough feat if you ask me. The extended cut is long, but if you are not a fan of the books (which I would argue that these commentators are not), it will not measure up. For those of us who enjoy the books, the extended cut was not long enough.

Dec 14 - 02:34 PM

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans

Absolutely agree William!

Dec 14 - 02:35 PM

Owen Dittes

Owen Dittes

Extended editions?
I think all of the extended editions are infinitely better than the original film, although mostly in the Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers's extra scenes weren't necessary, but I still like the extended more than the original. The Return of the King is where it gets good. The original version leaves out SO much, which is all cleared in the extended edition.
Why do people hate the extended editions...?

Dec 14 - 04:29 PM

jake s.

jake suttles

cuz their ADD generation sensibilities cant handle a movie longer than pixar length?

Dec 15 - 06:18 AM

jake s.

jake suttles

no offense but what a bunch of pussies, who can't stay awake for a movie even if its 230 min long. did you guys start watching at like 2am?

Dec 15 - 06:11 AM

jake s.

jake suttles

cuz their ADD generation sensibilities cant handle a movie longer than pixar length?

Dec 15 - 06:18 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

No one mentioned my favorite part, I absolutely love the performance of Grima Wormtongue in this. An excellent sinister secondary villain. Wish they'd used a live action actor in The Hobbit for either the white orc or the Goblin King. There's an authenticity to live action that CGI can't replicate. I noticed it very much in the white orc. He just wasn't as menacing as say one of the Uruk-hai.

Dec 16 - 08:55 PM

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