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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Movie Rating:
DVD Rating:
Overall Rating:

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Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood
Brad Dourif
Viggo Mortensen
Cate Blanchett
Liv Tyler
Miranda Otto
Sean Astin
John Rhys-Davies
Orlando Bloom
Andy Serkis
Karl Urban
Hugo Weaving
David Wenham
Dominic Monaghan
Bernard Hill
Billy Boyd

Special Features:
Theatrical Trailer
The Lord Of The Rings: Aragon's Quest Game Trailer
2 Documentaries
Sean Astin Directs The Short Film The Long And Short Of It Making Of
Featurette Gallery
Emilliana Torrini Gollum's Song Music Video
TV Spots

Other Info:
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 6.1
Spanish: DD-EX 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Run Time: 179 min
Rating: PG-13

Synopsis from DVD Cover:
The Fellowship has broken, but the quest to destroy the One Ring continues. Frodo and Sam must entrust their lives to Gollum if they are to find their way to Mordor. As Saruman's army approaches, the surviving members of the Fellowhip, along with people and creatures from Middle-earth, prepare for battle. The War of the Ring has begun. Nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Quick Review:
The middle part of a trilogy is the hardest. You don't get audience-friendly exposition and character stuff, you don't get big crowd-pleasing climaxes, you just have to transition from the beginning to the end. "The Two Towers" manages to bridge the first and third films of the trilogy, which are very different movies, and incorporate elements of both. With the Fellowship splintered into three groups, the film must balance each storyline and introduce a boatload of new characters while keeping track of the ones we know. This film also deviates the most from the source material, amplifying the Battle of Helm's Deep and intercutting between Aragorn's story and Frodo's while the book does one, then the other. Tolkien purists complain about the Elves at Helm's Deep (they weren't there in the book) and Frodo and Sam being taken to Osgiliath (they weren't in the book) and various other deviations, but it's easy to see how everything that was changed was changed to make for a tighter, more comprehensible storyline.

The big set piece here is the Battle of Helm's Deep, and it is spectacular, but equally compelling is Frodo and Sam's journey in the company of Gollum, a repellent but ultimately sympathetic character, amazingly realized in CGI animation and embodied by actor Andy Serkis. The stakes are being raised here with each passing minute, and the sense of foreboding of what's to come is palpable; even as Saruman's forces are ultimately defeated at Helm's Deep, no one's under any illusions that the war is over. The actors viscerally convey the connection of the characters to the conflicts and to each other.

The film might be somewhat confusing, even if you saw the first one. Jackson (wisely) doesn't spend any time catching up the audience but plunges directly into the action with no exposition, trusting the viewer to keep up. The pace is relentless throughout this movie, which is sometimes exhausting. At times I just wanted a moment to appreciate all the gorgeousness onscreen. And I'm not just talking about Viggo Mortensen.

The extras on this disc (which are in regular definition) comprise a couple of making-of featurettes, one long and one short, a cast short film, some TV spots and previews. Pretty paltry. But again, we'll all have to wait for the Extended Editions on Blu-Ray for the really good stuff. This is the same edition of the film and the same extras that were previously released as part of the Blu-Ray boxed set.

In Conclusion:
This is my least favorite of the three Lord of the Rings films, but that's kind of like picking which adorable puppy you like the least. Minimal extras provide no additional content from the boxed-set version of this film.

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