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Two Towers Talk - Totally Tongue Tied? Tough.
Well most people should have seen it by now so I thought a discussion thread was appropriate. Feel free to share your comments, opinions and flames.
Doh 
Um, that should be The Two Towers thread, could somebody please fix that. 
My Comments 
Generally, I enjoyed it but IMHO FOTR was a much better film. I'll lay out my reasons below but I should also say that IMHO FOTR was also a better book. I always considered TTT to be the weakest of the three books, mainly due to its disjointed nature and lack of any major events. The movie follows it reasonably closely and as such, I believe FOTR to be better from that regard.

However, where it changes from the book, I think the movie suffers a little. Some of the changes can be overlooked (elves at Helms Deep, the ending not matching TTT ending and the flying nazgul) as they dont really hurt the story and do make the film a lot more exciting. However, some of them like Aragorn falling off cliff, gimli as pure comic relief and the changed Ent storyline seem to be aimed more at pleasing studio execs and result in a more Hollywoodish movie. In general, TTT felt much more standard in its presentation and dialogue than FOTR, and this to me anyway, was a negative.

Also, it seems that the FOTR was much more refined in its CG and showcasing of New Zealand as Middle Earth. Overall, TTT had awesome CG but in places they looked a bit rough and ragged (the ents when viewed as a group for example), unlike FOTR where the only dodgy effect was perhaps the negative imaging used for Galadriel's take on the ring. It's almost as if more time was spent refining the first movie to guarantee its and hence the trilogy's success and some of the later movies may suffer due to that (of course only time will tell as far as ROTK is concerned).

On to the good, Gollum was fantastic, easily the best and most believable CG character created. IMHO, he emoted better than any actor in the movie and was exactly how I imagined him to be. Helm's Deep was amazing too, probably one of the best battle scenes to have been done, and leave me drooling for the Gondor battle in ROTK. Apart from that, the only other instance where I was Wowed in the movie was when the gates of Mordor were opened by those huge brutes. Conversely, the FOTR had my dropping my jaw on numerous occasions but perhaps it was due to the book being set in more exotic locations than TTT.

Overall, I liked it, a worthy sequel but the FOTR was better. 
FOTR Vs. TTT 
I really think that TTT was fantastic, and I do not think comparison of the two is entirely possible. The fragmented feeling you seem to be expressing is an element of the storyline, and therefore imo enhances the film. This one spans/introduces many new characters, locations, and sets up more future/past events which effect current times. I think that the only bit I was dissapointed with had to do with the flooding of Isengard. It just felt too much like the flooding of a miniature for me, and I felt like the entire sequence escalated too quickly. Treebeard rocked, Wormtounge is exactly as I envisioned him, and the balls to the walls pick-up where we left off, no prologue move was fantastic. The entire sequence with Gandalf and the Balrog had me flush in the face with excitement that left me feeling like a Kindergartner going to see Star Wars for the first time back in 78.
All in all a good time. Too bad it won't be appreciated, and properly aknowledged by the snoots in Hollywoood who do not approve of fantasy film making. 
Fazonki! 
Well, when me and Mum went to see it, the sound cut out right at the start - just like when I saw Star Wars II. God bless money-saving "fire and forget" cineplexes. Guess who took action.

And, to add to the pleasure, a giggle of adolescent girls behind us who didn't stop giggling throughout.

I have to admit that I found the whole Aragorn-down-the-cliff thing far too OTT, and too long. And the Ents were too damn skinny.

On a related note, I saw a doco about the making of LOTR last week, and I am amazed at how Andy Serkis managed to cope with chasing a fish, in freezing cold water, repeatedly, in a valley that had only been "de-iced" that morning!

One howler: Dry Creek Quarry is just up the Hutt Valley from Wellington FFS. You could see the set from the motorway! If that's "remote," I'm Shelob. 
Elek 
"The fragmented feeling you seem to be expressing is an element of the storyline, and therefore imo enhances the film."

I said that at the start of my post when I mentioned why I think the TTT is the weakest book. I didnt like the fragmented feeling in the book and hence the film, personal opinion on my end and not really the film's fault I realise.

BTW, how do you feel about the changes/additions to the plot? And the gandalf/balrog falling bit was another bit that I should have mentioned as jaw dropping. That was something (although the fight at the bottom could have been slightly longer). Heh, maybe in the extended edition. 
Uhmmm... 
Pros:

- Great battle at helm's deep.
- Gollum, first cg character in a real movie that doesnt make me puke.
- Balrog sequence.
- Wormtongue being exactly like he should.

Contras:

- Faramir and Theoden (they were way more noble on the book, they just seem a pair of assholes in the movie)are too different from the book.
- Helm's deep part is totally different without a valid reason.
- Gimli. 
Hmm 
faramir being a dick annoyed me too, I'd like a good explanation as to the change in his character, it was relaly interesting in the book how he was the total opposite of borrowmir as far as the ring was concerned despite being brothers. 
Nitin 
i agree completely. The changes were totally uneccesary. 
It 
sucked hard, like the first one. They take what is a great story with deep atmosphere and make yet another hollywood cliche movie out of it with all depth removed. It's painful to watch. 
Hmm 
But Aard, you miss the point, it's 'pretty' :)

And the balrog/gandalf falling through the cave pwned. 
Well, 
you obviously can't go in there and expect it to be completly faithful to the original.

really, the secret to enjoying the movie the most is the let go of the novel, and just accept it as is
Necros 
even "as is" it sucks. Infact, if I didn't know the background, I'd be even MORE annoyed by the endless dumb scenes involving retarded looking hobbits. Yeah the massive orc cg is "pretty", but whatever. 
Something I Don't Understand About The Movie... 
Gandalf and the balrog fall down that really long cliff. They fall and they falll. Finally they end up in a huge cavern with water at the bottom. Before the big splash, the scene changes to another part of the story, and next we here of it, they're fighting on top of a snowy mountain. On the surface. Instead of dead in a pool of water in a cave miles below the surface.

Did I miss something because the idiot behind me was talking? 
No, But It's Explained In The Book. 
When the Balrog hits the water and it's fire was put out, it runs through a many tunnels and caves and eventually comes to the main stairwell in Moria that goes from the deepest depths to the highest peaks, all the time with gandalf hanging along after it. When it reaches the top of the stair at the peak of that mountain, (Carhadras or something?) and the sun hits it, it burts back into flames again and Gandalf fights it to it's death... 
I Assume 
that the only reason the balrog fight scene wasnt longer was either:

a) time pressure to squeeze the film into 3 hours.
b) cost/time effort of the awesome special effects.

Whatever, i am guessing i am not alone in hoping that on the extended DVD version the balrog fight will be much extended! 
Actually, 
there isn't much in the book about it either. Gandalf just mentions it a bit and that's really all... (unless i'm for getting something, of course).

even "as is" it sucks. Infact, if I didn't know the background, I'd be even MORE annoyed by the endless dumb scenes involving retarded looking hobbits. Yeah the massive orc cg is "pretty", but whatever.
well, i guess it's really all down to taste. i can honestly say it rocked, but whatever. :) 
Gg 
yep, that's one scene I'm hoping so see in the extended edition, although it'd also be nice if they trimmed some of the current scenes in the movie (I personally thought this one was way overlong), though that'd be wishing for too much probably. 
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