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Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers
     

The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

4.7 134
Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

 

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New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson continue their string of excellence in the first release of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on DVD. Presented here in its theatrical cut, the focus isn't quite heaped on the extras as much as it's presenting the film audiences saw and loved in the theaters in the most spectacular presentation possible for home viewing.

Overview

New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson continue their string of excellence in the first release of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on DVD. Presented here in its theatrical cut, the focus isn't quite heaped on the extras as much as it's presenting the film audiences saw and loved in the theaters in the most spectacular presentation possible for home viewing. Visually, The Two Towers has never looked better, with its 2.35:1 widescreen picture working as a perfect vehicle to show off cinematographer Andrew Lesnie's skillful eye and the amazing digital color-correction done in post-production. The audio as well is powerful and full, thanks to the 5.1 Dolby Digital EX Surround Sound and 2.0 tracks supplied -- for proof, look no further than the Battle of Helm's Deep, whose layers of rain, thunder, and carnage are mixed perfectly with Howard Shore's driving score, creating bombastic booms that will no doubt rock whatever sound system you're running. The rest of the two-disc edition follows the same groundwork laid by the original Fellowship DVD in which the extras are mostly just but a taste of what's to come. Even though audiences are licking their lips for the later, more beefed-up Special Extended Edition (featuring a longer cut of the film along with an unbelievable amount of extras), this edition still holds its own with bonus materials that won't make it onto its sister disc -- most notably, the ten-minute preview of The Return of the King, which finds Peter Jackson in the editing lab teasing the audience with snippets of footage that will no doubt leave fans on the floor ready for more. With equal time split between behind-the-scenes and actual film footage, for most, this is the main draw of this release and not surprisingly, it doesn't disappoint. For more sneak peeks into the third film's goodness, simply head to the preview of Electronic Arts' The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King video game, which showcases more choice footage from the upcoming film along with interviews from the cast and creators of the game. For those that just can't wait for The Two Towers: Extended Edition, there's also a preview of the four-disc set, which highlights Boromir's (Sean Bean) cut flashback scenes, along with many other large and small plot lines that are now added back into the film (which should lay rest to any of the hardcore Tolkien fans' initial complaints). There are two full specials that make an appearance on the disc, both filmed especially for the Starz/Encore and WB cable channels. Each provide the same levels of insight into the production of the second film, which are in turn, built upon in the lordoftherings.net featurettes -- eight small behind-the-scene video bits that were available on the web before the release of the film. The teaser and theatrical trailer are also supplied, along with a whopping 16 TV spots ready for you to jump into. Throwaway to most, though probably important to the remaining few, there's also Emiliana Torrini's music video to "Gollum's Song," which basically comes off as a classy, but still throw-together compilation of footage from the film and her in the studio (a duet with Gollum would have been better). Finally, one of the best things about the disc is the inclusion of Sean Astin's terribly sweet short film The Long and Short of It, filmed in the town of Wellington on an off-day from the production utilizing everything from extra cameras to various cast and crew alike, followed by a behind-the-scenes clip with some hilarious interviews with Andy Serkis and company. Far too easily written off as the lesser of the two initial releases of the film, this disc is an assurance that the original version of the film will live on for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The second part of this epic trilogy, based on the perennially bestselling fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, not only meets but surpasses the high standards set by the initial film, The Fellowship of the Ring. Director Peter Jackson, working from a masterfully adapted script by Frances Walsh, condenses the second book's narrative in a way that captures all the highlights and eliminates the dragging spots. The result is a truly spectacular movie, crammed with action and darker in tone than its predecessor. The story initially focuses on the hobbits Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin), who press on toward Mordor and the ultimate disposition of the magical ring they reluctantly bear. Our attention is subsequently directed toward other members of the Fellowship -- human Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) -- who join forces with a group of humans besieged by demon warriors commanded by the malevolent Lord Saruman (Christopher Lee). Utilizing spectacular New Zealand locations, Jackson's production has enormous scope and majesty, but the director never loses sight of his characters, whose personalities are fully crystallized here. The acting is of a uniformly high caliber, with octogenarian Lee and newly minted genre stalwart Ian McKellen (returning as the wizard Gandalf) edging out their younger costars for top honors. Computer-generated effects are employed generously, but rather than dominating, the action they complement it. A movie that is truly dazzling in every way, The Two Towers builds mammoth anticipation for the trilogy's conclusion, The Return of the King.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Co-writer and director Peter Jackson continues his Oscar-winning, box-office blockbuster adaptation of the classic fantasy novel from author J.R.R. Tolkien with a second installment that plunges the fictional setting of Middle-earth into a vicious war. Welcome additions to the action in the sophomore adventure include the CG-created Gollum, moving front and center as a major character who is simply amazing in his ability to entertain and move the viewer emotionally. The most pathetic creature in the trilogy, he's a schizophrenic nightmare but heartbreakingly human and poignantly, dazzlingly realized by a combination of actor Andy Serkis's physical skill and Jackson's special effects experts. Gollum puts the similar Jar Jar Binks character of the second Star Wars trilogy to shame. Also thrilling are a climactic battle between Ents (living "trees") and the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) that brings to mind any number of breathtaking sequences from The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the final clash between humans and invading enemy forces at Helm's Deep, a lengthy but thrilling clash of bows and shields that recalls the superb fight sequences from Braveheart (1995). Less persuasive are some storytelling elements that fall victim to the filmmakers' effort to condense the story into a three-hour running time: several gaps in the action occur and a few developments are left unexplained or vague, such as how the forces of Éomer (Karl Urban) grow from a few dozen to thousands, how the defenders of the realm of Gondor manage to defeat their attackers, why the Ringwraiths have suddenly switched mounts from horses to dragons (why did they use horses at all in the first film?) -- and why Tolkien felt the need to give every location, character, and object in his work at least three utterly confusing names (those who haven't read the books may be left wondering what the difference is between Éomer and Faramir or Gimli and Grima). However, the simple fact that a novel as dense and detailed as this one hasn't been turned into a labored bore is a miracle; that Jackson has fashioned such a triumphant success is a real artistic achievement. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) may be imperfect in its occasionally frustrated effort to squeeze every significant plot element into the mix, but it's a visual marvel and a definite raising of the artistic bar for its entire genre. No filmmaker will ever be able to create a sci-fi or fantasy epic again without comparison against it.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material.
Time Magazine - Richard Corliss
Towers, while not quite so varied as Fellowship in its moods and settings, has a grave gusto that energizes every moment...a thrilling work of film craft.
Washington Post - Stephen Hunter
Jackson's not messing around. His commitment to this world is total. He's on a mission from Tolkien, and you either go along or you get trampled.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

The Two Towers is a rousing adventure, a skillful marriage of special effects and computer animation, and it contains sequences of breathtaking beauty. It also gives us, in a character named the Gollum, one of the most engaging and convincing CGI creatures I've seen.
Variety - Todd McCarthy
Has a sharper narrative focus and a livelier sense of forward movement than did the more episodic Fellowship.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2003
UPC:
0794043635526
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
2:59:00
Sales rank:
3,311

Special Features

Closed Caption; Behind-the-scenes featurettes: "On the Set - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "Return to Middle-earth"; Short film directed by Sean Astin, "The Long and Short of It," and the making of "The Long and Short of It"; Featurettes created for lordoftherings.net: "Forces of Darkness," "Designing the Sounds of Middle-earth," "Edoras: The Rohan Capital," "Creatures of Middle-earth," "Gandalf the White," "Arms and Armor," "The Battle of Helm's Deep," "Bringing Gollum to Life"; Exclusive 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Original theatrical trailers and TV spots; "Gollum's Song" music video by Emiliana Torrini; Preview of Electronic Arts' video game The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Inside look at the Special Extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; DVD-ROM content: Exclusive online content

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elijah Wood Actor
Ian McKellen Actor
Liv Tyler Arwen
Viggo Mortensen Actor
Sean Astin Actor
Cate Blanchett Galadriel
John Rhys-Davies Actor,Treebeard
Bernard Hill Theoden
Christopher Lee Actor
Billy Boyd Pippin
Dominic Monaghan Merry
Orlando Bloom Actor
Hugo Weaving Actor
Miranda Otto Eowyn
David Wenham Faramir
Brad Dourif Grima Wormtongue
Andy Serkis Actor
Karl Urban Eomer
Craig Parker Haldir
Sala Baker Sauron
Marton Csokas Celeborn
Joel Tobeck young Gollum
Sean Bean Actor

Technical Credits
Peter Jackson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Joe Peter Bleakley Art Director
Philippa Boyens Screenwriter
Victoria Burrows Casting
Carolynne Cunningham Asst. Director
Ngila Dickson Costumes/Costume Designer
David Farmer Sound/Sound Designer
Dan Hennah Set Decoration/Design
Michael Horton Editor
John Hubbard Casting
Philip Ivey Art Director
Peter King Makeup
Alan Lee Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Lesnie Cinematographer
Michael Lynne Executive Producer
Amy MacLean Casting
Grant Major Production Designer
Liz Mullane Casting
Jabez Olssen Editor
Mark Ordesky Executive Producer
Barrie M. Osborne Producer
Rob Otterside Art Director
Peter Owen Makeup
Hammond Peek Sound/Sound Designer
Rick Porras Co-producer
Mark Robins Art Director
Ann Robinson Casting
Jamie Selkirk Co-producer
Robert Shaye Executive Producer
Howard Shore Score Composer
Stephen Sinclair Screenwriter
Richard Taylor Costumes/Costume Designer,Makeup Special Effects
Ethan Van der Ryn Sound/Sound Designer
Fran Walsh Producer,Screenwriter
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
J.R.R. Tolkien Source Author

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen Version
1. The Foundations of Stone [4:06]
2. The Taming of Sméagol [7:23]
3. The Uruk-hai [:45]
4. The Three Hunters [2:09]
5. The Burning of the Westfold [3:03]
6. The Banishment of Èomer [2:50]
7. On the Trail of the Uruk-hai [:51]
8. Night Camp at Fangorn [2:58]
9. The Riders of Rohan [4:07]
10. Traces of Merry and Pippin [2:32]
11. Treebeard [3:29]
12. The Passage of the Marshes [6:58]
13. The White Rider [5:36]
14. Fangorn Forest [:40]
15. The Black Gate Is Closed [5:17]
16. The King of the Golden Hall [11:28]
17. Simbelmynë on the Burial Mounds [1:52]
18. The King's Decision [3:10]
19. A Daughter of Kings [1:26]
20. Exodus From Edoras [1:04]
21. The Forests of Ithilien [1:43]
22. Gollum and Sméagol [2:29]
23. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit [4:27]
24. Dwarf Women [:56]
25. The Evenstar [4:29]
26. The Wolves of Isengard [6:37]
27. Helm's Deep [2:26]
28. Isengard Unleashed [2:36]
29. The Grace of the Valar [1:39]
30. Arwen's Fate [3:40]
31. The Story Foreseen From Lórien [2:25]
32. The Window on the West [2:56]
33. The Forbidden Pool [7:19]
34. Aragorn's Return [5:33]
35. Entmoot [1:20]
36. The Glittering Caves [1:58]
37. "Where Is the Horse and the Rider?" [1:44]
38. The Host of the Eldar [3:32]
39. The Battle of the Hornburg [6:15]
40. Old Entish [1:39]
41. The Breach of the Deeping Wall [3:25]
42. The Entmoot Decides [1:45]
43. Retreat of the Hornburg [5:56]
44. Master Peregrin's Plan [1:24]
45. Osgiliath [:35]
46. The Last March of the Ents [2:16]
47. The Nazgûl Attack [2:32]
48. Forth Eorlingas [4:38]
49. The Flooding of Isengard [2:28]
50. The Tales That Really Mattered... [4:46]
51. "The Battle for Middle-earth Is About to Begin" [1:39]
52. Gollum's Plan [2:25]
53. End Credits [7:42]

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The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 132 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have watched the DVD version many times. Very disappointed to find many scenes removed in the Blu ray version: parts of the trek across Rohan, climb down the elvish rope, death of Saruman and more. The story has lost a lot.
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SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
What hasn't been said about this sequel? The acting is even better, as are the characters and fight scenes. Love the soundtrack.
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DarthPlagueis More than 1 year ago
amazing from the very begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It was remarkable and fair to the book with the exception of Farimar. The special effects were amazing. I cant wait for the extended version and return of the king.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Despite being wonderful movies, these titles come to us on DVD via one of the cheesiest sales scams I have ever seen in the DVD market. BE WARNED that this title IS NOT the special extended version which will release in November. Just two and a half months after this initial release. The first movie in this trilogy did the same without any real warning of the dual release of the lesser disk. At least Quintin Tarentino waited a couple of YEARS before releasing enhanced DVDs of his films. As much as I love these films, I despise the despicable, unapologetic hucksterism of this scam.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though I took the ''kids'' I thoroghly enjoyed it myself. It was fast-moving (for a 3 hr movie), scenic, creative, well-acted and very exciting to watch. It kept relatively close to the book. It was great to see a movie without the usual ''$20 million'' actors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peter Jackson has outdone himself again! This movie was is awesome the battle at Helm's Deep was amazing! It follows the book (semi) through it. I asked my friends about it, but they said it was to confussing for them. I don't know how, but it did. This movie is so AWESOME I can't wait until The Return of the King!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was so awsome. all of the actors did a great job. it was so amazing the special affects and how the actors were so into making the movie. i loved it, i have gone back to the theater to see it, oh how many times? i can't even remember! this has to have been one of the best movies and Legalos is so cute! :) i can't believe anybody could not like this movie, it was so amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
WHO THE HECK COULDN'T GIVE THIS MOVIE 6 STARS?THIS IS AN AUSOME MOVIE AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE CRAZY NOT TO BE OBSESSED.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie! It really holds your attention. Really close to the book, though could be better.