Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
These are the strangest reviews. You’ve got people here who have just seen a film they adored in a situation they loathed. Odd combination. You’ll see what I mean as you dig in. This first guy couldn’t even quite manage to review the film he was so angry...
Hey Harry - Just back from an MTV "Movie House" screening of "The Two Towers." This is not going to be a review of the amazing movie I just saw (which I believe I can say is my favorite of the year) (so you have an idea of my tastes, that list also includes Adaptation, Punch-Drunk Love, Bowling for Columbine and About Schmidt (in that order)). No....this is not a review of "The Two Towers," this is a criticism of the devils who work for, and represent, MTV.
I wasn't aware of what MTV's "Movie House" was/is (hopefully it will only be "was" after this season). Apparently the show consists of watching movie-goers walk into a theater, watch them fake scream 'n' holler, and then interview them a bit afterwards and ask what they thought of the film. Oh...maybe I forgot one other part of the show...they also GO INTO THE THEATER WITH A CAMERA WITH A BIG LIGHT ON IT D! URING THE FILM AND ASK RANDOM PEOPLE WHAT THEY THINK OF THE MOVIE WHILE THEY'RE WATCHING IT!
Now I guess I'm not supposed to complain because they did provide me with a free movie, but can we please talk about the sheer stupidity of having a show where the movie-goers are interrupted DURING the film to see what they think!? OK, ok...if that's what they want their show to be about, who am I to stop them....but COME ON - how about a night-vision camera.....and if that IS what they use...how about a night-vision camera that doesn't need a big, bright freakin' light on it that shines RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE AUDIENCE! MTV obviously doesn't care for The Two Towers....they obviously don't care about the moviegoing experience either.
OH YEAH - I forgot another important detail....the camera crew & "host" come in RIGHT WHEN THE BIG FINAL BATTLE BEGINS and they don't leave until it's over. You can hear the host asking questions during quiet moments in the film....there's a HUGE glare on the screen, completely RUINING the moment for everyone caught up in it, they even asked certain people to get out of their seats so the host can sit there and interview the person sitting next to them. Now I understand that maybe MTV as a whole is not responsible for this blatant disregard for the moviegoing experience, but the people who represented MTV tonight surely don't give two shits about it. Often times the cameraman would keep the light on for up to a minute after they stopped filming a particular segment.....for no reason....like he just FORGOT that the light on his camera was creating giant shadows on the screen. They also shut off the movie the SECOND it went to black, no credits, no end title score, nothing - and when you see this movie you will understand the importance of needing to bask in its glory for a few moments after the final image fades. This movie is like nothing else, watching it I felt like what it must have been like to see "Star Wars" for the first time (the level of fun, excitement, and the thrill of seeing the best CGI to date) - and the fact that I can still love it as much as I do is a testament to the film - it easily combated the dark, evil forces of MTV's "Movie House" crew.
So please....everyone who loves film...do NOT watch MTV's "Movie House" - do not support this show in any way...I DESPERATELY urge any and all studios to not allow their films to be ruined by this dumb excuse for a clever idea - I mean, how can you help but be negatively affected by something as distracting as the giant shadow of host Nick something-or-others head during the CLIMAX of the film! PLEASE - what is wrong with you MTV? Just because you don't have a respect or even appreciation for the art of film doesn't mean you have to go around ruining other peoples' experiences - I will never get that FIRST experience back, I can only imagine how much more I would have liked the film if I could have watched it properly.
At one point - after almost 2 hours of fake cheering for the camera - one of the show's producers said "one more thing and then we'll start this stupid thing" WE WERE ALREADY DOING THE "STUPID THING" - how dare this woman refer to the ! film as the "stupid thing" when she's busy trying to make money off someone else's brilliant idea. Anyway - sorry for ranting...but I can't just sit quiet while people who don't know shit about creativity go along bastardizing the moviegoing experience (and I apologize for saying "moviegoing experience" so many times - I just like that phrase).
Yikes. It couldn’t really have been that bad and that obtrusive... right?
Long time reader of the site, first time contributor of information....
Imagine if you will: Aragorn stands along the wall of the Helms Deep fortress, looking down on 10,000 orcs ready to attack. The music swells, my heart begins to race as I'm about to experience what I had been waiting all year to see, the much talked about and anticipated Battle for Helms Deep. Then, the moment the action is about to really begin, a camera makes its way into the theater. Not just any camera mind you, an MTV movie house camera. The host of the show walks in, and the camera, bright lights and all follow him around the theater for 25 minutes as he "chats" with audience members trying to watch the film. The lights of the camera shinning either in the eyes of the crowd trying to watch the film, or directly at the screen, blocking the brilliant colors and images on screen with light and shadows of this host guys head.......
A friend of mine called me earlier today with an invitation one just cannot pass up, the chance to see The Lord of the RIngs: The Two Towers. I thought it would be your average sneak preview screening. This however was an MTV Movie House screening. Ok, I can put up with them filming me walking into the theater a few times, and a few shots of me happily cheering in a crowd...so long as I get to see The Two Towers. But I was not prepared for them walking in on THE CLIMAX OF THE ENTIRE FILM!!!! with a camera and basically disturbing everyone watching. I know, I'm being greedy by going to see a sneak screening of this film, and complaining...but who out there could honestly turn down an invitation to see The Two Towers???
Let me put all the movie house stuff on the side, and tell you about the film. It is breathtaking. My worst fear going into the film was that I would over anticipate it. I would build it up so much in my mind, and get let down massively. Its happened several times to me in recent years, and I did not want it to happen now. I wanted this film to be everything I hoped it would be....IT WAS MORE!
I'm a big believer that your entire movie going experience affects the way you perceive a film. On any given day, you could walk into any film and just love the hell out of it, or really dislike a great film....all based on what mood you were in at the time you saw it....
Well, with what happened during the film, I should have been in a crappy mood. There was plenty of reason for me to have a bad feeling walking out of the theater. And i did in many ways, but it wasn't directed towards the film. I was angered because this film is OUTSTANDING in everyway. I'm pissed because I can never have the experience of seeing this film for the first time back again. There are so many moments in this film that will astound everyone. From as dramatic as the Battle of Helms Deep, to as simple as Legolas getting on a horse....these are images I want to see...need to see again, several times in fact. But I will never get to see them for the FIRST time ever again. My first experience with this film was tarnished by the MTV people who decided to walk in and film during the most amazing sequence of film I've seen this year....
A lesser film would not have stood up against such an experience. The Two Towers did. The effects in this film are better than anything I've ever seen. Gollum is the best CG character ever on film...imagine a CG character more involving and interesting than half of the actors working in Hollywood today. The film is beautiful. After seeing The Fellowship of the Ring, I couldn't imagine how any film could make me want to visit New Zealand more....well, The Two Towers has....The actors not only are good, they OWN these characters now...Every expectation I had was exceeded. After leaving the theater I only had three thoughts on my mind, When can I see this again??? I Want the third film NOW!!!! and COULD SOMEONE PLEASE SHOOT THIS IDIOT IN THE HEAD (referring to the MTV guy)....
I only have two things to say to your readers in conclusion: See The Two Towers on the big screen. Even if you didn't like the first one, your eyes deserve the treat...Secondly, if ever given the opportunity to see a film in sneak screening given by the MTV Movie House.....DON'T GO....spend the 8 bucks to have an enjoyable trip to the movie theater instead.
Thank you for your time, and I hope this letter is of some use to the readers of your site. Also, thank you for having this site in the first place...it is a joy to read, and has been a favorite daily stop of mine.....I am not a plant......
Most people have a made up name to hide their identity, so you can call me...
Some people were so excited by the film that they didn’t even seem to notice the MTV crews...
Hey Harry, it's my first time writing you, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. My friends and I were going to see Solaris the other night (that's obviously a whole different topic and review) when we were approached by a guy who said "Hey, you wanna see The Two Towers?" I don't even think he had finished the word "Towers" before we had already taken the papers out of his hands. So we show up tonight for the MTV screening of the film, now I'm not a huge fan of MTV-but I am thankful they gave me this opportunity. Unfortunately, I got placed in the center of the FRONT ROW for the showing, but luckily my neck is as thick as a dwarf's and my eyes as keen as the elf.Let me just say that this film is AMAZING. Beyond amazing even. Take everything you thought the first one was, and make it ten times better. GOLLUMGeorge Lucas eat your heart out. I'm sure you've already received other reviews discussing this and that about aspects relating to the book, I'll just say this-my goal was to read the book before the movie came out, but I didn't plan on seeing it 2 and a half weeks early, so I'm only halfway through the book. Yes, there are differences (most notably Helm's Deep being the climax of the movie) but I don't care. This movie hooked me in the beginning with Gandalf's fight and I was literally cheering out loud through the rest of it. When the Elves arrive at Helm's Deep I wanted to stand up and cheer. It was also nice to get to see some of the unexplained parts of the first movie get used in this one (the cloaks and the rope). Also-how freaking cool is it when Legolas jumps up onto the horse!! Harry, I realize I'm not horribly knowledgeable on this trilogystop teasing me!! Take this for what you will, and if you do end up posting this just say~
It's Always 57
Hello Harry and everyone out there in Middle Earth. I had the glorious fortune tonight of catching an advance screening of The Two Towers with the MTV Moviehouse people. For those that may not know, Moviehouse is a show on MTV that tries to be a hip Access Hollywood. I think "tries" is the active word in that sentence. As an audience member for this screening we were asked to clap and cheer and look happy for the camera which was present at almost all times before during and after the movie. This was to say the least, highly annoying. I did not mind the cameras before...nor would I have minded them after.....but during....this would prove to be a HUGE, HUGE....bitchslap to us all in the end. Nightshot cameras? Fine....we can't see a light....but imagine this my fellow movie watchers..imagine getting ready for the battle of HELMS DEEP! The batlle which we have all heard so much about...imagine having your fists clenched in suspense, ready for the battle of orcs versus men that the film has been leading up to...imagine your heart beating with anticipation for the kick ass battle of all battles when......HERE COMES MTV INTO THE THEATER WITH A BLINDING FUCKING LIGHT AND A CAMERAMAN BLARING INTO YOUR EYES!!!!!! This followed by an interviewer ( the show host) holding his own tiny ass camera sitting down to do interviews with people while the battle wages on!!! Can you believe this? I was in complete dissarray....and this LIGHT and CAMERA which took image away from the screen due to it's harshness continued for the next 25 minutes non stop. Awful....just awful! MTV...you should be ashamed of yourself. If Peter Jackson were there....he would have strangled that cameraman right then and there yelling,"What the hell are you doing, I spent months on this freaking scene and you are ruining it!" Most in the theater covered the light with their hands...others clo! sed their eyes to it's brightness. Yeah...it was annnoying. Aaaaargh! Okay...okay.....I am a bit bitter due to this. But with that in mind...and all that off my chest....here is...finally....a review of The Two Towers.
I will start by saying this....The Two Towers is an amazing accomplishment. The battle scenes are gritty, raw, and feel very real. The sheer scope of the film is astonishing, truly epic, and yes, it does feel much bigger than Fellowship ever did. Everything here is much darker. Where Fellowship was green and earthy, The Two Towers is brown and muddy. The whole film has a very real intensity to it. Once again the world of Tolkien comes to life right before your very eyes.
And it really does take off right away.
From the first frame we are thrown right back into Middle Earth. We get to see exactly what happened to Gandalf in a mind bending fight down the endless corridors of Moria with the Balrog. We find out how he became Gandalf the White. From that we see Frodo and Sam....and for the first time Gollum. I was pretty impressed with how Gollum looked. It's pretty damn convincing. He is just like we all would picture and hope him to be....right down to the sweat, teeth, eyes, and skin.
He moves so smoothly....I forgot I was watching a CGI dude every once in a while. He wears these kickin' shorts through the film...if Gollum had hair i could see him with a surfboard hittin' waves. Blue Crush 2 maybe? Gollum is just cool. You gotta see it to believe it. I am glad the trailers hide him....he is worth the surprise.
So what about Aragorn? Gimli? Legolas? They all kick some serious ass in this movie. Aragorn as always weilding his sword...Legolas with those sweet dead on arrows...and Gimli....ha....Gimli is the comic relief in this movie. There are countless gags with Gimli that had me giggling like a child throughout. I missed those guys and was glad to see them again. Aragorn just feels so intense in every scene....so glad they got Viggo to do this role. He is perfect. His love for Arwen is brought into the foreground...and Eowyn ( not bad, could have chosen a prettier more intense actress) comes along to throw salt in his game.
There really is so much in this movie. Orcs on wolves battling our heroes, marsh graveyards with evil ghosts, Wormtongue and the sickened king, the ENTS revenge on Isengard, The Black Riders on flying horses...the Nazgul! Breathtaking. This is still an image I cannot get out of my head...Flying Nazgul....scary as hell, visually amazing stuff. The whole movie has this mood of forboding doom.
Merry and Pippin are a bit overlooked....they spend a lot of their time in a tree. And maybe that is why they are overlooked....the tree steals the damn show. Yeah, the ENTS are pretty awesome. Treebeard is an astonoshing creature to look at. The voice and eyes shook the room.
One thing that stands out as a reader of the book is the large amount of liberties that Jackson and company have taken. It didn't really bother me too much. However, I did feel that Sam and Frodo spent a little too much time under the custody of Faramir. Where in the book, I remember their meeting being very short lived...here it becomes a huge part of the journey. There is also much talked about addition of Arwen and Aragorn's love story which I felt was slightly out of place but also neccessary. It is something that was left unexplained in the books that i am glad exists here. Aragorn does end up at Helms Deep in a different manner. One big thing is the ending....no Shelob....no cliffhanger like the book. But after all is said and done it all seems to work.
The pace of the film is pretty damn brisk...moves right along as we go from each character's story back and forth. Just when you get bored with one thing you are off to another. From Frodo, to Merry and Pippin, to Aragorn and so on. Although it is three hours it moves right along.
The action is the true star of this movie. The battle of Helms Deep seemed to be very exciting and suspenseful to me (damn those MTV people). Whenever there is action this film is at it's best. I love the fact that a lot of the action is shot from far off vantage points. We really get to see the size of these scenes. Always a far off angle allowing us to get a sense of how HUGE things are. Jackson is great at doing shots without cuts that take us right in there! For instance...when those ENTS go into Isengard to show Saruman whose boss...we get a full on pulled back view of the anarchy and chaos.
On the downside...I felt the ending was a bit weak....it definitely would have been better with a cliffhanger ending. I wanted to leave that theater begging for the next chapter. Instead it ends like Fellowship....there goes Sam and Frodo to that scary Mordor place again...sigh. Would have been cooler to get us to Shelobs Lair. I wanted that Han Solo in carbonite ending... you know... goosebumps... fear.... all of that. I also think the effects here and there could have used more man hours. Maybe this print was grimy....maybe this was not a final cut print. Some of the wolves and gandalf scenes looked a bit rushed. But hey other than that....a great film. In my opinion, Fellowship is better just because it is a more emotional journey. This one does not bring us as close to Gandalf or Frodo, the approach is more cut and dry....let's kick some ass.
I will definitely be seeing this one again so that I may truly watch it. I cannot fairly judge that Helms Deep battle due to the MTV interruption. I will be pissed about that til' my dying day.
I know there is so much more I could say....and this has been a bit jumbled. But it all feels like a dream....like it happened to someone else....i still can't believe i saw the movie!!! I am totally out of it...too much Shire weed....ahhhh.
Well, until next time.
How about one more?
I'll use very few 'spoilers' in this review, nothing that will ruin anything truly important for anyone. Plus, the other reviews pretty much covered the plot. Oh, and I haven't read the books, and loved "The Fellowship of the Ring"
I caught a screening of "The Two Towers" in LA at The Bridge theater tonight, which was run by MTV for the TV show "Movie House." So throughout the screening they'd be walking up and down the aisles, asking people what they think of the movie, blasting their camera light all over, which was annoying as hell. Especially since they started doing it during the battle of Helm's Deep. Other than that, the screening went great. We even got nifty "Two Towers" shirts afterwords! And I mean nifty.
Having just seen the movie, my feelings about the film are very similar to those directly after my first viewing of "Fellowship" - I definitely liked it a lot, but there is so much to take in that it just requires a second viewing to catch everything and really love it. After my second screening of "Fellowship," it solidified the fact that it's a great movie, and I think the same will go for "The Two Towers."
I guess the major question people are asking is whether it holds up to the original. Since "The Two Towers" really doesn't have as clear-cut a opening or a closing as the first, it's kind of unfair to say it's "better" or "worse;" it's just a continuation of the story. Picking up directly where "Fellowship" leaves off, it feels like it's part of the same film, which is definitely a good thing. So, uh.. if I had to answer the question I would say "The Two Towers" is equal to "Fellowship"... both great in their own rights, but neither of them really better than the other. Judging the film by itself is like picking a favorite chapter from a book - you need to have read the book as a whole rather than just looking at certain chapters. And I think to properly judge "The Lord of the Rings," we'll need to see the whole trilogy.
If I had to point out any qualms I had with the film, I guess I missed some of the quieter moments from the first installment, like the Hobbiton sequence. But "The Two Towers" is a much darker chapter, so I can't say I would have liked it more if there were more of the cutesy moments in this film... I think I just missed them, if that makes sense. Actually, I suppose that's a good thing, since the film is so much colder in tone, we're supposed to miss such warm scenes. So never mind that.
But I did miss Gandalf the Grey. I loved McKellan's portrayal of Gandalf in the first... he was so likable, so subtle in his portrayal of the wizard, that you just can't help but miss the geezer in this one. While it's nice to see him alive in the form of Gandalf the White, his character plays a much smaller role in this film. But overall, I really had no noteworthy problems (Okay, maybe one -Samwise's speech near the end comes to mind, where he preaches for "the need to fight evil for the sake of good," which I found a tad too corny, even for a Hobbit. But still, it was brief...)
Gollum was amazing. This will probably become somewhat of a cliche to say, since you can't help but be blown away by Andy Serkis'/the CGI's (which isn't flawless, but works wonderfully well) performance. His struggle within, over whether he should lead the hobbits or kill them for 'his precious,' is fleshed out wonderfully. There is one scene where his two personalities clash that I found to be pretty much genius (reminiscent of Willem Defoe's mirror scene in "Spider-man," but far superior. Faaar superior). Gollum was just so multi-layered, and I felt for him so much, that he might just be my favorite part of the film (definitely the most memorable). There was that much to the ugly bastard.
Concerning the CGI, most of it was quite amazing. To nitpick, the Wargs (wolf things that orcs ride) looked pretty fake. It didn't detract from the scene (which was a great little battle), but they were the weakest point of the CGI in the film, if I had to choose. Other than that... I found the CGI on par with anything Industrial Light and Magic can put out.
The fact is, "The Two Towers" has no real problems that take away from the film, just maybe some niggling thingies here and there. (I really had no complaints about Arwen's scenes in the film, as an earlier reviewer did. I think it added depth and drive to Aragorn's character.) There is just so much to love in this movie. Your opinions of it will most likely mirror your feelings for "Fellowship."
"The Two Towers" is amazing. It may suffer a tad from being the middle movie, but once "Return of the King" comes out (which I'm positive will be great... no pressure, Mr. Jackson, it will be), it'll tie the three chapters together into one solid story. I think then the three films will really be seen as one, just as Tolkien intended with the novels.
Oh, Helm's Deep doesn't really require much description - it was just mind-blowing. And sorry if I say "amazing" too much . Ehh, once more: amazing. That one felt good.
-- Poop Mobile
And after all... if you can’t trust a man named Poop Mobile, then who CAN you trust?!