Hey folks, Harry here... I warned Quint not to see this at a press screening. That's so not the right way to see the film. I'm dying. By 9pm tonight, I'll be in a room full to the brim with LOTR lovers watching a beautiful 35mm print of FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING... then, after a brief intermission, we'll be turning the page to watch THE TWO TOWERS. Sure, Quint will be there tonight, but jesus christ in a flaming manger of death, why on earth would you... just a fucking week ahead of time choose to see this thing with critics... yuck! At this point I'm just giddy. These recent internet trailers are driving me nutsoid. Watching those Ents coming out of the forest - just blissful... Dad, me and the Possum Queen will be checking this baby out soon enough, and I can't wait, but I can. However, this next 17 hours are going to slooooooooooow waaaaaaaaaay doooooooooooown till I see FOTR, then... oh.... 6 hours of theatrical LOTR joy with a roaring crowd of filmlovers... YESSSSS! I love the Alamo Drafthouse!!!!! Here's the miserable spoiled soul...
Ahoy, squirts... Everybody's precious and very crusty seaman, Quint, here with my views of the highly anticipated second installment of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, THE TWO TOWERS, which I've been trying my hardest for the past week to figure out how to put into words how I felt about it.
Holy Mary Mother of God... Thanks for reading my review. I think that's all that needs to be said.
What?You want to know more? What for? OK! OK! I'll do it... I honestly don't know what else needs to be said, but whatever.
For you fans of FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, you don't need me to tell you to go see this movie. My only advice to you guys is pick a theatre in your city that you know has great sound and picture and go before Sunday. Don't avoid the crowds, seek them out. See it with a theatre full of charged fans who are excited to be watching the movie. My only regret about the film is I saw it at a press screening with a room full of stuffy press people who for some reason train themselves to not show any kind of emotion during a movie. It's one thing to respect the film and not talk, but to not show any emotion whatsoever during a movie like THE TWO TOWERS... I just don't get it.
People want to know about Gollum. Let me start by saying that the CG work on Gollum is spectacular, but it's not the completely flawless "I thought he was real! No way he's an effect!" work that people have been reporting. The real flawlessness comes from the realization of the character of Gollum. The attention to detail in the CG work is rivaled only by the attention to detail in the character work. Gollum is without a doubt the best CG character ever put to film.
When you first see him, there's no doubt he's an effect, a grand and finely detailed and executed effect, but an effect nonetheless... That starts to change the second time we see him. You get so drawn into the tragedy of his existence, the inner struggle of Smeagol (the good) and Gollum (the evil) and his little quirky mannerisms he ceases being a CG character. You find you'll just be watching Gollum/Smeagol, not that great CG work. Props go to Andy Serkis. I'm glad New Line's pushing him for the Best Supporting Oscar. I don't think there's a chance in hell he'll get it, but if I were a member of the Academy I'd vote for him...
The first film set the bar and THE TWO TOWERS is a perfect compliment to it. These films are what we as fans have been bitching at Hollywood for not making for the last 15 years. High adventure, high production value, great characters, great acting, great story, an amazing score... These films are iconic and if RETURN OF THE KING is anywhere near as good a follow-up as THE TWO TOWERS then sweet jesus... We have a perfect trilogy.
I still prefer FELLOWSHIP over TWO TOWERS, but as of yet I've only seen TWO TOWERS once (next is tomorrow night at the sold out first midnight showing with a theatre full of cheering geeks, hopefully). The action in THE TWO TOWERS is far and above what we saw in FELLOWSHIP. The only thing missing is the intimacy of the first film, but being ACT 2 if it had that intimacy it would have made the trilogy uneven.
Brad Dourif shines in the few minutes he's in the film as Grima Wormtongue. He's such a slimy little cocksucker! I've known people like that in my life (still know one, actually) and Dourif grabs slimy cocksucker characteristics by the balls, digs in the nails and runs with 'em. Great job! Hope I see a lot more of him in the next flick.
Bernard Hill plays Theoden and sweet god he does a great job. Theoden is a tough character... Always teetering between stupid asshole and sympathetic king. He shows real emotion, real exhaustion, real fear. Fantastic job.
Miranda Otto is also fantastic in the film, though hasn't much to do. I can't wait for her to start kicking ass in RETURN OF THE KING, but she's a perfectly introduced character. We see the longing in her eyes to be a warrior not just another woman who needs protection, but we also see her love of Theoden, her king and uncle and respect for his wishes. Very subtle work is done by Ms. Otto and Harry is right on. She's without a doubt droolalicious.
The cast from the first film turn in equally great performances. Elijah, Sean, Viggo, Orlando, John, Dom, Billy... Great work guys!
Helm's Deep with blow your asses away. Just warning ya'.
The score keeping between Gimli and Legolas is priceless and perfectly depicted. Funny, but not stupid funny. As much as I want to avoid the whole LOTR vs Star Wars thing, I think Mr. Lucas should look at what Jackson did with Gimli during the Helm's Deep battle. John Rhys-Davies is really funny, but never ever comes close to anything like "I'm beside myself." He's not a fucking cartoon is what I'm saying.
Treebeard is amazing as well. The full on shots of him walking are pretty obvious CG shots, but those close up of his face are astonishingly good. Those eyes of his are so full of life you forget you're watching a damn tree. Perfectly realized. Count me impressed with Treebeard and the other Ents.
I could go on for thousands of words on this film which is why I first tried to keep it short and sweet... So, I'm going to stop now... God Bless you folks at WETA, God Bless you Peter Jackson. You folks are making magic here and I am already dying to see the next film. Way to go Howard Shore for the amazing score. Great job, Philippa on Gollum's Song. If you don't win the Oscar I'm going to punch a hole in the nearest wall. Amazing song, sung perfectly by Emiliana Torrini .
I'll be back soon, squirts. You're not rid of me that easily. I'll have some cool interviews and more movie reviews of this Christmas' offerings. 'Til that day, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.