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L.O.T.R.: The Two Towers /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee 

Directed by: Peter Jackson 

Produced by: Fran Walsh, Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Tim Sanders 

Written by: Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Stephen Sinclair 

Distributor: New Line Cinema


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     The Two Towers is a rare epic full of war, hope, and one man’s journey to destroy one ring. The film showcases Jackson’s beautiful direction, and excellent writing, which works much better in the second installment than the first. Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie is able to provide many more beautiful panoramas of the New Zealand landscape, which fill our eyes with amazement. The visual effects are at the top of their form and never sketchy or look unfinished, as they did last time. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin better act this film too, and we can actually feel for their characters because of it. It is amazing that they shot all three “Lord of the Rings” films together; The Two Towers is much better than the solid, but shaky Fellowship of the Ring.

     I am amazed by Peter Jackson after seeing this installment in the series. The first film was excellent, but the direction was puzzled in uncertainty, and the special effects looked like something off of “Barney.” With a new and darker story, Jackson can pose shots that look viciously evil, and maintain a powerful effect. He is in his prime when the biggest battle of the film begins, and wee see 11, 000 inhuman soldiers, perfectly coordinated, marching in giant lines towards a fearful city of humans. When the fighting begins, everything looks terrific, and everyone is blocked perfectly. I liked the contrast of light and dark, and slow and fast in the flick because the changes were unexpected. Jackson utilized the utmost skill to perform these.

     Jackson also wrote the screenplay, with the help of Phillipa Boyans and Fran Walsh. This adaptation old Tolkien’s mystifying story is nothing but a tribute to fans of the book. The clever words, passages, and metaphoric dialogue spray’s from the actors mouths, as if it had never been written before. The dialogue is so beautifully phrased that the cast is able to maintain realistic conversations when speaking it. In the first film, Wood was stiff in his lines, and never was able to come out of his shell, but in The Two Towers he is excellent. Astin is as good as before, and keeps his character’s quirky comedic relief. These two are not the highlight of the film, however; a title which goes to the computer generated masterpiece, Gollum.

     Gollum is a stubby little creature, whose ring was taken by Bilbo, a relation of Frodo. This is the ring of power the two Hobbits are tying to destroy. He wants to get his ring back, and follows the two hobbits (Wood and Astin) on their journey to destroy it to somehow get it back for himself. As the three journey, we come across many portraits of the beautiful work that the producer and directors created. There are many visual enchantments during the film’s amazing ride of a near three hour duration. These include: a swamp of souls, talking trees (a.ka. “the Ents”), and some extremely creative, bloodsucking beasts only known as “the Wolves of Isengard.” All of these miraculously stunning looking animals and landmarks are achieved by computer effects. The visual effects and sound should win Oscars.

     The Two Towers is an extremely satisfying journey that is extremely worthwhile. The Fellowship of the Ring was quality entertainment, but this installment in the series is the sequel of the year. The special effects, writing, direction, and production are beautifully done. This is one of the rare movies, in which everything in it is perfect. I personally can’t wait for a third movie, and want to see if the entire trilogy can maintain such a stunning and mystifying look. The Two Towers is one of the best movies of the year, if not the best itself.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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