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Lord of the Rings

we just returned from seeing the Two Towers. What did I think?

I don’t think I liked it much, for several reasons.

the first and primary reason is that the movie really deviated from the book. There were many scenes – in fact, most of the scenes – that simply didn’t exist in the book, and many scenes that took place in the book that were left out (though I am sure some, like the scene with Shelob, will appear in Return of the King). Worse, in my opinion, was how the creators of the movie changed the nature of many of the characters. The whole point of Faramir, I thought, was that he was not like his brother and allowed Frodo and Sam to continue with the ring. In the movie he took them all the way to Osgiliath (with the intention of bringing the ring to Gondor) and only let them continue on their quest after seeing Frodo and Sam involved in a conflict/touching scene (all of this also didn’t take place in the book by the way). And what was this about Faramir’s life being forfeit if he let them go? Maybe I just have a bad memory, but what? The nature of the Ents was also changed in the movie – they only agreed to go to war after they were “convinced” to do so by Pippin and Merry, which really detracts from the whole point of the Ents (that they were an ancient and very wise race).

another character problem I had with the movie is: why did the producers feel that they had to give Eowyn such a big part in the movie? I suppose they felt like they needed a “strong female character” in their movie, which I suppose is why they replaced Glorfindel with Arwen in the first one. But since Eowyn basically had no part in the book, whenever she appeared in the movie, she was simply fluff. She really didn’t do anything at all, perhaps her biggest feats were “watch Aragorn” and “bring the kids to the caves”. When they made a movie based on the book “Little Women” they didn’t replace one of the sisters with a brother, so why start gender-bending in Lord of the Rings?

another problem I had with the movie is that I thought there was excessive emotional pandering. There were so many scenes that tried to stir your emotions in one way or another. I got tired of seeing scenes where they would play that wailing music in the background, and then they’d show people talking or doing things in slow motion, but you would hear no sound. I also got tired of Frodo’s pained and “about to pass out” faces.

on the plus side, I thought that a lot of the special effects were simply awesome, and Gollum was very, very well done. I liked the camaraderie between Gimli and Legolas which was a key part of the books. I suppose I had very high expectations of the movie since I thought Fellowship was fantastic and have always been partial to the Two Towers – I think it is my favorite book of the trilogy. So my review is probably a bit biased – perhaps if you don’t walk in expecting the movie to fit the mold of the books you won’t find as much issue with it as I did. Am I going to see it again? Probably in a few days. I am sure I will like it a lot better the second time, as I won’t be geeking out nitpicking flaws in the storyline and will instead enjoy it for its own sake.

anyways that is my review!

18. Dec, 2002


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