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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Countdown to November Begins
Yes, the title says "Countdown to November", not December, when the "Return of the King" finally hits the big screens, but November, when fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy can get their hands on "The Two Towers: Special Extended Edition", the entire movie that includes over forty minutes of extra film footage included in the theatrical release version. Many may think...
Published on Aug. 30 2003 by R. M. Fisher

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Trailers!
The extra features are a delight for fans. You can enter Middle-Earth for hours on end. I love the making of this film far more than the actual movie, which is a disappointment to Tolkien fans. But since I'm focusing on the DVD we won't get into the actual movie. The features are fantastic, especially the making of Gollum. Some of the methods for his creation are...
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Detroclay


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Countdown to November Begins, Aug. 30 2003
By 
R. M. Fisher "Ravenya" (New Zealand = Middle Earth!) - See all my reviews
Yes, the title says "Countdown to November", not December, when the "Return of the King" finally hits the big screens, but November, when fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy can get their hands on "The Two Towers: Special Extended Edition", the entire movie that includes over forty minutes of extra film footage included in the theatrical release version. Many may think this review is not helpful (mostly because its being written before the Special Edition is for sale), but its here because many people are buying the standard theatrical version, seemingly without realising that a better and bigger edition is on its way. The 'sneak preview' for the Extended Edition - or the advertisment for it, if you prefer - can be seen on the theatrical release DVD, just as the the Extended 'Fellowship' preview was on last year's DVD, and if you fell into the trap of having to buy two DVDs in 2002, then don't let it happen again with "The Two Towers"!
My suggestion is to rent the theatrical release, in order to enjoy the movie and the special features, including trailors, interviews, music videos, and previews of both the Return of the King and the Extended Edition. This should whet your appetite and anticipation long enough for November, when you can purchase the four-disc set with all its extra goodies. The only reason I'm writing this warning is that my father almost brought the theatrical release DVD, but was very relieved afterwards when I warned him and we ended up renting it, wherein he saw the preview for the Extended Edition. His exact words were: "I would have been so annoyed if I had brought this version!"
For those who don't already know, the Extended Edition is set to be excellent. The "Fellowship" Extended cut had only thirty minutes of extra footage - here we get forty! Included in the cut (and this information is taken from the DVD preview and many internet sources) are:
* Merry and Pippen growing taller due to Treebeard's Ent-draughts.
* the stunning and elabourate funeral of Theoden's son Theodred.
* a pivotal 'flashback' scene between Boromir, Faramir and their father Denethor in Osgiliath, which clearly shows the somewhat strained family dynamic, and may help to make Faramir's motives in forcefully taking Frodo and the Ring to his city more sympathetic.
* Saruman looking over a book that identifies Aragorn as the "Lost King of Gondor"
* Frodo, Sam and Gollum escaping from Osgiliath via the sewers
* Merry, Pippen and Treebeard exploring the ruins of Isengard (and finding its larder!)
* The Ents (or was in the Huorns? - sorry, I can't recall) rounding up the last of the orcs on the borders of Helm's Deep.
* Eomer finding his cousin wounded in the orc ambush
* Gandalf and Aragorn discussing his fate
* Sam and Frodo using Galadriel's elvish rope to scale a cliff-face
* Aragorn taming the deceased Theodred's horse Brego and releasing him into the wild (yes, that's the horse that rescues him after he falls off the cliff)
* Legolas and Gimli sitting amoungst the dead orcs outside Helm's Deep after the battle.
* Aragorn reluctantly swallowing a stew that Eowyn has dished up.
* Faramir finding the boat containing Boromir's body and the Horn of Gondor cloven in two.
* More Aragorn and Arwen love scenes (*rolls eyes*)
These are the main ones, to the best of my memory, but certainly not the only ones - there should be more dialouge inserted into already existing conversation, more battle scenes, and of course added music composed by Howard Shore. The Countdown begins to November...
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Features List from Pop-Up On Official Site!!!!, June 20 2003
By 
MAB (Virginia) - See all my reviews
FEATURE (approx. 214 minutes) -
A new version of the second installment in the epic trilogy! The film includes over 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the film, made especially for this video release:

Widescreen (2.35:1) version of the Special Extended Edition
Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS ES 6.1 Surround Sound
Stereo Surround Sound
Four audio commentaries by director and writers, the design team the production team and the cast featuring more than 30 participants including Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom and Academy Award® winners Richard Taylor, Howard Shore, Randy Cook...and many more

DISCS 3-4: THE APPENDICES

Two discs with hours of original content including multiple documentaries and design/photo galleries with thousands of images to give viewers an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

DISC 3
Adapting the book into a screenplay & planning the film
Designing and inspiration for locations in Middle-earth
Storyboards to pre-visualization
Weta Workshop visit - See sculptors in action as they create the weapons, armor, creatures and miniatures from the film
Atlas of Middle-earth: Tracing the journey of the Fellowship
An interactive map of New Zealand highlighting the location scouting process
Galleries of art and slideshows with commentaries by the artists
And much more!

DISC 4
Sending actors to battle - preparation for sword fighting
Principal photography: Stories from the set
Digital effects including motion capture and "Massive" (a program to create armies of Orcs)
"Bigatures" - A close-up look at the detailed miniatures used in the film
Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and personal cast photos
Post-production - editing it all together
Sound design demonstration
And much more!

DVD-ROM CONTENT: Includes access to exclusive online features
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Two Towers Looms Large, July 15 2004
Again, New Line and Peter Jackson have given generously to the fans with this extended DVD collection that, as the extended Fellowship of the Ring collection did, betters the theatrical release by miles. Additional scenes, more great and interesting bonus material, along with a great film, add up to a worthy purchase for fans. You definitely get your money's worth. Sure it is long, but its Lord of the Rings and Jackson's epic vision make you want to leap into the film and stay as long as you can.
As for the film itself, it is not as good as the first -- this one is the least like the book and that can be bothersome to many of the purists out there, especially concerning Faramir; also, there are some definite slow parts, such as the Aragorn / Arwen dream sequence and the Galadriel / Elrond sequence. The pace slows and almost gets tedious. But Helm's Deep saves it all with the most amazing battle sequence ever filmed.
So for the film itself I would give 4 stars, but as a complete package it gets a solid 5 stars. Classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Trailers!, Nov. 15 2003
The extra features are a delight for fans. You can enter Middle-Earth for hours on end. I love the making of this film far more than the actual movie, which is a disappointment to Tolkien fans. But since I'm focusing on the DVD we won't get into the actual movie. The features are fantastic, especially the making of Gollum. Some of the methods for his creation are hilarious. But the biggest disappointment of this DVD is that there are no trailers! Not a single one for The Two Towers or even a little peak at Return of the King. Therefore, the first release of this DVD is better since you get the trailers, and a peak at Return of the King. On top of that, the additional footage does little to improve this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars linuxman, Feb. 19 2006
By A Customer
I see two distinct type of reviews that have been made. Either people liked this movie, (and the other two), or they really did not. That is OK, but while some think that it sprang from D&D, they need realize that this book was copyrighted 1955. It is obvious that those who did not like the book would not have seen the movie so by natural extention, I believe that those so object to it, really never have read the books. This, (and the other two movies) are the pinnacle in movie technically, as well as visually stunning made to date. They are fantistic!
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings: Two Towers on DVD! MY PRECIOUS!!!, June 21 2003
By 
S. N. LLOYD-COOMBS (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the second installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. But what does this Epic of a film treat us with if we purchase this Special Extended Edition of the DVD?
Well, this review is about to tell you!
DISCS 1-2: THE FEATURE
FEATURE (approx. 214 minutes) -
A new version of the second installment in the epic trilogy! The film includes over 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the film, made especially for this video release:
-Widescreen (2.35:1) version of the Special Extended Edition
-Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound
-DTS ES 6.1 Surround Sound
-Stereo Surround Sound
-Four audio commentaries by director and writers, the design team the production team and the cast featuring more than 30 participants including Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom and Academy Award® winners Richard Taylor, Howard Shore, Randy Cook...and many more
DISCS 3-4: THE APPENDICES
Two discs with hours of original content including multiple documentaries and design/photo galleries with thousands of images to give viewers an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:
DISC 3
-Adapting the book into a screenplay & planning the film
-Designing and inspiration for locations in Middle-earth
-Storyboards to pre-visualization
-Weta Workshop visit - See sculptors in action as they create the weapons, armor, creatures and miniatures from the film
-Atlas of Middle-earth: Tracing the journey of the Fellowship
-An interactive map of New Zealand highlighting the location scouting process
-Galleries of art and slideshows with commentaries by the artists
And much more!
DISC 4
-Sending actors to battle - preparation for sword fighting
-Principal photography: Stories from the set
-Digital effects including motion capture and "Massive" (a program to create armies of Orcs)
-"Bigatures" - A close-up look at the detailed miniatures used in the film
-Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and personal cast photos
-Post-production - editing it all together
-Sound design demonstration
And much more!
DVD-ROM CONTENT: Includes access to exclusive online features
I for one will be purchasing this Special Extended Version come November 18th. The Special Extended Version of Fellowship of the Rings was definately the best buy of DVD's in 2002 and I believe this will be no exception. Come onnnn...I know you wanna buy it! We all need out PRECIOUS!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stands on it's own as a visionary/fantasy thriller., July 13 2004
In this second installment, it's clear that Peter Jackson has tilted his favor decisively against the hobbits and in favor of conventional action heroes of the Tolkien trilogy. The star of the show is clearly Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), while the hobbits (two sets of each) spend much of the movie away from the action.
Would a shift like this damage the movie? The answer to this is no. "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is one of the best yet franetic swashbucklers ever made. And given the current audience tastes in violence, it's more popular than the first installment "The Fellowship of the Ring". It may not be faithful to Tolkien and misplaces much of the charm and whimses of the books, but it really can stand on it's two legs.
The second in Tolkien's adaption is that it is a rousing adventure, skillful images of breathtaking beauty, and the marriage of special effects and computer animation.
With "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" already out on DVD. I really didn't have much to say about the third because it resembles this second one, except it's less dark. I was too bored to type what I "really" had to say about the third so I concocted a negative arguement without saying "just kidding".
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Lord of the Rings is an achivement? yes but a great film, July 7 2004
By 
"jesusbuddha" (Mumbai, Maharashtra India) - See all my reviews
I have seen all three films in theatre and own the Fellowship on the 4 DVD special edition... To make a film on this scale is an achievment .. more than 7 years spent and the results show.. unfortunately i disagree with those who call it a masterpiece.. It is boring.. plain and simple.. as an aspiring screenwriter i find that any film which relies so much on CGI and believes filmgoers come solely to see fantasy/action sequences and not hear a story is taking us for granted.. the book has a superb sructure. will not discuss it here.. but it slowly builds up and takes you on the journey with the characters.. every character from Aragorn to merry and pippin are shaped so well by Tolkien.. The film fails becasue it does not have a structure which involves the audience.. We are just taken through a series of action pieces in the first film.. the second film does better but not much while the third film-climax is more absorbing but because of the first two stinkers a first timer loses the plot.. On my own part I loved the Arwyn-Aragorn story, the scene where she sees him and thier child is possibly my favourite moment in the film.. pure cinema.. wordless and says everything.. A few personal notes of why you may want to pick up the DVD.. the making of the film is nothing short of amazing.. the DVDS 3 and 4 are chock pakced with info about the pre-prod, prod and post and are must have for thier extensive detailing about the prokject.. well worth the money to anyone who wants to find about the hardwork and effort that goes into making a film.. Should the lord of the Rings have been written by a professional screenwriter who understands the craft and structure of an epic.. which is what the LOTR is.. YES.. I think Peter Jackson is a brilliant filmmaker and his hardwork shows but him and Franz Walsh shine through in only certain moments when they don't let the CGI steal the human element from the film.. Having said that pick up the DVD, at that price it's a steal whether you're a lord of the rings afficiando or just a lover of films... On my own part I would have loved the LOTR as a series of six films with each book being divided into 2 parts and each part at 3 hours.. it would have been a more fulfilling experience.. but then that's what i think...
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5.0 out of 5 stars The EXTENDED Versions are MORE FULLFILLING!, July 6 2004
By 
C. Artman "Health Nut" (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Can't wait for the EXTENDED VERSION of Return of the KING! We already know how incredible the extended versions are of "Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Twin Towers". In December, the final extended version of the trilogy will be released, and just look how incredible it will be compared to the theaterical cut:
From THE DIGITAL BITS: "In other DVD release news, Entertainment Weekly magazine posted a short blurb in their June 19th issue about what we can expect on the forthcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition (which arrives in December - street date TBA). Look for the film to be a whopping 49 minute longer, complete with more than 300 new FX shots completed just for this release. Among the new scenes you'll see will be Gandalf facing down the Witch King at Minas Tirith, the Mouth of Sauron taunting Aragorn and company at the Black Gates, Aragorn tending to Eowyn at the House of Healing, and Gandalf's final confrontation with the wizard Saruman. You'll also get more audio commentaries from everyone involved, two discs worth of exclusive, in-depth documentaries and (we've heard) a pretty funny Easter egg or two. Look for the 4-disc set's faux leather slipcase to be blue. We'll post further details as they become available."
The directors extended versions are much more fullfilling and tell the story better than the theatrical cuts! I RECOMMEND THIS VERSION WHOLEHEARTEDLY over the theatrical cut!
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2.0 out of 5 stars No Please!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!, July 1 2004
By A Customer
I've really had it with this whole fantasy/action movie wave that has been going on since Star Treck (and probably before that). When I heard all the fuss about the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings series, I had to shake my head and wonder if they really were as good as every one had hyped them up to be. Well, I had the misfortune of seeing the first one in my AP Brit Lit class senior year in high school. The only thing I really remember about the movie itself was how long the beginning dragged on and demanded that I wait patiently for the real meat of the story. Let me tell you that I am not a patient guy when it comes to movies; if something is 2 + hours, it better hold my attention from the get-go. I'll never forget my teacher coming up to me during the movie and saying "You look really miserable; did you sleep poorly last night or something?" My response was "This movie absolutely blows! How are all of you so interested in this nothing of a story that is the equivalent to watching paint dry?" She then drops her jaw in awe and basically tells me that I have horrible tastes in movies, cause, like OMG, how could anyone not like this captivating movie? I'll tell you how: IT BLOWS!!!!!!!!! (ok, maybe it's not all bad for the fans, but I couldn't tolerate it) Then, not too long after this one comes out, my family forces me to watch it, fully aware of how much torture they knew it would be for me. Somewhere around the 2 hour mark, I stood up and left; this fantasy crap does not amuse or baffle me. It's not a complicated story, but when you are uninterested, and a movie such as this tries to portray itself as deep and intellectual when it really is not, you just can't follow the 98% of Americans who love this trilogy to death (I refuse to see the other one). If you love it, that's good; you don't have bad tastes in movies, but don't label me as one of those morons who isn't smart enough to get it; I truely had one of the worst movie experiences of my life (except for maybe all of Rob Schneider's films) watching these two movies (I really felt like picking up a brick and chucking it at the TV), and I refuse to see anything in the Harry Potter series. There, I feel better already. Two stars, because, at least for what it tries to be, it can gain the interest of the fans. But for me, I'd rather watch a great film like "Shawshank Redemption", or a great comedy like "Tommy Boy" or "Office Space". What happened to movies like those anymore?
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