Mouldy sends in yet ANOTHER review for TTT, yet another lucky bugger who has seen the flick before me. I guess I’ll just have to be patient and wait to see the flick tomorrow night in New York City with PJ, Elijah, Viggo, Miranda and the others. Such is life…. 🙂 (more about the NYC premiere and after party soon! -Xo)

Hey Xoanon! Greetings from Oslo!

I was very privileged to see The Tow Towers at the impressive Colosseum Cinema in Oslo a few days ago. I have been dying to post my thoughts on the film ever since then, but I have been away on a short break with my wife.

All the same there is not much more I can tell you that has not already been said. I would like to add a few things that I think truly make this movie great, and better than the first.

The most powerful aspect of this film is that we have not time to spare, unlike Fellowship that spends almost an hour and a half of screen time introducing characters, places, historical events, cultures etc etc, this film just throw you into the deep end and lets you fend for yourself. The introductions of the Rohan court, the Dunland Men, the new characters, Gollum and the Ranger’s of Ithilien are all executed with a far better precision than in Fellowship. I think about thirty minutes of film is really spent doing basic introductions, the film tends them to expose certain aspects of characters, places, events and so on as the film goes on in a more subtle fashion than Fellowship. The best example is Gollum, he has a short monologue in the first hour of the film that will bring a tear to your eye. Peter and Andy have created the entire character, his struggle between Gollum and Smeagol, his background, his lust for the Ring in one impressive speech. It also has a frightening emotional impact that is almost always lacking in psychological based characters in film. If Andy does not win best supporting actor, and if Peter does not win best director it will be nothing short of a crime.

I read too on another review posted to TheForce.Net (yes I am a big Star Wars fan) that the energy and bonding of the characters are like the original classic Star Wars trilogy, something that the first two lacked. I would like to re-enforce this point to the max. The energy and chemistry these actors have on screen is amazing, in some scenes the electricity literally zaps you in your seat. It is a little unfortunate that the worst aspect of the characters in the story is the Aragorn/Arwen love sub-plot, it just does not work as a series of dream sequences and flashbacks. But if you can look past that everything else works very nicely. The Eowyn/Aragorn love triangle stuff is brilliant, there is more chemistry here I my opinion than in the love scenes from Fellowship with Aragorn and Arwen, I so have the hots for Miranda Otto now! I must see it again if only for her. The only other thing I will say is Gollum is again perfect here, he just fits into the Sam/Frodo sub-plot of friendship so well and really challenges them both to be true to each other. The final scene of the film will utterly break your heart, Sam really steals the end of the show only to be shown up to Gollum who finally allows his darker self to take over, he will let “her” kill the Hobbits and then he’ll take the Ring…. **Sense of impending Doom! Dang must wait another year.

But as I already hinted there are things I disliked, in fact almost hated. The whole Elves sub-plot is totally bogus and it ruins the pace of the film. There is some really slow scenes that work fine by themselves, but then they cut an Elrond/Galadriel argument in the middle of them and the whole film becomes a bit stilted. It was like the editing of the Caradhras sequence where Saruman king of spoke to himself in a real theatrical monologue sense almost as if he was Gandalf’s thoughts during the whole scene. It just interrupted the flow of the film.

Thankfully however, just like Fellowship the film moves on quickly and we are spared any more torture. Some people have already mentioned a small prologue in the middle of the film, it is pointless really and needed to come earlier! Having said that all the Elven scenes, including the Live flashbacks could have been done in about 8 minutes of screen time as one single scene, well maybe two and then we could leave it and then have the Elves show up at the Deep.

Another thing I disliked was Faramir, he was one of my beloved characters from the book and he has been completely re-written almost as a new character. I remember a noble man, somewhat tempted by able to control it almost like Aragorn. To me he was like an Aragorn who had been hardend by endless war on the boarders of Mordor. This then lent itself to the reasons why Eowyn chooses to marry him in the end, or at least that is what I thought. Peter’s Faramir is like an older Boromir, he is not as reckless, he is more talented but he is still tempted. He does however redeem himself! After Sam puts Faramir back in his place (I was cheering for Sam, Go SAM!) he has a change of heart and sacrifices his life to let Frodo go. A bit cheesy really as Boromir kind of dies for a similar reason, but it brought a tear to my eye and made you feel like you did when Fellowship ended. Now just to be clear, Faramir does not die, his captain tells him he will be punished by death if he lets them go. Obviously Denethor has somehow fallen under the influence of evil because the Gondor soldiers are not exactly nice people, they a bitter like Boromir.

The battle with the Wargs was a little poor in terms of CGI, and Aragorn falling off the cliff seemed somewhat cliché to me! I mean how many times can a main character appear to die in these films??? I mean Frodo does it AGAIN in ROTK! But is served the purpose of the film so I guess it was ok… Oh and it was the only Arwen scene that rocked. She turns up all glowing and kisses Aragorn, at which point he wakes up to find Brego at his side. The Ents sometimes felt too CGI as well, but they make up for it by being the coolest trees ever, I love the way they talk! There was not enough Gandalf The White, there was also not enough of Legolas and Gimli, well Gimli gets a lot of screen time as the laugh factor but that is all. You will all die with laughter at Helm’s Deep when Gimli tells Aragorn to do something, reference to FOTR here! It got the biggest laughs at the screening if I remember correctly.

But that was pretty much it for my hates… My favourite scenes are, in no particlar order:

– Helm’s Deep: Just way too much to take in, must see it again!

– The Ents DESTROY Isengard: The BEST part of all!

– Samwise and his speeches: Go SAM!

– Gollum: particularly his monologue and the very end of the film!

– The Ringwraiths: Fell Beats rock! I want one!

Overall I cried in a bout ten different scenes in this film, and I suspect that when I see it again that I will be more comfortable with what I did not like about the film. I mean the Faramir stuff is growing on me right now. I think I will have to say that it won’t win best picture, simply because you have to see it more than once to take it all in! I am sure I have missed so much and I even think that some scenes I have forgotten about because I was so overwhelmed!!! Anyway this review was longer than I intended it to be so I will stop now…

All you fans – rest assured this film rocks!!!