Ringer Spy CJ wrote in what must be the first review we have from the Extended Cut from The Two Towers that will appear on the Extended DVD (available from November 18th)! Mind you, it does contain a lot of spoilers!!
I saw the Two Towers Extended Edition over a week ago and am happy to report that fans are in for a treat. I cannot go into the events the led to my wonderful good fortune, or I might end up like an orc trying to flee Helm’s Deep.
I thought the Fellowship EE did a nice job of fleshing out the story and adding things that fans would have liked to have seen in the original but I thought Two Towers EE was a more substantial improvement over the theatrical release. Many of the new scenes really helped explain dialog or events that were in the original cut. A small example is when Frodo and Sam are eating Lembas near the beginning of the movie and Frodo says to Sam something like, ‘Sam ,there is nothing that can dampen your spirits is there?’ and Sam looks over and says ‘Those rain clouds might.’ In the theatrical release, the next scene shows Frodo and Sam wandering through the fog, soon to realize they are going in circles. In the extended edition, the next scene shows the Hobbits sitting under their cloaks getting drenched which follows a comment about pending rain much better than a fog bank. It also serves as a nice intro to Gollum as he peeps over a rock ledge from above (I’m pretty sure I have seen this shot posted). I will not try and go through everything I remember- I must say I really enjoyed being surprised by the stuff I was not expecting. But for those of you who like to know in advance here are a few new scenes:
When Merry and Pippin are drinking the ent draught, they wrestle over the jug it is in and fall at the roots of a tree which proceeds to suck them in until Treebeard shows up and pulls a Tom Bombadil and rescues them. I am not sure if the literalists will appreciate this nod to old man willow (it did not look like a willow tree to me), but I liked it and it emphasized that the forest is dangerous and edgy which made it all the more cool when the forest started off to Helms Deep and then when the orcs ran into the forest at the end. The final forest shot reminded me of the shot of the orcs who are taking Merry and Pippin to Saruman at the beginning of the film, right after one exclaims ‘It looks like meat is back on the menu boys!’ No flying organs, but a mass of violent writhing. Ironic, but a nice link… and very PJ.
There is more dialog as Gimili, Legolas and Aragorn enter fangorn in which Legolas says that the Elves originally taught the trees to talk and Gimili exclaims that he can’t think of anything trees would have to talk about except squirrel crap. I thought his comment was a bit awkward, which is probably why I remember it, but most of the new dialog was great. There were many new (more successful in my opinion) humorous moments which I thought really fleshed out the movie since so much of it is dark and violent.
For example… Merry and Pippin make several comments about good ‘pipe weed’ and there are some Flotsam and Jetsam scenes at the end where they find apples and what looked like a turkey or big chicken floating in the flood and follow the goods into a storage room where they find barrels of the good stuff. There is a funny scene where Treebeard walks up to the open door in the ruins and peeks down through it. All you hear is Merry and Pippin having a good time in the room with clouds of smoke billowing out into the air.
There is a scene with Wormtoungue riding back to Isenguard. Wormtongue describes Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimili to Saruman who asks about Aragorn. Wormtongue describes Aragorn’s ring and Saruman looks it up in a book and says something to the effect of ‘So Gandalf thinks he has found the heir of Isildur… No matter…’ That’s what he thinks!