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Two Towers, the REAL review

It's been less than five hours since I posted that parody script, and I've already gotten about 20 positive comments, including people who say they were directed there by their friends. Wow – I feel famous! :) Thank you all. I adore you.

So, on to my movie review, or what passes for one:

The minor complaints, first:

The Faramir issue: Yes, this sort of bothered me. He was given a very sketchy characterization, not at all the detail Boromir got, and I still don't see why they carted Frodo and Sam all the way to Osgiliath. But then, Faramir does get to live through the third movie, so we'll be seeing him again. His character didn't intrude on my general enjoyment.

This is a middle film. By definition, it doesn't have a proper beginning or ending. I so wanted them to continue on to Shelob's Lair at the end. But hey—our curiosity is now piqued.

OK, enough of that. Stuff I liked or otherwise want to comment on:

A lot was changed or unexpected. But I approved of it, generally. People have to understand that what makes a good movie is not exactly the same as what makes a good book.

Weepy stuff: I was braced for some Frodo/Sam angst. We got that—very sweet. I was braced for Gandalf's return, and Faramir saying his brother was dead. I was even, sort of, braced for Theoden's mourning of his son—which was done very beautifully. (Those white flowers! Sigh.) I was not prepared for the exceptionally poignant scenes of children being outfitted for battle at Helm's Deep, or people saying goodbye and being pulled away from each other in the caves. Those were the saddest moments for me, mostly because they caught me off guard.

So did Haldir's death. Whoa! Poor guy. I feel really bad now for calling him a stuck-up jerk. Forgive me, Haldir.

Stuff from the book I'm SO GLAD they left in: Legolas and Gimli keeping a body count. Hee! Sam and Gollum bickering about how to cook rabbit. So cute. The Frodo/Sam conversation at the end: "I wonder if they'll tell tales about us one day? 'Tell me about Frodo and the Ring, Dad.'" The audience laughed at that—as if they thought Peter Jackson was making a smug reference to how famous the books/movies are—but I don't know if they realized it was all straight out of the book.

Stuff that just generally rocked: Eowyn's way cool. (Steve: "She's easy on the eyes.") I thought Eomer was handsome too. (Steve: "He looked like Jack Black.") Legolas got a lot more stuff to do, including speaking in his native tongue, and it was all good. The fangirls were out in force, incidentally—when Leggy first appeared onscreen he got a few whistles, which prompted a small backlash of jeers from the anti-fangirl folks. Heheh. The audience also burst into cheers for him when he did his horse-jumping trick, and his surfing-down-the-stairs thing. Truly, it's not just that he's pretty; he really does kick ass. Gimli was great too. Oh, and Arwen didn't even annoy me. The foreshadowing scene ("Aragorn will die someday") was genuinely sad and lovely, and her scene with Elrond was very touching.

GOLLUM. Very well done. Pitiful, creepy, sometimes funny. (The audience laughed too much at him, though.)

The Ents! I liked them. Don't know why people are complaining. They were kind of old-school in appearance; more Muppetish than CGI, which I thought was good. Poor Merry and Pippin, though, hardly got to do anything except ride around on Treebeard.

Frodo and Sam sure were bickering a lot. That was a bit of a surprise. I don't think Frodo ever says or does anything really mean to Sam until the Tower of Cirith Ungol, in the book. But in this one, he's practically cutting Sam's head off by the end. However, this serves as a reminder that the stress and the Ring are taking their toll. And it made the ending more tender. (I wasn't crying, but I heard lots of sniffles in the theatre when Sam was in tears, there, in Osgiliath.)

I can't even bear to think about the Shelob scene now, or the parting at the Grey Havens that will probably come at the end of the third film. However, I feel somewhat better since they've been calling Valinor "the undying land." So, potentially, when Frodo (and eventually Sam) go there, we can rest assured they'll be kind of immortal. Or something. That's how I want to think of it, anyway.

Maybe I'll go make muffins. Yeah.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2002 04:29 pm (UTC)
Have to agree with everything you touched on :) And yeah first thought here when the credits rolled, damn I have to wait an entire year *pout*. But Shelob... *pout*.

Hehe yeah sorry about that I found you through a couple of other folks and linked and subsequently friended you in hopes of catching additional witty materials and opinions, no pressure to perform there ;)

Dec. 20th, 2002 10:56 am (UTC)
Haha! Ooh, the pressure is on. :)

Anyway, welcome! I seem to have gained a sudden influx of friends since yesterday. How scary...

It will be hard to make it thru one more year to see R.O.T.K. But at least we can probably expect, in February or March, to have the special advance preview of it at the end of T.T.T....if they do the same thing they did earlier this year, with Fellowship and the special Two Towers preview. Hoping, hoping.
Dec. 19th, 2002 09:48 pm (UTC)
I was not prepared for the exceptionally poignant scenes of children being outfitted for battle at Helm's Deep, or people saying goodbye and being pulled away from each other in the caves. Those were the saddest moments for me, mostly because they caug ht me off guard.

I was kind of annoyed that the boys were SO young... especially after showing how handy Eowyn is with a sword. I kept thinking "Take the strong women instead of these little boys!" But yes, that scene was amazing. I kind of wanted it to be even more tense than it was (which could have been done by having the infants screaming instead of being more passively afraid). The woman sitting next to me (a stranger) kept sobbing through it, and at one point clutched at my sleeve (she forgot which side her husband was sitting on). ≈
Dec. 20th, 2002 11:02 am (UTC)
The woman sitting next to me (a stranger) kept sobbing through it, and at one point clutched at my sleeve (she forgot which side her husband was sitting on)

Hehe...how disconcerting.

Yeah, they really could have let Eowyn have a go at it. But I guess that's exactly what she does in the 3rd film. (In manly clothes of course.)
Dec. 20th, 2002 08:38 am (UTC)
I think i am going to have to add you to my friends list now. Your lj is just too cool. :)
Dec. 20th, 2002 11:12 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks. I'll return the favor. :)
Dec. 20th, 2002 11:15 am (UTC)
You are very welcome. I have shared your satire with friends, and they have adored it as I did. heheheeh


Thank you! I am always out to make new friends.
Dec. 20th, 2002 08:42 am (UTC)
oh, and great review. I am in agreement with you.. but I hated that they killed off Haldir... *grumble*
Dec. 22nd, 2002 12:13 am (UTC)
So did Haldir's death. Whoa! Poor guy. I feel really bad now for calling him a stuck-up jerk. Forgive me, Haldir.

Dec. 22nd, 2002 02:06 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you.

*does the Elven hand-to-heart salutation*
Dec. 25th, 2002 03:33 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd seen the movie at the premiere... I saw it 17 hours later... Stupid school... Ah, well, but I really agree to everything you say!
I think that the very beginning looked a bit fake... It looked very computerized when they fell... And how did they end up on the top of a mountain...? But I liked how they made it into a sort of dream... I was a little bit annoyed of Aragorn... I mean, Legolas should be the one scouting for the orcs, not Aragorn... I mean, Legsie is an elf after all... :)
I think that Billy and Dominic must've had a boring time sitting in a tree almost all of the movie... But I liked the There won't be any Shire to go home to parts... And when they had decided that..... they were not orcs! :P
Hehe, Gimli cracked me up! Toss Me! Teehee. Legolas almost had a facial expression making fun of Gimli, with the box comment... :P
They didn't laugh at the tell us about Frodo and the ring dad-part, instead you could hear all the AWWW's and sobs. I was pretty surprised with the end... I was like Huh? Subtitles..? Hehe, I hadn't read the book in a year, so that all the stuff that they'd changed wouldn't annoy me too much... So I didn't know what would be in the second, and what would be in the third movie... All I remembered was the end, with the Shelob, and everything. I cried so hard when I read the book... *cough* And I couldn't wait to start reading the next book, as I was dying to know what would happen... But I had to read half of the book before that... That's one thing I like with the movies, how they mix it... Okay, I've been ramling on for too long now... :)
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 28th, 2002 11:05 am (UTC)
Re: You don't know me, but...
Hello and welcome. :)

Yeah, the audience seemed to have some nervous-laughter issues. But at least the two times I saw it, they weren't laughing when Treebeard found all the stumps near Isengard. (Apparently they did laugh, in some theatres.) That would be tacky.

Anyway, Gollum won't be too funny in the third movie...I hope...
Dec. 27th, 2002 08:58 am (UTC)
49 point review
1) Loosing elven brooch - droped not spit out.
2) No cute Rohan refugee kids. Gag.
3) Gimli is far too silly while running after orcs.
4) Merry and Pippin were carried away from the orcs.
5) Riders attacked at dawn. No one attacks orcs at night.
6) Left out Eomer insulting Galadriel.
7) No orc chase in Fanghorn!
9) Good addition - paralleling Gollum and Frodo's actions.
10) Sam did NOT fall down the hill near the gate.
11) Theodin's hall was perfect.
12) Aaragorn, Legolas, and Gimli didn't talk at length about their weapons before surrendering them.
13) Sauraman did NOT possess Theodin.
14) Gandalf not only approved of Theodin going to Helmsdeep, it was his idea.
15) Southron's were cool.
16) Gollum is pretty cool.
17) I wanted Sam to recite the Oliphant poem.
19) NO NO NO NO! The elves don't begin leaving until after the ring is destroyed!
20) No warg attack on the way to Helmsdeep. Why must we add all these fights?
21) No Gimli on a horse.
22) Why did we add Aaragorn's death? TEDIOUS.
23) Goddamn refugee kids!
24) FUCKING LIV TYLER! FUCKING ENYA! Where's a damn orc raiding party when you need one?
25) Why do Elrond and Arwen switch between Elvish and English?
26) Arwen will not live forever - she chooses mortality. Elrond is okay with this - he's a half elf. His mother and his brother were mortal. Get over it.
27) Did we need 20 minutes of moping about mortality? Oooh, black veils in the woods. Arwen will drink vermouth, read Rimbaud, and smoke cloves . . .
28) Oooh! The trees of Valinor on a tapestry in the background! Jackson rocks with the ultra nerd references.
29) May Erindil, the Star of the West, cleave my skull if Liv Tyler is on screen much longer . . .
30) Why is Galadriel talking to Elrond? Why is she talking at all? Why must Peter Jackson make me hate elves?
31) Okay, Gollum is getting annoying.
32) I'm also getting tired of fly-by camera shots of people ridding over hill-tops. We get it - you have a camera and a lot of hills.
33) Treebeard not developed enough. "Hrm, musn't be hasty," should have been used more often.
34) I wanted the poem about the five people of Middle Earth that Treebeard recites. . .
35) STOP WITH THE RA-RA HOPE SPEECHES! Tolkien wasted time on history and geography, not vacuous crap.
36) FUCKING ELVES! There were NO elves at Helmsdeep.
37) And a pudgy elf? Why does Haldir not kick ass at all? And why do I care if he dies, I don't know him at all!
38) Explosives? Where the hell did explosives come from?
39) Yay! Gimli and Legolas' orc killing competition!
41) Did not like Legolas' Vin Diesal skateboard battle impersonation.
42) Does Gandalf do anything other than glow? He would make a great Tide Color-Safe bleach comercia.
43) Entmoot? That was it? Not how Treebeard was convinced.
45) And hey, what happened to the Entdraught?
46) Ferimor bringing Frodo to Gondor? NONONONO! He rejected the ring!
48) Where is Shelob? I want Shelob!
49) The greatest nerd detail - everytime Frodo is tempted by the ring, there is this weird murmering in the background. It is saying "Ash nazg" over and over again, which means "One Ring" in Dark Uruk. My favorite bit of the first movie too.

Dec. 28th, 2002 11:09 am (UTC)
Re: 49 point review
Arwen will drink vermouth, read Rimbaud, and smoke cloves . . .

Hehe...very nice incorporation of Magnetic Fields lyrics.


These were almost taken too far, in my view, but not quite. When Frodo said, "What are we holding on to?", I was thinking, "Oh, God, Sam's going to turn around and say, 'HOPE.'" But no--luckily he did not. (He had that big long speech instead, but anyway...it was better than "'Ope, Mr. Frodo.") I respect the writers for that.
Dec. 30th, 2002 10:00 am (UTC)
Re: 49 point review
Wow. Ok. You didn't like it. Its not that big of a deal. Just a movie...
Dec. 31st, 2002 01:46 am (UTC)
Re: 49 point review
26) Arwen will not live forever - she chooses mortality. Elrond is okay with this - he's a half elf. His mother and his brother were mortal. Get over it.

I just read though the appendicies this week and cleared some of this up. Yes, he's a half-elf but chose the way of the Valar and thus became immortal. He does actually try to persuade Arwen to go to the Havens, and the line "walking under the fading trees" among others is right out of the book. So while she chooses mortality and a life with King Elessar (Aragorn) she only dies "after everything she hoped for is lost". In other words, she is mortal but outlasts everything and everyone. Very, very sad stuff, IMHO. So I looked all this up and I'm a loser. what can I say.
Jan. 19th, 2003 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: 49 point review
Hey - Captain Pedantic!

You're not that good. Why didn't you hang this rant on your own blog and just give us a link to it? Sheesh!
Jan. 19th, 2003 01:51 pm (UTC)
Re: 49 point review
I KNOW!!!!!!! She does NOT have THAT big of a part people!!! WHERE'S THE FLAG SHE'S SUPPOSED TO BE KNITTING FOR ARAGORN!!! KNIT ARWEN KNIT!!!!!!!!
They RUINED Faramir and they also made the Ents slightly wimpy. Rimbaud's "we have opted, hoom, not to do a damn thing" summed it up.
Uh, maybe I should go read the book again, but I don't remember any DYNAMITE at Helm's deep.
Honestly...t'was a good movie. T'was a great movie. But they didn't have to change THAT MUCH.
yes...that was MY rant.

Sep. 22nd, 2003 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: 49 point review
It's about time someone had the balls to come out and say it! I love the book, the movies rock in their own ways...
I totally agree with 18, 19!!!, 23!!!!, 24, 28, 36, 38, 46,
Also, Anduril was at Helm's Deep without Elves!!!!
Dec. 28th, 2002 11:55 pm (UTC)
First off, Bravo for your parody. It was very amusing....including the Legolas fangirl comments (admits her fangirlness)

I agree about the movie to book thing. I read the book last year (even though i still retain many pointless details) so small difference didn't matter as much. If you go along comparing it to the book the movie won't be enjoyed but if you think of it as a movie... well it just kicked ass.

I agree totally with the undying lands thing. All my friends (who haven't read the book) are all sad cause, no elves, or they Die and stuff, and then I swoop in with my wonderful news of "NO, they go to the undying lands. Hurray for immortalness"

When they were outfitting the children I just kept thinking WHAT ABOUT THE WOMEN. I mean I saw a couple women who could've handled it on there own. (stupid..."save the women and children" they could have at least given them swords just in case, instead of leaving them to be slaughtered) I know if I was there, just gimme a sword, I'm pretty sure I could have taken down at least one orc before they got to me. AT LEAST ONE... gimme a little credit! Besides I'm sure some of those women would have lasted at lot longer than a 10 year old boy...anywayz, enough with the women aren't weak rant!

I really did love the movie, even if I can find so many tiny mistakes. I must comment on Jacksons many super nerd refrences though... he really came through. It's sad though, cause I'm not even a huge LOTR super know everything person, I jus thave a really good memory for small facts like geography and stuff (has only read the last 2 books once) Bravo on the parody once again, you really should do a ROTK one.
Dec. 29th, 2002 10:45 am (UTC)
Re: tolazytothinkofone
Indeed, I would request a sword too, if I were relegated back to the caves. Maybe they ran out or something.

Anyway, thanks for your compliments, and I certainly hope to do an ROTK parody as well!
Jan. 17th, 2003 10:06 am (UTC)
Re: tolazytothinkofone
I was thinking the same, what about the women?

But then I reread the books, 3rd time, many years since last time. And actually, this is more like Tolkien. The women don't participate much in his books, except for Eowyn in the 3rd and Galadriel, we hardly see any...

Dec. 31st, 2002 06:49 am (UTC)
232 comments and counting...
... last I checked. Wow. o.O I don't know whether to be insanely jealous or worship you. I only thing I did on a public forum to garner more than ten comments was write about how /wonderful/ it would be if all your favourite characters came in instant powdered form and all you had to do was add water - hey presto! Seishirou in the bathtub! Or Legolas, in this case. ^.^ But I'm getting off track here...

I'm just another elven fangirl, but hey, don't mind me. One thing about the battle at Helm's Deep, which I think you might have noticed - how it poured and thundered but all the torches /never went out/? *blink* I know the storm was mostly for dramatic effect... and the battle was long, but one minute the rain was there and then it sort of... died away. @_@
Dec. 31st, 2002 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: 232 comments and counting...
Love the just-add-water idea. If only...

Hmm, I think maybe if the torches were made of enough pitch and oily stuff, rain wouldn't put them out. Same way you're not supposed to throw water on a grease fire, because it will only spread it. *shrug* Just a guess!
Feb. 15th, 2003 11:28 am (UTC)
Women of Rohan
In the book correct me if I am wrong but is Rohan not known for their strong shield maidens? :( I wish they had shown Gimli & legs. looking throughout the caves at helms deep & admiring their beauty
Mar. 7th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC)
the satire and review
Have been reading your stuff, and found it highly entertaining, the review of two towers was pretty accurate also. I have a friend that is a fangirl...too funny. Personally, I'd rather have Aaragon, but thats just me.
Are you planning to continue with Return?
Apr. 11th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC)
I know! I know!
I know how Gandalf and the Balrog got on top of the mountain but they need to explain it in the movie!
Apparently Gandalf chases the Balrog through secret tunnels under water then they end up above water level and Gandalf chases him some more and they end up on a mountain. Pretty messed up huh?
Sep. 14th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
your review of the two towers
I am a huge fan read the books when i was 14 years and years and years ago... both your parody and your review were right on... I loved what you called Legolas.. and when you refered to those who read the books....
at first when i saw the movie i was ticked that the elves came to help.. but after seeing it, i must say 100 times, i have gotten used to it..
and yes Haldir should get a kuddo..
What stuck me the funniest, Legolas having any reaction at all.. can the elf smile for cripes sake....
and arwen lying on aragorn "I am going to tell daddy on you' made me roar.
thanks for a great laugh. it made my night
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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