Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

LOTR: Two Towers Extended Edition Reviewed

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the where's-my-copy-dammit dept.

Lord of the Rings 626

akahige writes "The Digital Bits has just posted an exhaustive review and analysis of extended edition of The Two Towers, everybody that can't wait to get theirs -- or wait even longer to see the uber-cut in the theatre -- check it out. There's 43 minutes of new footage (not including the extended credits), and comparable extras to the extended version of Fellowship: 4 commentaries, documentaries, behind the scenes, etc. " I felt that FotR's Extended Edition was far superior to the theatrical release- usually these extra cuts add little, but this was the exception. I've been waiting with held breath for this one. I just wish it would ship a few days early!

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

yes but (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416134)

is it better than Matrix 3 ?

Re:yes but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416180)

For that to be a troll, Matrix 3 must be pretty shitty indeed.

Oh well, I KNOW I'm gonna see it anyway.

Re:yes but (-1, Troll)

alitaa (636041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416337)

safe the money...
if you really need to see it, just waste some bandwidth and d/l it :p

Re:yes but (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416338)

Will you please leave MY first post alone ?

Extended edition (4, Funny)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416135)

You mean they've made the movie even longer?

I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

Re:Extended edition (-1, Offtopic)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416149)

This is the only reason I haven't seen LOTR, I don't have the patience to sit through it. Oh well, maybe when I'm older.

Re:Extended edition (2, Insightful)

Dicky (1327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416156)

I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

It does, if it's done in the same way as the FOTR extended edition. The film itself comes on two disks :-)

Re:Extended edition (2, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416161)

I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!

Silly... The DVD's don't have these features, but your player has. It's called "Pause button".

Re:Extended edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416307)

Hey, Mr Janit^H^H^H^Hugalator,

It seems you have an impermeable sense of humor.

Re:Extended edition (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416165)

no it doesn't. in fact the RIAA has decided to disable the pause and resume features of the DVD as well as chapter points to help eliminate the movie piracy that is hurting them so badly...

Those people that go to the bathroom and want to pause it are violating the MPAA's IP rights!

Re:Extended edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416206)

violating the MPAA's IP rights!

...to...crap?

Re:Extended edition (3, Funny)

javatips (66293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416166)

Yup, it's called pause. All DVD remote were build in anticipation of this release. While viewing LOTR: Two Towers Extended Edition this feature is being enabled between action scenes.

Client-side implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416172)

I hope the new DVD has an extra-special "toilet break" feature!
All real LOTR fans face a compulsory "toilet break" feature each time they stomach the fear of the the Dark Riders.

Re:Extended edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416177)

I hope the DVD has Bugs Bunny in drag as an extra.

Ben Hur (2, Interesting)

rleyton (14248) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416179)

Check out the video to Ben Hur [amazon.co.uk] , there's a 5 minute "interlude" included on the video itself which had me chuckling.

It demands to be honoured. Pop out and relieve yourself, AND make a cup of tea, without using the accursed pause button.

'tis for wimps.

Re:Ben Hur (4, Interesting)

Stickster (72198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416254)

What you're talking about is the intermission from the original theatrical release. They restored it to the film, including the original score from that segment. Going to the movies to see a big-budget epic was a lot more like going to the theater in those days. Having an entr'acte (opening musical segment) to quiet everyone down, and a scored intermission in the middle, was more common. Many restorations of classic films also include restoring these segments as well.

I'm with you though, I don't like pausing movies and playing musical chairs during them. It takes me out of the emotional experience and interrupts the flow of the film.

And Oklahoma (1)

Nino the Mind Boggle (10910) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416329)

Our DVD of Oklahoma has the intermission.

Come to think of it, we have a VHS copy of Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, and it includes the intermission as well.

Re:Ben Hur (1)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416349)

Gone With the Wind has this as well.

Re:Ben Hur (1)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416262)

Lawrence of Arabia has the Intermission, too. One reason to leave it in is that they play the overture.

Re:Extended edition (1)

filledwithloathing (635304) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416182)

It does come with a toilet break. It's the "Arwen Aragorn romance dream sequence" right in the middle of the movie. Why the hell else would Peter Jackson put that crap in there?

Re:Extended edition (1)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416190)

The more important question is, why have Hollywood directors taken to making such incredibly long films? They are a pain to sit through, especially as there is no break in the middle so one can go to the bathroom and get a drink refill (so one will have to go to the bathroom again, but I digress.)

This is all James Cameron's fault.

Re:Extended edition (2, Funny)

dmatos (232892) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416268)

Well, depending on how shy you are, you can always go to the bathroom and get a drink refill while sitting right there watching the movie...

Re:Extended edition (1)

drkich (305460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416301)

Are you kidding, I can not wait till they release the RotK Extended Edition. Have a 12 hour LotR marathon BABY! YEAH!

Re:Extended edition (2, Insightful)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416334)

Perhaps because not all stories can be condensed into 90 minutes without losing significant parts. Personally I wouldn't mind if they continue to make films even longer - it would help justify in my mind the exorbitant cost of a movie ticket these days, plus I hate when important plot or character development is glossed over for the sake of cutting down to 90 minutes. (although an intermission in the 3+ hrs films would be nice)

Re:Extended edition (1)

pressman (182919) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416203)

It's called the pause button! Check it out!

Re:Extended edition (3, Funny)

shockwav1 (461207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416209)

Actually, if you look behind disk 4 in the case you'll find the special Lord of the Rings branded colostomy bag. Limited edition!

Re:Extended edition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416213)

In Soviet Russia ... Revolutions die in Neo and Trinity!!!!!!

Re:Extended edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416267)

It does have a toilet break feature! You have to switch discs halfway through.

0 comments and /.ed already? (-1, Offtopic)

grayrest (468197) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416136)

What's up with that?

Re:0 comments and /.ed already? (1)

nilenico (688350) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416146)

It's probably been ToRN'ed (theonering.net)...

Re:0 comments and /.ed already? (2, Informative)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416155)

TEXT OF THE ARTICLE

review by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits

Film Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Extras): A/A+

Audio Ratings (DD/DTS): A-/A

Specs and Features

Disc One: The Film - Extended Version, Part I
Part I - 107 mins (approx 236 mins total - includes 20 min fan club credit roll on Disc Two), PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 50:42, at the start of chapter 15), custom slipcase with fold-out Digipack packaging (featuring production sketches and artwork), all commentaries feature on-screen text to identify speaker, audio commentary (with director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens), audio commentary (with design team members Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger, Grant Major, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah and Chris Hennah), audio commentary (with production and post-production team members Barrie Osborne, Mark Ordesky, Andrew Lesnie, Mike Horton, Jabez Olssen, Rick Porras, Howard Shore, Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Randy Cook, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hull and Alex Funke), audio commentary (with cast members Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, John Noble, Craig Parker and Andy Serkis), 8-page booklet with foldout appendices map, Easter egg, animated film-themed menus with sound and music, scene access (31 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 EX, DTS 6.1 ES & DD 2.0 Surround), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned

Disc Two: The Film - Extended Version, Part II
Part II - 129 mins (approx 236 mins total - includes 20 min fan club credit roll on Disc Two), PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at at 59:56, in chapter 18), all commentaries feature on-screen text to identify speaker, audio commentary (with director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens), audio commentary (with design team members Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger, Grant Major, Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah and Chris Hennah), audio commentary (with production and post-production team members Barrie Osborne, Mark Ordesky, Andrew Lesnie, Mike Horton, Jabez Olssen, Rick Porras, Howard Shore, Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Randy Cook, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hull and Alex Funke), audio commentary (with cast members Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, John Noble, Craig Parker and Andy Serkis), animated film-themed menus with sound and music, scene access (39 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 EX, DTS 6.1 ES & DD 2.0 Surround), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned

Discs Three & Four (See Page Two)

"It is an army bred for a single purpose... to destroy the world of men."

And so we come to the crossroads. The Two Towers is the second installment in Peter Jackson's epic film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings - the installment poised to make or break the trilogy. Could Jackson and company follow up on the blockbuster success of 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring? Would the film continue with the same level of quality? Would the momentum of the story build upon the climax of the first film, and prepare audiences for the ultimate confrontation between good and evil in the soon to be released final chapter, The Return of the King? The answer to all of these questions, of course, is a resounding yes.

As the film opens, we find ourselves plunged into the dark mines of Moria, to relive a few moments of Gandalf's confrontation with the fiery Balrog. But instead of playing out as we remember it in Fellowship of the Ring, this time, when Gandalf falls into the abyss, we fall with him to watch as his fight continues. The consequences of these moments will resound throughout much of the remainder of the story, as Frodo and Sam continue their quest to carry the One Ring into Mordor, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to save Merry and Pippin from the orcs. Along the way, two important new story elements come into play. The first is the character of Gollum, who is bound to the Ring in such a way that he simply must follow it to Mordor. As we watch, Gollum's dual personalities fight for dominance, one wishing to help Frodo and Sam in their quest, and the other seeking to kill them and take back the Ring that was stolen from him (as told in The Hobbit). Meanwhile, Aragorn and company have made their way into the horse realm of Rohan, whose king has fallen under Saruman's dark spell. The people of Rohan are made to suffer too, for Saruman has built a army of murderous orcs numbering ten thousand strong. Together, the white wizard and the dark lord, Sauron, mean to rule Middle-earth, and their first step in this conquest is to wipe out the kingdom of Rohan, and all of Mankind, once and for all. What follows is nothing less than a truly epic battle, in which the fate of both Middle-earth and the Quest of the Ring literally hang in the balance. Trust me when I say, it's like nothing you've ever seen before on film.

What I appreciate most about The Two Towers is that Jackson has made no compromises for the audience. Middle-earth is a world where violence is commonplace, much blood is shed and evil stands a very real chance of winning and must be confronted head-on. There is no sugar coating on these bitter pills to make them easier to digest. As a result, the journey one takes in this film is just that much more satisfying. An additional compromise that Jackson manages to avoid is obvious right from the opening frames of The Two Towers. You simply MUST have seen the previous film in order to understand what's going on, because there is no recap of the action. Other than the very brief opening flashback, this film launches you immediately into the story, picking up right where Fellowship left you hanging. And the pace throughout much of the film is relentless, pausing only occasionally to let you catch your breath.

In addition to Jackson's deft direction, the savvy adaptation and great performances by cast members new and old, there is much technically to be impressed with here as well. The character of Gollum, entirely created by computer graphics, is astonishing. At last, we have a CG character that gives a real dramatic performance on screen. This is thanks to the work of WETA Digital, as well as the strong acting of Andy Serkis. Serkis not only provides Gollum his voice, but his movent as well thanks to the process of motion capture. Serkis also performed the character on set with the actors, lending the final digital creation a particular presence and immediacy it would otherwise have lacked. Equally wondrous is the astonishing battle for Helm's Deep, in which literally thousands of computer generated soldiers, both good and evil, fight to the death. Each tiny digital character engages in unique and believable combat moves, thanks to a special program written for the film trilogy called Massive. The result is a truly jaw-dropping and epic battle sequence, which gives moviegoers a taste of the even larger battles to come in Return of the King.

As epic and impressive as the original theatrical cut of this film is, we're once again given a real treat for this 4-disc DVD version. It's an extended cut of the film, specially prepared by Jackson, which includes some 43 minutes of all new scenes and scene extensions. As with the Fellowship extended cut before it, this new version of The Two Towers is absolutely spectacular. These new moments add tremendous depth and development to certain characters, give a greater sense of scope to the journey they take during the film, provide wonderful new moments of humor and greatly enhance the intensity of the major battle scenes. Many of them are events Tolkein fans will remember having read in the original novels. These new scenes are complemented by new music cues and over 200 new special effects shots done just for this DVD version.

Among the new treasures in store for fans are several more moments with Gollum, more background on the Ents and additional scenes involving Treebeard in Fangorn Forest, Gandalf telling Aragorn that Sauron is afraid of what he may one day become, Theodred's funeral at Edoras, more of Faramir capturing Frodo and Sam, new scenes between Aragorn and Eowyn on the road to Helm's Deep, more intense footage during all of the major battles... and this is just scratching the surface. There's also a major new flashback scene in which we see Faramir with his brother, Boromir, and their father, Denethor, who is the Steward of Gondor. We learn why Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo in the last film, and why Faramir struggles with the same decision here. It's fantastic stuff that really fleshes out both Faramir and Boromir. It's also important for introducing us to the character of Denethor, who plays a larger part in the forthcoming Return of the King. Suffice it to say that if you loved Two Towers before, you'll love it even more now.

I should also note that, as with the Fellowship extended cut, there's a good 20 minutes of credits that have been added to the end of the film (at the end of the regular credits) that feature the names of the members of The Lord of the Rings fan club. This 20 minutes isn't counted as part of the 30 minutes of actual scenes restored to the film itself.

In terms of image quality, this version of the film is every bit as good as the Fellowship 4-disc DVD. Significantly, the video here is also much improved over the 2-disc version of The Two Towers that was released a few months ago. The anamorphic widescreen video, now that it's spread over two discs, has been compressed with a much higher bitrate. Rarely will it dip below 7 Mbps, and the result is improved clarity, greater detail, and more depth to the image. The color palate is more subdued than that of Fellowship, but colors are accurate at all times. In fact, the entire film was digitally color timed to perfection under Jackson's supervision, to achieve exactly the look he wanted for Middle-earth. You'll notice the improvements in the image quality right from the film's opening - just watch as Gandalf and the Balrog plunge into the depths. The film looks absolutely fantastic.

The audio on this set is also improved from what the 2-disc version offered. The film's soundtrack is included in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 6.1 ES. This is not the same Dolby Digital mix that was heard on the 2-disc set, owing to the integration of the new footage. Music cues are different now, with subtle tonal changes, and there are modifications to the sound effects mix in many scenes as well. Changes aside, the Dolby surround mix here is incredibly active, with a big wide front soundstage and lovely spaciousness in the imaging. As with the previous DVD release, the DTS 6.1 track, only improves on this by creating a smoother and more natural soundfield. There's greater ambience, more refined imaging and greater subtlety. The differences between the Dolby Digital and DTS sound options aren't major, but high-end users will appreciate them. As expected, the DTS track is definitely my preference.

As with the previous 4-disc set (get used to reading those words, because I'll be using them a lot here), you can choose to watch this film with its own soundtrack, or with no less than four separate, full-length audio commentary tracks. At more than three and a half hours each, you can almost literally spend all day exhausting all the viewing options on Discs One and Two alone! There's a track with the director and writers, one with the artistic designers, another with members of the production and post-production team, and a final track with a majority of the cast from the film. When you select a particular commentary in the options menu, you're shown a list of everyone who participated in that track. If you then select one and start watching (and listening), subtitle text will appear at the top of the screen when different participants speak, identifying not only the speaker, but also their role in the production (or their character in the case of the actors).

The actors' track is the most engaging and entertaining. As one would expect, these people really enjoy interacting with one another. There's an enthusiasm for this project that really shines through. More than a dozen cast members contribute, including several new participants whose characters appear for the first time in this film. About the only significant person absent is Viggo Mortensen, who doesn't apparently like to do commentaries (but is thankfully in evidence all over the documentaries on Discs Three and Four). On the writer/director's track, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens give what I think is the most interesting of the commentaries. They discuss the challenges of adapting the second book in the trilogy into a film, and how they struggled with it right through filming. There's also wonderful discussion of the performances of the actors, and how pick-up shots were done after principle photography to enhance the dramatic or emotional impact of certain scenes. The design team and production team commentaries are also interesting, if a bit dry, and cover all kinds of filmmaking related topics and detail.

The menus are once again designed so that the selections appear to have been written in pages of a book. The book itself was designed and shot as a real prop and set, by the same folks that worked on the film. That gives the menus the sense of belonging to the world of the film. When you're look at the scene selection menu page, the chapter stop listings once again indicated which scenes are new and which are extended - a nice touch if you're excited to see the new footage right away.

Disc One ends right after the scene in which Frodo and Sam get captured by Faramir and his men. The screen cuts to black and text fades in telling you that "The Story Continues on Disc Two". When you start Disc Two, a black screen comes up with the following text selections: "Continue Film," "Continue Commentaries," "Set-up and Options".

This set's packaging mirrors the previous 4-disc release, with the exception that the color is a little darker, and the artwork on the Digipack reflects the various scenes from the film. The Digipack itself is housed in another gorgeous slipcase that's designed to look like an old hardback book. It's has a simulated leathery texture to the feel and the title of the film is stamped in gold foil on the front and spine. An insert booklet inside contains chapter information and an index of the contents of all four discs, again with artwork from the film. Very nice.

You should also know that there is at least one Easter egg on this set, featuring Gollum's now infamous acceptance speech from the recent MTV Movie Awards. It's in anamorphic widescreen (as is everything on these four discs) and it even includes subtitles... just in case you can't figure out his stark, raving insults. It's very funny and I'm glad it's been included. You can find instructions to access it below. I believe this is the only Easter egg on the set. If I find another, I'll add it to the review.

In the next part of this review, we'll take a closer look at the contents of Disc Three and Four of this set, also known as The Appendices, which contain the real meat in terms of the supplemental material.

So off we go...

Discs One & Two (See Page One)

Disc Three: The Appendices, Part III - The Journey Continues
Peter Jackson introduction (2 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth documentary (30 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), From Book to Script: Finding the Story featurette (21 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Designing Middle-Earth documentary (46 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Weta Workshop documentary (44 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), 35 production design galleries (on the peoples and realms of Middle-Earth - with select audio commentary), The Taming of Smeagol documentary (40 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Andy Serkis Animation Reference video (2 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Gollum Stand-in featurette (3 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Gollum character design gallery (with select audio commentary), interactive Middle-Earth Atlas (16x9, DD 2.0), interactive New Zealand as Middle-Earth map with location video (15 mins total, 16x9, DD 2.0), DVD credits, help text, "play all" feature, disc index, DVD-ROM features (including weblinks), animated film-themed menus with sound and music

Disc Four: The Appendices, Part IV - The Battle for Middle-Earth Begins
Elijah Wood introduction (1 min, 16x9, DD 2.0), Warriors of Middle-Earth featurette (21 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Cameras in Middle-Earth documentary (68 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), production photo gallery (with select audio commentary), Big-atures featurette (22 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), 7 big-atures galleries (with select audio commentary), pre-viz animatic (The Flooding of Isengard - 5 mins total, 16x9, DD 2.0), WETA Digital featurette (28 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), 2 abandoned concepts galleries (with select audio commentary), Editorial: Refining the Story featurette (22 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), Music for Middle-Earth featurette (25 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth featurette (21 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), interactive sound demonstration for Helm's Deep sequence (2 mins, 16x9, 8 separate selections of DD 5.1 audio), The Battle for Helm's Deep is Over... featurette (9 mins, 16x9, DD 2.0), DVD credits, help text, "play all" feature, disc index, DVD-ROM features (including weblinks), animated film-themed menus with sound and music

As with the previous set, Discs Three and Four are together known as The Appendices, and are designed to serve the same basic function as The Appendices in the original books. Disc Three specifically deals with the effort to adapt the story of the Two Towers and to formulate a vision for the film that would remain true to Tolkien's vision for the books. Disc Four again looks at the process of taking that vision and crafting a film from it. In fact, the documentaries on these two discs are in many ways (and by design) continuations of the documentaries from the Fellowship 4-disc set.

Before we start looking at the contents of these discs, you should know that virtually everything is presented in anamorphic widescreen video, and the menus feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Most of the rest of the video material is in Dolby Digital 2.0, with the exception of the sound demonstration on Disc Four (which again features 5.1). Both Discs Three and Four feature a brief video introduction (by Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood respectively) explaining what you'll find on the disc and how to access it. Furthermore, each of the discs has additional help text on how to access the material, along with a complete index of the disc's contents. There is also a "play all" mode that will allow you to view all of the featurettes and documentaries. Note, however, that if you do this, there are several items that you'll have to view separately (the galleries and other material). The featurettes are all of the same excellent quality as the ones on the previous 4-disc release. In one way or another, every major cast and crew member is represented on these two discs, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

We start with Disc Three, also known as The Appendices, Part III - The Journey Continues. The first major piece on this disc, J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle Earth, provides more historical background on man behind the original books, and addresses some of the specific issues related to the story of Two Towers. It runs about 30 minutes. We learn how Tolkien, fellow author C.S. Lewis and several of their colleagues used to meet twice weekly to share their literary ideas. We also learn that both Tolkien and Lewis had fought in World War I, an experience which left them asking fundamental questions about war, and the nature of Good and Evil. They dealt with these questions in their writings - clear inspiration and creative fodder for Lord of the Rings.

In From Book to Script: Finding the Story, we learn about the many difficulties that Jackson, Walsh and Boyens had when it came time to adapt The Two Towers for the screen, and the changes (both major and minor) that they had to make to allow the story to work as a film. The Two Towers was the toughest entry in the trilogy to make, and the filmmakers really struggled with how they could weave the various storylines together, give each proper dramatic attention and still keep the audience interested (and not confused).

Next up is a section on the film's production design, which begins with the 46-minute, Designing Middle-Earth documentary. This is similar to the documentary of the same title on the last 4-disc set, except that this time, most of the subjects addressed reflect the second film in the trilogy. We see John Howe and Alan Lee working in their studio at the Weta Workshop together, drawing for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. We then see the production design team working to bring those drawings to life as props, costumes, sets and models. There's a ton of artwork to illustrate the narrative and interviews with many, many people. Specifically, for The Two Towers, we learn that one of the challenges was to bring a more somber mood to the look and visual texture of the film. We get to see how many of the sets were constructed in warehouses and in the studio parking lot, we see how footage shot on location was integrated seamlessly with footage shot on stage, and all of film's major settings are highlighted.

The production effort is examined even more closely in the 44-minute look behind the scenes at the work Richard Taylor and his crew at the Weta Workshop did for The Two Towers. We learn that John Howe is actually experienced with ancient weapons and armor. He brought much of his own collection of swords along to Wellington to show the production team. He was apparently so focused on getting these through customs, that he nearly left his suitcase of clothing at the airport. We also learn how the look and feel of each race and creature was developed - each had its own race history and backstory, which was reflected in the ultimate designs seen on screen.

For a closer look at these characters and locations, there's a massive, interactive gallery of production design drawings and artwork. It's actually broken down into some 35 separate galleries, organized by subject. You can view the artwork in slideshow mode, or individually. Selected images have their own audio commentary clips featuring members of the production team, who explain what you're seeing.

The work involved in bringing the character of Gollum to life is highlighted next, starting with the 40-minute The Taming of Smeagol documentary. We get a sense of the incredible efforts of actor Andy Serkis, the team of special effects artists at Weta Digital and the writers to create the look, feel and performance of the character. This was obviously the biggest special effects challenge in the entire trilogy. The design of Gollum actually developed organically during the production. When it became clear that Serkis was bring real emotion to the character on set, which was having a tremendous positive influence on the other actors, the digital design of the character was modified to be more reflective of Serkis' facial structure. We also learn, amusingly, that Iggy Pop provided a surprising inspiration to the animators, and we get to preview a bit of an interesting scene from Return of the King, in which Serkis is seen on camera as the yet to be corrupted Smeagol. You might think you know how much work was involved in creating the first digital character to give a realistic dramatic performance on film, but it was even tougher than you can imagine.

There's also a brief bit of Andy Serkis Animation Reference video, in which we see how closely Serkis' performance was followed by the animators for the scene in which Gollum's selves duel for dominance, as well as a funny Gollum Stand-in featurette in which we see Rick Porras playing Gollum for a brief scene.

As with the previous 4-disc set, Disc Three is rounded out with a pair of interactive maps, that help you to understand the geography of the film. The Middle-Earth Atlas allows you to follow, step-by-step, the journey that the characters take in the film (there are four separate character paths you can select). It tells you what happens at each step along the way and then gives you clips of the major events that take place at that location. New Zealand as Middle-Earth, in turn, allows you to see where in the "real world" each film location was shot, and includes viewable location video for each place.

Moving on to Disc Four, The Appendices, Part IV - The Battle for Middle-Earth Begins, we begin with a section dedicated to the actual filming of The Two Towers. This starts with the 21-minute Warriors of Middle-Earth featurette, which examines the massive effort that went into planning and executing the complex stunt work seen in the film. We see the cast training for their sword fights, and get to spend time with the extras on the months-long Helm's Deep shoot, which took place at night, in a rock quarry, usually in the cold and under artificially created rainstorms. As you can imagine, it was brutal work, demanding in ways both physical and mental. There are some funny stories in here, dealing with jokes the cast and crew played on each other, and the camaraderie they developed during the production.

The Cameras in Middle-Earth documentary is over an hour long, and takes you behind-the-scenes on the production for this particular film, as it moved from one location to another in the New Zealand wilderness. The documentary deals with each major setting in roughly chronological order, and we get to see lots of funny moments and stories. We learn, for example, that prior to the shooting of the scenes in which Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are seen running after the orcs who have captured Merry and Pippin, all three actors had suffered various injuries. They gamely toughed it out, sprinting when Jackson rolled the cameras, then became walking wounded, groaning in pain as soon as the take was complete. We also learn that Viggo Mortensen broke his toes during the filming of one scene... and the take actually appears in the final cut. Perhaps best of all, we get a look at an unused scene in which Faramir glimpses how far the Ring may corrupt Frodo. Frodo is actually starting to physically look like Gollum. This is probably my favorite documentary on the whole set.

There's another image gallery at this point, this one featuring tons of behind-the-scenes photographs shot during the production. As before, there are audio commentary clips on selected images.

Next up is a section on the film's visual effects, which (like the previous 4-disc set) includes another Big-atures featurette, examining the incredible (and incredibly large) models constructed for the film, as well as another Weta Digital featurette, dealing with the digital effects work. The latter is particularly interesting, as we get a close-up look at the "Massive" software package that was used to create vast armies of artificially intelligent digital orcs and other creatures for the film. We get to see how the software works, we see the early test shots, how individual characters are "built" in the computer and how they are programed to virtually interact with one another. We even get to see one particular test shot where scores of CG soldiers appear to be actually fleeing from battle - a surprise in that the action was not something they were programed to do.

Also in this section is a gallery of production artwork, highlighting two abandoned concepts from The Two Towers (specifically a "Slime Balrog" and the "Endless Stair").

In the Editorial: Refining the Story featurette, we learn that Peter Jackson decided to use separate editors for each film in the series, simply to better manage the vast amount of footage that was being shot on such a tight schedule. We get to see Jackson working with with his editors on The Two Towers, and we learn that they assembled each separate storyline from the film individually, then worked to see how they all fit together into a whole. We also get glimpses of alternate takes from the film, and a look at an abandoned prologue that was to have started the film (recapping the events of Fellowship). It's cool stuff to see.

In the section on music and sound, we get new The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth and Music for Middle-Earth featurettes, which take you behind-the-scenes on the creation of various sound effects, the mixing process and the work of composer Howard Shore. There's also an interactive sound demonstration for a 2-minute bit of video from the battle for Helm's Deep. While you're watching, you can choose to listen to one of 8 different 5.1 tracks, each featuring a different element of the final audio mix (the production audio, the foley work, the different effects tracks, the final mix, etc.). You can switch between them on the fly with your remote.

Wrapping up the extras on this 4-disc set, we get a final, 9-minute featurette, entitled The Battle for Helm's Deep is Over.... Here, Jackson and other members of the cast and crew reflect on the challenges of making this second film in the trilogy, and look ahead to the final chapter, The Return of the King. You get to see how most of those involved really didn't know if The Two Towers was going to be as good as Fellowship, and you see their surprise and delight at the overwhelmingly positive reaction to film - many people thought it was an even better film than the first. Finally, you get a sense of the combined joy and sadness felt by everyone involved in these films, knowing that this experience that has so dominated their lives for so many years is soon to come to an end. The piece appropriately ends with the words: "To Be Continued..."

I'm pleased to say that producers of this elaborate 4-disc set, and everyone involved in the production of these films, have once again created a treasure on DVD for fans. The quality of every bit of what you get here is absolutely outstanding. I can tell you with all honesty that, after viewing this version of the film and experiencing these thorough extras, I am absolutely on the edge of my seat waiting for The Return of the King. Thank God it's only a month until that film appears in theaters, because I don't think I could wait much longer than that without devolving into a Gollum-like creature myself. This 4-disc set at least makes that wait a little more bearable.

You know... it's been a long time since I've felt this kind of unabashed joy and enthusiasm for a new film. I know a lot of you share that same feeling. My advice to all of you is simple... savor every little bit of it while you can.

Re:0 comments and /.ed already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416333)

except that it's not mentioned on TORN, yet.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416137)

fp yeah

GOLLUM DIES IN TTT (-1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416139)

spoiler warning in subject...

Re:GOLLUM DIES IN TTT (0)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416162)

Does he really now? *spoilers* then who bites off frodo's finger in Mt. Doom? Sam? if Sam falls into Mt. Doom with the ring, then who replants all the trees in the shire if Sam (with Lorien-seed) is burning up in Udun? Oh wait, there is no scouring in the ROTK movie (ARGH!); Obviously, you're correct. Why'd you have to go and tell me that, then? Now i'm sad.

Re:GOLLUM DIES IN TTT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416183)

Pssst... i have a secret copy of the last book that the script is based on.... I'll sell it to you for $1000.00

let me know....

Re:GOLLUM DIES IN TTT (2, Funny)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416211)

I really don't think Peter Jackson sees himself in such authority to re-write the story that much.
Else he'd be thrown into the fire of Mt.Doom by Tolken fans with big feet.

I'm really excited for this one... (-1, Offtopic)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416142)

I've been hardcore into tolkien for quite awhile now, and this has kept me up at night sometimes. Glad to hear that its good.

Bored of the Rings (-1, Troll)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416157)

Another 43 minutes to suffer through? Sheesh. Enough already.

Already? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416159)

Slashdotted already?

Pah (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416160)

I'm waiting for the 36 hour super extended expansive authorative double wide big mac and fries too many pies massive elongated turgid spactular extravaganza sustained another beer please endless superbit DVD release.

You aren't a true fan unless you buy one. And with every purchase you get a free Lucasarts (tm) branded marquee to store it in.

Re:Pah (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416202)

Actually, I hope to get a full version (all 3 movies) one day so I can watch the whole thing uninterrupted.
It's one story, I want to see it as one movie.

Re:Pah (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416348)

All 3 movies in one day uninterrupted?

You are going to need a catheter in your urethra and a rectal probe as well!

No, George Lucas didn't direct this film (0)

Dusabre (176445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416222)

Lucasarts?

All you really want to know... (5, Informative)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416164)

Here are the added/lengthened scenes:

"Among the new treasures in store for fans are several more moments with Gollum, more background on the Ents and additional scenes involving Treebeard in Fangorn Forest, Gandalf telling Aragorn that Sauron is afraid of what he may one day become, Theodred's funeral at Edoras, more of Faramir capturing Frodo and Sam, new scenes between Aragorn and Eowyn on the road to Helm's Deep, more intense footage during all of the major battles... and this is just scratching the surface. There's also a major new flashback scene in which we see Faramir with his brother, Boromir, and their father, Denethor, who is the Steward of Gondor. We learn why Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo in the last film, and why Faramir struggles with the same decision here. It's fantastic stuff that really fleshes out both Faramir and Boromir. It's also important for introducing us to the character of Denethor, who plays a larger part in the forthcoming Return of the King."

Re:All you really want to know... (5, Insightful)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416185)

Crap, now I actually want to see it. I really didn't like TTT, mostly because rather than actually doing the plot of the books, it was a 3 hour battle scene with only the slightest trimmings of the plot thrown in - and the battles just got really old with time. You know that somethings wrong when the ents are less boring than the battles.

Now I have to see it, 'cause they actually put the plot back in the film.

Re:All you really want to know... (1)

clarkc3 (574410) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416223)

It's fantastic stuff that really fleshes out both Faramir and Boromir

Alright! more stuff to further ruin/change Faramir! I still don't get why that changed him so much from the book

Re:All you really want to know... (1)

phil reed (626) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416276)

Alright! more stuff to further ruin/change Faramir! I still don't get why that changed him so much from the book

Because in the opinion of the director, that part of the book didn't make a very good movie?

Held breath? (5, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416168)

I've been waiting with held breath for this one. I just wish it would ship a few days early!

Let's put it this way... if you're holding your breath, and it doesn't ship a few days early, you're not going to get a chance to see it.

Theatres showing whole trilogy??? (2, Interesting)

Dareth (47614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416169)

In a previous story there was rumors of theatres that would be showing the entire trilogy on the same day... Anybody got any lists of theatres that will be doing this with dates and times....

I hope the local theatre here will be doing this. I will be checking shortly. I guess I am just slow, I won't be seeing the third Matrix until tomorrow.

Re:Theatres showing whole trilogy??? (1, Informative)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416189)

There are only about 200 theatres nationwide that are doing the marathon. The nearest one for me is 200 miles away. that was sad. i could dig up a list, maybe i'll do that now.

Re:Theatres showing whole trilogy??? (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416201)

every theater showing all 3 movies is sold out. If you don't have a tix you'll have to ebay for them (and they are pricey now)

Re:Theatres showing whole trilogy??? (1)

bustersnyvel (562862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416217)

Pathe de Munt in Amsterdam shows the whole trilogy. It starts at 21:00 o'clock and ends somewhere early in the morning the next day...

Re:Theatres showing whole trilogy??? (1)

jbensley (106834) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416240)

Unfortunately, if you don't already have tickets for this event you'll have to spend a ton of money to get tickets off of eBay. In my area the trilogy tickets sold out in about 15 minutes.

sold out immediately (3, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416295)

Yes, but they sold out within hours after the tickets were offered online.

Here you go... (1)

UncleBiggims (526644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416330)

LIST OF THEATERS [lordoftherings.net]

Re:Here you go... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416346)

NOT!

that is the list of those showing the extended editions NOT those showing the 3 movie marathon.

try again please.

BTW, I know this as I called the 2 local theatres listed on that page and they are NOT doing the special event.

Re:Theatres showing whole trilogy??? (1)

PollGuy (707987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416340)

You missed the boat on this, badly. theonering.net had the rumors early on, linked to lists of theaters, noted when the tickets went on sale -- and sold out -- in early October, and has been consoling those who missed out ever since!

bleh (2, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416170)

Do you think they could offer a version that returns to the book continuity, without the gratuitous appearance of Arwen in Rohan and the silly Aragorn dream sequence?

Or am I asking too much?

Re:bleh (2, Funny)

UncleOzzy (158525) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416197)

Return to the book? And make it even *more* boring? You must be mad.

Re:bleh (4, Informative)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416216)

Not to mention the bizzarre little side plot of the Warg battle and Aragorn falling down.

And Theoden being posessed instead of manipulated.

and fscking elves at the battle.

To think they cut out good Ent time for that.

Re:bleh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416297)

... and Faramir taking Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath.

That's the worst offense of all, although I hate the extended Arwen role, too.

I like the movies, but I think it's a shame that the excellence of the book couldn't have been brought out more.

Re:bleh (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416273)

Yes, yes you are.

gaah (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416176)

one movie, TWO movies, the second movie extended, and when i was the library the other day i realized there was even a book about this stuff!

Picking it up today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416193)

Its already available in select stores on DVD - i'm going to pick up my copy later today :-)

Re:Picking it up today (1)

ceenvee703 (655877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416260)

That's the regular edition; the extended edition doesn't ship until Nov 18th.

Am I the only one? (0, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416200)

Who likes buying a DVD and having a movie that is exactly the same as it when first shown in a theatre? While extra scenes and goodies are fun, there is generally a good reason why scenes end up on the the cutting room floor. LOR has gone way overboard trying maximize revenue by marketing an insane amount of releases to their overloyal fans, but people here seem to eat it up.

Re:Am I the only one? (4, Insightful)

frankie (91710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416246)

Who likes buying a DVD and having a movie that is exactly the same as it when first shown in a theatre?

Yes, you are the only one. So go buy it already [mysimon.com] . That version has been available since August.

Any other questions?

Re:Am I the only one? (5, Insightful)

Gestahl (64158) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416249)

I am usually of the same opinion, but for this movie, there is a good reason to have the extended editions and the extras on the disc... it would be *impossible* to fully develop the plot and subtleties of LotR to even reasonable standards within the 9 hours of the normal film. This is PJ's way of giving more to the fans of the book (which he is also). These scenes were cut simply because of time constraints, not because they sucked. Try watching the extended edition of "The Abyss" sometime as another example of a film that was shortened by time. In many ways, this is the exact opposite of what you claim, they are correcting and making up for the fact that they tried to make too much money by making the films shorter and more palatable to a theatre audience, rather than achieving their full vision.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416265)

You don't have to buy the extended version of this movie if you are a purist. They released the 2 disk set not too long ago. For those that like all the extra stuff, they can get the 4 disk set. Something for everyone, eh?

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416278)

Who likes buying a DVD and having a movie that is exactly the same as it when first shown in a theatre? While extra scenes and goodies are fun, there is generally a good reason why scenes end up on the the cutting room floor. LOR has gone way overboard trying maximize revenue by marketing an insane amount of releases to their overloyal fans, but people here seem to eat it up.


How so? If you want the same movie you saw in the theater, you can alway buy the regural edition that was released a while ago. They are just offering the hard-core fans the possibility to buy the extended edition if they want. Regural people can buy the regural edition. I for example never bought any of the regural editions. I bought the extended edition of FoTR and I will buy EE's of TT and RoTK. I REALLY fail to see the problem!

yes you are (0)

bensgroi (630824) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416291)

there's a reason why there's an extended edition -- unlike the previously cut footage in other movies, the new stuff in the LOTR movies add real scenes with real purpose. the reason they were cut in the first place was to keep the length of the movie down. after all, who's gonna sit through a 4-hour movie in the theater?

i saw the extra hour or so added back into FOTR, and i was very impressed. it really fleshed out certain parts of the movie.

i can tell you're not a real LOTR fan. oh yeah, and for whiners like you, the movie was released in its original format months ago

What's the big deal? (2, Interesting)

Kombat (93720) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416207)

I know I'm going to get flamed and mod'ed into oblivion for this, but seriously, what's the big deal about LotR? Why do people lash out viciously at movies that actually make an attempt a real depth (Matrix), while simultaneously holding up the LotR as the cinematic "Gold Standard?" I mean, sure, it's a moderately interesting story, but does it need 9+ hours to be told? Sure, some interesting fights happen along the way, and the effects are great, but are there subtle metaphors, philosophical references, and character dualities (besides Golem, obviously) that I'm missing?

Why do people bitch and complain that the Matrix was too much gobbledygook (translation: they didn't understand, and hate movies that challenge them to think about it anywhere beyond the concession stand on their way out), then act like LotR is this untouchable masterpiece?

There's this ring. It's evil. It has to be destroyed. That's where we left off after the first one. "Two Towers" and 3 hours later, that's STILL where we are. Still got that ring. Still has to be destroyed.

Why is this such amazing work, while the Wachowskis out-of-the-box conclusion to the Matrix (everyone's pretty pissed, but no one expected it, did they now), is seen as hack-work?

I don't get it. I'm not a Tolkien fanboy, but I watched the first two, and I'll watch the third. But there's really nothing cool to discuss about them, is there? The Matrix movies work because there are so many different interpretations of what they mean and how they all interrelate, and it's fun to discuss. But, as far as I can tell, the LotR "is what it is," isn't it? They lay the whole story out there in front of you, and hold your hand. They don't challenge you to try and figure out what the ring really represents, or if maybe, just maybe, the good NEEDS the evil to give it a purpose to exist? The Matrix suggests these kinds of things, but the LotR seems to shy completely away from them, afraid of challenging (and alienating) their audience.

Am I wrong? What gives?

Re:What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416272)

LotR is impressive not necessarily because of the story, but because Tolkien CREATED THREE OR FOUR LANGUAGES and then the entire history to explain them and their cultures. He was a linguistics professor.

The Matrix doesn't really do anything new. It's a watered-down version of lots of different philosophy with imagery from various religions thrown in. If you look at it like a kung fu movie with western sci-fi trappings, it works, but it ISN'T a deep story, and all the questions it asks were taken from somewhere else.

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Interesting)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416285)

Why do people bitch and complain that the Matrix was too much gobbledygook (translation: they didn't understand, and hate movies that challenge them to think about it anywhere beyond the concession stand on their way out), then act like LotR is this untouchable masterpiece?

That's because the two Matrix sequels had most of us thinking about all the gigantic plot holes [dynamicobjects.com] that the LotR books and movies didn't have.

Re:What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

dlevitan (132062) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416289)

Well, part of the problem is that LOTR is being judged differently than the Matrix. When I judge LOTR, I look for how well it captures the book (poorly in some cases), and its cinematography (amazing throughout both of movies). With the Matrix, I judge it by how good the story is and by the cinematography. The problem from my view is that in the Matrix (though I have not seen the last one), the Wachowskis concentrated on the special effects. They're amazing, but they do very little to help the story, and I really don't need to see another fight with 200 Smiths. And then there were many points during Reloaded that I just sat in my seat and asked "When will this end and the story begin" (like the whole dance/sex scene). LOTR just seems to keep me on the edge of my seat the whole time, even though I mostly know the stor already.

So overall, yes, LOTR doesn't have as much philosophy. But the philosophy of the Matrix becomes overshadowed by the lack of good movies. Reloaded seemed more like an action movie than a philosophy movie (which is what the first matrix was really like). LOTR already has a script, and since they're following it pretty closely, most people judge it by its cinematography, while the Matrix needs to have a good script as well.

One word (4, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416331)


Pretentiousness

That's what separates the Rings trilogy from the Matrix's gobbledygook.

They are both fantasy stories, but Rings doesn't try to be much else. Rings isn't trying to mix heavy religious themes, moral allegory (Tolkien himself hated allegory) and pseudo-philosophy into it's storyline. It's just a cool fantasy story.

The Matrix on the other hand, tries to look "deep" and "heavy" where in reality, the themes and ideas it presents have already been exhaustively discussed in PHIL 101. The Matrix trilogy tries so hard to be important that it ends up a parody of itself.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

wizkid (13692) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416335)

The big deal isn't the movies. It's the books.

The books are a literary masterpiece. To make a movie with the details in the books would take 25-30 hours. The movies have hacked out most the details, and are not following the storyline that closely. I've heard talk about doing a movie on this series of books for 30 years, and I never, and still never believe they will be able to make a movie that captures the imagination and imagery created by the Lord of the Rings books.

I have to admit that the movie's a bad hack at the story line. If you really want to know what the story is about, read the books. I still enjoyed the movie, but the books are better.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

sindarin2001 (583716) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416344)

A fun story doesn't HAVE to have a "deep" plot. I venture to question, have you ever read the books? The movies were based on books you know...three of them...three longs books therefore three long movies. Don't get me wrong, I love the Matrix series, it's fun to try and figure everything out, but realize that not every movie HAS to be that way. I like LOTR because it's a fun movie to watch, but at the same time, there are amazing changes inside characters (and maybe that's me being spoiled by reading the novels first). It isn't so much trying to figure out the philosophy of it, but rather trying to figure out the emotion of it.

Yes the ring is evil, throughout the movie/books. The reason that it takes so bloody long is because it's a long bloody way to Mount Doom. I, frankly, would be dissapointed if they could just walk 3/4 of the distance with no conflict, break into Mordor, destroy the ring, and everything would be honky-dory. The conflict is what builds the characters.

Anywho, rather than continueing my rant, I just want to let you know that not all movies have to be the Matrix, just as not all movies have to be LOTR. Each movie is a different creative vision, a difference plot, with a different purpose in mind.

Re:What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

BFedRec (257522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416347)

While matrix has some interesting things to say... I don't think you can compare it to LOTR in it's depth. Maybe it's because I've read the books... but LOTR has much more subtlety, sub-plots, and sub-text than Matrix does. The plot isn't just about that there is a ring that's evil... it's about power, and how it affects people, it's about destiny and fate, it's about the every-man having to step in and do the right thing at his own expense, it's about putting aside differences for the common good, and it's about so much more.
And while the Matrix has some innovative things... you can't really think that all their ideas were totally original can you? much of it is an amalgamation of various sci-fi/fantasy classics like Dune, 1984, and even Lord of the Rings, and mixed in with some eastern philosophy and anime traditions.
The LOTR movies have strayed from the books at times... but have done at least a DECENT job of portraying the story and feel and emotion of the books, and THAT is why they're being held up as such a standard, because the BOOKS are such a standard. And let's be honest... Matrix is largely known for the great fight sequences for a reason... they ARE the bigger part of the movie.
Ok... I'll shut up now, I like both, just don't think Matrix trilogy is as powerful as LOTR.

Yes, but are they going to release... (2, Interesting)

revividus (643168) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416212)

...the "based on the book by J.R.R.Tolkien" edition?

They are still fantastic movies, of course. But when I watched the Two Towers again, recently, with my wife, every time she asked me, "Was that in the book?" I found that I had to say, "Well, no, not really."

Re:Yes, but are they going to release... (1)

danormsby (529805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416277)

Where is Goldberry in the first film anyway? I went to the cinema in boots of yellow any no-one I went with got it.

Extra Footage on seperate DVD release (-1, Flamebait)

red elk (597133) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416219)

It just seems rude and inconsiderate to have 2 releases of each LOTR. Its a sick way to make $$ and a slap in the face to the fans. Show some respect and make one release with everything. The movie industry pulled this shit out of their ass with Star Wars before IV came out... and then re-released 1,2,3 w/ bonus features.

Re:Extra Footage on seperate DVD release (2, Insightful)

LordBodak (561365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416284)

New Line has done a great job of (a) making sure that people know the extended release is coming before the plain release comes out and (b) not duplicating any of the supplemental material on the two releases.

Personally, I think of each movie as being a 6-disc special edition. If they released it that way all at once, the total cost would end up about the same, so what difference does it make?

Re:Extra Footage on seperate DVD release (4, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416288)

How is it rude?

Is it rude for Nissan to offer 3 versions of the Z-350? Or is it extra rude for Cadillac to come out with a V-6 version of the CTS and then release a more expensive V-8 CTS. Or horrors GM comes out with a 70K Corvette called the XLR then later comes out with the real Corvetter for 55K.

"Its a sick way to make $$ and a slap in the face to the fans."

It's not like anyone is forcing anyone to go buy both versions of TTT or FoTR.

The first version is for your casual consumer. The second has extra stuff for your serious fanboy.

Sorry if someone actually coming out with different versions of a DVD for different tastes bothers you to your core.

Re:Extra Footage on seperate DVD release (2, Insightful)

fyonn (115426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416316)


is it too much to ask for patience? do what alot of the rest of us did, wait for the collectors edition. he told us from the start that there would be 2 versions, if you wanted the version with everything all you had to do was wait a few months.

I would say that he isn't just tryinhg to make money there are two different audiences for the lotr films, the normal moviegoers who want it as they saw it, and the lotr fans who want the full thing. he's catering for both and everyone knew it.

so don't complain that he's ripping you off just because you didn't have the patience to wait for the version you wanted when it was well known that it would be around a few months later.

dave

Marathon showings. (4, Informative)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416229)

A complete listing of showings for the marathon can be seen here [lordoftherings.net]

Re:Marathon showings. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416323)

NOT informative.

this is for the extended edition's only not the complete 3 movie marathon.

MY PRECIOUS (-1, Flamebait)

Billistic (722359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416233)

MY PRECIOUS You know when lord of the ring nerds get their hands on all three special editions with directors cuts. They'll sit there watching it all the way through all the while just wacking off until finally its over, and the LOTR nerd is finished and go "yeah that's right."

OMG (-1, Troll)

AcmeShells.com (722366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416244)

Like we need an Even LONGER version of this movie.. give me a break.

pateNTdead eyecon0meter expanded, reviewed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416266)

it's wwworking better than ever. the kode base has become self-updating.

talk about pressure? those fauxking foulcurrs on wall street of deceit/capitollist hill, are having a whoreabull time attempting to hide the news (buy use of phonIE scriptdead ?pr? ?firm? hypenosys) of their felonious payper liesense billyonerrors' latest softwar gangster hostage taking attempts, &/or the adolescent dictator megalomania of the georgewellian fuddites/walking dead perpetraitors of the greed/fear/ego based life0cide against humankind.

for each of the creators' innocents harmed, there is a badtoll that must/will be repaid by you/US, as the aforementioned walking dead will not be available to make reparations, when the big flash occurs.

lookout bullow. the lights are coming up now.

mynuts won: va lairIE/robbIE's whoreabull infactdead PostBlock(tm) devise, fails again&again.

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner. If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down (like with fuddles' hobbyist bouNTy hunter softwar gangster witchhunt 'system'). If you think this is unfair, we don't care. tell 'em robbIE? it's ALL about the monIE?

wheres the spider? (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416283)

In Toklein's TTT, the cliff-hanger ending is Shelob the spider almost ends the quest. I guess Jackson moved this to the part III for some reason or the other.

Re:wheres the spider? (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416310)

In Toklein's TTT, the cliff-hanger ending is Shelob the spider almost ends the quest. I guess Jackson moved this to the part III for some reason or the other.

Jackson took the cliffhanger ending out of FotR too. I suppose if the audience has sat three hours for a movie and won't see the next one for nearly a year, he figured ending it on a cliffhanger wouldn't sit well with them.

Re:wheres the spider? (0)

musikit (716987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416321)

i heard it was because of harry potter having a spider scene. they didn't want two spider scenes in two movies released right next to each other

Thr Ring Cycle -Seeing the Uber-cut in the theatre (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416292)

I haven't seen the extended FOTR being reissued for a theatre? Does it even exist as a real print, as opposed to the digitally assembled master for the DVDs? I haven't heard of it being available other than as DVD.

However the thought of three Uber-editions running sequentially in a theatre (think a total of a tad over 11 hours running time) would bring a whole new meaning to the Ring Cycle and endurance. Even Germans, raised on Wagnerian opera may have problems there (usually the other Ring is shown on consecutive nights so you get serious R&R imbetween performances).

In any case, it kind of dwarfs the other trilogies that have been shown of late (i.e., Matrix).

ITS OUT ONLINE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7416296)

DVD-R is out.. so for those that have connections we get it early :P

Extended Versions Are Good... (0, Offtopic)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416305)

...hopefully they purchased the extended version of the warranty on their web server as well, now that Slashdot's melted it as if it were dropped directly into the Crack of Doom!

Waiting for combo-movie directors cut (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416314)

I presume all three movies plus outtakes can be molded into a 12-15 hour special edition. I'd guess there is certain "background material" out there like the description of Hobbittown, the doom of the elves, the earlier wars, etc. that has been filmed, and can be more creatively presented in an expanded edition.

Why See the Movie When You Can Wait for the DVD? (3, Insightful)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416322)

I've seen only a portion of the trilogy (saw part of "The Two Towers" while snowbound at a con in Baltimore), but my feeling has been to wait until "Return of the King" comes out on DVD, and then collect the set in a Super Extended mode.

My wife brought up a good point: if the DVD(s) is will be stoked with so many "extra features", how much of an effect will that have on getting people to see the movie? Why bother going at all?

the real question is... (-1)

m1chael (636773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7416325)

are their funny orc outtakes?

i would love to see some in the vain of the pixar movies.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?