Lord of the Ring, The: The Two Towers B+
The second chapter of Peter Jackson’s landmark epic, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” differs in narrative and tone from the first one, “”The Fellowship of the Ring.”
In this middle segment, the emphasis is more on battles and action set-pieces than on plot or character development. “The Two Towers,” impressive as it is technically, feels like a middle chapter, mediating between the protags of the first film and the events they would encounter in the third and last one.
In their parallel journeys, the Fellowship stands against the powerful forces spreading from the Two Towers, Orthanc Tower in Isengard, where Saruman has bred a lethal army of 10,000 strong; and Sauron’s fortress at Barad-dûr, deep within the dark lands of Mordor.
In mood and visuals, “The Two Towers” is darker and more somber than “Fellowship of the Ring,” plunging Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) into an environment of war and waste.
Frodo must destroy the malevolent ring of power in the burning area of Mount Doom before it falls into evil hands. Gollum (voiced by Andy Serkis), who had once possessed the ring, offers to guide them.
Meanwhile, the band is split, and fellow hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) are held captive by the awful Uruk-bai, the warrior beasts created by the wicked wizard Saruman (vet Christopher Lee, in a part that fits him like a silk glove).
Also returning to the saga is the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), with white hair and appearance altered by the encounter with a fire beast.
In yet another site, the warrior Aragon (Viggo Mortensen) and his buddies, Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and Legolas (handsomer Orlando Bloom), are on their way to the Kingdom of Rohan, which means they have to face the Uruk-hai military.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers culminates in the astonishing battle for the refuge, Helm’s Deep, the Kingdom of Rohan’s ancient large stone fortress, besieged by Uruk-hai warriors.
To fully understand “The Two Towers,” it’s crucial to watch the first film as some of that film’s characters reappear briefly, while others are new to the saga, such as princess Eowyn (Mirando Otto), who becomes Aragon’s romantic interest.
“The Two Towers” won two Oscars: Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Trilogy Blu-rai DVD
The Oscar-winning franchise arrived on Blu-ray Disc for the first time on April 6, 2010. It contains the original theatrical versions of the three films with more than 7 hours of special features.
The Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, one of the most spectacular epic adventures in film history, can now be seen as never before when all three of Peter Jackson’s visual masterpieces appear in Blu-ray Disc April 6 as The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy. The nine-disc set is bund to reawaken the powerful connection that fans have to these films through rich, robust colors and crisp sound that home audiences can only experience on Blu-ray Disc.
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy includes digital copies of each film on three separate discs and will also be BD-Live enabled, offering exciting new interactive possibilities. The highly anticipated release precedes Warner Interactive Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest videogame launch.
The Lord of the Rings, the highest grossing adventure film franchise ever, began with the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
The Trilogy’s Blu-ray release captures the enduring Fellowship and ultimate sacrifice while enhancing the chaos and destruction of Middle-earth, delivering a visual feast that will not soon, if ever, find its equal. Of the 30 total Oscar Award nominations the three The Lord of the Rings movies received, they won a record 17 Oscar Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and 8 others for the third film.
Based on the best-selling novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, Jackson’s movie trilogy is an epic journey of men, hobbits, elves, dwarves and the rest of Middle-earth’s creatures and cultures. The films chronicle the struggle of good versus evil with fantastic special effects and a strong emotional center.
The Trilogy debuts at a time when consumers are rapidly adopting Blu-ray Disc. According to third quarter figures compiled by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), in 2009 Blu-ray Disc set-top player sales grew 112 percent over the same period last year and this holiday season consumers can expect to see Blu-ray player prices starting around $100, making it that much easier for home audiences to see the films they love the way they were meant to be seen. Blu-ray devices are projected to be in 15 million U.S. homes by the end of this year.
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy will also be available day and date on Video on Demand from cable and satellite providers. The films will be offered for electronic download from online retailers including iTunes, Microsoft Xbox LIVE, Zune marketplace and Amazon Video on Demand.
Additionally, Warner Consumer Products has teamed up with top licensees Games Workshop Ltd., Tonner Doll Company, Inc., Sideshow Collectibles, The Noble Collection, WETA, Pez Candy, Funko, LLC, Bioworld Merchandising Inc. and WMS Gaming to create an array of merchandise supporting The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, including apparel and accessories, novelties and collectibles, stationery and paper goods, toys and games.
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, slated for launch in spring 2010, will allow players to become the legendary Aragorn and embark on his greatest adventures through The Lord of the Rings trilogy. For the first time ever, The Lord of the Rings comes to Wii™, delivering action-packed motion controlled game play that takes full advantage of the Wii Remote and Nunchu. The game features accessible and authentic The Lord of the Rings game play designed for fans of all ages to enjoy together. The game will also debut for PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo DS™ and the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. Beyond The Lord of the Rings: Aragon’s Quest, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) will publish multiple games across many genres designed to appeal to a wide range of unique gamers, including hard-core RPG fans as well as families. Consumers who purchase The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest will find a coupon inside for $10 off The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy. Similarly, consumers who purchase the Trilogy will find a coupon inside for $5 off The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest.
Trilogy of Films
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy tells the story of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a hobbit who battles against the Dark Lord Sauron to save his world, Middle-earth, from the grip of evil. In the films, Frodo and his fellowship of friends and allies embark on a desperate journey to rid Middle-earth of the source of Sauron’s greatest strength, the One Ring — a ring that has the power to enslave the inhabitants of Middle-earth.
Beside Wood, the films star Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, featuring Sean Bean, and Ian Holm, with Andy Serkis as Gollum. The films also star Marton Csokas, Craig Parker and Lawrence Makaoare.
Two Towers DVD: Special Features:
Feature Disc (BD)
o Teaser [HD]
o Theatrical Trailer [HD]
o “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer [HD]
Bonus Disc (SD)
* On the Set “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”
* Starz Encore Special:Return to Middle-earth: WB Special
* ”The Long and Short of It” A Short Film Directed by Sean Astin
* The Making of ”The Long and Short of It”
* lordoftherings.net Featurettes
o Forces of Darkness
o Designing the Sounds of Middle-earth
o Edoras: The Rohan Capital
o Creatures of Middle-earth
o Gandalf the White
o Arms and Armor
o The Battle of Helm’s Deep
o Bringing Gollum to Life
* TV Spots
o New Power
o One World Review
o The Wait is Over
o Review B/Golden Globes
o Supreme Review
o Review A/Globe
o Good Top 10
o Top 10 Review
* Emiliana Torrini ”Gollum’s Song” Music Video
* Special Extended DVD Edition Preview
* Behind the Scenes Preview of ”The Return of the King”
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