Last night didn’t entirely turn into the marathon we were hoping, so we watched everythin but the last forty minutes last night, then gave up at 1am to continue today. Which we did.
Without a doubt, the high-def transfer of Two Towers knocks the Fellowship out of the ring. It’s glorious to look at, with everything comng across as shinier and more detailed than before. We even spotted some rats skulking next to the weak point in Helms’ Deep, which we’d never noticed before!
The movie itself remains the most satisfying. Two Towers is in the always happy middle part of the trilogy, so things can go wrong but don’t wholly need resolving, and we can learn more about the characters, and there’s a little more time and room for the script to tease out a few more details about the people, hobbits, elves and dwarves (drawrfs?) that we’re spending 10-12 hours with.
We see far more of dwarf Gimli and elf-totty Legolas as they become interacial bantering companions, and hilarious battlefield rivals. Aragorn’s love for Eowyn is tested, a bit, by a feisty shieldmaiden, and his love scenes provide the necessary halfway through toilet break yet again! Sam and Frodo trudge on to Mount Doom with unlikely help from insane ex-Ring-bearer, Gollum, whose CGI character evolves into something breathtakingly impressive every time he appears.Oh, and Gandalf gets a new look.
There’s still lots to enjoy and I’m not quite as familiar with Two Towers as with Fellowship, given that I neve rhad to watch this one over and over for Dissertation research in 2004. But there’s still plenty to giggle at – the King of Rohan (Bernard Hill) sniffing, “is this all you have, Saruman?” shortly before an orc loaded with a HUGE BOMB completely destroys the defensive wall, is a particular favourite. No one tempts fate like King Theoden. And thanks to Star Trek I have a new appreciation for Karl Urban, who before he was mcCoy played the exiled son of Theoden, who has a penchant for big hats with spare hair on the top.
At the very end it’s hard not to feel a thrill of expectation, as Sam and Frodo continue on their way to the dangers of Mount Doom, led by the increasingly treacherous Gollum. It’s sad to remember now that I first saw this eight long years ago, and we still didn’t know how badly paced the final part of this epic was going to turn out!
But that’s for next time. Probably tomorrow.