The Top 63 Marathon, part 36
Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Length: 179 minutes (theatrical cut)
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair & Peter Jackson, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring: Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, Miranda Otto, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Karl Urban, David Wenham, Elijah Wood
Music: Howard Shore
Distinctions: Oscars for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Editing; Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Editing and Best Sound; currently #31 on the IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a fantasy world is at war, and two “unlikely heros” try to get past enemy lines
How I saw it: in the theater (probably a couple times), c. 2002; on video many times (have extended cut on DVD), most recently yesterday (theatrical cut, rented from Netflix)
Concept: Indifferent. The complete awfulness of the million attempts at ripping off The Lord of the Rings are pretty good evidence that the basic idea’s not actually that good.
Dialog: Bad. Good at getting the story across, but oh so corny.
Pacing: Indifferent. What can you say to the pacing of these movies? It’s three hours long, and feels three hours long, but at the same time it’s crazy impressive that it works as well as it does.
Cinematography: Indifferent. Enough with the blue filter!
Special effects/design: Great. I’m kind of shocked, though, at how dated it already is. Gollum actually looks pretty crude next to what Pixar’s done recently.
Acting: Indifferent. Such a mixed bag. Everything from Oscar-worthy performances to near-unwatchable terribleness.
Music: Good. It hurts me a little to give this movie’s score a positive rating. I hate hate hate the way Jackson handled the music for these movies. But I have to admit that, for what it is, it could hardly have been a better score.
Subjective Rating: 9/10 (One of my favorites). My favorite of the trilogy. I find it strangely difficult to judge as a film, though; I can’t help watching it as a geek.
Objective Rating: 2.6/4 (Good).