July 29, 2003

The Two Plotlines

I’m thinking about breaking my plan to read each of the Lord of the Rings books before each movie comes out. Two Towers the book ends in a radically different place than Two Towers the movie and I think that played a large part in my less-than-enthusiastic attitude toward the film. That and the fact the the true awesomeness of Shadowfax was not adequately depicted and the Ents were portrayed more as doddering whimpy fools rather than the majestic and wise saviors they should have been.

In any case, I’ll have to wait to read Return of the King until after I see Return of the King in order to keep myself blissfully ignorant of any plot inconsistencies.


I’ll admit a slight disappointment with “Two Towers” but that was in comparison to “Fellowship of the Ring” which, in my opinion, is one of the best films of all time. All things considered, the “Two Towers” was an exceptional film that’s scope of production was visually mesmerizing and story development remained strong. Yes, the Ents seemed somewhat weak initially, but they more than redeemed themselves at the conclusion when they attacked the towers of Isanguard (???). I was moved, but the Two Towers and although I only saw it once, I look forward to the extended edition that Peter Jackson has developed that will be released on DVD in November.

Please don’t get me started on Matrix Reloaded though which I have written off as one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen. I know you enjoyed this film quite a bit and I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble. From every perspective, Reloaded felt very, very weak to me. My excitement for the third picture, Revolutions, is exceptionally low.

Without sounding like a cinema snob, I’m turning more and more to independent films for relief. The best films I’ve seen this year have all been independent: 28 Days (Fox Searchlight), Man on the Train, and The Man Without a Past. With the exception of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (which I saw with Walt), every movie that I’ve seen opening night (with the other fanatics) has been a major disappointment.

Rachelle Bowden

i am so fortunate to have not ONE, not TWO, but THREE indie/art/foreign film theaters within a short walking distance of my apartment. It’s almost all that I see now.

Wow, the Angelika Film Center looks quite impressive. Fortunately we’re lucky to have some excellent ones in the San Francisco area including the Lumiere, The Clay, The Opera Plaza Cinema, the San Rafael Film Center (recently remodeled, a must see!), and, most famously, the Castro.

Mark Nichols

When ever I read the Lord of the Rings (hasn’t everyone read it more than once?) I find that the Two Towers disappoints. Originally it was written as one book, but the publisher felt that a 1500 page volume wouldn’t sell. So it was split into three volumes. Tolkien was not happy with this but he had no choice.

So your dissatisfaction with the “ending” of the Two Towers maybe in part to the artificial break in the story line. Even though the movies have broken from the story in some places, I am very pleased with the overall “trueness” of its telling. I never imagined Rivendell so clearly and perfectly as Peter Jackson and company did in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Read all three books and savory Tolkien’s amazing story. Then watch the movie and accept that it will never be quite as good. But be pleased it is good at all.