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The Two Towers Rocks.

Not that we expected anything less, but I'm pleased to report that Jackson didn't drop the ball on this one--absolutely fantastic, better than the first one, emotionally draining, and possessing of the best siege scenes ever filmed. (It makes me wonder what Kurosawa could've done with a huge budget and today's tech, actually.)

Actually, some of the best parts I think were ones that weren't in the book--the scenes where Elrond tells Arwen what awaits her if she stays in Middle-Earth with a mortal were, for me, absolutely wrenching--the cinematography was beautiful, looked like a Pre-Raphaelite painting, all flowing black veils and marble. (And I managed to get through almost all of it without thinking "You can't...marry my daughter...Mister...Aragorn...") Much as I respect Tolkien, I think this is the first time I actually understood what happened in the Two Towers so clearly--previously it was just a blur of fight, fight, Ents, fight, Gollum, fight, fight, Wormtongue, fight. Now it actually made sense, even if they cropped it a bit early to avoid cliff-hanging as badly as the book. Jackson did a profoundly good job all around.

Legolas did a one-handed swing-around-the-horse's-neck mounting scene that left James and I going "WHOAA! Go, elfboy!" Gimli was fantastic--the joke is that James is really a dwarf at heart, (at least, he always plays one in RPGs) and this reinforced that completely--he'd've been right there hacking up orcs. (A friend suggests that Gimli's comic relief-ness might've been annoying otherwise, but knowing our personal dwarf as we do, it fit so well!) I realize that being female, I am obligated to pass judgement on who was the cutest male in a primarily all male line-up (at least, it seems to be traditional) and I'm going to vote Faramir. I liked Boromir, I like his brother, and while Aragorn is ungodly cool, some people are too noble to live with comfortably. Emer and poor Glorfindel were also fantastic--I'm wondering where the hell Jackson found dozens of long-haired guys who are all handsome in completely different ways. Actually, while I'm on the subject, all the actors were superb--Theodan was amazing, and I actually felt bad for Wormtongue when he realized that he sold out humanity to the enemy.

But absolutely, and positively, the most impressive part?

They got Ian McKellan to ride a bloody horse bareback at a gallop for at least twenty scenes. My nether regions ache with sympathy, and I'm less than half his age and the wrong gender.

It was worth the wait.

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Yepyep! Jackson has done a near-perfect job, no doubt about it. The siege of Helm's Deep had me twitching and desperately wanting a sword in my hand. (20 years in the SCA) It seems to me that all the deviations Jackson made from the strict form of the book were mainly for the sake of clarity and a fuller understanding of the story, and there's no way anyone can fault him for that. I'm going back and reading the trilogy again now (and the Simarillion) and I am actually enjoying them more because of the movies.

Ahh... so looking forward to it. Most of the critics localy panned it (2.5 Stars in the San Jose Mercury News), but ALL of my friends are falling all over themselves in praise. all of the folks on the professional 3D mailing list I am on were like "wow.... ONG... Wow... Gollum... Wow.." I'll see it tomorrow. (durrool durool)

As someone who rides a fair amount, well actually, the gallop is pretty comfortable, if you have any rhythmn. It's the trot that makes one sorry you are a man, which is why they invented "posting" (so you look like a goof, but aren't in constant pain.) I do"U.S. Cavalry re-enacting and the Cav saddle has some "relief", which is nocefor a serviceman who has to spend all the daylight hour in the saddle, minus 20 minutes per hour, walking the horse.


didjya know...

My partner, [ginch]whom dressed Miranda Otto and David Wendham for their Australian Harpers Bazaar intervews [/ginch], found out that the actor playing Gimli, John Ryhs Davies, is about 6'9" tall?
It makes it that much more amazing to watch sometimes...

*picks jaw off floor*

Yup, I did know that, as well as Ian Holm not being a short man either it seriously weirded me out last year, because i was looking for matte lines and didn't see one.


I think it was so much better than the first one. And just as an NZer, they did a really great job with the backgrounds. Even I couldn't tell where some of it had been filmed. And my vote is for Legolas, although he was so random at times.

They got Ian McKellan to ride a bloody horse bareback at a gallop for at least twenty scenes. My nether regions ache with sympathy, and I'm less than half his age and the wrong gender.

And just after declaring my true nature, I find I have to make a comment. Woe. I don't think he was actually bareback in the first place. He is in brief cutaways, but every time he's galloping his cloak was carefully flowing behind him and down his sides so you couldn't see anything.

I'll still have to vote Aragorn, though. It's that stubble. And I love a man who can handle himself in a fight against five unkillable creatures of pure evil or ten thousand people bigger than him with spears. I don't think I could do that. One or two, sure. Maybe even three, I'd make an effort. I sort of run out of places to start by the time you hit five.

Riding bareback

I hate to burst your bubble, but in the movie, Gandalf often did have some sort of saddle-like contraption to sit on. I hang out with costuming folks and they can get pretty obsessive about little details in obscure photos...so they were all going "and it that scene where his cloak rides up so you can see the mini saddle, you can also see yada yada" when I hadn't even noticed. You can still believe he's riding barebac if you want though...after all, that's what it says in the books and that was the effect they were trying to achieve.

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