: : : The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

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The extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was perhaps the most comprehensive DVD release to date, and its follow-up proves a similarly colossal achievement, with significant extra footage and a multitude of worthwhile bonus features. The extended version of The Two Towers adds 43 minutes to the theatrical version's 179-minute running time, and there are valuable additions to the film. Two new scenes might appease those who feel that the characterization of Faramir was the film's most egregious departure from the book, and fans will appreciate an appearance of the Huorns at Helm's Deep plus a nod to the absence of Tom Bombadil. Seeing a little more interplay between the gorgeous Eowyn and Aragorn is welcome, as is a grim introduction to Eomer and Theoden's son. And among the many other additions, there's an extended epilogue that might not have worked in the theater, but is more effective here in setting up The Return of the King. While the 30 minutes added to The Fellowship of the Ring felt just right in enriching the film, the extra footage in The Two Towers at times seems a bit extraneous--we see moments that in the theatrical version we had been told about, and some fleshed-out conversations and incidents are rather minor. But director Peter Jackson's vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's world is so marvelous that it's hard to complain about any extra time we can spend there.

While it may seem that there would be nothing left to say after the bevy of features on the extended Fellowship, the four commentary tracks and two discs of supplements on The Two Towers remain informative, fascinating, and funny, far surpassing the recycled materials on the two-disc theatrical version. Highlights of the 6.5 hours' worth of documentaries offer insight on the stunts, the design work, the locations, and the creation of Gollum, and--most intriguing for rabid fans--the film's writers (including Jackson) discuss why they created events that weren't in the book. Providing variety are animatics, rough footage, countless sketches, and a sound-mixing demonstration. Again, the most interesting commentary tracks are by Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and by 16 members of the cast (eight of whom didn't appear in the first film, and even including John Noble, whose Denethor character only appears in this extended cut). The first two installments of Peter Jackson's trilogy have established themselves as the best fantasy films of all time, and among the best film trilogies of all time, and their extended-edition DVD sets have set a new standard for expanding on the already-epic films and providing comprehensive bonus features. --David Horiuchi

DVD Features

  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS 6.1 ES), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • DISCS 1-2: The Feature:
  • A new version of the second installment includes 43 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the film. (approx. 223 minutes)
  • Commentary track by writer-director Peter Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens
  • Commentary track by the design team
  • Commentary track by the production/post-production team
  • Commentary track by 16 cast members, including Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Bernard Hill, and Miranda Otto
  • DISCS 3-4: The Appendices:
  • Two discs with hours of original content including multiple documentaries and design/photo galleries with thousands of images to give viewers an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • DISC 3:
  • Adapting the book into a screenplay & planning the film
  • Designing and inspiration for locations in Middle-earth
  • Storyboards to pre-visualization
  • Weta Workshop visit: See sculptors in action as they create weapons, armor, creatures, and miniatures from the film
  • Atlas of Middle-earth tracing the journey of the Fellowship
  • An interactive map of New Zealand highlighting the location scouting process
  • Galleries of art and slideshows with commentaries by the artists
  • DISC 4:
  • Sending the actors into battle: sword fighting
  • Principal photography: Stories from the set
  • Digital effects including motion capture and the computer program to create the armies of Orcs
  • Bigatures: a close-up look at the miniatures
  • Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and personal cast photos
  • Post-Production: editing it all together
  • Sound design demonstration
  • DVD-ROM Content: Includes access to exclusive online features

Cast

Bruce AllpressAldor
Sean AstinSamwise 'Sam' Gamgee
John BachMadril
Sala BakerMan Flesh Uruk
Cate BlanchettGaladriel
Orlando BloomLegolas Greenleaf
Billy BoydPeregrin 'Pippin' Took
Jed BrophySharku / Snaga
Sam ComeryÉothain
Brad DourifGrima Wormtongue
Calum GittinsHaleth
Bernard HillTheoden
Bruce HopkinsGamling
Paris Howe StreweThéodred - Prince of Rohan
Christopher LeeSaruman the White
Nathaniel LeesUglúk
John LeighHáma
Robbie MagasivaHauhur
Robyn MalcolmMorwen
Ian McKellenGandalf
Dominic MonaghanMeriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck
Viggo MortensenAragorn
Miranda OttoEowyn
Craig ParkerHaldir
Bruce PhillipsRohan Soldier
Robert PollockMordor Orc
John Rhys-DaviesGimli / Voice of Treebeard
And SerkisGollum
Olivia TennetFreda
Ray TrickettBereg
Liv TylerArwen
Karl UrbanEomer
Stephen UreGrishnákh
Hugo WeavingElrond
David WenhamFaramir
Elijah WoodFrodo Baggins
Victoria Beynon-ColeHero Orc
Lee HartleyHero Orc
Philip GrieveHero Orc
Billy JacksonCute Rohan Refugee Child
Katie JacosonCute Rohan Refugee Child
Sean BeanBoromir (extended edition)
John NobleDenethor (extended edition) (as John Nogle)
Peter JacksonRohirrim Warrior (uncredited)

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10

Peter Jackson's extraordinary telling of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy epic The Lord of the...

Read The Book, Loved The Movies TheLordOfTheRingsTheTwoTowers
  • Genre: Fantasy Movies
  • Theme(s): Fantasy
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Producer: New Line
  • Length: 179 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaDec 18, 2002
    EuropeDec 11, 2002
    JapanFeb 15, 2003
    AustraliaDec 19, 2002
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe12
    AustraliaM
  • Blu-ray Release
    North AmericaSep 14, 2010
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaNov 18, 2003
  • Also known as:
  • Rôdo obu za ringu - Futatsu no tô in Japan
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