Thanks to Ronny [friend and fellow gamer], I’m finally getting to see the extended version of The Two Towers [Dec. 2004]. Tammie [ex-wife] and I have managed to find time to watch an hour of it each night the past two nights, with one “installment” left to go. With the Fellowship of the Ring’s extended version, I found the new and extended scenes of mixed quality. There were occasions, like with the lengthy narrative about the Shire at the beginning, where I felt editing actually had improved the movie. So far I’m enjoying the new scenes much more with the Two Towers. Indeed, just last night I watched Faramir’s flashback to the last time he saw Boromir and thought it was great! We definitely need more, not less, of this actor in the best role of his life. Such a shame the Tolkein estate probably wouldn’t go for a Boromir miniseries…The only new sour note I’ve experienced so far is the added scene where Aragorn doesn’t like Eowyn’s cooking. I find it hard to believe that a ranger, accustomed to eating in the wild, would have such a sensitive pallet. Some of the sour notes from the first movie remain. Poor, noble Gimli, still being used for comic relief! Even with additional scenes, Merry and Pippin’s journey still isn’t that interesting. The Two Towers is still a weaker film than The Fellowship of the Ring, in my estimation.
Also worth mentioning, as someone who hasn’t read the novels in over a decade, are the “movie-goers guides” at The Encyclopedia of Arda Web site (http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm ). It’s rather remarkable just how unrelated to the novel much of the second movie is, and this is a one-stop source for reading about all the points of departure.
The movie-goers guide I mentioned talks at length about how the deleted scene does much to restore Faramir’s character from the novels, but equally changes Boromir into something different from the novels — now a spy sent to infiltrate and recover the ring, rather than a wandering hero who happens to be seduced by the ring.