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'Towers' collectors' DVD

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    Towers collectors DVD runs a spell longer By Susan Wloszczyna USA TODAY Boromir lives! Admirers of manly actor Sean Bean will rejoice, if somewhat briefly,
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 12, 2003
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      'Towers' collectors' DVD runs a spell longer
      By Susan Wloszczyna USA TODAY

      Boromir lives!

      Admirers of manly actor Sean Bean will rejoice, if somewhat briefly, when
      the three-hour, 43-minute extended cut of last year's No. 2 box-office hit
      The Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers reaches shelves in a four-DVD
      collection on Nov. 18. One of the year's most-anticipated DVD releases is
      timed to the release Dec. 17 of The Return of the King, the final film based
      on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy trilogy.

      USA TODAY got an early preview in Wellington, New Zealand, last week at
      director Peter Jackson's private screening room. Though a two-DVD set with
      the original three-hour Towers arrives on shelves Aug. 26, Rings completists
      will find plenty of fresh Middle-earth fodder in the longer version.

      Bean's ring-craving Boromir, slain at the end of 2001's The Fellowship of
      the Ring, is resurrected in a lengthy DVD flashback after brother Faramir
      (David Wenham) finds a boat bearing his body.

      Not only is there more Bean to savor, but the twisted emotional ties that
      ensnare ruler Denethor (New Zealand actor John Noble, who officially joins
      the cast in King), his favorite son, Boromir, and scapegoat Faramir also are
      exposed. The scenes also help explain why the noble Faramir is rather rude
      when he meets heroic hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin).

      Other DVD additions to the middle tale that heighten the drama and lighten
      the mood:

      * Rohan horseman Eomer (Karl Urban) finds his mortally wounded cousin
      Theodred and brings him home, where his subsequent death goes all but
      unnoticed by his spell-stunned father, King Theoden (Bernard Hill).

      * The plight of Eowyn (Miranda Otto), Eomer's sister, deepens as she sings a
      mournful dirge during Theodred's funeral. Meanwhile, her unrequited passion
      for visiting warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) is further inflamed when he
      tames an unruly horse by whispering sweet nothings in Elvish.

      * There are more tree treats as the once-truncated encounter between ancient
      Treebeard the Ent and hobbits Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Merry (Dominic
      Monaghan) stretches its limbs. At one point, Treebeard's droning rumble of a
      voice causes the halflings in his branches to become drowsy.

      * Jackson injects much fun with food and beverage. Eowyn, not especially
      deft in the kitchen, serves Aragorn a vile-looking bowl of homemade stew,
      which he politely chokes down. Boromir and Faramir share a couple of victory
      brews, and one declares in beer-ad fashion, "Today, life is good." Pippin
      and Merry greedily guzzle the magical elixir known as Ent-draught, adding
      inches to their wee stature.

      The most surprising revelation in the longer Two Towers? That
      hale-and-hunksome Aragorn is 87 years old. Maybe it's something in that
      stew.
    • David S. Bratman
      ... The increased prominence given to the death of Theodred is the only way I thought the movie improved on the book, so a little more of that might even be
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 12, 2003
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        Susan Wloszczyna USA TODAY wrote:

        >* Rohan horseman Eomer (Karl Urban) finds his mortally wounded cousin
        >Theodred and brings him home, where his subsequent death goes all but
        >unnoticed by his spell-stunned father, King Theoden (Bernard Hill).

        The increased prominence given to the death of Theodred is the only way I
        thought the movie improved on the book, so a little more of that might even
        be good.


        >* There are more tree treats as the once-truncated encounter between ancient
        >Treebeard the Ent and hobbits Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Merry (Dominic
        >Monaghan) stretches its limbs. At one point, Treebeard's droning rumble of a
        >voice causes the halflings in his branches to become drowsy.

        Sounds jolly. (Not.)


        >* Jackson injects much fun with food and beverage. Eowyn, not especially
        >deft in the kitchen, serves Aragorn a vile-looking bowl of homemade stew,
        >which he politely chokes down.

        Is this supposed to explain why he doesn't fall in love with her?
        (Remember, J-Aragorn is no longer engaged to J-Arwen.)

        "Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
        She cannot cook, you now discover?"
        - Richard Armour


        >Boromir and Faramir share a couple of victory
        >brews, and one declares in beer-ad fashion, "Today, life is good."

        Dialogue that sounds like beer ads, instead of like Tolkien - yes, that
        adequately summarizes Jackson's main problem.


        >The most surprising revelation in the longer Two Towers? That
        >hale-and-hunksome Aragorn is 87 years old. Maybe it's something in that
        >stew.

        Only a revelation if you haven't read the book. But I gather from the
        author's surprise that the film doesn't bother to explain the reason he
        looks so young at that age. Better they should have left the matter out
        entirely, then.


        - David Bratman
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