September 5, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 5  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Lord of the DVDs: The Two Towers hits the small screen

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE MOVIE, AT LEAST WATCH IT FOR LIV. Liv Tyler stars as the Elven hottie in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is already considered a filmmaking classic - and the third installment won't even reach theatres until December.

Therefore, it was with great fanfare that the second movie, The Two Towers, was released last week in a two-disc DVD set loaded with special features.

Besides the film itself, the behind-the-scenes "making of" segment is the most fulfilling for hard-core fans of the films. Rife with cast and crew interviews and footage detailing special effects, the building of sets and the shooting of action sequences, the segment gives a true representation of just how much work (and apparent danger) went into creating the movies.

For example, The Two Towers' climactic, hour long battle scene at Helms' Deep took four months to shoot, which the narrator points out is often the average length for shooting entire movies.

The DVD touts a preview of the final film, Return of the King. At a measly 10 minutes, most of which is consumed with Jackson talking to the cameras, this featurette leaves viewers feeling a little cheated.

Fans might feel even more cheated to learn the four-disc special edition of The Two Towers (which is packaged with tons of deleted scenes,) comes out in November. The current two-disc version even presents an ad for it (an utterly shameless move, given many will feel they've wasted their money on a lesser edition).

Nevertheless, the two-disc edition has plenty of treats for those too anxious to wait a couple months for something better. Additional features include a short film by Sean Astin (who plays Frodo’s sidekick Sam) and a "making of" piece on the short, which LOTR cast members all chipped in to produce.

By far though, the centre-piece of this DVD set is the movie itself. While it's best experienced in a theatre, the movie is as captivating and visually brilliant as any film ever made. For anyone who doesn't own a movie collection, this would be the place to start.

 

 

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