Saturday, 1 August 2015

Film Review: The Two Towers, Part 2

Last week's post saw us dipping into the beginning of The Two Towers. It's a middle film so it's pretty much all action from the go, since they figure you've seen the first one already and know who everyone is.

We've already been introduced to the gang in Rohan so now it's time to come face to face with another new character; Treebeard! As well as a reunion with a familiar face, who's had a costume change.

66. So we can assume that Merry and Pippin are inside Fangorn Forest.

67. We get confirmation of this as we flick back to the previous night when Merry and Pippin entered the forest, followed by an Orc.

68. The forest looks quite creepy, but I suppose I'd probably run in there too if there was an Orc after me.

69. It's not looking good for Merry, until the tree Pippin is clinging to suddenly opens its eyes. Wait. What?

70. And then the tree grabs Pippin, stands on the Orc and saves Merry. Unfortunately he thinks they're 'little Orcs'.

71. Hehe, Pippin's 'It's talking Merry, the tree is talking' and 'Don't talk to it Merry, don't encourage it'.

72. Whenever I read the books now, Treebeard's voice is John Rhys Davies's voice. He's got it perfect.

73. Treebeard gets riled quite quickly, considering what a slow race he comes from.

74. And so they come face to face with the White Wizard.

75. And another cliffhanger because we're back to Frodo and Sam now. Just like in the book I can't help but feel a bit annoyed, I want more Merry and Pippin.

76. Gollum's brought Frodo and Sam to the Dead Marshes. This is what bits of the Estate look like after a few days of heavy rain (minus the dead bodies, of course).

77. Poor Gollum's feeling a bit peckish right now. He's found a nice worm though.

78. He does not appreciate Lembas though.

79. Gollum's quite the dramatic little guy, isn't he: 'We must STAAAARRVE!!!'

80. Having Frodo, Gollum and the Ring together is kind of like having a couple and one of their exes on a road trip; Gollum's longing to get back together with the Ring, but Frodo's not going to let that happen.

81. The dead faces in the water is superbly creepy.

82. It's cool how Frodo just falls straight in, like a log going down.

83. The dead things under the water are even creepier when viewed in the water, rather than just above it.

84. And that's why pitying Gollum is a good thing, because he might just save your life. Once or twice.

85. Frodo, stop stroking the Ring.

86. I like Gollum's little rhymes. I've got one of the talking Gollum figurines and he says his little rhymes too. I used to press the button over and over to get him to say them.

87. Frodo's just reminded Gollum that he used to be Sméagol. It's almost a nice moment, until they're interrupted by Black Riders flying overhead and Frodo collapses, having a little fit.

88. Gollum seems to know a bit about the Black Riders. Insider knowledge, perhaps?

89. Now it's back to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, they're in the forest and they're not happy at Gimli waving his axe around.

90. Hehe, Gimli's not sure why the Elves would go to the bother of teaching trees to talk.

91. And now there's a White Wizard approaching. That can only be one person, right?

92. Oh look, it's... Gandalf?

93. I wonder if the glowing thing is something he acquired when he became 'the White' or if he's always been able to do.

94. So he has to fill us in on what he's been up to while he was away. Battling a Balrog in a fight to the death, until he was sent back because his task in Middle-earth has not been fulfilled.

95. I like his little smile as he remembers that he used to be known as Gandalf.

96. The trio don't seem to be too concerned about the Hobbits now they've met Gandalf. He's obviously given them a job.

97. Gandalf is really like a cunning chess player, moving players around the board of Middle-earth to make things happen the way he thinks he should.

98. He's full of reassurances. Merry and Pippin are safer than the rest of them. Well, that's something.

99. And now Gandalf's got an all white look, he needs a matching horse. It looks like a unicorn, sans horn. I clearly know nothing about horses.

100. Off for another ride now. This time to Edoras. More beautiful scenery and stirring music.

101. Back to Merry and Pippin who are being uh... entertained... by Treebeard's poetry.

102. Merry looks thrilled.

103. Few more shots of pretty forests. So, so pretty.

104. He's sent the Hobbits off to sleep, so he puts them to bed quoting Tom Bombadil as he does so. I love these little Easter Eggs for people who have read the books.

105. Gandalf and the others haven't reached Edoras yet. They're camping out and Gandalf is feeling smug about how Sauron must be feeling, knowing Aragorn is alive and what he's capable of.

106. This basically means that Sauron will attack Men, which means they have to recruit Rohan to the cause. That doesn't seem like something to be smug about.

107. Oh, he's smug because Sauron doesn't know they're trying to destroy the Ring. But there are so many things that might go wrong!

108. Gandalf has just now learned that Sam went with Frodo. Does that mean no one's told him about what happened to Boromir yet?

109. Meanwhile Gollum has led Frodo and Sam to the Black Gate. Sméagol's Middle-earth Tours, always gets you to your final destination!

110. I have no idea how practical it is, but I love the way the Gates open. They clearly put a lot of thought into how things work in these films.

111. And then Sam goes over the edge. What was it Gandalf was saying about it being crucial that the Ring remains hidden?

112. Magic Elven Cloak that also doubles as a boulder disguise? Everyone will want one.

113. They don't wait very long for those two people to walk away, do they?

114. Gollum might not be acting for the right reasons, but stopping Frodo from trying to stroll in through the front door is actually a really good thing. They'd probably have made it about ten paces before they got caught.

115. Gollum does have a good point. They asked to be taken to the front gate, and he took them there. Frodo should really have been more specific.

116. I do wonder what way Gandalf would've led them into Mordor if the whole Bridge of Khazad-Dum thing hadn't happened.

117. Sam's feeling a bit jealous that Frodo is trusting Gollum more than him. You need to learn to share, mate.

118. Back to Merry and Pippin. Merry's just woken up and Pippin's having a drink.

119. As if the strange noises coming from the forest aren't bad enough, Merry suddenly notices that Pippin keeps saying things in 'Treeish'. This prompts an argument about who is tallest, since Pippin appears to have grown.

120. The ensuing squabble seems to wake up one of the trees whose roots sort of swallow up the pair of them. That is, until Treebeard comes back and rescues them by channelling his inner Bombadil again.

121. Treebeard gives the duo a little bit of information about Fangorn Forest. This leads to a history lesson about the loss of the Entwives.

122. It really was rather careless of them to lose their entire other gender. I wonder if they've tried looking where they had them last.

Next week we'll continue with the film, when we'll see Gandalf curing Theoden of old age, the evacuation of Rohan, and yet another new character showing up on the scene.

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