Saturday, 22 August 2015

Film Review: The Two Towers, Part 5

Each Saturday I like to post part of a review of a film and at the moment I'm working my way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We're currently just a couple of posts away from the end of The Two Towers.

Last week's post saw the exodus from Edoras as well as Faramir getting to know Frodo and Sam a little better. Now we're going to see the beginning of the battle at Helm's Deep as well as catching up with Merry and Pippin while they attend the Entmoot.

227. No army's ever breached the Deeping Wall. Well, there's a first time for everything, Théoden.

228. Théoden's really overconfident. He's going to get a nasty shock in the next twenty minutes or so.

229. Aragorn's like a stubborn child. He's so convinced that Gondor will come if they call. Uh, mate, you've not been there for a while, things have kinda changed.

230. Back to Merry and Pippin. It's time for an Ent Moot. Merry wonders what sort of gathering an Ent Moot might be... I'll give you a clue. It involves Ents.

231. I love how all the Ents look like different sorts of trees. They're really not an attractive race though.

232. Éowyn pleads with Aragorn, hoping that he'll side with her when she asks to fight alongside him. She all but says that she loves him, then apologises for it. Poor Éowyn.

233. According to the commentary there are loads of family members of the cast and crew in this scene. The only ones I ever recognise are Billy and Katie Jackson.

234. Think that's one of the behind the scenes guys in the background there. I want to say he's something to do with art or production or something.

235. Aragorn really needs to learn when to speak Elvish and when to speak Common Speech.

236. I love this scene with Théoden preparing himself for battle and saying the poem. Oh and the little boys and old men getting ready for the fight. It's all so well done.

237. Back to the Ent Moot. It's nigh time and the Hobbits are getting bored. They've not actually gotten any further than saying Good Morning. By the time they decide whether or not to go to war, the war'll be over and Saruman and Sauron will be trying to decide who gets to be boss.

238. And there's Viggo Mortensen's son. I love listening to the commentary and having them point out all the relatives of the cast and crew.

239. Haleth could probably have gotten out of fighting by pretending to be a girl, he's got lovely hair.

240. Aragorn's clothes look really complicated.

241. Legolas makes up with Aragorn and the trio have a friendly moment before they're interrupted by a horn. This is where I start humming the Badger Badger Badger song.

242. For anyone who's watching these films who hasn't read the book, this bit also isn't in it. The Battle of Helm's Deep lasts for about eleven pages, making it one of the shortest chapters in the book.
243. All the same, it's not really a bad thing to see Haldir again.

244. I'm so glad they've got Gimli as the comic relief otherwise this would be really depressing right about now.

245. I like the plinky plonky sound of the rain on the metal. It's the antithesis of the heavy marching of the Uruk Hai.

246. Jackson kids again.

247. The Uruk Hair decide to start the fight with some intimidation tactics. Bit of banging and stamping to get the party started.

248. Then an old man accidentally lets loose an arrow and that kicks everything off: "So it begins."

249. And indeed it does. Battle scenes are kind of tricky to review like this, since I know absolutely nothing about them. The rest of this review is likely to be along the lines of: someone dies, Wilhelm Scream, ugly Uruk, more people die. Seriously, that's what's happening right now.

250. At least we've still got Legolas and Gimli's competition to keep us entertained. Gotta feel sorry for the Uruk Hai that Gimli goes after in a groin attack after he learns Legolas is winning.

251. And a quick break from the fighting to catch up with the trees. Treebeard lets Merry and Pippin know that they've now come to the conclusion that the Hobbits aren't Orcs.

252. Still no word on whether or not they're going to do anything about the war though.

253. Gimli's into double figures in the competition now.

254. Did no one notice all the Orcs marching up the causeway?

255. Also, Théoden, the words 'tempting fate' spring to mind. Saruman is about to conjure up something really fun for you.

256. It's nice that they included Uruk Hai in the Olympic Torch relay. Those guys always get forgotten in these big events.

257. What were you saying about the Deeping Wall never being breached, Théoden?

258. Look, he's actually speechless.

259. And there's Peter Jackson again. I knew he was in the battle somewhere.

260. Aragorn wakes up just in time to be saved by Gimli, who is promptly taken out by an invading Uruk.

261. Now for some more Legolas acrobatics. This time it's shield surfing downstairs. Don't try that at home, kids.

262. Treebeard's got another update for the Hobbits. They've decided not to get involved. They didn't start the war so it's not their place to finish it.

263. Merry is shocked by this decision and so calls them on it. It has absolutely no effect whatsoever.

264. Pippin tries to console Merry. I think this conversation is deliberately written so that it could apply to any number of things in the world today: It doesn't affect me right now, so why should I get involved. Even though someday it might affect you and by then it'll be too late to change it.

265. Back to Helm's Deep where you know that things are going badly because the soundtrack has gone all muted and people are fighting in slow motion.

266. Then Haldir takes an axe to the head. Remember, dying in battle is one of the ways that immortal Elves can be killed. And there's a lot of dead Elves in this battle.

267. Aragorn doesn't have long to say goodbye though because the music is swelling and there's another attack coming on.

268. The brass section are really giving it their all.

269. Aragorn and Gimli are nipping out the side door to try and clear the causeway in order to give the fighters time to repair the gate. Unfortunately for Gimli this means another trip via beard swing.

270. I love that a whole army of Men can't fight off a bunch of Uruk Hai, but Aragorn and Gimli are able to do it themselves without too much difficulty.

271. Even though they've blown a ruddy great hole in the side of the wall, the Uruk Hair are still sending up ladders onto the walls and trying to get to the gate up the causeway.

272. Oh dear. Théoden's decided that it's time to retreat. They don't really have anywhere much to retreat to.

So we'll leave them there in Edoras, they can keep on retreating until next week when we'll wrap this whole thing up as the battle for Helm's Deep ends, Merry and Pippin get to visit Isengard, and Faramir realises that Frodo and Sam never actually went to Osgiliath in the book and sets things straight.

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