The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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The Two Towers (No Spoilers)

Saw The Two Towers with friends on Wednesday, the 7 PM show. I know, I'm losing some of my geek cred by not seeing the 12:05 AM showing, but after talking with some friends who did, I don't have too many regrets. That showing didn't start till 12:30 AM, and then there were eight trailers, so they didn't get to the movie till 1:00 AM. Nobody got home before 5:30 AM. I'm not young enough to do that anymore. :-)

Right, the movie. A spectacular piece of work, with some caveats. It didn't reach out and grab me in quite the same way Fellowship did, because in some ways it's a smaller movie. Fellowship had this grand sweep, from the prologue to the Shire to the Wilderness to Rivendell to Moria to Lothlorien. You were always on the move to somewhere new, to some grand new vision . Towers is a more intimate movie in its way, the action takes place over much more restricted time and space.

That said, it pretty much blew me away, especially the portrayal of Gollum, which was nothing short of astonishing, and the battle at Helm's Deep, which people have been comparing to Kurosawa. It left me practically exhausted at it's end. Towers has the difficulty of being the middle film. Fellowship was a damn near impossible act to top, so expecting Towers to have the same level of impact is unfair. I think it's the sort of film I'll appreciate more at the second viewing (and the third, and the fourth). I felt the same way about Spirited Away. I mean, it's a Miyazaki movie, so of course I though it was great the first time I saw it, but it was only on the later viewings that the richness of the detail and the characters really sunk in and I started seeing how brilliant it was.

I also has the disadvantage that my stomach started feeling queasy at about 3 PM that afternoon. I decided to skip food entirely, and got a watermelon drink at the movie to sooth it. That ended up working, except halfway thru I started getting bathroom pangs. So my concentration was a little off.

CBC radio today said the Paramount had the highest gross of any theatre in North American on the Wednesday, that the original three 12:05 AM showings were sold out and they added two more screens.

Spoiler review of the movie to follow. I'm leaving for Nfld. this afternoon, so posting will probably be sporadic over the next week. Everyone have a Merry Christmas!


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