Uh…s**t, what can you say about this one that you won’t already know going into it. I know there are very few of you out there who have any doubts that this movie will be one of the greatest cinematic experiences ever. But for those few of you…you probably thought that Men in Black II was pretty sweet, didn’t you? No, there’s no question here that moviegoers will be treated to a completely enveloping, three-hour vacation from reality. This is exactly what we get…and then some.
We also get a way darker film, too. Now that I think back, I don’t really remember a nice, happy scene in the entire film. There are a few light moments, but they are fleeting. There are no horse and carriage rides through the countryside with Gandalf; there are no wacky Hobbit parties in the Shire; and there are no peaceful pipe weed breaks with friends. The Fellowship of the Ring set everything up; now “The Two Towers” picks up exactly where we left off and relentlessly kicks our a***s for three hours. The first third of the film is basically one long chase scene with the last third being composed of one of the most epic battles you’ve ever seen committed to film. There’s definitely a lot more action this time around as the Fellowship remains divided, each coupling or group having to face their own dangers. The film also has a darker look and feel. Gray is the color of the day here, so I hope you like it.
Completely immersing as this film is, I still had a few reality check moments throughout the screening. One of these moments had me wonder if George Lucas is feeling like an a*****e or not. He’s still making tons of cash off of his raping of “Star Wars,” so probably not. But if he truly gave a damn about filmmaking anymore, he’d just have to hang his head in shame when confronted with Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films. Lucas must be wishing that his new “Star Wars” films had just a fraction of the movie magic Jackson and crew have poured into “Lord of the Rings.” Oh well, I think most of us have given up on Lucas anyways. It was just a thought.
As far as calling out which LOTR film is better, I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that with this trilogy. What we’re watching, over the space of three years, is a 9-10 hour movie cut into three parts. So, I couldn’t say that I enjoyed this new film better than Fellowship, but I can say that it’s definitely more of an action-packed ride. And as with the first film, this one also leaves you wanting hours more once those end credits begin flashing across the screen. I haven’t seen mainstream movies made like this since the 80s – a time when people seemed to care more about the actual craft of filmmaking. Thanks, Peter.

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