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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

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NOTE: These commentary tracks are only available on the "New Line Platinum Series" release (the "Special Extended Edition" DVD)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Peter Jackson, and screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens Rating:7.9/10 (46 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by TommyT on December 9th, 2004:Find all reviews by TommyT
As they did on Fellowship, Boyens, Walsh & Jackson have the most interesting commentary track on Towers. Quite intriguing to hear how the novel was translated into the film.
Reviewed by Fate on July 21st, 2011:Find all reviews by Fate
Refer to my review of these three for Fellowship, as the same points apply here for Two Towers.

Once again Peter, Fran, and Philippa deliver the most intriguing commentary for the film as far as explaining the reasoning behind scenes, and adapting the book to film. They have gotten a bit more lighthearted this time around, joking around a bit more than before in Fellowship, but this isn't a distraction, maybe it has something to do with them knowing how much a huge success and hype surround what they are doing. Yet the success they have had doesn't effect their attitude or discussion in a egotistical or negative way, which is a good thing. Unlike some of the other commentaries present.

This is definitely the best track to listen to, and their comments about making the film and writing the script once again heighten the experience of the movie, making you think about it and see characters in ways you might not have noticed before. Hope my review was helpful. Enjoy.
Commentary 2: Production designer Grant Major, creative supervisor Richard Taylor, conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, supervising art director Dan Hennah, art department manager Chris Hennah, and workshop manager Tania Rodger Rating:6.4/10 (25 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by sirgawayn on October 14th, 2005:Find all reviews by sirgawayn
In my opinion, this is the best of the four tracks. The speakers talk about the artistic design of the movie in mind-boggling detail, discussing the concepts and ideas behind the production as well as how they were executed. I have a much greater appreciation now for the trilogy's visual achievements. I found Richard Taylor, with his slow, methodical descriptions of how the film's authenticity was achieved, to be the most fascinating speaker. (Plus, he sounds a bit like Eric Idle; I kept half-hoping he'd break into a round of "Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, squire.")
Commentary 3: Editor Mike Horton, additional editor Jabez Olssen, visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri, producer Barrie Osborne, executive producer Mark Ordesky, director of photography Andrew Lesnie, co-producer Rick Porras, composer Howard Shore, visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel, animation designer Randy Cook, supervising sound editors Ethan van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, visual effects art director Christian Rivers, visual effects director of photography Brian Vant Hul, and miniatures director of photography Alex Funk Rating:6.3/10 (24 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Commentary 4: Actors Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, John Noble, and Craig Parker Rating:7.3/10 (41 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by directorscut on September 16th, 2004:Find all reviews by directorscut
I tolerated the commentaries on FOTR because despite the vapid comments the cast made about the making of the films and their perception of Tolkien’s books at least they were modest in their claims. For their TTT the cast have grown egos the size of Middle-Earth (Elijah Woo and Sean Astin especially). There is no doubt in their minds that what they have participated in are masterpieces and they feel the need to remind the listener of that at every chance they get. The four hobbits really appear little understanding of Tolkien’s work and I doubt any of them read or adored the book as much as they claim. Andy Serkis comes off as quite embarrassed to be in the same room with Wood and Astin as they comment. Bernard Hill and Miranda Otto are the only members on the track that give any semblance of relevant information – they talk about how they approached their characters and scenes and their presence is welcomed. They are in fact the only people whom my respect for raised while listening to their comments – while my opinion of most was lowered. John Rhys-Davies and Sean Bean, who were very enjoyable on the FOTR are sadly on this track too little.

I loved FOTR and TTT and was looking forward to the commentaries on the films immensely. It is sad that not one of the eight commentaries on these films do the films an ounce of justice.
Reviewed by Pete on September 27th, 2004:Find all reviews by Pete
If anything defined overkill it is this commentary. Really, who in their right mind decided that having this many people on a commentary was a good thing? It is hard enough getting through one with three people.

And those actors. They may have smaller heads than the "filmmakers," but not by much. Good lord. You would think they had just written the Bible or something with the way they just fawn over one another. I agree with the other guy that Miranda and Bernard are the only two with their heads out of the sand (though Miranda seems kind of vapid).

Ugh. Buy this DVD for the movie and the behind-the-scenes extras. But spare yourself from these horrid overblown commentaries.
Reviewed by suprdan006 on January 23rd, 2005:Find all reviews by suprdan006
The Two Towers is personally my favorite of the LotR trilogy, and I highly enjoyed the commentaries (I'll only be talking about the Directors/Writers Commentary and the Cast Commentary), so my little review will be opposite to the previous two reviewers.

I think the filmmakers- Peter Jackson, Fran and Philippa- are pretty good, and occassionally funny in their commentary. I personally don't see them as having big heads at all after their experience in making these films. On the contrary, they seem highly respectful of Tolkien's material, and big fans themselves.

I enjoy listening to the cast commentary more, if only for Billy and Dominic (Merry and Pippin), who are hilarous as usual, and keep the overall commentary track entertaining. Everyone recorded thier commentary tracks seperately, except for Billy/Dom, and Elijah/Sean/Andy. These latter three aren't as interesting... I think Sean Astin particulary comes off as kind of a know-it-all at times, but that's just me. Other than that, though, I disagree with the previous reviewers in their beliefs that everyone involved in this film have inflated egos. Some of the cast speak more about the actual acting and character development while others are simply more entertaining. If you're looking for a somewhat informative yet more light-hearted and fun commentary, I recommend this one.
Reviewed by Fate on July 20th, 2011:Find all reviews by Fate
Oh boy, after the cast commentary for Fellowship I had high hopes that the fun and interesting conversation about the film would continue, but this commentary, has many distractions, and few high points.

To start, way too may people are on this track, and not only is it confusing to the point of distraction, but many of them are alone it seems, which tends to make it feel slow. Hearing a bunch of actors talk to themselves often leads to boasting of how great they are or how great their fellow actor is or the film. This isn't true for everyone, but for most. Now I just want to say this isn't to blame on the actors themselves, I think it has more to do with how the commentary was set up, solo, 16 voices...

Also R rating language gets dropped half a dozen times, they do bleep it but it adds to that sense of being a terrible track that no one recording it seemed to care.

Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and Andy Serkis were all together, but this didn't help them any. They are by far the worst aspect of the commentary, and by they, I mean Sean Austin. I wonder if Sean A. drank too many red bulls or coffee or something but he is just hyper, always interrupting, talking over Elijah and Andy, and talking like he is mister film expert really gets annoying. Elijah didn't help their track, but also didn't hurt it other than the occasion interruption of Andy, probably trying desperately to get a word in over Sean A. and his long rants about how great something is or some story he wants to get through. Elijah and Sean A. really do have some moments of ego, thanks to Sean more so. Andy is the best part of the trio, yet he never has the chance to speak. Every time he starts to speak he gets interrupted, which lead to him just agreeing with whatever the person who interrupts him said. The few times he does tell a story or opinion though it's good, I am really surprised this track made it on the way it did without Elijah or Andy walking out.

Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan are the only other actors to do the commentary together, and they are great. These two really just joke around the whole time but it never gets too much, since they do talk about their aspect of the story, and their role in the film. These two don't hurt the track any.

Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, David Wenham, Karl Urban, don't make this track any worse, and when they do have something to say, which isn't all that much, it's pretty much what you would expect from a commentary track. They talk about what it was like to film a scene, or dialog, the usual behind the scenes stuff. Compared to the Sean Austin track these guys are great to listen to.

John Noble, and Craig Parker are pretty much a non voice, they have little to say, and they could have been cut from the track all together. Just another indicator of this commentary track being a mess.

Christopher Lee, John Rhys-Davies, Miranda Otto, Brad Dourif, thank the light for these four. Lee much like in the Fellowship commentary always adds his experience with acting and the source material, as does John Rhys-Davies, both made Fellowship a joy to listen to, and they do the same here. Miranda and Brad have great comments to make about their work in the film, and if it wasn't for these four, I would have turned the commentary off half way through. But these four are of course well experienced in what they do, and it shows in the track compared to Elijah and Sean Austin.

All in all I would just watch the director/writer commentary, and skip this mess all together, which is a shame cause the latter four I mentioned are a great listen, but even they are fairly rare with all that is going on.