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The Two Towers DVD: Is this edition worth buying?

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Does it offer things that enrich our understanding of why they made the changes that they did?

Are there bonuses that make this worth having in addition to the upcoming extended edition?

Is there anything included that will make not just the movie fans happy, but Tolkien devotees especially happy?

Teetering on the verge of buying this one even though I've pre-ordered the Extended Edition from Amazon...

Jeffrey

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Does it offer things that enrich our understanding of why they made the

: changes that they did?

Nope. The bonus discs on these 2-disc sets consist basically of just the prerelease stuff -- trailers, music videos, TV specials, web-site featurettes, etc. So they never get around to even mentioning that there ARE changes, much less explaining why the changes were made.

: Are there bonuses that make this worth having in addition to the

: upcoming extended edition?

Probably not. The extended Two Towers preview will, of course, be redundant once you have the actual DVD itself, and the Return of the King preview probably has whatever you've already seen on the web, so unless you're interested in the prerelease stuff (or in Sean Astin's short film, which has nothing to do with Tolkien but was filmed with the help of the LotR cast and crew on one of their days off), it probably isn't worth your while.

: Is there anything included that will make not just the movie fans happy,

: but Tolkien devotees especially happy?

Probably not, though there's some stuff in the TV specials that I imagine will be recycled in the bonus features on the upcoming 4-disc set.

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I pre-ordered from Amazon, too.

Be strong.

On a related topic -- why, might I ask, would Sean Astin be allowed to include a completely irrelevant short movie in with this DVD?

Next thing you know, we'll have all sorts of supporting actors stuffing DVD extras with their own little movies. Give us meaningful extras!

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I decided it was worth buying.

I agree with you that despite its shortcomings (most notably the plot and character changes in TTT) this series of films is a tremendous piece of work, and beautiful to behold. Thus far, I am not disappointed when I compare the quality of the films with the books. In fact, I am very pleased that the films have remained as true to the novels (in plot, character, tone, and spirit) as they have.

I bought the DVD (and I will buy the extended version as well) because:

1) I want to encourage this type of filmmaking

2) I want to be able to compare the two versions

3) my wife and I are Tolkien fans (I haven't started "The Unfinished Tales" yet, but my wife has. She didn't finish them, but neither did Tolkien, so who am I to point fingers?)

4) I wanted to see the movie again, and I couldn't wait until November. smile.gif

5) If I want to show the movie to someone, and I don't want to spend 3 1/2 hours doing it, I can show this one in just 2 short hours and 57 short minutes.

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I pre-ordered from Amazon, too.  

Be strong.

On a related topic -- why, might I ask, would Sean Astin be allowed to include a completely irrelevant short movie in with this DVD?  

Next thing you know, we'll have all sorts of supporting actors stuffing DVD extras with their own little movies.  Give us meaningful extras!

Actually, I'm pleased that's on there. I haven't watched it yet, but I'll have to be sure to do that. Based on his acting and the interviews I've seen [on the FOTR discs], I respect Sean quite a bit and am excited to see a short film he made. So I hope it doesn't suck.

If his film bumped off something worthwhile that is related to TTT, I would be upset. But I'm pretty sure his film is filling space that would have been empty otherwise. (Can you imagine him trying to convince the execs to bump off a directors' commentary in favor of his short? Yeah, right.)

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Hey, if they HADN'T put Astin's short film on this DVD, the fans would have cried for blood!

Granted, it has nothing to do with Tolkien's story. But it does have a very strong connection to the film. Since it was produced on a day off from Two Towers re-shoots, and since it features numerous cast and crew members, I think it has absolutely every reason to be on this disc (just as surely as, if there's any justice, Les Blank's Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe will be on the DVD for Errol Morris's Gates of Heaven, should such a DVD ever come out).

moquist wrote:

: 2) I want to be able to compare the two versions

Yes, not only does the extended version ADD footage, it also CHANGES footage -- compare the two versions of Isildur's demise in the first film, IIRC.

Another reason for getting the shorter Two Towers, of course, is that I already have the shorter Fellowship, and I might as well be consistent. The big question looming over me now is whether or not I want to get the 'gift set' of the extended Two Towers DVD, which includes a Gollum figurine and a, uh, bonus DVD on the making of the Gollum figurine. (That's kinda lame, no? Certainly nowhere near as cool as getting the National Geographic DVD and the Argonath bookends with the 'gift set' for the extended Fellowship.)

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Rented it last night and watched the trailers.

VERY pleased to see, in the Extended TT footage, the efforts made to pay respects to the Huorns at Helm's Deep. An important part of the story indeed. Further, it's good to see them working so much of Boromir into it through flashbacks, since his story was, for me, the most emotionally compelling in "Fellowship." Looks like they're beefing up the Faramir character, even if he is different from the novel.

As for Return of the King, what a thrilling preview. There was more there than I had expected. I get the impression they are moving back into close-up mode, giving us heavy, intimate interaction between characters. Perhaps I'll be disappointed, but the preview certainly makes it seem that way. It'll be crucial that we get some of those long, carefully paced exchanges to make the ending resonate.

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: As for Return of the King, what a thrilling preview. There was more there

: than I had expected. I get the impression they are moving back into

: close-up mode, giving us heavy, intimate interaction between characters.

I certainly hope so. Watching all the stuff about this film having an EVEN BIGGER BATTLE than the last film, I began to despair that this film would give in to spectacle even more than the last film did, but THEN the producers began to talk about how ALL this stuff was just Gandalf's and Aragorn's way of trying to buy Frodo a little more time ... and then came that footage of Sam and Frodo. Wow. And that brief shot of Pippin shedding tears had my sister ready to shed a few of her own.

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Oh my. Is it November yet? I'm going to wait for the extended version of TTT, but I think Jeffrey has the right idea--rent the theatrical version. I'm rushing right out...

In a minute or two...

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All this Tolkien talk makes me squirm like a seven-year-old on Christmas Eve. I'll never finish my work at this rate.

Sorry about that. Serious question now: could someone remind me what is actually included on the just-released DVD versus the one for November. Are you saying, Jeffrey, that this first release has new material? Or is it just the extended preview? I was under the impression that this was simply the theatrical release.

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Theatrical release

preview of Extended Edition

long behind-the-scenes preview of Return of the King

Behind-the-scenes specials on Two Towers

Sean Astin's short film, and a "making of" for it

music video for Gollum's song

TV ads

trailers

a few other things...

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WhyFjord wrote:

: Serious question now: could someone remind me what is actually

: included on the just-released DVD versus the one for November.

The way it works is this: In August, they release a 2-disc set; the original three-hour theatrical release fits on one disc, and the other disc rules, finds, brings, and binds all the extras that people were already able to see way back when, before the film came out (trailers, web-site featurettes, TV specials, music videos, etc.); the second disc also includes, of course, previews for the upcoming extended DVD, film, and video game. Then, in November, they release a 4-disc set; the film is revised and expanded to three-and-a-half hours or more, plus it is given four commentary tracks, so it takes up two discs on its own, while the other two discs are devoted to an exhaustive and thorough analysis of how the film was made.

In other words, the extras on the August disc are all about hyping the film and teasing you with images but not giving you any spoilers, whereas the extras on the November disc are all about explaining every detail of the film after you have seen everything and there are no more spoilers to be had. Thankfully, there's pretty much no overlap.

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Enjoyed re-watching the theatrical (shall we call it the "short") version of TTT this weekend. There were still a few rental copies available, since I got there before 5 p.m.

The stuff on the "extras" disc was interesting. I enjoyed Sean Astin's little film very much, though DH and I laughed when "The making of 'The Long and Short of It'" turned out to be slightly longer than the film itself.

The preview of RotK makes it look very, very good, and it was worth renting the set to see it. If it's not, I shall be extremely annoyed. My expectations are high.

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from the official site:

the theatrical dvd set has the following:

Disc 1: The Feature

Feature (approx. 179 minutes)

Widescreen (2.35:1) or Fullscreen version of the film

Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound

Stereo Surround Sound

English subtitles and closed captions

Disc 2: Special Features

Bonus disc featuring hours of additional content.

2 in-depth programs that reveal the secrets behind the production of this epic adventure, including:

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Guest Russell Lucas

Geek question: Is there a picture anywhere of the Gollum statue that will accompany the gift set? And is the DVD box the same as that of the extended DVD?

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I usually read the music forum but I saw this thread and had to chime in. I bought the theatrical release for the simple fact that, like several of you, I was planning to at least rent the movie and wait to buy the extended version. However, with rental prices these days, you could own the theatrical version (it's still on sale for less than 15 bucks at several stores) for less than the price of 3 rentals. I doubt that I'll ever watch the theatrical version once the extended version comes out (just as I stopped watching the theatrial verstion of FOTR once I got the extended version), but even so, a paltry 15 bucks for a DVD that will give me a Tolkien fix until November is money well spent. Wouldn't you rather spend 15 bucks on a DVD that you can watch as many times as you want between now and November than 4 or 5 bucks to rent a DVD that you have to return in 3 days? smile.gif

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Guest Russell Lucas

For me the cost was even better. I used it (and a copy of Schoolhouse Rock for my daughter's birthday) to fulfill a nagging Columbia House account, where my average per-DVD cost is just under $11.00

So, the above-shown gift box actually has a window in the side and those are the DVD package and the Gollum statue shown through it? Cool.

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Guest Russell Lucas

Whoa. Getting the gift set adds $30! I can't justify that. Justifying the double-dip was hard enough.

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Russell Lucas wrote:

: Whoa. Getting the gift set adds $30! I can't justify that. Justifying the

: double-dip was hard enough.

Yeah, I'm wrestling with this one too, right now. I justified getting the gift set edition of Fellowship because it came with a bonus DVD, in addition to the merchandising (which I normally don't care about); the DVD in question was a 'special edition' of the National Geographic DVD that had been released shortly before Fellowship came out in theatres. This new gift set supposedly has a bonus DVD too, but the bonus DVD in THIS set is mainly about the Weta special effects company (and haven't we seen enough of them already?) and the making of the Gollum statue (which surely can't be THAT big a deal). The completist in me, the one who believes in doing things consistently, says I should get this gift set. But I'm really not sure I can afford it right now.

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