The first time I saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, it was midnight, and I was tired. I gave a mini-review which was mostly positive, though definitely negative on a few aspects of the movie. I expected to return to the theater much more quickly than I actually did, but I've finally gone back.
Sunday I watched the film twice. Once at the 1:40pm showing with my wife, and again at 8:15pm with my brother. That's what you do when the babysitting doesn't quite line up - you take turns. I took both.
Herself - regular readers will recognize that as the name I use for my wife - gave me her review of the film as the credits were still rolling and people were streaming out of the theater. "Did you really like the first movie better?" The tone of voice and the look on her face weren't quite enough to make it obvious that she disagreed, but they hinted that. When asked what she thought, she added, "On a scale of one to ten, Fellowship of the Ring was a ten. The Two Towers is a twenty."
I guess that means she liked it. It probably helped her that my own review had been so negative. It had lowered her expectations. Also, she had expected the entire movie to be war, when a surreptitious check of my watch revealed that the final battle at Helm's Deep took up only thirty minutes, or one-sixth of the movie.
Not often referenced here, one of my brothers is widely known as "Dude." Not at all like "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski, he's just "Dude." While nearly every other single person in the San Diego division of my immediate family caught the midnight showing on opening day, he didn't. I haven't spoken to him yet about the details of this film, but near the end of the movie he leaned across in the theater and told me that he fully wanted to scream with delight, and was barely restraining himself.
Later, I think he slipped up a little, but it was a loud point in the film, so it was okay.
And me? Having seen it a second time, I take it all back. This is a very good film. My primary initial objection to the film was the appearance of the Ents. It didn't fit my mental image from reading the books. However, I have since scoured the net for pictures, and I now realize that the problem was mine, not Peter Jackson's. Of all of the heinous representations I've seen floating around cyberspace, this film presents the least-offensive images I've seen. In fact, I can only plead exhaustion the night of the premiere, since they don't appear as I remember them! I'm sorry for the false alarm, but with my expectations properly set, they didn't appear unusual at all. Rather than throwing me completely out of the movie, I now enjoyed seeing them, especially when Treebeard was walking and his root burrowed into the ground again with each step. A very nice touch, even if it was repeated less-successfully a little while later.