This year we decided to make it our own xmas tradition, and so we walked to the Grand Lake Theatre (so named because of its proximity to Oakland's large, man-made lake) again, this time to see "The Two Towers."
I read The Lord of the Rings about 8 years ago, inhaling The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King over the space of three days while I was homebound with a terrible cold. I enjoyed the experience tremendously, but because I read the books so quickly I remember very little several years later.
So I find myself enjoying the films quite a bit, but I don't find any nitpicky differences between book and film to annoy me. Nor do I feel a need to say anything especially intelligent about the films, so here are my random and not-well-developed-or-intellectual thoughts on Peter Jackson's interpretation of "The Two Towers":
Gimli deserves to be more than just comic relief. In fact, any character -- in book, film, play, or whatever -- who serves no purpose except comic relief bugs the shit out of me. Therefore, Gimli bugged the shit out of me in this movie.
I don't find Orlando Bloom even remotely attractive, but Legolas hypnotizes me every moment that he appears in the film. I find him androgynously beautiful, graceful but not "feminine," strong but not "masculine," courageous but not aggressive, calm but not passive, wise but not stuffy. Basically, I want to be Legolas.
Aragorn fans: prepare yourselves for heresy. To my eyes, the film's Aragorn seems to be a garden-variety sweaty, stubbly, macho-man. He has very pretty eyes, but I otherwise don't find him even remotely attractive. Every time he was on screen I was cringing at the oiliness of his hair and wishing someone would just attack him with a bar of soap. Everyone else in the fellowship seems to manage to keep their hair clean ... what's Aragorn's problem? He should get some grooming tips from Legolas, whose hair is gorgeously smooth, silky, clean, and tidy even after the battle at Helm's Deep.
I liked the Ents. They weren't how I pictured them when I read the book (I pictured them more solid, less spindly), but I still loved this interpretation of them. The Ents waging war on Isengard rocked.
The battle at Helm's Deep was much more exciting for me on the screen than in the book. I thought they did a fabulous job of bringing it to life and making multiple characters important without ever getting confusing. When the leader of the elven army was killed, I grieved, despite the fact that he'd had very few lines. They had managed to make me care deeply about him, partially as a representative of his race. My favorite single moment of the film was Legolas surfing down the Helm's Deep steps while continuously firing arrows. Did I mention that I want to be Legolas?
I actually found their treatment of Eowyn and the Rohan women rather annoying. Why have Eowyn talk about Rohan women knowing how to fight, only to later show those same women (including Eowyn) cowering and trembling pathetically in the bowels of Helm's Deep? They send tiny little boys up onto the battlements to throw rocks, but they leave full-grown women clinging to each other down below? I'm sorry, but a grown woman can toss rocks on orcs at least as well as a six-year-old boy, even if she hasn't had any training in battle, as Eowyn implied the women had. Basically, the little scene with Eowyn swinging a sword around seemed to serve no purpose in the film except to give Aragorn a hard-on, and that bugged me.
Anybody who finds long hair attractive should see this movie. I don't think I've ever seen so many beautiful long-haired wigs ... though some of the hairstyles *cough*Elrond*cough* were silly. I find myself wanting to braid tiny sections of my hair. Did I mention that I want to be Legolas?
I also adored the costumes and sets ... just gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. I find myself suffering the same irrational fashion lust I did after seeing "The Fellowship of the Ring" (and also after seeing "The Phantom of the Opera" onstage): I want a cloak. It's completely impractical and unnecessary ... but cloaks are just so pretty, how they swing and drape and all that. Plus, if bad guys show up, you can just pull your cloak over you and hold really still and look like a rock. You never know when that might come in handy. I want a dark green cloak with a hood like Arwen's (big enough that it would hold my voluminous, non-elven hair in its drape), but I also want it to have a pretty clasp and maybe even a little secret pocket or two. Someday. Someday when I'm rich, I'll have a cloak specially made for me with some sort of silver clasp (or toggle) of Celtic knotwork. Yeah, that'll be cool. Someday.
Okay. Enough rambling about "The Two Towers." I think it's time for me to fix myself something to eat. Today I have two goals: write thank you cards (with Shannon) for the money Shannon and I received as xmas presents, and box up all of my clothes (it is Boxing Day, after all) that currently don't fit me so that I'm not constantly pushing them out of the way to get to clothes that do fit.