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    Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    Stars:Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Sméagol

    This is perhaps the most out-of-date movie review I've written, penned about six months after-the-fact. It's mainly here for continuity, since I would like to review the third Lord of the Rings movie, Return of the King, when it comes out. Writing a review for the first and third movies, but not the second, is a lame thing to do, so here I am.

    I found The Two Towers superior to Fellowship of the Ring. There's a nice little benchmark I use called the "watch test." If I find myself looking at my wristwatch during the movie, that's a bad sign. If, however, I can see a movie, especially a three-plus hour one, without wondering what time it is (or how much time is left), then I must be really in to the movie. The Two Towers easily passed the "watch test." It pulled me in.

    Based on the prior media reports, the most impressive aspect of this movie was to be the Battle of Helm's Deep. It was indeed impressive, but what stole the show for me was the performance turned in by Gollum. Here was a computer-generated character who out-acted everyone else. These CGI characters sure have come a long way, and the voice acting (along with movement, both by Andy Serkis) was no small contribution. Oscar? Oscar, where were you?

    But Helm's Deep was main focal point of the movie. It was outstanding, save for the ridiculous "surfboard" scene. Worst part of the movie, perhaps the entire movie trilogy.

    I'm told that there were a couple key points where the movie strayed from the book. Not having read the book, I'll ignore the inconsistency and move on as if nothing happened. In fact, I'm not even sure this paragraph even exists.

    I find myself looking forward to the conclusion of this saga. Perhaps then I will learn the answer to the immortal question: how did they make John Rhys-Davies look so small?

    I probably could have written a much more in-depth review six months ago, but such is life. No worm for this late, late bird. I don't particularly like worms, anyway. Except they gummy kind, those are pretty good.

    Comments? E-mail movies@aldebaran.net