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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

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Monday, December 15, 2003

Alan Myatts has an interesting review of The Two Towers extended version here. While Alan is enthusiastic about TTT as a cinematic achievement he laments that 'the film is not without its flaws, especially for a die hard Tolkien fan such as myself, who has read the "Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy more times than I can count.'

Like so many others I fell in love with both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings when I discovered them some 30 years ago. I can truly say Tolkien had an effect upon me as no other author has. The spiritual dimensions and religious metaphors which subtly but powerfully undergird Tolkien's work struck a particular chord with me at a time when I was searching for answers to questions about meaning, purpose and God in my life. However, though I have read the Hobbit twice I have never re-read the Lord of the Rings. So even though I am a Tolkien afficianado I am probably not a "true Tolkien fan" and thus, as my memory dims with age, I don't feel the pain that some do over liberties Peter Jackson et. al. have taken with Tolkien's storyline and characters.

Alan writes:
In all, there is much to commend this film. I want to make that clear before I launch into my main complaints. The quality of what has been produced is such that even its extremely severe defects, and there are several, are not adequate to render it unworthy of enjoyment by any true Tolkien fan. That being said, however, it is essential to look at the rather glaring problems that come bursting forth from the screen as both the "Fellowship of the Ring" and the "Two Towers" are first viewed. In a nutshell, those defects center around the often inexplicable and always utterly inexcusable deviations from the story line of the books. This wretched sin occurs in two basic forms; changes in the personalities of major characters and changes in the actual plot line itself.

I can agree with Alan on this much: in the many interviews that accompany the extended version of the TTT on DVD there is an annoying overemphasis by director, writers, performers and producers on how the film is "true to the spirit of Tolkien" even when taking liberties with Tolkien's story. Be that as it may be, as someone who has read the trilogy only once, I can agree with "garryglaubtennis" of Palm Springs CA who wrote this comment about The Return of the King on the IMDB site:

For those who have never read the books, you will love it. For those who read the books long ago and don't remember details, you also will love it. For those who are huge fans of the books and remember every detail, parts will annoy you. Yet, my guess is most of you will still remember that Jackson has done a fine job in depicting the works of Tolkien, with great special effects and characterization of a majority of the ensemble cast. Some of you won't get past those changes, but most of you will love it even with the somewhat flawed changes.

I think Alan would also agree.

1:01:00 am