The Null Device


I went to see The Two Towers, the second Lord of the Rings film, tonight. It's visually quite spectacular; lots of tracking shots over majestic New Zealand landscapes and serried ranks of orcs and such, and some fantastic sets and compositions; the battle/action scenes, with minuscule humanoid figures scrambling on falling scaffolds, are quite spectacular too (I wonder how much of that was live action and how much was CG). The story seems reasonably faithful to the Tolkien too.

Some more random impressions: the architecture of Rohan looks rather Northern European, possibly Scandinavian or Baltic, though the people seem to speak with Scottish or Irish accents. Eowyn looks quite the strapping country lass; meanwhile, Grima Wormtongue looks like an uglier version of Professor Snape, or perhaps a generic Fat Old Goth. The orcs, meanwhile, look very metal indeed, resembling the ghoul from Iron Maiden cover artwork. And the Ents are quite well done; a bit obvious perhaps, but they got them right.

The attention to detail was quite marvellous; I didn't catch all the hand-made, individual buckles on the Orcs' uniforms or such, but minor details, such as fragments of ruins here and all the many elaborate sets they built and used just for minor scenes look quite extravagant. It's well worth seeing (though don't bother unless you've seen the first one).

Also, the vocal in the closing credits sounded a bit like Björk, though it probably wasn't. I did notice one Elizabeth Fraser credited in the vocal solos section, though.

(They also showed the trailer for the next Matrix films; the emphasis on waging war for peace seemed quite post-9/11; the visuals looked as you might expect, lots of black-clad post-cyberpunk dazzle.)