Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this movie. The free ticket that came with the extended version of the Fellowship of the Ring made it a little easier to justify going to see it. I saw it on a Sunday afternoon. The noon showing to be exact. The movie is in excess of three hours long. Even in the middle of the day, it was hard for me to stay awake for the duration.

The movie suffers from being the middle part in a trilogy. Even with that handicap, the movie did a good job of having some resolution. The movie can almost stand on its own provided that you know the back story. It’s not necessary to have seen The Hobbit in order to understand the Lord of the Rings, but I highly recommend seeing the extended version of the Fellowship of the Ring in order to get a full understanding of the second movie.

The comedy was good. The Dwarf was the butt of many jokes. John Ryes Davies plays the Dwarf and the voice of the Ent. I guess there was no other voice talent available? Golem is an interesting character, probably even worth the new academy category created for animated characters at the Oscars.

The special effects are spectacular beyond Golem. You can really forget that some of the scenes are animated as your are emersed into the world. There are battles in broad daylight. CGI scenes are usually dark or raining to hide the CGI mistakes. These scene were bright as day.

If you have the time and like the genre, go see it. For me, I would have preferred to see it at home on DVD where I can pause the movie to watch it over several days. I am looking forward to the final movie. I would even like to see the same crew make version of “The Hobbit”.

K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

The previews made this look like the latest Clancy movie. It’s not, but the cinematography is reminiscent of Red October. There’s even a key part of the story involving the political officer, just like Red October

The story is based on a true event in 1961 of a near reactor meltdown. Harrison Ford plays the submarine’s captain with Liam Neeson as his XO.

All the actors speak with slight Russian accents to remind you that it is not an American sub. It’s a little distracting at first but in the end it works.

I enjoyed the movie and was drawn into the drama. The pace of the film was a little slow. I did not see it in the theater but rather on DVD. I can recommend this movie as a rental if you like Tom Clancy.

Solaris (2002)

Slow. Very slow. Waste of money and time. I can’t believe they even released it. Did they even watch it before releasing it??
I wouldn’t really call it a true “sci-fi” either. They speak of the alien visitors, but you never actually see one.