Top 10 Moments: The Two Towers

December 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

The Lord of the Rings Top 10 Moments Countdown continues with The Two Towers.  In part 1 of this series, I counted down the top 10 moments of The Fellowship of the Ring.  Narrowing the extended edition down to 10 moments wasn’t easy and The Two Towers was no different.  It’s hard to select specific moments from a film that features the battle at Helm’s Deep, Gollum, Ents and more.  There are simply too many classic moments I couldn’t fit in this countdown.

Click here for The Fellowship of the Ring

Click here for The Return of the King

Click here for The Top 30 Lord of the Rings Moments (Coming Soon)

HONORABLE MENTION: Gimli Pile Up

10. GANDALF VS BALROG 2: THE WIDE SHOT

If you’ve ever seen the special features, there’s a great sequence devoted to this Wizard vs Demon battle.  Pulling out for this breathtaking wide shot was a genius move by Peter Jackson.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

9. NUMBER 43

“He was twitching because he’s got my axe embedded in his nervous system”

Gimli and Legolas compete with each other throughout the trilogy but this moment really cemented their friendly rivalry.  Not a lot of respect for that dead Uruk Hai but I suppose it’s to be expected.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

8. LEGOLAS SHIELD SURFING

I think it’s lame that they refer to these Legolas moments as ‘Leggy’ moments but that doesn’t make them any less cool on screen.  The daring elf rides a shield down a staircase while firing arrows into enemy skulls.  Not too mention the skillful dismount sending the shield deep into the chest of a Saruman’s minion.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

7. IS THIS ALL YOU CAN CONJURE SARUMAN?

A massive explosion that spells doom for our heroes.  It’s also a fantastic showcase of the productions incredible miniatures.  (aka Bigatures)

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

6. MY BUSINESS IS WITH ISENGARD

This battle makes me laugh for a number of reasons other than the numerous giant trees that talk and squash Orcs.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

If you really pay attention when they break the damn, an Ent picks up an Orc and oh-so-casually tosses him in the path of destruction.  I’ve included a screen shot of the doomed Orc in mid air.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

During the battle, many Orcs are crushed but they still inflict damage on the Ents.  One unlucky Oak (or is it Ash?) is lit on fire.  What makes me laugh is how quickly this poor Ent darts towards the rushing water to douse the flames.  Great stuff.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

5. TOSS ME

Nobody tosses a Dwarf!

Setting up a joke in one film and paying it off in another is a rare occurrence on the big screen.  These moments don’t happen in the books but it’s a perfect example of attention to detail and a deep love of the material.  The screenwriting Oscars were well earned.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

4. MY PRECIOUS

Introducing Gollum.  One of the most beloved & fascinating characters in the history of fiction.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

3. THE GREAT STORIES

“What are we holding on to?”

This is a great speech and one of Sam’s shining moments in the trilogy.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

2. AT DAWN LOOK TO THE EAST

Gandalf returns just as our heroes and what’s left of Rohan meet their doom.  A fantastic and visually spectacular moment.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

1. GOLLUM VS SMEAGOL

“I hate you…”

Brilliant. Watching Smeagol struggle with his powerful inner demon before finally ridding himself of Gollum. This is a perfect moment that really illustrates the hold the Ring has on Smeagol.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ‘TWO TOWERS’ MOMENT?

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Fellowship of the Ring

December 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the RingsThe Fellowship of the Ring

AN EPIC TALE FILLED WITH MOMENTS WE’LL NEVER FORGET

This is by far the toughest edition of the All Time Best Countdown I’ve ever produced.  How can you possibly decide on 10 moments from such a beloved series?  Step one: Start with a top 10 from each film.  This is Part 1 of a 4 part series where we countdown the most memorable moments from an incredible film.  A masterpiece.

It begins with The Fellowship of the Ring.

Click here for The Two Towers

Click here for The Return of the King

Click here for The Top 30 Lord of the Rings Moments (Coming Soon)

HONORABLE MENTION: Demon Bilbo

10. THE BIRTH OF LURTZ

The ghastly manner in which fighting Uruk Hai are ‘born’ is simultaneously fascinating and disgusting.  Surrounded by mud, filth and a layer or two of slime, Lurtz emerges and promptly kills an Orc with his bare hands.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

9. WEATHERTOP

The entire sequence on Weathertop is phenomenal.  Frodo’s first encounter with the Witch King and the rest of the nine is trumped only by Aragorn’s fiery assault on them.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

8. THE WATCHER IN THE WATER

A fantastic creature that lurks in the waters outside Moria.  A great moment that forces the fellowship into the mine where far greater threats live.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

7. HORSE TIDAL WAVE

From a pure visual effects perspective, this sequence must have extremely difficult to pull off.  Thankfully, they pulled it off and the resulting scene is absolutely stunning.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

6. THE CAVE TROLL

“They have a cave Troll”

Hey!  Pippin!  Try not to knock skeletons into wells causing enough noise to alert evil of your presence next time please…

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

5. I WILL TAKE IT / FELLOWSHIP

The moment that sets the entire saga in motion.  The Ringbearer steps forward and volunteers to take the ring to the worst place imaginable knowing full well it could cost him his life.  Gandalf’s reaction is incredible.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

4. ARAGORN VS LURTZ / MY KING

What do you think is going through Aragorn’s head when he stabs Lurtz in the gut only to have him pull the sword even deeper?

“Easy tough guy.  I just cut off your arm, you aren’t fooling anyone.  PS: Also… Say goodbye to your head.”

Of course, the awesome battle between Aragorn & Lurtz leads to the most emotional moment in the entire film.  Boromir’s death.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

3. DWARROWDELF

“Behold the great realm and dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf”

Epic.  It doesn’t get much bigger than Dwarrodelf.  An incredible image in a film OVERFLOWING with incredible images.  (I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the brilliance of the Argonaths as well.)

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

2. BOROMIR PIERCED BY MANY

Fighting through one arrow is one thing…  But four?  Boromir most definitely shows his quality as he fights off arrow after arrow in order to defend the Hobbits.  His courage is easily one of the best moments of the entire series.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

1. YOU SHALL NOT PASS

This stunning confrontation is a classic LOTR moment and by far my favorite moment of Fellowship.

In my opinion, the Balrog of Morgoth is one of the coolest monsters in movie history.  Beyond the amazing visuals, this moment also boasts one of the most quoted and easily recognizable lines from the series.

Gandalf vs Balrog…  Amazing.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ‘FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING’ MOMENT?

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features Ever?

December 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features Ever?

DO THE LORD OF THE RINGS EXTENDED EDITIONS CONTAIN
THE BEST SPECIAL FEATURES EVER PRODUCED?

I watch the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy at least twice a year.  The second I finish watching the films, I immediately watch the incredible special features included with each film.  These wonderful documentaries are THE most in depth and interesting special features I’ve ever seen.  Indeed, the story of the filmmaker’s journey is as compelling as the movies they dedicated themselves to create.  Each and every person associated with these legendary films brought so much passion and commitment to their craft.  It’s beyond inspiring.  As an aspiring screenwriter, it makes me feel lazy and that’s a GOOD thing.

I’m at the point where I can pretty much recite the documentaries from memory.  It’s fascinating to watch their journey play out.  It’s so inspiring to watch people pour so much effort into something they believe in.   So much thought is put into every detail no matter how small it may seem.

What’s even more inspiring is the leadership shown by director Peter Jackson.  Throughout the documentaries, people sometimes question whether or not he has pushed them beyond their limits.  Only to discover that they are truly capable of remarkable things when challenged.  Peter Jackson commanded a well oiled machine with thousands of artists willing to do whatever it took to achieve his masterful vision of J.R.R Tokien’s world.

The documentaries themselves are split on two discs for each film.  One disc is devoted to pre production covering everything from inspiration, to the screenplay (nice) and finally the creation of all the sets, props, weapons, armor and more.  The second disc chronicles the production itself with tons of behind the scenes footage from the set.  This disc is complimented by an in depth look at the fascinating post production process.  This includes the tale of Weta Digital and their Oscar winning visual effects work.  There is nearly 6 hours of content to view for each film.  All of this is complimented by lengthy interviews with the cast & crew.

It’s a phenomenal wealth of information for anyone who loves ‘making of’ documentaries.  In fact, these documentaries redefined what special features could be.

WILL THE HOBBIT CONTINUE THE TREND?

I sincerely hope The Hobbit will come packaged with more amazing stories from the set.  Actually, I’m not concerned.  It has to!

We’ve already been treated to tons of behind the scenes videos including these:

It’s great to see so many familiar faces hard at work again.  I’m already planning on skipping the initial Blu Ray release in order to save my money for the inevitable extended editions.  More inspiring documentaries are on the way and like the movies, I can’t wait to follow the journey over and over again.

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features Ever?

The Post: Lord of the Rings Edition

December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

The Post: Lord of the Rings Edition | LOTR Fan Films

I love that the short films, features, animations, documentaries and trailers featured in The Post are usually unrelated and random.  You never know what type of project will show up in this section.

However, this being Middle Earth Week, I’m dedicating this edition of The Post to The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit fan films and videos.  So here is a collection of wonderful tributes to an incredible film series and of course, the beloved books by J.R.R Tolkien.

10 Flicks: Box Office Favorites

January 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

10 Flicks Movie Lists

I’m a proud movie nerd.

We’ve covered that so it shouldn’t surprise anyone who reads this blog that I follow box office numbers closely.  The only place I go for box office information online is Box Office Mojo.

Recently, I was checking the all time domestic numbers and decided to see if I could narrow the top 100 down to 10.  Can you?

Click here to see the Top 100

So here are my 10 favorite box office moneymakers.

Honourable Mention: Avatar, 300, The Sixth Sense, Saving Private Ryan

Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 4

#4 – $460,998,007

I adore the original trilogy and enjoyed the prequels but A New Hope will always be my favorite. (Followed closely by Empire Strikes Back.)

XTRA | If I Could Only Recommend ONE Science Fiction Film

Spider-Man

Spider-Man

#9 – $403,706,375

It may not be my favorite superhero movie of all time but it certainly paved the way for some of the most entertaining movies in history.

“Go web go!”

Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Lord Of The Rings

#12 – $377,027,325

It’s tough to pick one movie when all three are in the top 100.  I look at the series and see one giant incredible movie but I had to pick one so ROTK was the winner.

XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings

Transformers

Transformers Optimus Prime

#22 – $319,246,193

Even though I absolutely hated the sequel, the original is one of the most entertaining popcorn movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen.  It had giant fighting robots and some of the best and most complex visual effects ever created.

XTRA | Transformers 3?  Apology accepted Michael Bay

Independence Day

Independence Day Area 51 Attack

#30 – $306,169,268

Will Smith is my favorite actor.  I’m one of the reasons his movies always make 100 million+ in theaters.  Independence Day will always be one of the greats.  ID4 is a perfect example of a huge box office blockbuster.  Big stars, big FX and big thrills.

XTRA | Wouldn’t it be awesome if Independence Day 2 was about…

Signs

signs_mel_gibson_shyamalan

#70 – $227,966,634

I talk about Signs a lot on this site. I even thought about leaving it off this list to avoid ‘Signs fatigue’.  However, I simply couldn’t bring myself to leave my all time favorite movie off the list.

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded Trinity

#41 – $281,576,461

It’s ambitious, it’s explosive, it’s cool and it’s confusing.  It was once the record holder for most anticipated movie until it was toppled by The Dark Knight years later.

XTRA | What THE MATRIX screenplay taught me

Twister

Twister Helen Hunt Tornado

#61 – $241,721,524

Twister may surprise some people but I’ve always loved this movie.  When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of tornado warnings.  This eventually ignited an interest in weather and this movie came along right in the middle of that childhood obsession.  Twister is a fun movie. Plain and Simple.

Jurassic Park

jurassic_park_trex

#15 – $357,067,947

To this day, I’m still fascinated by how well the effects stand up compared to today’s standards.  Such a fun movie.

The Dark Knight

dark-knight-joker

#3 – $533,345,358

My second favorite movie ever.  I’ve never been so excited to see a movie in my entire life and to have the film deliver on all the hype was amazing.

Try narrowing down your own list of 10 box office favorites.  It’s not that easy.