Fun with Franchises: The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers (2002), Part I — “That’s How You Get Orc-Raped”
Today we continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.
And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.
And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Lord of the Rings franchise, and today is the first part of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:
We begin this film in the Misty Mountains.
Look at that gleam off the mountains.
Just letting that… Snow Glo.
Some nice shots of the mountains.
Whenever there’s an aerial shot of snow-covered mountains, I think of Never Cry Wolf, because more people need to watch that movie. What a great movie that was.
Charles Martin Smith is 1/16th hobbit.
As we hear a recap of the previous film.
You know how this is bullshit, right? Once again, a simple understanding of spatial relationships takes me out of the film for a second. They zoom in from the snowy exterior of the mountain, through a little crack and into the inner chamber, which is where Gandalf seems to be fighting the Balrog. It’s a return to the previous film. But we know that the Bridge of Khazad-dum is right next to the exit of the mines, at ground level. There’s no snow down there.
Specifically this part.
It is great how they’re making us relive what was a painful moment the first time around.
I love the sound of the whip. It’s fucking BRUTAL. You can just hear it go, “TOBEY!”
This is like when people have video introductions, and they know that they can get ready to come out while it plays.
(They also reedit it a bit. Since I’m pretty sure Frodo doesn’t scream until after Gandalf falls, and here they play the scream before the fall. Which I get, since that’s where we start. But still… kind of noticeable.)
Pretty noticeable. They can take liberties, I suppose. They’ve already moved this cavern to the top of the mountain.
So, we begin with Gandalf falling.
Because that’s what you do.
That shit was badass. “Oh, it’s my sword falling too. Time to do WORK.”
Ride the fire beast.
This is pretty cool, fighting while plummeting.
My only question is — is this or is this not the fiery chasm from whence it came?
It was pretty hard to contain myself for how badass this was the first time I saw it. They’ve basically reached terminal velocity falling through a rock crevasse, and instead of freaking out about the fall, Gandalf’s fucking wailing on this monster made of fire and anger with his fucking broadsword. Are you SHITTING ME? Usually, when you’re in a free fall, you just take it for granted that both of you will die, so there’s no need to fight. But him going to town on the balrog is proof that Gandalf is already thinking, “Freefall through a rock crevasse for thousands of feet? Nah, that’s just some shit we’re doing right now. That ain’t shit.”
No idea how this thing isn’t breaking its arms on the rock walls every time it hits.
This is a pretty deep fucking cave, though, isn’t it?
I bet it took them a good 127 hours to render this shot.
That is a huge cavern, there. Especially when you consider how fast they must be moving and how big that balrog is. Of course, then it falls in the water, which I thought would be an instant kill. Like, how does a Magmar wash itself? You can’t give it a shower, cause that hurts it. I thought fully submerging a balrog would be a pretty serious thing.
Oh, so that’s his jerkoff dream, eh?
Considering that it ended with water, you might want to get a new pair of pants there.
(It’s like calling out for Cedric.)
Or Edward. Oh no.
“What is it, Mr. Frodo?”
(I was gonna make another Brokeback joke here, but I’m banning myself from doing that from now on with these two, since it’s so easy.)
After he just screamed out Gandalf’s name, do you really need to ask what the hell happened?
Frodo says it was just a dream.
“Just a dream.” I hate it when movies do this.
A Newhart ending would have been hilarious here.
Those of you who don’t get that…go watch some television. Actually — no, don’t. Watch more movies. But KNOW about television. Somehow.
I think that’s called being a… tele-visionary.
“Mordor – the one place in Middle Earth we don’t want to see any closer. The one place we’re trying to get to. Just where we can’t get.”
I always liked this line. It’s extremely Tolkien.
You think he worked out his dialogue in the mirror just to see how it sounded?
Just standing there, going, “Are you… Tolkien, to me?”
They’re lost. Sam doesn’t think Gandalf meant for them to come this way.
I never really bought being lost in this place. Cause they can see where they’re trying to go by the flame and volcano and stuff… and they’re usually high enough up to keep it somewhat in view. You’re climbing over shit as it is, so just keep climbing over shit in that direction.
“He didn’t mean for a lot of things to happen, Sam. They did.”
Well that’s morbid.
Look at that fucking face.
He’s got that Madonna gap.
That thing just randomly seems to call him whenever it wants.
I guess that’s what you get for having an… Eye Phone.
(I have no shame.)
I like the elf leaf collar.
“It’s the ring, isn’t it?” “No, you fuck, I just had a heart episode. The fuck you think it was?”
The ring is getting heavier.
All they have to eat is lembas bread.
He says that like it’s a bad thing. It’s a piece of fucking bread that makes you not have to eat for like, a day or more.
Lembas bread is supposedly the best stuff you can eat. It’s light as hell, but it fills you up and gets you going. Basically the senzu bean of this franchise.
They’re literally eating a tiny ass square of bread. That’s an entire fucking meal! That shit will sustain you for eight hours. And he says it like it’s the worst fucking thing in the world.
I wanted a banana, but I guess I’ll have to eat this piece of shit instead.
“I don’t usually hold with foreign food, but this Elvish stuff, it’s not bad.”
You were literally JUST complaining about it a second ago, asshole.
Samwise Gamgee: Hating Foreigners Since TA 3018.
“Nothing ever dampers your spirits, does it, Sam?”
“Those rainclouds might.”
Why? Rain is awesome. I mean, sure, if you’re stuck outside in it, that could suck. But don’t you have those elf cloaks that protect from the elements? Stop complaining. Rain is awesome.
I get shit for this all the time. Rain is the best, and people go all to pieces when it shows up. It’s the worst in Japan. The Japanese are TERRIFIED of a few drops, and they’ll get all worked up if you go out without an umbrella. I almost never use an umbrella, and I get frenzied looks from complete strangers who are visibly upset by my choice to get a little damp. Rain feels great, especially when it’s too warm out. And if you get wet, guess what? You dry off later.
They’ve been walking in circles.
Sam smells “a horrid stink.” (It sounds like Brick Top saying, “’orrible cunt.”)
It smells like a nasty bug.
I can’t tell if he’s saying “bug” or “bog.” I assume it’s the latter.
But that smell? That’s my fingers.
“We’re not alone.”
So naturally we’ll just go to sleep.
What kind of cut is that? You JUST said you weren’t alone, and now you’re sleeping like it’s no big deal?
Almost positive they’re waiting for him to show up. The way they both jump up to grab him at the same time, and stuff. They’re waiting for him to show up.
Gollum: A word of wisdom, buddy – don’t breathe like that.
“They’re thieves. They’re thieves. They’re filthy little thieves.”
“Where is it? Where is it?”
“They stole it from us. My Precious.”
Great monologue though. Considering it’s the first we really hear from Gollum, other than, “Shire! Baggins!” when he was on the tortur-o-matic.
By the way, just so everyone’s aware, every time he says it, I assume Gollum is always speaking to an overweight black child from Harlem.
I only now just realized that Gollum is wearing a loin cloth. What do you think his dick looks like after all these years?
Probably like the little Voldemort baby that Harry sees under the bench in the train station after he ‘dies.’
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if his dick was that? Just a little Voldemort fetus going, “NYAHH!” all the time, all high-pitched and shit.
Sounding like a newborn velociraptor.
Is he a runaway?
Weird how he didn’t catch them with the element of surprise, muttering loudly to himself the entire time and not having bathed in a century. I can’t imagine why that didn’t work.
I love being ready for people’s attacks. There’s nothing like being the guy who starts out the “victim” and ends up wasting everyone. Like the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. I know this guy who gets really ticked off at people who look at their phones while walking. He announced that he’d punch me if he caught me doing it, to teach me a lesson. Apparently he underestimates my situational awareness, because he went to do it one time and I slugged him in the stomach before he could land one on me. And I’m BAD at this sort of thing. That just feels good, and you’re completely justified in doing it.
If he were a bird, would that make him a… smea gull?
Oh, he wildin’ now. Got them crazy eyes.
Tryin’ to get his hands on the Precious.
(Just like we all are.)
Gollum just SMACKED Sam in the face!
This is what guys look like when they’re jerking off.
Why not hit him in the head with a frying pan?
I love how he climbs up the rock face like he’s gonna try to escape and then it turns out he was just getting some altitude to jump on them. Gollum’s clearly a WWF fan. He can smell what The Rock is cookin’. (Taters)
This is great. Gollum looks like he’s punching Frodo in the face and Sam is trying to pull him off.
Well that’s gonna require some shots.
He bites Sam on the neck, which…he bites a lot of shit, and yet has like TWO shitty teeth. How does that work? I never got this.
Sam’s biting back.
This will always remind me of this one Jewish guy I went to school with who was tiny and hyper, and one day in like 9th grade, he ran up to me in the hall, bit me on the shoulder, yelled, “NOW YOU’RE JEWISH TOO!” and fucking bolted. I’ve rarely been as creeped out as I was at that particular moment.
That’s how Jewish zombies operate.
“This is Sting. You’ve seen it before.”
How great is it that the first thing he says to Gollum is, “Get a load of my sword, bitch. You seen this before, ain’tcha?” No “get off him” or anything like that. You just point the business end of your sword at him and start talking about it.
7.62 millimeter. Full Mithril Jacket.
“Haven’t you? Gollum.”
Yes, thank you, Frodo. We know who the fuck this is. We’ve seen him no less than three times already and his name has been mentioned every one of those times.
“Hey, man, I wasn’t gonna kill anyone. I was just playin’!”
And then he screams. Which is quite something.
Oh, wait. THAT’S the noise I heard walking by the trailer park the day Dale Earnhardt died.
Every time a sentence starts with, “Oh, wait,” I always assume the next part it going to be, “Was she a great big fat person?”
Every time they cut to a wide shot after someone screams loudly, I always (without fail), have the thought of, “That wouldn’t echo that far.”
Which I guess is my movie version of, “You were never a lion!”
Holy shit, are they trying to domesticate him?
I REALLY hope they don’t try to milk him.
He has nipples.
I like how he keeps shouting that it burns. You could probably pull that shit off real easily, especially since you’re stronger than Sam.
Gollum’s milking this for all he’s got, pretending it hurts way more than it does. We know he’s got a future in pro wrestling, but now I’m thinking he could make it as a soccer player.
Ha ha. Two comments in a row involving milking.
This is like when a child doesn’t want to go anywhere.
Come to think of it, most tweens look kinda like Gollum.
“Every orc in Mordor’s gonna hear this motherfucker. Let’s just tie him up and leave his ass.”
“No! That would kill us! Kill us!”
“Maybe he does deserve to die.”
If I were Gollum, that tone would scare the shit out of me.
Colin can back me up. That’s the same tone as, “Maybe I will take the day off from class.”
I’d be making that Christopher Lee Dooku face like a motherfucker right now if I heard that shit.
“I’s can helps you, suh. Issa can takes you to Mordor. Yessuh. Issa can do just dat!”
(I’d have been a great writer in the 40s.)
Or for the Star Wars prequels.
Well now he’s getting all subservient and shit.
He swears to serve the Master of the Precious.
(Eww. Look at that spine. That’s a major turn off, being able to see spine like that. That and ribs. That’s scary, when you can see that.)
Look at that face. That’s a face that says, “You know if I steal that shit, I’m technically the Master of the Precious, right?”
Are you kidding? Don’t trust this fuck. Sam’s right.
He even swears on the Precious. (Which apparently is “treacherous,” and will somehow hold him to his word. …really?)
You can literally take that shit off yourself.
“I don’t believe you!”
Holy shit, that can snap a neck.
He just got whiplash from being snapped by his leash. I can’t imagine how much that shit must hurt.
“He’s trying to trick us! If we let him go, he’ll throttle us in our sleep!”
Yeah, he will.
“Looks like there’s only one way for me to trust you, buddy…” *zip*
Frodo tells him he’s gonna take them to Mordor.
It’s hilarious how easily that collar came off.
“You will lead us to the Black Gate.”
The Black Gate is Mo’nique’s vagina, right?
Look at his little nipples.
And away they go.
These wide shots of them in the rocks look nice, but then, I have a bad copy.
I think that’s the subtitle to the entire franchise: “These Wide Shots of the Rocks Look Nice.”
Distance training, the Uruk-hai way.
This scene is very… rocky.
Look who they have.
(Do they make hobbit-sized Baby Bjorns?)
That’s a great way to tell people to stop.
I love how this lead uruk holds up his fist to stop them like they’re in ‘Nam. What, you think you’re Lt. Dan, now? Look at you, with your legs.
Still reminds me of that time we were watching Band of Brothers in my room and you brought up the Lieutenant Dan thing.
“What is it? What do you smell?”
Driver’s license photo.
He is a fine judge of man flesh.
Pretty sure those are the two major qualifications for a wife: “Good judge of horse flesh,” “Child-bearing hips.”
Their trail has been picked up.
Sure it’s Aragorn? Cause I’m pretty sure there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of men in this universe. Hm. I wonder what the races’ respective populations are.
Oh no, now your cloak could fall off!
Drop that shit in the mud.
What’s the purpose here? The uruks are leaving a clear trail of mud and shit in their wake – and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are going to continue following them indefinitely (though I guess Pippin doesn’t know that for sure) because they know the hobbits were with them. Keep your cloak clip, man.
“Their pace has quickened. They must have caught our scent.”
I want to use that line every chance I get.
What would a Rings movie be without that exact close up of Orlando Bloom?
“Three days and nights’ pursuit. No food, no rest, no sign of our quarry but what bare rock can tell.”
They’ve been running for three days with no food or sleep? I…call bullshit.
Doesn’t this movie seem more opened up than the previous one? The previous one looked almost like they made it for a few million bucks. This one seems like they got the CGI all straightened out, and they didn’t stage it like it was being made for TV. (Not that it looked that way. He just staged it that way.)
It’s funny that over the circling of the shot, Gimli loses more and more ground.
“Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall.”
That basically means that you know one of the hobbits dropped it by accident. But how is that a thing? Is Lorien known for making cloak fasteners that never come undone by accident? Cause that’s basically what you just said. So now that you’ve singled them out for their fashion renown, I’m going to refer to Galadriel and all her homeys as Ralph Lorien.
They’re close. Less than a day behind.
“I’m wasted on cross country. We dwarves are natural sprinters.”
You don’t look like a sprinter. John Rhys-Davies…doesn’t have much in common with Usain Bolt.
Home of the horse lords.
Good thing it’s not also home to the horse ladies, because that would be… worth my $20.
“There’s something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures. Sets its will against us.”
Those are two things I never quite understood about this franchise. One, how they can just listen to the ground and go, “We’re less than a day ahead.” What kind of Colors of the Wind shit is that? And two – how can they just feel evil like that?
This is basically a “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” moment.
Time for Legolas to say some shit.
That’s so bizarre. “What do your elf eyes see?” That’s singling someone out for their fucking weird body parts and asking about them. Try asking someone what their Jew nose smells and see how that goes.
“What do your black lips taste?”
“What does your Asian brain think?”
“The uruks turned northeast.”
Also, here’s a question… I’ve seen a map of Middle Earth. They showed us one in the first movie.
In no way, shape or form is Isengard east of Rohan. I could maybe buy north, depending on where they are, but even that doesn’t make too much sense.
Rohan is east of the mountains. Isengard is west of them. If you’re coming from Rivendell, going through Moria and the mountains, you end up on the east side of the mountains. Lorien is east of the mountains. Traveling south from Lorien, you hit Rohan. You’d have to go south to Rohan, past Fangorn, up through the gap of Rohan to get to Isengard. So, theoretically, they could be turning north, since they have to hook around the gap to get to Isengard, but in no way should they be traveling east.
Not sure why I chose to bring this up, since I ultimately don’t care, but… this is something that doesn’t make sense, right?
Isengard looks like campus housing on Sunday morning.
“The world is changing.” (Everybody says that.)
This looks almost Disney.
Like, straight out of Sleeping Beauty.
Which, is funny, since I’m pretty sure Mordor houses a “sleepless malice,” according to Boromir.
And, just to show you how crazy I am, that movie was shot in Technirama (which is basically a Cinemascope alternative like all those other ones they had), and the only other Disney movie made in that format was The Black Cauldron, which is almost just completely a Lord of the Rings ripoff in every way.
So, there’s that.
But in terms of fantasy movies that aren’t made by Disney, this is clearly the best… Walt-ernative.
“Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor?”
I don’t see how that bridge stays up.
I know. There aren’t any overhead beams or anything.
I guess it’s just a… suspension, of disbelief.
“To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman.”
“And the union of the two towers.”
(I hope it was a Civil Union.)
Also, just FYI, the two towers are not Mordor and Isengard. They’re Barad-dür and Orthanc, respectively.
“Together, my lord Sauron, we shall rule this Middle Earth.”
You know… I’m really interested in what happened to Saruman. How he ended up going evil. Since I’m sure it’s not black and white, given what a respected wizard he was previously. I bet that story is interesting as shit. I hope they get into it in the Hobbit movies (since they sure as shit seem to be throwing everything else in).
I’m just into how there seems to be a canal of lava going all the way from the volcano to the tower.
Maybe it’s a catheter? Maybe he pees lava.
Just… fuck ’em.
How do you still have trees to be tearing up?
That’s a good subtitle, too.
For those keeping score, that’s two movies this year where Christopher Lee walks around as people who work for him create and manage an entire army.
They’re like the same shots too. I wonder why he has these in both movies. I think we get the idea that Saruman is building an army.
But this is basically the exact same montage. Trees, Titanic engineers, backgammon, mud cocoon.
Find me another blog where those four things were put in the same sentence.
So, last movie they were creating the people, and now they’re creating the weapons and shit? Or are we just seeing that part of it now and it’s all just one continuous assembly line?
Think Tolkien hated the Industrial Revolution much? Ungrateful bastard.
I like how Saruman just walks around, watching the progress. How much time do you think he spends thinking about what’ll happen later? Like, does he get excited that his army is gonna kill a bunch of people? Is he thinking about what happens when Sauron wins? Does he think Sauron is just gonna win and let him stay doing what he’s doing? What are the terms of this alliance?
Oh, no, there we go.
Mud wombs are gross. Is mud abortion legal?
Army of black people.
I guess you could call it an army… of darkness.
Weird how no one ever happened upon this and how everyone just let it happen. I mean, sure, Saruman has influence over Rohan, and Gondor is in disarray, but the elves must know. Did they not go, “Hey, this is pretty fucked up, maybe we should go flood this place before it gets any worse?” Because this is basically how World War II happened, right here.
Especially the mud cocoons.
And now he’s riling up some barbarians.
This is how I imagine you get rednecks riled these days. Something about taking jobs. But it really only takes a bit of yelling and eventually it self-replicates and they go off to kill people. You might be a redneck if I want to eliminate you from existence. I’m not saying I want to kill rednecks; I’m talking full-on, It’s a Wonderful Life, never existed status.
Well that was easy.
Now that’s a badass. Calmly strolling through a mob.
Is this a Capital One commercial? What if this whole franchise was just one big Capital One commercial?
Lembas bread. That’s what’s in his wallet.
What’s funny to me is that he riled up rednecks at night in Isengard. Did they just run all night to get here and raid the place? Were they all riled up the entire time? At what point during a riot do you lose enthusiasm? There’s no way they were running for six hours and are still ready to go kill people? Do you maintain mob enthusiasm when you’re all camping out for the night? Do you think there were moments when they all sat around a campfire telling stories and shit? And there was one douchebag with a fife who pissed everyone off? Was there a guy who got winded and was like, “You guys go on without me? I’ll catch up later”? Do you think he ran up to the village while it was burning and knocked some barrels down like, “Yes! Part of the riot!”? How does this mob stuff work?p
This was a fun level in that Two Towers video game I have.
Yes! Fuck peasants! You know who has peasants? Commies.
But actually…they’re burninating the peasants who live in thatched roof cottages.
This was one of those moments that’s totally unnecessary and yet also kind of works, emotionally in a weird way. The mother sending her two kids off alone so they can get away, knowing that if she went with them, they’d all be killed.
This little girl is doing a great job – not because she can act, but because she’s a little girl and her job here is to sob like a little brat and whine. Typecasting.
Multiple planes of action. Aspiring directors, take notes. The camera isn’t handheld, and the shot is complex. This is how you make a movie.
Pillaging a place this pathetic barely seems worth it. You might come out of it with some half decent hay, but other than that…
Maybe that’s what they want is the hay. Maybe they have hay… fever.
I guess her other horse is in the shop.
Never buy Korean.
You could run too, you know.
Maybe next time you should invest in a… Ro-Honda.
Pretty sure that orc just jungle slapped that woman.
Also, that’s two giant black dudes and a little white woman.
You can’t tell me there’s not a little racism going on in this story.
That’s a nice lake.
Is that Kristen Stewart?
“Rohan, my lord, is ready to fall.”
I like how they say it’s ready to fall based on on peasant village in the middle of nowhere. Like, if you randomly took over Bakersfield and was like, “We got California on lock.” No you don’t.
Though I will say — nice introduction to Rohan. Before we heard we were in Rohan, but we didn’t really learn much more. Now it’s like, “Oh, this shit is about to fucking collapse. Cue the violin themeeo!”
Led by Karl Urban.
I mean Eomer.
Okay, Miranda Otto.
Theodred’s dead, baby.
Good thing, I guess, because if he lived, he’d probably be… ro-handicapped.
“Oh, Bubba, no!”
That look. That, you just saw someone’s grievous wounds and it’s so shocking you overcompensate by acting super normal – that look. The one that I always think of because it stuck with me is a scene from Band of Brothers when a soldier gets more or less blown up in a room, and on his way out, he’s so freaked that he points his rifle at other GIs, who get him to sit down because his leg is all but blown off and his head is bloodied the fuck up. That was so surreal.
They go to tell Theoden, son of Thengel.
Holy shit. Look at this motherfucker.
This guy…ain’t hearing a word you’re saying.
Quite the Dickensian name.
Creepy entrance for the WIN.
Eomer says that if they don’t defend themselves against Saruman, Saruman will take over. Wormtongue says that’s a lie, Saruman has always been their ally.
Brad Dourif is creepy in this movie. This is the same motherfucker who played Billy Bibbit in Cuckoo’s Nest. (And also Chucky. So… yeah.)
Motherfucker’s got proof.
Oh, that’s some incontrovertible evidence. Whatcha gonna do, Wormtongue?
Wow, her reactions are incredible in this scene.
Nice move. Go appeal to the dude who runs shit, whose ear you have.
“Shit, no way to argue that ain’t true. Uh…YOUR UNCLE AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THIS SHIT!”
“Motherfucker, you work for Saruman. What’s he giving you?”
Well that’s creepy.
He wants some of the goldilocks. Ain’t gonna happen.
“Too long have you watched my sister. Too long have you haunted her steps.”
He’s got bodyguards.
Respect, though. He’s got his homeys to take care of this troublemaker. This is why we have people. Can’t stress that enough.
And he just got banished.
Remember when banishing was a thing? Let’s bring back banishing.
I don’t know where we would banish people to these days. I’d love to, but we’d have to agree on a spot. Cause in like Ancient Greece, when ostracism was a big thing, you could go anywhere that wasn’t “here.” But now, do you just show up in Omaha and rent a place or something?
I think nowadays there are levels of banishing. Like, “Don’t ever come in this IHOP again,” and, “Stay the fuck out of Malibu,” and, “If you ever step foot in this country again, you will go to prison, Mr. Polanski.”
Each one carries its own set of interesting situations. So I think that’s what it’s more about. Figuring out what level the banishment is going to take. But still, I think we need to bring back banishment. In all forms.
It’s weird how you can banish someone that easily, though. All Eomer did was be like, “I know you want to fuck my sister, that’s creepy.” That’s not so bad.
But I guess, in these times, that counts as Ro-heresy.
It would be really funny if the camera just panned 180 degrees while they were running from left to right, and where they were going was just right there.
These guys must have gotten into insane shape over the course of shooting these movies.
These helicopter flyovers are getting to be a bit much.
Goddamn, New Zealand, Part Deux.
Isn’t it funny how most of the first twenty minutes of this movie is just running?
Goblet of Fire.
God, that was awful. Legolas’ line is so precisely placed so that the camera is with him as he says it and no longer. Also, has he said anything that wasn’t exposition or overly dramatic and out of place like this? I really hate the placement of this line. It sticks out – I was actually dreading it before he even said it.
He’s talking about the line, “They run as if the very whips of the masters were behind them.”
I deliberately avoided that shot and that line and was gonna make it as if it didn’t exist. Sometimes I show displeasure by omission.
And again, every single one of these shots HAD to be with a moving camera. Even the super wide shot of them running in the distance! Can we have ONE gorgeous still shot of them running? Some long-lens action? SOMETHING other than this?
It looks like they’re in a bootleg laser tag place, waiting for the game to start.
They ain’t going anywhere until they’ve had some shit to eat.
I don’t know who this uruk is talking to, since they all seem pretty keen on the whole ‘taking a break’ idea.
“I think we might have made a mistake leaving the Shire, Pippin.”
You did make a mistake leaving the Shire. So far, you’ve done nothing of use. Why didn’t you take the blue pill?
This is like one of those nights when you’re planning on staying in, watching movies, playing video games and just eating shitty food and your friend is like, “Nah, come to this party, it’s gonna be amazing,” and you go, and the party sucks, and you end up wandering around with people the whole night, and the entire time you’re thinking, “Fuck! Why did I go outside?”
Wow… fuck trees, indeed. This movie.
And then Merry and Pippin are like, “What’s that?” and realize, “It’s the trees.” There’s an old tale about the trees being able to talk.
I’m sorry, but if this was really a thing in your universe, you’d fucking know about it. If there were walking trees, there’d be stories and stuff about that. Middle Earth David Attenborough would be all over that shit.
But how convenient is it that we hear a sort of creaking noise that could be just about anything, and Merry immediately comes up with a rumor that he heard during childhood that turns out to be exactly what this is? Most of my encounters with weird stuff in the world (especially unidentified sounds in the night) are left as unsolved mysteries – and I promise you I’m smarter than Meriadoc Brandybuck.
I can buy that, though. Since they’re so sheltered, that’s exactly how they’d have heard about it. Plus, they don’t know it’s true. And in a place like this, a lot of those tall tales probably do have a basis in fact.
“I’m starving. We ain’t have nothing but maggoty bread for three stinking days!”
I don’t get what orcs usually eat. Shit doesn’t grow in Mordor. It’s rock and fire.
They probably eat whatever they kill.
Though, I guess, given how bare the place is, there aren’t too many… Mor-d’ouevres.
“Yeah! Why can’t we have some meat?”
Because you didn’t eat your pudding?
Why them? Isn’t this a kingdom of horses?
“What about them? They’re fresh.”
“They are not for eating.”
And then the other guy’s like, “Well what about their legs? They don’t need those.”
This one that wants to eat their legs make perfect logical sense, but he reminds me too much of an old British woman for me to accept him. “Aww, they look tasty!” Sounds like he’s talking about crumpets.
What’s crumpets, Precious?
So I guess we’re gonna put the… uru-kibosh on that plan, then.
“Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!”
Can we do this to vegans?
Jesus. It’s like a pack of lions.
So, what? The uruk that’s in charge kills one of the ones who wants to eat the hobbits, so they eat the dead uruk instead? That’s gross. The intestines flying through the air was pretty gratuitous. And aren’t you eating that? Native Americans have a use for every single part of an uruk.
There they go.
That’s always a sinister shot.
It’s weird how that shot went from being a western convention to also a horror convention.
“Go on. Beg for help. No one’s gonna save you now!”
He looks like orc Leslie Howard.
Ain’t that how it always is, though?
“How was your uruk?” “Skewered. One sympathizes.”
I’ve never been all that hot on the spear. Look at all these guys throwing spears at the uruks. I would NEVER throw my spear – NEVER. Cause after you throw it, you’re still in a battle, but with no spear. Just ridin’ around on your horse waiting to get fucked.
“Just Riding Around on Your Horse Waiting to Get Fucked.”
Oh, looks like Rohan’s got one badass. Firing arrows from horseback is no joke. It’s a traditional sport in Japan, called yabusame, and it’s amazing. Dudes in traditional costume on horseback at a full gallop, holding huge bows and firing at little targets on the side.
PONYTA used STOMP! It’s super effective!
“The red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night.”
First off – always with the exposition. Also – pretty sure that’s not what a red sun means.
Is that a thing? A red sun rises whenever blood has been spilled the night before? How much blood is necessary? Cause your whole universe is the Middle Ages. Pretty sure SOMEONE’S blood gets spilled every night.
Do virgins count?
I was thinking more like Gibson’s wife in Braveheart, but that works too.
And there’s the
whale red sun.
But someone is approaching.
Wow, amazing how they didn’t see them. They literally just ran in front of there not five seconds ago.
Again, you were at the crest of this ridge before you ran into hiding, and these riders come over the same crest only two seconds later. They could ALL see you. What is it with this franchise and totally disregarding simple spatial relationships?
“Is that Ray Ray?”
“We know these motherfuckers, don’t we?”
“Riders of Rohan!”
“Where are the white women at?”
Y’all are surrounded.
By the way, there’s supposed to be a few thousand of them.
I always figured they lived in different provinces, and they just have the main group that lives in Edoras with them. And everyone else is in their own little garrison. Since later on, they do take like five days to round them all up.
I looked into it, and this is just Eomer’s eored. So there should be 120 (and there aren’t even that many), but Aragorn tells Theoden that Eomer has thousands later on. Is Eomer rounding up all the dudes as he goes?
That’s pretty cool. He’s taking his army and going home.
I bet they’ve practiced surrounding people like this. It’s so regimented; I’m surprised there isn’t pep band music in the background.
They must have some interesting Rohirrim parties.
And you thought Grima Wormtongue was the worst thing that could happen to Eowyn.
Helpful hint: When traveling to Rohan, never eat any cookie that is given to you.
“Well goddamn, son, all right. All I was asking was ‘what’s up’.”
“What business does a dwarf, a man and an elf have in the Riddermark?”
“Give me your name, horsemaster, and I shall give you mine.”
I’d lie and say I haven’t said that in public before, but you wouldn’t believe me.
Hands down my favorite line in the franchise. There’s just something hilarious about the appellation “horsemaster” to me. When the movie came out, I tried to make it a thing to refer to people as “horsemaster” instead of “dude” or whatever. Just as an all-purpose name for people. I think it’s time to renew that quest. “Wassup, horsemaster? I ain’t seen ya in a minute.”
Holy shit, the amount of times I’ve gotten this look…
“What did that motherfucker say to me?”
“Hold my staff.”
How can you take him seriously with that fucking weave?
I like how Aragorn puts his hand there to be like, “Chill, son,” and Gimli just stands there like, “I ain’t gonna do nothin’. Don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit.”
“I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.”
Emphasis on the word dwarf. He wants you to be sure, while he is making fun of your height, the racism is really what’s taking precedent in that statement.
“Then you would die before your stroke fell.”
(Someone please make a tally on how many times this shot happens.)
Gotta love these moments, where people are vastly outnumbered and do not give a fuck whether they live or die and are completely ready to make sure everyone ends up dead if need be.
“Chill, son, you’re on probation.”
“I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is Gimli, son of Gloin, and Legolas of the Woodland Realm.”
Does Legolas not have a father?
HAHA LEGOLAS AIN’T GOT NO PAPPY
Whoa, man. Sorry to bring it up.
Also, do you think a situation exists where he goes, “I’m Aragorn, son of Arathorn,” and the person is like, “Oooh… yeah, sorry… I was actually looking for Aragorn, son of Zebedee.”
I just noticed that it’s pretty much only the hobbits and a few other select characters who have first and last names. All the hobbits do, but everyone else seems to have lineage and stuff.
Yes, that’s a tradition that started way back with the pioneer Douche Baggins. Which he passed on to his wife, Tea, and his children, Dirt and Saddle.
“We are friends of Rohan, and of Thoeden, your king.”
I’m not sure what he thought he was accomplishing with that emphasis on “your king.” When a motherfucker has a sword to your throat, it’s probably not best to go over his head like that. Like, “You know, by the way, I’m good friends with your boss, so, good luck with the whole killing me thing.” Since, what if this guy is no longer loyal to that king? Then you just basically walked up to the Union shouting, “Hoorah for the Confederacy! Down with General Grant!”
Probably should have gone with “King Theoden.”
Eomer explains that Saruman has control over Theoden.
Aragorn says they have no beef with any of this. They’re looking for the Uruk-hai.
I guess the casting of Eomer was a failed attempt to appeal to the… Urban market.
Eomer says they fucked them up real good.
What about the hobbitses?
“We left none alive.”
So they’ve all been… Eo-murdered?
Look at that horse back there. “That’s right, son! We killed EVERYONE! EEEHEHEHEHEE!”
I like how they just burned everything.
“All that running for nothing?”
“I am prepared to compensate you. Shall we say one horse? Very well, make it two horses.”
They just have extra horses laying around like that to give away?
It’s pretty great that he can whistle and the horses just show up. While it’s not strange that they have names, it IS strange that he knows them. If I had horses, I could remember….MAYBE 4 of their names before I started calling them ‘Pre-Alpo’ and ‘Glue in Training.’
Legolas don’t trust no horse.
“Look for your friends. But do not trust to hope. It has forsaken these lands.”
I’m just laughing cause his nose guard is a horse’s head, so it’s like his nose has a nose. I bet Theoden’s wife found him in a basket in the water. “I shall call him…’Noses.'” “That’s a bullshit name. We’re calling him Eomer.”
I think how he got his name was from when he was born, and they got all those gifts, and his father was like, “What are we gonna do with all this… Eo-myrrh?”
I love how he announces to no one in particular that they’re riding north. His homeys are all just following him, and he clearly wasn’t talking to the three of them.
Wouldn’t you want to do that? Just find some people you sort of know in the street who you’re cool with, have a quick encounter about your plans and news, and then just go, “We ride for the keep,” and drive off?
That’s the Middle Earth version of, “To the Batmobile!”
Imagine a bunch of old people doing that. On Rascals. “We ride for the north!” and they all just sort of roll away, with “Green Onions” playing in the background.
Though I guess that would be more like Middle Age.
Not even a pony for Gimli?
Remember when Gimli hated elves last movie?
I also like how he told them to look for their friends. Like, “Oh, I think those ashes were Pippin.”
Driver’s license photo.
Classy. Real classy, Rohan. A head on a spike?
I’m kinda hungry right now.
Also, doesn’t that look like Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages?
You guys did a horrible job of burning those bodies. They’re still there.h
Wow, he really is digging in there, looking for Merry and Pippin.
I bet the hobbit corpses are at the middle of the smoldering pile.
“It’s one of their belts.”
Fuck you, helmet!
I like that he yells afterward, too. I HAVE A LOT OF EMOTIONS!
Damn, Viggo. You’re getting heated. It’s funny how he has his hands out like he’s accepting the Holy Spirit or something. The way fundamentalist Christians do at church, or whatever.
“… wait a minute…”
“A hobbit lay here.”
You’re right, Aragorn, that would make a good tombstone.
And you’re starting to dig. I like your initiative.
I like how he Sherlock’s his way through this.
Oh, so Aragorn’s a tracker now, too? What you think, you’re Lord Baltimore or something?
Who are those guys?
“They crawled… their hands were bound…”
Can you just figure all that out from dirt?
“Their bonds were cut.”
The tracks lead away from the battle.
“Into Fangorn Forest.”
Like it’s some mystical shit. I bet there’s some mystical shit in there.
This is bizarre. No forest just starts like that. It’s all old, gnarly trees all of a sudden, and low, brown grass up to that point. No shrubs or smaller trees. Just forest, and not forest.
They be lost.
Isn’t that the old British woman? She seems to be rather spry, considering someone send a spear through her torso a few minutes ago.
They play hide and seek like four year olds. You can’t just hide behind a tree, cause that’s how you get orc-raped.
So many subtitles.
“He’s gone.” You deserve to get eaten, you prick.
Tryin’ to get some of that hobbit dick.
This IS a rape though. Holy shit.
This is some pretty bad animatronics, with the eyes. I feel like I’m back at Walking with Dinosaurs. Which is also probably a place where tiny people should be wary of rapists. If I ever have kids, I’m never taking them places where children are expected to be.
That’s not animatronics. That has to be all CGI.
Yes, run away from a living tree.
It’s like a kid holding dolls. I bet he’s gonna make them kiss and shit.
“The fuck you think you goin’?! Juggs got-cha!”
“It’s talking, Merry. The tree is talking.”
I’m not sure if a talking tree is… rooted, in reality.
“Tree?! I am no tree! I am an Ent!”
You’re also clearly John Rhys-Davies. It’s kind of weird that they’d so obviously make the tree sound exactly like Gimli and not give a fuck about it.
I love how he gets offended that they think he’s a tree, cause he looks…exactly like a tree. But the hobbits are judging him based on appearance, and they clearly need to turn over a new leaf. Still, branching out this much from their narrow-minded roots is probably driving them nuts. Poor saps. I’m sorry…when it comes to awful plant puns, I have no chlorophyllter.
His name is Treebeard. He’s a shepherd of the forest.
Forests…don’t need shepherds.
He JUST told them he wasn’t a tree, and then goes on to tell them his name is Treebeard. That’s like a girl saying defensively that she isn’t a skank, but that most people call her Skankylicious.
Pippin asks whose side he’s on.
“Side? I am on nobody’s side. Because nobody’s on my side.”
Someone was on my side once, but then my kidney started to really hurt.
He also keeps calling them orcs. They say they’re hobbits.
“Hobbits? Never heard of a hobbit before.”
I tell you, these hobbits, they get no respect. When they go in the sandbox, the cats keep trying to cover them up.
This is basically how stupid Americans approach brown people. “Sikh? Never heard of a Sikh before…sounds like Muslim mischief to me!”
Treebeard is something like 10,000 years old, by the way.
“Maybe you are, and maybe you aren’t. The White Wizard will know.”
He says “the White Wizard,” and they immediately assume that it’s Saruman – but they’ve never seen Saruman before, and probably aren’t too familiar with the various ranks of wizards.
I like how he just throws them on the ground. The only thing funnier would be if he flicked them.
Honestly, I think it’s Robert Richardson.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow is Part II, and doo doo clouds.
(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)