Lord of the Rings, The: Book III - The Treason of Isengard

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9.3
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9.3(7)
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Overall rating
 
9.4
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
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10.0
This one is more heavily edited than the two Fellowship of the Ring edits, but then I think there's a lot more material added here that needed to be trimmed for a book cut. On the whole I quite enjoyed it and was surprised that it's still 1hr 45min.

The changes to scene sequences works, especially for the chase of the Isengard orcs. Focusing first on the hunters and tracking the hobbits, then switching to what Merry and Pippin's experiences were--as deduced by Aragon was great. Lots of silly stuff is gone and I didn't miss anything here.

The sequence with the Ents felt a bit disjointed and abrupt. While there was extra stuff gone that helped, Treebeard's walk with the hobbits felt a bit shortchanged. The battle of Isengard worked, feeling about right.

Losing the extra stuff in Rohan worked. We focus on the main plot, and no extra superfluous side-plots are introduced, much as I enoyed the life of a Rohirrim bits. I did notice the small continuity issue with Gandalf's cloak--but that may be as much my awareness of what was cut as anything else. The story gets to the point and gets us to Helm's Deep. Which...

Overall the cuts were good. Again, being familiar with the source movie the cut felt almost like it shortchanged the battle. But, it reverted to the significance as in the original book, and wasn't forced as the climax to the second blockbuster movie.

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9.4
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
The book cuts keep delivering. Quite a lot has been trimmed this time, and while all of it is brilliant editing, I find the whole Ent-encounter a bit confusing. Just as brumous mentions in their review, the scenes become a montage, rather than something coherent. A small thing, considering the task and material Jackson gives.

Cutting around the elves during the battle is brilliantly done. I did my best to spot just one in the background, but Kerr appears meticulous!

All in all, as I'm reading the books at the same time, I begin to wonder why Jackson changed the characters as he did. Kerr's edits really do try to correct this and so far it is stellar work.

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(Updated: September 17, 2012)
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8.0
Review by Brumous — June 11, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

Book III is a mixed bag. There are some changed scenes that are big improvements over the original, but other alterations are less successful. Overall, I cannot say this Book III edit is an improvement over the original.

The reassembling of Merry and Pippin’s abduction and escape, and the tracking by Aragorn & co., is marvelous. Instead of rapid intercuts, we get a more continuous story flow. It makes more sense and the emotional beats are strengthened.

However, cutting Merry and Pippin’s encounter with the White Wizard in Fangorn was a mistake IMO. It has so many repercussions on characters and motives, and cutting it makes several following scenes more confusing and less satisfying. The consolidation of the Ent scenes does not work so well either. It plays like a random montage instead of an involving progression.

I found the Rohan sequence difficult to watch. It is filmed in desaturated browns and grays; the mood is unrelieved poverty and grief. The original provided a lot of needed breaks from that by intercutting among five or so different story lines. Cutting most of those storylines is an improvement, but I think keeping the intercuts with the Ent sequence would have helped both threads.

The Helms Deep battle is significantly reduced, and the silliest comedy lines are cut, which gets the sequence closer to the spirit of the book. But Tolkien only spent 10 pages on the battle; it’s an important event but not a central climax. So I would have liked to see the battle cut more, especially to make the two sides a little more even so that the humans could plausibly defend against the orc army.

Kerr’s choice of ending is good, highlighting the final loss of innocence and ending on a note of suspense. Technically the edit looks great and I cannot detect any flaws. Rating: 8/10 based mainly on the “improvement over the original” factor.
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(Updated: April 27, 2014)
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9.8
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10.0
April 16, 2012

I loved these. Not to much to say about it that hasn't been said by other reviewers, but if you're a Lord of the Rings fan, check these edits out.

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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Wow, I'm so glad I found these edits. As a fan of the books since childhood, I always though that Jackson's movies made some... questionable decisions beyond simply translating books to screen. "The Fellowship of the Ring" was, I thought, a pretty good adaptation overall. "The Two Towers," however... I was actually angry leaving the theater and that was the only time I watched it, even though I eventually bought the EE DVDs!

I'm thrilled to say that, with these book edits, TTT is FIXED!!!! The Battle of the Hornburg is maybe a half-dozen pages in the book; this edit dials it back from being the main part of the movie to a reasonable position story/emphasis-wise. Theoden's character is fixed. So many unnecessary movie additions have been trimmed back (stupid Wargs); I actually enjoyed this.

The section with the Ents, sadly, zipped by (so uncharacteristic of them!), but you can only work with the source material you have. I'd guess this was handled about as well as could be.

I realize that I'm writing as someone very familiar with the books and I'm happy to finally see something close to them on the screen. It's hard to say whether someone who hasn't read them would be able to follow or not - but I rate this one superb and have been recommending it to the LOTR book lovers I know.

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