OFFICIAL LOTR: The Two Towers DVD Review Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 144 Old 08-18-2003, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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THE TWO TOWERS:2 DISK SPECIAL EDITION



Studio: New Line Cinema
Year: 2002
Rated PG-13
Film Length:179minutes
Aspect Ratio:2:35:1
Audio: Dolby Digital EX



I got back from a little adventure I like to call "breaking the street date". It is pretty obvious that I take a run into the city, and hunt for a DVD store that breaks the street date for a DVD release. In the city you can find movies two weeks in advance, but expect to pay a premium. My friend purchased The Two Towers on DVD at a whopping $29.99. Anyway the anticipation was just killing us. We could not wait any longer so he bought it.
Audio
Needless to say, I was dying to see if The Two Towers track was going to be hot like the FOTR. I do not think it was as hot. I had my pre-pro setting to -10dbs above reference. I felt that I could have listened to it louder, probably at -5dbs. The Dolby Digital soundtrack really makes use of the surrounds, truly enveloping. The LFE track is another winner. Scenes like the black riders in the swamp, those wings kick up some serious bass. Also, when Gandalf is fighting the Bulrock. I really need a Bigfoot center channel as I am using a sub-par one. The dialogue did not come across that clearly on all scenes. After discovering Gandalf they are about to embark to Rohan when Gandalf whistles for a horse. Legolas proceeds to utter some dialogue that I could not catch. Anyway, the sound is superb and you will definately enjoy it. I am looking forward to the DTS track on the extended edition.
Video
As was the case on the FOTR, the video is pristine. I noticed little edge enhancement if any. It was a very clean looking transfer without any grain. There are many scenes that just jump out at you. For instance there is a close-up of Sam that his hair seems very 3D. The detail in the costumes is very evident. The seperation of colors like on legolas' costume, you can see the texture of the green. His bow strap around his torso, very detailed. The video really looks great. I am sure the two disk will look even more stunning.

I am so happy my friend has money to make these silly impatient decisions. It afforded the oppurtunity to write this mini-review. Since it was late, he wanted to go home. So I could not take a look at any of the extras. Hopefully I can post more tomorrow.

Thanks for reading
Jeff
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post #2 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 12:46 AM
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cool....
one more week or 7 days to be exact.. then i can get my hands on this baby =)
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post #3 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 05:19 AM
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It is onsale here last Saturday , the picture quality is on par with the very top ones , costed me USD 25.00 to get one , very worthy for 179 minutes
of enjoyment , should be listed as collectior item ! No DTS , sound quality impressive but not up to the fisrt LOTR ! Anyway , a must have item !
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post #4 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 07:05 AM
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I was in Target on Friday, and there was a cart in the middle of the aisle that had a couple of boxes of them! I'm personally waiting for the EE, so I didn't pick it up. I'm sure it would have been pretty easy to pop a carton open though.... :)
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post #5 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 07:54 AM
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HOW ARE Y0U GETTING THE EXTENDED RELEASE NOW!!!!!

I WANT ONE!!!!

Unless you are getting the 'regular release', the 'extended release' is not out until mid november.

Chris

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post #6 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 08:49 AM
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I'm pretty sure they're only talking about the regular release.

I doubt the EE is even in duplication yet.
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post #7 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 10:48 AM
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Looks like lots of very good character development to be added into the EE release. All of the pictures on the pages below can be enlarged, with a better explanation of what they are.

http://www.theonering.net/scrapbook/group/929

http://www.theonering.net/scrapbook/group/928

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http://vimeo.com/super8shooter
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post #8 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 10:55 AM
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I'll just have to wait till Tuesday till I get mine. I'm waking up bright and early heading to Best Buy, getting mine and heading home. I'm off next Tuesday, sweet.

Oh yeah, Jeffrey, Have you watched the ROTK preview yet? Tell us all about it. This is going to be the first thing I watch when I buy mine.
Make sure you hide what you say for spoiling reasons. Don't want any PO'd people.


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post #9 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisMcCarthy
HOW ARE Y0U GETTING THE EXTENDED RELEASE NOW!!!!!

I WANT ONE!!!!

Unless you are getting the 'regular release', the 'extended release' is not out until mid november.

Chris
What are you YELLING at? Who said anything about getting the EE now? We all know it won't be available until November. :rolleyes: :)
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post #10 of 144 Old 08-19-2003, 08:22 PM
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Let's stay on topic: the DVD review, thanks.
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post #11 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
I had my pre-pro setting to -10dbs above reference
How could you possibly enjoy a soundtrack at 10db over reference? That is overkill. Plus I can think of only a handful of systems that could even reproduce that without distortion and they would cost a fortune. Did you mean 10db under reference?

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post #12 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
II had my pre-pro setting to -10dbs above reference
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


How could you possibly enjoy a soundtrack at 10db over reference?
Yeah, it's a very poorly worded post. He says "above reference", but also says "-10dbs". Minus above something??
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post #13 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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-10 below reference, please forgive my bad wording.

Hey, I never claimed to be an expert writer. I was just giving my review. The moderaters made it an official thread review. I did not even cover disk 2. I was just anxious to post a review seeing my friend purchased it for $30 bucks. I apologize if my review(which the thread was originally titled) offended you by the poor quality. I will try better next time.
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post #14 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 12:19 PM
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So much for staying on topic. Maybe next week.

Brian

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post #15 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 12:24 PM
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It will be hard to be on topic untill next tuesday when most people have the DVD.
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post #16 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 12:52 PM
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I did not expect this so early, but he did write the first review and that made his post the catalyst for its official status. I think you provided a service, Jeff. Thanks for your review.
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post #17 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
I think you provided a service, Jeff. Thanks for your review.
Thanks Mr. Davis
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post #18 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JeffreyMercado
I apologize if my review(which the thread was originally titled) offended you by the poor quality. I will try better next time.
Oh don't apologize, your review was fine for what you were going for. I wasn't offended by any means. I was just curious about the volume level. That would have blown me out of house and home in my setup. I look forward to this disc next week! Thanks for the sneak peek!!!

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post #19 of 144 Old 08-20-2003, 03:47 PM
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Hey Good Review!
I cant wait to pick this one up. I wish we had places that would break street date. :(

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post #20 of 144 Old 08-21-2003, 01:18 AM
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I saw it yesterday in my HT. The R2 version was released for rent two days ago here and will be released for sale on tuesday next week (august 26). Picture quality on the R2 released here in Norway is superb, and so is sound! The movie was on one DVD only and the special features were on a separate DVD.

This was the first time I saw it and I loved it! :)
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post #21 of 144 Old 08-21-2003, 04:39 PM
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i bought a copy today, the battle scenes can tear the paint off the walls, best sound and picture ever
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post #22 of 144 Old 08-21-2003, 08:04 PM
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2 Towers rentals were pushed up to to 8/21 in my neck of the woods too.

But where's Dawn? No offense to the rest of ya, but I want the definitive Dawn take. :)

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post #23 of 144 Old 08-21-2003, 11:00 PM
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is the picture that good ? dvdtalk is a bit disappointed. I sense someting with dvdfile too.
same here : http://www.thedigitalbits.com/review...wers2disc.html
perhaps the EE was added to counterbalance the lowbitrate which hampers for instance maximisation of details (Superbit dvds help there) and give the illusion of sharpness (yuck), especially with 2.35 movies.
the fact that sometimes the image seems also soft confirms this.

the picture was so so in the cinemas too but probably/perhaps because of poor copies.

another reason perhaps to wait for the extended version with higher bitrate and DTS.

179min on one side is a bit of an heresy.
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post #24 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 02:54 AM
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The picture is definitely soft and lacking fine detail, most likely due to the low bitrate as you mention. It's particularly noticeable in the mid-long shots where scenery becomes a green smear, which is usually the same point you notice the EE halos atop the mountains against the contrasted sky.

It's certainly a very good disc, but nowhere near reference quality. I'm sure the 4-disc version will remedy many of these problems later this year.

I watched on an ISF-calibrated 42" Panasonic Model 4 plasma via my Denon 3800 DVD player.
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post #25 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 03:46 AM
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Carl
thanks for your comment. I'm sure some will try to diverge with our opinion, let them do it.
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post #26 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 05:34 AM
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Sure, I can only report what I see on my equipment, and others may see something different. I'm not for a second pretending that my account is definitive, only that my setup reveals the disc to be wanting in certain areas.
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post #27 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 05:51 AM
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Thats odd. DVDIGN's review says the disc has a high bitrate, and that it hits in the 9's in the battle scenes. Anyone use the dvd bitrate analyzer to see what the average video bitrate is?

Edit: Here's a link to Widescreen Reviews review of the two towers. 4 for video and 5 for audio.

http://www.widescreenreview.com/newrelease/lotr2.html
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post #28 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 07:52 AM
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Not that this means anything, in my "PQ scale", 4 out of 5 is
not "reference" or as good as some of the DVDs that have been released
lately.

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post #29 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 08:06 AM
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I actually thought pq was better than the FOTR theatrical release. Images seem sharper and contrast definitely seems improved. I'm certainly no video expert but I really think they did a better job and I expect the extended version to be even better. I think the audio quality isn't quite as dynamic as in FOTR on the whole but it's still satisfying.
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post #30 of 144 Old 08-22-2003, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Bradshaw
The picture is definitely soft and lacking fine detail, most likely due to the low bitrate as you mention..... It's certainly a very good disc, but nowhere near reference quality. I'm sure the 4-disc version will remedy many of these problems later this year.
This is exactly what we saw happen with the first movie. I own both the theatrical and extended DVD's for FOTR and the theatrical is considerably softer then the extended edition.

What would be interesting would be to compare the 1-disc Two Towers theatrical DVD discussed here with the Academy screener version that is two discs... The latter may be closer to the quality we'll get in the Two Towers EE version.

Kal
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