The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Director: Peter Jackson
Year Released: 2002
Rating: 1.5

Plodding middle act of the Rings trilogy that busies itself with three narratives but goes absolutely nowhere - "Nothing Is Illuminated," to riff on the title of Foer's first novel. The critical accusation that the movie is 'one long battle scene' (told to me by several people) is incorrect, but it is a very long build-up to a battle scene. Andy Serkis's junkie-in-withdrawal Gollum keeps the Frodo-Sam storyline off-kilter with his demented self-flagellation, but now that the series doesn't have to busy itself with introducing new characters (like it did in part one) it just keeps on with the same ol' wandering through the fields and trying not to get killed bits (or, more specifically, waiting for a character to almost get stabbed in the head or crushed and then saving him/her/it at the very last minute by some freak intervention). In the software world, I believe they call it "bloatware"....