The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on these 4K UHD Discs. This film always looked strong on home video, and this Dolby Vision presentation continued that tradition.
Sharpness looked very good. Due to visual effects, a couple shots looked a smidgen soft, but the majority of the flick boasted excellent accuracy.
I saw no issues connected to jagged edges or shimmering, and I also detected no signs of edge haloes. Print flaws failed to do anything to disturb the beauty, as the movie was clean and clear.
The dark atmosphere of Towers meant its hues felt fairly subdued. The first flick featured some settings with warm tones such as the shire or the elf lands, but Towers seemed cooler overall.
Even the greenery of the Ent locales looked a bit pale. I didn’t regard this as a problem, though, since the disc clearly replicated the movie’s intended palette.
The colors were appropriately vivid when necessary and seemed accurately depicted. The 4K’s HDR added power and dimensionality to the tones.
Black levels also came across well, as dark shots demonstrated good depth and clarity. Low-light shots were nicely displayed and seemed clear and adequately visible.
Given the darkness of so much of the film, those components became especially important, so their high quality was an important factor in the success of the transfer. The HDR brought vivacity to contrast and whites. Overall, the image of The Two Towers appeared very appealing..
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt pleased with the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of The Two Towers, as the soundfield appeared active and involving. All the channels presented lots of material that kept the viewer at the center of a realistic and immersive world. Elements seemed appropriately placed and they blended together well.
Flying creatures soared from location to location accurately, and other pieces popped up in their proper places too. The whole thing meshed together quite nicely, and the piece worked swimmingly. Not surprisingly, battle sequences were the most impressive, but the entire package seemed strong.
Audio quality equaled the positive nature of the soundfield. Speech was natural and distinctive, and I detected no issues connected to intelligibility or edginess.
Music sounded bright and vibrant, as the score presented rich and full tones. Effects came across as accurate and concise.
No problems with distortion appeared, and these elements were clean and broad. Bass response seemed excellent. I found much to like in the terrific soundtrack of The Two Towers.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the prior Blu-ray version? This Atmos mix brought a bit more breadth and impact to an already terrific DTS-HD MA 6.1 track.
As for visuals, the Dolby Vision 4K UHD delivered superior definition, colors, blacks and contrast. As occurred with Fellowship, I thought the format’s superior capabilities actually made minor instances of softness more apparent, as the higher resolution revealed those negligible instances.
Nonetheless, these remained inconsequential, and the image’s strengths outweighed our newfound ability to see “weaknesses”. The 4K UHD turned into a moderate upgrade over the BD.
Unlike the five prior home video versions of Two Towers I reviewed, this 4K UHD package includes zero extras. That situation will become rectified in summer 2021, when a deluxe package will emerge.
Not only will that set include all the missing bonus materials, but also it will encompass the whole Tolkien saga, so it’ll match the Lord of the Rings trilogy with the Hobbit flicks in one big six-movie set. It also promises some new extras in addition to the eight million hours of content already released.
That leaves this version of Towers devoid of extras. This package also lacks a Blu-ray copy of the film, so we get just the 4K discs.
Note that the six-movie package due in 2021 will include Blu-ray versions of the movies sourced from the transfers used for these 4K discs. In addition, the remastered Blu-rays will earn their own release in late 2021.
Although The Two Towers doesn’t feel as engrossing as its predecessor, that’s almost inevitable given its spot as the middle chapter of a trilogy. It’s still an excellent movie that continues the tale well. The 4K UHD boasts terrific picture and audio but it lacks bonus features.
That latter factor may prompt some fans to want to wait for the 2021 release of the Rings trilogy mentioned earlier, as it’ll contain copious supplements. If you only care about the movies themselves – and perhaps already feel sated with the massive collection of features on the prior DVDs and Blu-rays – then this movie-only set may seem sufficient.
Note that as of November 2020, you can only purchase this 4K UHD version of Towers as part of a “The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy” package. This includes all three movies – both theatrical and extended editions - for a retail price of 89.98.
To rate this film visit the prior review of THE TWO TOWERS