I ended up going to the midnight showng of The Two Towers last night. I really enjoyed it, although it seemed a tad longish. That might have been a sideeffect of watching the extended cut of the Fellowship of the Ring earlier in the day. I can’t say whether it held relatively true to the book or not, I haven’t read it in a few years. It stood up well as a movie, or at least as the second movie of an epic trilogy. It’s a challenge to make a good movie from a story when you don’t have a beginning or ending to work with.
The most mindblowing part for me was Gollum. Here’s an article detailing some of the processes used to capture and animate the character. Having just finished up a graphics course and being more aware of the problems facing 3D modeling, I was astounded. Gollum looked very real, not quite like I envisioned but not that far off.