There's a lot of discussion going on right now about The Two Towers, its relevance to current world politics, and its use as an allegory or just an interesting point of comparison. Patrick Nielsen Hayden links to some of the essays in his blog.
At Paul Bibire's (Near) New Year's party yesterday evening, James Harvey made the observation that Peter Jackon is re-telling a tale from mythology--a practice that stretches back as far as language itself. The fact that some elements are differently emphasised in this version, and that others are added or dropped, is perfectly natural, and in keeping with the nature of the work itself.
This makes me a bit more comfortable with the film's treatment of Faramir, and makes me even more keen to see it again. (Maybe tomorrow?) After watching all the extras over the weekend, today we're watching the extended version of the film itself. Wow. It's much more than just the original film with deleted scenes re-inserted: it's a complete re-edit. It's almost a completely different film. Wow.