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Thread: Star Wars Episode III: REVENGE OF THE SITH

  1. #1
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    Star Wars Episode III: REVENGE OF THE SITH

    There's a fair amount of info circulating about the next Star Wars movie, due next summer, and I won't post any here, in case anyone would get offended at spoilers.
    Last edited by Johann; 03-29-2005 at 11:27 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    The new trailer looks chock full of sfx glory, and it probably will be the best of the "new three".

    I like the shot in the new trailer when Palpatine says:
    "Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"

    Hoo ha! Throw down your lightsabre- things are gonna get Hairy.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    anyone else watching today?

    me me me ...

    ;PPP

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    Been there, done it, bought the T Shirt.

    Let us know your thoughts once you've seen it hengcs.

    Cheers Trev.
    The more I learn the less I know.

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    I'm actually gonna wait a while- maybe a week or two.
    Every screening is sold out at the moment, and after the ugly crowds I had to endure during Sin City's run I have no problem avoiding the geeks and wise guy teens that will without a doubt be in the 'plex.

    I don't care about spoilers for this film so I'll read anyone's review...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    My original post from the LAST FILM YOU'VE SEEN thread.

    "Midnight screening of Revenge of the Sith, jam packed, very hot but a good atmosphere. George has referenced a lot of scenes from the original trilogy in an effort to appease the fans who weren't too happy with episodes 1 & 2. I'll probably see it again before writing any sort of review because I did feel tired especially in the heat."


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I think once it's released on DVD it'll become the Star Wars drinking game, a quick shot for every reference to the previous films, I'm talking specifics such as classic dialogue or scenes which are obviously designed to trigger memories, I can guarantee you would have a very hard time making it to the end of the film.

    I believe it was George's intention to trigger memories because he obviously needed to tie in the seperate halves of his hexology? and also needed to provide some fan service after the disappointment of the Episodes 1 and 2.

    The one thing I will say, like the Animatrix with the last of the Matrix films, you will get straight into the plot if you have watched the Clone Wars cartoon series which introduces new characters some of which play a fairly prominent part in the film, not that it's essential but it certainly adds to the proceedings, overall an enjoyable end? middle section? to the series.

    Cheers Trev.
    The more I learn the less I know.

  7. #7
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    A Review

    Revenge of the Sith – A film by George Lucas

    At last Mr. Lucas will reveal himself, at last the Sith will have revenge. All is explained, all is revealed. The unanswered questions raised since this second series began are at last revealed and answered: What are “midiclorians?” How was Anakin conceived? Where did Darth Sidious come from? How was Darth Vadar created? What happens to Count Dukoo? Why couldn’t Yoda defeat Darth Sidious? How did Obi Wan survive? What happened to Luke and Leia’s mother? And a hundred other smaller questions are all answered in this final chapter that links the first three films with chapters four, five, and six.

    The Star Wars series of films are an enigma in and of themselves. Last night on Charlie Rose, the rather “underspoken” Lucas, who hardly ever says enough in an interview to amount to anything, was quite candid in how the entire Star Wars series began. He wanted an old fashioned morality play told in the form of a Saturday matinee serial. As a “cultural anthropologist” in college, Lucas became fascinated in how film could deliver a moral message about society in a clear and yet subtle fashion. His very first film (an animation) reveals more about Lucas than all his other movies combined. He had a message to say about how he felt society was headed. That in turn, led to THX 1138, and even American Graffiti. In Graffiti, Lucas wanted to describe the ‘mating rituals’ of the American teenager in the early 1960’s before the ‘hippie’ culture changed our perceptions of that interaction. Fascinating.

    One can clearly see the high moral ground in Revenge of the Sith, and the anthropologist at work. In Anakin, we see the slow undoing of how performing one’s duty can lead to acts of evil. From the earliest days of man through the Nazi’s and even in Iraq, “only following orders” can lead to disastrous consequences. So Anakin, following the orders of his Emperor, and trying to save the Republic from the evil forces trying to tear it apart, commits unspeakable acts of brutality, and in the end, comes to typify how a good soldier can easily become one of the most despicable character.

    Yes, Revenge of the Sith is filled with all the beautiful images one comes to expect from a Star Wars film. The special effects are so state of the art that few films will probably be as impressive this year, except Peter Jackson’s this Christmas. Lucas, by the way, admires Jackson. The lightsaber duels (there are two simultaneously) at the end are so well choreographed that they rival some of the best swordplay in any film. Sadly, good does not triumph over evil, however, the film does end on a hopeful note, following the old Hollywood formula to never leave ‘em crying. While the middle of movie does bog down at times, getting into the character’s descent into hell, there is plenty of action to satisfy the best of what has made the Star Wars films famous. In the end, I would have to say that George Lucas has directed his best Star Wars effort yet, and that fans can come away with their heads held high and wear their Star Wars gear in public again.

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    Ok stop knocking Episode 2 people. I thought Attack of the Clones was fantastic, and worthy of the original trilogy (notice no defense offered for Phantom Menace). This film is by far the darkest of the series (as we all expected it to be) and it is probably the most emotional. I got chills watching Anakin become Vader, and yes I am a dork.

    As for the effects, they were fucking horrible. CGI is crap and looks like video game graffics. The prequel trilogy seems more like a commercial for Industrial Light and Magic than a Star Wars movie. Miniatures and puppets, and people in makeup look a hell of a lot better than cartoon characters, which all these characters are.

    The light saber battles were a little overdone. I just don't see any point in seeing 80+ yo Christopher Lee doing four flips in the air. Luke and Vader fought plenty of battles without going crazy with acrobatics. They were simpler, and MORE EFFECTIVE. I also noticed that once Anakin become Vader, he starts fighting with just one hand on the light saber, as opposed to the classic two hand grip. BTW he only used one hand in the second trilogy.

    Now I can nit-pick about more stuff, but Star Wars films aren't about what's wrong, but what's great about them. I loved Chewbacca being in this, and R2-D2 and C-3PO will always be great, although their homosexual relationship was downplayed a bit this time around. I can't think of any loose ends that weren't tied up, or elluded to, with the possible exception a young Han Solo reference. But on the other hand, a Han Solo child might have broken the mood of the film, which a few references did.

    I admire the fact that the film was Pg-13, a first for any Star Wars film, and well there are plenty of things that top other Star Wars films, certainly the greatest display of evil in the series. I'll probably go to see it again soon, but for now I think it was fantastic overall and a great conclusion to the greatest film series of all time.

  9. #9
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    Should we cut Lucas any slack?

    Here's a guy who at one time (1970) was the most promising filmmaker Hollywood had ever seen. THX-1138 was so ahead of it's time that Warners never knew what they had.

    Then American Grafitti became the highest-grossing independent film ever. (Beating Easy Rider's record).

    Then the crest of the wave was at it's highest point: Star Wars was being made on a shoestring, with it's makers inventing modern special effects. The movie came out and was a bigger phenomenon than Jaws. Oscars & accolades, Darth Vader is a household name, Mark Hamill hams it up on The Muppet Show, Carrie Fisher hosts Saturday Night Live as Leia, C-3PO is slamming his metal feet into the concrete outside Mann's....

    Then...


    Lucas is so sucessful he doesn't direct the sequel. That should have been clue number one that things weren't right. But the film was astounding in terms of a sequel. The Empire Strikes Back is one of the few sequels that is arguably better than the original. Lucas was all over the production, but I pay more attention to his role as producer.
    Return of the Jedi is great as well, but things are starting to slip. Ewoks, while cooler than Jar Jar, still suck. Lucas said he was going to have all wookies in this film but opted for the kiddie appeal and safe cuteness of the bear-like Ewoks.
    Cha-Ching.
    Another director change. Why? Anybody know? Somebody must know- who are the star wars geeks here?
    Lucas produces.
    Lucas has also been busy with his pal Spielberg on the Indiana Jones films- blockbuster action/adventure films. "Popcorn movies" as Lucas calls them. Coppola laments that we lost the greatest independent filmmaker ever to movies not worthy of his talent. Lucas in his own defence says: "I just went another way".

    He's raking all this cash in. He's the Bill Gates of cinema.
    He sets up his ILM and Skywalker Sound.
    He authorizes and is the architect behind the travesty known as Howard the Duck. He must have been inhaling tauntaun dung when he wrote that one. Can Lucas fail? Holy shit yes!
    Watch "the Duck"-- especially the part at the end with Lea Thompson singing with him on stage. You'll wanna crawl under a rock...

    And then he sits around for a few years, overseeing his "Empire".

    1993.
    He sees Jurassic Park and says to Spielberg: "It's time to go back to Star Wars".

    That was the statement that sealed the fate of the Star Wars franchise. Post haste Lucas tweaks his original films with the new digital effects he has access to. Some scenes change radically. Fans are outraged.
    Lucas is flippant: "Star Wars is my Canterbury Tales- all art is never finished, it is only abandoned". Right.

    Then we hear Episode 1 is being filmed. Everyone is all-a-titter.
    Holy Grail! Lucas is directing again! He's back at Star Wars!
    You'd think that a cure for cancer was found.

    Myself, I was very apprehensive and not very excited actually.
    I like the Star Wars films (especially the first) but at the time of news of the new film I was in full-on Kubrick mode (which has never abated BTW) and there was no way in midichlorian hell Star Wars could ever match the then in-production Eyes Wide Shut.


    The rest of the story everybody knows. The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were severely lacklustre in my view. anduril and I saw Menace opening day, and I remember walking out of the theatre, silently, back to his car, trying to come to grips with what we had just seen. The vibe in the theatre was eerie that night. Or should I say morning! It was after midnight when we went in. The focused silence of the crowd as we were watching this film was interesting. It was Star Wars- we saw the screen crawl! We heard the Williams theme!
    But it wasn't Star Wars. It was something else.
    It didn't have the feel of the original films.
    Our cinematic memories were more robust than this.
    Star Wars was more entertaining than this.
    Star Wars was of a time and of a spirit.
    Lucas made that film because he felt he had to make it.
    Did he feel he had to make the new trilogy? I don't think so.

    Lucas worked best when he was against all odds, creating original, compelling cinema that he felt needed to be made; with "scotch tape and popsicle sticks" as Hamill said once.

    With the sfx world at his disposal we get sensory overload on top of the things like cheesy acting and lame-ass dialogue.

    Should we cut Lucas any slack?
    He didn't cut the fans of the original trilogy much...

    It's my Canterbury Tales.
    Yeah, OK.
    But George: YOU AIN'T CHAUCER.
    Chaucer didn't let his kids decide where his career should go.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    Star Wars: Destruction of a Legend

    Like the lemming that I am, I went to see the final instalment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy last night. Sadly, my low expectations for this latest travesty were more than amply met by Lucas. I would not have thought it was possible that the man who made A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back could make The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith. This ought to be regarded as one of the worst collapses in creative talent in the history of Hollywood cinema. Certainly, the latest instalment delivers a few moments that will appeal to fans but I have not bought into Lucas's reinvention of the Star Wars universe. Lucas has prostituted the epic, operatic myth of the original trilogy on the altar of special effects and even then it is The Matrix and the Lord of the Rings trilogy that set the new special effects standards in recent years. Revenge of the Sith once again found me openly laughing in the theatre as its two prequel predecessors did: not at deliberately written humour but at the absurdity and nonsense in the movie. Lucas's reinvented Star Wars universe is too busy, too absurd, too campy, too superficial, too devoid of accessible characters to truly enjoy. Worse yet, Lucas had to bring that absurdity and nonsense to the original trilogy too with the Special Edition versions of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi; only Empire Strikes Back has survived the Lucas butchering. I can only hope that some day Lucas relinquishes some creative control over the Star Wars universe and hands over creative reigns to directors and writers who can recapture the qualities that made the originals so great: epic, mythic story-telling, classic tropes and themes, sweeping cinematography, strong characters, wonderful musical scores, and so on. The explicit and very trite political commentary; the increasingly incoherent elaboration of Jedi codes and religion; the moral ambiguity and relativism; the casting of Hayden Christensen and Jake Lloyd; the overuse of CGI and SFX; the inability to successfully use talents like Natalie Portman, Ewan MacGregor, and Liam Neeson; the racial stereotyping; Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans; the uninspired plots; the especially campy and laughable dialogue; all of this and more has destroyed the Star Wars universe. If only Lucas had chosen to mimic another Kurosawa epic like he did with the original trilogy (see The Hidden Fortress) perhaps there might have been something truly worth seeing in the prequel trilogy but unfortunately Lucas evidently relied on his own imagination and the results are crap.

    So, having witnessed the implosion of Star Wars, I recently came to a new perspective on the movies. Could it be that the prequel trilogy is a reflection of our contemporary culture while the original trilogy is reflection of our positive potential? Moreover, though I doubt it was Lucas' intent, perhaps everything that is "wrong" about the prequels in comparison to the originals are not so much examples of Lucas's creative implosion but rather symptomatic of the collapse of the Republic and its reinvention as the Galatic Empire while everything that is "right" about the originals is symptomatic of the values and worldview that precipitates renewal. The prequels are a narcissitic story of political gamesmanship and the corruption of bonds of friendship and family without any clearly delineated heroes and a very unsatisfying, scientific, rational approach to "spiritual" phenomenon (i.e., the midichlorians). The characters and ideologies in the prequels are awash in or characterized by self-deception, contradictions, evil, incoherence, spiritual blindness, and/or religious and moral ambiguity. Additionally, the prequel trilogy itself is spectacle for spectacle's sake; it is superficial and shallow; a special effects orgy with fragmented and nonsensical plots; but, perhaps in being so it expresses in form what it also embodies in content. By contrast, the originals are an epic story of resistance against tyranny and evil, the hope and reality of redemption, the important bonds of friendship and family, the centrality of a mystical, faith-type spirituality, and the ultimate victory of good. There is a clear teleological narrative progression in the originals and the movies themselves are not superficial but rather are characterized by profound themes and motifs. Seen in this light, and in their internal chronological order of Episode I-VI, the full experience is a story of narcissim leading to destruction and then a renewal ... the "form", not only the "content", pointing to the philosophical/theological juxtaposition(s) that unite(s) the prequels and the originals. At least, this is now the way I like to view these movies and so redeem the Star Wars legend in my own mind.
    Last edited by anduril; 05-22-2005 at 06:09 PM.
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  11. #11
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    According to interviews, Lucas gave up on the labor intensive job of being a director for two reasons: one, was to spend more time with his children as his marriage was falling apart. Secondly, he wanted to create his own movie studio for the second and third films, so he didn't have to go back to Hollywood with his hat in his hand. He accomplished both. Whether the performances are better in one film or another is subjective.

    Personally, I think the people who are fixated on the first three films and in denial on the prequels are too focused on the results of Episode VI, rather on what brought them to that point. In a rare 1977 interview, Lucas declared (American Cinemaphotographer) that he had written nine stories. The first three dealt with the politics and bureaucracy of governments, and how Empires are really built by in-fighting and maneuvering, not wars. Those dramas intrigued Lucas, which was why he started the whole saga out that way. The middle section had to do with one of rescue and redemption. The final was a slip back toward a balance, where the two factions are at each other's throat, the outcome uncertain.

    Lucas felt the last three were totally unfilmable, as no one would be interested (too much unexplained). The first three stories he considered to be on the boring side. The middle three stories seemed the most commercially viable (remember, his inspiration was the Saturday movie serials that showed the hero left up in the air till next week). When he wrote the script for "The Star Wars" (it's original title), he left enough questions unanswered at the end of the film so that if a sequel would be asked for, he could continue the series. He was determined to make the films whether the public clamored for them or not.

    Meanwhile, he was also working on another Saturday-at-the-movies serial called, "Indiana Jones." Even as he worked on Star Wars, Lucas was writing "Raiders of the Lost Arc." That film also started in the middle of a man's career. His idea was to go back and forth through time (again, if the first film was successful) showing different adventures and periods of 'Jones' life. The orginal idea was having it told as a narrative. Lucas had all but given up on directing and handed the reigns over to Steven, who added his own personal touches.

    Many of the criticisms I've read on this site are a bit puerile. For all he had to accomplish, Lucas' work has paid off, and quite handsomely. He is commercially successful... he has us all dancing on a string, lining up to see his films (whether we agree on their content or not). Arguing over how it would have been better is pedantic. There it is. You know what kind of film (very commercial) is showing before you buy the ticket. Go see your French film and leave Lucas to those of us with simple minds content to brandish lightsabers with our next door neighbors (he has a weak left side).

  12. #12
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    From a blog reporting an offline Entertainment Weekly:

    Lucas believes that his biggest gamble was starting the saga with Jake Lloyd's gee-whiz kid in Menace. Even his marketing team was skeptical. "That's a little bit why it got overhyped. People [here] were nervous if it was going to break even," says Lucas of Menace's notorious promotional push. "I didn't care. I said, 'This is the story. I know I'm going to need to use Hamburger Helper to get it to two hours, but that's what I want to do.'"

    By Lucas' own calculation, 60 percent of the prequel plot he dreamed up decades earlier takes place in Sith. The remaining 40 percent he split evenly between Menace and Clones, meaning each film contained a lot of...filler. Or, in Lucas parlance, "jazz riffs... things that I enjoy... just doodle around a lot."
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    Point being Cinemabon, even Lucas recognizes his prequels are "Hamburger Helper" and, as for him having written three trilogies... nonsense. The complaints are not at all puerile. They are real and these prequels are crap. I did not know before I lined up for the prequels that the director of the original trilogy would produce something this horrible.
    Last edited by anduril; 05-23-2005 at 05:43 PM.
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    Originally posted by cinemabon
    Many of the criticisms I've read on this site are a bit puerile.

    I'd be more edifying for the reader if you'd single out one or more of the criticisms and offered a counter-argument.

    For all he had to accomplish, Lucas' work has paid off, and quite handsomely. He is commercially successful... Arguing over how it would have been better is pedantic.

    Commercial success doesn't always equal artistic merit. This is not the Lucas Fan Club. This is where smart, eloquent people like you exchange opinions. To dismiss criticism of any film as being "pedantic" runs counter to what I perceive to be filmwurld's purpose.

    You know what kind of film (very commercial) is showing before you buy the ticket. Go see your French film and leave Lucas to those of us with simple minds content to brandish lightsabers with our next door neighbors

    The fact that a film is "very commercial" yields no clues as to whether I will enjoy it or not. I think that applies to most people. Most folk don't make their minds up about a film until they've seen it, not "before you buy the ticket".
    Uh...you don't like French movies, cinemabon?

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    Here is my two cents

    I haven't seen it yet.

    I recently watched the DVD of "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" in preparation for seeing the new "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" movie sometime soon.

    What struck me is how BAD the two prequel films have been compared to the original trilogy (yes, even "Jedi") The over use of CGI has ruined any sense of tangible realism that was so cool about the original "Star Wars" movies had. Who cares about some world that is so advanced and technologically superior if it's not believable? Give me goofy droids and cardboard cut-outs of a dewback in the dusty streets of the original Mos Eisley compared to the smooth CGI blah of the new films any day. Give me model tie-fighters screaming across the screen.

    The only actors worth watching are Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid and they are wasted on bad dialogue. Watching any actor being forced to react to totally artificial surroundings is just wrong. Give me a giant soundstage with a real set compared to these phony, unoriginal CGI worlds. Or how about combining great CGI with great location shooting a la Peter Jackson with his astounding "Lord of the Rings" trilogy?

    Lucas tries to make far too many lame references to classic films. When Anakin searches for his mother, the shot of him dropping into the Tuskan raider camp is straight out of "The Searchers". George, we know you grew up on Ray Harryhausen, we just don't want to pay $8.00 of 2005 money for effects and shots from the 50's and 60's. Ray's effects were state of the art for the time. Be so good as to give us the same and truly honor the man (as you did in 1977.)

    Why does a levitating cart need a beast of burden to pull it!?! Don't just do something because it's "different" or because you saw it in some other film. Don't give license to CG animators to ruin your film.

    Anyone else think about how lame the Jedi became in the first two films. They lost all their aura of mystery and coolness. We have Mace Windu and Yoda looking constipated...sitting on their duffs while the Republic falls apart and all they can do is make cryptic pronouncements. The Jedi council maybe a model of Republic diversity but it also appears to be somewhat of a freakshow. "Young paduan learner, Master Bearded Lady and Master Dog-faced boy wish to teach you the ways of the force."

    The Jedi seem extremely myopic and fallible not to mention somewhat weak. Getting ambushed and surrounded and beat up by a bunch of droids with blasters? They are sort of like samurai in a town full of gunslingers, now if they had some of them "Sith" powers....

    It all makes Han Solo's pronouncement that, "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." seem just about right on.
    Last edited by stevetseitz; 05-24-2005 at 05:26 AM.

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