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Thread: Star Wars Episode III: REVENGE OF THE SITH

  1. #16
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    I do like French cinema, I was being tawdry.

    But come now gentlemen, you weren't really thinking you found something deep and artistic about the original trilogy, did you?

    This is popcorn, pure self indulgent whiz bang ride on the roller coaster stuff. There is no art other than painting with CGI, is there? I do enjoy seeing what I consider to be state of the art special effects, but your criticisms that there should be something more is wasted on this fluff. No one is expecting Lucas to actually write something profound for "Star Wars," are they? I'm curious. I know that both of you are scholarly (Anduril and Oscar) but you weren't expecting to be overwhelmed by the acting or the great dialogue, were you?

    I don't get it.

    Where is the great acting in the first film? Mark Hamill looking at the sun set? Or how about his reaction to seeing his "parents" the adults who raised him, as charred remains. He looks down. Great direction! Go back and look at it again. It's awful! Or how about when Leia finds out she's the daughter of Darth Vadar in "Return of the Jedi" ("Yeah, I've always known...") It sucks! Just before Hamill went to film "I am your father!"; Lucas was the one who told him about his real father to get the reaction he wanted, not the director! Lucas was on set that day! Only he and Hamill knew! No one else, until James Earl Jones did the dubbing. He said so last Thursday on Charlie Rose.

    It seems to be that a small elitist (and I am not implying anyone at this site, God forbid!) group of critics (i. e. The New Yorker Magazine for one) has chosen this time to find the second trilogy god awful. WHY? They've always been awful. But ask my son why he wants to go. Not for the acting or the art, but to see all the cool spaceships blowing up! Star Wars is the NASCAR of the film circuit! Let's face it, folks. This is a tempest in a teacup.

  2. #17
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    The original films were not high-brow by any means but I think what fans are griping about is the contrasts between the style of the 2 trilogies.

    You could sense something exciting in A New Hope.
    It had some real power- "The Force" was intrigingly mysterious, Darth Vader was fearsome (what a great movie villian), we knew instantly who the good guy was and why he had to "rise up".
    The movie ends with a bang, justice reigns (at least until ESB) and everybody went home satisfied.

    It's a human thing- we all understood the drama that was playing out in some "galaxy far away".

    The new films seem to be a quasi-continuation of that drama.
    The original films had actors in fur suits, rubber masks and models on wires. Now, if those things gave the movies such interesting qualities, then why are we getting CGI overload?

    You know why. Because Lucas is ILM. He cannot have his toyshop be the vanguard of sfx and not incorporate it into his vision. Special effects were always lacking for George. He always wanted something like ILM to make the movies he wants.
    But if these new Star Wars films are the movies he wants...

    I hate to say it, but Lucas has kinda destroyed his own creation.

    I know there are Star Wars fans out there who place so much meaning on those first 3 films that they could have come up with awesome ideas/characters for the first three episodes that would have enhanced the myth, placated fans and elevated Star Wars even further in movie lore/Sci-Fi history.
    There are fans who've made little Star Wars films on the internet that are better (in spirit AND story) than the mega-dollar recent ones.

    How is this possible? Easy. "It's my Canterbury Tales".
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #18
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    Cinemabon... Although the acting and dialogue weren't spectacular in the first, they were more consistent and better, particularly Harrison Ford as Han Solo stood out. But, there was also a certain chemistry between the three leads: Harrison Ford, Mark Hammill, and Carrie Fisher. There was a real sense of fun and warmth in the way they delivered even their campiest lines. By contrast, Hayden, Ewan, and Natalie have developed zero-chemistry and look like they resent being on screen with each other.

    But, aside from that, the first movies WERE profound in the sense that Lucas employed the classic archetypes of good story-telling: good vs. evil, light vs. dark, friendship, family, and so on. He didn't muddy them up or compromise those archetypes and he certainly didn't make his first movies blatant political commentary in the same way he's done this time:

    Anakin (aka Vader): Either you are with me or you are against me.

    Obi-Wan: Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

    Me: [Laughter]

    Later on while Anakin and Obi-Wan are dueling...

    Obi-Wan: The Jedi are good, Anakin.

    Anakin: From my perspective, they are evil.

    Obi-Wan: Then you are truly lost.

    Me: [Gut-wrenching Laughter]

    Seriously, cinemabon, find me scenes in the originals that are this asinine.
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
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  4. #19
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    Hard to love a movie that calls George Bush a Sith Lord, eh?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  5. #20
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    It should be annoying for anyone... no matter what they're political stripes or views on George Bush. I half expected a cheap MAD magazine ad with George Bush's head superimposed on Anakin's.

    I find it all the more humorous by the subsequent dialogue, which completely contradicts Obi-Wan's claim. Indeed, throughout these movies, the Jedi are incompetent nikumpoops, worthy of their left-leaning writer. They can't see evil when it is right on top of them; rather than fight it, they align with it for most of these movies; their "religion" is turned into a science and their aphorisms are dumb. They are completely incompetent. One really does learn from these movies that there is very little admirable in the Jedi Order, which in turn only enhances my appreciation for the originals. Because in them, Luke rejects the lie of Obi-Wan, disobeys the surviving remnants of this corrupt Jedi Order, and allows "emotional attachments" to guide him in saving his friends and seeking the redemption of his father.
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
    Martin Scorsese

  6. #21
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    Do you really want Darth Vader reduced to a carciature of George Bush?
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
    Martin Scorsese

  7. #22
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    I agree. The "zap" has gone...

    All blame can be placed neatly, gently, squarely at the Nike-clad feet of GEORGE LUCAS.

    I think if you cornered Ewan McGregor at a pub after 2 pitchers of Newcastle he would lean over to your ear and say "Some days were shite, brother- some days were absolute shite".
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  8. #23
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    >>But come now gentlemen, you weren't really thinking you found something deep and artistic about the original trilogy, did you?<<

    How about something visionary? The same George Lucas that crafted "THX-1138" gave us "A New Hope". A very different George Lucas gave us these awful prequels. (Instead of twiddling his thumbs for a decade Lucas SHOULD have based his next three movie cycle on Timothy Zahn's excellent series which begins shortly after "Return of the Jedi" ends)

    The original "Star Wars" accomplished something that none of the other films did. It succeeded in dropping the audience in a completely alien universe without trying to explain itself. We spend the first 10 minutes following the exploits of two "droids" for crying out loud! Who had ever heard of droids? Using Kurosawa's approach in "The Hidden Fortress" we stay with these farmer/peasant/droids and are slowly immersed in the "Star Wars" world.

    Admittedly, there are cheesy moments in the original three films. But the basic plot and story are operatic. We have a gifted young farm boy from the sticks, who falls into an intergalactic struggle to save a princess and destroy a weapon of terrible power. All this and he finds out his worst enemy is his father!

    What do we have for plotlines in the new films? We have a TRADE EMBARGO? GOOFY UNDERSEA ALIENS AS COMEDY RELIEF? A KID WHO CAN'T ACT PLAYING A YOUNG DARTH VADER? A TOTALLY IMPLAUSIBLE LOVE STORY BETWEEN A SENATOR AND A JEDI? AN APPARENTLY IMPOTENT JEDI COUNCIL? POLITICAL INTRIGUE ABOUT AS COMPELLING AS WATCHING C-SPAN?

    Hayden Christensen makes Mark Hammill look like Sir Laurence Olivier. The bad dialogue and wooden acting are amplified by the lack of tangible environments for the actors to work in. Too much CGI, not enough vision. Every time I hear Lucas talk about scenes he could only "imagine" filming in 1977. George, most people couldn't imagine the "Star Wars" that you DID film. That's why you made so much money.

    The reliance onCGI is like Spielberg going back and remaking "Jaws" because he fixed the robotic shark.

  9. #24
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    I look at the first trilogy and I see the innocence in myself. I was very naive in 1977. True I was fresh out of film school (1976) with visions of Truffaut and Louis Malle in my brain (See? I did like French cinema... when I was hip). There was a simplicity that attracted me to Star Wars. I likened it at the time to my attraction to Westerns. There was the good guy, dressed in white, brandishing a sword, and rescuing the girl in distress. There was the bad guy, looking like he had a skull for a face, and obviously, dressed in black. Even the music was uplifting. Williams wrote a march theme to open the film, something that hadn't been done in thirty years. Taken on its own, the very first Star Wars film was wonderful.

    But life moves on for all of us... as it did for Lucas. He was very fortunate to have met John Dykstra. Dykstra is the man who invented the motion capture camera and was the person really responsible for making the original Star Wars look so fantastic. Without the multipass camera, we would not be talking about Star Wars today. That revolutionary event opened up doors in Hollywood that were practically closed shut in 1977. I know. I was there. The state of the art in special effects was Ray Harryhausen. He actually had a film released the same year as Star Wars called Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (try to put that up on a marquee). His whole film was stop motion. Dykstra's detailed models flying about with precise moves put them all to shame. When Douglas Trumbull, special effects supervisor for Close Encounters saw the rushes, they liked to shit a brick! They scrambled around to try to make Close Encounters up to the bar Star Wars set. It wasn't Lucas responsible for those incredible effects. There were men trying for years to make special effects better. Those two pioneers were the first to make important breakthroughs that year.

    Personally, I love the CGI in Star Wars. It's as beautiful to look at as a James Gurney painting of Dinotopia. However, George sort of lost his innocence when he had to go on telling the story. For me, I felt betrayed when Vadar turned out to be DAD! I gave up on the story from that point on and concentrated on just the ride after that.

    There's no point to prove. You are correct if you believe the story has gotten so convoluted no aspect of the original simplistic story remains. However, Sith did end on that moment of hope... so that future audiences, having watched one, two and three, are left having something to hope for in episode four. Having hope is more important sometimes than having it your way, i.e. George Bush. I'm counting the days left...

  10. #25
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    I relate to Cinemabon's use of the word "popcorn" to characterize the series. After all, the inspiration is "Flash Gordon" and other such serials. I enjoyed them as such, but perhaps, at age 16 when the first one came out, I was too old to love them. Maybe it has nothing to do with age, I love LOTR and I was almost forty when the first one came out. I also enjoy animated films and classic Westerns more than any of the Star Wars movies. Of them, Attack of the Clones is the one I simply didn't like. I am encouraged by reviews of the latest installment and plan to watch it with my son soon and post a comment.

  11. #26
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    >>When Douglas Trumbull, special effects supervisor for Close Encounters saw the rushes, they liked to shit a brick!<<

    "Close Encounters" suffered because of the tremendous special effects benchmark set by "Star Wars" but it had it's own style and grace. One of my favorite scenes in "Close Encounters" had NO special effects. The air traffic controller scene was pure genius in terms of building suspense and it confirms one of the the basic aesthetic truths: "less is more".

  12. #27
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    Oh and a response to those who claim that the new "Star Wars" film is some sort of political commentary..... This didn't start with "Sith"

    George Lucas has always held that "Star Wars: A New Hope" was, to some degree, allegorical to Vietnam (which, sadly, still seems to be the defining event for a generation.)

    In the first "Star Wars" it was the "empire" (the United States with vastly superior technology and firepower) vs. the "rebels". (the North Vietnamese Communists). The analogy falls flat under scrutiny.

    His muddled and loose interpretation of history notwithstanding, Lucas has made some brilliant films.

    He is from a generation who mistakenly believed and probably still believes the idealistic and false concept that "War is the ultimate evil." Now, don't misunderstand. I'm no "hawk" and I support diplomatic and economic solutions whenever possible. However, to make a sweeping claim that war is never required is unrealistic and myopic considering the concepts and principles fought for in conflicts like the Revolutionary war, the Civil War and WWII. The fact remains that THE biggest killer in the 20th century was democide (death by one's own government) at a rate of 4 to 1 versus war.

  13. #28
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    Originally posted by cinemabon
    Personally, I love the CGI in Star Wars. It's as beautiful to look at as a James Gurney painting of Dinotopia.

    Even though my gripes about Star Wars are about the wierd path the saga has recently taken and child-pandering, the visuals are amazing. Lucas cannot be accused of lack of quality in the visuals. He's aiming for art. But with all the other unsettling aspects of the new trilogy, the sfx do not make up for weak story, bad dialogue and the conspicuous detached ambiguity of it all.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #29
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    I'm surprised by everybody's love for the visuals. I don't find them impressive at all because they simply do nothing... rather, in many cases, they detract from the presentation and make it look more ridiculous. LOTR impressed me; The Matrix impressed me; the original Star Wars trilogy impressed me. The prequel trilogy does not impress me.
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
    Martin Scorsese

  15. #30
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    Originally posted by stevetseitz
    Oh and a response to those who claim that the new "Star Wars" film is some sort of political commentary..... This didn't start with "Sith"

    George Lucas has always held that "Star Wars: A New Hope" was, to some degree, allegorical to Vietnam (which, sadly, still seems to be the defining event for a generation.)

    In the first "Star Wars" it was the "empire" (the United States with vastly superior technology and firepower) vs. the "rebels". (the North Vietnamese Communists). The analogy falls flat under scrutiny.

    His muddled and loose interpretation of history notwithstanding, Lucas has made some brilliant films.
    I have no doubt that this is true but the political commentary was less explicit. It's not like Darth Vader intones, "I am not a crook!" Or, you get some clear Kennedy assassination reference or such stuff. Sure, "evil empire" v. "rebels" can have many applications and indeed Reagan coopted it for his own agenda but the movies themselves were less explicit and less overtly political, at least from my standpoint.
    http://anduril.ca/movies/

    There's a spirituality in films, even if it's not one which can supplant faith
    Martin Scorsese

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