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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith...now with added spoilers


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Agree with Craig, I do. These films are weighed down, and unfairly judged by the "mythical" standards made by the first trilogy. I've had a related conversation with a few people over the past few days regarding the "bad" acting in the new Star Wars films. Other than a few turns, where was the great acting in the original series? I don't recall any, and I am a huge SW fan. Look at something like Godzilla. People said the Roland Emmerich version sucked mostly because of bad acting. Where was the even decent acting in the old movies? I may not like Phantom Menace, but I do like the direction and look of the new movies.

 

To answer your question Fantastic, I'm not sure what the delivery format will be. What I do know is, I've only seen one "normal" movie on this screen that sucked, and that was the first one they showed on there (Planet of the Apes). Other than that, the movies have looked very good. Obviously not as good as the Spiderman and Matrix IMAX movies, but they looked great, and sounded better than the regular theater. Warner felt that Batman would benefit from the IMAX treatment, and it's a shame Lucas didn't feel the same. Maybe it's coming. Matrix Revolutions took a minute before it was ready. Let's hope.

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I disagree, Craig.

 

You can't unbreak an egg, but I really do think I can be objective by looking at the second trilogy by itself. It's really not difficult since neither movie has anything in common with the first trilogy. (Other than a few character names.)

 

The previous two films in this trilogy have one-dimensional characters and a serious lack of intelligent plot. I didn't care how they got from beginning to end. And that's a shame.

 

No excuses, please. You brought my attention to the fan movie, Revelations. I've watched half of it and it already has more going for it than either prequel. The acting is not great, but it sure has a passion I find sorely lacking in the prequels.

 

Some of my favorite actors are in these movies but I can't stand to watch the stiff performances. The villians aboard the Battle Cruiser in the original Star Wars are Men with a capitol "M". These guys have a passion for conquest, one and all. As do the good guys have a passion for freedom. I get none of this from any of the characters in the prequels. They look like they're hitting marks. Obi Wan Kenobi, in the original was every bit as even tempered and serious as the jedi in the prequels, but he was anything but stiff.

 

I disagree with the notion there was no decent acting in the first movies. I would suggest everyone played their parts perfectly. The naiveté of Luc Skywalker. The brash exterior/soft underneath of both Princess Leia and Han Solo plus their sarcastic wit and Obi Wan's wise old master, prepared to meet his mortal fate for the greater good.. these were all good performances. Each character progressed through the sequels. The story progressed. Each was compelling in their own way.

 

Frankly, other than young Anakin, I really couldn't care less about any of the characters in the prequels.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Fantastic,

 

You care about Anikin? I couldn't care less. I think you hit it dead on. The characters and plot of the sequels are devoid of soul. I just don't care about them, and I'm a big fan of Natalie Portman, Sam Jackson, etc. Ewan Mcgreggor is the only one that's giving anyhere close to a human performance and he is still indeed stiff. Another thing about the first trilogy is the characters had chemistry. Of course, you put Mark Hamill by himself and he probably couldn't act his way out of a paper basket, but along side Harrison, Carrie, the droids, Billy Dee, and Chewbacca it really worked. The sum proved greater than the individual parts.

 

I agree with Craig that Lucas is truly one of the greatest filmakers of our time. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the manner of which he created those first three movies. Truly inspiring, but I really think he's lost his way when it comes to these prequels.

 

And I disagree that these movies(the prequels) should'nt have any of the flavor of the old. If he did a movie totally different from Star Wars (i.e. Willow) than there should be a blank slate, but these are well prequels, and therefore for the Godforsaken Sake of film continuity there should be some type of consistency. Is it just me that is bothered with the fact that The Force was presented one way in the first trilogy, and now The Force is something totally different now. There was just so much that was alluded to in the first trilogy that could have been used in the prequels. So many relationships that could have been explored. Such good fertile ground for drama, tragedy, and emotion. Instead Lucas opted to give us one big Boring ass CGI visual storyboard with worst dialog, cardboard uninteresting characters, and an even more limp origin story of one the greatest villians/tragic heroes of all time.

 

Okay I'll stop now.

"All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence."

 

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R.I.P. RobT

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Originally posted by Bill Roberts:

I understand that a billion hours of editing were performed...sounds non fathomable.

 

Million maybe...

 

(At least the radio mook said this..and emphisised with a "b")

 

Did it cost a billion as well?? I hear that...

Maybe they were referring to total rendering hours...I can't imagine they could get CGI editors to work for a buck an hour, but computers might be willing to...

 

Later,

kc

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I was being nice, Jedi. ;)

 

You may not know it, but you hit it on the head in one word; Drama.

 

There is no drama about the characters and situations in the prequels. Tension isn't difficult to create. Evil group attempts to subdue good. Big fight. One wins out.

 

Natalie Portman speaks of protecting her people in one of the movies, but I don't feel the love. Contrast that to and early part of Star Wars in which Carrie Fisher is faced with giving up information or watching the Death Star's initial target become her home world. She has a human reaction. Brash rebellion gives way to concern for an entire planet to utter disbelief and anger when they proceed with the attack anyway. Then temporary loss of all energy from her grief.

 

Or how about Lando Calrissian in Empire Strikes Back? He plays the political game and betrays his old friend. But his concern is for the people he governs. Complex motives drive these characters. Not so, IMO, in the prequels.

 

I agree with Jedi about Mark Hamill's acting ability, on his own and in the context of the first three movies. Luke was a complex character he managed to play naturally. The character is the quintessential farm-boy wants to leave home for an adventure. In the process, his family is slaughtered, entirely changing his emotions and motives for leaving. He intends to become a fighter pilot, but instead is caught up in rescuing a princess. Young man that he is, he's immediately impressed by the fact she's a princess and has an immense, school boy crush on her. (It will be 7 (?) years before we learn that ain't gonna happen. ;) ) In the process, he is forced to grow up or die. That's a compelling character.

 

I think another key point regarding character development in the original is that they are never quite sure of themselves. None of them (Ok, maybe Obi Wan) has a clue how to accomplish their objectives, but they press on, improvise in ways that show a great balance of skill and sheer luck, and find great humor in the juxtaposition of a naive farm boy, a wise old mystical warrior, a macho smuggler/pilot, a nervous biped droid and his diminutive sidekick, R2D2. In fact, it's R2 that shows single minded belief that he will succeed in his objective. All of this creates tension and drama between characters. The love they have for one another is born out of interactions we see on screen. None of it is contrived as "past history" between the characters.

 

Well... that's not entirely true. Obi Wan and Darth Vader have a world of history we never quite learn about in the originals. They do, however, give us just enough back story to understand the epic battle of these masters.

 

And speaking of light-saber fights, let's not compare the Obi Wan/Darth Vader or even the Luke/Darth Vader fights from the original trio of films. I think most people would say the originals lack the fluid motions of the prequel fights. However, I don't think the prequel fights are impressive at all beyond the ability to make someone move that smoothly. Kinda reminds me of a drum machine with all notes quantized and played at about 180+ BPM. Sure, it's fast.. but who cares? It has no dynamics and no feel.

 

Instead, compare the prequel fights to Inigo Montoya and The Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride. I know the banter involved created a comic angle to that fight, but the sword play was wonderful to watch. Indeed, drama is still the word to describe why that fight is now a classic. Again, I don't get that from the prequels.

 

Despite this rant, I really want to like Revenge of the Jedi. I hope Lucas has gone back to his roots and remembered it's the story and characters that truly make a great movie.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I don't disagree with any of the criticisms of I and II, but...In my humbop, the mythic sweep of the whole story is enough to excuse a great number of Hollywoodisms, poor casting choices, clumsy political intentions, and the limitations of the filmmaking era. The story has such tremendous thematic and structural integrity that,I for one, willingly look past the myriad flaws. The books are pretty cheesy too, but even they share of the mythic perfection of the narrative.

 

The films are human, but the story's divine! If I weren't the father of an eight year old boy, I might feel differently, but then again maybe not.

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<

 

I disagree with the notion there was no decent acting in the first movies. I would suggest everyone played their parts perfectly. The naiveté of Luc Skywalker....>>

 

But that's exactly my point, you're referencing the new pix to the old ones. What I'm saying is pretend you had NO standard of comparison, you walked into a theater one day, and there was "The Phantom Menace," directed by someone you'd never heard of. You'd still say the acting was wooden and kill Jar Jar, but I bet you'd be blown away by the sheer scope of the film.

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I like the scale of the story too John. I think the guy is an incredible plotter. If Lucas resolves the plot well, (as I expect he will), prequels I and II will actually get more interesting. I just don't think he left enough unanswered questions in those movies (except the big : "how did Dart become Darth" question.) I suspect most of I and II is disposable except for Darth (and the first family). But there are questions he could have framed like ... why do the sith hate the jedi? How did the emperor become evil? Is being a useless benign force (i.e. the Jedi) immoral? I guess I could fault him for not getting metaphysical enough with the premise, but he is a first-rate entertainer first and foremost. Unlike Phillip Dick.

 

Still the whole idea of telling the back story later, is by itself pretty amazing to me.

 

My 6 year old was disappointed I wouldn't take him to see it (he's pretty sensitive to violence). We'll watch it at home sometime.

 

Jerry

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Originally posted by Anderton:

...But that's exactly my point, you're referencing the new pix to the old ones. What I'm saying is pretend you had NO standard of comparison, you walked into a theater one day, and there was "The Phantom Menace," directed by someone you'd never heard of. You'd still say the acting was wooden and kill Jar Jar, but I bet you'd be blown away by the sheer scope of the film.

Sorry, I went from talking about the films on their own and then went back to comparisons. But they were comparisons of acting and story elements, which what films are being discussed. Either you've got or you don't. The prequels don't.

 

I would certainly be impressed by the sheer magnitude of the effects, were this unrelated to a previous trilogy. But not the plot. Not the characters.

 

I just listened to one of the stories about Revenge of The Jedi on NPR. Click on The Redemption of George Lucas and click, "Listen here". Dean Pollack, a professor at a North Carolina film school likens Lucas to the reclusive millionaire in "Citizen Kane", and his arguements are specific and spot on, IMO.

 

About 2 1/2 minutes in, they played a scene from one of the prequels in which Natalie Portman declares the Trade Federation

has "destroyed all we have worked for...", blah, blah blah... You know what she sounds like? Like a novice actor with no feeling, over emphasizing words in a vain attempt to lend passion to the performance that just isn't there. Unfortunately, it's typical of the performances in the prequels.

 

There is nothing on this Earth that could make me think otherwise about these characters. Blame it on poor acting, directing or screenwriting. Whichever is truly responsible, or a combination of some or all these things, is immaterial. "Wooden" is an understatement. Maybe if we called their performances, "Al Gore" it would make more sense. ;):D (And no, that's not a political comment. Just an assessment of his {lack of} charisma, IMO.)

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They have some "making-of" this film at their web site - done as video documentary in several parts and it's completely amazing the technology and artistry and sets and numbers of people involved.

 

It would take someone with a very complex mind, able to put it all together into a nicely finished product, thats what a rare person George Lucas is. I'll be looking forward to seeing the new film, indeed!

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
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has "destroyed all we have worked for...", blah, blah blah... You know what she sounds like? Like a novice actor with no feeling, over emphasizing words in a vain attempt to lend passion to the performance that just isn't there. Unfortunately, it's typical of the performances in the prequels.>>

 

I heard one critic say "You know how some directors get great performances out of mediocre actors? Lucas has the ability to get mediocre performances out of great actors."

 

I suspect a lot of it is green screen issues...I remember an interview with Carrie Fisher when she said it was really hard to get all emotional about your planet being blown up while you were looking at a piece of plywood.

 

So yeah, it ain't perfect. I don't care, I just want to take a mental bath in the colors, sounds, and imaginary worlds! Which is what I suspect a lot of people want anyway...if I want great acting, I look elsewhere. Yeah, it would have been nice if Star Wars had 100% of everything, but hey, I'm easy. :)

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Just got back from the early screening. Guess who becomes Darth Vader? ;)

 

Seriously, though - I enjoyed it, although there was a lack of tension in knowing where the plot was going by the end - "He's gonna die, he's NOT gonna die, he's gonna go away..." And it was DARK! Not taking the kids to see it - lotta death, too little redemption. But of course, it's not the 'end' of the story, so it's expected...

 

Still, a definite "big-screener" IMO. You'll enjoy it, Craig.

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Ebert gave it 3 and a half.
Ebert has less than zero credibility as far as I'm concerned, especially after he gave Disney's "The Kid" with Bruce Willis - one of the very worst movies ever made - two thumbs up (???!!!!)

 

I can't really fault the actors, though. It's gotta be the director. I don't think Lucas knows how to get a good performances out of an actor.
That's been my exact same impression.

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Just caught the midnight screening last night, I liked it. Filled in the gaps between Episode 2 and 4 nicely. Lucas has created a complete work of modern day mythology now that all six episodes are complete.

It has it's flaws as we've come to expect, but I would definitely rate Revenge of the Sith as the best of the three prequels.

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Originally posted by Anderton:

...Like a novice actor with no feeling, over emphasizing words in a vain attempt to lend passion to the performance that just isn't there. Unfortunately, it's typical of the performances in the prequels.>>

 

I heard one critic say "You know how some directors get great performances out of mediocre actors? Lucas has the ability to get mediocre performances out of great actors."

 

I suspect a lot of it is green screen issues...I remember an interview with Carrie Fisher when she said it was really hard to get all emotional about your planet being blown up while you were looking at a piece of plywood.

...

As an actor (well, I used to be anyway), I attribute all that to the lousy dialogue. It is close to impossible to convey a certain emotion when what you're saying isn't what needs to be said to bring about that emotion. And since your co-actors needs to get THEIR emotional response from you and what you just said to them, then you wind up with a collective Bad-Actingitis. :freak:

 

Now as a musical director, I learned to pass on certain things to the other sessionists, who are much better at those things than I could ever hope to be. Really what George should have done, especially if he really wanted to get the love story to come across. Get a real writer who can write an eloquent dialogue.

 

Ep3 still a great movie though, but it just so happens Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman are two of my favorites, and George just did not utilize them to their fullest in his prequels.

Raul
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Saw it last night at midnight. Honestly, I like A New Hope and Empire better, but not by much. All in all, it was a great movie.

 

There are still painful moments though. The acting is stiff, George still proves he can't write romance, and some scenes were unintentionally funny, i.e. Anakin's dreams, his rebirth in Darth Vader's armor (complete with the ARRRGGGHHHH Frankenstein walk as he breaks his shackles), and the birth of Luke and Leia. Funny stuff. But it certainly didn't ruin the film for me. I highly recommend it.

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

And speaking of light-saber fights, let's not compare the Obi Wan/Darth Vader or even the Luke/Darth Vader fights from the original trio of films. I think most people would say the originals lack the fluid motions of the prequel fights. However, I don't think the prequel fights are impressive at all beyond the ability to make someone move that smoothly. Kinda reminds me of a drum machine with all notes quantized and played at about 180+ BPM. Sure, it's fast.. but who cares? It has no dynamics and no feel.

Really? I don't get that at all.

The saber fight in ANH was impressive because we'd never seen a lightsaber fight before. But seeing it now, it looks slow and awkward....though I thought it looked better in widescreen.

I hope Lucas goes back and revamps the scene. I think Obi-wan deserves a more spectaular end.

 

The saber fight in Empire was indeed impressive...then and now. Great action and tension.

 

The one in ROTJ was too start-stop. They never built up any momentum. As soon as it got going, they stopped it. Even the last bit when Luke beat Vader was a let down. It should have lasted a bit longer and Vader shouldn't have been beaten so easily.

 

Okay, so out of the 3 major saber scenes from the original movies, only one of them was really great. Compare that to the prequals;

The fight with Darth Maul was amazing, and tense....especially at the end when Qui-gon was killed, and Obi-wan had to take Maul on alone. I loved it.

 

I also enjoyed seeing Dooku fight Obi-wan, and Yoda. The bit where Dooku fought Anakin was interesting, and cool, but nothing special.

 

I was GOING TO go see the midnight showing last night. I told my wife I was leaving, and she said; "that's not till tomorrow night". And since she's always right about everything else in this house, I believed her. Silly me! I guess I'll have to see it today or tomorrow sometime.....lousy wife....why did I marry her anyway? :evil:

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Originally posted by Super 8:

...I think most people would say the originals lack the fluid motions of the prequel fights. However, I don't think the prequel fights are impressive at all beyond the ability to make someone move that smoothly. Kinda reminds me of a drum machine with all notes quantized and played at about 180+ BPM. Sure, it's fast.. but who cares? It has no dynamics and no feel.

Really? I don't get that at all.

The saber fight in ANH was impressive because we'd never seen a lightsaber fight before. But seeing it now, it looks slow and awkward....though I thought it looked better in widescreen.

I hope Lucas goes back and revamps the scene. I think Obi-wan deserves a more spectaular end.

 

The saber fight in Empire was indeed impressive...then and now. Great action and tension.

 

The one in ROTJ was too start-stop. They never built up any momentum. As soon as it got going, they stopped it. Even the last bit when Luke beat Vader was a let down. It should have lasted a bit longer and Vader shouldn't have been beaten so easily.

 

Okay, so out of the 3 major saber scenes from the original movies, only one of them was really great. Compare that to the prequals;

The fight with Darth Maul was amazing, and tense....especially at the end when Qui-gon was killed, and Obi-wan had to take Maul on alone. I loved it...[/QB]

 

You have a right to your opinion, but I found the fight with Darth Maul to be the most pointless and boring fight scene ever. Frankly, we've grown used to the fluid action of modern, special effects driven fights. Among them, the Darth Maul fight was laughable. Like I said, there is no comparison based on fluid movement. Of course the newer fights excel in that department. I tried watching that scene again last week, on tv. It was pointless. I never saw anyone get the upperhand. NO DRAMA. A great fight scene, like a great adventure movie, is a series of ups and downs for each side. Otherwise, there's no tension. Again, like the drum machine. Lots of notes and little, if anything, to say.

 

I'd much rather watch the relatively clumsy battle in Star Wars than that garbage.

 

And before you put it down to a slow/fast preference, I would point you to the Matrix and many other new films with incredible fight scenes that move even more quickly than the Darth Maul, light saber battle.

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I never saw the original Star Wars in the theater... or Empire either for that matter... I watched both back to back on video while Empire was still in the theaters (don't ask... ;) ), and was quite impressed. ROTJ was something I saw in the theaters, and while I didn't like it as much as the first two, it still was an enjoyable movie. I've never seen any of the prequels... but in a few weeks, I'll probably go and see this one. It's the last one, right? So why not?

 

Also, FYI and FWIW, I want to explain my avatar. Yes, I like Yoda, but no, I don't consider myself to be "Yoda-esque" in any way. Okay, yes, we're both old, and both bald, but other than that... :D Someone (I forget who exactly :( ) photoshopped Yoda into an old avatar image of me - keeping only the background and my sunglasses. I thought it was brilliant and so I went with it.

 

Egotist I am not, hmmm? ;)

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

You have a right to your opinion, but I found the fight with Darth Maul to be the most pointless and boring fight scene ever. Frankly, we've grown used to the fluid action of modern, special effects driven fights. Among them, the Darth Maul fight was laughable. Like I said, there is no comparison based on fluid movement. Of course the newer fights excel in that department. I tried watching that scene again last week, on tv. It was pointless. I never saw anyone get the upperhand. NO DRAMA. A great fight scene, like a great adventure movie, is a series of ups and downs for each side. Otherwise, there's no tension. Again, like the drum machine. Lots of notes and little, if anything, to say.

 

I'd much rather watch the relatively clumsy battle in Star Wars than that garbage.

So being kicked off a ledge and nearly falling to your death, Darth Maul using a 'divide and conquer' technique on Qui-gon and Obi-wan, and having Qui-gon die, while Obi-wan is forced to stand there helpless to save him, doesn't equal drama to you?

 

And before you put it down to a slow/fast preference, I would point you to the Matrix and many other new films with incredible fight scenes that move even more quickly than the Darth Maul, light saber battle.

The fight scenes in the Matrix were great, but part of what made them great was major use of slo-motion, and 360 camera shots. The effects were cool, but by the third film they were already getting a little worn out. That last fight between Neo and Smith was a bit if a disappointment, I thought. They'd done all they could with effects, camera angles, and slo-mo by that point. They only thing they could do was do them more and do them bigger.

 

Lucas doesn't use all that stuff. In his films it's all about choreography. That's all it's ever been about.

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The two coolest parts in Episode I was the pod race and the lightsaber fight at the end. Well, also the beginning was pretty cool until Jar jar came on the scene. :rolleyes:

 

Episode II had a few moments, like the speeder chase, Obi Wan's fight with Jango Fett and the subsequent chase through the asteroid field, and Yoda's duel with Lord Tyrannus.

 

I'm looking forward to Episode III. :thu:

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It hit the news this morning that a workprint copy of the film had leaked out of Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox/some unknown marketing firm and is available for download.

 

http://www.waxy.org/archive/2005/05/19/star_war.shtml

 

Yikes.

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Well the quality didn't look that good to me.

 

I saw it a few hours ago. I liked it. It wrapped things up nicely.

 

And BTW, I think that no matter what the merits of the individual films, they are all worth watching just to let John Williams brilliant sound tracks wash over you while watching the pretty images.

I really don't know what to put here.
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