another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Movie Night: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

As mentioned previously, Ellen and I (finally) saw the latest episode of Star Wars on Tuesday night. It was ... alright. For the first 30-45 minutes I was thinking how bad the film was, then it hit the meat of the story and I started enjoying it. Overall, I thought it was pretty good, and a fitting way to bridge to the original Star Wars (now Episode IV), but it also displayed a number of Lucas's weaknesses.

I had had a lot of the movie spoiled for me. In particular, I shouldn't have read Kevin Smith's review as it spoiled what was probably the biggest emotional impact scene of the movie, and one point that wasn't patently obvious from having seen the rest of the series. Still, as Joe Straczynski said with parts of Babylon 5, it wasn't about where the story ended, but seeing how they got there. And at that, the movie succeeds, but not in an overwhelming fashion that I would have wished for.

More, including SPOILERS, after the break.

What sticks out most now, a while after seeing the film, is how clumsy some of the scenes were. Worst is the Frankenstein homage with the fully outfitted Darth Vader near the end. It just looks like the chains (or whatever he's breaking free of) are plastic, and that I could have filmed the scene in my basement with a $100 budget. While it probably still would have been cliche', giving us a closeup of the bonds as he strugggled against them would have been better. Also, after Order 66 is given, we just see Jedis getting shot, pretty much all in medium length shots with next to no chance to react -- a bit more variety in these scenes would have helped (and yes, I recognize that there was some variety -- like the speeder bikes -- but it wasn't quite enough).

And, the thing is, I'm not a great student of film. I'm pretty insensitive to stuff like this. If it bothers me, it's got to reach major levels of "bad" to someone who actually knows something about cinema.

General Greivous amounted to basically nothing. His design was cool, but he really didn't turn out to be a major menace, or at least that didn't come through well. And I could never quite understand why a droid was coughing -- even with some living organs I didn't see anything approximating lungs (Matt says it's explained in Clone Wars, so I'll have to re-watch that). The same with Count Dooku. I understand why they are both there in story terms, but with a bit more work these two could have been combined or given a bit more to do.

What it boils down to is that there's a really good film in here, but it needed someone who could really give a final good edit to it. As it is, it's probably that Lucas is too close to the material, and can't see where the flaws are.

Perhaps he'll get it right in the 20th anniversary special edition 3D datacrystal version in 2025.


  • I agree with all your comments about the film, dear. We discussed some of this at Steak 'N Shake after the movie. I was getting so tired of the boring dialogue and stiff acting in the first 45 minutes, I wondered if we were going to suffer through this the entire film. But it did pick up.

    The biggest thing that bothered me was that everyone seemed so surprised by the fact that Amadala (sp?) was carrying twins. I mean--that far along in the pregnancy, any OB worth their education would have heard two heartbeats--even without an ultrasound--even an OB nurse would have felt two heads or two butts or something!

    Anyway--you are not just talking to yourself--I am reading here regularly as well.

    By Anonymous Your loving wife, at 7/01/2005 4:16 PM  

  • I liked the first scene, where Anakin and Obi Wan were "rescuing" Senator Palpatine. But you know that I don't tend to analyze movies at all like you guys do, so whatever, we're all allowed our opinions. The acting and bad writing didn't really bother me that much when I saw it - the only things that I thought were dumb were the unleashing of Vader ("Nooooooo!!) and how Padme just kind of blurted out Luke and Leia's names as they were presented to her.

    And that's about all I have to say on that.

    By Anonymous Kalen, at 7/02/2005 7:15 PM  

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