At the Theater

Waiting for the movie to start. we’re going to see it in the Valley’s only DLP theater. I hope this is good.

[UPDATE: Ho hum. I’m not sure that the DLP experience really added anything to the movie. That said, the movie was uneven.

Pluses:

  • The special effects were incredible. Fantastic. Breathtaking. There was one scene where a spaceship is landing somewhere or another and I found myself thinking that that is exactly how a spaceship landing would look in reality.
  • The original Star Wars now makes a lot more sense. I can see why Darth Vader said “we meet again, at last” when he fought Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Death Star.
  • Jar-Jar Binks never spoke.
  • Ewan McGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi perfectly.
  • Mitichlorians are only mentioned once.
  • Yoda rocks!
  • Mace Windu dies.

Minuses:

  • The special effects were overused, overdone, and frenetic. What good is amazing detail when it’s impossible to follow. The spaceship scene mentioned as a plus was only intelligble because it was given time to play out.
  • Many of the loose ends tied seem very forced. The whole motivation of Anakin Skywalker doesn’t really work. It’s a long leap from being upset that the Jedi Council isn’t taking you seriously to actively killing Jedi. And don’t even get me started on him going to the Dark Side to save Padmé. Their romance didn’t seem to matter to him enough that he should cast everything aside and join forces with a dictator. His wife was a freaking senator, for crying out loud. Unless he was completely stupid, he should have realized that he was putting her out of work.
  • Jar-Jar Binks was still in the movie.
  • George Lucas still thinks that the stupid Force philosophy crap is important enough to mention. It’s enough that the Force is a mysterious power that can used for good or evil. We get it. It’s science fiction: no one really cares about the backstory.
  • The acting of Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen was unbelievably wooden. Anakin Skywalker is transformed from a brash, headstrong young Jedi (umm, parallels to Luke) into the most evil villain this side of the Emperor and the extent of his acting evil is a glimmer in his eye and a frowny face? Uhh, Darth Maul was a better villain.
  • The pacing was very odd. Fight scenes take seconds, while the utterly inane staring off into space of Padmé and Anakin lingered for 20 seconds or so. It’s like George Lucas hamhandedly tried to cram in as many action sequences as possible, realized that he had some more time and extended some scenes that didn’t need it. Like the first two of this prequel series, I found myself being very conscious of how long this movie was. I never had that feeling with the three in the first trilogy.

Okay, so I guess it’s a little more than uneven. I think it was far better than the last two in that it seems truer to the first trilogy, but it still pales next to them. There were supposedly some subtle jabs at conservatives, but I for one didn’t see it. They may certainly have been there, but everything was happening so quick that my mind was overloaded. Things slipped by. I could do an entire entry on just the oddities of the plot itself, but I’ve spent enough time on this matter already.]

[UPDATE (5/22/05): Lessons Learned]

[UPDATE 2 (5/22/05): Reason wonders whether the separatists might have been on a libertarian track. I found myself thinking that as well.]

[UPDATE (5/23/05): Howstuffworks explains the Sith. If you just rolled your eyes, perhaps this guide to Episode III for non-geeks is more your speed.]

[UPDATE (5/24/05): Wow, I knew things were whizzing by and I missed a lot, but I can’t believe I missed these goofs.]

[UPDATE (5/26/05): Here’s an excellent rant about RotS and George Lucas’ constant tinkering with the first trilogy.]

[UPDATE 2 (5/26/05): And here’s more commentary.]

[UPDATE (5/30/05): Episode III Easter Egg Guide.]

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