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  1. #1
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    Star Wars review

    I've been waiting nearly 23 years for this moment to arrive! 23 years spent sitting in front of a TV screen enthralled by the ominous character of Darth Vader and wondering how anybody could possibly get that damn cool. Needless to say that when George Lucas finally got around to doing his prequel trilogy I for one was impressed. The Phantom Menace for me (and often I can feel alone in this) was a thoroughly satisfying fantasy adventure film that kept me just as entertained as the originals, whilst still setting up the pieces for a much darker game. Sadly Attack Of The Clones came as a disappointment. It's not that I didn't enjoy it (far from it) but when you've been waiting 20 years to see a character's origin story you do want something a little better than an awkward chat up line involving a girls face and a planet full of sand!!!

    Needless to say it left me with decidedly lower expectations for Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith, but they were low expectations that the films opening shot completely obliterated. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...War! What a way to start the epilogue. The text then rolls down the screen explaining how Chancellor Palpatine has been captured by Count Dooku and 2 Jedi knights have been dispatched to rescue him. Suddenly we find ourselves face to face with that droid ship in a pan out shot that sets up the awe inspiring threat just as well as the famous opening to Episode IV: A New Hope. From this point on it's action all the way as Anakin and Obi-Wan crash a couple of fighters into the hanger of this ship, literally flying out of their cockpits and completely obliterating all of the droid guards in a blink of the eye. The 2 of them then make their way to the bridge where they get to do battle with the evil Count Dooku; a fight that gives the captive senator a chance to begin his mind games on Anakin, and, well you know where it goes from there.

    I think that what pleased me the most about this film was that from this point on Anakin's internal struggle wasn't portrayed as the shallow good to evil twist you may be expecting. Quite the contrary, the reasons given for the choice are many, some made more obvious than others, but nevertheless those reasons were believable enough for me to be able to continue relating with Anakin even down to his darkest hour. One of the largest reasons for this really came down to the work of one man, Ian McDiarmid as Chancellor palpatine. The way that this actor so deliciously brings out the characters cunning throughout the film makes his manipulation of Anakin completely believable, giving an all new light to old villains and making exchanges between the 2 into some of the most chilling scenes in Star Wars History. Still I also feel that credit should go to Hayden Christensen who really shines here. Forgetting the sheer horror that was his last performance he goes on to give Anakin's confusion and fear the credit they deserve to elicit the audiences sympathy, and he absolutely revels in the characters hatred in the films later stages.

    This does mean that the film is one of, if not the, most emotional Star Wars film to date. It's just that bearing witness to these things, seeing what Anakin sees, finding out why he does what he does, and then seeing the reactions of his closest friends who lack this knowledge will really tug at the heart strings. Even the awkward moments between Anakin and Padme become emotional in the new context, and, well a friend recently asked me how I could shrug off Titanic and cry at Star Wars but I challenge you to see the final exchange between Obi-Wan and Anakin and not feel the need for some tissues.

    Of course if all this melo drama doesn't sound like your thing then I must also mention the fact that Episode III is jam packed full of action. A number of these scenes are, in the spirit of the film, darker and more emotional than the usual highly choreographed action of a Star Wars film. In fact when the final duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan came along it got really close in for a much more aggressive light sabre duel that elicited just as much emotion as the concluding battle to Return Of The Jedi.

    That's not to say that the film is completely void of a sense of fun though. In fact some of the films bigger action scenes do exist purely for the audience to have fun, including a fight between Obi-Wan and General Grievous (a sort of prototype Darth Vader from the clone wars cartoon, and yes his coughing is explained there), and both R2-D2 and Yoda getting to kick some serious booty. In fact both characters managed to light up the screen whenever they appeared thanks to a series of action scenes that were clever enough to be funny for adults and children alike. It's exactly what you need to lighten the tone of an otherwise terminally bleak tale, purely because Star Wars has always been about having fun. However it must be noted that the restraint placed on C3-P0 and the complete muting of Jar-Jar ensures that this fun can be achieved without annoying the hell out of adults.

    There's no doubt still going to be justified complaints about the film from other critics. I'll be honest and admit that the acting is mostly wooden, with most of the important actors lacking chemistry and relying on the script to provide most of the emotion. Also a lot of the dialogue, particularly romantic dialogue, can get very stilted throughout. However this is nothing new to the Star Wars universe as every film in the saga has these same faults, and as science fiction serials they never bothered me before either. With it's amazing special effects throughout, a return for John Williams greatest musical score, a darker story tempered with a little harmless fun, and good choreography, Episode III remains a fantastic entry into the genre. It easily surpasses the other prequels, and if people accept it for what it is will be remembered alongside The Empire Strikes Back as one of the most emotional and exciting fantasy serials ever made.


    4.5/5
    Last edited by carl; 05-21-2005 at 09:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldWookie
    if anyone REALLY knows what (wooden) means; that just seems to be the popular catch word for anyone who doesn't like the acting/directing style
    I agree, there is nothing "wooden" about Episode III. Episode I was very wooden, though (although before I continue, let me say that I sometimes feel like I am one of the very few people who actually liked both Episodes I and II, although I admit both have their problems, as does the original trilogy, which I also love).

    Here is my definition of wooden. In Episode I, nobody moves a muscle if they don't absolutely have to. Nobody is twitching, nobody is shifting their weight. Nobody is looking around. Nobody is scratching their nose. You can't even tell they are breathing. They stand or sit rock solid (or, I guess in order to stick with the analogy, tree solid) unless they are doing something or talking (sometimes even when they are talking). Often in "crowd" shots, the only thing moving except the person talking (and sometimes it was just their lips moving) was Jar-Jar, who was constantly twitching. I think the animators did that so you didn't think he was a cardboard cutout or something, but in retrospect, it makes everyone else look like cardboard cutouts.

    I guess that is why I didn't mind Jar-Jar as much as everyone else seemed to. He actually provided a bit of life to the movie, which is ironic since he was computer generated.
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  3. #3
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    I can't agree on the Anakin fall from grace thing. I didn't really buy it. Yes we have seen his dark side all the way from ep2, but I still felt he fell way to fast in the Sidious/mace sceen, and more importantly after that. He goes from a guy who stuggles between his 2 sides (and knowing about the stuggle), to a cold bloodied killer just like that.
    Good movie though. I liked how they messed Anakin up in the end

    I'll give it a 4/5 i think.
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    I'm still trying to catch my breath. Bravo to Lucas! He brought it all together as promised ... and made me want the DVD NOW .. so I can sit and watch all 6 episodes ... one after another. Anyone want to come join me? OD on SW. What a way to go!

    I too felt that Anakin's fall was too fast, all at once, in the Sidious/Mace scene, Gaumont. But I was able to move on and accept it ... but I think that might have been handled a little better. But heck ... we all knew he was going to fall ... and he did a great job of turning evil right before our eyes.

    I loved it.
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  5. #5
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    Cool

    www.Metacritic.com gave Ep III a composite score of 68 out of 100 (generally favorable). They took 40 review ranging from Roger Ebert to USA Today to The New Yorker, and assigned a score based on their review.

    What's best about this site is to red the red-reviews. That's red as in really bad (note: yellow for ok, green for great - 68 falls into green territory). The red-reviews are generally very, very funny.

    The New Yorker gave it a red-review. Metacritic assigned a score of 10 out of 100. For a few laughs here's the review (note: there's a few spoilers in this one)...

    Sith. What kind of a word is that? Sith. It sounds to me like the noise that emerges when you block one nostril and blow through the other, but to George Lucas it is a name that trumpets evil. What is proved beyond question by “Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith,” the latest—and, you will be shattered to hear, the last—installment of his sci-fi bonanza, is that Lucas, though his eye may be greedy for sensation, has an ear of purest cloth. All those who concoct imagined worlds must populate and name them, and the resonance of those names is a fairly accurate guide to the mettle of the imagination in question. Tolkien, earthed in Old English, had a head start that led him straight to the flinty perfection of Mordor and Orc. Here, by contrast, are some Lucas inventions: Palpatine. Sidious. Mace Windu. (Isn’t that something you spray on colicky babies?) Bail Organa. And Sith.

    Lucas was not always a rootless soul. He made “American Graffiti,” which yielded with affection to the gravitational pull of the small town. Since then, he has swung out of orbit, into deep nonsense, and the new film is the apotheosis of that drift. One stab of humor and the whole conceit would pop, but I have a grim feeling that Lucas wishes us to honor the remorseless non-comedy of his galactic conflict, so here goes. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his star pupil, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), are, with the other Jedi knights, defending the Republic against the encroachments of the Sith and their allies—millions of dumb droids, led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his henchman, General Grievous, who is best described as a slaying mantis. Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Republic, Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), is engaged in a sly bout of Realpolitik, suspected by nobody except Anakin, Obi-Wan, and every single person watching the movie. Anakin, too, is a divided figure, wrenched between his Jedi devotion to selfless duty and a lurking hunch that, if he bides his time and trashes his best friends, he may eventually get to wear a funky black mask and start breathing like a horse.

    This film is the tale of his temptation. We already know the outcome—Anakin will indeed drop the killer-monk Jedi look and become Darth Vader, the hockey goalkeeper from hell—because it forms the substance of the original “Star Wars.” One of the things that make Episode III so dismal is the time and effort expended on Anakin’s conversion. Early in the story, he enjoys a sprightly light-sabre duel with Count Dooku, which ends with the removal of the Count’s hands. (The stumps glow, like logs on a fire; there is nothing here that reeks of human blood.) Anakin prepares to scissor off the head, while the mutilated Dooku kneels for mercy. A nice setup, with Palpatine egging our hero on from the background. The trouble is that Anakin’s choice of action now will be decisive, and the remaining two hours of the film—scene after scene in which Hayden Christensen has to glower and glare, blazing his conundrum to the skies—will add nothing to the result. “Something’s happening. I’m not the Jedi I should be,” he says. This is especially worrying for his wife, Padmé (Natalie Portman), who is great with child. Correction: with children.

    What can you say about a civilization where people zip from one solar system to the next as if they were changing their socks but where a woman fails to register for an ultrasound, and thus to realize that she is carrying twins until she is about to give birth? Mind you, how Padmé got pregnant is anybody’s guess, although I’m prepared to wager that it involved Anakin nipping into a broom closet with a warm glass jar and a copy of Ewok Babes. After all, the Lucasian universe is drained of all reference to bodily functions. Nobody ingests or excretes. Language remains unblue. Smoking and cursing are out of bounds, as is drunkenness, although personally I wouldn’t go near the place without a hip flask. Did Lucas learn nothing from “Alien” and “Blade Runner”—from the suggestion that other times and places might be no less rusted and septic than ours, and that the creation of a disinfected galaxy, where even the storm troopers wear bright-white outfits, looks not so much fantastical as dated? What Lucas has devised, over six movies, is a terrible puritan dream: a morality tale in which both sides are bent on moral cleansing, and where their differences can be assuaged only by a triumphant circus of violence. Judging from the whoops and crowings that greeted the opening credits, this is the only dream we are good for. We get the films we deserve.

    The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion. So much here is guaranteed to cause either offense or pain, starting with the nineteen-twenties leather football helmet that Natalie Portman suddenly dons for no reason, and rising to the continual horror of Ewan McGregor’s accent. “Another happy landing”—or, to be precise, “anothah heppy lending”—he remarks, as Anakin parks the front half of a burning starcruiser on a convenient airstrip. The young Obi-Wan Kenobi is not, I hasten to add, the most nauseating figure onscreen; nor is R2-D2 or even C-3PO, although I still fail to understand why I should have been expected to waste twenty-five years of my life following the progress of a beeping trash can and a gay, gold-plated Jeeves.

    No, the one who gets me is Yoda. May I take the opportunity to enter a brief plea in favor of his extermination? Any educated moviegoer would know what to do, having watched that helpful sequence in “Gremlins” when a small, sage-colored beastie is fed into an electric blender. A fittingly frantic end, I feel, for the faux-pensive stillness on which the Yoda legend has hung. At one point in the new film, he assumes the role of cosmic shrink—squatting opposite Anakin in a noirish room, where the light bleeds sideways through slatted blinds. Anakin keeps having problems with his dark side, in the way that you or I might suffer from tennis elbow, but Yoda, whose reptilian smugness we have been encouraged to mistake for wisdom, has the answer. “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose,” he says. Hold on, Kermit, run that past me one more time. If you ever got laid (admittedly a long shot, unless we can dig you up some undiscerning alien hottie with a name like Jar Jar Gabor), and spawned a brood of Yodettes, are you saying that you’d leave them behind at the first sniff of danger? Also, while we’re here, what’s with the screwy syntax? Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. “I hope right you are.” Break me a ****ing give.

    The prize for the least speakable burst of dialogue has, over half a dozen helpings of “Star Wars,” grown into a fiercely contested tradition, but for once the winning entry is clear, shared between Anakin and Padmé for their exchange of endearments at home:

    “You’re so beautiful.”
    “That’s only because I’m so in love.”
    “No, it’s because I’m so in love with you.”

    For a moment, it looks as if they might bat this one back and forth forever, like a baseline rally on a clay court. And if you think the script is on the tacky side, get an eyeful of the décor. All of the interiors in Lucasworld are anthems to clean living, with molded furniture, the tranquillity of a morgue, and none of the clutter and quirkiness that signify the process known as existence. Illumination is provided not by daylight but by a dispiriting plastic sheen, as if Lucas were coating all private affairs—those tricky little threats to his near-fascistic rage for order—in a protective glaze. Only outside does he relax, and what he relaxes into is apocalypse. “Revenge of the Sith” is a zoo of rampant storyboards. Why show a pond when C.G.I. can deliver a lake that gleams to the far horizon? Why set a paltry house on fire when you can stage your final showdown on an entire planet that streams with ruddy, gulping lava? Whether the director is aware of John Martin, the Victorian painter who specialized in the cataclysmic, I cannot say, but he has certainly inherited that grand perversity, mobilized it in every frame of the film, and thus produced what I take to be unique: an art of flawless and irredeemable vulgarity. All movies bear a tint of it, in varying degrees, but it takes a vulgarian genius such as Lucas to create a landscape in which actions can carry vast importance but no discernible meaning, in which style is strangled at birth by design, and in which the intimate and the ironic, not the Sith, are the principal foes to be suppressed. It is a vision at once gargantuan and murderously limited, and the profits that await it are unfit for contemplation. I keep thinking of the rueful Obi-Wan Kenobi, as he surveys the holographic evidence of Anakin’s betrayal. “I can’t watch anymore,” he says. Wise words, Obi-Wan, and I shall carry them in my heart.
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  6. #6
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    they shud use this star wars movie to promote condom campaigns... "if only anakin used protection, non of this mess wuda happened!" lolz!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aS!Dz
    they shud use this star wars movie to promote condom campaigns... "if only anakin used protection, non of this mess wuda happened!" lolz!!
    No, it that case there would be no Luke and Leia... it's good for the galaxy he didn't use protection...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaumont
    I can't agree on the Anakin fall from grace thing. I didn't really buy it. Yes we have seen his dark side all the way from ep2, but I still felt he fell way to fast in the Sidious/mace sceen, and more importantly after that. He goes from a guy who stuggles between his 2 sides (and knowing about the stuggle), to a cold bloodied killer just like that.
    Good movie though. I liked how they messed Anakin up in the end

    I'll give it a 4/5 i think.
    The point is that dar side powers are fueled by the dark side. When Palpatine started his lies to Anakin about a Sith Lord who could create life itself (IMHO it came accross as a lie designed to use Anakins grief) then he knew that the only way to gain such a strong power was to give in completely to his hatred and malice, to become so dark that he would be able to gain the strongest dark side powers possible. By that point, he would be so focused on hatred that he would do anything to achieve his goals, and even then in the early stages he still showed signs of grief. It wasn't really until Padme showed up and he allowed his hatred for the Jedi to cloud his love for her that he stopped showing any signs of grief.

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    Yea i get that, but I felt it happened way to fast, I just didn't buy it. Which is bad cuz in the end its what the movie is all about.

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    What I don't get is how the Storm troopers turned against the jedis so fast...
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  11. #11
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    Apparently, they had that command "programmed" into them during their education and/or genetic structure. Just goes to prove that Palpatine was behind both sides of the war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lafce
    No, it that case there would be no Luke and Leia... it's good for the galaxy he didn't use protection...
    yeah but if anakin wasnt gona be a father.. he wudnt think twice bout letting a sith lord live.. hence darth vader nor sidious wud have existed. so there wud have been no need for luke and leia...

    but hey i was only messin around.. so lets not get too techincal lolz

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by aS!Dz
    yeah but if anakin wasnt gona be a father.. he wudnt think twice bout letting a sith lord live.. hence darth vader nor sidious wud have existed. so there wud have been no need for luke and leia...
    I guess it has something to do with Ep. III... I still haven't seen it...
    Last edited by lafce; 05-20-2005 at 03:41 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard1970
    Episode III is the best of the prequels and possibly, all things considered, the best Star Wars movie of all.
    I totally agree!

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    I just came back from it. Quite a good movie. Very enjoyable. Answers alot of questions. I give it a strong 7.5/10
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