Revenge of the Sith, Revenge of the Sith, Revenge of the Sith! For some reason, I feel super pumped to have finally seen it. I feel like that great line from Mr. Show - I saw the shit out of it. I'm feeling punchy and wished that I had truly loved this movie. Alas, it is impossible to love.
It was jokey and silly. We've gone from great lines like "Would someone get this giant walking carpet out of my way?" to slapstick routines of Yoda knocking over guards. Come to think of it, that was pretty funny.
It looked flat and dull and too crowded all at the same time.
Yoda's sentences were way too long for the convoluted way that he speaks. Ridiculous.
There were shots in it (the white corridor of the ship to look like the beginning of Star Wars --I refuse to call it "A New Hope", and Luke's uncle on Tattoine looking out onto the horizon) that were supposed to make us reminisce about good movies.
George Lucas continues to prove that he doesn't know what he's doing. There is no suspense at all in this movie. Everything seems to be in a rush to do nothing.
The scenes of Darth Vader becoming Darth Vader were supposed to remind us of Frankenstein, but instead reminded me of Young Frankenstein.
We are supposed to believe that Anakin goes from "Oh no, what have I done?" to "I will do whatever you tell me master" within three seconds.
How amazing was the birth scene when Natalie Portman is handed her babies and immediately names them? And then promptly dies because she has lost the will to live? Tom Stoppard is a genius!
I loved the scene when Darth Vader starts screaming out "NOOOOOO" when he finds out his wife is dead.
Youthlarge cried when the Wookies were killed. I couldn't quite believe that anyone could find any real emotion in this film.
At one point, Youthlarge asked me to clarify a certain plot point. I responded, "I kind of stopped fully understanding all of this stuff in 1983."
I did truly like some of Natalie Portman's costumes -- from the Princess Leah look to the Buck Rodgers thing she had going on. Lovely.
I didn't really mind the silly little ways to tie this film into the next episode -- "We must wipe out the droids' memory" or Yoda saying, "I will go into exile until the time is right." However, I was struck by how little I gave a shit about characters that I once cared about -- Chewbacca, R2D2, etc. In a strange way, I felt a similar feeling when I was watching the first episode of this season's Six Feet Under. That show seems so over, so lifeless, so limping along to the finished line after one listless episode.
All in all, I wasn't really disappointed by this film. It was what I thought it would be after sitting through the first two episodes. The whole endeavor seems like a wasted opportunity. Lucas clearly is a good idea guy and as Chris Larry pointed out, a great special effects person as well. Star Wars was not perfect but it was fun, inspired, and it had a human pulse. The Empire Strikes Back is a great film -- good screenwriting and great direction from Irvin Kershner - a director who was used to directing small character driven films. This film easily has the best performances of any of the six films. Return of the Jedi is pretty bad but at least it had Harrison Ford.
These last three films are so drab. The first three films all felt like new worlds and creatures were being introduced to us. The last three all feel too computer generated and blue screened out for my tastes. I still can't believe how Lucas has gone back and screwed with the first three films. I wonder if his next project is to digitally add souped up T-Birds to American Graffiti.
If the fact that I didn't really like this movie makes me like Anthony Lane, then so be it. But I wish that Lucas had franchised these three films out to different directors. The Alien films are not all great, but all four have their own look and feel to them because each one had a talented young director in charge. Even the Harry Potter franchise is going to have different directors after the first two films. I haven't seen the last two films, but from what I understand, the third one is definitely the best one. A good director can make such a big difference.
Obviously, Lucas thinks that he can do these films better than anyone else. He has made his millions on them but does anyone really truly love these films in the way that a generation ago loved the franchise? Maybe, but in my opinion, they are kidding themselves if they think these films are good.
However, if Lucas changes his mind and decided to bring back Ford, Hamill, and Fisher for a seventh episode, I'll be as excited as anyone else -- at least until I see how boring it all turns out to be.
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