July 2005 Archives

Jul 17 01:04:00 2005

So i finally saw Revenge of the Sith...

[info]anassadeina was kind enough to suffer through Episode III again so i wouldn't have to go by myself. , and i had the always awesome Rogue Shakespeare Stout (22 oz bottle) that the Lake Creek Alamo Drafthouse theater serves, with pizza and fried pickles, to give all that alcohol something to dissolve.
I had been toying with the idea of simply never seeing the movie, but lately i had realized that sooner or later i would see it, and the movie would be much more enjoyable on a big screen than any television i'm likely to own in the next 10 years.
I am pleased to say it wasn't as bad as i was expecting. I suppose that could be due to all the negative stuff i heard before seeing it.
I really did enjoy most of what i'll call "the visual details." I'm just amazed at the work and creativity that went into so much of what's essentially background, such as the big lizard that Obi Wan rides, ship design, back grounds, costumes, and so forth. Just totally amazing. And i think Ewan McGregor was excellent -- he may have even saved the movie.
However, the main plot line -- how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader -- was expressed just as disappointingly as i had expected. To be fair, i think Lucas took a hard road in making the happy stories first (episodes IV and VI) and then coming back to do three long movies where everyone knows that there's a depressing ending. (Or, at least there should have been a depressing ending.)
And here is where i feel episodes II and III failed: it just didn't bother me that Anakin Skywalker who was supposed to be the most potential-rich Jedi to ever come along instead becomes a Sith. I just didn't real care.
some SPOILER stuff here:
I didn't like the parallel shots of Padme dying in childbirth and Anakin becoming Vader. Just doesn't make any sense to me. Yes, they are both in pain and yes, in a sense, they are both dying, but it's just a lame juxtaposition. That also goes for intercutting the Yoda-Palpatine battle with the Obi Wan-Vader battle. I think it would have been better to let these scenes stand on their own. I think the underlying message that both Yoda and Obi Wan failed would have been more apparent had we seen one and then the other.
A large and underlying problem with Anakin is simply Hayden Christensen. In episode II, i tried to be charitable and figure he was trying to act like an arrogant and yet somehow also sullen teen. But i think others could have done a better job, although admittedly, he didn't have much to work with.
I really liked Natalie Portman in Garden State, if only because i was so pleasantly surprised that she could act. We didn't really get to see much of that from her in episodes I or II. But there's just no chemistry between her and Christensen and so the crux of why he turns to the dark side (to save her from death in childbirth) is simply unbelievable. Why would he so completely betray the organization and family that has raised him (the Jedi) -- even going so far as to kill Jedi "younglings" -- for a woman he just seems to lay in bed with. There should have been a lot more about their relationship and his development because that was the foundation for the story in episodes II and III. Instead, we got unnecessary new characters (Count Dooku, General Grievous, etc.) which come and go undeveloped, and take time away from the main story, which is how the wonderous boy from episode I becomes the evil Vader at the end of episode III, which was left completely unexplained.
And what is with the names? "General Grievous?" Why not just call him "Mr. Really Scary!!!!!" And Count Dooku sounds like some bad parody of a chocolaty children's breakfast cereal, but made with "dookus" or something. Ugh. Are Lucas' minions just too scared of him to point this stuff out?
A fundamental requirement of tragedy is that at some point in time, the audience must feel happiness for or with the character. Otherwise, it's just a random cosmic ray that causes the unfortunate event, nothing more. There should be a great story in how a hero falls, and turns into the most evil and notorious villain and murderer of all time, but this was not it.

Posted by johan | Permanent link