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I just got back from the 1st night of Starwars Episode 2 on my local
and boy am I so soooooooo disappointed.
Never in my born days would I have believed George Lucas could have completely lost the plot like he did making this film. Apart from Ms Portmans sexy curves there is nothing redeeming in this film whatsoever.
The plot, narrative, screenplay and script leave an awful lot to be desired. The scripting of the characters is so empty of any feeling I was sat there in my chair using the force to find it. Sadly it didn`t improve. The digital media the film was made with is far too stale and not near enough technologically advanced to produce a film with. Long shots might looks superb, but sadly they don`t give the viewer the whole picture.
This film is an insult to the star wars genre. The plot is far too overcomplicated with little attempt at explaining the situations within the film in any detail. The editing of the film was obviously done by an overzealous butcher with a hatchet because in certain parts of the film you can see where bits have been snipped without even considering the impact loosing the scene would have on the end product.
If anything it reminded me of "the mummy returns". Summing up, I`d say if I changed my name by dpol to Mr george lucas and had a billion dollar film production suite like his and a ranch of my own to produce a film on, I would have made a better job of it.
Episode 1 was better by a long chalk.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tiresome kiddie Annakin becomes tiresome young teen Annakin.
Palpatine's machinations start to become more obvious, and there is some fun to be had with the sequences on the oceanic clone manufacturing planet, in the asteroid belt, and in the gladiatorial arena on the insect-y planet (although the Force doesn't seem to be a great deal of help to these young Jedi).
The tedious but necessary romance is more than outweighed by Yoda vs Dooku - Best. Entrance. Ever.
Jar-Jar is minimalised but, sadly, not exterminated.
And, like all middle parts, this suffers by virtue of not actually going anywhere.
Lucas has said that he is pitching his movies at younger viewers: if so, they aren't going to find it easy separating goodies from baddies in this opening trilogy.
Follow-up to The Phantom Menace is set years in the future where Anakin Skywalker has become an accomplished, but at times defiant young Jedi apprentice. He's burdened with conflicting emotions for his duty and obligation to the Jedi, his forbidden feelings for Senator Amidala, and his frustrating concern that he's being held back by his mentor. Meanwhile, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi travels across the galaxy where he discovers construction of a secret, unauthorized clone army. The story is much more intriguing and has much more depth than Episode One, but it too often drags and suffers from uninspired performances. As always, the special effects are a real treat, especially a new and improved Yoda. **½
I'm sorry but I've got say this is absolute rubbish. I'm a huge fan of
episodes 4 to 6 and even liked episode 1 in a weird kind of way, but this
Where to start? Well (and I may get flamed for this), the special effects are so-so - there's so many films now that seem to use CGI as a replacement for good old-fashioned film making - and this is one of them. Witness the 'bucking bronco' anakin thing, this is on a par with the Mummy Returns (and that's not good). Come on Hollywood, CGI is no replacement for 'proper' special effects and to me just exemplifies 'lazy' film making.
The story was long and drawn out with some magnificently wooden acting - It's takes some director to get crap performances out of Samuel L, Ewan MacG, Natalie Portman et al - but Lucas has managed to do it.
In my opinion, I don't think they will EVER recapture the magic of the first 3 (you know what I mean) - they had a faintly ridiculous (and camp) story line, ahead of it's time special effects and some superb characters. The interplay between Han Solo and Chewbacca creating some stand out moments. Fast forward to this film, and my god, Anakin comes across as being an angst-ridden, whining, spotty teenager - and we're expected to believe he will become the most feared man in the Universe? Give me a break. Obi Wan also comes across as being, well, boring and weak - this is the man who fought Darth Vader and was so strong in the force that he was able to guide Luke from beyond the grave - yet a slight cut on his leg in this film almost kills him!
In my opinion, they're seriously jeapordizing the whole franchise and spoiling a wonderful film series ... Episode 3 has GOT to be good...
How else would he have managed to convince the world at large this is any good. The special effects were amazing but we expect that by now, the action scenes were good but once again they always are, the acting was so non-existent I don't think the actors could have been trying, The dialogue was sub-standard even for Lucas and the story was weak. Lucas clearly set out to impress the fans by including R2-D2 and C3PO in much bigger roles even though this throws up huge plot holes like why do none of the characters from the original trilogy remember encountering these droids who help them save the universe, it appears Lucas doesn't realize that you can't make a prequel unless it makes sense of the original in the same way you can't have a sequel that doesn't make sense of the film it follows on from. Why doesn't he get some proper writers like Laurence Kasdan in again and is he still trying to convince us that he always intended there to be 9 parts and had them planned out from the start which is quite frankly an obvious lie.
People are praising this film as the greatest thing since the invention of
the movie projector. I'm sorry you want a great film watch ON THE
WATERFRONT, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, THE GODFATHER, THE GODFATHER PART II, or
even THE MATRIX. This film is horrible. Here's why.
First off someone needs to send Hayden Christensen to an acting school. Too bad Lee Strasburg is dead because anything he would have told this kid would have been a MASSIVE improvement. This "actor's" (I used the term very loosely) idea of rage comes off as more of a "hissy fit" or five-year old temper tantrum. His idea of sadness takes so much away from the emotional impact that some scenes are supposed to have. Most notably when he goes back to Tattoine. I cannot blame him 100% as much as I would like too however.
The dialogue is awful! I swear if I heard Obi say "My young padawon." I would have KILLED HIM TOO! Annakin got some of the world dialogue portraying him more like the "spoiled rich kid" arrogant punk type that you just want to smack around and say "SHUT UP!" The dialogue and the script make the "love story" seem something like some really bad teenaged chick flick than a serious movie.
The Story: Okay this could have been good but unfortunately it's predictable (which I can't really fault anyone for) but Lucas writes the Jedi Knights to be the DUMBEST order in history. Homer Simpson's StoneCutters order would have been one up on these guys. If there was a competent military commander on EITHER side this war would have never started. The forshadowing is lame, odvious, and comes off poorly. And the Stormtroopers/Clones well lets just say Boba-Fett has a reason to work for the Empire in Episode V.
Editing: Some scenes needed to be longer and two scenes could have been shortened by about 4 minutes apiece.
The good: The Special Effects and Yoda. This one lacks a serious "back guy" like Darth Maul was in Episode I. HELL JAR-JAR-BINKS WAS BETTER IN THIS ONE! But man the effects were bloody awesome and Yoda ruled and was completely underused.
Just in case anyone looking for derivative things about this film hasn't
noticed this one: the clone factory bit is stolen directly from the bit in
the Matrix where we see all the humans/human embryos in pods. Do I get a
This is not the worst film ever made. The final fight scene is kind of great (but short), the backdrops look nice, Christopher Lee is in it... and, er, that's it. The problems with this film come down to a lack of connection with anything happening onscreen, thanks to non-characters, terrible dialogue, overuse of computer effects etc. Now, computer effects can look great, but they're limited because most viewers will ALWAYS 'know' when they are being used - they are too often intrusive, and if that happens the film instantly sinks to the level of an hugely expensive computer-game cutscene. Which is what much of this film resembles. One of the (many) reasons...Rings was great was because the FX were by and large seamlessly integrated - they truly enhanced the story. In ...Clones we are presented with ridiculous numbers of superfluous creatures, vehicles and environments, all of which feel carefully designed by advertising executives rather than the inhabitants of any real place. Lucas STILL can't got CGI characters right - the scene where Obi-wan goes into the 'diner' to talk to... whatever it was... was just embarrassing - you could hear the creature designers pulling their hair out. At the bit where CGI Yoda stopped fighting and picked up his stick, you could SEE the model resuming it's 'walk' animation. In the original Star Wars films Lucas used puppets, and the result was creatures that, although you knew they weren't real, actually interacted correctly with the human actors, and hence fitted believably into the fictional universe. I don't think I need to mention Jar-jar other than to say all the time he was onscreen the main dramatic tension came from the dread that he might say something.
The enormous battle scenes suffer from the same problem - how am I supposed to connect with anything that's happening onscreen when it's all so blatantly Unreal? The last battle scene is colorful and detailed, but it's still inferior to any of the battles in earlier trilogy (which used scale models), because I don't believe on any level that it's really happening. One of the reasons the creatures in LOTR looked so solid is because they were actually created by scanning solid sculpted models into a computer, and then animating them. It'll be interesting to compare the believability of the CGI Golem and Treebeard in the next LOTR film to the many "Mummy Returns"-steals in this one.
I don't think it's fair to criticize the actors for the script they had to read. Aside from the 'sand' scene and a couple of Kevin the Teenager ticks, even Hayden Christensen seemed to be having to deal with being TOLD to act that badly. Remember the scene where Hayden is having a nightmare, and Lucas imaginitively chooses to represent this by showing him lying asleep (with his nipples showing) going "No, no!"? LOL! Sam Raimi, who poked fun at that kind of thing with his Ash character in the Evil Dead series must have been cracking up (I was). All the love scenes were either unintentionally hilarious (the Yak-riding scene) or dull, but hey, nice hairstyles. Jango ("Reinhart") Fett was miscast - he looked cool but I think a Bounty Hunter sounds so WRONG with a New Zealand accent.
The best thing about this film? Two words: Christopher Lee. That guy just had to walk on to make everyone else look like pygmies, he has such screen presence, and unlike poor Ewan McGregor (who is a fine actor if given a readable script) he knows how to carry off B-movie grade dialogue like it's Shakespeare. His presence was every bit as required for the final fight scene to actually WORK as Yoda's surprise acrobatic talent - for the first time I cared about the outcome because it actually feels like Count Dooku was as powerful as the special effects would lead you to believe.
It's all roses in the wilderness, though, 'cos otherwise this is yet another extended episode of Babylon 5 (with inferior acting). When "Fellowship Of The Ring" hit several critics sneered at the very idea of Elves, Dwarfs, and Balrogs, even though the film WORKED near-perfectly. Now Clones is out, many of the same critics and much of the public seem to be going: "It may suck, but oh - it's Star Wars". Pity them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unfortunately, I had ruined this movie for myself long before seeing it.
Bored one summer, I started looking up a lot of "spoiler" information.
I was worried that regardless of how of the film was, I would not be very
impressed simply because it would be nothing surprising...
...but whoa, was I so unmistakably wrong! I have never been left speechless
by a film, ever. In fact, I figured that people saying that were simply
being dramatic. However, I was, in fact, speechless for about 20 minutes
after leaving the theatre. George Lucas has truly outdone
Attack of the Clones is the most emotionally complex Star Wars film Lucas has made. Its tone is not simply good vs. evil, like episodes IV-VI. Instead, it is good people and a good government becoming evil. Of course, this is embodied by the central figure in these films, Anakin Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen, who, though somewhat awkward at times, gives an overall good performance (he's brilliant in Anakin's break-down scene). Natalie Portman returns with a solid performance, and the love story between Anakin and Padme is, for the most part, charming. The dialogue becomes a bit too much in one scene, but hey who's the more foolish: the screenwriter, or the person who goes to a Star Wars film expecting anything less than corny dialogue? Ewan McGregor, delivering the best performance in the film, is superb as Obi-Wan Kenobi! He is the consummate Jedi, the serious, straight-arrow center of the film. However, what makes the performance so excellent is the manner in which, through this stern exterior, he can be so perfectly comical. Most of the laughs in the film come from his witty one-liners.
This film sports a strong supporting cast. The two Sith lords, Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) provide much of the film's intrigue. These two are the puppet masters behind all the events of the film, with Palpatine serving as the supreme mastermind, as he did in Phantom Menace. However, the interesting nuance in Clones is that we see these two Sith lords attempting to betray each other! If any film demonstrates that being on the Dark Side is an uncomfortable position, it is this one. In Palpatine's scene with Anakin, and Obi-Wan's scene with Dooku, we see each of them attempting to find a new ally, each hoping that, though in league with the other at the time, he will eventually overthrow him. It is this brand of intrigue that makes this film, and the prequel trilogy in general, a richer, more fascinating story line.
Yoda (Frank Oz) and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) lead the Jedi entourage. They emerge as the generals in the film, the heroes who save the day. Jackson lends his usual "coolness" to Windu, making his action scenes all the more enjoyable. But Yoda is the real showstopper. We've loved Yoda since Empire Strikes Back, but in this film, he's in his prime. He is stern yet funny, as lovable as ever. He steals the show, though, as Yoda the action hero. His light saber battle, the film's climax, will have you cheering, a brilliant achievement of which Industrial Light & Magic should be proud.
Another notable aspect of this film is that Lucas seems to have become much more creative as a director. His visuals in this film, especially the rain planet Kamino, are beautiful as always, but it's his camera-work that is noticeable different in this film. As Steven Spielberg noted, Lucas does his best directing in this one. He captures the proper emotions of each scene, each close-up occurring at just the right time. Most interesting, though, is Lucas's "artsy" camera-work, which shines a bit in this film. There's an interesting scene in which he plays with the shadows of Anakin and Padme on Tatooine. Another scene between the two, a romantic shot of them silhouetted while moving into a sun-drenched arena to which the camera pans, is fairly breathtaking (thanks in part as well to the swell in John Williams's love theme). My favorite of these scenes, though, is the light saber battle between Anakin and Dooku. It's unlike any light saber battle ever seen in a Star Wars film. The two characters appear to be blending into one another, their faces illuminated by only by their light saber blades, the blue and red flashing across each of their faces. Perhaps this is George's way of linking these two characters, the Jedi fallen to the Dark Side (Dooku) and the one who will soon take his place (Anakin). Brilliant moment, brilliant.
Thus, my hat's off to Lucas and company for this film. I love the others, all of them, but this one truly stands out. It is massive, emotionally and visually, and altogether satisfying.
While a very accomplished film technically, the film suffers from some
inconsistent performances from the lead actors leading to a lack of
audience involvement with the characters.
The story is set ten years after the events in Episode 1, and this affords Lucas the opportunity to make some changes to the characters. Anakin is now 19-20 years old, and he is now a 'rebelling against authority' type character. While in itself not a problem, the decision , for relative newcomer Hayden Christensen to play him as bratty is wrong and leads to the character coming across as unsympathetic , bland, and annoying. Also it seems that Christensen cannot seem to get a clear view of the character's trajectory within the story. As a result, his performance is uneven. In some scenes he is fine (primarily on the scenes set on Tatooine), but his performance seems unsubtle and broad,particularly when in more intimate romantic scenes with Natalie Portman. The decision for the Padme character to play a senator is a much better one, and in that regard Portman's performance is much better this timearound and draws an appropriate parallel with Carrie Fisher from the original trilogy. She comes off the much stronger of the two performances when up against Christensen. Unfortunately she is saddled with having to act in a very formal and constrained way, with overtly theatrical and clichéd dialogue that is similar to that of films from the 1930s and 1940s, though in some scenes Portman is clearly trying to bring a more natural take to her character. The decision to move away from the naturalistic acting style on the original trilogy was, in my view a major mistake and alienates an older audience from getting emotionally and viscerally involved in the film. Ewan McGregor's performance this time is less constrained than Episode I, and his character is more central to the story. While not as charismatic as Neeson's performance in Episode 1 it is nevertheless solid. Samuel Jackson has fun effectively playing Jedi Master Samuel Jackson, in a more important and involving role. Temuera Morrison is actually pretty good in a small part as bounty hunter Jango Fett. However, the most impressive human performances are of in two supporting roles, with veteran actor Christopher Lee as Count Dooku, and Australian actor Jack Thompson as Cliegg Lars.
It is a relief that Jar Jar Binks character is very much in the background, albeit some of his bungling antics seem to have been transferred to C3P0. Like episode 1, the best performances are digital characters. Andy Secombe is great as Watto again, albeit in a smaller role. However the best performance overall, is Frank Oz , in collaboration with Rob Coleman's ILM animation team in recreating Yoda, now as an entirely digital character. The character is well embedded in the story. His anxiety of what is happening to the galaxy around him is conveyed well, as is the character's growing frustration with not being able to accurate assess who or what is behind the collapsing of the republic. His character's insight in the heat of battle makes him part of the films exciting climax, and a confrontation with Count Dooku, while thrilling, is far too brief. If there is a flaw, is that Yoda looks a bit cartoony at the beginning of the film, though his character seems to become more photo-realistic as the story goes along.
In fact, while the visual effects are generally excellent, lead by Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow, there are nevertheless some problems. The digital work in some scenes in my view, goes too far, with sets and whole environments created in the computer when a better balance of live action, models, well designed sets and real locations work best. Not surprisingly, some of the Naboo scenes in this film work better because of the balance between real locations (shot in Australia & Italy) and, as per Episode 1, the segment of the film set on Tatooine (shot in Tunisia), while shorter this time around feels more involving because the high quality visual fx, meshing with real locations feels stronger. Interestingly, this part of the story is well written and underpinned by the excellent supporting performances already mentioned, as well as being Christensen's strongest part of the film. Geonosis while impressive in parts, does feel too much like an animation in places. The feeling is that the film was being used more as a testing of new technology, with filming shot on digital cameras, and Lucas wanting to push the visual effects as far as they can go, rather than trying to optimise the visual effects as part of the overall storytelling experience.
As in keeping with the Star Wars films, sound design and effects are excellent, led by veteran Lucas collaborator Ben Burtt. Burtt also served as film editor, working with Lucas. While some of the action sequences are well edited, most of the dialogue sequences, and some other action sequences feel pedestrian and uninvolving and the pace of the film in these sequences, sadly and unexpectedly for a Star Wars film really drags.
Production design by Gavin Bouquet is excellent, even if the actual building of the sets is in a computer. As usual John Williams score is first rate, but this time is unable to fully distract or carry you through the slower and uninvolving sequences of the film. Overall, apart from some excellent individual sequences, such as Tatooine and a series of action sequences towards the end of the film, the film makes viewer feel distant and uninvolved in the proceedings, despite some clever plotting.
Clearly the least impressive of the six films.
Wow, I went into this movie thinking it would be okay but I was sorely mistaken. This movie was incredibly boring, oh my gosh. About an hour into and I really really wanted to leave, or at least fall asleep. I thought all the other movies were just fine but this was just bad. Even the scene between Yoda and the bad guy was just dumb. I also think they shouldn't have had the love thing going on 'cuz that just seemed like it took away from the movie.
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