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When a movie has so many CGI effects that it starts to look like a
Playstation video game, you know it's not convincing. This is one of
the problems with George Lucas's "Star Wars" prequels, and it certainly
shows in its middle chapter, "Attack of the Clones." The final battle
on Planet Geonosis is indicative of this problem, as we watch hordes of
Storm Troopers flying in spaceships blasting away at the enemy's
spherical vehicles, resulting in bright, fluorescent explosions. It was
just too much for my senses to take in. Models and puppets were far
more interesting to watch than this.
The plot, unfortunately, also suffers from the same problem of the special effects: to many things going on at once that the audience can't keep up. Lucas should definitely have hired a brilliant screenwriter to cut away the byzantine political intrigues and tortuous plot turns that hamper the action and flow of the movie. Lucas should have stuck to a more linear and straightforward plot line that followed in the footsteps of the original "Star Wars" movies. A talented writer could have made the prequels truly epic and worth the hundreds of millions that they made.
The acting, in contrast to the storyline and special effects, was rather dull. Hayden Christensen, as "Annie" Skywalker, seemed rather bored with his role as the main protagonist. Natalie Portman, as beautiful as she is to behold on the screen, is also deadpan and flat as Anakin's love interest, Queen Amidala. The chemistry fails to fizzle, and, as many others have commented, Lucas simply did not write good dialogue for the love scenes between Anakin and Amidala. Ewan McGregor is a fairly better actor than either, and does fine as Obi-Wan Kenobi, but is not as good as he would be in the final "Star Wars" movie, "Revenge of the Sith." We hardly see any of Ian McDiarmand as the Evil Emperor, so we miss his potential as a compelling villain. One bright note is Christopher Lee as Count Dokoo. He seems a bit deadpan, but his magisterial British accent and snide sneers at a captive Obi-Wan Kenobi are fun to watch. Thankfully, Lucas took a hint and cut the execrable Jar Jar Binks character to nothing more than limited cameos. A few good scenes include the speeder chase in Coruscant and the arena battle with the computer-generated monsters, which seem like a direct homage to Ray Harryhausen's creations. The latter brought a melancholy hint of nostalgia to me, as it seems fantasy movies have declined rapidly since Harryhausen's day.
This movie is nowhere near as brilliant as "Empire Strikes Back," the best overall "Star Wars" movie; "Return of the Jedi," which had the best settings and special effects; or "Star Wars," the original, with brilliant acting by Alec Guinness and Harrison Ford. In short, "Attack of the Clones" is a baroque, garish light show which has little to recommend to it save for a few choice, disconnected scenes. It's not too terrible, but it's not that good, either.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The second entry in George Lucas' new Star Wars trilogy rises above it's predecessor with better dialogue, less Jar Jar, a spry Yoda, and overacting good enough to make Hayden Christenson the perfect father of Mark Hamill. While this movie, which shows Anakin's resentful tendencies and introduces the clone army that will dethrone the Republic, is better than the mediocre Phantom Menace, it does not even reach Return of the Jedi standards. While the writing is better in this entry, the love story between Padme and Anakin is so painfully dumb and childish that it almost destroys the other improvements. The biggest problem continues to be the lack of a villain to match Vader and the utter predictability of it all. Yoda becomes the star when he starts doing summer salts and makes Dooku tuck tail. Why wasn't that in Episode One? If George Lucas can make Episode III as much of an improvement over Episode II, as Episode II is over Episode I, fans may finally get the ride that they have been waiting twenty-two years to experience.
Attack Of The Clones is a film which relies to much on special effects and
not enough on dialogue and overall enjoyabilty. The characters are in no way
as likeable as Chewbacca, Han Solo and the original charaters.
While the original Star Wars Trilogy used modelling and puppet techniques,
Attack Of The Clones relies to much on computer effects. Far too much blue
screen work. Don't get me wrong, the blue screen is good in small doses. IN
SMALL DOSES. But 90% of what we see on the screen are computer effects.
The film's battle scenes are well choreographed and prepared, but endlessly boring. The dialogue is wooden and duller than you could possibly imagine. "Yes master, no master". And as for the love story, never has a relationship seemed so unconvincing. The story is thrown together with little thought being put into it.
All the CGI in the world cannot save it from it's lamentable script. It's minorly better than Episode 1, but still not much to write home about. This one's for Star Wars fans and people with good attention spans only.
...because this flick sucks even more.
Thought I'd purchase a cheap second-hand video tape and give this ahm... 'movie' another chance. The plot didn't make sense and the tedious inter-galactic politics simply made this flick a more confusing and boring mess. Very glad I didn't take up politics as a career option.
The Galactic Senators of the Imperial Republic still made no sense with their hum drum political speeches when transferred to the small screen.
The hideously-performed romance that mysteriously crops up between the 30 year old woman and the 20 year old man who behaves like he's just turned 10 is simply: Unbelievable. (impossible?) Press the fast forward button through these parts (they actually look better when sped up with no sound!) Thank goodness for the remote control!!
I was amazed at the digital C.G.I effects. It's obvious the actors are just standing in front of green screens which I found annoying and very poor, knowing that Mr Lucas went the whole hog and out performed himself in the C.G.I department. The 50's diner scene was nothing but a cartoon. The robot serving-girl-whatever with the horrid screechy voice and its four-armed-alien-cook were as fake as the giant cow-thing C.G.I Annie rides during that ridiculous picnic scene.
I found the editing particularly annoying. We have an interesting scene with Obi Wan carrying out his detective work when it suddenly cuts to Annie and Padme playing two 13 year old school kids *in love*. Mr Lucas lingers forever on these boring, uninteresting scenes at the expense of much better ones. Alright already! We *know* they're supposed to be in love, can we get on with the plot??
The battle at the end was another major disappointment. There are millions of things going on, but there is too much happening. It also went on far too long. There is also no realism, this stuff looked fake, so it just felt like I was watching a video game. Re the factory scenes.
The battle between Annie, Obi Wan and Dooku was un-exciting, a real bore compared to the battle between our heroes and Maul in T.P.M. Lucas must've believed having a C.G.I Yoda 'kicking Dooku butt' would excel the fight in Star Wars 1. I'm sorry, Mr Lucas, but I was far from impressed.
The death scenes (Padme's bodyguard, Annie's mother) are so fake they end up looking atrocious, but are still rather funny to watch!
This entire flick is just a long, boring commercial for LucasFilm Toys Incorporated. I now truly believe Mr Lucas has lost it. He needs to move out of the captains chair and let the navigator take over.
DEAR MR G LUCAS! YOU HAVE *ONE* MORE CHANCE TO REDEEM YOURSELF!!!
P.S. Please replace Mr Christiansen with someone who can ACT! P.P.S. And get rid of Jar Jar Binks!!!
Yes, it is better than Episode 1. But, this is still a very stagnant
(exposition heavy) and disappointing film (SOMETIMES, you just can't put
that old magic jeanie back in the bottle).
The STAR WARS series has become the souless creation of a man, Lucas, who's
spent too much time with his electronic toys and not enough in the "real
world". This is no better exemplified by the "I'm Lost here" look in Samuel
L. Jackson & Natalie Portman's eyes.
As to the digital projection aspect. I am shocked at how few people have commented on how "digital" the film looks. Visible resolution lines, digital smearing, pixellation, subtitles which look like they have "stripes" jagging through the white lettering, and obvious contrast problems when Very Dark & Very Bright elements in the same frame co-exist. I know 90% of the general public don't notice (or care) about such things. But, it still looks like TV blown up large. Admittedly, scan lines and resolution will continue to get better, but it Digital ain't there yet. I also found that when I saw PERFECT STORM & OCEAN'S 11 (the latter at the very same screen as I saw Lucas' folly) digitally projected, they both looked a little better than CLONES. I think having a Digitally-shot AND Digitally-projected feature just doubles the inherent problems of the new medium. And, then, there's the matter of analog vs. digital sound...
ATTACK OF THE CLONES was so bad it was BRILLIANT. The cast looked
if they had tried to make sense of the script and failed. The
is absolutely awful,but the CGI is great and the action sequences are
exciting. Yoda's lightsaber duel with Christopher Lee completely made up for the lame script.
(3/10) Star Wars II was predictably bad. The special effects were up to the high standard of the original and it was visually very nice, but George Lucas can't write scripts for toffee. Looking at the bio for co-scriptwriter Jonathan Hales - a string of made-for-TV spin-offs and the Scorpion King - one gathers he wasn't much help either - sadly we are to be sentenced to more of this collaboration on SWIII. Perhaps Ewan McGregor will have invested some of his relatively new found wealth in acting lessons by the time shooting begins in 2003? (He left London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama before even graduating). McGregor's boy-next-door Scottish charm is ok to land some nice juicy parts but I would like to see him play someone other than McGregor now he's got them. I can barely distinguish the "lovable" McGregor in Moulin Rouge from the vocally-challenged McGregor in Black Hawk Down or the now-I-get-to-play-a-super-hero McGregor in Clones Attack. Maybe they are all clones. Maybe Lucas will ask the Wachowski (Matrix) brothers or James Cameron (Terminator, Aliens, Strange Days) or even Iain M Banks to help him write a script. May pigs will learn to fly like cgi's . . .
Reasons why I will boycott "Star Wars Episode II -- Attack Of The
* The "original" Star Wars was exciting because of the ground - breaking special effects and because of the saga character. A generation on, the Star Wars "Episodes" have nothing new to offer, especially in the field of special effects.
* "Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" sucked badly, especially considering that it was one of the most hyped and highest - grossing movies of all time.
* It really, really, really, really sucked.
* And I will only be suckered once.
* There is no such thing as a "must see". Especially not in the field of Star Wars. I want to see Star Wars to be entertained, and not to join the Millions who can claim that they have seen the entire series.
* George Lucas is a rich enough man already.
* George Lucas should limit himself to producing and the technical aspects, and leave the creative bits (writing and directing) to someone with talent.
* Even the special effects in E1 were awful -- to speak nothing of the story, dialogue, acting -- in fact everything that makes a movie.
* Jar Jar Binks in Episode I is the single most annoying, unfunny nd offensive character in movie history ... and Lucas thought it necessary to roll him out again for the sequel, because, as he told German magazine Spiegel, he is not one to be swayed by public opinion or prescreenings. Sure signs of megalomania are beginning to show ... where are the guys in white suits and rubber sneakers when you need them?
* So what if E2 is "not as bad as" or even "better than" E1 -- the "Mentos - The Fresh Maker" commercials are cinematic genius compared to E1.
* There is romance in E2. I just don't trust George Lucas with romance, the same way I wouldn't trust Jane Campion with sci-fi or action. And the reviews I have read so far vindicate me.
* The original Star Wars was likeable because it was aimed at nerds. The "Episodes" are strictly Disney, clean, wholesome, family fun, and utterly boring. Even worse, often they are just a boring, long advert for the tie - in video games and similar merchandise.
* It will come out on video rental or TV soon enough anyway ... I am not that desperate to be parted from my money.
That's it, I'm done ranting. Thank you for your attention.
Attack of the Clones seems to be a movie in which George Lucas is starting
to get desperate. He has to start inventing up the plot so that the nothing
much going on "Phantom Menace" will eventually line up with the original
George wants to stick so much of the explanation into this movie in order to have everything make sense that he glances over so many things, along with so much verbal explanation of the whos and whys that he needs a Episode 0 to get things straightened out.
His absurd attempt at promoting his characters to such high levels is at it again. Making Jar-Jar a senator in this movie is ridiculous, even worse off than all the earlier Star Wars movies where commoners like Han Solo gets promoted to some celebrated figure.
Why have a history of Boba Fett? He is just a not so significant bounty hunter later on with no grudge against Jedi masters. He would have gone and captured Jabba the Hut if the stake was high enough. It just seemed the whole cloning of Jango Fett and Boba Fett seeing his father getting killed is there for the dramatics, like we really care since Boba Fett dies off inconsequentially in Return of the Jedi.
Plus his transformation of non-politically correct days of Star Wars in which there is a planet ruled by a King or Queen to the current politically correct view of elected Queen with term limits. What is he making up? Does anything make sense? And even if the Queen was elected, how in the world did the citizens elect a child to be a Queen? How does Princess Lea become a princess later on? Does Padmé Amidala gets re-elected as Queen of Naboo before giving birth so the child gets the Princess status? Or does she get re-elected much much later on, allowing Lea to inherit the Princess title upon election? The whole thing is absurd.
How did it take Luke Skywalker something like a few months to become a Jedi Knight powerful enough to defeat Darth Vader while Anakin Skywalker seems to have been training for 10 years and he is still a dimwit?
Every special effect concept seems to have been ripped-off. The speeder chase scene from Fifth Element, asteroid scene from his prior movies, coliseum scene from Gladiators. The final attack scene was so generic that it didn't need ripping off from anybody.
Now Yoda is a super warrior? With the facial expression, flexibility and agility of a super being. There is always an assumption that Yoda, being a creature with the flexibility and expressibility of a hippo, is all mind over body, but this movie just tears apart the image of a Yoda that has been established for so many years. All for the sake of a jumping bean fight scene. People say he is younger here, but I mean how would being 50 year younger, compared in The Empire Strikes Back make a difference when he is closing in on a thousand years old.
As for the CGI, besides having way too many in which it detracts from the movie? It seems that they want to show all the details of the creatures that they frequently ended up looking hyper-real, not matching the rest of the human characters then are with.
I could go on forever with George Lucas' inability to tinker with the story at the expense things making sense in the later episodes. But I will leave it at that.
OK, on the movie itself. The whole middle section of the movie almost put me to sleep. The whole Anakin/Padmé scenes together were wooden, with absolutely no chemistry. Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker, was a joke, he is either in full rage or in medicated/lobotomized mode. George Lucas should spend less time inventing strange creatures and more time writing a better script/directing a better movie.
This whole make things up as you go along concept just doesn't work. That man George Lucas just can't think in linear terms or get his story straight. Imagine if he wrote and Directed Memento. Nothing would make sense.
Score given is pretty low, and I might even revise it to a lower rating later on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*******Spoiler or two, nothing serious*************
As I write this the foul taste of "Attack of the Clones" is still in my mouth, like bad meatloaf. I hoped it would be better than "Phantom Menace," but it's not.
Basically I had three major problems with this movie. First is the acting is HORRID! I kept thinking during the romantic scenes that I was actually watching a parody of the movie, and any moment the cast of Monty Python would appear. The humor falls flat or is just plain silly, and Anakin Skywalker isn't the tragic fallen hero on an arc towards evil, he's that young punk who gets beat up at high school football games. The dialogue is wooden and uninflected tripe, as is even the names--Count Dooku? Dooku? DOOKU? Who's writing the screenplay, a kindergartener?
Second is there is flat zero zip nada not one bit of charisma to any of the lead characters. Pray for all your worth for Harrison Ford to come to the rescue with Chewbacca by his side, but these people are as lifeless and animatronic as the action toys they will become. I don't care if Anakin becomes Darth Vader, and I don't think anyone's going to be surprised to find Palpatine is Darth Sidious who will be the Emperor. No direct line to Star Wars Secrets central on that one, it's pretty obvious.
Lastly is the F/X dominate and overpower the movie. Sure, we're watching probably upwards of $100,000 per frame, but Lucas makes the amateur mistake of putting so much junk flying, hopping, and crawling in every possible corner you can't keep track of what's going on. The sounds that had been so fantastic in the original movie are the exact opposite, every spaceship sounds like a put-putting lawnmower in an echoing drainage tunnel, and the aliens are no longer unique as much as downright silly.
One point I was lost on; why was Jango Fett (There's those crud names again!) somehow the perfect model for the future stormtrooper. I mean if you're going to make a zillion clones why not start from scratch and make an improved perfect warrior if you're going to bother. I kind of figured out why Dooku was leading a "rebellion," but it seemed an awful waste of hardware just to grant Palpatine an army. I've given up all hope on the Star Wars series, the wonderful world of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia with Han and his Wookie has been engulfed forever in the flaming carcass of grotesque indulgence that this desecrated compost pile of a movie has turned it into. Blech!!
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