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Not the best Star Wars film like everybody says...
I agree I really enjoy the Empire Strikes Back. Out of all the 4 Star Wars films I think that it is the second best of the lot. what annoys me is how unanimously most reviewers automatically point out that Return of the Jedi is the worst of the series.(Many even say that the childish film, TPM is better than ROTJ???!!huh???!!!!!!) To be quite frank, WHY?
After reading surprising reviews from critics and fans alike I feel like it is necessary to point out why ROTJ is better than ESB:
1)First of all, except for the "I am your father" it was not as emotional and sentimental as Return of the Jedi. Sure the "I am your father" statement was a surprise, but I get tears in my eyes when Luke reveals to his sister the truth about how they are siblings. But even that pales compared to the last 40 minutes of the movie which is an extremely dark confrontation between Luke/Darth Vader/Palpatine. Darth Vader's final redemption is just the most touching/meaningful scene out of all the Star Wars movies. And the "I am your father" statement just does not have as much sting as "Father... Father I will not leave you.." and then Anakin dies.. or even "You have failed your highness, I am a Jedi like my father before me."
2)Has anyone ever thought how silly it was for Luke to learn how to become a near Jedi after one afternoon and nearly defeat Vader? Come on, he did not even know how to handle a lightsaber before he met Yoda.. All of a sudden he is doing all those impressive flips and swashbuckling moves? Give me a break. Or how about knowing how to use the force to get to Bespin? How? A Jedi that can barely use the force to lift pebbles. Hello?
3) This movie was slower paced. I must agree that some of the sequences in the asteroid belt seemed to drag at times. Jedi, (the longest of the three) on the other hand gripped you for all its 133 minutes.
4) Where is the big space battle? I like to see spaceships getting blown up... Is this "Star Wars" or "Star Trek"? On the other hand, the Space Battle in ROTJ is widely considered The Greatest Space Battle Ever Filmed.
5) The Battle of Endor was great because it was ironic and unexpected. Everyone says how much they hate the Ewoks but the charming thing about this battle was that the Imperials were supposed to win since Palpatine had foreseen it. I was in turmoil after the line--"Your friends over there on the Endor moon are walking into a trap.. It (the shield generator) is quite safe from your pitiful band...An entire legion of my best troops await them.. Oh! I think that the shield generator will be quite operational when your friends arrive.." After this I thought how could the rebels possibly win when the Empire had the upper hand. When the Ewoks came and surprised everyone I was breathtaken! I always get emotional when I see the underdogs take on a much more powerful foe!
Empire Strikes Back is a great movie in its own right But.. Special kudos goes to the greatest film in cinematic history-- Episode 6:Return of the Jedi.
Go see this again.. Objectively.
Being someone blinded by the hype the first time I saw The Phantom Menace and all the negative reviews that critics gave to this movie, I am not surprised that some SW fans did not like this movie too much. However, I believe that the preceding sentence IS the reason why people did not like this film as much as the original trilogy. My advice to those who did not like the Phantom Menace... Watch it again, but this time objectively. Forget about the hype, the critic's reviews, and the original trilogy.. Just watch this film as it is and I am sure that you will like it MUCH better the second time around.. Like I did. As for my case, I have seen this movie 3 times already (planning on seeing it again next week)because I truly ENJOY this movie! I guess after I saw the movie the first time I was disappointed.. Soon thereafter, I thought about it for a long time and realized that my reasons for disliking the movie were unjustified and due to unfair comparison between this movie (which was just an intro-- a setup btw) and the original trilogy. Which brings me to my next point.. Guys and Gals! Get a grip! The Phantom Menace IS just an intro. Lucas did not mean it to have the profound character development and darkness that Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi had. In one way this movie resembled A New Hope. Like ANH, TPM just threw out all the main characters onto the scene without a proper introduction.. The characters were flat and 2-dimensional.. But hey! This has been Lucas' style for the first movie of both trilogies. I think that his approach is genius. Why? Well, just imagine how good the second and third episodes would be if all (or most) of the character development/plot had been used up in the first movie...That would be catastrophic! Since this first Episode IS just an intro with little character development (much like A New Hope was)it is unfair to compare this movie to Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi which were fantastic, serious, and dark plot-heavy sequels. I think too many people expected this movie to be like the Empire Strikes Back (for instance) which is why they were left disappointed. Trust me! the purpose of this movie is to have fun, to become acquainted with the characters, and to appreciate all the foreshadowing and cues that this movie set up magnificently for a darker, more plot-heavy Episode 2.
Rocky IV (1985)
The best one out of the 5!!!
Rocky 4 was utterly spectacular. I know that the critics would say that Rocky 1 was the best, but for me I did not get nearly as much inspiration from the first one as I did in this film. This movie did such a marvelous job of depicting Drago as some omnipotent, unbeatable adversary. Throughout the movie I was left thinking, ..." How the heck will Rocky beat this monster??"
Well... Rocky knew his challenge at hand and despite all the odds, (including that his best friend Apollo Creed got killed), was able to overcome them all. I thought that Drago clearly had all the advantages.. He was stronger (hitting 1850 psi with each punch!!!) , bigger, used steroids among other things. Rocky surely showed amazing perseverance to be able to come out on top.
I loved the training scenes. They portrayed another huge advantage the Russian had---training with computer technology. On the other hand, Rocky had only nature to assist him in his seemingly impossible challenge. This part of the movie beautifully depicted (more so than the other 4 movies), Rocky's seriousness for this battle. His stern disposition throughout and amazing feats such as climbing that tall mountain illustrate this fact.
And as for the final fight?? Man.. That was spectacular. Gotta see it to believe it. The biggest emotional ride I have ever had in a movie. This movie brought tears to my eyes as I can only sit and wonder.. "How can someone be so extremely perseverant as Rocky Balboa was?" This movie to me, is an icon of inspiration and espouses an unrelenting attitude to achieve any goal you have in life.
For these and many other reasons, Rocky 4 is probably my second favorite movie (A VERY, VERY CLOSE SECOND just behind Return of the Jedi) of all time. I must have seen this thing over 30 times.. minimum. I do not care if the critics thought this movie was lackluster compared to Rocky 1 and 2.... To me, this movie is a classic. Very close to being the best ever.
The best movie of the Star Wars Trilogy.
I thought that ROTJ was clearly the best out of the three Star Wars movies. I find it surprising that ROTJ is considered the weakest installment in the Trilogy by many who have voted. To me it seemed like ROTJ was the best because it had the most profound plot, the most suspense, surprises, most emotional,(especially the ending) and definitely the most episodic movie. I personally like the Empire Strikes Back a lot also but I think it is slightly less good than than ROTJ since it was slower-moving, was not as episodic, and I just did not feel as much suspense or emotion as I did with the third movie.
It also seems like to me that after reading these surprising reviews that the reasons people cited for ROTJ being an inferior film to the other two are just plain ludicrous and are insignificant reasons compared to the sheer excellence of the film as a whole. I have heard many strange reasons such as: a) Because Yoda died b) Because Bobba Fett died c) Because small Ewoks defeated a band of stormtroopers d) Because Darth Vader was revealed
I would like to debunk each of these reasons because I believe that they miss the point completely. First off, WHO CARES if Bobba Fett died??? If George Lucas wanted him to die then he wanted him to die. Don't get me wrong I am fan of Bobba Fett but he made a few cameo appearances and it was not Lucas' intention to make him a central character in the films that Star Wars fans made him out to be. His name was not even mentioned anywhere in the movie... You had to go to the credits to find out Bobba Fett's name!!! Judging ROTJ because a minor character died is a bit much I think... Secondly, many fans did not like Yoda dying. Sure, it was a momentous period in the movie. I was not happy to see him die either but it makes the movie more realistic. All the good guys can't stay alive in a realistic movie, you know. Otherwise if ALL the good guys lived and ALL the bad guys died this movie would have been tantamount to a cheesy Saturday morning cartoon. Another aspect to this point about people not liking Yoda's death.. Well, nobody complained when Darth Vader struck down Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. (Many consider A New Hope to be the best of the Trilogy) Why was Obi Wan's death okay but Yoda's not... hmmmmmmmmmmmm.... Another reason I just can not believe was even stated was because people found cute Ewoks overpowering stormtroopers to be impossible. That is utterly ridiculous!! I can not believe this one!! First off, the Ewoks are in their native planet Endor so they are cognizant of their home terrain since they live there. If you watch the movie carefully many of the tactics the Ewoks used in defeating the stormtroopers was through excellent use of their home field advantage. (Since you lived in the forest all your life I hope you would have learned to use it to your advantage) They had swinging vines, ropes, logs set up to trip those walkers, and other traps. The stormtroopers were highly disadvantaged because they were outnumbered and not aware of the advantages of the forest. The only thing they had was their blasters. To add, it was not like the Ewoks were battling the stormtroopers themselves, they were heavily assisted by the band of rebels in that conquest. I thought that if the stormtroopers were to have defeated a combination of the Star Wars heros, the band of rebels, as well as the huge clan of Ewoks with great familiarity of their home terrain, that would have been a great upset. Lastly, if this scene was still unbelievable to you.. How about in Empire Strikes Back or in A New Hope where there were SEVERAL scenes of a group consisting of just Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the Princess, being shot at by like ten stormtroopers and all their blasters missed while the heros were in full view!! And not only that, the heroes , of course, always hit the Stormtroopers with their blasters. The troopers must have VERY, VERY bad aim then! At least in Empire Strikes Back, the Battle of Endor was much more believable since you had two armies pitted each other not 3 heroes against a legion of stormtroopers. Don't believe me? Check out the battle at Cloud City when our heroes were escaping Lando's base. Or when our heros were rescuing Princess Leia and being shot at (somehow they missed)as Han Solo and Luke were trying to exit the Death Star.
The last reason that I care to discuss (others are just too plain ridiculous for me to spend my time here.) is that people did not like Darth Vader being revealed! Well, in many ways that was a major part of the plot in the movie. Luke was trying to find whether or not Darth Vader was his father, Annakin Skywalker. It would have been disappointing if the movie had ended without Luke getting to see his father's face because it made it complete. By Annakin's revelation it symbolized the transition Darth Vader underwent from being possessed by the dark side (in his helmet) and to the good person he was Annakin Skywalker (by removing the helmet). The point is that Annakin died converted to the light side again and that is what the meaning of the helmet removal scene was about. In fact, that's is what I would have done in that scene too if I were Luke's father...Isn't that what you would have done if you wanted to see your son with your own eyes before you died and not in a mechanized helmet?
On another note, I think a subconscious or conscious expectation among most people is that the sequel MUST be worse (even if it is better) that preceding movies is another reason that ROTJ does not get as many accolades as it deserves. I never go into a film with that deception in mind, I always try to go into a film with the attitude that "Well, it might be better or worse that the original .. But I can not know for sure.. Let's see." That way I go with an open mind and do not dupe myself into thinking that a clearly superior film is not as good as it really was.
I am not sure who criticizes these movies but, I have asked many college students and adults about which is their favorite Star Wars movie and they all tell me (except for one person that said that A New Hope was their favorite) that it is ROTJ. I believe that the results on these polls are appalling and quite misleading.
Bottom line, the Return of the Jedi was the best of the Trilogy. This movie was the only one of the three that kept me riveted all throughout its 135 minutes. There was not a moment of boredom because each scene was either suspenseful, exciting, surprising, or all of the above. For example, the emotional light saber battle between Luke and his father in ROTJ was better than the one in the Empire Strikes Back any day!!!
Finally, I hope people go see the Phantom Menace with an open mind because if fans start looking for nitpicky, insignificant details (or see it as "just another sequel") to trash the movie such as "This movie stinks because Luke is not in it!" then this meritorious film will become another spectacular movie that will be the subject of derision like ROTJ suffered unfortunately.