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disneyguy1313

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Dangerous and Disturbing with Good Reason, 22 May 2002

"Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" is the best "Star Wars" movie to date. Granted that it does have its moments of non-greatness, it is an overall enjoyable movie with an intriguing central character.

Critics have panned this movie as being one big special effect, the dialogue is horrible, and the acting is even worse. I think these critics really do not understand "Star Wars". They have to understand why the characters are so serious. This is a different time than Episodes IV, V, and VI. People are more diplomatic and political. It hasn't reached the brink of war yet.

As for the love story between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), I thought it was endearing and fit well with the times and attitudes of the two people involved. The brilliant John Williams score brought it up even more. Portman is really coming into her own as Padme, as she realizes her love for Anakin. Once again, I believe the fans are the only ones that really get it.

What impressed me midway through the movie was Christensen's Anakin. One can see the cracks of the dark side of the Force seeping through his Jedi exterior. The speech he gives to Padme in the Lars homestead really sent a shiver down my spine. His frustration, anger, and hatred really got to me and it was disturbing. All of the elements (lighting, etc.) set the mood brilliantly and John Williams once again reprises a dark theme that makes the feeling of unease complete.

One will probably have to see "Episode II" at least twice in order to pick up on all the subtle things missed the first time around, staring and the eye candy. And believe me, there's a lot of eye candy. And, before it gets overdone, YODA ROCKED THE HOUSE!

I urge those critics, and members of the public at large alike, that did not like "Episode II" to see it again with an open mind. You'll be suprised how much you like it. It worked for me with "The Phantom Menace" as well as "Attack of the Clones". Give it another chance. You have much to learn, young Padawan.

EPCOT (1967)
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Walt's Last Great Dream, 29 April 2002

Being a lifelong Disney fan, I salivated at the notion of being able to see the promotional film, "EPCOT '67". The film is very well done and Walt presents himself as very enthusiastic for the project.

But, seeing this film also saddens me. The film was shot about two months before Walt's death. One can tell that he is weak through his voice. Bot, the amazing thing was that Walt maintained his image and enthusiasm. Marty Sklar, a Disney Imagineer, helped with the filming of "EPCOT '67" and related the same feelings in "Walt: The Man Behind the Myth".

In his usual charming way, Walt takes us through his greatest (and his last) project, EPCOT. The acronym stands for "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow", which is exactly what it would have been. EPCOT would have been a living, breathing city of 20,000 residents. Quite an undertaking, but that was why Walt bought all that land in Florida which now makes up Walt Disney World.

Walt's EPCOT was never built and the project was abandoned after Walt's passing in 1966. Roy O. Disney, Walt's brother, as a tribute Walt, continued the project and opened Walt Disney World in 1971. The Magic Kingdom (their Disneyland) was there, but EPCOT wasn't. Then, in 1982, Epcot Center opened as a second theme park on the Disney property, although it was not the city Walt envisioned. It was a pseudo-World's Fair, and still is in Florida today.

The film takes me back to the time when Walt was alive, where anything imagination could dream up seemed possible. "EPCOT '67" is an inspiration and a testament to Walt Disney's life, as well as his career. As Walt said at the end of the film, "We know what our goals are. We know what we hope to accomplish. And believe me, it's the most exciting and challenging assignment we've ever tackled at Walt Disney Productions."

TRON (1982)
A Milestone in the History of Film, 24 April 2002

"Tron" is one of those movies that comes along every once in a while that you either like or don't like. But, like it or not, all of the special effects you see today with CGI are the result of "Tron"'s pioneering efforts.

From the moment I first saw it, I loved "Tron". The imagination and the artistry writer/director Steven Lisberger and his crew used on this film was just staggering. Not just CGI was used, but so was traditional animation and backlit animation. All of these tools were combined maginificently (for that time).

The story centers on a computer programmer named Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and his quest to prove that he was the creator of several video games Dillinger (David Warner) stole from him. In the process he gets sucked into the computer and is forced to play on the Game Grid for the Master Control Program. Along the way, he is aided by Tron (Bruce Boxleitener) and Yori (Cindy Morgan).

The characters can sometimes be a bit static (especially the programs), but the movie is enjoyable overall. The sets and production design add greatly to the believability of a computer world. And an interesting notion was the fact that everyone in the real world has an alter-ego in the computer world.

"Tron" has a lot of imagination and a lot of work put into it. All the work paid off in the end. It was a proving ground for a new filmmaking tool, a tool that is still used today. It still captures my imagination, even though the film is somewhat dated. And as John Lasseter, director of three of the Disney/Pixar film says on the DVD, "Without 'Tron', there would be no 'Toy Story'."