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Over-hyped Prior to Release, Doesn't Deliver
Do not waste your time. The now 14-year-old fan film vignette "Knight Quest" is a gem compared to this (youtube it), and even it is far from perfect. I was expecting something along the lines of the quality of the fan-created "Star Trek Phase II". This was no such endeavor.
I do applaud both their efforts and intentions. But being somewhat exposed to both tons of written fan fiction and video fan fiction of the Star Wars genre over the last 11 years (which I daresay the makers of this film would have benefited from reviewing), I have to say this movie comes across like one long Star-Wars self-pat on the back. As if the creators are saying to you, "Hey, it's Star Wars and WE made it, therefore it must be good, and YOU will think it's good too."
The love story is really where this film falls short; weak and predictable. Doctor Who proved in the 1970s you can tell a fantastic story with a minimal set and special effects budget.
The story aside... The changed lightsaber sound effects from SoundFX Master Ben Burrt's original format are absolutely horrid. The overall story arc is slow paced and far from interesting. Characterization...bad...the characters lack any real depth. And the acting is terrible, especially the character Jedi Master Soran Darr (I don't know whether this was bad directing or bad acting, but I've never seen a more wooden performance of a Star Wars character, which makes him the only memorable character to me in the film, and not for good reasons).
Overall the movie almost feels like what would have happened if Star Wars had been made into a bad underfunded made-for-TV-movie in the 80s.
I will say one good thing about it...the video effects were very decent, but poorly integrated anytime they had to be mixed with the live action sequences. But even this would be completely excusable for me if not for what I listed above.
As stated, I applaud both their effort and intent - as this movie was well-hyped among the fan community long before it was released - but that is where my platitudes end. Given that in their efforts the makers of this film could conjure a project of this magnitude a fan made Star Wars film - it's somewhat perplexing that they also couldn't seem to come up with better writers, directors and actors who would be willing to work for free as a labor of love for Star Wars (and let's be realistic, they HAVE to exist out there in vast numbers -- this is, after all Star Wars). If I had to guess, there was more nepotism involved in the cast and crew more than there was talent consideration, but I could be wrong about that. Perhaps the creators of this film will learn from their mistakes. Or perhaps they will go on listening only to their good reviewers and continue to put out the same product as before.
I remember waiting a long time for Threads of Destiny to come out, I was actually very excited about it. A large disappointment, even for a fan film.
Star Control 3 (1996)
One of the Greatest VG Stories and Some of the Most Memorable Characters of All Time
I rate the storyline of this game up there with FFVII, FFX and several other RPG's. It will probably remain unknown, and extremely underrated.
This game was extremely innovative, and a worthy successor to Star Control II.
I do not understand why die-hard fans that like SC2 don't like this game. The storywriters worked VERY hard to preserve the continuity and the personalities of the different alien species, but also to enhance them.
Who cares that during the opening FMV the Sa-Matra didn't look a thing like the original in SC2? OK, so they made a goof.
All of the races' starships are the same in melee, and their appearance has been more well-drawn, and given a 3-dimensional look.
Gameplay is also better, with a much more FAIR system of how to earn fuel for your starship.
The storyline and the characters -- coupled with the interaction with the characters -- are what make this game so memorable. If you are familiar with SC2, it hooks you right from the start. If you are not familiar with SC2, the game's human contact on Helios will explain it to you.
Races that do not even appear in the game but that did appear in SC2 (SPOILERS) are mentioned by the Precursor you get to meet and speak with.
I love the final line in the game. "We had gone in search of the Precursors and found... ourselves".
Superman II (1980)
Simply the Best of the 4, Hands Down *SPOILERS*
This movie will stand the test of time.
My son loves this movie. There will never be another one like it. Aside from Star Wars and Indiana Jones, the only movie franchise to have a sequel truly worthy to its predecessors.
Hindsight: Looking back, yes, some of the plot points are silly. But the acting is superb, and the main focal point of the plot is never lost.
Superman is faced with the blood-thirsty criminals of Krypton placed in the Phantom Zone by his father. Terrence Stamp performs flawlessly as as the manaiacal General Zod. The movie deals with Superman giving up his strength and powers for love, then having to obtain them back again to fight the trio once they basically take over the Earth.
The trio of baddies are proven time and again not to be as powerful as Superman, though they do take a few good shots at him in what still stands up today as one of the most titanic epic battles of good vs. evil on the bigscreen: The fight in Metropolis.
As a kid, I did not predict the end would come as it did. I remember the movie theaters, for the first time in my life, being absolutely stoked and charged with energy during this movie. Particularly notable cheering occured during the following moment:
"General...would you care to step outside?"
The epilogue scene was a delightful bonus, seeing Clark Kent going back after re-acquiring his powers and teaching Mr. Diner Man a lesson.
In spite of many attempted and dropped projects to make a new generation of Superman movies since the late 90s, this one and its predecessor (Superman: The Movie) will never be repeated, or duplicated in terms of raw performance and great directing.
Superman II gets 9 stars out of 10.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Greatest Movie of Gen-X
This is it, everything you ever wanted in an adventure movie. Some dared try to copy it, to pay homage to it, etc.
This movie not only deals with life and death, good vs. evil, but gets into the mysteriousness of Christianity.
I cannot sum up enough good things about this movie, acting directing, special effects, plot, pacing, characterization. This movie pioneered new frontiers in blockbuster entertainment.
Actual historical facts can be disputed surrounding the controversy of the Ark of the Covenant, but the movie was beautifully made, and will stand for all time. It is the Gone With the Wind of Generation-X.
John Williams is at his finest hour in this movie. The music in the 'Map Room' scene as well as the theme for the Ark at the very end during the climax still send chills up my spine.
10 out of 10. Movies rarely get better than this.
Superman III (1983)
Not the best, but certainly not the worst....
Looking back on this movie, the negatives first: The supercomputer bit (as well as computers being able to 'create weather') was silly, but in 20 years things that are being done with computer technology as plot points now will seem silly as well. That aside.....
One can certainly appreciate the symbolism of Clark Kent battling Evil Superman in this movie, as well as Superman's gradual transition from good to evil due to the impure Kryptonite. But when Christopher Reeves splits into two halves and contronts himself, that entire battle, the dialogue and the scenes were well-orchestrated, and poignant. If only they'de written a better storyline centered around that. Yet, that part of the movie seemed to take a back seat to the computer nonsense. Ricky and Lana were good supporting characters.
Also, Richard Pryor was great on his own, in his own scenes, but Pryor's brief scene with Christopher Reeves at the end was awful...their chemistry was non-existent. And what I find odd about that is that they are both great actors.