Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman deserve Oscars for this film as their performances are raw, heartfelt and just plain worthy. Eastwood also deserves his second Oscar as best director and this film is superior, yes, superior I say to Martin Scorsese's over rated 'Raging Bull' from 1980. Made on a relatively low budget with no special effects, just the good old fashioned elbow grease that Hollywood use to consume itself in, 'Million Dollar Baby' might be the best picture of 2004 for its message as well as for its creative talents.
As a futuristic film, Orwellian in its presentation, Lucas tries to show what might be one day so we can strive to avoid it. With gaps growing between rich and poor, global terrorism and the misguided wars launched to exterminate them, along with skyrocketing cases of AIDS and global poverty, 'THX-1138' might not be the eventual fate of the future but a road similar to it looks like it might be in the process of being paved.
This final installment in the 'Star Wars' saga is filled with great family entertainment and those who complained that the Ewoks stole the film visually are entitled to their opinion but they're what distinguish the three films as this one is the most family oriented.
George Lucas once stated that he was going to make nine 'Star Wars' films but after saying that six would be enough, 'Return of the Jedi' is indeed chapter six and a great way to close a series which will endure hundreds of years from now when people take a look at this age of cinema.
I love 'The Empire Strikes Back' but I can't go along with the assertion that it is better than 'Star Wars'. I was one of those people that saw 'Star Wars' every weekend for a year when I was 11 and 12 years when a child's admission was only 50 cents to a dollar. There was such a magnificent freshness to 'Star Wars' that audiences couldn't get enough and when adjusted for inflation, 'Star Wars' is the second biggest box office film is history, second only to 1939's 'Gone with the Wind'. Meaning that these two films sold the most tickets in motion picture history.
'Star Wars' even created the entire concept of the modern day blockbuster and influenced hundreds of films after it, is the biggest movie in the history of popular culture and created a new religion. A recent poll in Britain asked people to identify their religion and a substantial portion of them wrote in "Jedi Knight".
'The Empire Strikes Back' does advance the story line forward greatly, has a convincing and blossoming love story between Han Solo and Pricess Leia and gives us the showdown we want. It also introduces us to the legendary Yoda and a new key player in Lando Calrissian and has some breath taking special effects. But 'The Empire Strikes Back' owes its success to 'Star Wars' but has to be given credit for the fact that it teaches people, especially the young, that the good guys don't always win and that the fight for what's right sometimes seems impossible.