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  1. #1

    Okay, you've seen it a few times now...

    ....have your perceptions changed?

    I wanted to wait until I'd seen the movie a few times and really absorbed it a little before venturing any strong opinions.

    I'm liking it more with each successive viewing! Like every other SW film, this one opens up more each time. So much detail, from character moments/interactions, to visual ones (bridges to the other episodes, clues to what could be next, the ever-popular "easter eggs") to take in....one (or two!) viewing(s) is not enough....

    What still works every time....

    Ewan making the role of Obi-Wan his own while still paying homage to Alec Guinness with his performance is nothing short of breathtaking. He really establishes the sometimes abrasive but always paternal relationship with Anakin quite well. The respect he shows Yoda...still coming back to his teacher while he's a master himself, showing the great traits of being a jedi...Ewan does it with complete style & conviction. His verbal sparring & subsequent duel with Jango was great. Both Ewan & Temura got a good tension going in those scenes. It was like watching a dance.... I also enjoyed the meeting with Dex...a real interesting & fun character. We got just enough to make us want to know how these guys met & what adventures they might have been through. (Are you listening Dark Horse? C'mon Jan....start drawing it right now!!)
    Ewan MacGreagor is hands-down the finest SW actor in the prequels so far.

    The design team's fantastic efforts are stunning. More than EpOne, this movie feels like a true collaboration between Lucas & his excellent team of artists. Pick up a copy of "The Art of..." & admire how the digital preproduction paintings really lit the fire of inspiration for creating this journey into darkness and how much the finished film really looks like those paintings! Not since Ralph McQuarrie's beautiful paintings for ESB has this been accomplished so completely. The vehicle designs effectively bridge the gap between the films...from the triangular shapes of the republic dropships to the animal-inpired designs of the various war machines (of special notice are those cool death star-like guns on the bubble turrents of the republic gunships - truly an excellent ship destined to by remembered right along with the classic x-wings & TIE fighters). So many shots had echoes of what we've seen (er, will see) in the future episodes. (I REALLY loved how the Geonosian catacombs are reminicent of the forthcoming Death Star interiors, epecially seeing them as the architects of it...the shot of Anakin meditating on the Naboo balcony like he does as Vader aboard the Executor in ESB...the stunning silouette of Ani & Padme on the Lars house, Ani's looking like Vader sweeping her in his arms, just to name a few) The care taken to bridge the gaps is really great and one of the highlights of repeated viewings for me.

    The last thing (for this posting anyway) that really stands out in this film is of course, Yoda. And not just for the great fight scene at the end that people can't stop talking about...this guy has so many wonderful character moments. Rob Coleman & his team really merged with Oz to pull off a genuine acting job here. My fear when I'd read that Yoda was to be completely CG this time around was that it would be TOO different from the beloved puppet performance of Oz. But it's not...the balance is there. One moment that still takes my breath away is when Yoda is on the front line...the clonetrooper is reporting to him, but he's got that far-off look...he's sensing something through the force & you can SEE his mind working! WONDERFUL! Just a tiny character moment, but indicative of how good the work was on him.

    Now for the dark side....

    One thing that STILL gets me more than anything is something about the score. It just seems like Williams ran out of time or something. A good three-quarters of the score is new (and great) music, but huge portions of the final battle & most noticably when Anakin & Padme arrive on Geonosis (it's the exact music from the opening of episode one!) it seems like portions of the movie were temp-tracked with stuff from the other films and it was just left that way. It is still a major distraction for me. I'm not objecting to certain themes being re-worked into the score (like "Duel of the Fates" being reworked for Anakin's journey to find his mother or the really effective re-use of the fed theme for when Lama Su shows Kenobi the clones marching), but when the music is just literally lifted from the other scores it just seems "lazy".

    The other bad feeling I had initailly was really of my own making....I had read so many spoilers about certain scenes (many of that we know were filmed) that were nowhere to be found in the final print. Granted, this makes for a hopefully huge deleted scenes section on the DVD later this year (and hopefully a few will be re-instated in the movie ala EpOne), but it was distracting at first. Now that I've had a chance to really absorb the movie the way it is, it's pacing & flow seem fine to me.

    Now on to what seems to be a "bad feeling" to alot of other folks (especially the extremely jaded & boring mainstream press)...

    The acting. I think most people are missing the point. This is a very stylized story being told in a specific way. I think alot of the audience is trying to pin modern sensibilites (i.e.: swearing alot...smart-a** remarks constantly) on what is basically a fantasy. It is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away for a reason after all.... And as for the so-called "stilted" dialouge during the romantic scenes....let's cut these two a break shall we? Here we have two young people who have basically been thrust into adult situations early in life (in regards to duty, not emotion). What sounds like cliche (although I'd like to ask Ebert in what film in the last 20-odd years he heard the man say.."You are in my very soul tormenting me." to make it so cliche') sounds rather inspired coming from these two characters considering what their backgrounds have been. Anyway....I'm liking Hayden & Natalie's performances just fine.

    Okay....that was a mouthful....but I DID wait awhile before I said my piece so.....what are your thoughts after having seen it more than once?

  2. #2
    My thought's are exactly the same as the first time I saw it. It was BRILLIANT !!! I still think it is better than ROTJ and I still give it 9/10.
    I can't be bothered writing a whole review like you jedibear because it will be the same as my first one.

    PENDO!
    "You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you!" - Obi-Wan Kenobi
    "There's a gentleness about a total Star Wars geek that is sublime."- Rick McCallum
    My DVD Collection

  3. #3
    I agree with you on everything except the dialogue and acting between Nat and Hayden.

    I felt Nat's performance was UNINSPIRED. And Hayden came across as akward at times. Here's the way I see it.

    Natalie is a well established actress. She has proven her ability to portray the necessary emotions for this role. It just didn't happen. I almost believed for a half a second that she was truely attracted to poor Hayden.

    Hayden, on the other hand seemed out of his element perhaps. Like a teenage boy trying to make himself believe that he was in love. Meanwhile there was no chemistry there. It seemed more like the two of them would bust out laughing at any second NOT fall in love.

    As for the dialogue, well it may have come across better if these two had ANY chemistry between them whatsoever.

    I look back at the stuff with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher and I think WOW! THAT'S chemistry, they had FIRE. And the dialogue really took care of itself, because they HAD chemistry. Who cares if there were some corney lines? The EMOTION was there.

    With Nat and Hayden, it's the exact opposite. There was no chemistry, or if there was it didn't transfer to film at all! With that working against them, the dialogue just KILLED their scenes together. So even a brilliant line like "You are in my very soul tormenting me" sounded weak, IMHO.

    Please don't get me wrong, I loved the movie. But I honestly felt more between Nat and little Jake in EPI than I did between Nat and Hayden in EPII.

    I enjoyed the scenes with Yoda, though he had a LOT more facial expressions (detail) than I am used to seeing.

    Sam Jackson was outstanding as was Ewan and Temura. As with EP1 I also enjoyed the performance of Ian, he IS Palpatine/Sidious.

    Cool new designes along with some old familiar stuff. NICE transition!

    I read the book before seeing the movie, and a LOT was cut or just not there. So, my biggest complaint:

    While this is (I believe) the single longest running Star Wars movie to date, it should have been longer, I'd say 6 hrs would be good...for starters.

    LOL, seriously, I still can't get enough!
    May the force be with you.

  4. #4
    The only problem I have with AOTC is the amount of detail put into every shot. There is just sooooo much to take in that it's almost distracting. I've seen it a couple times and haven't seen the freighter dock on Naboo cause I'm too busy looking at the three YT-1300's in the corner!!

  5. #5
    8 showings last weekend and it gets better every time! 3 or 4 more viewings this weekend should be a treat. I can't wait!

    I loved Hayden and Nat, my feelings are the exact opposite of Sith Killer's !

  6. #6
    I saw it again last night and I enjoyed it more than I did the first time. Things seem to be clicking a little better for me... performances, pacing... etc.
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  7. #7
    Well after watching it a second time around (and am going to help myself to a 3rd and 4th probably) i did not like it as much. i did like the aspects of finding and confirming easter eggs, but what bothered me most was some of the characters.

    first jar ja just makes me crindge, but thank GOD he was only in AOTC for a few minutes. but what probably bothered me most was poor acting from hayden, i mean he did a really good job at times and well at others he reminded me of Jake Lloyd but not that poor. another thing that bothered me was lucas' obsession of using CG (computer graphics)... i loved most of the CG work don't get me wrong. everything from the lovely coruscant in the beginning to the "chase" to the fight scene with count dooku. however the scene where anakin "rolls in the hay" with padme, i just thought it was unncessesary for him to ride the "turtle like" creature and have him fall down and pretend to get hurt. it could have easily been done in other ways without making all complicated and adding in another CG bit. besides it looks really fake...

    but other than that i loved it, i would rate this 3rd after ep5 and ep6.
    "Do or do not there is no try" -Yoda

  8. #8
    I agree, Jedipartnr.... I feel the pacing etc, is working better each time too.

    One of the interesting things about these films for me is...they remind me of pop songs by people you like....the new one by that favorite artist sounds....different the first time you hear it...you might not even think you like it....but you're compelled to give it another listen, this time without all the expectations & preconceptions attached. Many times this "later listen" actually sounds good. What you've always liked about the artist is there, plus something more.....

    This is especially true with the SW films....it seems with each successive chapter, the detailing is so rich, from the visuals to the sound to the design...that sometimes it overwhelms the actors and what they're saying. For me, now that I'm totally familar with the surroundings, I'm really enjoying every nuance, every look, every turn of phrase coming from the characters and noticing there's as much detail there to absorb as there are with the visual/aural aspects of the film.

    "Attack of the Clones" is indeed another great addition to the "Star Wars" tapestry....

  9. #9

    Disagree

    I am NOT disagreeing that Episode II was AWESOME! But I am disagreeing about Hayden Christensen's acting. I think he did a marvelous job. When I left, I really started to hate his character, and so did my mom. He was selfish, and arrogant. And he showed them very well. I thought he did a great job. Natalie I think did a pretty good job, sure it could have been better but I think it was still pretty good. One thing I noticed is that after Padme had fallen out of the gunship, she was laying there for a while (looking all dead) then when the clone came over she basically sprang up and gave orders. I thought that was kind of rushed, she should have slowly got up. But minor detail. I thought Boba was great also. Very skeptical and serious (like Jango) and it was played very nicely. Ewan did a great job as usual, and he pulls off Sir Alec Guiness very well. Overall I think this had some of the best acting yet.
    "Sometimes we are lucky enough to know our lives have been changed, to discard the old and embrace the new and run headlong down an immutable course."
    ~ Jacques Cousteau
    Great Traders: CowherPower

  10. #10
    First the good:
    Ewan McGregor: He has done an incredible job of portraying a younger Sir Alec Guiness playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is easily the best actor in the bunch and has really made the role his own.
    Yoda: What can be said about this little show stealer? The switch from Muppet to CGI, while lamented by the purists, really breathed new life into the character by giving him the ability to have much more complex facial expressions. Hands down he offered the most memorable moment of the entire film.
    Christopher Lee and Ian McDairmid: While not getting the lion's share of the screen time, these two fine actors offered up memorable performances. The intensity of Dooku and the slick manipulations of Palpatine made it very easy to understand how the bad guys will end up winning before the end of episode 3.
    The CGI: All I can say is WOW. The Asteroid belt scene and the arena battle were amazing. Those two scenes coupled with the final duel between Yoda and Dooku will keep me coming back again and again.

    The middle of the road:
    Hayden Christensen: While having great moments, especially when portraying suppressed rage and intense emotion, Hayden's performance was bogged down by bad dialogue.
    Samuel Jackson: He delivered a much better performance this time around, but still came off a little bit stiff. He definitely set the crowd off when he delivered the now famous line "This party's over."

    The bad:
    Natalie Portman: Yet another performance that falls well below her talent level. I can't blame her for this though. It can never be easy to act opposite a blue screen and the dialogue she was given was so bad she was naturally uncomfortable delivering it.
    The much lamented dialogue: I don't buy the argument that this is just highly stylized dialogue. It is unnatural dialogue that just might work in a bad romance novel, but even that may be pushing it.
    The directing: Many of the films problems can be attributed to the job of the director. As I have said before George Lucas is a much better story teller than he is a director. I don't know if he is uncomfortable working with humans, but he just doesn't seem to know how to get the most out of his actors.

    Now, before I make more enemies than friends here, let me say I really liked this movie. It was an exciting story with much of what I would hope for from a Star Wars movie. I am just saying that it was far from perfect. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 7. It could have easily been a 9 or 10 with just a little improvement.
    Which is more foollish, the fool or the fool who follows him?

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