Alternately trashed and praised in the media (both mainstream and geek), Star Wars: Episode II seems to be an odd mix of good and bad. Even Jon Katz got in on the action.
We all know that most movie critics shouldn’t be trusted any further than they can be Yoda-style drop-kicked, so here’s the question: How did you feel about the movie? Happy? Sad? Blissfully abivilent? Are we reading too much into these films?
Felt like Star Wars
My basic feeling toward Episode II is that, unlike most
Episode I, it felt like a Star Wars movie. It had all the
hallmarks of a Star Wars film; it had great special
effects, fun battles in space and on land, a chase-like
sequence (two in fact), trite dialogue, and bad acting
good actors. The only disappointment I didn’t anticipate
was a complete lack of motivation for half the love story.
I have no problems with Anakin falling in love with
Amidala; she’s a beautiful, intelligent, caring person who
he’s worshipped since childhood, presumably as his first
crush. What I don’t understand is why Amidala would fall
in love with that whiny little genocidal pissant.
Also, I really like the fact that Jar Jar was the one
that proposed the crucial bill. Now we really can blame
him for everything that goes wrong for the Jedi from here
Re: Felt like Star Wars
I agree, the reasons for Amidalas interest in Anakin is hard to understand. I believe that Amidala is a politician at heart and she is most likely attracted to Anakins power. Which is scary, I mean she finally admits her “love” for him after he has killed a tribe of sand people and a couple hundred of the local Genosians(sp?). This is after spending most of the movie trying hard to get him to go away with out hurting his feelings(to much any way).
On an overall scale though I would rank this movie at about the same level as A New Hope. Bad acting, but great fight scenes. Maybe the last movie will be up to the level of Empire. One can hope cant he?
Re: Felt like Star Wars
Not so hard to understand really. She has a thing for scoundrels, just like her daughter.
Yes, it did
It did feel like a Star Wars movie. Though obviously not a great movie by most standards, it was a good movie and I had a blast watching it. It even caught me by surprise a few times. The action was fun, the story answered some questions and introduced more. The humor, while not comic genius, made me laugh; something I never did once in Ep I. It’s a near perfect setup for Ep III, while Ep I didn’t feel like it had any place in the series except as a looooong drawn-out introduction of the important characters. And bad comedy.
About the love story: I was thinking maybe Anakin was unconsciously putting Force pressure on Padme. While he was preoccupied with her for many years, she hadn’t thought of him once since they parted. When they were back together, his influence on her was more than her will could take; him being the most powerful Jedi that ever lived he could even impress his will on somebody not so weak minded. I’m wondering if this will be revealed in Ep III. Just a thought.
Re: Felt like Star Wars
I agree with all of the standard statements: Wooden acting, what’s Amidala’s reason for falling in love with the whiny little genocidal pissant (love that phrase!), oddly not emotionally involving to the viewer, better than APM or ROTJ, nowhere near as good as TESB or ANH, etc. I was a little jolted by the obvious paralleling to stuff in Empire – similarities between the cloning complex and Cloud City, asteroids, hand cut off, flex the cyborg hand in the end – felt a little “recycled”. Luca’s main problem, and it’s going to make the next one virtually intolerable, is that he has told the story out of sequence and all sense of dramatic tension and development and anticipation is totally out of whack for the audience. If he’d filmed and screened Ep 1 first, we’d be singing his praises at how brilliant it was and jabbering among ourselves about just what the shadows over Anakin portend in this installment. How much more engrossing this story would be if we’d only heard of Darth Maul and Darth Sideous at this point and we ranked Darth Vader with Darth Who? With our foreknowledge, any emotional investment is prematurely aborted – we can’t like the little kid, he’s a Hitler. We can’t root for the secret lovers to come together, we know only tragedy results. We can’t cheer ObiWan, we see him as a sap that lets the Big One slip thru his grasp. Compare this with Spidey – total audience involvement, total identification with PP as a good guy, total anguish over the PP/MJ mess. No wonder SM broke the records – it’s got the Formula that made ANH such a hit when Lucas put lightning in the bottle. But in the end, I agree with the brilliant insight expressed above – Star Wars is too good of an idea for ANYTHING to mess up.
yes, the acting in ANH was bad, but at least it wasn’t as emotionless and deadpan as AOTC. this was PAINFUL to sit through. the only redeeming parts of the movie were where anakin finally blows his top and slaughters sand people (finally someone has an emotion! after only 90 minutes of movie!), and yoda kicking some dark jedi ass.
It was okay…
It was better than episode 1, if not quite on par with the original trilogy. My pet peeves are that I like the original trilogy’s saber-fencing inspired light-saber battles… (see, saber … light saber… connection there?) and if I wanted to go see a hong-kong martial-arts film I’d go see a hong-kong martial arts film… which I -do- like sometimes, I’m in fact a bit of a Jackie Chan fan. Anyway.
The other thing I didn’t like was the bad, obvious, and overdone puns in the banter… where the original r2/3p0 banter was lively and amusing, this was strained and trying too hard to be funny. And if you want a movie to be as immortal as the original starwars, your humor had better be situational, not tired punch-line word-games that will get more painful with each rewatching, but oh well.
Hrm. If I think too much about the original trilogy, I dont’ think much of it, but if I take it as just another movie, well, hey, it was another fun flick that was good entertainment, and I can think of a few things that could’ve improved it, but then, I usually can for any movie. (sometimes other people even agree with me ;))
And yes, there’s far too much obsessing going on over this series, not the least by me in writing this response!
Re: It was okay…
a note on light sabers: it was clear to me from the beginning that lucas wanted jedis to be a little samurai-ish (at least the benevolent peace-keeping kind). not to mention eastern in general, with mystical internal energy and vague, esoteric philosophies, and very old and shriveled men (palpatine, yoda) who are great masters of knowledge and power.
the light saber stuff in the new movies is much more on par with that idea.
and remember, lucas wrote them first as “laser swords”, not sabers.
Good, but not great
At least Anakin was sorry for slaughtering the Tuscans, and hey: he’s cute ;-)
I’ve been thinking about what it is about the dialog that makes it so bad, and I think it’s actually deliberate: the Republic elite are very stiff and formal bunch and the dialog is one of the things that shows that. Apparently Anakin has adopted it from his tenure as a Jedi wannabee…
Still, even though I like the first half the movie, it literally almost put me to sleep the 2nd and 3rd time I saw it. Maybe even a little the 1rst time. Very weird.
I took a trip to SF to see it in a digital theater (Sony/Loews Metreon) this weekend. The colors seemed richer and more detail, but definite pixelization was noticeable — especially the credits and solid color sections that don’t move, particularly light colored ones. The increased detail, as well as the pixelization could be more noticeable because the screen was somewhat larger than my local screens and I had to sit relatively close, having underestimated the residual demand. One other thing — I don’t know how or why, but from a little before the scene in the workshop where Anakin laments slaughtering the Tuscans, until a little after that scene, the audio was out of sync with the video by about a half second — extremely noticeable and disappointing.
Re: Good, but not great
Definitely slow in the middle. I was watching the 12:01 showing, and started falling asleep shortly after the “Sound of Music” scene with the big-ass creatures (Was I the only one who thought that they were defying the laws of physics?). Don’t think I missed much, anyway.
It’s been my experience that when you say things along the lines of “I’ve thought of you every day for the last 10 years,” the woman in question gets a restraining order. I’ve also found that the begging/whiny approach tends to have an effect opposite of the desired one — it is a big turnoff.
That was my biggest gripe. I like the movie.
not the best I’ve seen, but it had a lot of entertainment value.
The fights, the effects, and the hints of things to come were great to see.
I agree with the Amidala loves Anakin comment, but nobody ever said Lucas was a genius, he’s just a guy with money and a good idea.
The idea of Star Wars is so good that crappy writing and crappy acting can’t ruin it.
Love story again.
I don’t think Amidala’s had a date since she left the political academy. Her life has been all business; even with her decoy and handmaidens she seems professional and distant. Maybe that’s why she fell for the first guy who she got to be alone with. And considering how early she must have started her political career, it may also explain her teenage-style behavior with him (isn’t she supposed to be about 26 by now?).
Besides, some girls just like bad boys, especially the “toughguy-with-soft-center-that-needs-love” type. And Anakin’s Force-powered charisma probably doesn’t hurt, either. I do agree that the whiny rant in the hotel room should have hurt his chances, but hey, that’s love for ya. (Did anyone else start thinking of Batchi Station and power-converters during that scene? ;)
Re: Love story again.
what, it wasn’t clear to you that it was love at first sight when 15 yr old padme met 10 yr old anakin in ep 1?
Re: Love story again.
Mmmm, sexually frustrated she is.
Well I enjoyed it. I really did, especially the second hour. I was left breathless by the rapid fire action and spectacular effects.
The love story left me wanting for more. It was obvious that probably 30 minutes or more of footage was left out (yeah for DVDs). Maybe with the missing pieces put back in we can see the whole story. I’m also planning on reading both TPM and AOTC novelizations. That may also clear up any misunderstandings.
All said and done, it was fun and that’s what Lucas’ movies are really all about.
One point I think that’s left out of all reviews and comments is John Williams’ score. Familiar movements from TPM are back, with new pieces, including his beautiful “Anakin and Padme’s Theme.” I plan on catching it on the digital screen here in town and expect to love it as well.
I need to watch it agai.
I saw it twice opening week, once on DLP and once on Film. There is a difference between the two and DLP does look better. I hope a lot of movies go this way. I like the idea of being able todownload many a film and show different ones throughout the day. That way if you wanted to you could so LOTR on mon/wed/fri and it not hurt as much as it would to do something like that now.
I got sidetracked. Anyway, overall I supposed Ep2 was an OK film. I found myself looking for the fast forward button up until the action sequences.
I really disliked them making Anakin a whiner near the beinning. They could have gone for such more subtle emotions showing his slipping, and then the Sand People could have been his breaking point. The funeral scene seemed a bit weird and his ‘I’ll be blah blah’ type of stuff was hokey at best
I found it humerous that Jar Jar is the downfall of the Old Republic.
I liked the one liners from Threepio. They were cute/funny and appropriate. However in the two theaters I watched it in the background noise was really high and it was hard to hear his ‘what a drag’ and ‘i’m beside myself’ comments in the main battle.
It was weird watching bunches of Jedi die so easily. THe battle sequences were well done with the troopers. However cool Yoda’s sequence was the 30 second light saber fight seemed contrite and short, and Anakin’s fight was really lame in the dark type stuff to me.
Will I buy it on DVD? Yes. Will I watch it 15 times in the theater? Doubt it.