star wars barf
I realize I am seriously damaging my geek creds by admitting this on the internet, but I haven't seen Episode 3 yet. I want to, I'm looking forward to it, but hey, I gotta work for a living here. I've seen the originals about twenty times, and even used to play the old-school role-playing game back in the day. I think I still have the books around here somewhere.
In preperation for 3, we got a copy of Episode 2 because, somehow, the girlfriend hadn't seen it yet. I know popular opinion is that 1 and 2 sucked on a large scale, but I rather enjoyed them, and moreso after watching 2 again tonight.
Yes, I think the digi-effects are overdone. The digital characters just don't have the weight to them that a real, 3D person or even puppet would have. (Which reminds me, I gotta get one of these
, curtosey the biggest star wars fan on the planet
). But remember that Lucas has always prided himself on being on the cutting edge of movie tech; some of the old Star Wars stuff is just now being fully developed for regular use. If some of the effects aren't perfect, you can assume they will be when everybody else gets around to using them, just as with the old movies.
The man-boy playing Anakin is, I think, wrong for the part; he pulls off some of the intense/whiny desperation scenes rather well, but I had hoped for a more intimidating young Vader. Like Vin Disel, or the huge black guy from "The Green Mile". Natalie Portman's acting repitore seems to consist of "Vapid...", but she looks good in a cut off white shirt, and I think that was probably her primary function anyway.
There are some logical errors in the storyline, such as 3PO's knowing about Anakin and never telling Luke. To the people that bitch about these things, I would say: Get a life. Ever hear of a "Willing suspension of disbelief"? No, parts of the story don't stand up to rigorous examination. So freaking what? Find something else to do with your time that's more productive than poking holes in a movie script, for chrissakes.
For all their faults, I have enjoyed these movies. They aren't as good as Episodes 4-6 in a lot of ways, but honestly, I can't think of many movies that are. The storyline is enjoyable. The effects are passable. Most of the fight scenes have been excellent, and benefitted from the effects (Maul/Kenobi and Yoda/Dooku come to mind).
Personally, I think alot of people have romanticised the original three beyond all reality. The movies were certainly fantastic, but they have become such a part of the sci-fi culture as to be legendary, infallable, unsurpassable. It's tough to dissasociate the Star Wars movies from their fond memories, perhaps stretching back to childhood, going to see the movies with parents or being blown away in a theater with friends.
No movie could hope to catch up to the combined weight of a great film and good memories. So the problem for the new movies is to be both true to the original, and "good" in the current sense.
I think they do that. Maybe not the first one so much, It's been a while since I've seen it. But if the second movie came out all on its own, I would have loved it. The story, effects, etcetera. On top of that, it maintains the overtones of the original: political intrigue, individuals doing the dirty work, an overall atmosphere of chivalrous knight in the wild west set in outer space.
Confused as it may be, I think that last line is what is so great about Star Wars: it is the best of several genres combined into one well put-together film. The new ones don't do it quite as well as the originals, but to me, they certainly haven't been a disappointment. I enjoy watching them as individual films, and like them even more as parts of the whole.
Of course, all this is subject to review when I get around to seeing Episode 3.