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Star Wars Prequels Media Movies

Star Wars: AOTC Reviews Pour In 282

Dork King writes "The New York Time's Review of AOTC (free reg, yada yada) notes that Attack of the Clones doesn't look good for fans. Thankfully, I'm not a fan." Also, dw5000 writes "The BBC has a favorable review of Attack of the Clones on its news website, as well as an executive summary of what the UK papers are saying about AotC. The populist tabloids love it, while the broadsheets are giving cautious approval. Hmm. Maybe I won't wait for DVD ..." I also noticed Variety has a review up as well. Also, for those who have lost all hope for Star Wars, I submit to you the date of the Spider-Man sequel: May 7th, 2004. You should know that spoilers exist in one or more of these stories. Beware!
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Star Wars: AOTC Reviews Pour In

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  • spoiler (Score:4, Funny)

    by dirvish ( 574948 ) <dirvish&foundnews,com> on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:30AM (#3495038) Homepage Journal
    Spider-Man spoiler? How is that possible? Anyone who is a fan knows every possible story line they could use in the sequal.
  • by TheMonkeyDepartment ( 413269 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:32AM (#3495044)
    The reviews have, for the most part, been overwhelmingly positive. Chris Gore's review [filmthreat.com] at Film Threat is a good example. He says AOTC is second only to Empire Strikes Back in quality. (It is important to note that he thought Phantom Menace was total crap, in fact he was one of its harshest critics.)

    • If you're looking for a somwehat comprehensive listing of reviews, check out this [rottentomatoes.com] [rottentomatoes.com]. While the press seems divided almost 50:50 on the issue, those not liking the movie are the most vocal...
    • by spike hay ( 534165 ) <blu_iceNO@SPAMviolate.me.uk> on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:48AM (#3495090) Homepage
      For those to lazy to register:

      AFTER sitting through "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones," I'm tempted to quote an evergreen Public Enemy song: don't believe the hype. But really, belief is beside the point. The promotional machinery around the "Star Wars" franchise exists beyond fervor or skepticism; it is a fact of life. When the fifth installment in George Lucas's pop-Wagnerian cycle opens nationally on Thursday (after being shown at the first TriBeCa Film Festival on Sunday afternoon), the event will have all the spontaneity and surprise of an election day in the old Soviet Union.


      Like weary Brezhnev-era Muscovites, the American

      moviegoing public will line up out of habit and compulsion, ruefully hoping that this episode will at least be a little better than the last one, and perhaps inwardly suspecting that the whole elephantine system is rotten. Even the true believers camped out on the sidewalks with their toy light sabers (or the ones at the screening I attended who burst into applause at the appearance of the 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm company logos) seem more dutiful than enthusiastic.

      Already I can hear the equally habitual murmurs of protest: Oh, come on, lighten up! It's only a movie.

      Well, for one thing, given the scale and expense (reportedly $140 million) of the enterprise, not to mention its ability to command the money and attention of audiences around the world, there's nothing "only" about it. And for another, while "Attack of the Clones" is many things -- a two-hour-and-12-minute action- figure commercial, a demo reel heralding the latest advances in digital filmmaking, a chance for gifted actors to be handsomely paid for delivering the worst line readings of their careers -- it is not really much of a movie at all, if by movie you mean a work of visual storytelling about the dramatic actions of a group of interesting characters.

      Twenty-five years ago the first "Star Wars" picture, which we are now supposed to call "Episode IV -- A New Hope," offered a revelatory combination of whimsy and grandeur. The big, archetypal themes were there and would emerge into sharper relief through the next two films, but they were leavened by a cheeky sense of fun grounded in Mr. Lucas's love of old serials and B-movies. The solemn drama of Luke Skywalker's Oedipal struggle with Darth Vader was offset by, among other things, the twinkling Gable-and- Lombard sexiness of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as Han Solo and Princess Leia. The special effects were spectacular and elaborate, but there was also something jaunty in the inventiveness that produced them.

      That was a long time ago. In reviving the saga, and setting out to chronicle Luke's genealogy and the earlier history of the Jedi order, Mr. Lucas seems to have lost his boyish glee. As the effects have grown more intricate and realistic, their ability to yield pleasure and astonishment has diminished.

      "Clones" takes place 10 years after "Episode I -- The Phantom Menace," and it is as thick with exposition as an undergraduate history course. An early reference to disgruntled miners on one of the moons of Naboo elicits a spasm of anxiety: will this be on the final? Footnotes to the earlier (which is to say, to the later) episodes are interesting in a scholastic kind of way. Now, at long last, we know the parentage of Boba Fett, the vengeful bounty hunter from the first three films.

      But where are the clones? Send in the clones! Patience, young Jedi. They're already here, on a distant, storm-tossed planet, waiting for their big climactic battle scene. First, however, you must attend to the political turmoil that threatens the stability of the republic. Separatists in far-flung solar systems, apparently in cahoots with the dark side, are causing all kinds of trouble, and the beleagured Jedi and the fractious senate are ill equipped to contain it. This leads to some earnest palaver among the sinister chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and the Jedi elders, who include Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Ewan McGregor and Yoda, as well as assorted masked and computer-animated space knights and politicos.

      Mr. McGregor, revisiting the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi and looking ever less likely to age into Sir Alec Guinness, must also undertake some intergalactic police work, trying to find those responsible for an attempt on the life of Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), who has become a legislator after her tenure as the elected (and apparently term-limited) queen of Naboo. (Jar Jar Binks, the notorious duck-billed racial caricature from "The Phantom Menace," has also returned, accent and all. Now you may call him Senator Binks. Whether this makes the character less offensive or more is something to ponder.)

      Obi-Wan's apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), is assigned to be Padmé's bodyguard. He promptly falls in love with her, which occasions some of the most embarrassing romantic avowals in recent screen history. The gifted Anakin also manifests some of the traits that will eventually pull him over to the dark side: arrogance, a hot temper and contempt for democratic institutions. It is clear by now that the purpose of the saga is to do for Anakin/ Darth Vader what Robert A. Caro has been doing for Lyndon B. Johnson, but Mr. Lucas lacks Mr. Caro's feel for human psychology and his insight into the workings of politics.

      The story of a young, ambitious knight's corruption, set against a backdrop of incipient civil war, has enormous potential, but Mr. Lucas (who wrote the script with Jonathan Hales) is, at best, a haphazard storyteller. He also has lost either the will or the ability to connect with actors, and his crowded, noisy cosmos is pyschologically and emotionally barren. Mr. Christensen and Ms. Portman are timid and stiff, and uncertain of their diction. They alternate between the august tones of high-school Shakespeareans and the suburban soap-opera naturalism of "Dawson's Creek." Only Mr. Jackson, Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) and, later, the formidable Christopher Lee seem comfortable in their performances, perhaps because they know better than to take the proceedings too seriously.

      Now is perhaps the time to say that the special effects -- the scaly critters and planetary landscapes, the swordplay and the spaceship chases -- demonstrate impressive polish and visual integrity. But now is also the time to say: so what? Yes, the battle scenes and the monster rallies are superior to anything in "The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns" or "The Scorpion King," but that lowbrow franchise at least has the good sense to acknowledge its silliness. "Attack of the Clones," in contrast, like "The Phantom Menace," lumbers along in the confining armor of bogus wisdom.

      There are two moments, one early and one late, in which the sententious hooey is cast off and some of the old "Star Wars" spirit peeks out. The first is an aerial chase through traffic-clogged skies, in which the great cinematic challenge of conveying flight is breathtakingly surmounted. The other is a light- saber duel between the evil Count Dooku (Mr. Lee) and Yoda. Watching the elfin, leaping Yoda mix it up with the tall, graceful British bad guy momentarily dispels the ponderous tedium that has come before, but it is too little, too late.

      Given Mr. Lee's long career in horror films, the contest also recalls one of those debates that erupt among third graders about the relative prowess of fictional characters. ("No way could Batman beat up Superman. He doesn't even really have powers." "Yuh-uh, 'cause what if Batman had some Kryptonite?" "Yeah, but neither one of them could beat the Incredible Hulk.") Could Yoda beat up Dracula? Good question. But the more relevant one is whether Anakin Skywalker can beat Spider-Man. The answer, young Jedi, is in your hands.
    • From the Film Threat review:

      Let me put it to you this way, "Clones" is not a good movie - but it is an incredibly awesome Star Wars movie!

      If this is an example of a Chris Gore rave, I'm dying to read one of his pans.

    • by wmansir ( 566746 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @05:49AM (#3495585)
      It's odd how I hear all these fanboys saying that 90% of the reviews are positive, or the critics hate/don't get Star Wars movies. Let's take a look at the early results:

      At this point Clones [rottentomatoes.com] has 58%.

      As a comparison, TPM [rottentomatoes.com] as a 58% positive review rating. Compared to Star Wars [rottentomatoes.com] at 97%, Empires [rottentomatoes.com] at 97%, and Jedi [rottentomatoes.com] at 79%.

      If we look at the cream of the crop section (AKA the real film critics), TPM has a miserable 33% positive, but still beats Clone's current rating of 25%.

      • Well, a couple of things:

        1) There's still a week to go before the film is released, and plenty of critics don't release reviews until opening day.

        2) Sci-fi films of any kind rarely do well with film critics, regardless of their pedigree.

        3) Films that are absolute critical flops often appeal to filmgoers a great deal. Witness Titanic.

        4) As long as there's a Star Wars fan or film critic still alive who grew up with the original Star Wars, none of the new movies will ever get rated higher than the classic trilogy, especially ESB.

        5) Some people will like it regardless of the quality of the movie.

        6) Some people will hate it regardless of the quality of the movie.
      • I dunno. Reading the reviews on imdb [imdb.com] they are all very positive, and all bring up the same/similar points. The user reviews there it seems to me give a good indication of differing people's tastes and are pretty genuine.

        It bodes very well as it is quite rare for movies to get unanimously good reviews there.
    • I noted this morning that Radio Free Nation [radiofreenation.net] has a item on how the pirated edition of the film has made it to the web.

      This is sure to open a can of worms.

      Of course it got pirated so quickly because it is huge, but you know this will feed arguments in other forums.

    • "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). It has many violent scenes, none of them terribly upsetting or, for that matter, interesting.
  • The Jedi are destroyed and the remaining few are scattered about the galaxy.

    Anakin turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader.

    Jar Jar Binks is the worst Star Wars character ever.

    Lucas should have gone for real foreign languages instead of giving everyone bad accents.
  • One also at Fox News (Score:3, Informative)

    by Drizzten ( 459420 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:35AM (#3495055) Homepage
  • I read on alt.binaries.vcd that FTF already has a telesync, so you may indeed not have to wait for the DVD.
    • The quality is so bad that it's not even funny

      Don't be cheap, go pay $8 and watch it.

      It would really spoil the whole thing when you are trying to tell people apart...
      • haha - $8 - you are fucking kidding me?

        I havent seen a movie in YEARS worth eight fucking dollars

        See my post about my 3 12:01 am DLP showing tickets for AotC

        I paid $4 a peice
  • by Obiwan Kenobi ( 32807 ) <evan@misterorange . c om> on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:44AM (#3495073) Homepage
    ...thanks to a friend of a friend of an executive, I can tell you that the movie is a Star Wars fans' dream. I'm going spoiler-free this time out.

    The Good:

    The visuals are amazing. From start to finish, while Lucas may be in love with the computers a bit too much, what is here is fantastic and you will definitely hear gasps during several points of the movie.

    The Yoda battle. If you've seen the TV commercials you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, think green, think three feet tall, think Jedi. He's not called a master for nothing.

    Ewan McGregor. The man is a genius and his little ticks and manerisms put him in the character so well it makes the rest of the actors look bad. The Score. Oh man, Williams sealed the Oscar nod about twenty minutes in. You'll see what I mean. It's beautiful, beautiful stuff.

    What's Bad:

    The dialogue stinks. While witty banter is sparse, and mostly kept to the great Obiwan/Anakin discussions found in different spots, make not mistake that the romance story's wooden, dead-before-it-leaves-their-mouths lines are cringe-inducing.

    Hayden Christenson. Not bad, per se, just..eh. Not a lot going on here. He tries too hard and sometimes it's hard to swallow. He does nail it in a few key scenes, most specifically near the climax of the movie, and that's what counts.

    Jar-Jar. Even when he's reduced to 10 minutes of screen time, the damn guy still irritates the shit outta me.

    Overall, this is a fun romp that as a film stinks, but as far as Star Wars and all that that implies, this is a fanboy's dream and not even Spider-Man comes close to the deep, heroin-junkie-like need to watch the movie again as soon as you see the end credits.

    Prepare to geek out.

    • Jar-Jar. Even when he's reduced to 10 minutes of screen time, the damn guy still irritates the shit outta me.

      Please, for the love of Jebus, tell me he gets disemboweled. Decapitated? Maimed? Wounded? Something, ANYTHING!

      They ran Episode I on Fox last night, and I ran across it during the battle with Maul, so I decided to watch it. I honestly forgot how bad most of that movie was. That annoying, catch-phrase spewing, attempt at mass-market appeal character was in way too much of the movie. And I am talking about Anakin Skywalker. jar-jar (I refuse to even capitalize it) was even worse.

      I will go see AOTC, but I'll wait about a month or two. I am in no hurry. I heard that Yoda was completely CG this time around. Hopefully, Lucas' team did better than they have in the past.

    • It's like you paraphrased FilmThreat's review [filmthreat.com].
  • by koganuts ( 526569 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:46AM (#3495080)
    AotC got [ew.com] a C+, while Spider-Man got [ew.com] a B (different reviewer though).

    AotC reviews have also been summarized at Studio Briefing [newshare.com] (first headline under "Film"), although it mistakenly points out that Episodes IV-VI are the top-selling DVDs (instead of the top-REQUESTED DVDs) on Amazon.com, and listed at Rotten Tomatoes [rottentomatoes.com].
  • First, let me say that I saw TPM @ 12:01 AM CST just on a whim. There were news stories about these dorks in costumes waiting DAYS and DAYS to get their tickets and get in. My friend and I got done with a meeting late and decided what the hell. We got there @ 11:30PM, bought two tickets, got some drinks and pop-corn -- no lines for either activity -- and grabbed two half decent seats and watched the movie.

    Well, this time I pre-bought tickets but thats because Dickinson Northrock 14 here in Wichita has anounced it will have TI's DLP starting with Episode Two on opening night. I now have 3 tickets for me and friends for the 12:01 showing -- but in DLP. I am not a star wars fan (Ive never seen EP 6, although I have it in DivX) but I wanna check out this DLP shit -- I hear its gonna kick ass and at least my eyes will be brought to orgasm if the movie is not that pleasing.
    • Re:My AotC tickets (Score:4, Informative)

      by troc ( 3606 ) <troc@maCOLAc.com minus caffeine> on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:18AM (#3496144) Homepage Journal
      Interestingly, DLY has nowhere near the resolution or colour saturation etc of NEW 35mm film. A brand spanking new reel of old-fashioned film is a better visual medium.

      Where DLP wins is that after a few showings it is still dust free and as good as new. So theoretically if you canch an early showing you should really go to a film version but if you wait a week - then go to a DLP version.

      It's only 330 or so Gigs after all.
      • > It's only 330 or so Gigs after all.

        With 80G drives down to $120, I was thinking of picking one up, but I wondered if I'd ever fill the damn thing.

        I wondered that about five years ago when 6.4G drives became cheap, and then I discovered MP3s.

        It's reassuring to know that pirated content will continue to grow fast enough to keep hard drive manufacturers in business, at least to the 10-Terabyte level. Woohoo!

      • You can't have better resolution than the original. Displaying a digitally-produced movie using a digital projector eliminates an information-losing digital-to-analog conversion.

        I saw Shrek on a digital screen, and I could sure tell. It was more like watching TV than watching a movie, but I mean that in a good way-- There was no flicker, no film grain. The image was stable, sharp, and the colour was good.

        For digitally-produced works, digital projection Just Makes Sense, and I expect the day will come when it beats out film projection even for film-based movies.
        • Only when the resolution of the digital projector is the same (or better) than that of the movie.

          If they have to downsample (which I believe they do for the Texas Instruments DLP projectors they use) then there is a loss of information.

          Hence there is more resolution on a 35mm film than on current DLP projectors, therefore, despite the slight loss going from digital to analogue, the picture is better than going from lotsapixels (tm) digital to notquitesolotsapixels (tm) . Until the analogue copy starts to degrade........

  • by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:50AM (#3495096)
    According to The LA Times [latimes.com], you can find AOTC on irc chat.

    From the article:

    The pirating of "Attack of the Clones" lends fuel to the film industry's efforts in Washington to crack down on piracy. While the studios' trade association steps up its enforcement activities, their lobbyists are pushing for laws that would require computers and consumer electronics to be modified to deter unauthorized copying.

    "It's an extremely serious threat," said Jean Murrell Adams, head of the litigation department at DreamWorks SKG. "I'm not surprised that it's on the Internet. I talk to pirates because I want to find out why they're doing this. And what I've been told is that they were eagerly anticipating who would be first to do this. It's a challenge for them."

    Apparently it's a version videotaped in the theater, which they're worried will cut into DVD sales (?)


    • I have 100+ DivXs sitting here next to me
      I dont have a single DivX of a movie I would buy on DVD or havent seen on a theatre screen

      Its been shown time and again that p2p etc. does not cut into sales


      I guess I just dont understand - its like the free art museum that wont let you take pictures to show your friends half way across the world that will NEVER SEE THIS ART
    • I bet they actually believe themselves when they think that a low quality video taped overcompressed copy of the movie is going to make them lose ticket sales... I guess I can tolerate big business trying to protect their money but it is obvious they don't know where to draw the line.
    • It's interesting how Lucas was so gung-ho about AoTC being end-to-end digital, which ironically may hasten its appearance as a first-gen-quality .mpg on the warez boards. I wonder how heavily Lucasfilm lobbied behind the scenes for the CBDTPA.
    • My general trend right now is I'll download a movie on DivX, watch it and if I like it, buy it on DVD if it's that good. In my opinion, a well made DVD (read: lots of special editions, or most of the Criterion collection) has superb quality and lots of other goodies that destroy downloaded or ripped movies.

      I live in NYC and they sell rip off DVDs all the time around here... I don't buy any for these reasons.

      Instead of working on forcing the product down everyone's throat, they should work on improving the quality. My DVD collection reflects the fact that, I for one, will buy on such quality.
    • "Apparently it's a version videotaped in the theater, which they're worried will cut into DVD sales (?)"

      Ok, so some jackass taped the movie in the theater and distrubuted it on the net? What would the film industry propose legislators do to stop this? Completely ban all video playing/recording software that can play non-DRMed video?

      Wouldn't that require that PCs basically become set-top boxes? Wouldn't that damage the computer industry more than the entire film industry is worth?

      See, the #1 thing the computer industry has going for it with regards to fighting this type of legislation is that it is worth far, far more than the entire film industry. But when senators and congress-critters are in the pockets of media companies, they throw the economy out the window to line thier own pockets with dirty money from Hollywood.

      In my humble opinion, that is such a great betrayal of the public trust as to be worthy of death. Think about it, legislators knowingly damaging the economy to line their own pockets. That, to some degree at least, puts people out on the street, broke, without healthcare, etc.

      necessary disclaimer: when I say "worthy of death", I don't mean they should be killed, I'm strongly against the death penalty. I simply mean that thier life is worth nothing to the world, and in fact the world would be a better place without them.

  • Ironic that on the day of this posting, days before release, a Telesync release is already out. May the force be with them?

    NFO [isonews.com]
  • I was watching the phantom menace tonight and had this really cool idea of somthing to post for the next star wars story that was sure to get +5 funny but i forgot what it was.

    Kinda sucks huh.
  • by jdbo ( 35629 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:07AM (#3495128)
    mix-n-match to your pleasure:

    claim to righteousness:

    • "I haven't seen it, and..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "I have seen it, and..." (lying, modded up as informative)
    • "I have seen it, and..." (true, modded down as troll)

    claim of truth:
    • "...it sucks!..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "...it rocks!..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "...it sucks and (LOTR/Spider-Man/Matrix) rocks!..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "...it rocks and (LOTR/Spider-Man/Matrix) sucks!..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "...[perverse rant about Natalie Portman]..." (continously modded up as interesting and down as troll)
    • "...what about the MPAA?..." (modded down as flamebait)
    • "...[actual thoughtful review]..." (modded down as redundant)

    parting declaration:
    • "...Lucas has lost it!..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "...Lucas is the king!..." (modded up as insightful)
    • "...the FX are incredible!..." (modded down as redundant)
    • "...I've done better FX on my basement 486 using POVRAY..." (modded up as interesting)
    • "...it's OK. Go see it if you're interested, ignore it otherwise, and by all means wait for the swarming masses of raving geeks to dissipate..." (ignored by moderators)
    • "...[desparate plea for a date with Natalie Portman]..." (modded up as funny)

  • Ripoff (Score:5, Funny)

    by miracle69 ( 34841 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:10AM (#3495136)
    This movie is an obvious ripoff of two highly successful movies from two different eras: Strange Brew [imdb.com] and Spiderman [imdb.com]

    Let's Compare.

    Strange Brew : Star Wars EP II
    Flying Dog : Flying Green Muppet
    Plot to take over world : Plot to take over universe
    Evil hockey players : Stormtroopers
    Beer is source of power : "Midichlorion" microbrew
    Bob and Doug : Obi and Anakin
    Based on Hamlet : Based on ancient myths
    Max von Sydow : Ian McDiarmid

    Clearly, this movie is just a poor-rehash of Strange Brew with one twist - Spiderman special effects and the "spider sense" redone in an effort to trick the viewer into liking this poor-rendition of the greatest movie ever made, Strange Brew.

    I don't buy it.

    • Great, thanks. Now I'll never be able to hear the Imperal March again without also hearing Geddy Lee sing "Take Off! To the great white north! Take Off! It's a beauty way to go."


  • Anyone else notice the blah/blah and yada/yada login/passwords don't seem to work at New York Times anymore. Perhaps they have noticed the huge number using those accounts and cancelled them. Use this [majcher.com] link instead.
    • by Stormie ( 708 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @03:21AM (#3495287) Homepage

      Anyone else notice the blah/blah and yada/yada login/passwords don't seem to work at New York Times anymore.

      Well, I created a new account to read this. Username is something like sdkfgdkfs and password is something like pwejorowebn. (email is sdkufgsdf@ksfsdf.com)

      If they want another one like that added to their database every time they have a story linked to by Slashdot, they're more than welcome to it.

  • People are going to see the movie no matter what ensuring the MPAA and Valenti and the movie studios have plenty of money to fund the DeCSS case and any other cases that may come up where people with to use technology that the studios don't like.
  • AOTC (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:22AM (#3495166)
    Since I have nothing witty to say, I will state for the record that Chewbacca is a better actor than Worf.
    • I'll second that.

      Although, "Maybe this IS a good day to die... PREPARE FOR RAMMING SPEED!!" was pretty funny.
  • So, the MPAA is good this friday? I forgot.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:39AM (#3495206) Homepage Journal
    I couldn't help but notice how we're all watching like hawks to see how the new Star Wars movie is being reviewed, especially in the context of Slashdotters' comments about bestseller lists [slashdot.org].

    I wonder what it is that makes us so skeptical of the perceptions of others when it comes to books, but so eager to hear the opinions of others when we're talking about movies.

    • by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:59AM (#3495244)
      The truth of the matter is that it does not matter how good or bad this movie is. The last one sucked massively yet everybody went to see it anyway. Everybody will rush out and see this one too just because it says star wars in the title and geekboys think they will be super cool if they are first in line.

      There is a sucker born every minute and two to take him. Lucas knows how to milk the suckers for all they are worth.
      • Nah, last one I saw because I happened to pass by a movie theatre the day after it went up. I figured that well, the last half of return of the jedi stank, but maybe Lucas hadnt gone senile after all.

        Of course, he had.

        As far as I'm concerned, I've given Starwars a second chance, and unless I get several good reviews from friends I'm not going to bother.

        It really is too bad. Starwars had a lot of potential, but overdosing on comic relief characters and fluffy teddybears makes it apparent that Lucas should concentrate on childrens cartoons. Not that that's a bad thing, only Lucas just hasnt got what it takes to make good movies of this calibre anymore. The later films are not epic in any other sense than 'epically embarrasing almost-slapstick comedy'.

        I do wonder what exactly it was that destroyed Lucas tho. Was there some specific even in his life that made him lose his touch? Where did things go wrong for him (or 'right')?
        • " but overdosing on comic relief characters and fluffy teddybears makes it apparent that Lucas should concentrate on childrens cartoons"

          In a very real sense that's what these movies are children's cartoons. There is no evidence of any adult level interaction between any of the characters. Not even a kiss.
      • I saw TPM in the theater once.

        I saw the original release of Star Wars seven times. I saw the first re-release two times. After that, I lost count.

        Star Wars has been successful because it has included the kind of movie that people will go back to see several times on the big screen. Getting away from this is a big mistake.

  • I'm reminded of a Bloom County strip I read many years back where a film review was being written down at ye olde Bloom Picayune: "It did for cinema what Jonestown did for Kool-Aid".

    Sometimes the reviewers are on to something, sometimes they just sound like elitist pricks. As I recall, Siskel & Ebert gave "The Usual Suspects" two thumbs down, which remains one of my favorite movies to date. I've plans to see this one, but I'm not sure I have the interest to go out of my way to see it opening night. I'm even busy enough with the approaching finals that I'd probably miss any lone-gunmen-are-dead reviews around these parts

    • That's why I tend to avoid the reviews from the New York Times, both Chicago newspapers, and the Los Angeles Times. The reviews often have a snooty attitude that ends up turning off readers of their reviews and then some.

      I'll never forget the sniping back and forth between James Cameron and LA Times movie critic Kenneth Turan over Titanic. Or how about The Sound of Music being heavily panned during its initial release in 1965?

      Reviewers often nowadays are missing the point of why a movie was made a certain way, especially those aimed for summer release.
  • **Whaooomph!** (Score:3, Informative)

    by n4zgl ( 578195 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:45AM (#3495214)

    that was the sound of the LotR gauntlet landing

    This movie had to be better. Watching the 'love' version preview in theatres playing Fellowship of the Rings gave you a feeling similar to watching the kid next door show of his supermario brothers LCD two days after you got a C64...

    I am glad to hear Lucas and Co have pulled it off. Bring on the talent!

  • Why must he make movies to sell toys, rather than make great movies?

    Is he obsessed with selling more toys than McDonalds (the world's #1 toy-seller)?

    If not, what is up?

    And Star Wars fans, how can you still support this when every new movie is more disappointing than the last one? Yeah, the visuals get better and better. But the story gets dumber and dumber.

    How much Star Wars merchandise can you fit in your closets? Just where the hell are you warehousing this stuff?
    • Well for one thing he is really an independent (the richest one though). Remember he basicly quit the Directors Guild after Star Wars, though I think he rejoined before starting Phantom Menace because of requirements. For him the merchandise is another way of funding his other ventures, since he owns the rights to Star Wars (bought them way back). As he stated in that lame CNN - Connie Chung interview, he doesn't have to go through crap like screening his films through test groups, studio meddling with content and editing etc.

      If there is demand he has the supply. Maybe some fans don't find the stuff as disappointing as you. For the record nowadays I just get a few items. It's your choice what to buy and how much.
  • Britney? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ogerman ( 136333 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:59AM (#3495243)
    Is it just my imagination or is queen Amidala dressed almost precisely like Britney Spears in that one scene? Tight vinyl pants and top, belly showing, etc. Except it's a white outfit instead of red.. How lame can you get? Lucas has definitely sold out to corporate America. Sad really..
    • Hey genius...



    • Re:Britney? (Score:3, Funny)

      by PCM2 ( 4486 )
      Is it just my imagination or is queen Amidala dressed almost precisely like Britney Spears in that one scene? Tight vinyl pants and top, belly showing, etc. Except it's a white outfit instead of red.. How lame can you get? Lucas has definitely sold out to corporate America. Sad really..
      You would have preferred her naked and petrified, perhaps?
  • Link [theforce.net]: "I saw CLONES two weeks ago up at George's. For the record, of all the STAR WARS they've made, this is my second favorite just ehind EMPIRE," Spielberg told us. "It was great. The action scenes looked like George had been inspired by James Cameron because they were as good as any of the action scenes in T2, and I think George did his best directing with this one too."

    Well, it should be better than The Phantom Menace (episode 1) then. :)
  • by majcher ( 26219 ) <slashdot&majcher,com> on Friday May 10, 2002 @03:11AM (#3495271) Homepage
    http://www.majcher.com/nytview.html?url=http://www . ytimes.com/2002/05/10/movies/10STAR.html&submit [majcher.com]

    Generates a random login every time and jumps to the page ... until they change the registration format again, that is...
  • Spoilers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kraf ( 450958 )
    I've been quite spoiled for this movie, reading the script and spy reports, downloading the pics etc.
    It can be quite frustrating to know that a couple of my favourite scenes has been cut from the final, so I'm staying spolier free for EPIII.
  • Midichlorian-itis predicted in record numbers!

    Thats right, the dread disease Midichlorian-itis will once again make itself known in a mere 6 days!

    Symptoms include but not limited to:

    Hyper tension
    High blood pressure
    Trembling muscles and nervous twitches
    Cold Sweat
    High anxiety (generally manifest in high piched voice with constant arm waving and muttering "Oh my! We're doomed!"
    Loss of appetite followed by craving for popcorn
    Red and black markings on the patients head and body along with yellow horns protruding from the head.
    Breathing problems, (the most common manifestion is when the patient breathes deeply on a regular basis)
    Craving for roasted Ewok
    Desire to skip work or school
    Hallucinations of an army of Jar Jar Clones! (Warning! this symptom is indicative of an impending psychotic episode! Consult your Doctor right way! Failure to receive treatment on time can result in being carbon frozen!)

    On May 16th please report to your local movie theatre, where for (insert ticket price here) you can receive your annual innoculation for the next 3 years.

    If after the over 2 hour innoculation procedure is not enough, you can spend more $$ to repeat the dosage or else swing over to another part of the theatre for an arachnid booster shot

    This public service message brought to you by Coruscant Medical Institute, the Friendly Family Doctors!

  • by starX ( 306011 )
    The guy at the NYTimes seems to have this strange notion that Star Wars fans don't already know the essentials of the plot, and could actually be surprised by this movie. Really, with an established timeline before and after this movie, how much possibility for surprise can there possibly be, but then again, I for one don't want to be surprised, I want Star Wars.

    In the grand scheme of things, Star Wars is not, nor should it be high art. George Lucas is a cinematographic genius, but he is no Bergman, Hitchcock, or Lang. What most people don't seem to catch is that he never pretends to be. He has said in numerous interviews that Star Wars is based on the old movie serials from his youth, and those are inherently melodramatic, bombastic, and completely archetypal battles between good and evil. Is there ever any doubt in are minds that Darth Vader is evil incarnate? No, not until Lucas started listening to his critics with Jedi.

    Stars Wars never pretends to be high art, but perhaps something so simple, and yet so appealing is more than high art. Let us not fool ourselves, The Illiad and Beowulf were so popular in their times because they are entertaining; we still read them today because they are inherently good stories. Star Wars is a good story, and no matter what the agenda of the reviewer, or what marketting deals have already been made, Lucas will never let it be otherwise.

    Short version: NYTimes reviewer has missed the point by a few parsecs.
    • Hear, hear!

      If you want art, go to the freakin' Googenheim. If you want something to talk about (that's usually fun) go see Star Wars--any one of them.

      Even "Phantom Menace" is enjoyable compared to pieces of celluoid like "Mullholland Drive." It wasn't a bad movie, but then I don't want to have to read Cliff's Notes before seeing it.

      Honestly, I still see the saber duel in TFM as Pretty Damned Cool.
    • I for one don't want to be surprised, I want Star Wars.

      That may explain why some of the reviews I've seen so far comment on how dutiful and exposition-bound AotC feels -- as if its only purpose is to follow the familiar Anakin-turns-to-the-dark-side thread with just as much fleshing out as needed to fill out two hours.

      Speaking as a non-Star Wars fan, I don't care how well Episode II advances the mythos. I want to know if the movie is any fun. Phantom Menace wasn't much fun, and despite Lucas's fondness for those classic serials, it remained hidebound in its mock-seriousness. It was too pretentious to be a classic popcorn movie, and its story was too uninvolving to be engaging.

      I'm not saying that George Lucas has to direct Seven Samurai (a great action movie, btw). But just because it's a "simple" action movie doesn't mean it can't be high art as well -- look at Raiders of the Lost Ark, or even The Empire Strikes Back. I certainly don't agree that Attack of the Clones must be judged by a lower standard just because it aims low.
  • Great ruin it for me!! Now i know there are Jedi's in episode 2!!! thanks guys!!!

  • It should be noted that:

    1) Most critics from popular mags like Entertainment Weekly probably weren't even BORN when the original Star Wars movie showed up.

    2) Those same critics (whose reviews I've read a lot of) seem to believe that "Star Wars" should be always upbeat. It's quite the opposite for the Episodes 1-3. All the Jedi are going to DIE and Anakin's going to be the one to kill them (mostly). Nothing upbeat there. For upbeat, see Episodes 4-6.

    It's still a story. Lucas just ingratiated us with more explosions. Makes sense--when Yoda has to open up a can of whoopass in a SW movie, you KNOW things are getting bad for the good guys.
  • ...that no where in any of the StarWars movies does there appear a "marketing droid." You would think that such a character would be central to the plot-line. Perhaps it would be responsible for helping fund the Rebel Alliance...
  • I actually like TPM - but I'm the type of guy who can watch a flick from the eyes of a four-year-old and not a 29-year-old and, from my four-year-old eyes, TPM was pretty cool.

    As for AOTC: It's gotta be better than ROTJ. My personal ranking is this (based on the originals of each flick, not any special editions):

    1. ESB
    2. ANH
    3. TPM
    4. ROTJ

    I give ROTJ SE and TPM a tie at 3 because the SE ending is so much better than the original...

    I predict that AOTC will go to 2 or 3 on my personal list. I'll see at 12:01am next Thursday...

  • CORUSCANT -- Presiding over a memorial service commemorating the victims of the attack on the Death Star, the Emperor declared that while recent victories over the Rebel Alliance were "encouraging, the War on Terror is not over yet."

    "We will continue to fight these terrorists, and the rogue governments who harbor them, until the universe is safe, once and for all, and the security of the Neo-New Cosmik Order ensured."

    It was one year ago today that the Death Star, perhaps the greatest symbol of the Empire's might, was destroyed in an attack by fanatic Rebels, who used small, single-person crafts to infiltrate seemingly impenetrable defenses. Thousands of mourners were on hand to remember and pay tribute to the victims and their families.

    "We lost our innocence that day," reflected one mourner. "I guess we thought we were immune from the kind of violence that happens in other galaxies. We were wrong." "I lost hundreds of buddies that day," said one teary-eyed Stormtrooper. "Guys whose only crime was trying make the Universe a safer place."

    Although the day was colored by sadness, the mourners found some relief in the news of a decisive victory over the Rebels. In an attack led by Darth Vader, Empire forces were able to rout hundreds of Rebels from a network of caves underneath the surface of the planet Hoth. "We're not sure we got them all," says a Vader spokesman. "There are a lot of places to hide in those caves. But we've delivered a powerful blow to the terrorist's infrastructure, that's for sure. Today, the Empire has struck back."

    Initial reports are unclear as to the fate of Luke Skywalker, a hero among the Rebels, who is rumored to have delivered the fatal blow to the Death Star. Skywalker, a former desert-dweller from the planet Tattooine, became a part of the Rebellion after family members were killed. Skywalker was trained by a militant wing of the Rebels, known as "Jedi Knights." Fanatical in their religious beliefs, the Jedi Knights claim to derive their power from the mystical "Force."

    It's believed that Skywalker was specifically trained by infamous terrorist O bin Wankanobi. Wankanobi, occasionally called "Ben" and easily recognized by his bearded visage and long, flowing robes, achieved near-martyr status among the Rebels after his death last year during a spy mission. His more fervent followers believe that Wan Kenobi lives on within them today, some even claiming to hear his voice during times of duress.

    The attack on the Death Star came shortly after the Empire's destruction of Alderstaan, a planet whose government was known to harbor terrorists. Responding to criticism over the total annihilation of the planet, Vader stated, "There is no middle ground in the War on Terror. Those who harbor terrorists are terrorists themselves. Alderaan was issued ample warning. The fight for continuing Freedom is often burdened by terrible cost."

    The cost of this war can still be seen today in the continuing efforts to build a coalition government on Tattooine. Longstanding animosities among the planets various ethnic groups, including the Jawas, Tusken Raiders and scattered human settlers, have been an impediment to the peace process. The Empire continues to maintain a small peace keeping force until a provisional government is finally in place.

    Much of the difficulty in fighting the Rebel forces stems from their lack of a central organizing structure. "They don't play by the traditional rules of war," complained one spokesman. "They come in all shapes and sizes, united only by their single-minded desire to destroy the Empire before it destroys them."

    The Emperor closed his comments today by stating that "the cowardly attack on the Death Star left a deep scar on the Empire. However, we will not stop fighting until every last evildoer has been brought to justice." He paused for several moments, wiping away a tear and then added with determination, "We will never forget."

    "I wish we could all just get along," said one of the mourners. "But it's hard to offer an olive branch to a cult of religious fanatics whose main tool is violence and who insist on calling us the Dark Side." (OK, it's old. So sue me.)

  • I have a connection that works at Fox and often I get to go to premeires or media screenings, so when I was offered to see AOTC a week and half before everyone else I leapt at the chance. The only problem was I sat next to a newspaper movie critic who wouldn't shut up. I came this close to crushing his larynx while quoting, "A find your lack a faith disturbing."

    Not giving anything away, it is awesome. There are more lightsabers in this movie that you can shake a errr... lightsaber at. The problem I can forsee that people would have is the acceptance of Anakin being Anakin. Well nobody really liked the first kid so why should we like the second. They are probably going to be some complaints about this movie, but I didn't have any. AOTC definetly has the best land war of any of the Star Wars movies including EOB. Anyway great movie, I just wonder if it would be any better seeing it in one of the digital theatres.
  • I was trying to sum up for my curious friends my overall impression of AOTC and I think I finally said this: Lucas obviously spent a lot of money, but not a lot of thought on this movie. In some scenes I remember my eyes were involuntarily rolling so much that I thought I might really hurt myself.

    The plot was actually quite dumb, on par with recent films starring The Rock. Of course, those movies don't have the hubris to try doing romantic dialogue. AOTC tried, and it was absolutely terrible. Actually, let's face it: Lucas sucks at dialogue. The characters get about as much development as is necessary in a tale aimed at 6-year olds. Everybody is a total cliche. But of course, we're used to that from Lucas. I think he would say that everybody is an archetype--which is Jungian mumbo-jumbo for "stereotype."

    Many wondered how the fact Darth Vader's rising up against the Emperor and revealing himself as Anakin Skywalker (ep6) suddenly made him a good guy, though he was directly responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. Those of us who thought "Huh? Isn't a repentant war criminal still a war criminal?" will be saying "Huh?" many more times during this movie.

    spoiler--can't resist:


    One example: It's only after Senator Brunette-Britney, who is supposed to be righteous, finds out that her suitor killed a whole village of innocent children that she decides she really loves him. Maybe if he also killed their dogs, he'd get a blow job. Or something.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson