View Full Version : My (rather long-winded) review...

Master Qui-Gon
05-21-2002, 04:23 PM
I guess this whole post is one big spoiler, so Iím just going talk freely here. If anybody cares, my opinion of the movie:

One thing I think we can put to rest: That Episode II was NOT better than ESB. No way. It wasnít even better than RotJ. You could argue that it was a cooler movie, had better action and effects, but it wasnít better.

First of all, it was great watching it. I had a very good time and was very entertained. I enjoyed it a lot. Starting about thirty minutes after I watched it, that feeling started to reverse itself and I was left with a feeling of, ďwhat was the point?Ē (my girlfriend echoed those sentiments exactly). AotC may have been superior to TPM in virtually every way, but it did not inspire me, or fill me with any kind of wonder. Iím not even sure I liked it better than Episode I. Though Episode I had many faults, I always liked Qui-Gon and his personality, so it held up for me in repeat viewings. It was something to like about the movie even though I knew what was going to happen. This feeling faded a little bit by this morning, but a lot of itís still there... Last night I suddenly didnít even want to see the movie a second time (though I would have anyway just because it was Star Wars).

I donít get that feeling with Episode II right now. It had all the action and story, but was missing something else. Kind of like with Episode I, GL jerked the wheel to far to the left, and now with Episode II he overcompensated and jerked the wheel too far to the right. What usually happens after that is that the car spins out of control and crashes. Something to think about anyway.

That having been said, a few more specific comments (Iíll do the negatives first): I was disappointed with the sword fighting that was supposed to make Episode Iís look like big yawn. I was not impressed. The only thing that was good about that scene was watching Yoda get nasty on that guy, but that was good in a fun kind of way. His sword fighting wasnít real, so it didn't impress me. The great scene with Anakin and his two sabers was all of about two seconds. I was also never a big fan of people losing limbs. It bothers me, but I deal with that because thatís the way it should be.

I was disappointed with the digital Yoda (as I'm sure everyone expected me to be). I understand why they did it, and maybe that one scene made it worth the while, but it still made me cringe to look at him through most of the movie.

The first time I saw Episode I, I was looking forward to Episode II. Wondering what was going to happen and how things were going to develop. That sort of thing. This movie didnít do that for me. In fact, I dare say it didnít expand the story very much at all. For its faults, Episode I expanded the story quite a lot (even if many people didnít like the directions). A lot of people didnít like the midichlorians (or however the fronk you spell it) and Anakin being immaculately conceived was lame beyond all capacity for rational thought. But it DID advance the story. The masters and padawan part was new. The structure of the council was new. We learned that Yoda teaches the student up to a certain point, then they become a Jediís padawan. We learned, more or less, where the emperor came from and how he came to power. We learned about where Anakin came from... I could go on and on. What did we learn in this movie? No a lot. We learned how Lars and Beru could be Luke's aunt and uncle (since Anakin was immaculately conceived, that was a pretty easy guess however). Qui-Gonís part in the movie was unexplained. In fact, Iím curious what Liam Neeson was doing on the set at all, since the voice they used was just a repeated version of when he said, ďAnakin, drop!Ē The only real thing that was added was the bit about the jedi losing their ability to use the force. That may have been the most interesting aspect of the movie, but it was just mentioned in passing. We did learn about Boba Fett and where he came from and where the clone army came from. But somehow that seemed like it added more to the background than to the actual story. There were other things, and if you list them, maybe it seems like there were just as many, but what was there seemed less... significant. Even if most of it was a great deal less lame than Episode I.

The love story plot was beyond stupid at times. It was better near the end, but during the middle of the movie, I found myself rolling my eyes quite a lot. Okay, Anakin was nine years old when he last saw her. Nine! Then he dreamed about her every night for ten years?? Give me a break. Does GL even remember what itís like to be nine years old? People fade from your thoughts even more than they do when you are an adult. Not that you forget, but you move on more easily, and you certainly donít think about it every day. That was as bad as ďAre you an angel?Ē Sounding like a whiney teenager was bad at times (worse than Luke ever was), but maybe they felt that was necessary.

I also felt the movie was missing Liam Neeson, or a similar type of centralized leading character with a similarly strong screen presence. Ewan was good, but it wasn't the same. Probably because his character didnít call for that kind of role. Padmť could have been better, but not from the acting standpoint. Just the character (though they certainly made her out to be sexy enough) seemed to be lacking a little. I think that Episode I would have been beyond awful with Liam Neeson, or someone like him. By the same token, he would have made Episode II a lot better. I remember a critic talking about Episode I three years ago. He said that Liam Neeson was too good an actor to be in that movie. ďThere was no fatherĒ may have been the low point in that movie, but Liam managed to help it some just by talking... ďI didnít actually come here to free slaves.Ē

Another problem: Anakinís mother dying right as he got there. To some extent I can go along with it, because often people allow themselves to die when they find peace like that. My problem with it was as soon as Anakin found her, you knew she was going to die right there. So it made it silly and predictable.

That seems like a good lead in to the positive about the movie:

Anakin got pissed about that and got nasty on those sand people. That was cool. They cut most of it short (probably for rating reasons) and that sucked, but the scene was cool anyway. George is trying to show how an innocent kid can become so angry, and unfortunately I think heís missing the biggest point of all. This is something I have learned from my experience, and is probably why I know more about anger than any of you, or Anakin (in the movies weíve seen so far) and GL. What George is missing is betrayal. Lies, deceit and the like. That builds more anger and hatred than tragedy does. Anger from a tragedy passes (even if the pain does not). Enough betrayal can make you hate and mistrust everyone.

Next, this movie was not a kidís movie. Thank Bob for that. The violence was better as well... in fact Iím a little surprised it got a PG rating. Only a little I guess, since the nasty stuff was limited to droids, sand people, and people wearing helmets. You couldnít see their faces, in other words. This may seem like a small section of praise, but I submit that it was the most important. The movie may not have had much soul, but it was COOL and thatís a nice change.

3PO. In most of the movies, I tolerate him and do not mind him, but I donít really like him that much. He got pretty annoying in ESB. I actually liked him in this movie. I know a number of you are going to say his lines where cheesy, but to that I say nonsense. Donít be such a grump; puns are funny. Heh heh. Itís not like itís a drag. The line about needing maintenance was pretty good too.

Most of the computer graphics didnít bother me. A few of the creatures were pretty sucky... and that fat guy that was Obi-Wanís friend looked like he was right out of a Disney cartoon. It was like Eddie Valiant hugging a toon in Toon Town. Other than that, and a few of the moving creatures (most particularly the oneís with people riding them) the CG characters were okay. The CG backgrounds were much better though. Much more impressive and believable. Except for some of the water scene that is. They should have just used a real ocean. It used to be that special effects looked real when the movie was new, then got fake a few years later as effects improved... These days things look fake even when theyíre new.

Iíd give:

Overall effects: B
Creatures: C+
Backgrounds: A-
Ships & space effects: B+
Action: A
Story: B-
Sabers: A
Saber battle: B
Characters: C-
Music: A-
Acting: B
Directing: B-
Writing: B
Screenplay: C+
Overall: B+ (or 3 stars out of four)

The last rating could change (and probably should since Iíve only seen it once), but Iíll stand by my ratings for the rest of it.

An lastly, George has finally learned what a parsec is!!!

Master Qui-Gon's TPM Strategy Guide (http://MasterQuiGon.homestead.com/TPM.html).

05-21-2002, 04:30 PM
The first time I saw Episode I, I was looking forward to Episode II. Wondering what was going to happen and how things were going to develop. That sort of thing. This movie didnít do that for me. In fact, I dare say it didnít expand the story very much at all.

On that specific note, Episode II isn't as plot-based as Episode I was... though I will say that's specifically why I didn't like Episode I, because it was just "stuff happening" without any levels deeper.

I would argue, in fact, that Episode II is the part of the classical epic where we learn all of the connections that link together the beginning (Ep1) and end (Ep3) of the trilogy... i.e. this movie was designed to explain how little events in Ep1 affected everything later and how everything in Ep3 is supposed to happen.

Of course that's a very small snippet of your review, but I'm not going to read that whole damn thing. :p

Master Qui-Gon
05-21-2002, 06:33 PM
At least you read some of it.

05-22-2002, 12:26 PM
I read it. :)

It's a good review. And I agree on many points. The movie was good, but not on the scale that the original three were. I think the 3D animation ruined Yoda... and all the characters that were CGI? Somehow looked too cartoonish.

Hayen Christensen is a terrible actor :mad:

Master Qui-Gon
05-22-2002, 03:53 PM
I don't think he was terrible. Some of the writing was terrible, but he did well enough when it counted. Or rather, on the most difficult scenes (such as when he told Padmť about the sand people).

A lot of it was cartoonish in a big way. Those people at ILM must stare at computer screens so long, they can't see like a normal person. CG works well enough for backgrounds and battle droids, but is bad on moving creatures.