I think It should be noted that, going into the theater last night, I was practically an amalgamation of collected spoilers. I read every review, highlighted every block of white text, and watched every God-forsaken exclusive epixode II footage on every channel.
Oddly enough, though nothing suprised me, I was still all tingly and bitting my fingernails in anticipation of seeing what I had heard about.
1) Near all the critics mention that the irritating, persistant, screen hogging Jar-Jar is not gone, but back in C3P0 form with lines like "I'm beside myself!' when his head is beside himself and such. I watched the factory scene dreading these, but found these reports of Jar-jar-ism to be greatly exagerated. C3P0 has like 14 one-liners over the course of those 45 minutes, and only about 3 or 4 of them fall flat (and not amongst everyone mind you). The ones that did fall flat ("Get my head on streight" while R2D2 is putting his head on streight) aren't hyped up and focused on or anything. There's no comedic pause on any of the one-liners, nor should there be.
2) Speaking of Jar-Jar, he is in this one, and he's not nearly as bad (or extreme, for those of you who've grown to love him) as he was in Episode 1. I was excited when George Lucas mentioned that he would mature in Ep. 2, and was currious as to what he would mature into. Perhaps a Gungan's life expectancy was 40, and he'd be a grumpy old man, or an overly strict crumudgeon, or a perpetually taxed and tired being of stature and dignity. Apparently, what George Lucas meant was that Jar-Jar gets fewer lines, has no physical "comedy", and plays a critical role in destroying the republic (as we all knew he one day would =OD). The goofy, awkward accent's still there, and it's still off-putting.
3) Whoever's in charge of making CG animations of characters riding on things should be shot, dragged to a rodeo, shown what riding really looks like, dragged back into his computer, and forced to redo every riding CG out there before he is taken away for medical treatment. I don't understand what could be so hard about making it look natural. Instead of the flow of motion, they decide to just jerk the rider back and forth as though he had no mass, but still rides and motions as though he does. It's in LOTR. It's now here. If cars and busses galloped, it'd be in spiderman.
4) I must agree that the fight scenes in Episode 2 are not paricularly satisfying. The thought of 50 jedi rushing the lines is desprately entralling, until you realize that as a whole, it only plays out as saber vs. blaster, never saber vs. saber in large scale. When we did see saber vs. saber, it was not nearly as satisfying as the 2 v 1 in Episode 1, namely because it did not feel nearly as long. In retrospect, they may, in fact, be jsut as long as the duel in Ep. 1, but the duel in Ep. 1 most certainly felt longer, as the all participents remained in the fight, and it was interjected with the other three battle scenes going on at the time. I think the Dooku fight was cut away from only twice. In any case, I'm not sure a decision to have the fight last longer would have been in the interest of the film. Episode 1 was the first taste many westerners got of absurdly long, intense fights. Other films followed suit in bringing the exhausting, intense fights to the western world, but one should be advised that such competition to make your fight longer than the fight in another film eventually causes filmmakers to make films that are noting more than a 12 minute introduction followed by a 90 minute fight. It's not pretty
5) I'm not sure about the rest of you, but hte audience I was with burst out laughing when the movie cut to the fireplace scene. The movie just shamelessly cuts from blatantly obvious romantic locale to blatantly obvious romantic locale, and I can't tell if it's camp, or if it really works on the new demographic.
6) Did anyone else suddenly think "Titan A.E." when they saw the new trade federation ships?
7) I always said a saber fight in the rain would be brutally cool. Everyone knows a gun fight in the rain is brutally cool. There was suprisingly little saber in the saber/guns fight in the rain, and there were one too many jump kicks in what should have been a very lethal fight, but the use of grapling hook simply made the whole thing quite brutally cool.
8) When Anikin looses his arm, did anyone else think that instead of: Knockaway, arm hack, force push;, the order of attack should have been: Knockaway, force push, saber throw arm? The saber throw didn't have to look anything like Vader's saber-throw. It could've just been an ordinary blade throw, followed by a disjointed force pull weapon return.
Also, is it just me, or did I see little bits of slow-mo during the Anikin-Dooku fight? Is Lucas getting Fight Club on us?
New Classic line: "I'm so confused..."