Monday, July 3, 2006

Blogger Entry #2

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Star Wars... series concluded, it is

went with some friends to a showing of the final installment of Star
Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The evening started out with
some really delicious Japanese food at Sugi, then a nice stroll in the
balmy Manila weather to the theater. Like just about anyone
anticipating the arrival of George Lucas' final part in the series, I
went in hoping for great lightsaber duels, fantastic action sequences
and closure: I too wanted to know how Darth Vader came to be. After
all, he is the icon of evil in the galaxies near and far, far away.

was also anticipating more of the wooden acting that was ever present
in the first two parts, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones...
I was right. Why didn't George Lucas get -- at the very least -- a
co-director to take care of the actors? I'll give him his due for the
excellent CGI graphics, but he's a lousy actor's director. He's also
not much of a scriptwriter (an excellent storyteller, but the dialogue
was just... bad). Whenever Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and
Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) were on screen together, I found myself
wishing that I was watching the film on DVD, so I could hit my "next
chapter" button and be done with them! The sad part was, I knew these
two actors to be much more talented than this. Christensen was
excellent as the tortured teen in 'Life As A House"... he was one of
the main reasons to see that movie, as his performance was layered,
deep and truly interesting to watch. His on-screen journey was tragic
and rivetting. Miss Portman, who began her career at 12 in "The
Professional" has just won a Golden Globe for "Closer", so I knew she
had some serious acting chops in her. So... who else to blame but the
director? Mr. Lucas obviously took much more time developing the
battles and duels, not in the acting exchanges. Didn't anyone tell him
that the human element is what makes a movie fun to watch?

the "good acting" note, Ian McDiarmid was deliciously evil as
Palpatine, and Ewan McGregor was perfectly understated as Obi-Wan. I'll
admit, I'll fawn over Mr. McGregor reading the phone book. I totally
fell in love with him in "Moulin Rouge", and couldn't stop singing his
praises after watching the film. Mr. McDiarmid took the schlocky
material given to him, and turned it into something substantial. He was
perhaps the one actor who rose above the dialogue to leave a memorable

I should have taken the advice of another Star Wars fan, to watch the
film with lowered expectations. I might have had a better time and left
the theater recommending the film to everyone. Unfortunately, as
fantastic as the special effects were, the lousy dialogue and hokey
execution of what was promised to be a fantastic story left me
unattached and uninvested in what happened to these characters. I might
just be of another generation... for whom the first Star Wars will
always be "Episode IV: A New Hope", and the best film of the series
"Episode V: Empire Strikes Back". At the absolute very least, the
humans were the reason we hung on to the action, and the scripts were

Oh well, George is laughing all the way to the bank, so any review, comment or complaint is moot.

more excellent Star Wars action, I recommend Cartoon Network's Star
Wars: Clone Wars, the animated bridge between Episodes II and III. No
schlock, just lots of action. The animators and director knew what they
were doing. Trust that if and when these are ever released on DVD, I'll
be one of the first in line to get my copy.

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