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Sunday, June 05, 2005

revenge of the sith

OK, my wife and I finally went to see "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" last night. I really enjoyed it - I would say slightly better than Episodes I and II, if only because of the satisfaction of seeing everything come together in this episode, as we knew it would. It wasn't the great masterpiece it could have been, or that I had hoped it would be, it being the last major motion picture to be released in the franchise.


First the good points:

-The story holds your interest, and it does a good job of bringing episodes I and II to a logical conclusion, and segues nicely into Episode IV. Overall, Anakin's turn to the dark side, although still a little rushed, was about as believable as you could make it in one movie. It was the old story of good against evil, but very creatively done (that goes for the whole series).

-Whether it was intentional or not, I do like the parallels between Palpatine and Bush, and that all the talk of defending the "republic" is to distract people from the fact that what they were fighting against is what they've now become.

-Some of the special effects were excellent, especially the sea of lava at the end of the film.

-Excellent acting performances by Ewan McGregor, Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Lee (all 2 minutes of it), as we have come to expect, and Hayden Christensen was not nearly as bad as he was in the previous installment - I would even say he did an adequate job. Portman was OK, perhaps would have been better with a better script (see below).

-Yoda. He brings much humor and charm to the story as usual; without this character (and Frank Oz's excellent voicing), I don't believe the whole series could have worked.

Now for the bad points:

-Some parts of the script were horrible, as if they were written by a junior high schooler. This is especially true for some of Natalie Portman's lines.

-A bad acting performance by Samuel L. Jackson, a sin he also committed in Episodes I and II. I've seen him act well, but in the Star Wars movies he always seems to be phoning it in. Perhaps the blame lies partially in the casting.

-The fact that Padme loses the will to live. I assume the point of all this is that she would have lived had Anakin not turned to the dark side to try to prevent his dream from coming true, and that once he turned, she was so upset that she lost the will to live. An interesting concept. The problem that I have is that she just gave birth to a twin son and daughter; new moms have an incredibly strong will to live and see their children grow up. It is completely unbelievable that Padme, being the decent woman that she was, would just give up. Maybe I have missed a point here; if so, somebody please correct me.

-I had trouble telling what was going on in some of the battle scenes; there was so much going at times that it really was hard to tell who was shooting/stabbing/crashing into whom.

-A very minor complaint, but I had a little trouble understanding some of the dialogue uttered by General Grievous; I look forward to watching the DVD with the subtitles on.

So there you have it. If I had the chance I'd go see it again on the big screen, but my next viewing will probably have to wait for the DVD release.


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