Saga Attack of the Clones or Empire Strikes Back

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Force Smuggler, Dec 9, 2013.

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  1. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    No arguments there - although I do remember feeling very frustrated about how Eyes Wide Shut was received. It was a difficult, complex film, largely for serious cinephiles, loaded with all sorts of tricks and in-jokes. Extremely self-indulgent on Kubrick's part, but a joy to watch if you 'got it'.

    Most didn't, and the reactions were predictable enough. The problem there, however, was that it was marketed as a steamy sexual thriller for the mainstream market, starring two of the world's biggest stars, and that was just plain misleading, even though you can see why they did it. How do you sell a film to the public that's best described as a man struggling to deal with his own insecurities and who projects these insecurities onto the real world around him, creating a dreamlike fantasy world which is shattered in the cold, harsh light of the reality of the following day?

    Even so, it's still irritating when something like EWS is dismissed by a reviewer or blogger as 'dross', with virtually no elaboration - making it quite clear that the reviewer didn't really make any sort of effort to understand what it was trying to do.

    I don't think that's the case with any of the SW films, though. They're really not that difficult to understand, or 'get'. I think certain SW films click with certain people or don't, due to the style in which they're told. It's more a matter of personal taste than anything else (which is why, for example, I prefer TPM to AOTC, even though I completely understand the issues others have with both).
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  2. only one kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 4

    I get you. In terms of Eyes Wide Shut...as you say there is a surface 'story' but thetre is a deeper psychological impetus driving, actually, the film. I find it rather odd that critics would assess such a film on the rather shallow context of its surface story. Another example that I would offer is a song by a band whose work I am a fan of. They have a song called Stinkfist and I have had to argue that the song is not about the surface level 'act' but is addressing a level of desensitizing and need for more and more immediate 'fix' or 'hit'. Personally I found EWS worked because it was unsettling and uncomfortable - that is what it is meant to be. I also don't think it takes a genius to figure out that it is a story about the mental state of the main protagonist. Sometimes...I think there are agendas being played out and Kubrick and Cruise (perhaps especially) were there to be shot at.
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  3. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    But if you choose to ignore that, and address it as a straightforward film, then it's easy to write off as incoherent rubbish. I followed EWS's critical reception quite closely, and I was familiar enough with enough of the reviewers to know that they were doing exactly that. A good few praised it, but there were plenty of hacks writing for mainstream newspapers who were either trying to put it into the context of the other films being released at the time, or simply hated Kubrick to begin with. One, in particular, took great delight in deliberately misspelling Kubrick's name whenever she could - and it was completely deliberate, make no mistake about it.
    Too many critics approach films with preconceptions and personal agendas, as you also pointed out:

    That's definitely something that was also at play (Kubrick was always a divisive filmmaker) - and in that sense, it's the same case with SW, although probably more so with AOTC & ROTS than TPM. It happened back in the OT era as well, lest anyone thinks this is solely about the PT.
    Many critics simply regarded SW as something wrong and cancerous. How dare such simplistic films be so successful, while other, more 'worthy' films fail to make their money back!?!
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Yeah, I'm failing to see how anyone's character can be worsened by an opinion of a movie or an expression of that opinion.

    I certainly hope people recognize the difference between "that movie was a cinematic abortion" and "your mother should have had an abortion if you like that movie." The latter is being a ******, the former is expressing an opinion.

    The "cinematic abortion" comment didn't bother me and I like AOTC.

    And @only one kenobi : Well said. I don't want to "get" anything that I'm not naturally inclined to "get" while I'm watching a film. I pay the cost of a movie ticket so I can have fun. I don't find analyzing symbolism and **** particularly fun, so if I have to do that in order to "get" a film, the film has failed.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Dec 15, 2013
  5. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    No, just don't act like jerk to the people that do like it.

    YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN :p
    Last edited by Darkslayer, Dec 15, 2013
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  6. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Hmmm...if another onlooker says you "don't get it", it is certainly a bit childish. If the creator, however, notes that his art is misunderstood, then that's not necessarily the art's fault. The art has failed for you, yes, but one could also say you have failed the art. It's just another version of "it's not your cup of tea".

    A character is clearly not worsened by such an opinion per se and you're certainly entitled to think that a movie is a "steaming pile". Still, a statement like "Movie XL is a cinematic abortion" is probelmatic in two ways: (1) it is potentially provoking and could indicate a certain interpersonal insensitivity and (2) certainly not the pinnable of discussion culture. It's not conductive to any kind of discussion, rather the oppisite: at best it provokes a passionate protest which would be something like this:
    I mean, that's not a discussion, that's a succession of stroppy opinions and ultimately a worthless exchange.

    You surely have a talent of hiding ;)
    Last edited by Samnz, Dec 15, 2013
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  7. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Hiding what? That I like AOTC? Pretty sure I never indicated otherwise.

    "Interpersonal insensitivity": I dunno, if someone is offended by another person hating a movie that he or she likes, I'd say the problem lies with the person taking offense.

    And I don't think the mods around here have time to moderate for "what constitutes good discussion". I don't like "yes it is!/no it isn't!" arguments either but there is always the option of just not arguing with the person who calls the film a "cinematic abortion". He never said you or anyone else has to share that opinion, and maybe he's just expressing an opinion as opposed to trying to start a debate in which one person has to be "right".

    As far as "art being misunderstood," no, the viewer did not fail the art. Maybe it isn't the viewer's cup of tea but that doesn't make the viewer "wrong" or indicate that he or she has "failed" in some way. Wanting to be entertained by a movie that one has spent his or her own money on, is not a "failure," it's normal.
  8. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Yet, by collating the two, you have -- perhaps, inadvertently -- indicated an additional way in which such a remark could be construed as deeply offensive: associating the relative quality, or lack thereof, of a given film, a subjective matter, with the tragic (and politically-charged) real-life issue of abortion. To call a work of art an "abortion", therefore, strikes of note of gross insensitivity, and risks opening up a terrible can of worms in what is meant to be a relatively harmless, fun thread. Granted, words have multiple meanings, and "abortion" is no different, but when entered so curtly into a discussion without elaboration, it's the most common definition that leaps out.

    Remember how outraged you were, and presumably, still are, over Mike Stoklasa's alleged "sexist" humour in his famous prequel reviews? Some people are going to bristle at such blunt commentary when it hits them as offensive; especially when it seems designed to cause offence. Maybe the poster had a different idea in mind. Here, however, I can't help but see it as linguistic carpet-bombing, and I'm not sure, given TFN's strict policies on fairness and basic decency, that it should be allowed or passed over without comment. That is simply my opinion, though. In the main, I agree with you.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Dec 15, 2013
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  9. ObiAlKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2012
    star 2
    Uh oh I just got told by a graphic! LOL

    AOTC is cinematic garbage compared the The Empire Strikes Back.
  10. Darth Eddie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2013
    star 4
    This is one of my biggest Star Wars questions since ESB and AOTC are my two favorite Star Wars movies, but ESB edges out AOTC on a few key factors. 1, it's got classical prestige to its favor. 2, AOTC sags for me in the final act where ESB remains consistently compelling throughout, assisted by a shorter runtime. There's a very special place in my heart for AOTC, and in fact it was my favorite Star Wars movie for about 6 months; it's just that ESB has about 20 years on AOTC, so it has reclaimed the title through sheer muscle.

    Plus, it's Empire Strikes Back. for many Star Wars fans, that should be reason enough.

    While I'm at it, I think that Star Wars fans on a Star Wars message board should learn to talk more sensitively about eachothers' favorite movies. I mean, If you think AOTC is horrible then that's one thing; just don't come to the JCF and start trashing it unwarrantably. It's not a question of free speech, but more of just being polite.
    Last edited by Darth Eddie, Dec 15, 2013
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  11. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Well, they say you can tell a lot about a civilization by its trash, so make mine a plate of cinematic garbage. :cool:
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  12. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    If by cinematic garbage you mean an incredible enhancement to a classic trilogy of movies, then sure,
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  13. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Does someone else's dislike of a film affect your enjoyment of it so much that you must try to convince the person that he is "wrong" to dislike it?
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  14. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
  15. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    [face_laugh]OK you got me. That was good.
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  16. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    People can be so ridiculously self-righteous and judgmental when it comes to female characters and their children. I suspect this is a reflection of society's demand that all mothers should be perfect and always make the right choices for their children. This attitude is even more common toward females - fictional or not - than it is toward men.

    Padme lost the will to live on. Boo hoo! What did you expect her to be? She was a character with virtues and flaws, not some damn paragon of virtue. And I'm also getting tired of people dismissing the idea of someone dying of a broken heart, or allowing their emotions to affect their health. It happens, whether you like it or not.
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  17. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    I expected her to be the same character I saw in TPM and AOTC. That character would have never been so weak as to "lose the will to live". Padme in ROTS did not even try.

    I am a woman and a mother and her attitude in ROTS disgusted me. Not because I expected her to be "perfect"; "losing the will to live" is not a normal "flaw" like absent-mindedness. She just quit, because Anakin was not who she thought he was. That's no excuse.

    Dying of a broken heart happens but usually only to old people with health problems.
  18. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    After Ani kills the Tuskens, Padme listens to Anakin tell her he murdered women and children. She then gives this motherly speech about not being too hard on yourself. That was my WTF? moment of the PT and what ruined it for me. She didn't even seem to notice what he had told her. After that I wasn't surprised by the characters apathy and stupidity in RotS.
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  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Her behavior there didn't bother me. She wasn't exactly looking as if she endorsed what he did, and I think she was horrified over what happened to Shmi (as I was) and therefore all that registered in her mind was that he took revenge and regretted it, not the specifics.

    And it wasn't apathy and stupidity that bothered me in ROTS, it was the fact that she lost every ounce of independence and strong will that she had.

    Anakin's stupidity in ROTS bothered me a lot though.
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  20. Garrett Atkins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2013
    star 4
    ESB, AOTC has its moments though.
  21. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Her husband and lover just killed all of her friends, plus a whole bunch of children, plus destroyed everything she spent her life's work on, plus put a maniacal dictator in power. Oh, and TRIED TO KILL HER TOO.And now that she has kids, she knows he will probably try to kill them as well.

    Come back when that's happened to you, and you can talk about how "stupid" she is for giving up. *facepalm*
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  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    By giving up, by letting the other characters and the audience know that her entire identity wrapped around a man who did all the things you listed, that she was completely dependent on him for her entire identity...she becomes even more stupid.

    The behavior of Anakin's that you listed is precisely the reason for her not to give up. What exactly is the point of committing suicide over someone else's behavior? And since, as you said, he tried to kill her--by "losing the will to live," she let him win.

    Great role model there. :rolleyes:

    I would have liked her much better if she had given Anakin a solid "go **** yourself" and shown him the business end of her blaster instead of wailing, and then gotten back on her ship, insisted that Obi-Wan and Yoda to help her hide herself and the children, and worked undercover on the Rebellion as they did.

    That's what winning behavior looks like when your husband/lover turns out to be an ass. Fight back.
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  23. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The Padme from TPM and AOTC would have never given like ROTS Padme would have. So many wasted opportunities.
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  24. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8

    No ****. I loved TPM and AOTC Padme.
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  25. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I may think she was stupid starting in AotC but I definitely agree that she was no quitter until suddenly in RotS.
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