Is Lucas a better/worse DIRECTOR today than when he made ANH?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by hawk, Dec 10, 2002.

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  1. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I think TPM is more child like because the whole saga centers around Anakin, and in TPM he is a child.

    I am glad Lucas has total control of his films, because he really thinks about the whole picture. I don't think there is anyone else who could do a better job of telling his stories.
  2. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    I've got two names for you:

    Irv Kershner

    Steven Spielberg

    ,So far....

    We'll know more names, when more people direct.


  3. Little_Younglin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2002
    star 1
    Irvin Kershner: I did a quick review of his works in imdb.com and a question quickly arises: What are the merits of this man as a director to be able to claim that he is better that George Lucas to direct Episode III? I know: ESB. Then I will answer back: ANH. Next? Never say never again, maybe? I'll answer American Grafitti. Robocop II? Well, Episode I would fit, despite all critisisms on this movie. Oh, and by the way, George Lucas wrote the story, was an executive producer and film editor in ESB, according to imdb.

    Now, Steven Spielberg. That's a tough one. I have to come up with a reason why Spielberg shouldn't be better director than Lucas for Episode III :eek: ?[face_plain] :p. I would try to elaborate later, but lets just say that I can't see Spielberg directing style in a Star Wars movie. IMHO, obviously. :)

    As for the question at hand, just my 0.02. I don't think we can know if GL is a better or worse director comparing American Grafitti, ANH, TPM and AotC. If TPM and AotC have any problems, I don't think they are due to directing.
  4. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    That is true. However, your point was that enjoying a performance doesn't mean it's good. My point is that not enjoying a performance doesn't mean it's bad. Like you say you were explaining below, I was explaining here.

    The only real way to determine whether a performance is good is comparison with performances which have been deemed good or great. Comparing many of the actors of the PT with an endless list of good acting (including the OT) is where I/we get our opinions. Compared to most movies including the OT, the performances fall short. I gave an example on the second page.

    Yes. And I think that's due to her just not being a very good actress, regardless of Lucas's direction. Lucas rarely errs when it comes to choosing actors, but he erred with her.

    Agreed. Portman is the weakest actor in the PT. It would be a few notches better without her.

    Oh please. Why would she say it if it didn't pertain to past behavior from the Trade Federation?

    Of course it pertained to their past behavior. But we don't know exactly what behaviour this was now do we? It might have been that they raised taxes or threatened a cargo ship. We don't know is all I am saying. That much we should agree on.

    Believe it or not, crying isn't the only way to show emotion.

    Um, I said "act it" and that a tear wouldn't go astray. I didn't say she HAD to cry did I? Besides you seem to agree that she is a poor actress. Wouldn't this entail that she does not display emotion too well as an actress?

    Why?

    Because people act more emotional around those they feel more comfortable with. Queen E would be a bad Queen if she showed anger or sadness on t.v. in front of millions but she would more likely show some sort of suprise, shock or fear if she was greeted with the news that her kingdom was about to be invaded. It's just common sense.

    Not really. It's more like, "I can't fall apart or people won't take me seriously. Emotion will be construed as weakness."

    That's really different from, "I must make a conscious effort to speak in montone." The whole monotone voice thing is awfully contrived and silly.

    When she's cleaning R2 and talking to Jar Jar. When she and Anakin first meet. When she hugs Anakin after the podrace. During the picnic scene in AOTC.

    She's not all bad an actress then eh?



  5. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I don't think the performances fall short. Even compared to other great performances in cinema. They fit the roles and the style of the SW saga. I think they are (overall) at least as good as the performances in the classic trilogy.

    We know Amidala is reffering to the Niemodians habit of blockading planets for their own greedy purposes, because when Amidala tells Nute he "has gone too far this time", he is currently blockading her planet. That's how we know exactly what behavior she was talking about.

    Natalie portman is a great actress. Her performance is notable for it's restraint. As Queen she is not allowed to show her emotions, and you can tell it takes everything she has to supress them by the way her eyes give it away.

    Simply marvelous performance.

    The monotone "thing" is how the Queen maintains her unflappable appearance and it also helps with the decoy switch tactic. When she isn't the Queen, and is just Padme, her emotions come spilling out.

    This is a great concept, and it was well implemented.
  6. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    The only real way to determine whether a performance is good is comparison with performances which have been deemed good or great. Comparing many of the actors of the PT with an endless list of good acting (including the OT) is where I/we get our opinions. Compared to most movies including the OT, the performances fall short. I gave an example on the second page.

    That doesn't make any sense. Alec Guinness gave many performances that were far superior to his performance in ANH. Does that mean his ANH performance was bad?

    I think Ian McDiarmid, Pernilla August, and Liam Neeson gave good performances in TPM. They've given other, better performances is other movies or plays, but that doesn't make their acting in TPM bad.

    Of course it pertained to their past behavior. But we don't know exactly what behaviour this was now do we?

    And why do we need to?

    Um, I said "act it" and that a tear wouldn't go astray. I didn't say she HAD to cry did I? Besides you seem to agree that she is a poor actress. Wouldn't this entail that she does not display emotion too well as an actress?

    I also said that I think her performance in TPM is pretty good. She was a good child actor who became a dull adult actor. It happens.

    Because people act more emotional around those they feel more comfortable with. Queen E would be a bad Queen if she showed anger or sadness on t.v. in front of millions but she would more likely show some sort of suprise, shock or fear if she was greeted with the news that her kingdom was about to be invaded. It's just common sense.

    Not necessarily. She might feel that if she starts to fall apart, she won't stop.

    That's really different from, "I must make a conscious effort to speak in montone." The whole monotone voice thing is awfully contrived and silly.

    Why? Because you don't like it?

    She's not all bad an actress then eh?

    Again, I said that I think her acting in TPM was better than her acting in AOTC.
  7. Grizham1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2001
    star 2
    He's exactly the same kind/type of director he was during A New Hope. I think the story is the main difference between A New Hope and The Phantom Menace. A New Hope's story is classical in nature, The Phantom Menace's story is a 90's sci-fi film by nature. Lucas has never been all that great of a director, he's always been a great storyteller, he did himself a favor in the first set of movies when he excluded himself from the director's seat. Whatever his reasons were for not directing Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, they ended up as good to great movies. The same simply cannot be said of Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace. While both of these movies are fun to watch, they don't carry the same weight that the originals do. Getting inside another man's head is impossible, so maybe the ego of Lucas has grown or shrunk, nobody knows but him (and those close to him). In the end he's the same director, his style of directing is the same, he directs great action scenes, but when it comes to drama he falls short.
  8. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "Obviously Dr. Evazen, there is something to connect to about the characters, or nobody would have."

    and just as obvious Gomer, is the fact that many people have problems with the performances and the execution (writing, directing) of said characters, and have no reason to connect with them. even Shelley is not a big fan of some of Portman's work in the PT.

    again, i'm glad you like TPM, but that does not make it a "good" film, only a good film to you.
  9. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    "The monotone "thing" is how the Queen maintains her unflappable appearance and it also helps with the decoy switch tactic. When she isn't the Queen, and is just Padme, her emotions come spilling out.

    This is a great concept, and it was well implemented."

    That would have been a splendid idea, Go-Mer! But unfortunately, Natalie Portman just doesn't pull the concept off well enough. The whole way through The Phantom Menace, and Attack of the Clones, she has a look on her face which says to me, "I can't believe I'm saying this nonsense," and I find that quite detracting. At least Liam, Ewan, and Jake looked as if they were into what was happening.
  10. Ree Yees Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 5
    He's a lot older. Physically, at least.
  11. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    btw, I didn't say Irvin Kershner was a better director than GL.

    I said he was good at directing Lucas's vision.

    Spielberg was also very good. It was an answer to a question, asked. I didn't say he should direct Ep III.

    Although if he did he'd adjust his style, to suit the style set in the movies.


    You can't judge Lucas as a director, he's directed too few movies. Most of the movies he's made have bombed though Willow, Howard the Duck, Radioland murders.

    He will be judged compared to other directors when Ep III come out, let's see how he stands after that.


  12. jaja7799 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    I think its the weight that GL has put on over the years that has changed him. He looks a bit like a young Santa
  13. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Dr.Evazen: again, i'm glad you like TPM, but that does not make it a "good" film, only a good film to you.
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  14. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    don't really matter do they?

    No they don't, if that gives you peace.


  15. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    It's the thought that kept me going when people gave me crap for enjoying the classic trilogy.
  16. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Amen to that, Go-Mer-Tonic!

    During the mid- to late-80s, admitting you liked SW was like putting a big "Kick Me" sign on your back.

  17. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    So now be at peace.

    What does it matter to you if someone else doesn't like the film?


  18. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I am at peace. What's it to you if I enjoy the movie?
  19. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    I'm glad you enjoy the movie.


  20. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    And I'm sorry that you a) didn't; and b) can't/won't let go of it.
  21. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    What does it matter to you if someone else doesn't like the film?

    I don't mind that you enjoy the movies.


    I came here to discuss.

    That is why you are here, is it not?
  22. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yes it is.

    I am also getting stoked for Two Towers tomorrow. :)
  23. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    That doesn't make any sense. Alec Guinness gave many performances that were far superior to his performance in ANH. Does that mean his ANH performance was bad?

    I think Ian McDiarmid, Pernilla August, and Liam Neeson gave good performances in TPM. They've given other, better performances is other movies or plays, but that doesn't make their acting in TPM bad.


    No, they would be deemed "good" performances instead of "great" or "brilliant". It's all relative IMHO. We make our conclusions about performances based on what we have seen in the past. How else did you determine Portman got worse by age? Didn't you COMPARE her performance in AOTC with her earlier performances?

    And why do we need to?

    My initial point was that being invaded isn't an everyday thing so even a restrained person would show emotion. GMT and yourself said that they had done similar things in the past so it was expected and proved by her line "you have gone too far this time". All that line means is that this time what they are doing is worse than last time. It suggests nothing of them ever invading before. As I pointed out, they may have simply threatened a cargo ship on the way to Naboo last time. We DON'T know. That's the point.

    I also said that I think her performance in TPM is pretty good. She was a good child actor who became a dull adult actor. It happens.

    Fair enough. But when I see the same problems with her in TPM that you saw in AOTC, you must at least understand what I am seeing then? Right?

    Not necessarily. She might feel that if she starts to fall apart, she won't stop.

    Well, it is more likely IMHO.

    Why? Because you don't like it?

    Because the whole decoy, montone, make-up thing is illogical. The decoy orders Padme around. Major decisions have to be made via signal. It turns out that the decoy plays the Queen an awful lot in the film. Why not just make the decoy the Queen then? At least she has the balls to be the Queen (excuse the mental image :)). I think it was a gimmick that played out in a really stiff way.

    Why? Because you don't like it?

    No, because I can't imagine someone sitting around deciding when to switch to montone. It doesn't even sound like montone by the way. Monotone is the same sound. The Queen's voice sounds like one of Lucas' made up silly languages. Who is she trying to fool anyway? Her own people? The Nemodians were too stupid to even notice a slight shift in voice anyway. Sorry, but the whole decoy thing never sits right with me. It only worked in AOTC IMHO.

    Again, I said that I think her acting in TPM was better than her acting in AOTC.

    Fair enough. But when you said Lucas made a mistake casting her, I assumed you thought she was wrong for TPM too.















  24. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Most of the movies he's made have bombed though Willow, Howard the Duck, Radioland murders."

    Willow was directed by Ron Howard (Lucas co-wrote and produced), and Howard the Duck only has Lucas' name on it because he put up the cash at his friends' request.

    Still, I agree that his career outside of SW has been a mixed bag.
  25. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    No, they would be deemed "good" performances instead of "great" or "brilliant". It's all relative IMHO. We make our conclusions about performances based on what we have seen in the past. How else did you determine Portman got worse by age? Didn't you COMPARE her performance in AOTC with her earlier performances?

    Yes. I'm not sure what the point is here, or maybe it's gotten lost by now. IMO, Portman isn't that good of an actress to start with, although she was better as a child. She's certainly not in the same league as Neeson, McDiarmid, or August, all of whom have given better performances in other movies. But their better performances in those movies doesn't mean their acting in TPM is bad.

    My initial point was that being invaded isn't an everyday thing so even a restrained person would show emotion.

    Yes. They'd show restrained emotion, which is what Padme did. I got the picture that she was distressed even without her breaking down and sobbing. She was clearly very angry during the Senate scene, when she called for a vote of no confidence, but decorum demanded that she not show it outside an elevated voice tone.

    GMT and yourself said that they had done similar things in the past so it was expected and proved by her line "you have gone too far this time". All that line means is that this time what they are doing is worse than last time. It suggests nothing of them ever invading before. As I pointed out, they may have simply threatened a cargo ship on the way to Naboo last time. We DON'T know. That's the point.

    And my point: so what?

    Fair enough. But when I see the same problems with her in TPM that you saw in AOTC, you must at least understand what I am seeing then? Right?

    Yes, I can, though I don't agree with it.

    Well, it is more likely IMHO.

    Not necessarily.

    Because the whole decoy, montone, make-up thing is illogical. The decoy orders Padme around. Major decisions have to be made via signal. It turns out that the decoy plays the Queen an awful lot in the film. Why not just make the decoy the Queen then?

    No, it means that the decoy knows what Padme would do in those circumstances, and/or would report exactly what happened to Padme later.

    At least she has the balls to be the Queen (excuse the mental image ).

    So did Padme.

    I think it was a gimmick that played out in a really stiff way.

    I don't.

    No, because I can't imagine someone sitting around deciding when to switch to montone. It doesn't even sound like montone by the way. Monotone is the same sound. The Queen's voice sounds like one of Lucas' made up silly languages.

    No, it sounds like monotone. And why do you think she sat around deciding when to switch to monotone? I don't really get what you're complaining about here.

    Who is she trying to fool anyway? Her own people? The Nemodians were too stupid to even notice a slight shift in voice anyway.

    Again, I don't get what it is you're complaining about here. It just seems like complaining for the sake of complaining.

    Fair enough. But when you said Lucas made a mistake casting her, I assumed you thought she was wrong for TPM too.

    Well, that's speaking with the luxury of hindsight. Considering how much worse she was in AOTC, I do think she was a wrong choice for Padme, although before AOTC came out I didn't think so; I thought she did a good job in TPM.
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