Kevin Smith on AOTC

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Darth_OlsenTwins, Jul 16, 2002.

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  1. Brocktoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 1
    Dude, D_P, that is so narrow-minded...
  2. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    KS's movies aside (which I personaly like, but that's not important), he's dead right about AOTC. The people who bash the love story are missing the point. Ok, some of the dialogue could have been better, but think of thins: Anakin is using lame-o, sappy, cheesy pick-up lines because he's had no previous experience in this field before. Jedi aren't allowed to love, remember? So how could Anakin have been expected to be Mr Smooth when it's all new to him? And also, the love story is not supposed to be ballanced and nice. Anakin is obsessed, and more like a stalker than a lover. Some people don't seem to realise that this is the entire point! Anakin is not stable, he's not well adjusted, but Padme still loves him. That's why it's so tragic. I loved KS's comment on Padme's expression: "Holy Christ I'm in love with a human time-bomb."

    Finally a reviewer who gets the point. :)
  3. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Orson S. Card should take notes from this.

    A very thoughtful review with depth. Something that's lacking from many critics, I believe.
  4. MECHA-SUPERIOR Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2001
    star 3
    I've always said the romance holds up to the mythical standards of SW.

    Bashers want to act like the love scenes are the "Achilles heel of AOTC", but they don't/can't explain why they think it's cheezy or cliched.

    So they resort to subjective debates regarding the performances/dialogue.


    Well I LOVED the performances. And conceptually, this love story makes Han/Leia look like small potatoes.


    In a nutshell:


    On one corner, we have Senator Padme Amidala....a career woman who has put OCCUPATION (bleeding heart senator!) over anything else in her life. She is so focused on her work that she forgets to enjoy the HERE AND NOW. Her Coruscant scenes are meant to present her as cold and stiff. And she really seemed more mature...and older than Anakin in these scenes. She sees Anakin for the first time...This little boy from her past. He has grown into an attractive young man.....But she is only interested in him as a memory from her past. He is a Jedi, and I also sensed a little tension between politicians and the order. So romance is not in Padme's equation.

    On the other side, we have Anakin Skywalker. He has been studying under Obi-Wan for the last 10 years. He started the training very late in life and this has caused friction in the order. He is emotional wildcard: arrogant(about his gifts), sad, anxious, impatient, edgy. He is also suffering from horrible nightmares about his mother. He had been prohibited from seeing her. Anakin doesn't fit in the emotionally constricted order. He longs for an ESCAPE.....even if it's sub-conscious. PADME is like that GODDESS from his past. She is also mythically, a mother-surrogate.

    After a second assasination attempt, Anakin is ordered to escort Padme to her home planet. They get to know each other on the ship. Padme begins seeing "that little boy" as a 3 dimensional young MAN. She begins to empathize with his life as a Jedi. Anakin shows his respect for her (when he mentions that her people wanted to amend their constitution to allow her queenship to be extended, etc..). Padme still doesn't see him as romantic material....at least consciously ("anakin is not a Jedi").

    They journey to PARADISE (ie:Lake Retreat)....as far away symbolically from the Republic as you can get. Padme begins to loosen up (her wardrobe are symbols of her sub-conscious).....although she continues to fend off Anakin's advances (stops the kiss).

    The meadow scene is when they are free to open up to each other, and Natalie showcases the most natural acting of all her SW work. They are on EQUAL FOOTING at this point. They are falling for each other. And I felt the attraction.

    But Anakin is still emotionally wild. He cannot be cool and controlled about his EMOTIONS. Like a kid let loose in a candy store, he blows it. He gets really EXTREME (the fireplace scene).....almost obsessive......creepy.

    For all we know, Padme becomes conflicted here. There is a little DANGER to Anakin's obsessive longing, and she begins to snap back into her CAREER WOMAN MODE. The romance is not in the cards.

    It is at this point that Anakin's mother nightmares PEAK, and he is determined to RETURN to his HOME.......to meet with his mother. Padme shows Anakin that although there will be no romance, she cares for him enough to give her support.

    We than have Anakin's DARK JOURNEY. He finds his mother, only to see her die. Guilt, anger, fear, sadness, nostalgia for a childhood forever gone, jealousy (of the Lars) all lead to Anakin losing control of his emotions. He does something very un-Jedi-like (UNDERSTATEMENT of the year!).

    The Lars garage scene reveals the complex state of Anakin. He feels guilt at what he has done, anger and jealousy for Obi-Wan, but even a little enjoyment of the feeling of empowerment the revenge spree gave him. How it quelled his anger.

    Now Padme didn't actually experience the horror of what Anakin did. She only heard it from this sad messed up boy. As a mother-surrogate, she slips in and fills the void Anakin lost. They grow closer still. Between Tatooine and the end o
  5. Darth_Prozac Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 3
    What's narrow minded? That I don't like Kevin Smith?
    Yeah, ok.
  6. DarthTerrious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 5
    Thank you Kevin Smith.
    I will say first of all that i struggled to understand the believablilty of the love story at first viewing but as I watched it more I came to the same understanding as Kevin.
    He basically sums up my feelings on AOTC. I think the "bashers" should read this and also the other article about the love story which is here if they actually want to understand it and see their complains are reaching.
  7. darthsidious32 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    Finally, someone who's cool with the kids these days gets Star Wars! I don't really care for his movies(too crusty for my taste), his views on Star Wars and the prequels are right on!
  8. Roger Goldleader Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 3
  9. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    Orson S. Card should take notes from this.

    No, he shold just go outside and play in the interstate naked.
  10. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    Kevin Smith = smart guy
    Orson Cart = Captain Needa watching the Falcon fly over his head
  11. TokyoXtreme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    Kevin Smith has made some good films, and some great films, but after reading this... I can now forgive him for Dogma. Kevin Smith has a unique verve for film and character unmatched by probably no one else in the business, and he obviously understands and appreciates a well-made film. Cheers to Kevin Smith, a real Star Wars fan!
  12. AnakinSlave Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2002
    star 3
  13. Skywalk272 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2000
    star 4
    I really have nothing more constructive to say than

    YAY! :D
  14. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    I love Kevin Smith: his writing, his work, his attitude towards the place he has made for himself in film.

    Nonetheless, I have to disagree with his opinoins on Clones. I am also surprised that the man who has written a profoundly doomed romance in Amy can have views such as this on a film that not only misses the ball on the romantic sub-plot, but also degenerates into a third rate hack work of a TV movie of the week.

  15. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    Kevin Smith hated Spider-Man when he first saw it on a screener at his place. He still thinks it is a bad film. Nevertheless, he saw it again with an audience afterwards and started to like the film purely for the fact that his boy-hood hero was at last on the big screen, however shabby its realisation might have been.
  16. TokyoXtreme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    AL, if you think AOTC is third-rate hack work, then why are you posting to an AOTC board in the first place? Sometimes, I just don't understand people.
  17. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    AL, if you think AOTC is third-rate hack work, then why are you posting to an AOTC board in the first place? Sometimes, I just don't understand people.

    Because I love Star Wars and love discussing Star Wars films. I don't care if this latest installment made Scooby Doo look like Battleship Potemkin: I will still discuss it.

    On another note, I also want to try and find out why the film turned out as horribly as it did. I feel I might be able to get some insight into that here, maybe.

    Happy now?
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    First, this is an intelligent critique of the film, much better than the bitter, insulting, and poorly-written comments from Orson Scott Card. I admire Smith's take on the film.

    But unfortunately, his attitude is easier for me to admire than it is for me to share. I think he completely got it wrong.

    Dramatically, Padme's character falls apart if her reaction to Anakin's confession is one of "sad hopelessness." "Woe is me, I've fallen in love with an axe murderer." That doesn't work dramatically, or psychologically.

    I just didn't see that in her expression, and I haven't heard a lot of fans before now saying that's how they interpreted the scene.

    In fact, Padme's expression is so blank it's impossible to interpret. The expression is so internalized, you almost have to think in terms of denial and misunderstanding. Padme doesn't fully understand what Anakin is saying. Padme doesn't fully comprehend the implications of what Anakin has done. She wasn't there. She didn't see it. She imagines, in her head, Anakin fighting his way out of a hopeless situation, his mother's body over his shoulder.

    That is the only interpretation that makes her sympathetic, not the "oh my God I've fallen in love with a horrible monster, I'd better put my arms around him and comfort him," - what Kevin Smith took away from that scene.

    Kevin Smith's interpretation makes Padme a coward and an accomplice. Other interpretations makes her not just fallible but, and this is critical for Episode 3 and the 6-part story arc, still essentially likeable despite her flaws.

    Kevin Smith's interpretation instantly turns Padme into a self-victimizing buffoon who truly deserves whatever happens to her.

    I don't buy it. I like the scene, and I think it's better than Smith's off-target critique makes it.
  19. TokyoXtreme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    On another note, I also want to try and find out why the film turned out as horribly as it did. I feel I might be able to get some insight into that here, maybe.

    Happy now?


    Excellent points AL. I'll dispense with the condescending tone and appreciate and analyze your opinions about the failures of AOTC.

    You mention that you had specific problems with the romantic aspects of AOTC. Many people have claimed that the related dialogue and action is heavily cliche. Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment?

    Furthermore, some critics have mentioned that the entire premise of Anakin and Padme coming together and being married is itself quite unbelievable, and at the very least hard to swallow. Do you feel this is true? What important factors might Kevin Smith be overlooking in his glowing review of the love story? Let's discuss.
  20. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    Jabbadabbado,
    How can you say KS opinion of what he saw was wrong? Opinions are not fact. Because he interperets it different from you it is wrong? Donot think so. Maybe how you interpret it is wrong? You may disagree with it, fine but to say an opinion is wrong IS wrong.

    To continue. I agreed with KS and glad to see someone like the movie for what it is.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think Smith got it wrong. Of course it's my opinion. I think his interpretation diminishes even further a love story that was horribly botched to begin with.
  22. TokyoXtreme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    In 1997, Rick McCallum said that the audience was supposed to feel deeply saddened that Anakin Skywalker would turn into Darth Vader. If that is true, then I would assume that the audience is meant to empathize with Anakin, and his relationship with Padme.

    From the excerpt, Kevin Smith is apparently arguing that AOTC is the classic high-school tale of a bad boy and the good girl who falls in love with him. Is that a reasonable interpretation of his review? If this is true, then it seems to me that such a character treatment would alienate a large number of the audience who feel Anakin is pyschopathic, and that Padme is the helpless victim to his wicked ways. Does this strike anyone as a somewhat cynical outlook on a relationship? And how is an audience supposed to sympathize with a genocidal crybaby teenager -- enough to ultimately feel saddened that he becomes Darth Vader?
  23. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    TokyoXtreme wrote:

    You mention that you had specific problems with the romantic aspects of AOTC. Many people have claimed the relate dialogue and action is heavily cliche. Do you agree or disagree?

    I agree with this although the use of cliches is not always a bad thing: Mamet resorts to cliches in most of his plays and he is, I believe, the greatest playwright of our time.

    My main problem is the fact that the film is executed very poorly. It looks bad, to begin with. David Tattersall's cinmeatography is completely inconsequential without the mark of a trusted photographer who is confident and enthusiastic about what he is shooting. The digital transfer to film, and indeed the digital projection does not take away from the fact that the technology was not good enough to shoot the flick purely digitally. The blurs and the softness of the image on screen would be a distraction even if I was happy with the script and/or performances.

    Which, I am not. The story is way too contrived and convoluted. I like complicated films, they are far more fullfilling. AOTC, however, is not just complicated for the sake of the story: it is complicated for complication's case. The whole Sifo-Dyas old Jedi thing is just plain confusing to the general audience. Further, it boggles the mind that all these Kaminoans needed for a big, fricking Clone Army was a guy showing up in Jedi robes and giving them money. One would assume they would have at least checked with the capital of the Republic once in the tenure of the ten years of developing the clones.

    I digress, as I would like to stick to the main points rather than dwell on, what I realise to be, trivial matters of sub-plot. The acting is out and out bad in the flick. Unlike TPM, where the vistas and effects were able to distract from the atrocities committed on screen by Neeson, Macgregor, Portman and Lloyd (who was criticised a bit too unfairly: he is just a little kid, cut him some slack!), AOTC's lack of decent new environments and engaging effects made the performances stick out like the sore thumbs that they are. It is not just them either: Jackson's acting makes Jake Lloyd's in TPM look like Olivier and McDiarmid is hammy and camp beyond reason. It is Christopher Lee, that I sincerely enjoy watching and he is on screen for a far too short amount of time. Even 3PO is a parody of his old self: outrageously camp to the point of unberable. Finally, the dialogue that the actors have to work with is as atrocious as their attempts at realising it. The funny stuff is never funny, emotional scenes just hang in the air and never reahc their targets and the rest of the political mumbo-jumbo is way too simplistic. Surely there was a good medium between Barney like simplicity of the Conference room scene and the convoluted first scene in Palpatine's offices.

    Finally the action scenes. I enjoy the Coruscant Chase and the Droid Factory scenes as I am a big advocate of good cg (I love Jar Jar in this flick, as do I Watto and Dexter). All the rest is badly choreographed, shot and edited. The lightsabre duels are not only way too short but one can't see a thing because they are shot in such close-ups. You have to watch the background to see the Jedi fight, and when you do, you are amazed by their turtle like lack of speed. It looks bad!

    And don't get me started about the use of TPM music in the latter half of the film....

    Furthermore, some critics have mentioned that the entire premise of Anakin and Padme is itself quite unbelievable, and at least hard to swallow. Do you feel this is true? What important factors might Kevin Smith be overlooking in his glowing review of the love story?

    I understand that they had to have fallen in love in this flick. Why did they have to meet for the first time since TPM at the beginning of the flick though. If it had been established that there were assasination attempts on Padme for the past six months and Obi Wan and Anakin had been assigned to protect her by Palpatine, it would have been a goo
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Smith's interpretation makes Padme much worse than a "helpless victim." In his view, Padme recognizes Anakin for what he is, weighs that against her feelings for him, then says, "uh oh, I love him more than I care about the fact that he's a mass murderer. I'm screwed!" and goes to him out of, what? Fear? Resignation?

    It makes Padme's confession of love later in the movie that much more hollow and unappealing. How are we supposed to sympathize with Padme's choice?
  25. DarthTerrious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 5
    Well I am surprised at you AL. Is this the same person that before AOTC came out was, i perceive, defending AOTC from the bashers who condemned it before it came out?

    But I guess all you "bashers" moan even when a seasoned Star wars fan, like KS actually notices (which none of you do i might add) that despite the cheesiness and cliche that the love story is clever and as the article I linked to in my previous post also added has a very good mythological link.

    It seems you are determined to moan and dislike the film (and the PT for that matter) without even giving it a chance.

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