Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Jamiebacca, Jun 27, 2003.
What a surprise, the Canby review. The one review that everyone brings up.
So what if ESB recieved fewer bad reviews? It still got them.
It's just that today more people are as cynical towards the prequels as Vincent Canby was of ESB.
Here's Vincent Canby again, with his positive review of A New Hope.
The whole point is not really to ignore the fact that ESB and ANH received bad reviews (who here has ever said it received no bad reviews? ), but to prove it got more positive ones and was better received overall.
Posting one bad review (the same one I might add) does not help in disputing this claim.
Exactly. I never said that ANH and ESB had nothing but positive reviews. Just that the positive/negative ratio is much better than the prequels have.
Canby didn't enjoy ESB. No problem. But most of the critics back then did. And most of them enjoyed ANH. The same cannot be said for the prequels.
And does that somehow validate certain opinions more than others? I don't think so.
That's a whole other argument, and it's not what we're discussing here.
You got to realise though, that we are living in a much more cynical time. Popcorn movies aren't received that well by critics anymore. There more into realistic things like "A Beautiful Mind" and Hitchcock-like stories such as "Signs." I think the bad reviews have to do with the way society's changed, not Lucas.
No, we're not living in a more cynical time. New franchise films like The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings have just been recieved much better than the prequels have. Probably because they're thought of as better movies
Heck, I think Frank Oz (with his puppeteer pals) gives the best performance in all of ESB. Y'know, when you think about it... boy, those scenes could have sucked. Seriously, can you imagine being a Fox exec and saying "What? A Muppet explains the secrets of the universe? Lucas has lost it! We're ruined!" But it turned out to be pretty decent in my book.
Frank Oz and Kathy Mullen (I think was the assistant) do an incredible job. Still today after all these years of technical advances I watch Yoda in ESB and marvel at how alive he is, a performance full of subtlety and a whole emotional range, when he says to Luke "you will be...you WILL be..." I still get shivers.
But many years later in TPM there is Yoda and it's performed by Frank Oz but it's awful. Stu freeborn didn't make the puppet, which may account for some of it's failings, but Oz is still performing the character, so why isn't it good? Well I think it's the same reason Lucas's direction wasn't as good, they'd both been away from directing (lucas) and performing puppets (Oz) for quite a while. I know Oz still does it occassionally but he mostly directs now, whereas back in 1980 he was performing puppetry all the time, and it's like any artform, you need to keep doing it I think.
And Lucas has improved with AOTC.
You got to realise though, that we are living in a much more cynical time. Popcorn movies aren't received that well by critics anymore. There more into realistic things like "A Beautiful Mind" and Hitchcock-like stories such as "Signs." I think the bad reviews have to do with the way society's changed, not Lucas
I disagree - the 70's, before SW, and even around it, were VERY cynical times, particularly in the cinema, films like The Exorcist, All the President's men, Network, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Clockwork Orange, The Deer Hunter. And these films reflected America at the time - post-Watergate, Vietnam was a real scar on the national psyche, it was quite dark. Thats one of the reasons Lucas made SW, he felt that people needed something positive.
Films like SW still do fantastic business - LOTR, Harry Potter, and look at all the FX movies we have now. LOTR got great reviews, I'm pretty sure HP did too.
New franchise films like The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings have just been recieved much better than the prequels have. Probably because they're thought of as better movies.
That's certainly begging the question.
Isn't it just?
It took you 11 hours to come up with "yes"?
Everything that has transpired with the SW saga has done so according to Lucas' design.
There will always be people who don't like the SW films.
To us fans, that's their problem.
Is it safe to assume that we're done here? The usual people from both sides of the argument are here, and, once again, it doesn't look like it's going to go anywhere. No matter how many times everyone posts their arguments for or against the prequels, I don't see anyone on the other side of the issue changing their mind anytime soon. Nor should they, since everyone has the right to an opinion, and neither opinion is necessarily the "correct" one.
And many of us fans like certain parts of Star Wars (ANH, ESB) much more than other parts (TPM, AOTC).
Canby didn't enjoy ESB. No problem. But most of the critics back then did. And most of them enjoyed ANH.
Oh really? See below:
"The Empire Strikes Back" has no plot structure, no character studies let alone character development, no emotional or philosophical point to make. It has no original vision of the future, which is depicted as a pastiche of other junk-culture formulae, such as the western, the costume epic and the Would War II movie. Its specialty is "special effects" or visual tricks, some of which are playful, imaginative and impressive, but others of which have become space-movie cliches." -- Judith Martin, Washington Post, May 23, 1980
"This movie, which was written and directed by George Lucas, is this season's Big Dumb Flick. That is to say, it is not "about" anything. It doesn't make you think. It doesn't preach. It does not in any way add to the knowldge of the human heart. It's just entertainment. You walk in off the street. After a long wait in line, and for a copule of hours you are somewhere else, flying arund the galaxy, watching white hats fight black hats.
And maybe this movie is the truest indication that we have moved into another Era of Wonderful Nonsense, as Westbrook Pegler once described the '20's"
There's a old review of ESB (around '83) that really laid into it for 'wooden acting, boring characters' and even for making a lot less cash than ANH.
"On the debit side are the film's human performances. Save for Alec Guiness, the cast is unmemorable." - Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"It is all as exciting as last year's weather reports. What you ultimately have is a set of giant baubles manipulated by an infant hand." - John Simon, New York
"Between these two factions, the ideological differences are hardly more striking than those that separate the Greens and Golds in prep-school athletics." - Molly Haskell, The Village Voice (referring to the war between the Rebels and "Imperialists")
"STAR WARS is an entertaining crowd-pleaser and a monumental technical achievement, but it's a long way from being a classic." -- Stephen Farber, New West
"There's no plot." -- Colin L. Westerbeck, Jr., COMMONWEAL
"Unpromising!" -- Richard Combs, MONTHLY FILM BULLETIN
"Lucas has been so preoccupied with the construction of mechanical amazements that he has perhaps forgotten there is more in Homer than epic battles, one-eyed giants, the song of the sirens and the whims of the gods." -- Robert Hatch, THE NATION
"No amount of lightness, however, can lift this movie out of the swamps of Dagobah." -- Robert Asahina, NEW LEADER
"Far less entertaining than the first!" -- John Coleman, NEW STATESMAN
"Empire is simply a minor entertainment." -- Tom Allen, VILLAGE VOICE
"I found myself glancing at my watch almost as often as I did when I was sitting through a truly terrible movie called The Island." -- Vince Canby, NEW YORK TIMES
"Diverting piece of nonsense." -- John Simon, NATIONAL REVIEW
"[Reviewers] go back and they judge the new films against the old. The new standard becomes the first three films, and I suddenly get wonderful reviews. I promise you, the first reviews were terrible to begin with, so they are just doing the same thing again. Who knows what will happen with time? Certainly no one else is doing visually what George does, and if he's setting the standard and is being judged against himself, then hallelujah! The bigger the target, the bigger the artillery, so they should back off. It becomes personal sometimes, and [some critics] are really enraged. I don't hold much in that tactic. I don't go by what they say about this stuff." -- Carrie Fisher
The old "us fans" argument again. Much older than Canby.
More reviews, and still no difference. Rememeber that the target audience, kids, tend not to read newspapers (other than the comics.) This thread is done.
And many of us fans like certain parts of Star Wars (ANH, ESB) much more than other parts (TPM, AOTC).
But many of us fans like certain parts of TPM and AOTC much more than ANH/ESB, too.
Hmmm I see this "discussion" is going along at an alarmingly predictable rate.
Why do the bashers always, ALWAYS start this PT vs. OT campaign?
Its funny you know, why do you also say that we're not living in a cynical society today, yet you are incredibly cynical towards the what makes up the PT?
You were quite generous to the OT which was made up of the same stuff!
If this isn't a cynical society then you'd be loving the PT, not bagging it for things the OT started!
But as they say, the older you grow the more cynical you become (though some of us break that trend).
I think it is obvious that if the discussion keeps being brought back up that it is obviously not a moot argument.
I think people who don't want to take part in such discussions should stay away instead of trying to qwell things they don't want to hear.
If you are unopen to changing your minds on the matter, then don't take part. Some of us take each day as a new opportunity to further sharpen our perceptions of what is and what isn't.
Deal with it.
kekesun: Again, been through this already. Post whole reviews, not snippets, which are easily taken out of context, and don't show the overall opinion expressed in the review. Both Judith Martin's and Gene Siskel's reviews were overall positive, yet from your selective quotes, they appear negative. Post full reviews as I did.
Burtola: And here is where the fundamental flaw in the gushers perception lies. The PT is not equivalent to the OT from a coldly technical filmmaking standpoint, no matter how much you'd like for that to be true. I don't like the PT as much as the OT because it just plain isn't as well-made.
My whole point is that there were more cynical people reviewing the prequels today than there were reviewing the classic trilogy back when they came out; that more people are cynical today then they were back then. Having more cynical and dismissive reviews for TPM in 1999 and AOTC in 2002 proves my point. Because the prequels are better made than the classic trilogy, it becomes much more obvious.
The PT is not equivalent to the OT from a coldly technical filmmaking standpoint, no matter how much you'd like for that to be true.
For you that may be true. But does that make it true for other that really liked it no. You don't feel it is a good movie. Well other do feel it is a very well made movie. And NO I will not get into we need to take class to like a movie. What is good for oen person is not good for another. What you like soemone else may very well not like.
I don't like the PT as much as the OT because it just plain isn't as well-made.
You see you did not like the PT as much as the OT. You don't feel it is a well made movie. But there are other people that do feel it is a very well made movie.