*Official* 3NS ROTS Reviews (Ebert's review, spoiler-free inside!)

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers)' started by Garth Maul, Apr 29, 2005.

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  1. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    ROGER EBERT

    3.5 stars out of 4

    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    BY ROGER EBERT / May 16, 2005



    George Lucas comes full circle in more ways than one in "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," which is the sixth -- and allegedly but not necessarily the last -- of the "Star Wars" movies. After "Episode II" got so bogged down in politics that it played like the Republic covered by C-Span, "Episode III" is a return to the classic space opera style that launched the series. Because the story leads up to where the original "Star Wars" began, we get to use the immemorial movie phrase, "This is where we came in."

    That Anakin Skywalker abandoned the Jedi and went over to the dark side is known to all students of "Star Wars." That his twins Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia would redeem the family name is also known. What we discover in "Episode III" is how and why Anakin lost his way -- how a pleasant and brave young man was transformed into a dark, cloaked figure with a fearsome black metal face. As Yoda sadly puts it in his inimitable word order: "EDITED".

    As "Episode III" opens, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and his friend Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are EDITED. In the spirit of all the "Star Wars" movies, this EDITED sequence flies in the face of logic, EDITED? But never mind. (Dustin's note: some nitpicking here, kind of pointless. "Why is there an observation tower in a spaceship?")

    Back within the sphere of the Jedi Council, EDITED. Anakin is tempted to go over EDITED; in a movie not distinguished for its dialogue, Palpatine is insidiously snaky in his persuasiveness.

    The way Anakin approaches his choice, however, has a certain poignancy. Anakin has a rendezvous with Padme (Natalie Portman); they were secretly married in the previous film, EDITED. To say that George Lucas cannot write a love scene is an understatement; greeting cards have expressed more passion.

    The dialogue throughout the movie is once again its weakest point: The characters talk in what sounds like Basic English, without color, wit or verbal delight, as if they were channeling Berlitz. The exceptions are Palpatine and of course Yoda, whose speech (voiced by Frank Oz) reminds me of Wolcott Gibbs' famous line about the early style of Time magazine: "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind."

    In many cases the actors are being filmed in front of blue screens, with effects to be added later, and sometimes their readings are so flat, they don't seem to believe they're really in the middle of amazing events. How can you stand in front of exploding star fleets and sound as if you're talking on a cell phone at Starbucks?

    "EDITED," Anakin is told at one point. "EDITED." Sometimes the emphasis in sentences is misplaced. During the EDITED adventure in the opening EDITED, we hear "EDITED" when it should be "EDITED"

    The dialogue is not the point, however; Lucas' characters engage in sturdy oratorical pronunciamentos and then leap into adventure. "Episode III" has more action per square minute, I'd guess, than any of the previous five movies, and it is spectacular. The special effects are more sophisticated than in the earlier movies, of course, but not necessarily more effective.

    EDITED.

    The lesson, I think, is that special effects should be judged not by their complexity but by the degree that they stimulate the imagination, and "Episode III" is distinguished not by how well the effects are done, but by how amazingly they are imagined. A climactic duel on a blazing volcanic planet is as impressive, in its line, as anything in "Lord of the Rings." And Yoda, who began life as a Muppet but is now completely animated (like about 70 percent of what we see onscreen), was to begin with and still is the most lifelike of the non-humanoid "Star Wars" characters.

    A word, however, about the duels fought with lightsabers. When they flashed into life with a mighty whizzing thunk in the first "Star Wars" and whooshed through their deadly parabolas, that was exciti
  2. JediRac Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2001
    star 2
    Episode III delivers
    Finale wraps up Anakin's tale, as well as a career-long journey for Lucas

    By Michael Wilmington
    Tribune movie critic
    Published May 16, 2005

    The climax for George Lucas' entire "Star Wars" series EDITED.

    Like some grand, crazy Moebius strip of fantasy and adventure, "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," twists back on itself to end where it began, with all the players and puzzle pieces finally explained and set in motion, ready for the events of the first "Star Wars" film (1977's "Episode IV: A New Hope") to start all over again.

    Is that a spoiler? Yet who in the world doesn't know how this "Star Wars" is going to finish: with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) making his last metamorphosis and the Evil Empire rising? Actually, it's hard to think of any big popular movie entertainment that has ended -- or appeared to end -- more horrifically and tragically than this one, with not just characters we may like, but EDITED.

    It doesn't matter, of course. I enjoyed the movie. Even though many critics have been rough on the last two "Star Wars" (1999's "The Phantom Menace" and 2002's "Attack of the Clones"), this one is a smashing success on its own terms, achieving exactly what Lucas wanted and carrying most of its viewers where they want to go.

    It's also the scariest, most exciting, most visually prodigious of the sextet, with action sequences that explode off the screen, characters who finally awaken your sentiments (a bit) and images of EDITED.

    "Revenge of the Sith" begins with EDITED

    All of this approaches a darkness even deeper than that of 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back," the critical favorite of the entire series, and earns this movie the series' first PG-13 rating.

    Yet the final effect is exhilarating. The gloom and tragedy are muted because we know the real end of the story, the fireworks-fantasy celebration of the Evil Empire's end, set decades later, in 1983's "Return of the Jedi."

    Lucas has constructed the whole last half of the epic double trilogy something like the flashback solution of a mystery story, though by now little of it is a surprise. As he writes finis to a project that has preoccupied him for most of his moviemaking career, he achieves once again, at his best, technological marvels and storytelling delight with characters who (Yoda charmingly excepted) have become endearingly stiff, trading dialogue that's beguilingly clunky.

    Now, as he puts a close to the epic (if not to the merchandising), we can feel something for which many critics never gave him enough credit: the real affection and personal joy he took in these movies, the ways he fussed and fretted over them, and the ways he ignored the Hollywood establishment and forged his own relationship with the audience. Perhaps it's that personal investment in what is usually the impersonal blockbuster form that really bothers Lucas' most intelligent critics. They may feel that ambition should be saved for less silly stuff.

    But throughout his career, Lucas, like his comrade/colleague Steven Spielberg, has gotten a raw deal from some for bringing pleasure to audiences. All the "Star Wars" movies will continue to entertain us for many years to come. They were grand fun, and this last one's a corker. That's all the defense they need.
  3. dojotony Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2005
    He makes me want to watch Rob Roy.
  4. Philagape Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2005
    star 1
    During the EDITED adventure in the opening EDITED, we hear "EDITED" when it should be "EDITED"

    NO WAY!!! I totally disagree! I say it SHOULD be "EDITED"! ;)
  5. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I know, I loved typing that up.[face_beatup]

    But it's pretty funny - are Ebert's online reviews a transcription of his TV show? Because even if you stuck the line back in, it's hard to get his point.

    I.e., we hear "Ebert is the most discussed critic" when it should be "Ebert is the most discussed critic". Soooooooooo what?[face_whistling]
  6. NorCalBirdz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2004
    star 4
    From Ebert's review:

    Palpatine is insidiously snaky in his persuasiveness.

    I wonder if that was an intentional choice of words.
  7. Jedi knight Pozzi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2000
    star 6
    Just got to type this little bit in.

    Every Monday in The West Australian there is a Hot and Not section with three different topics in each part. The Not section was nothing, but the Hot section.

    Hot
    Star Wars: The final installment of the Star Wars franchise is worth the wait. Just wait for the moment Darth Vader takes his first breath.

    Star Wars: The lightsabre and space battles are sensational and Yoda looks great and moves like a champ.

    Star Wars: Who cares about the script and the acting? Episode III rocks. Have we made our point clearly enough?
  8. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    I hear the Kool-Aid guys are delighted. Their sales are through the roof!
  9. Darth_Zoo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 4
    Wow-wee!

    I'm very happy to see others are enjoying this movie.
  10. Kiki-Gonn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2001
    star 6
    There are so many keeper quotes from these reviews that I don't even know where to start.
    My favorite two things about the critical acclaim is
    a) GL is finally getting the credit he deserves. **** people who are dumb enough to think SW is the most beloved movie franchise of all time despite him.
    b) This episode is forcing people to give the overall saga the credit it deserves as a cinematic achievement.
  11. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    One other major plus for Lucas - the critical praise he's getting for the dark tone of ROTS pretty much kill off the "ESB was only dark due to Kershner/Kurtz" gang at the gate.
  12. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    Kenneth Turan of the Los Angles times, hated it.

    Then again he hated the other two.

    Liked the special effects thought.

    He did, however, an hillarious desicription of One of the characters.

    One thing is certian: While many are saying tThat Lucas has improved, they are still many who critizize the dialouge and some acting.
  13. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    Now, as he puts a close to the epic (if not to the merchandising), we can feel something for which many critics never gave him enough credit: the real affection and personal joy he took in these movies, the ways he fussed and fretted over them, and the ways he ignored the Hollywood establishment and forged his own relationship with the audience. Perhaps it's that personal investment in what is usually the impersonal blockbuster form that really bothers Lucas' most intelligent critics. They may feel that ambition should be saved for less silly stuff.

    But throughout his career, Lucas, like his comrade/colleague Steven Spielberg, has gotten a raw deal from some for bringing pleasure to audiences. All the "Star Wars" movies will continue to entertain us for many years to come. They were grand fun, and this last one's a corker. That's all the defense they need.


    Bravo!
  14. oLiquidRusho Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 2
    I was on Rotten tomatoes and I saw this rotten review that I must post the excerpt to. Now I don't normally like to bash negative reviews because I truly feel everyone has a right to their opinion, but this one was too funny.

    "Technically magnificent but dramatically inert, it's a lumberingly predictable finale to the space saga that peaked in 1980 and has been going downhill ever since."

    Yeah a little predictable isn't it. I'm sure this guy figured out Anakin is Darth Vader, that Obi-Wan would live, that Yoda would be banished. Man HOW DID he know lol. Nah, seriously I'm sure the excerpt is taken out of context, it just kinda made me laugh when I looked at the page.
  15. Kiki-Gonn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2001
    star 6
    "One other major plus for Lucas - the critical praise he's getting for the dark tone of ROTS pretty much kill off the "ESB was only dark due to Kershner/Kurtz" gang at the gate."

    A-freaking-men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That silly idea has been around forever and I was sick of it from the 1st time I heard it. I had a friend recently pull out that same old crap, along with the obligatory, "The best SW movie is one Lucas didn't write or direct."
    Next time one of my friends even tries that they are getting waylaid with glowing quotes about ROTS baby.
  16. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Which film was nominated for Best Picture?

    Oh yeah, A New Hope.

    bashers.[face_shame_on_you]
  17. oLiquidRusho Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 2
    Its funny that a lot of people forget that ESB upon its first release was actually panned compared to the original. They said it lacked the entertainment value, it had no ending, the pacing was bad, there was no plot. And Lucas wasn't bashed at all - they probably thought the movie suffered without him at the helm.

    I don't think any installment of Star Wars was this well received except for the very original.
  18. stormcloud8 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    RT is down to 81. Thought I get more and more puzzled by how they assign the fresh vs rotten scores.

    Anyway, they have a bunch of good ones not counted that should push it back to 82.
  19. Kittles93 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2005
    star 1
    what good ones have not been counted?

    i know Time and Roeper haven't been added. anyone else?
  20. Jedi knight Pozzi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2000
    star 6
    Odd, my local paper says the film is a love story. ?[face_plain]
  21. Kittles93 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2005
    star 1
    can anyone tell me if the audio on Ebert and Roeper's site has spoilers? i would assume so
  22. stormcloud8 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    The New Yorker review is so bad it is funny:

    SPACE CASE
    by ANTHONY LANE
    ?Star Wars: Episode III.?
    Issue of 2005-05-23
    Posted 2005-05-16


    Sith. What kind of a word is that? Sith. It sounds to me like the noise that emerges when you block one nostril and blow through the other, but to George Lucas it is a name that trumpets evil. What is proved beyond question by ?Star Wars: Episode III?Revenge of the Sith,? the latest?and, you will be shattered to hear, the last?installment of his sci-fi bonanza, is that Lucas, though his eye may be greedy for sensation, has an ear of purest cloth. All those who concoct imagined worlds must populate and name them, and the resonance of those names is a fairly accurate guide to the mettle of the imagination in question. Tolkien, earthed in Old English, had a head start that led him straight to the flinty perfection of Mordor and Orc. Here, by contrast, are some Lucas inventions: Palpatine. Sidious. Mace Windu. (Isn?t that something you spray on colicky babies?) Bail Organa. And Sith.

    Lucas was not always a rootless soul. He made ?American Graffiti,? which yielded with affection to the gravitational pull of the small town. Since then, he has swung out of orbit, into deep nonsense, and the new film is the apotheosis of that drift. One stab of humor and the whole conceit would pop, but I have a grim feeling that Lucas wishes us to honor the remorseless non-comedy of his galactic conflict, so here goes. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his star pupil, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), are, with the other Jedi knights, defending the Republic against the encroachments of the Sith and their allies?millions of dumb droids, led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his henchman, General Grievous, who is best described as a slaying mantis. Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Republic, Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), is engaged in a sly bout of Realpolitik, suspected by nobody except Anakin, Obi-Wan, and every single person watching the movie. Anakin, too, is a divided figure, wrenched between his Jedi devotion to selfless duty and a lurking hunch that, if he bides his time and trashes his best friends, he may eventually get to wear a funky black mask and start breathing like a horse.

    This film is the tale of his temptation. We already know the outcome?Anakin will indeed drop the killer-monk Jedi look and become Darth Vader, the hockey goalkeeper from hell?because it forms the substance of the original ?Star Wars.? One of the things that make Episode III so dismal is the time and effort expended on Anakin?s conversion. EDITED

    What can you say about a civilization where people zip from one solar system to the next as if they were changing their socks but where a woman fails to register for an ultrasound, EDITED? Mind you, how Padmé got pregnant is anybody?s guess, although I?m prepared to wager that it involved Anakin nipping into a broom closet with a warm glass jar and a copy of Ewok Babes. After all, the Lucasian universe is drained of all reference to bodily functions. Nobody ingests or excretes. Language remains unblue. Smoking and cursing are out of bounds, as is drunkenness, although personally I wouldn?t go near the place without a hip flask. Did Lucas learn nothing from ?Alien? and ?Blade Runner??from the suggestion that other times and places might be no less rusted and septic than ours, and that the creation of a disinfected galaxy, where even the storm troopers wear bright-white outfits, looks not so much fantastical as dated? What Lucas has devised, over six movies, is a terrible puritan dream: a morality tale in which both sides are bent on moral cleansing, and where their differences can be assuaged only by a triumphant circus of violence. Judging from the whoops and crowings that greeted the opening credits, this is the only dream we are good for. We get the films we deserve.


    The general opinion of ?Revenge of the Sith? seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, ?The Phantom Menace? and ?Attack of the Clones.? True, but only in
  23. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I couldn't even read it.

    Another example of our society finds worthiness in critique, but not in praise.

    It's far easier to rip something than uphold it, and this is conclusively proven in the New Yorker article.

    Another film critic, who, beneath that steely exterior, beats a heart of stone.

    I honestly feel sorry for them.
  24. dojotony Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2005
    "can anyone tell me if the audio on Ebert and Roeper's site has spoilers? i would assume so"

    Yeah, there are a lot of clips from the movie. I'd avoid it.
  25. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    THIS JUST IN: Anthony Lane is a horse's ass.

    Wait, that's not news? Sorry.

    Seriously, though, the guy is paid to write a review of a movie, and what does he do? Bitch about names, of all things, for the first paragraph. How does his editor even let crap like that pass? If I had to turn in an essay for a class that analyzed some book, and I spent a good chunk of it saying "The characters' names are stupid", I'd fail, and for good reason. And yet people are giving him money to do the exact same thing. Is that going to help people decide whether they want to see the movie? Does it add anything to an analysis of the movie?

    And the real question is, does he even care? I doubt it. He's decided to turn his cushy job into a personal soapbox to rant about Star Wars. Does it matter if he makes sense? If he even bothers to talk about the movie? Not to him it doesn't. It's simply an angry rant at nothing in particular filled with "witty" insights about how much it all burns him up. In his mind he's on some personal crusade or vendetta, and by god, he'll shout it to everyone that cares or doesn't care, even if everyone would rather he just shut the hell up. And somehow because it's Star Wars this sort of thing is acceptable (could you really picture an LOTR review starting with "Bilbo? More like dildo! LOL"?). But the amusing irony of it is that when it's all said and done, people will still be watching ROTS, but nobody will give a damn about Anthony Lane's hissy-fit. He has created nothing of value, will create nothing, and someone whose movies he despises will be immeasurably more popular, influential, and long-lasting than he could ever dream of achieving.
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