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Roger Ebert and the PREQUELS

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by anakinsrightarm, Apr 7, 2003.

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  1. rpeugh

    rpeugh Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 10, 2002
    Valoskillas, as a person who loved TPM, and thought AOTC was better, I respect your opinion. Despite the fact that I think AOTC is the 2nd best SW movie so far, I will admit that there are some moments where it is obvious GL got started with the script later than he would have liked to. He had to take a summer vacation to recuperate from the 5 year ordeal of making TPM.

    For the very few people who liked TPM but didnt like AOTC, I think they will be pleased with episode 3.
  2. anakinsrightarm

    anakinsrightarm Jedi Youngling star 3

    Nov 21, 2002
    I agree completely..
  3. Gregatron

    Gregatron Jedi Youngling star 3

    Mar 12, 2002
    Here's Ebert's Matrix Reloaded review, which has several Star Wars references, and has VERY little in terms of actual *criticism*...

    Commander Lock: "Not everyone believes what you believe."

    Morpheus: "My beliefs do not require that they do."

    Characters are always talking like this in "The Matrix Reloaded," which plays like a collaboration involving a geek, a comic book and the smartest kid in Philosophy 101. Morpheus in particular unreels extended speeches that remind me of Laurence Olivier's remarks when he won his honorary Oscar--the speech that had Jon Voight going "God!" on TV, but in print turned out to be quasi-Shakespearean doublespeak. The speeches provide not meaning, but the effect of meaning: It sure sounds like those guys are saying some profound things.

    That will not prevent fanboys from analyzing the philosophy of "The Matrix Reloaded" in endless Web postings. Part of the fun is becoming an expert in the deep meaning of shallow pop mythology; there is something refreshingly ironic about becoming an authority on the transient extrusions of mass culture, and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) now joins Obi-Wan Kenobi as the Plato of our age.

    I say this not in disapproval, but in amusement. "The Matrix" (1999), written and directed by the brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski, inspired so much inflamed pseudo-philosophy that it's all "The Matrix Reloaded" can do to stay ahead of its followers. It is an immensely skillful sci-fi adventure, combining the usual elements: heroes and villains, special effects and stunts, chases and explosions, romance and oratory. It develops its world with more detail than the first movie was able to afford, gives us our first glimpse of the underground human city of Zion, burrows closer to the heart of the secret of the Matrix, and promotes its hero, Neo, from confused draftee to a Christ figure in training.

    As we learned in "The Matrix," the Machines need human bodies, millions and millions of them, for their ability to generate electricity. In an astonishing sequence, we saw countless bodies locked in pods around central cores that extended out of sight above and below. The Matrix is the virtual reality that provides the minds of these sleepers with the illusion that they are active and productive. Questions arise, such as, is there no more efficient way to generate power? And why give the humans dreams when they would generate just as much energy if comatose? And why create such a complex virtual world for each and every one of them, when they could all be given the same illusion and be none the wiser? Why is each dreamer himself or herself, occupying the same body in virtual reality as the one asleep in the pod?

    But never mind. We are grateful that 250,000 humans have escaped from the grid of the Matrix, and gathered to build Zion, which is "near the Earth's core--where there is more heat." As the movie opens, we are alarmed to learn that the Machines are drilling toward Zion so quickly that they will arrive in 36 hours. We may also wonder if Zion and its free citizens really exist, or if the humans only think so, but that leads to a logical loop ending in madness.

    Neo (Keanu Reeves) has been required to fly, to master martial arts, and to learn that his faith and belief can make things happen. His fights all take place within virtual reality spaces, while he reclines in a chair and is linked to the cyberworld, but he can really be killed, because if the mind thinks it is dead, "the body is controlled by the mind." All of the fight sequences, therefore, are logically contests not between physical bodies, but between video game-players, and the Neo in the big fight scenes is actually his avatar.

    The visionary Morpheus, inspired by the prophecies of the Oracle, instructed Neo--who gained the confidence to leap great distances, to fly and in "Reloaded" destroys dozens of clones of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in martial combat. That fight scene is made with the wonders of digital effects and the choreography of the Hong Kong action director Yuen Wo Ping,
  4. Durwood

    Durwood Jedi Master star 5

    May 18, 2002
    Interesting review. It was more an essay on the film as opposed to a critical exposition. I also can't help but notice that he identified Billy Dee Williams as appearing in RETURN OF THE JEDI, which is true, but he first appeard in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It's little moments of sloppiness like this that always cause me to question Ebert's credibility.

    At any rate, RELOADED sounds fascinating. Wonder if I can convince my wife to see it this weekend? It's not so much that I'm eager to see it but more that I want to watch it before the internet becomes flooded with spoilers.
  5. Darth Jamus

    Darth Jamus Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 1, 2000
    Wasn't Roger Ebert wooed by Lucasfilm back in 1999, having been invited to come over to Skywalker Ranch and all?? Perhaps he felt obligated to write a favorable review of THE PHANTOM MENACE! Not so years later with AOTC and the advent of digital film making! In all, I think that it is foolish for Ebert to let his personal feelings regarding issues such as digital film influence his assessment of a movie's actual qualities. Some help he is to the viewer when he's so busy scrutinizing the film making process instead of critiquing the actual elements of the flick itself as evidenced by such reviews as ATTACK OF THE CLONES and GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS!

    By the way, the number 2 "set piece" that Ebert refers to in his review of THE MATRIX RELOADED nearly ruined the whole movie for me. What a stupidly visualized sequence that presented the human race as a bunch of heathens dancing around camp fires in a big orgy of decadence! No wonder the machines want them gone! More power to them!
  6. Durwood

    Durwood Jedi Master star 5

    May 18, 2002
    I felt like I was watching MTV's "The Grind" with that whole pointless sequence. Was there any particular reason the brothers Wachowski felt they had to make that scene 10 minutes long?
  7. Jedi_Master201

    Jedi_Master201 Jedi Knight star 5

    May 5, 2001
    Ok, you have quite possibly just turned me off of this movie. :p

    Just what exactly goes on down there in Zion? :eek:
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