Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by d_arblay, Mar 12, 2011.
Sometimes I forget that SW are only disguised as bad movies.
I often put this disc on to fall asleep to. I don't mean this in the wrong way. I mean I put it on for comfort. The sequences above are my favorite in the film outside of the Kamino stuff. I know it's not a great film. I don't get behind the romance, really, but I put this one on more than any other at night for some reason I still can't figure. Maybe because it seems the least noisy? I don't know but I love Coruscant at night!
The soundtrack for AOTC, the one that William's composed for the film, is a delight.
I also like the cityscapes of Coruscant during the speeder chase. ILM stepped up their depiction of the capital for the second from the first.
I have a particular affinity for AOTC, on some basic level, I think, because I have come to recognize -- or regard it, at least -- as being the most "involved" of the Star Wars movies, from its flurry of planetary locations traversed by main characters, to all the various motifs and moods, drawn from a variety of mythologies and genres (an unusually "hard" Sci-Fi atmosphere, plus noir stuff, Greek epics, cyberpunk, 1950s conformity and hedonism, musicals, medieval courtship, graphic novels, CG cartoon shows, etc. -- all somewhat uncharted territory for Star Wars, really), to the formidably extensive way it marries personal actions with political consequences. It is an unlikely, sprawling pastiche: a very rich and exorbitant piece of connective tissue between TPM, the "bright, child-like" overture, and ROTS, the "tragic, adult" conclusion. It even goes to the extreme of being the first Star Wars movie -- and, arguably, the first motion picture of true note -- to be shot digitally. Its a very trippy installment. In a way, it may be the most "poetic" of all of Lucas films.
Youve never heard of "The Sound of Music"?
Of course, but I still don't see the connection...
You dont? Well, pull up a chair...
Firstly, I should state that George Lucas is a fan of cinema, and deliberately draws from some of the forms most famous examples (and many obscure ones, too). Given the popularity of the Robert Wise film, it shouldnt be surprising to find homages and references to it in Star Wars.
In the films title song, and in its famous chorus, Julie Andrews sings, "The hills are alive with the sound of music / With songs they have sung for a thousand years / The hills fill my heart with the sound of music". Now, cheekily, I cant help noticing that Palpatine says he will not let the Republic, "which has stood for a thousand years", be divided ("split in two"). More obviously, as Anakin and Padme are walking to that gorgeous lake, Padme reminisces on her past, telling Anakin that she and her friends would swim to the island everyday, "and try to guess the names of the birds singing".
Later, in what I regard as AOTCs most naked reference on this matter, Anakin and Padme are in a lush meadow, with large waterfalls imposingly framed behind him. This is very much like the Julie Andrews character cavorting in an Austrian field in one of cinemas most indelible images -->
And these references arent just thrown in for the sake of it. They actually add to and enhance the political quality of AOTCs narrative. To quote from Anne Lancashires Summer 2002 essay on AOTC -->
Just watched Attack of the Clones on Blu-Ray again and their are so many things I love about this movie. First off I don't care how many times people want to tell me otherwise and I don't care I LOVE how the love story between Anakin and Padme was executed throughout the prequels. They are both very naive I love how when Anakin escorts Padme to Naboo Typho tells Obi-Wan how he would be more worried about her doing something foolish than Anakin. Padme is a very sheltered strong person as displayed in the Phantom Menace but you can see she is confused and torn with her emotions towards Anakin, and many of the displays her as a confused idealistic sheltered senator. I don't understand how people don't get that Anakin is going to very immature throughout Attack of the Clones, he was a SLAVE throughout his entire childhood, he never had a father, he has been constantly been told by Watto and the Jedi Council that he is not good enough, and he develops a inferiority complex feeling he must prove any doubter wrong. You can see neither of them have a clue to what they are doing, well we know Anakin wants to be with Padme by any means necessary, and he doesn't grasp the importance of his commitment to the Jedi order, so the dialogue comes across as clunky, uncomfortable and awkward and yes it comes across as nauseating as it should be, when two young inexperienced people are pouring their hearts out two each other they are not going to sound Shakesperean, that is Hollywood nonsense. I find it interesting how Padme ignores inhibitions and gives and falls in love with Anakin, I guess it is better to have lived a little, than to not have lived at all in a sense, because being so sheltered she feels she hasn't been given the opportunity to be her own person.
I love the Speeder Chase, very exciting to see Anakin in action,
I love the mystery regarding the creation of the clone army and Obi-Wan's interrogation of Jango Fett and their fight and the asteroid chase aboard the Slave!
I love how Palpatine manipulates Padme to go into hiding so he can get poor gullible Jar Jar to give him emergency powers and further advance his plan into full scale war and begin the destruction of the Jedi Order
I love the arena battle in geonosis, and if you are a fan how could you not get excited seeing many Jedi at a time in action!
One of my favorite parts of the saga is Anakin coming to rescue his mother only to get their just too late, and him unleashing his rage on the Tuskens, and the way he confesses his actions to Padme literally with zero remorse for his actions only sadness for losing his mother, and the look of disdain he gives the Lars family for being too weak and letting her die is cold and priceless!
The Duel between Dooku-Obi-Wan, and Anakin is awesome, cool to see Anakin fly in and save Anakin and I love the shot of him with the green and the blue light sabers only eventually to lose his arm, and I love Yoda saving the day.
I love the shot with Palpatine and the other senators on the balcony as you know they are all up to no good....
Lastly I love the beautiful shot of Anakin and Padme in their secret wedding ceremony both so peaceful and content and yet on a path of destruction, I guess some things that are that beautiful aren't meant to last
I only disagree on one point that you said.
I don't think Anakin is low enough to look down upon Lars for giving up on Shmi. He did lose his leg after all. He even says "These are good people Padme."
At the very least he might think that Lars gave Shmi a relatively happy final decade or however long they were together, despite her grief in being separated from her child.
"The Great Things about AOTC"
The end credits?
I kid! I kid!
OK, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed Obi-Wan's fight with Jango in the rain. Also, the sonic mine effect was stellar. Also, Zam Wessel was an interesting bounty hunter.
Its great showing how easily Dooku can beat Anakin and Obi-Wan
The interesting Lightsaber duels in II sticks out compared to the grand duels of I and III.
Unfortunately I still think "interesting" is good but not as great as the I and III duels.
Obi-Wan looks weak, Anakin looks incompetent with two sabers, and the very cool lightsabers in the dark sequence is much too short.
Dooku vs Yoda is cool but it is very short too.
I think the best thing of AotC is Christopher Lee as Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus. He's just great. Unfortunately they ditched him too soon in RotS.
But I also like the detective part of Obi-Wan (and his beatiful starfighter), Kamino, Anakin's quest to save his mother, Jango Fett (which is what people dreamed Boba to be), and the Clone Wars.
His death was a necessary loss.
I like this. I too think it was symbolic and/or metaphoric as well.
Watching John Carter this night taught me a new meaning of pain. Whats worse, the arena made me think of nothing but Geonosis, and that whole sequence was at least fun to watch! Despite my complaints about the jedi being pasted in and not actually fighting side by side in most shots, there is no denying that Lucas can stage an action scene.
Of course I feel ROTS outstaged AOTC in every regard in this aspect, but that doesn't mean AOTC was below average. Star Wars films have always had something special and memorable, and AOTC delivers.
When I watched John Carter, i thought of the complaints of the love between Anakin and Padme. The wooden dialogue complaints.
That was nothing compared to John Carter....
I feel like watching AOTC now, the whole Mars feel of John Carter got me in the mood, with Geonosis and its dusty red tinge.
Of course, perhaps GL was influenced by the John Carter stories, even in the tiniest aspects.
For every complaint levelled at the prequels, I can find an equivalent elsewhere that is far, far more extreme:
"Anakin is a whiny, ungrateful punk!"
Meet Harry Osborn from "Spider-Man".
"Jar Jar is the most irritating, obnoxious creation ever!"
You mean you actually sat through talking trees and excitable hobbits in LOTR?
"Lucas was milking the OT and nostalgia fondness for those characters for every cent he could get!"
Please watch J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" on repeat.
"Lucas ruined the mythology of Star Wars with bad acting and even worse dialogue!"
I hope you had bags of fun watching "Terminator Salvation".
"The romance between Anakin and Padme is forced and totally unbelievable!"
But you were swept away by every heart-stopping moment of the Jake-Neytiri pairing in "Avatar", right?
"Adults don't like pathetically unfunny humour; especially slapstick!"
How did the "Police Academy" series get to seven films?
"No tension whatsoever; and the camera work is so boring!"
Loyal detractor, meet "Quantum of Solace".
I recommend the final installments of the "Harry Potter" saga.
"Padme is a horrible mother for losing the will to live!"
Check out the broad pantheon of mediaeval literature; and that's just for starters.
"Absolutely no politics in my Star Wars! Star and WARS. Think about it!"
Star and TREK. Plenty of politics in that franchise.
"Lucas is a hack! HA HA HA!"
That's been said at one time or another about most of the greatest artists that have ever lived.
"Wooden acting is BORING! If a film or any artwork bores you, it's a failure!"
See Andy Warhol and John Cage.
"Most convoluted plotting ever!"
But you like Christopher Nolan movies, right?
Well, I think I've made my point.
OMG! I thought I was the only one to do this. I love Coruscant at night it's beautiful and calms me. Kamino does the same thing I fall asleep like a baby.
Yeah, it's not like wars ever had anything to do with politics.
AOTC had more on location shooting I think.
Dang and I though about seeing this as a fun adventure movie.
Honestly, I can't think of a lot of blockbusters where the love story doesn't feel forced or thrown in because the public expects it. Spiderman movies are about the ones that handled it well, but mostly because Tobey sells a naturally awkward teen better than Hayden.
To be fair, Harry is not the protagonist. Kirk from the new Star Trek, however...
OTOH young Anakin was seen as "too nice" by some circles.
He's somewhat more annoying than Threepio. However, he appears in one movie (mostly) while C3PO is in 6!
Abrams borrowed from The Phantom Menace! I'll never forgive him for that!
Or the Matrix sequels!
It was tolerable, but mostly thanks to CGI. If Sam Worthington was there in the flesh, it would be completely unwatchable!
Star Wars was never meant as a comedy, despite some funny moments sprinkled throughout the films.
The PT used more models than the OT. Most people complaining about CGI wouldn't even know it on screen (outside of obvious things like Jar-Jar).
That moment could have been handled better, but it's certainly not impossible in the universe ruled by the Force.
Yeah, part of me hopes that we might see critics and filmgoers reappraise the Prequels after sitting through stuff like "John Carter", where I'm not really sure if anything is well done. Some fans of the film cite the acting and dialogue as being better than stuff like AOTC or "Avatar", and I'd honestly like to know what they're smoking. Kitsch has about two levels of "grizzled" at his disposal in his performance, and Collins never really reaches above your standard faux-Brit exposition accent as the Princess of the Suntan Spray people. I will admit that they have a bit of chemistry together, but it's too instantenous, and never really goes anywhere beyond the immediate physical attraction (they're both baring as much skin as a Disney movie will allow-- I'll chalk this up more to natural hormones and biology than acting chops). There's no real arc to the chemistry, so it sits rather flat, like everything else.
What I'm really surprised by is how poorly designed and executed the film is. The unimaginative and sometimes incoherent nature of the action set-pieces doesn't really surprise me-- Stanton's a first-time live action director, after all (then again, Brad Bird just showed how well he could adapt from animation to live-action in "Mission: Impossible 4"). But I'm flummoxed by the generic, yet absurdly overdesigned look the film has, which contibutes to the overall feeling of disorientation in the action and general muddiness of the picture throughout.
This is what bothers me most-- it's an altogether mediocre and rather ugly sci-fi film. Say what you will about the SW Prequels, but as designed and shot the visual imagination on display has a keen sense of aesthetics. Lines and color match one another well, and allow for a good sense of contrast so things stand out and don't compete too much for your attention. There's an ornate look, but it doesn't crowd your senses. Some other sci-fi and fantasy films have managed to come up with looks like these, but "John Carter" just falls flat. Lucas knows how to make eye-candy. All Stanton's film turned out to be is an eye-sore.
Ain't gonna happen. Even if most blockbusters aren't better in terms of acting and dialogue (not to mention complexity of the story and visual richness) you'll still hear people saying Star Wars should be held to a higher standard which, in truth, turns out to be a pretty impossible set of standards. Despite its classical status and huge mass appeal, the original was a B-movie inspired by campy serials with a relatively low budget to match.
As annoyed as I get sometimes at my husband who refuses to watch the OT with me citing outdates SFX and unconvincing performances he at least approaches all six without the double standards or nostlagia. He might watch the prequels with me maybe once a year because they're visually beautiful.
Yeah, it's a long shot, to say the least. One of the things that really bothers me is how, with all the emphasis fans and filmmakers put on the dramatic side of these kinds of movies, you don't really get better results in that department, and the visual side winds up suffering. I'd rather be watching something like David Lynch's bastardized "Dune" or "The Chronicles of Riddick" than sit through "John Carter" again. At least those movies look good.
I know, but it was still too soon. I always thought he was going to be killed at least in the middle of the movie. Not at the beginning like a cheap villain.