Hey folks, Harry here - As we watch the days peel off our calendar, more and more folks will be seeing REVENGE OF THE SITH and sending in reports - because I can't imagine turning away the glee of a Star Wars fan intent on sharing either his or hers excitement or disappointment with their fellow geeks. I can also tell you that from that Digital Conference that Lucas had - that I've spoken to several of the directors that attended and aside from "loving" the film, they told me in confidence that the film inspires one to immediately want to watch the Original STAR WARS as the film leads you to that point. I was also told though it has spotty moments of cuteness in the first 40 minutes, after that mark it is simply unerring badassness! I can not wait. If you want to avoid spoilers - I'd recommend not reading any of the reviews - they all dip into things best left unheard by sensitive ears...
What’s up Harry? First, let me say I am a big fan of your site and the work that you do. Anyway, I just back from a screening of Star Wars Episode 3 “Revenge of the Sith” at the Mann Theater in West Wood, CA and thought you might want a early review. I have never really written a movie review before so please bare with me.
We got there about an hour early and there was no line to get in. (shocking). The movie started at 7:15 pm and ended around 9:20. Getting into the theater had tighter security than getting into a terminal at the airport. Obviously, they we checking for camera phones and recording devices. They even had security checking the crowd for camera phones before the movie started. There were very few empty seats and a lot of little kids were there. Before I give my review of the movie I should let you know that I thought Episode 1 “The Phantom Menace” and Episode 2 “Attack of the Clones” both sucked… bad. But I did love the original three.
On to the movie. Did I like the movie? The answer is yes, it beats the first two combined. Not just because Jar Jar “Stinks” was only in the movie for less than a minute and kept his big mouth shut, but because of the story. This movie really completed the series and by the end I was ready to throw the original Stars Wars into the DVD player, just to keep the story going. I was a little worried at the beginning of the movie because it seemed a little to “childish” for me. An example of this is when R2-D2 sprays oil on to a enemy robot. To the movies credit it does lose that “kid” feeling fairly quickly. Yoda to me stole the show in this movie. Every time he was on the screen people were cheering him on. We got a little taste of him fighting and flipping around in the last movie, “Attack of the Clones,” but in this movie Yoda brings his fighting A game. The fight scenes with the life savors were awesome, especially at the end with Obi-Wan fighting Anakin Skywalker known as Lord Vader at that point in the movie while switching to Yoda fighting the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine AKA the Lord Sith. That’s some good stuff . I kept hearing that this movie was going to be “darker” than the last two. I would say this is true. There is a lot more death and betrayal in this movie. I got more into the characters this time, so I felt a little more for them when bad things happened to them. This did make the movie seem darker. Seeing Chewbacca was also a plus. The crowd also responded nicely to him by clapping for him. He is not in the movie that much but there is a scene when Yoda rides on his back and the crowd loved it. The big highlight of the film of course is when we see how Anakin becomes Darth Vader and is put into the classic black suit at the end. The scene where he fights Obi-Wan and gets his body chopped up and burned was a lot more violent than I thought it was going to be. He gets pretty fucked up. One of the last shots in the movie is Darth Vader in the suit with the heavy breathing and the Lord Sith next to him, looking out a window from their ship at the Death Star being built. This is a great shot and again, pulls all the movies together. There are some cool vehicles and creatures through out the movie to.
Now it would not be a new Stars Wars movie with out some bad things would it? The only compliant I really have is other than the kid behind me kicking my seat the whole time were some parts of the movie looked to “digital” to me. What I mean by this is that some scenes looked to fake, almost like a giant videogame. Some of the acting was bad to, (more cheesy love talk between Anakin and Padme.) Overall the acting was better than the first two movies, but really if your watching any of the Star Wars movies for the acting your missing the point of the movies.
In my opion this is the best of the new Star Wars films and is way worth seeing. I give it a 8 out of 10. I also would start buying stock in Fox if I were you. This movie is going to be a monster at the box office. Hoped this review helped describe the movie a little. Well it’s off to watch Sports Center.
Then there's this one...
To say that I am somewhat giddy would be an understatement, but I just got back from a screening of Revenge Of The Sith in Marin County, and I am pleased to say that this one is everything I hoped it could be. To be fair, I had low expectations, especially concerning dialogue, and there are a few moments of clunky-ness but for the most part Revenge Of the Sith was thrilling, fun and satisfying. I?m going to try and make this review as spoiler free as possible but there are some parts that may need inviso text.
Without giving anything away, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen are much better this time around. Ms. Portman is radiant as always and both of them seem much more comfortable in their roles. General Grevious is was not quite as bad-ass as I would have hoped but I suppose he was a puppet in Sidious?s game and played the part accordingly.
Ian McDiarmid really got to sink his teeth into playing Sidious this time, and he was excellent. His subtle moments of emotion worked so well, you knew what was coming and really felt like there was nothing anyone could do about it. Ewan McGregor and Samuel Jackson were good as well, but no better or worse than in the first two movies. Yoda was as always, Yoda.
Not all of the questions were answered, such as why Vader/Anakin or Obi-wan don?t seem to remember R2-D2 or C-3PO, and (you might want to use inviso-text here, how Leia can remember their mother and Luke can?t since she and Luke are separated from her at the same time, pretty much at birth). As well as some questions being answered in a rushed way, like the whole immaculate conception thing, and why Ben, Yoda, and Anakin, appear all glow-y at the end of Return of The Jedi(Ben in Empire as well of course).
But all in all, the movie was pretty great. So much better than the first two I can?t even tell you how much better. Gone were the ridiculous accents, cringe-worthy dialogue, and excessive pandering to 5 year olds with Jar-Jar, farting and other nonsense. While there are a few R2-D2 moments and a Wookie moment of sillyness they are easily forgotten in the fun and darkness of this last installment.
If you decide to you this review, call me Onizuka.
Thanks Harry, keep up the good work!
I just got back from a screening of Star Wars: ROTS in Marin County, CA (if you need proof, I can scan in the ticket that I have for it) that I was fortunate enough to get invited to. While I consider myself a Star Wars fan, I readily admit that I cannot tell you intimate details about the structure of the Galactic Senate, or exactly how General Grevious became the mechanized person he was. I can say, though, that I thoroughly enjoyed this last installment of the new trilogy. It has many of the same failings as the first two, most notably awful dialogue and threadbare plot devices, but the pure satisfaction and joy of watching everything come together and form a bridge between the first two movies and the three of our childhood is undeniable.
This rest of this will contain some spoilers, so those who wish to wait should stop reading now...
There are plenty of moments of humanity in this installment. Obi-Wan, who delivers his dialogue the best and seems to be truly into this movie, expresses concern for the deteriorating condition of Anakin at several points early on. This seems genuine and provides a great backdrop for their final battle. R2 has his usual moments of humor, including the funniest part of the movie when he tries to hide from some droids in a hangar. You can almost see, though, forced foreshadowing that pretends to be humantiy in things like Anakin's attempt to save Obi-Wan early in the movie that ends up with him shooting part of Obi-Wan's ship's wing off. We get two, three, maybe four premonitions of Padme's ultimate death that seem so literal that it takes the anxiety out of her later condition.
My most serious grievance with the movie, though, is in the things that the first two failed to convince me of. When the whole overarching concept of the three movies hinges on Anakin's love for Padme, and when you just aren't quite convinced that this is a possible love, let alone a realistic one, much of the path that Anakin follows is weakened. I wanted to believe that he turned to the dark side because of his concern and love for Padme, and the movie strives very hard to convince us of this, but I had to fall back on the secondary factors in order to find satisfaction in his turn. I didn't necessarily need more moments between the two of them (in fact, at times, we see too much of them together), I just needed to feel that the time that they spent together was meaningful for her. I don't need to go much more into this here, as I feel that others have already covered this point.
All that said, I still found the movie exciting, entertaining, and worth the trip through the first two movies. The scene where Palpatine reveals his true nature to Anakin had me on the edge of my seat. I realized that I was watching something that I had been waiting over 20 years for (though the scene ends with one of the worst lines of the movie, second only to "From my point of view..." on the lava). The imagery was breathtaking -- the battle in the Senate between Yoda and Palpatine, the intercuts between the different environs of Order 66 being carried out, the Wookie planet -- the sound was incredible and the music, as always, brought you further into the movie than you might have been otherwise. General Grevious was great, and when he pulls out four lightsabers to battle Obi-Wan I was on such a high that only the quick dismissal of several of the lightsabers brought me down.
The bridge to the original trilogy was fantastic, with all of the throwback technology and environments that we hoped for. The only point that it became corny was in the final scene, but even then I was sold on the movie and I didn't even really mind that. Once the Clone War ends, the movie really gets going and except for these final chapters, really an epilogue, it doesn't stop for much. It will be interesting to see how time judges this movie. I read somewhere that Lucas indicated that he hoped the first two movies would be much more meaningful once the new trilogy was finished. I think that he got to that point, although I am sure that those more devoted to the series will find plenty of things to prop up or tear down that I have left out here.
As always, I am KingRhino
Then there is this one...
Hi Harry, long time fan...
Anyhoo...saw an exhibitor screening of ROTS tonight in Toronto. I felt it was a pretty decent way to end it off. It's not great but it has great moments. The beginning and ending are fantastic, but Lucas' writing, to me anyways, is so bad that the middle part (where most of the words are spoken) drags on a bit. This review is mostly spoiler free...no big revelations but if you don't know the general story then this might give away a few things.
* The swordfighting is great, they have certainly upped the intensity level with each movie.
* The space battle at the beginning is absolutely gorgeous, but some of the special effects are not great, in particular the clones faces look terrible! It's hard to pinpoint, but something is wrong with them and it pulls you out of the film (bad mapping of the actors face onto the cgi model or something).
* Some scenes felt rushed (like Obi Wan going through security hologram footage). Many scenes lacked emotion (Don't want to spoil with elaborations).
* Alot of the acting is bad...Samuel L. Jackson is disappointing in this movie. Maybe the writing is the problem, who knows. Even Christopher Lee's acting isn't that great in this film. Almost everyone in this movie speaks using a monotone voice..it's extremely annoying.
* Some of the Anakin and Padme conversations are written so poorly I was rolling my eyes.
* Jar Jar is not in the movie...I mean there are a couple of shots of him, but I don't remember him actually speaking and that's a good thing.
* Most of the loose ends were tied up nicely for Episode IV. They did a pretty good job in that regard, I didn't think Lucas could pull it off but he did.
* Williams was Williams...his Star Wars music is great, lots of references to previous films.
* The Wookiees: No idea why they were in this movie, they don't really do much, they really do not push any part of any plotline forward. In fact, all it made me do was remind me how much cooler Return of the Jedi would have been with Wookiees instead of Ewoks.
Overall, the movie is a strong 4th place finish in my ranking of the 6 movies (IV, V, VI, III, II, I). This is a thoroughly enjoyable summer action flick and Lucas deserves some applause. He should silence most critics (not raving lunatic fanboys who will never be happy) because it is obvious after seeing this movie that despite what many people say, he does listen to the fans and has given them alot of what they have been asking for.
You can call me limabone if you were to post this.
and then there's this one...
This comment may contain mild spoilers: I had the honor to attend the screening at Indianopolis on my trip to the States. I was along with a handful of lucky others. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how the film turned out. After Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, I was expecting just another soul-lacking run-of-the-mill blockbuster that scores big mainly because of the popularity of it's franchise. Man, was I wrong. While this film doesn't come close to the first two SW films, I would say it is the 3rd best, better even than Return of the Jedi. Once I was caught up in the story, It became nearly impossible to track down inconsistencies as my eyes were glued to the screen. Here are some Revenge of the Sith's criteria:
Acting: 6/10. Perhaps the best of the entire series, but doesn't ring as true as the 1st 3 installments. In ANH, ESB, and ROTJ the acting wasn't good, but it went with the story. It was like the actors were characters, all the technicalities of their gesturing and facial expressions were more than made up by their willingness and eagerness to play their characters, a fascination that infected the viewer. In the first two films of the prequel trilogy the acting was pretty stale, save for Liam Neeson (just 1st film); and occasionally McGregor and Natalie Portman. Here, Ian McDiarmid is given more screen time, as his performance shines throughout the film. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman are also very good, even thought traces of overacting are visible ("YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE!!!" ; anybody?). Hayden Christensen carries out a stale performance from an acting perspective, but he is convincing as a cold emotionless human hiding his insecurities under a scowl.
Characters: 6/10. This is the part that angers me most. Lucas seems to have lost any respect he had for his supporting characters. The story is so focused on Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme that all supporting cast's performance drained of it's depth (Palpatine is still good, though). As in the other two films of the prequel trilogy, Lucas introduces characters with infinite potential only to have them removed in a SFX frenzy. General Grievous is completely unnecessary to the story and unconvincing. The fact that a feared mechanical alien cyborg super-fighter is so easily dismantled and forgotten (nowhere in the sequel trilogy) is laughable. It is there simply to keep attention on screen, attracting the viewer with it's premise of being able to do something cool. That is, mostly, to partake in some awesome swordplay and die. Another negative is the reduction of the mysterious Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine to a shallow action figure. It's like what they did with Yoda in AOTC, but much better choreographed and more painful to watch (for SW fans). His fight scenes are impressive, but it's not enough to cover him being exposed from the cloud of mystery that kept him interesting for all this time. Wookies also seem a tad unnecessary, as Chewbacca is given importance he fails to convey in the later films.
SFX: 10/10. Some of the greatest special effects ever put on film. The fights are brilliantly choreographed, and the space battle/chase scenes are impressive as ever. Occasionally the film drifts into Video Game territory, but quickly snaps back with spectacular realistic shots. There aren't as many land battles as in AOTC, but those that are there are impressive beyond belief. Also, Lucas's modeled landscapes really bring new realism to the SW universe. I'm glad he learned that his CGi-obsession wasn't good for the film.
Storyline: 10/10. The transformation from Anakin to Vader isn't convincing and some of the focal points fail to deliver the impact expected, but the storyline connects nicely with everything in episode 4. There are almost no loose ends, and only occasionally did I noticed that the actions and presences of some characters were much more dramatic then given for later in the sequel trilogy. I should give this an 8/10, but seeing as Lucas is trying to connect to an already made story, 2 bonus points.
Overall score: 8/10. Not the new Citizen Kane, but definitely worthy $10 for the experience.