Thursday, June 16, 2005

Revenges of the not quite so sith film

So, went we did! Guffawing at the appalling dialogue we were! Captivated by the villiany of Ian McDiarmid we found ourselves!

Okay, enough of the poor Yoda scripts.

Yes folks, last night I succumbed to the pleas of my friend Helen Lisette and off we went on a 2 for 1 Orange Wednesday deal to the local UGC to experience Revenge of the Sith (this made the cost only £3!)

What did I think? Well, it was no where near as bad as I feared. Yes, it could have lost a good 30-45 mins. (I say that about a lot of films) Yes, the dialogue is dire (memorable for what exactly I would ask IMDB?!). You can just imagine the cast of Oscar/Tony/Emmy/London stage award winners reading it and asking themselves 'I have to read this shit?' The action sequences in some cases go on way too long and are just effects-driven for the sake of it (much of the opening 30 mins). Hayden Christensen, bless, is rather leaden in his mannerisms, trundling around scowling from underneath his hoodie: he's just not very convincing as an actor (he's considering architecture apparantly - no jokes about building anything in wood). So there is something lacking at the heart of the movie with this much wrong with it.

Is this to do with a physical lack of connection in the movie and it's 'feel'? As Anthony Lane puts it in the New Yorker review:
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?
And yet: I still enjoyed it. Sorry. I know that's almost a heinous crime, but some of my fellow bloggers are watching Big Brother and with excuses such as it's a "social psychology practical".

Last night when we got back, my copy of Sight and Sound had arrived. Let's just say I have a lot of sympathy for Kim Newman's review.


Casyn said...

Sadly I couldn't bring myself to enjoy Revenge. It was so very... long. The acting was so stilted and stiff. It looked like Anikin needed a cool tumble under the covers, but sadly it happened without any ado at all and didn't help his acting.

In many discussions I've had with people who've seen it I formulated a theory about ol' George's uber control of Star Wars. I compare it to another mega-budget series, The Lord of the Rings. Now, many comparisons could be made, but the one I wish to mention is the creative heads. Peter Jackson is writer director and ultimate voice like Lucas, but unlike Lucas Jackson has people he has to answer to: his wife, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa Boyens. It is made clear when listening to the commentaries of the three films, how much input they both have in the films, and it seems that the product is the better for it.

Now I'm not saying that Lucas needs to bring in a writing team, what I'm saying is that I think he needs a filter. Someone or ones who have the ability to tell him that some of the writing is crap and needs work. That the scenes between Anakin and Padme have no emotional intensity at all. There's no way I believed that Padme dies of a broken heart!

I believe that giving people total control over a production is a double edged sword, because sometimes a little less control can be a benefit to the end result.

Casyn said...

Hmm. That possibly should have become a post on my blog...

Oh well.