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Old May 18th 05, 21:37   #1
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\'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

I figure I'll go ahead and get a thread for Episode III reviews ready as it's coming out tonight. I'll probably end up seeing it tomorrow after work.
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Old May 18th 05, 22:05   #2
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

From Scifi.com

They gave it a grade of B+

So begins the crawl of the last Star Wars movie. The Clone Wars have reached the skies of the city-planet Coruscant, where Chancellor Palpatine (McDiarmid) has been taken hostage by the villainous Gen. Grievous, head of the droid army, and the Separatist Alliance.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) pilot their small fighters amid the raging battle to mount a rescue. Anakin and Obi-Wan again confront the nefarious Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). And a series of near-disastrous events almost destroys them all.

But they succeed, and back on Coruscant, Anakin is reluctant to assume the hero's mantle. All he wants is to be with Padme (Portman), who has happy news: She is pregnant!

But Anakin chafes under the secrecy of their marriage. He also bristles at what he perceives to be his poor treatment at the hands of the Jedi Council, led by Master Mace Windu (Jackson). When the council needs someone to head crucial missions to Utapau to rout Gen. Grievous, or to the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk to confront the droid army, it sends Obi-Wan or Yoda, but never Anakin.

Only Chancellor Palpatine seems to understand Anakin's dilemma. Taking him into his confidence, Palpatine appoints Anakin to be his special representative on the Jedi Council. That raises further distrust on the part of Windu, who grudgingly accepts Anakin's appointment but refuses to promote him to master. At the same time, Obi-Wan asks Anakin to spy on Palpatine, in effect asking him to betray his mentor.

But Anakin has a greater worry. His dreams are troubled by visions of Padme's death. His only hope of saving her: a tantalizing story about a Sith Lord who held the power of life and death, achieved only through study of the dark side of the Force.

The circle is now complete

The much-anticipated final installment in Lucas' epic Star Wars saga is here, and the good news is—it doesn't suck. Die-hard fans will love it: It pays off all of the issues that writer/director Lucas has painstakingly set up in the previous two prequels and tidily tees up Episode IV. But the surprise for more casual fans is that Episode III may be the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back.

Lucas offers up the usual Star Wars pleasures, including stunning visuals, dazzling spectacle, epic space battles and swift lightsaber duels. The beginning sequence, in particular, is beautifully rendered and paced, opening with a sweeping run over the surface of a massive battlecruiser in a scene that recalls both the opening of the original Star Wars and that film's climactic attack on the Death Star, and culminating in the biggest space battle scene likely ever filmed.

Beyond the thrills, however, Episode III displays unexpected subtlety in its drama. Lucas shows a sure hand in depicting how a good, if flawed, man can be seduced into evil acts at the same time an empire can rise, as Padme observes, to thunderous applause. For much of the film, it's easy to empathize with well-meaning Anakin's inner conflict. At all times, he just wants to do the right thing, and he doesn't lie about his motives or actions, even to Padme or Obi-Wan. Ultimately, Anakin is as surprised as anyone when he commits the act that places him on an irrevocable course toward the dark side. Episode III shows how good and evil, as Palpatine suggests, might simply depend on your point of view.

In Episode III, Lucas also seems to have remembered what made the original Star Wars so special: irreverent humor, heroic struggle, magical strangeness and an underlying melancholy.

Episode III falls just short of being a great movie for the usual reasons. Lucas is still hamhanded with intimate dialogue. (Padme: "You're a good person. Don't do this.") And he is still inconsistent in eliciting great performances. Portman and Jackson are especially stiff. Christensen has the right mix of confusion, anger and menace, though he is less credible as a romantic figure. McDiarmid goes completely over the top, particularly when encased in makeup that renders him nearly laughably grotesque.

Despite that, I defy even the most skeptical fan not to feel a lump in his throat when that dark mask inevitably thunks into place, when the droids board the Tantive IV or when those double suns rise over Tatooine for the last time. —Patrick
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Old May 19th 05, 08:06   #3
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

Saw it at the premiere midnight session, and I gotta say I was pleasantly suprised.


The good points:
-Hayden Christensen gives his best performance to date - still a bit wooden occasionally, but finally rises to the occasion. Very dark when he needs to be.
-Ewen's performance nicely mirrors the 'future' performance of Alec Guiness. Nicely done.
-The story hangs together very well, with little of the romantic subplot that killed Ep 2.
-The lightsaber duels are incredible - especially the final Anakin/Obi Wan fight.
-The politics of the fall of the Republic nicely mirror (in a very simple way, of course) the fall of the Roman republic.
-Jar Jar only appears at the very end and says NOTHING! Hooray!
-Mace Widu goes out kicking arse.
-Anakin's injuries, which nicely explain why his light-saber moves in Episode 4-6 are so stiff and lack the firepower of Eps 1-3.
-Very dark in places - finally Lucas sees the light and gives us some real tragedy.
-R2D2 kicks arse - good to see.

Bad points:
-Anakin seems to go the the Dark Side all to quickly, pleding himself to Darth Sidious and killing the children in all too rapid sucession, when it is obvious he still had reservations about the Sith Lord only moments before - the ploy of saving Padme was too simple to account for the turn.
-Why the hell give General Grievous a limp and breathlessness? He's a DROID, for freak's sake!
-The overacting of Darth Sidious
-The still clunky dialogue, especially between Anakin and Padme. Luckily, there was nowhere near the amount that appeared in Ep 2.
-Does it really take some 18 years to finish the Death Star, given the state of the infrastructure at the end of the movie?

Anakin was CREATED, by the Sith Lord who trained Darth Sidious, who was able to manipulate Midichlorines to create life! Now that I didn't see coming, and nicely set up the notion that the whole destruction of the Jedi had been planned for decades, especially in using their own prophecy to destroy them.

Overall, I really enjoyed it - not as good as episodes 4 and 5, but damn close. My rating 8 out of 10.
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Old May 19th 05, 08:37   #4
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

I'll echo Oatley's sentiments except that I felt Anakin's turn was believable. In deciding that he'd do anything for Padme he fully understood how far he'd have to go. He was crying after doing what he 'had' to do at the temple. Also bear in mind that his pledging allegiance to Sidious was just a pretence to get what he wanted, he never intended to support the Sith Lord's reign.
Grievous wasn't just a droid though was he.

R2-D2 - Goood.
Story - Goood.
Lightsaber duels - Dayum!
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Old May 19th 05, 09:27   #5
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

I agree with both your Good Points and Bad Points almost exactly. We must be on the same wavelength. The only difference is I felt that there were only very brief moments of overacting from the emperor. Most of his performance was fine.

Here are a few things I can add (***SPOILERS***)...

Good Points:
- The opening action sequence, lasting 30 minutes, is very impressive. It contains a virtually perfect blend of action, humor, and foreshadowing of story elements that happen later in the movie.
- The pacing is excellent. It moves so fast, that at one point I started to worry the movie was almost over. I reminded myself of certain plot points that still had to happen, and there was still 30-45 minutes left.
- Yoda's character is also handled just as well as Obi-Wan's is.
- Most of the ship designs, locales, and wardrobes are cooler in this movie compared to Episode 2.
- Connects all the episodes together rather well.

Bad Points:
- Several blatant moments of bad dialogue and/or bad acting.
- Chewbacca is monumentally under-used.
- Redeeming himself for episodes 1 & 2, Lucas does a much better directing job (*overall*--several scenes are exceptions), but sometimes he's almost too good at directing the special effects. Sometimes there's so much going on on-screen, that my brain literally has a hard time processing it all. I like sitting up front, but I know I'll be seeing it again with someone who likes to sit further back. Sitting further away may cut down on this problem.
- There were at least two pivotal moments in the movie that should have been very serious that actually garnered laughter from about a third of the audience. One of those moments wasn't really justified, but the other moment deserved it because of bad directing/writing choices by Lucas.
- The worst parts of the movie, by far, are the lines of dialogue given to Padme and the performance of Natalie Portman. For someone who has won various acting awards and Oscar nominations, she is the turd of this movie. I hate to say that, but I have a hard time thinking of more than a couple of her scenes that I thought were done well. At least part of the blame must go to Lucas, because she's also given some of the worst lines as Padme.
- I just now realized this, but we do not see Yoda take up residence on Dagobah, and while there was a Qui-Gon mention, there was no Liam Neeson cameo. I could do without Liam Neeson anyway. Also, I guess there's enough time between Episodes 3 and 5 that Yoda didn't have to go straight to Dagobah, but I thought seeing him there again would be neat.

While I list more bad points than good points, that's just in terms of the details. Overall, it's better than the other prequels put together, and *maybe* on par with Episodes 4 & 6. I'll have to see it again to be sure. That will happen in another 8.5 hours.

There is so much packed into this one movie, that stretching the story of Episode 3 over at least 2 movies may have stengthened the whole trilogy. That may have required Anakin starting off older. Then the same teen/adult actor could have played Anakin in 3 instead of 2 movies, and there would be more emotional attachment to the journey of his character. It would have also made the potential for romance between Anakin & Padme more believable between Episodes 1 & 2. Oh well, it's Lucas's movies, and they're already made. Wishing does no good.
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Old May 19th 05, 15:42   #6
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

Just an aside, back in '83 when the net was young and limited, similar discussions were going on all over the place about ROTJ. Found this linked to on a Star Wars fan site, milleniumfalcon.com,


Gotta love titles like Darth Vaders death (spoiler!) .

Funny stuff!
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Old May 19th 05, 18:36   #7
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

When JMS said that the new TV series, set between Episode 3 and 4, was about an unnamed character I assumed that the character was Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, if Yoda is not hiding on Dagobah that the series could be Yoda on the run. That could be fun.
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Old May 19th 05, 18:54   #8
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

When JMS said that the new TV series, set between Episode 3 and 4, was about an unnamed character I assumed that the character was Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, if Yoda is not hiding on Dagobah that the series could be Yoda on the run. That could be fun.
You mean Lucas, right?

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Old May 19th 05, 19:10   #9
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)


You mean Lucas, right?

Both but in separate conversations.
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Old May 19th 05, 19:35   #10
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Re: \'Revenge of the Sith\' reviews (Spoilers)

When did JMS mention anything that could be specific to Star Wars? Can you point to the post?

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