May. 22nd, 2005

la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
First let me say this: when the Star Wars logo first appeared on the screen, with the big Star Wars opening music, followed by the scrolling text that opens the movie, I cried. We all know I'm an emotional sap for the media that I love. I cry at video games, for godsakes. I didn't quite expect to cry, either. I was just sitting there, opening my ice cream (I like to sneak my own food into the theater, especially for movies that are meaningful to me,) getting geared up, and then at the Star Wars logo, I spontaneously burst into tears.

See, Star Wars and I go all the way back to childhood. In '77, I was five, and when my parents took me to the drive in to see this movie, I didn't quite get the idea of it. I think I liked it, I thought Luke was cute and I had fantasies about him (I liked all cute boys indiscriminately as a child. I guess it's true that you can't change who you are. ;D ) I don't remember being really into it. It wasn't until '80 and Empire Strikes Back that I got into it, but only for a while. I remember watching it in the theater with my parents and this girl I used to hang around with at the time. I remember that I didn't quite understand that the bad guys won, until my Mom explained it to me. I remember how upset she was because Han Solo had been sealed up, and I asked her why she was upset, and she said she was upset because Han Solo was her favorite. Again I asked her why, and she said because she thought he was cute. This perplexed my little brain, you see, because Luke was the cute one, and how could my Mom not see that?

Then, in '83 I think, there was Return of the Jedi, and that's when I really fell in love with Star Wars. Why? Mostly because Yoda was so cool and so wise. I clearly remember being in the pool one day, Chrissie, Celia, our friend Ronnie and myself, playing Star Wars. In our game, Yoda had come to Earth to look for new recruits, and, well, we were the new Jedi. Perfect Mary Sue games, we were a bunch of kids swimming in the pool (except we pretended we were rich and famous,) when a spacecraft landed and Yoda got out to take us all to Star Wars. Oh, and of course, we had all the glasses and mugs that the gas stations gave away back then. My crush on Luke Skywalker persisted. And even as a little kid, I wasn't too fond of the Ewoks.

When Phantom Menace came out, it was right after my grandfather died, maybe a week and a half after. Jeremy had come home for the funeral and was spending the week with me (he would later move in again, a few months down the road.) It was a few days after the funeral (which we held at home) and we really needed something to do that would take our minds off things. It was good timing that this movie had just come out. That night, Jeremy and I took Spencer and Meghan to see it, and I think Rachel was there, too. The new theater (the one I now go to regularly, right down the road from me) had just opened up, and that's where we went to see it.

I remember that I was surprised at the emotion that the opening sequence packed; I think for me, that was the best part of the movie. I found most of the rest of it more or less uninspiring, except for Obi Wan and Qui Gon, both of whom I totally loved. (I had been a Ewan fan way before TPM, by the way.) I can remember walking out of the theater remembering Jar Jar having said that all he could remember was "grabbing onto that Jedi" and thinking, "I wouldn't mind grabbing onto those Jedi, either." (I was ever such the whore. ;D ) The next day, Jeremy and I went to Genovese and bought four toy lightsabers. This was one of the resulting photos: Image hosted by Photobucket.com

One thing Phantom Menace did, though, was remind me of how much I had loved Star Wars in my childhood. When we got home after seeing TPM, we decided to have a marathon Star Wars weekend (as I'm sure most people across the country did.) We pulled out the sofa bed in my living room (although I don't think Jeremy was there; I think we was working that night,) and watched the originals. Meghan was so little then, and I think she found it too intense. During the scene where Palpatine is zapping Luke with lightning from his fingers, Meghan had this look of vague horror, and she was clutching my shirt. Spencer and I explained to her about special effects. I remember us telling her that the blue lightning bolts weren't real, in fact they weren't even added in until after the actors were off the set, and so basically, the actor playing Luke Skywalker just had to roll around the floor screaming while the old guy pointed his fingers at him. After she found that out, she thought it was pretty funny.

And as for Attack of the Clones? I think I mostly blocked that thing out. I saw it in the theater with Tricia, and then promptly forgot about it entirely. (But I do own the DVD, though. It's just this thing I have to do.)

So, my love for Star Wars goes a long way back. Yet, when Goerge Lucas says things like, the only people who hate the new Star Wars are the ones who are obsessed with the old ones, I resent that. If anything, my love for the old Star Wars made me more emotionally invested in something I might not have cared about otherwise. I wouldn't otherwise be that big on this movie where lots of stuff gets blow'd up, wouldn't be wild about the droids and crazy creatures, the spaceships, the doofy sounding names (Count Dooku? Jar Jar Binks? Please.) and, from the first two films, I sure as hell wouldn't care about Anakin and Padme. I'm sorry, people, but Natalie Portman sucked so badly in this role. I understand she's been decent in other movies, but in Star Wars, she just cannot act. I wonder why. Could be the dialogue; I know i'd find it hard to say some of those lines.

As far as Anakin went, I'd heard that Hayden Christensen was a lot better in this one than he had been in the last one. True, he was much better. But he still had his moments where I thought he fell flat. That, again, could've been the godawful dialogue. It must be hard for those actors to spout these ear-insulting cliches and not be cringing inside. Lucas could have and should have hired someone else to write the dialogue, since he absolutely has no ear for it. Christensen? Sometimes I felt he was trying too hard, sometimes I felt he wasn't trying at all. To be sure, he's a beautiful boy (Ewan seems to think so, too. I kid, of course. [Ewan and Hayden greeting each other with a kiss, very cute.]) with a very convincing scowl. I kept waiting for The Moment. You know, for me, there's always a Moment in a film. I was waiting for The Moment where I would fall in love with Anakin, where I'd say, "this is it, he's won me over," and then start casting him in the movies they're going to make of my books someday. ;D (When he grows into himself, he'll make a fine Leander. ^_~ *snick* Please don't take me too seriously.) And he almost had it.

Remember, for me, The Moment is usually something very, very subtle. (Recall how I fell in love with Rhys Meyers's one hand gesture and a blink of his eyes in Lion in Winter.) So, I was waiting for Anakin's Moment, and the closest thing I could find was right after cut for spoilers... )And as Anakin is understanding what he's just done, and realizing where it's all leading, he sits down heavily and sways in the seat, just sort of staring. You could feel the weight of his decision, and you could almost get a feel of what all of this was costing him. Good acting, good directing. And in the same scene, cut for spoilers... ) and by then you can see that he's completely tapped out and defeated. Well done. Best scene in the movie.

The other best scene, for me, was the duel between Grievous and Obi Wan. Thank god for Ewan. No, really, thank god for Ewan McGregor. Thank god for his cheekiness, for his mischief, and for his joy. In that scene, I got the feeling that Obi Wan was enjoying the battle. A bit un-Jedi of him, but Obi Wan was sort of maverick, remember, like Qui Gon before him. When I say (frequently) that Ewan is a beautiful man, I'm not always talking about his big blue eyes and dimpled chin and noble profile. Okay, sometimes I am, but most of the time I'm really just talking about his obvious joy. I love watching him. I'd pay to watch him wash dishes or make a sandwich especially naked. Oh my gosh, and his hair, especially when he wakes up in the elevator shaft early in the movie. Thick, silky hair! Oh, Ewan! /fanpoodle

So I couldn't bring myself to care about Padme, or the war, or even the droids, but the scenes of cut for spoilers... ) were pretty intense. Like much of the film, these very heavy things were dealt with too quickly, and in that assessment I include the seduction of Anakin. I think these movies might have been better if the first two hadn't been made at all, and this one was just called "The Seduction Of Anakin Skywalker" and was like four hours long. And with different dialogue.

I'm not hating on George Lucas, though. I mean, after all, this is an epic story, and not many people are capable of those. He did, after all, bring Star Wars to us. ("Staaar wars! If they should bar wars, please let these Star Wars... stayyyyyy...." /Bill Murray) And it mustn't be easy. I mean, god, I know how hard it is to write--after all, I could be writing my epic right now instead of picking his apart, right? (And I also know that if by some miracle my sillyass epic became well known, I'd get all sorts of crap for the decisions I've made and the mistakes I've made and will continue to make. People would say, "part two of her series was such a departure from the first one! More fantasy than sci fi, and she relied on violence and gross-out scare factors rather than telling the story. And Leander should be stronger/weaker/more angsty/less angsty/younger/older/whatever." You can't please everyone. I understand that, totally.) But Lucas's dialogue is abyssmal. There's no way around it. He shouldn't be writing dialogue. Or he should learn how people talk. Part of me was saying, as I sat in the theater, "It's like a space opera, kind of thing. An epic tale. Embrace the cliche! Just enjoy the film!" But it was hard to, when all I could do was cringe at lines like, "It's because I love you!" "No, it's because I love you!" Once or twice I actually slapped my forehead in frustration.

The worst part, for me, was cut for spoilers... ) The other part that I didn't like was cut for spoilers... )

But all in all, I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed the experience. I'm glad for Star Wars. And of course, I did love the tragic irony of the whole thing. Cut for spoilers ) Ouch.

And yes, I am still a Star Wars geek. Note the stupid Leia hair:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

^_^

(ETA: I am sick and tired of the men in my life saying, "If you were in Star Wars, who would you be? Chewbacca, right? HAHAHA!!" Both my boss and the newest vet said that to me, once five years ago, one Thursday. Boys, you're too old to be calling girls big and ugly and hairy. Grow up and grow a pair.)
la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
First let me say this: when the Star Wars logo first appeared on the screen, with the big Star Wars opening music, followed by the scrolling text that opens the movie, I cried. We all know I'm an emotional sap for the media that I love. I cry at video games, for godsakes. I didn't quite expect to cry, either. I was just sitting there, opening my ice cream (I like to sneak my own food into the theater, especially for movies that are meaningful to me,) getting geared up, and then at the Star Wars logo, I spontaneously burst into tears.

See, Star Wars and I go all the way back to childhood. In '77, I was five, and when my parents took me to the drive in to see this movie, I didn't quite get the idea of it. I think I liked it, I thought Luke was cute and I had fantasies about him (I liked all cute boys indiscriminately as a child. I guess it's true that you can't change who you are. ;D ) I don't remember being really into it. It wasn't until '80 and Empire Strikes Back that I got into it, but only for a while. I remember watching it in the theater with my parents and this girl I used to hang around with at the time. I remember that I didn't quite understand that the bad guys won, until my Mom explained it to me. I remember how upset she was because Han Solo had been sealed up, and I asked her why she was upset, and she said she was upset because Han Solo was her favorite. Again I asked her why, and she said because she thought he was cute. This perplexed my little brain, you see, because Luke was the cute one, and how could my Mom not see that?

Then, in '83 I think, there was Return of the Jedi, and that's when I really fell in love with Star Wars. Why? Mostly because Yoda was so cool and so wise. I clearly remember being in the pool one day, Chrissie, Celia, our friend Ronnie and myself, playing Star Wars. In our game, Yoda had come to Earth to look for new recruits, and, well, we were the new Jedi. Perfect Mary Sue games, we were a bunch of kids swimming in the pool (except we pretended we were rich and famous,) when a spacecraft landed and Yoda got out to take us all to Star Wars. Oh, and of course, we had all the glasses and mugs that the gas stations gave away back then. My crush on Luke Skywalker persisted. And even as a little kid, I wasn't too fond of the Ewoks.

When Phantom Menace came out, it was right after my grandfather died, maybe a week and a half after. Jeremy had come home for the funeral and was spending the week with me (he would later move in again, a few months down the road.) It was a few days after the funeral (which we held at home) and we really needed something to do that would take our minds off things. It was good timing that this movie had just come out. That night, Jeremy and I took Spencer and Meghan to see it, and I think Rachel was there, too. The new theater (the one I now go to regularly, right down the road from me) had just opened up, and that's where we went to see it.

I remember that I was surprised at the emotion that the opening sequence packed; I think for me, that was the best part of the movie. I found most of the rest of it more or less uninspiring, except for Obi Wan and Qui Gon, both of whom I totally loved. (I had been a Ewan fan way before TPM, by the way.) I can remember walking out of the theater remembering Jar Jar having said that all he could remember was "grabbing onto that Jedi" and thinking, "I wouldn't mind grabbing onto those Jedi, either." (I was ever such the whore. ;D ) The next day, Jeremy and I went to Genovese and bought four toy lightsabers. This was one of the resulting photos: Image hosted by Photobucket.com

One thing Phantom Menace did, though, was remind me of how much I had loved Star Wars in my childhood. When we got home after seeing TPM, we decided to have a marathon Star Wars weekend (as I'm sure most people across the country did.) We pulled out the sofa bed in my living room (although I don't think Jeremy was there; I think we was working that night,) and watched the originals. Meghan was so little then, and I think she found it too intense. During the scene where Palpatine is zapping Luke with lightning from his fingers, Meghan had this look of vague horror, and she was clutching my shirt. Spencer and I explained to her about special effects. I remember us telling her that the blue lightning bolts weren't real, in fact they weren't even added in until after the actors were off the set, and so basically, the actor playing Luke Skywalker just had to roll around the floor screaming while the old guy pointed his fingers at him. After she found that out, she thought it was pretty funny.

And as for Attack of the Clones? I think I mostly blocked that thing out. I saw it in the theater with Tricia, and then promptly forgot about it entirely. (But I do own the DVD, though. It's just this thing I have to do.)

So, my love for Star Wars goes a long way back. Yet, when Goerge Lucas says things like, the only people who hate the new Star Wars are the ones who are obsessed with the old ones, I resent that. If anything, my love for the old Star Wars made me more emotionally invested in something I might not have cared about otherwise. I wouldn't otherwise be that big on this movie where lots of stuff gets blow'd up, wouldn't be wild about the droids and crazy creatures, the spaceships, the doofy sounding names (Count Dooku? Jar Jar Binks? Please.) and, from the first two films, I sure as hell wouldn't care about Anakin and Padme. I'm sorry, people, but Natalie Portman sucked so badly in this role. I understand she's been decent in other movies, but in Star Wars, she just cannot act. I wonder why. Could be the dialogue; I know i'd find it hard to say some of those lines.

As far as Anakin went, I'd heard that Hayden Christensen was a lot better in this one than he had been in the last one. True, he was much better. But he still had his moments where I thought he fell flat. That, again, could've been the godawful dialogue. It must be hard for those actors to spout these ear-insulting cliches and not be cringing inside. Lucas could have and should have hired someone else to write the dialogue, since he absolutely has no ear for it. Christensen? Sometimes I felt he was trying too hard, sometimes I felt he wasn't trying at all. To be sure, he's a beautiful boy (Ewan seems to think so, too. I kid, of course. [Ewan and Hayden greeting each other with a kiss, very cute.]) with a very convincing scowl. I kept waiting for The Moment. You know, for me, there's always a Moment in a film. I was waiting for The Moment where I would fall in love with Anakin, where I'd say, "this is it, he's won me over," and then start casting him in the movies they're going to make of my books someday. ;D (When he grows into himself, he'll make a fine Leander. ^_~ *snick* Please don't take me too seriously.) And he almost had it.

Remember, for me, The Moment is usually something very, very subtle. (Recall how I fell in love with Rhys Meyers's one hand gesture and a blink of his eyes in Lion in Winter.) So, I was waiting for Anakin's Moment, and the closest thing I could find was right after cut for spoilers... )And as Anakin is understanding what he's just done, and realizing where it's all leading, he sits down heavily and sways in the seat, just sort of staring. You could feel the weight of his decision, and you could almost get a feel of what all of this was costing him. Good acting, good directing. And in the same scene, cut for spoilers... ) and by then you can see that he's completely tapped out and defeated. Well done. Best scene in the movie.

The other best scene, for me, was the duel between Grievous and Obi Wan. Thank god for Ewan. No, really, thank god for Ewan McGregor. Thank god for his cheekiness, for his mischief, and for his joy. In that scene, I got the feeling that Obi Wan was enjoying the battle. A bit un-Jedi of him, but Obi Wan was sort of maverick, remember, like Qui Gon before him. When I say (frequently) that Ewan is a beautiful man, I'm not always talking about his big blue eyes and dimpled chin and noble profile. Okay, sometimes I am, but most of the time I'm really just talking about his obvious joy. I love watching him. I'd pay to watch him wash dishes or make a sandwich especially naked. Oh my gosh, and his hair, especially when he wakes up in the elevator shaft early in the movie. Thick, silky hair! Oh, Ewan! /fanpoodle

So I couldn't bring myself to care about Padme, or the war, or even the droids, but the scenes of cut for spoilers... ) were pretty intense. Like much of the film, these very heavy things were dealt with too quickly, and in that assessment I include the seduction of Anakin. I think these movies might have been better if the first two hadn't been made at all, and this one was just called "The Seduction Of Anakin Skywalker" and was like four hours long. And with different dialogue.

I'm not hating on George Lucas, though. I mean, after all, this is an epic story, and not many people are capable of those. He did, after all, bring Star Wars to us. ("Staaar wars! If they should bar wars, please let these Star Wars... stayyyyyy...." /Bill Murray) And it mustn't be easy. I mean, god, I know how hard it is to write--after all, I could be writing my epic right now instead of picking his apart, right? (And I also know that if by some miracle my sillyass epic became well known, I'd get all sorts of crap for the decisions I've made and the mistakes I've made and will continue to make. People would say, "part two of her series was such a departure from the first one! More fantasy than sci fi, and she relied on violence and gross-out scare factors rather than telling the story. And Leander should be stronger/weaker/more angsty/less angsty/younger/older/whatever." You can't please everyone. I understand that, totally.) But Lucas's dialogue is abyssmal. There's no way around it. He shouldn't be writing dialogue. Or he should learn how people talk. Part of me was saying, as I sat in the theater, "It's like a space opera, kind of thing. An epic tale. Embrace the cliche! Just enjoy the film!" But it was hard to, when all I could do was cringe at lines like, "It's because I love you!" "No, it's because I love you!" Once or twice I actually slapped my forehead in frustration.

The worst part, for me, was cut for spoilers... ) The other part that I didn't like was cut for spoilers... )

But all in all, I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed the experience. I'm glad for Star Wars. And of course, I did love the tragic irony of the whole thing. Cut for spoilers ) Ouch.

And yes, I am still a Star Wars geek. Note the stupid Leia hair:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

^_^

(ETA: I am sick and tired of the men in my life saying, "If you were in Star Wars, who would you be? Chewbacca, right? HAHAHA!!" Both my boss and the newest vet said that to me, once five years ago, one Thursday. Boys, you're too old to be calling girls big and ugly and hairy. Grow up and grow a pair.)

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