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Thursday, May 30th 2002

I finally saw Star Wars - Attack of the Clones. Boy those special effects sure were great. Natalie Portman is hot... Did I mention that the special effects were top rate?

Yeah, I'm sorry to say that 'Clones' didn't do it for me. I never once got the kind of thrill I use to get from A New Hope, Empire, and Jedi. Lucas tried, I think he tried real hard and he did make a far better movie than The Phantom Menace. But that still isn't saying much. 'Menace' was silly, childish (as in pre-school), poorly acted, and had a weak plot based around characters that you never cared about.

'Clones' was adult, better acted (I really enjoyed Christopher Lee's performance), but still never had a plot or characters that I could care about. 'Clones' was handicapped from the start because it was a sequel to a bad movie. Even where it was improved it was still hobbled by the legacy of a tedious plot and unegaging characters. Not once did I care about these people like I cared about Luke, Leia, Han, (the original) Obi Wan, or even Chewbacca. Even the droids seem to have less verve. Lucas seemed to be desperately drawing big busy worlds and battles when he should have been concentrating on the characters and story arc.

The plot is a tangled web of politics that I don't think I could sum up with a page of text. As I watched the movie, I had no sense of when the climax was coming, so naturally, it wasn't much of a climax when it did occur. The only two hints that the movie was coming to a close was a fight scene evolving Yoda and big battle sequences. (Incidentally, I know that the Yoda fight scene was a thrill for many viewers but I actually found it laughable.) After the approximately six hours I've spend watching The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones I'm left wondering when I'm going to start to care about either the story or the characters. (The only character I ever care about in these new movies is Jar Jar Binks, and I want him to DIE.)

But all of this being said, I am willing to admit that my bad attitude from the last movie may have overly influenced me. With 'Phantom', I had low expectations but high hopes - really, the best way to go in viewing a movie. But with 'Clones' I had low expectations and little hope - one of the worse ways to go in viewing a movie. And I also have to note, that I had the same lack luster opinion of The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Rings after first viewing it. So, with any luck 'Clones' will grow on me on a repeat viewing. At worse the movie was unengaging, but it never reached the travesty of The Phantom Menace. And gee-whiz, the special effects were impressive.

Wednesday, May 22nd 2002

No, I haven't yet seen Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

I loved the first three Star Wars films and then something terrible happened: The Phantom Menace.

Of course I know that first three Star Wars had poor dialog and (some) weak acting. But they were directed with heart, had captivating plots, characters we cared about and an adult sensibility. Those first three Star Wars films were matinee movies in the best sense of the word.

The Phantom Menace on the other hand had poor dialog, wooden acting, no heart, a boring plot (and inane climax), un-engaging if not actively stupid characters and a childish sensibility with a dose of bathroom 'humor' for good measure. The Phantom Menace was a two hour long commerical and excersice in computer animation.

Nothing can shake George Lucas' confidence in himself but I still don't feel like contributing to the mindless blockbuster phenomenon. And yet - I have a weak, sentimental spot for the Star Wars universe so I imagine I might pay for another movie and sneak into see "Clones". I've also been told by reliable sources that "Clones" is an improvement over The Phantom Menace . But then again, it would have to be.

Death to Jar Jar!

I also need to note the sad passing of a great mind, Stephen Jay Gould. Mr. Gould was an ardent champion of reason, a popularizer of science and an innovator in the fields of biology, paleontology and evolutionary science.

Tuesday, May 14th 2002

It should be pretty meaningless to anyone reading this but I have now completed my change of Web site hosts.

But to me it means, unlimited email addresses, 500 megs of Web storage space, unlimited band width, greater Web site functionality and more.

Now if I could only get people to read my site...

...Well for the faithful, and specifically for the faithful who are Lord of the Rings fans, I have a special treat inside. All you need is the password, to enter the secure Friends and Family section.

See past WorldView and Friends and Family News in the Archive
This page was last modified: 7/5/2002
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