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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Movie paranoia

Ever since I was a little kid, I have always had what I term "movie paranoia" - a feeling that while I am in the theater enjoying a movie, something horrible is happening on the outside world, something that I could have done something about, but while it was all happening I was sitting and enjoying my movie. I always walk out of the theater expecting to find a sky full of fire, a landscape devastated by tornadoes, or my house burned to the ground.

Today was the first time I have gone to a movie with the knowledge that this feeling was absolutely justified.

I saw Revenge of the Sith today. It was a noon show, and I left my house at 11:18 AM and left the theater at 2:35 PM. During that time I was not with Haley, nor was I at my uncle's bedside.

Neither one died during the movie, but my uncle has passed out of consciousness, probably for good. My mom was watching Haley while I was at the film, which meant she wasn't at her brother's bedside. Maybe this was wrong of me. Maybe it gave both of us a break - me more than her, since the time she wasn't with her dying brother she was with our dying dog. If my uncle had died while I was at the movie I would be feeling very guilty right now, because I would have robbed her of the opportunity to be with him at the time.

But aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?

SPOILERS FOLLOW

There's enough good stuff being said about this movie - justifiably - that anything positive I could say would just be repeating something you could read elsewhere. So I will just focus on a few negative things:

- The opening sequence was a lot too slapstick for my tastes. The witty banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan didn't seem all that witty, and was very forced in parts. The droid dialogue and accents were annoying. Anakin didn't seem to be taking anything too seriously, and I was half-expecting someone to announce "Simulation end" and have the whole thing revealed as a training exercise.

- Dialogue and editing seemed very jumpy and clipped - which is probably because quite a bit had to be trimmed out of this movie, which was already very long (but not overlong, in my opinion.)

- Natalie Portman may have been great in The Professional, but she just can't deliver a line of dialogue believably here.

- Darth Vader's last line is done in the most clichéd manner possible. I felt like I was watching Calculon from Futurama.

- I was waiting for Obi-Wan to look at Yoda and say, "But that's a stupid idea" when Yoda suggested that the newborn Luke Skywalker be placed with his family on Tatooine. He didn't.

I think after the initial afterglow fades, we will see more scathing criticisms of this movie. But for now, these are the nits I have chosen to pick.

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