Review by Alexandra DuPont
"I really loved the fight between Count Chocula and the puppet."
— Fellow DVD Journal staffer D. Taylor, dripping with sarcasm
after seeing this film
The Rather Large, Rather Socratic Attack of the Clones DVD FAQ
1. So — will this be another one of those tired rants against the Star Wars prequels and the bulging throat pouch of G. Lucas?
Not exactly. This time, it's not that simple.
I mean, let's face it — it was terribly easy for many older fans, myself included, to lash out at Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. So many expectations were crushed under that Lucas-penned steamroller of needless exposition, Jar-Jar, and somnambulist line readings that you could unload on Episode I with the same righteous anger usually reserved for kids caught kicking a nun.
But now Episode II: Attack of the Clones has taken its place in the Star Wars canon — and will arrive in a two-disc DVD set (this Tuesday, Nov. 12) whose extras are detailed below — and it's hard to feel quite so mean. You can't simply shoot the fish in this barrel; a few of them actually shoot back.
For Episode II is a decidedly mixed bag. While it's hardly the home run director George Lucas needed to bring everyone back into church glassy-eyed and drooling and singing hosannas, it's certainly a minor base hit. This is particularly true in the film's final 45 minutes, and even more true on the shiny new Clones DVD, where you can chapter-skip to all the action-packed CGI bits — all of them elaborately storyboarded by ILM's finest and none of them encumbered by the speaking of clunky words.
2. So the DVD's nice, huh?
Quite nice. Excellent, actually. As fans of the beautifully designed (and very nearly fat-free) Phantom Menace DVD would expect, these Attack of the Clones platters are triumphs of dense packaging — chock-full of elaborately designed menus and documentaries and commentaries and deleted scenes and footage of pale, pear-shaped men agonizing over Yoda's ears, with none of that egregious, irrelevant pap that usually pads out major studio "Special Editions." And while there's no single "showstopper" extra like that fantastic "making-of" documentary on the Episode I DVD, there's still plenty for a behind-the-scenes tech geek to swoon over here.
Of course, this set's also cursed with the appalling bad luck (or is it hubris?) of being released day and date alongside the new "4-Disc Platinum Series™ Special Extended DVD Edition" of Fellowship of the Ring — a masterwork of the digital versatile form that's already being praised in some circles as the best DVD set of all time ("all time" being since, oh, 1997). But that, of course, is another, much longer and no doubt vastly more superlative-laden review.
Anyway. I am now going to draw heavily from my previous writings on this subject and pick apart Attack of the Clones at length.
3. But my opinion of Clones is already set in stone! And that opinion differs considerably from yours, you logorrheic slattern!
Well, then skip ahead to question 16 if you only want to read the detailed extras breakdown.
4. So what's the upshot?
I'd argue that Attack of the Clones sort of sputters to life, with occasional action set pieces punctuating a series of deadly-dull meetings and needless exposition — until, with about 45 minutes to go, the future Darth Vader pokes his big black head into the frame and the film suddenly plays to the Star Wars equivalent of the cheap seats, embracing its pulp roots and becoming a very big, very violent, kind-of-dumb monster movie all the way to its slam-bang conclusion.
5. A monster movie? This is Star Wars! This is mythology! Lucasfilm told me so!
I'd argue that, this time around, it's more of a monster movie. That becomes clear during the climactic arena battle, which is just packed to the gills with Jedi Knights and robots and mosquito-men and shimmering digital mayhem and Yoda ludicrously spinning around like someone inserted a firecracker into his wrinkled little prostate.
There's this one shot during the climax — a full-profile long shot of Obi-Wan poking a spear at a giant, shrieking praying-mantis — that's a direct nod to a shot of a wayward Union soldier facing down a giant crab in Mysterious Island, one of the cherished "Dynamation" stop-motion monster movies of my youth. At that exact moment, I realized that the movie had left its crypto-mythological roots behind and had resigned itself to ladling out monster-movie thrills as only ILM can, and without apology.
This was enough for many fans. It wasn't enough for all of them. (Good Lord, check out the 600-word rant from Alina DeVries that closed out my original review of the film. You'll need some Maalox afterward.) I personally found Clones quite entertaining the second I stopped holding it up to the Hero's Journey standard I've always felt the Star Wars movies needed to meet — and that slackening of standards proved both liberating and bittersweet. More on that below.
6. So what's the story?
Ten years have passed since Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin (Hayden Christensen) have been assigned to Senator PadmÃ©'s (Natalie Portman's) security detail; someone's been trying to kill her ever since she decided to vote against the creation of a galactic army.
A new assassination attempt — followed by a marvelous but somewhat geographically confused flying-car chase that plays like The Fifth Element by way of "T.J. Hooker" — splits up our heroes and sends them skulking across the galaxy.
Obi-Wan flies off to see who's behind the assassination attempts, and uncovers a vast conspiracy — involving the creation of a "clone army" of stormtroopers and a shadowy rebellion led by a rogue Jedi (Christopher Lee). Meanwhile, Anakin and PadmÃ© go into hiding — first (and totally unnecessarily, plot-mechanics-wise) on Naboo, then on Tatooine, where Anakin finds out his mother's gone missing. Along the way, the couple falls in love rather abruptly — following some stalkerish pleading by Anakin — and a family tragedy pushes young Skywalker into vengeful, homicidal territory.
At which point the movie finally gets interesting and kicks into high gear.
Following some anguish and light mayhem and a few more scenes of people standing around talking, everybody shows up in an alien gladiator arena. Roughly 30 minutes of unprecedented ILM pornography ensues — their best work since the attack sequence in Pearl Harbor. There are monsters! Lightsaber duels! A clunky action scene in a droid factory! Bits of lame comedy involving C-3PO's misplaced nog! And Yoda putting on the proverbial pimp-smack!
7. Well, that actually sounds complex and exciting.
It is — at the end. As a critic friend of mine who defends the film told me, this was one of the few summer blockbusters that bothered to save its best stuff for last. He also says Lucas has an advantage over other blockbuster directors in that his films, despite their flaws, have a distinctive, Cecil B. DeMille-style authorial voice. He's right, but still: There are a lot of people sitting around talking in the first half of the film.
Which leads to my biggest critique, and I'm afraid it's a bit of a deal-breaker: Mr. George Lucas — once the master of stripped-down visual storytelling, the man who made Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back hurtle along like narrative perpetual-motion machines — has forgotten how to strip down his films for maximum impact.
8. Here we go again....
Allow me to explain. Again and again and again, Attack of the Clones feels the need to follow up a clever sequence with one that basically re-states what just happened, as if the director didn't trust the viewer to follow along. The film practically serves as its own set of footnotes.
9. I want examples!
Well, take the bit where a glowering Anakin hauls his dead mother home after slaughtering the creatures that killed her. Even though Anakin's mother sort of flops over comedically when she dies, it's still powerful stuff. But Lucas feels compelled to pad, and thus bloat, the narrative — following Anakin's revenge-fueled massacre with a scene where Yoda sits around and has bland bad feelings, and following Anakin's confession of the crime to PadmÃ© with a funeral scene that adds nothing — nothing! — to the narrative drive train.
Or take the film's opening, where someone tries to assassinate PadmÃ©, followed by scenes where people talk about the fact that someone's trying to assassinate PadmÃ©, followed by someone trying to assassinate PadmÃ© again, followed by more discussions of the fact that someone's trying to assassinate PadmÃ©. Even moderately cognizant armchair filmmakers can see that these could have been seamlessly combined into a single set piece. As in Godfather III, there's a curious embrace of dilution — and it drains your interest in a film that could be made twice as impactful with judicious editing.
And the entire Naboo interlude really could have been consolidated into the flight to Tatooine. At least then these profoundly dysfunctional children could have fallen in love while on the lam and under duress and grieving and bickering — a vastly sexier and more human courtship than the dramatic dead stop on PadmÃ©'s Maxfield-Parrish-by-way-of-Dinotopia homeworld.
10. Hm. And then there's that love story....
Uh-huh. Good Lord, it's just horribly written by George Lucas and co-scenarist Jonathan Hales. Like Titanic, Attack of the Clones forces viewers to slog through an expository, sophomoric romance before rewarding them with a staggering set piece. But there's a crucial difference: Titanic's Jack Dawson gets Rose to fall in love with him by appealing to her inner liberated woman and painting her portrait and getting her freak on in the rumble seat. Anakin, on the other hand gets PadmÃ© to fall in love with him by essentially reciting the Stalker's Lament ad nauseam — two-dozen variations on the following three sentences:
"Obi-Wan's holding me back! I love you! It will make me miserable if you don't love me back!"
Well past the point that this particular barrage of dialogue has gotten uncomfortably creepy, PadmÃ© suddenly gives in to Anakin (during what is, I must admit, a quietly underplayed little scene as the couple's being rolled into the Geonosian arena). But there are no "transitional scenes" between PadmÃ©'s two emotional poles. It's as if a switch flips and the woman takes total bloody leave of her senses.
Personally, I didn't buy it for a second, and scoff at those who would counter, "Oh, well, it's Lucas' depiction of 'young love.'" Maybe for Anakin — but for PadmÃ©? The woman has been dealing with politicians and dignitaries and probably more than a few lecherous cranks since her bat mitzvah. And now she falls for this dilettante, this arriviste, this un-sophisticate? He's not fit to carry Bail Organa's luggage!
11. All that said, the movie never spends more than five minutes at a time on the "love story."
That's true. And Hayden Christensen does the best he can with the material. While Portman could still stand to freshen up her vocal life a bit more — though she's considerably less autistic-sounding than in Phantom Menace — Christensen has a fine glower, and uses it to good effect more than once.
Also, technically, Lucas has once again rewritten the rules of cinema with his digital cameras — Clones' digital cinematography is indistinguishable from movies shot on film, if not better-looking. I have to hand it to the Flanneled One: The technical innovations he's spearheaded here will theoretically allow anyone to make any kind of movie they want in the years to come. For that, maybe he should be forgiven a thousand Phantom Menaces. (Oh. Wait. No he shouldn't.)
And that digital advantage extends to the DVD's presentation, by the way.
12. That's right! This is basically the first direct digital transfer of a "live-action" film, isn't it?
Sort of. Calling this film "live-action" is a bit like calling the Toon Town sequence of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? "live action." Still, as a result of the transfer, picture and sound pop and glisten in this weirdly bright, shiny way that actually makes the film look even more elaborate and artificial than it did in theaters. But in a good way. Kind of. You'll see what I mean.
13. Any other high praise for the film?
Well, of course. Kudos once again to the beleaguered and passionate geeks of ILM: The action set-pieces and art direction are just ridiculously generous in terms of production design and effects detail. (The little riffs on cheesy Tokyo advertising in the Coruscant entertainment district were probably my favorite little grace note.)
And Ian McDiarmid is a mean little camp icon in his reduced role as Chancellor Palpatine, the closet Godfather of Evil. "I love democracy!" he tells the Galactic Senate even as he's yanking it from them. Hilarious! Possibly relevant! Then there's Ewan McGregor, who grounds all the movie's best moments — grimacing as he beheads a giant insect, growling like Alec Guinness outside a Coruscant nightclub, relaxing as he commiserates with the four-armed informant Dexter Jettster (and yes, Lucas does seem to be letting his children name his characters again) in a diner.
14. So we can forgive the film its flaws!
Can we? Can we forgive the fact that PadmÃ©, for all her professed love of peace and justice, seems mighty forgiving when Anakin recounts his act of genocide? Can we forgive the fact that a little bit of Jar-Jar is like a little bit of third-degree burn? Can we forgive Christopher Lee — who's great in the movie, coming across as a sort of genial, low-cal Saruman — riding an anti-gravity Honda scooter? I kept looking for his golf clubs! Can we forgive R2-D2's utterly apocryphal little leg jets? Can we forgive Master Yoda's almost total passivity when confronted with certain evidence that someone in the Jedi Order is erasing planets from the archives? I could go on an on!
Look. If these last two Star Wars movies have taught me anything, it's that all my prior rantings about Star Wars needing to be mythologically and thematically coherent and profound no longer apply. Those rantings were, in retrospect, most likely the justifications of a young adult who wanted to explain why she'd liked a pulp sci-fi/fantasy series so emphatically — and who gleefully adopted as her own the "Power of Myth" mental gymnastics handed to her on a platter by Joseph Campbell and the Lucasfilm P.R. machine.
That said, when I came to the above understanding and relaxed my standards a bit — right around that Mysterious Island shot, and every time I've skipped to the "cool parts" on the DVD — I quite enjoyed the Attack of the Clones for the pulpy pastiche that it is. Take that for what you will.
16. Um, okay. So how about those special features already?
Want to know the details on Clones? Let's find out together.
On Disc One, we find a commentary by George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, editor and sound designer Ben Burtt, plus ILM creative masterminds Rob Coleman, Pablo Hellman, John Knoll and Ben Snow. There's frankly not a lot to say about this track that I didn't write about the almost eerily similar Phantom Menace commentary: It's "well-constructed, fast-moving and (alas) gossip-free. It's also almost entirely about how they pulled off the technical, not narrative, achievements, which is apt." Once again, my only real annoyances are with Lucas, who always seems to think the redundant expository scenes are somehow "crucial." Would that ex-wife Marcia and Star Wars and Empire producer Gary Kurtz were on hand to beat him up a little!
It should be noted that Dennis Muren — the film's visual effects supervisor and the first F/X guy to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — is nowhere to be found on this commentary; one hopes this is only because of his duties on Ang Lee's upcoming Hulk movie.
Meanwhile, Disc Two is all special-features gravy — offering six submenus, all accessible from a main menu depicting the glittering Jedi Library: "Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots," "Documentaries," "Deleted Scenes," "Featurettes," 'Web Documentaries," and "Dex's Kitchen and Still Galleries." (There's also a "StarWars.com" menu telling you there are DVD-ROM features, BTW, but I couldn't access those via my iBook. Sure, Lucasfilm can create effects on Apple boxes — but God forbid you be able to watch the ensuing DVD on one.)
17. What's under the "Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots" menu?
We find the three teaser trailers — the enigmatic "Breathing" (1:11) (featuring silent images fading in and out to Darth Vader's mechanical wheezing), "Mystery" (1:22) (an action-packed ditty originally released on the Internet) and the drippy "Forbidden Love" (2:21) — plus that mammoth "Clone War" trailer (2:34) that relies heavily on final-reel F/X (and is probably what put the more ambivalent fan asses in seats).
Also in this section is the "Across the Stars" music video (4:34), which purees film clips with footage of John Williams conducting his score. While this is certainly amusing to watch if you're a Williams obsessive, whoever edited the video commits the same war crime committed while editing the film itself — Williams' various themes and leitmotifs are spliced and diced until you're left with a jarring hodgepodge, the neoclassical equivalent of ADD. (BTW, there's a great article on the massacre of Williams' score as it's edited in the film at FilmScoreMonthly.com, if you're so inclined; you can read it here.)
Anyway: On the submenu's second page, we find no fewer than 12 TV spots, organized into "Character" and "Action" categories. I must say, these are marvelous, well-edited advertisements: With the exception of those root-canal-painful "Who da man? Yoda man!" TV ads currently advertising this very DVD, Lucasfilm's advertising department has made few missteps pimping the prequels.
18. What's under the "Documentaries" menu?
Two behind-the-scenes mini-movies that sort of play the same role that "The Beginning: Making Episode I" played on the Phantom DVD — only with far less drama and worrying and self-doubt and set obliteration via sandstorm, and many, many more shots of men studying computer screens.
First and best is "From Puppets to Pixels: Digital Characters in Episode II" (52:18) — which chronicles the very real struggle of Animation Director Rob Coleman and his team as they try to bring Yoda, the Kaminoans, assorted battle droids, digital stuntmen, clonetroopers and Geonosians to cinematic life.
What's truly, deeply cool here is that Coleman et al seem to be atoning for the sins of Jar-Jar Binks. His young, much-abused team seems genuinely interested in creating subtle, invisible digital performances — particularly when it comes to Yoda — and Lucas is mercilessly riding their asses in his genial-grandpa way all the way through as they try to pull it off. And even those who consider themselves fairly adept at spotting digital trickery may be surprised by the number of digital stuntmen and sets and even articles of clothing they failed to spot in multiple viewings of the film. Coolest moments: One ILM animator absolutely obsessing over the placement of a digital Ewan McGregor's fingers and hands, plus Lucas growing exasperated as Coleman struggles with exactly how pathetic to make Yoda's delivery of film's final line look.
The second documentary, "State of the Art: The Previsualization of Episode II," (23:29) breaks down the planning of the film's set pieces — particularly the aerial car chase, conveyor-belt fight and climactic Clone War battle. Coolest moments: shots of the lo-fi animatics from the original trilogy, which incorporate WWII dogfight footage and dolls on sticks; and also glimpses of unused, surprisingly sophisticated animatics for the final battle that even ILM staffers admit gave them "goosebumps."
19. And then there's that inevitable 'Deleted Scenes" menu....
Which features eight thunderingly dull scenes that hardly merit being spruced up with finished effects and placed on this disc, except of course as a major selling point. (On the Episode I DVD, didn't you feel kind of sorry for the poor schlub who had to finish the effects on that Jar-Jar and submarine-over-the-waterfall deleted scene?) Anyway, most of these cutting-room-floor refugees feature flat performances from Natalie Portman; they're viewable with or without intros from Lucas, Burtt, and McCallum; and they break down as follows:
• "PadmÃ© Addresses the Senate" (1:55) is an early scene in the narcolepsy-inducing Galactic Senate, featuring Portman and McDiarmid and hundreds of rubber-mask politicos continuing their C-SPAN discussions after the opening assassination attempt. My Lord, this would have ground the film to a halt. Portman, I must say, is a talented actress, but she's particularly horrid here; fans of camp may even find themselves howling as she says, with this really weird over-enunciation, "One of my bodyguards ... and six others ... were ruthlessly ... and senselessly murdered!"
• "Jedi Temple Analysis Room" (1:04) is one of the two passable scenes in this collection — and that's mostly because it features neat-looking robots that have heads just like Johnny Five from Short Circuit and float on little suspensors just like the ones in The Black Hole. Contains an embarrassing moment for Mr. McGregor, who, realizing these robots can't analyze his mystery dart, shakes his hand thoughtfully like a dinner-theater Sherlock Holmes and says to himself, "I know who can identify this!"
• "Obi-Wan & Mace — Jedi Landing Platform" (1:52) is the original version of that scene where Mace and Obi-Wan are talking about Anakin, the growing mystery and their personal doubts. (A variation on this scene appeared in the final film, only with a change of locale and the addition of Yoda in his little floating high chair.) While still clunkily written and needlessly expository, this version is arguably better — mainly because it features Obi-Wan climbing into his sleek little spaceship and blasting off over Coruscant at the end. Like the film itself, the scene works best when escalating into wordless, ILM-designed visual poetry.
• "Extended Arrival on Naboo" (1:52) is the first in a trifecta of scenes expanding on the Anakin/PadmÃ© "love story." This one features additional footage of our star-crossed lovers rhapsodizing about the marvels of Naboo as they cross a public square.
• Next up is "PadmÃ©'s Parents' House" (2:19) — a scene I'd been dreading ever since I'd read it in that Clones script that leaked online. It basically covers PadmÃ© and Anakin crashing a sit-down dinner at PadmÃ©'s parents — followed by her mother and sister plying her with variants on, "He's cuuuute!" As filmed, it plays with a far lighter cringe factor than expected.
• I couldn't bring myself to watch "PadmÃ©'s Bedroom" (1:20).
• Next up is "Dooku Interrogates PadmÃ©" (1:02) — a quick scene where Christopher Lee entreats Portman to join his "Rebellion"; they're chatting around that glowing table fashioned after the emblem of the Galactic Empire in Episodes 4-6.
• Finally, "Anakin and PadmÃ© on Trial" (:39) is set in a kangaroo court on Geonosis — with Poggle the Lesser making a surprising number of flatulent noises in his alien tongue as he sentences Anakin and PadmÃ© to death at the behest of those animatronically challenged Trade Federation aliens.
20. And what's under the "Featurettes" menu?
There are three mini-docs, all restating things you already know: "Story" (9:01) basically recounts the narrative of the film, which seems a little redundant given how much the movie itself does that already; "Love" (9:37) recounts the film's romance and features Lucas dismissing the Han/Leia romance as a "flirtation" and is something I will never, ever watch again; and "Action" (8:11) basically features Lucas, McCallum, fight choreographer Nick Gillard and several actors once again recounting the story, this time vis a vis its action sequences. The stuff about swordfighting styles is mildly intriguing.
21. And the "Web Documentraries"?
There are 12 of them, and they're all extremely well-made and endlessly self-congratulatory and far better than the "Featurettes." BTW, this menu — just like the "Web Documentaries" menu on the Phantom Menace extras platter — is over-designed to the point that it's a little clunky to navigate. But that's quibbling.
Anyway, the docs, in order, are:
• Here We Go Again: The Digital Cinema Revolution Begins" (6:26);
• "Wedgie 'Em Out: Designing the Jedi Starfighter," in which Lucas actually says, "The movie doesn't rest in the dialogue" (4:36);
• "We Didn't Go to the Desert to Get A Suntan: Location Shooting Around the World" (6:10), which talks about trouble shooting both the prequels and the films in the Classic Trilogy;
• "Trying to Do My Thing: Hayden Christensen is Anakin Skywalker" (4:25)
• "A Twinkle Beyond Pluto: Extras Fill Out the Star Wars Galaxy" (5:38)
• "It's All Magic: Visual Effects Wizardry Starts on the Set" (5:04)
• "Revvin' It to the Next Level: Sounds from a Galaxy Far, Far Away," (5:17) profiling sound-design genius Ben Burtt;
• "A Jigsaw Puzzle: Building Model Communities" (5:11), in which F/X legend Dennis Muren turns up to reminisce and we see the surprising number of non-digital models in the film;
• "Bucket Head: Introducing the Fett Family" (5:17), which is notable for featuring footage from Boba Fett's first cartoon appearance in the 1978 "Star Wars Holiday Special";
• "Good to G.O.: The Jedi Knights in Action" (5:11), which covers swordfighting techniques with Nick Gillard;
• "P-19: The Wardrobe of PadmÃ© Amidala" (4:51), which chronicles Costume Designer Trisha Biggar and the largely unsung heroes of the Clones wardrobe department;
• And finally "Reel 6: Creating the Action in the Geonosis Arena" (6:33), which features entirely too many men in skintight blue bodysuits as Lucas et al design and film the final battle.
22. And what's in "Dex's Kitchen and Still Galleries?"
Well, first up there are still galleries (natch) grouped under the headings of "Exclusive Production Photos," "One-Sheet Posters," and "International Outdoor Campaign." Then, if you click on the "To Dex's Kitchen" button, you're taken to a second page featuring three of the cooler and/or stranger extras:
• First up is "Films Are Not Released; They Escape: Creating A Universe of Sounds for Episode II" (25:40) — which is in many ways the coolest documentary on this disc. It chronicles the 25 years of effort on Star Wars' behalf by sound-design genius Ben Burtt. Burtt edits all the Star Wars footage these days, including visuals, but his first and best calling has always been sound design — and this doc is a marvelous look at an underappreciated element of filmmaking. We see actors at an ADR session; we see the original tapes Burtt used to make Star Wars, which are in serious disrepair; and we see Frank Oz recording his Yoda dialogue, which is just kind of weird to behold. (If you doubt Burtt's genius, BTW, listen to the six-hour "Star Wars Radio Show" sometime; it features a surprisingly nuanced performance by Mark Hamill and a rich, Burtt-designed audioscape that actually negates the need for visual effects.)
• Then there's an "Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage" — a 3:38 ILM demo reel that sort of sort of replaces the cumbersome angle-switching "storyboard to screen" comparison from the Phantom Menace DVD. Over a crappy techno soundtrack, it dissolves and wipes from raw bluescreen shots to finished footage.
• And finally, there's the mildly embarrassing "R2-D2: Beneath the Dome" (6:03) — a teaser for a multi-part "mockumentary" in which Lucas somehow got Richard Dreyfuss, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola (among others) to talk about Artoo as if he were a real, working actor who became a drunk in the early '90s. While this sort of echoes Ron Howard and Lucas pretending the Brownies were real on the Willow featurette, it is kind of amusing to see Richard Dreyfuss bitterly slamming Artoo as a "schmuck." Would Harrison Ford stoop to this?
23. Are there any "Easter eggs"?
I despise hidden special features with something approaching apoplexy, so I didn't look terribly hard. But according to The Digital Bits , here are a couple, and I quote:
• "To access an outtakes reel, go to the Options menu page [on Disc One] and press '10+', '1' and wait for the pause as the player accepts the input. Then press '3' and wait for the pause. Finally, press '8'." BTW, this features many gags involving incongruous placement of those horrible, bubble-butted cows from the film's meadow scenes, which should tell you what the ILM staffers thought of that particular creature.
• "To access images of flyers from the "Star Wars Want-Ads" college campaign, go to the 'Dex's Kitchen and Still Galleries' menu page [on Disc Two]. Select the 'To Dex's Kitchen' option. On the page with Dex, highlight 'Main Menu' and select 'Left' to highlight a small flyer on the wall of the kitchen behind Dex's head. Press 'Enter'."
And that, thank heaven, is that.
— Alexandra DuPont
• Anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1)
• Two-disc set
• Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (English), Dolby 2.0 Surround (French, Spanish)
• English subtitles
• Commentary by George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, editor and sound designer Ben Burtt, plus ILM creative masterminds Rob Coleman, Pablo Hellman, John Knoll and Ben Snow
• Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots
• "Across the Stars" music video
• Documentary: "From Puppets to Pixels: Digital Characters in Episode II"
• Documentary: "State of the Art: The Previsualization of Episode II"
• 8 deleted scenes with newly completed effects
• 3 featurettes: "Story," "Love," and "Action"
• 12 Web documentaries
• Production photos
• One-sheet posters and international outdoor campaign stills
• Documentary: "Films Are Not Released; They Escape: Creating A Universe of Sounds for Episode II"
• "Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage"
• "R2-D2: Beneath the Dome" mockumentary
• Easter egg: Outtakes reel
• Easter egg:"Star Wars Want Ads" college campaign
• Dual-DVD slimline keep-case
Nov. 11, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST
Cool...getting my advanced copy tomorrow. Not a perfect movie, not a perfect DVD perhaps, but I DO want to see the Padme Bedroom scene, and plus, it's all digital on my progressive scan player.
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:13 a.m. CST
Always love a good hate Talk Back! Seriously! As for your charge that I'm merely writing a "diatribe" against "Clones," did I not go out of my way to compliment many, many elements of the film? Alas; my remark about Yoda's prostate apparently paved over my praises. At any rate, I shall endeavour to be less self-obsessed. Of course, here I am reading my Talk Backs in the middle of the night, so I'm already failing at this task. Warmest, A.DuP.
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:18 a.m. CST
But are you a hottie, Ms. DuPont?
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:25 a.m. CST
I got my hands on the DVD last week as some stores in New York just put them out regardless of the proper release date. This review just reeks, REEKS of a thorough WISH to dislike every little inch of the disk, feature and extras alike. I really think people that were put off by the dialogue and acting in Attack of the Clones should take another look at the original 1977 Episode IV. It's the exact same director. People are just older and less open. I think while the excecution of the characters (Lucas has never known the first thing about directing actors, now made worse in a totally green screen environment) may be pretty encumbered, the story, meaning the events depicted and the inherent ideas in these events, is extraordinary, both on its own and in how it really fleshes out a lot of the clunkiness of Episode IV. As for the extras on the DVD, the deleted scenes add to the story, the documentaries are fascinating, and the menus are a blast. I swear people don't know how to have fun anymore.
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:28 a.m. CST
by Respect The Cock
...is damn right. I can't stand watching the action scenes in the new STAR WARS flicks because there's just TOO DAMN MUCH going on. I should be able to enjoy the friggin thing in one sitting, not watch the DVD eighty times to appreciate all the "artwork". Less IS more, George. And spot on, Alex, about the heinous and unbelievable "love story" (especially the "Stalker's Lament", which Alex writes with a capital S and capital L, no doubt from similar real life experiences from the staffers at AICN).
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:32 a.m. CST
by el oso
YODA DA MAN!
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:34 a.m. CST
by Respect The Cock
Having just read my post, let me make it perfectly clear that I would never EVER watch this piece of trash again, much less "eighty times on DVD". I was dragged to see CLONES in the theatre by the rest of my family in the film's eighth or ninth week of release, after which I happily took in SPIDER-MAN for the fifth time.
Nov. 11, 2002, 2:40 a.m. CST
by Respect The Cock
...what if Alex isn't really a woman? I'm reminded of that dude who writes in a gay/female voice for PREMIERE under the nom de plume of "Libby Gelman-Waxner" or whatever it is...yikes. However, if Ms. DuPont feels the need to prove her chromosome count, nekkid pictures may be e-mailed to me at...
Nov. 11, 2002, 3:02 a.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
I'm just saying. Not because of LotR or anything like that. More because of the movies themselves. I hate them. I hope Lucas has a major stroke. Or gets syphillus from one of the cheap wannbe starlet skanks he's seen around San Fran with. Syphillus or the clap, either would be fine with me.
Nov. 11, 2002, 3:17 a.m. CST
by Darth Melkor
You know I don't complain about people's opinions of films. You like a movie or you don't. Your thoughts mean nothing to me, but this person is so far off it's insane. She has all these points that make no sense as if she can only see a movie on the surface and not find underlying meanings. She actually complains that the acting isn't good in a deleted scene. A DELETED SCENE!? You're complaing about the content of a scene that wasn't even in the film? That's stretching your complaining a bit isn't it? Next you'll be fussing about the shirt Lucas is wearing in a making of documentary saying it brings down the entire film. Then she talks about pointless scenes like the early discussion about who's trying to kill Padme. It doesn't belong eh? No it doesn't, it just establishes the damn plot of the entire movie and explains the confederacy and Count Dooku. Or the funeral scene doesn't belong. Funny when I saw it I thought it was one of the most relevant. Remembar Anakin saying "I won't fail again"? Immediately I connected that with the ending of ROTJ when he saves Luke. See what you find when you actually see the film and don't just watch it? I could go on and on, but as someone above said I'd need about 10 pages to do so.
Nov. 11, 2002, 3:17 a.m. CST
... Did we need to see Luke burying Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? No. All we needed was a single, one-minute (if that) sequence of Luke staring at their burning bodies. It was powerful, iconic, simple -- and, above all, WORDLESS. The shot of Anakin carrying his mother into the house, glaring, had some of that power -- but THEN Lucas felt the need to do a narrative pile-on ... and, even worse, to have everyone TALK about it. Did the world need to hear Cliegg Lars talking about how much Shmi meant to him? My crime is not a "surface reading" of the film's text; my crime is understanding that there's a difference between SHOWING and TELLING -- and lamenting that Lucas seems to have forgotten that difference. Warmest, A.DuP.
Nov. 11, 2002, 3:33 a.m. CST
by Darth Melkor
Thanks for copying and pasting your hatred message from the other board. It's just so inciteful that this board would've been incomplete without it.
Nov. 11, 2002, 3:38 a.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
Luke's aunt and uncle's deaths didn't affect Luke the way Shmi's death affects Anakin. Luke wasn't terribly attached. And Clieg Lars gets his 2 cents in because he most likely plays a larger role in the next movie. Some stuff still has to go down on the Lars ranch.
Nov. 11, 2002, 4:09 a.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
No problem, my man, I'm here for you.
Nov. 11, 2002, 4:38 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
I agree with you completely. You are brilliant, eloquent, and in my dreams beautiful. Rock on with your bad self, sister. Fuck these blind lemmings and their willing acceptance of sub standard story telling wrapped in bright lights and pretty explosions.
Nov. 11, 2002, 4:44 a.m. CST
by Lazarus Long
Shame on you, Alexandra DuPont, and countless other critics, for failing to mention (and possibly even notice) the many references to other films and filmmakers found in Lucas' recent work. We all know the burnt bodies of Beru and Lars in ANH was a nod to The Searchers, but what about the nighttime "rescue" of Shmi in AOTC? It was shot almost EXACTLY like the rescue of Natalie Wood's char in The Searchers, including the drop off the cliff to the ground below to begin the scene. And didn't the Tusken's tents look a little like...teepees? Some may say this is just an example of how good Lucas is at ripping off stuff, but it's sad that many film viewers (and critics) are so poorly versed in film history. Considering Lucas called American Grafitti his version of "I Vitelloni", it's a little rash to write him off as some washed-up popcorn moviemaker with a muppet problem. The question to ask is WHY does he reference The Searchers? If you know what Ford's film says about the American West (another faded "Republic") and heroism, it might give you another perspective on what Lucas is trying to accomplish, regardless of how much it fits into Joseph Campbell's blueprint. Try looking a little deeper beneath the surface, where there IS stuff going on, to be sure, even though it may be surrounded by some stiff line readings and doo-doo jokes. Unfortunately our SFX fetishes and/or snobbery prevent many of us from acknowledging what Lucas has done on this enormous and uniquely imagined canvas, which is shit on so casually by those too naive to understand the truly great things hidden within.
Nov. 11, 2002, 4:53 a.m. CST
since i was distracted by 8 million figures from this shitty movie. pretty funny how he refrences a lot of things, but you put something about star wars your ass can get sued to hell! this movie was no way near great.
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:03 a.m. CST
So why have I had it since last Wednesday? Belive me people the deleted scene in Padme's home with Portman in that mid-drift revealing blue outfit is worth the price of the 2-disc set alone. Oh, the seismic mines sound awesome pumped through a decent digital sound system as well. Overall a good package, if not quite as good as the package that came with Ep1. 'The Beginning' was an excellent docu and whilst 'From puppets to pixels' is very good, it's not quite as good as 'The Beginning'. R2-D2 beneath the Dome is pretty funny, especially the stuff with Francis Ford Coppola. Man, I can't believe I got this DVD nearly a week early. I'm in the UK and went for the R1(US) disc because it didn't have Jango's headbutt cut out (damn you BBFC).
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:06 a.m. CST
" http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/38/clones1.htm " - It's the most insightful look at the prequels I've seen so far, and shows up the detractors and amateur journo's for the short-sighted hubristic victims of fashion they are. Take note ADP, sometimes I want to read an intelligent and perceptive critique, not a lame 'been to Blockbuster and read the back of the video and here's MY review!' level of professionalism - seriously, don't give up the day job.
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:36 a.m. CST
we want more of those Sarcastic Lesbian Filmmaker (tm) reviews that was burned into my brain from DuPont's first review of ATOC. good god, I need it like sweet crack.
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:44 a.m. CST
by pogo on my own
Here is a review from someone who loved the movie.....That was what she thought of the movie, live with it. Its not necessarily right or wrong. This was only a movie so calm down and enoy your DVD. I for one thought it was mediocre at best.
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:52 a.m. CST
by Interested Party
John Knoll was the overall visual effects supervisor, as well as the head of one of the three units. This is the same arrangement as with the Phantom Menace. (only on TPM, Knoll presided over the Dennis Muren and Scott Squires units) On Clones, the other two units were the Pablo Helman unit and the Ben Snow unit. Dennis Muren's only involvment in Clones was some team building on the Ben Snow unit, and some consultation work for that unit later.
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:05 a.m. CST
by Andy Travis
It's certainly not masterful storytelling, but none of the Star Wars films are. You guys seem to look at Star Wars through some sort of distorted lens. It's entertainment for young people, based upon comparative mythology. That's it. I love the films, but you have to step back and see them for what they are.
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:12 a.m. CST
My argument isn't *so much* that she has a negative review of the film although it is related to my point, it's more that she obviously took as much effort in writing it as she probably does to take a shit. She's an amateur with the perceptiveness of a dead chicken and the literary prowess of an autistic child who's learnt to write their name for the first time - plain and simple. And the article you refer to IS positive, yes, so? Does that make it null and void? What impresses me about it is it's revelatory and informative nature, the author has CLEARLY done his homework - that's what I admire. So Pogo, this isn't a SW thang baby, it's about ME expecting PROFESSIONALISM and DEPTH in a review. We all place films under tight scrutiny (esp SW) so why should 'reviews' be exempt?
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:21 a.m. CST
by Rick McCallum
My boss owns your asses -- and childhoods! BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...!!!!
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:32 a.m. CST
by Rick McCallum
Alexandria, I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. A sign of lousy/amateurish scriptwriting is when too much is said by characters and not enough stuff actually HAPPENS in the story. That's the problem with the Prequels so far -- there's just too damn much yimmer-yammering among the characters. And whenever there is action, these sequences all feel very inorganic, mechanical, artifical, storyboarded out. It's no wonder that the current video games based on AOTC are more fun to play than AOTC's action scenes are to watch.
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:32 a.m. CST
<posting as Rick McCallum is the height of hilarity! It is gauranteed to make people think I'm funny and original!> ... and with this newly aquired wisdom I take leave of this thread before any more of AIC's trademark dickheads turn up to turn intelligent talk shtoopid.
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:54 a.m. CST
Do you really think you need a Professor to recognize the high value of ATTACK OF THE CLONES? The movie is aimed at dumbasses in a Blockbuster store. SIMPLE; HAVING NO DEPTH = ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Pointing out the visual cribbages from old films doesn't mean Lucas is a genius or the reviewer is smart.
Nov. 11, 2002, 7:03 a.m. CST
SHIT!!!ADP good job, but you only went so far, i'll finish off for you. Really people AOTC, had really wooden acting, bad direction, extremely horrible writing(i really think GL getting his kids to write the scripts)and not to forget it has one of the worst titles in cinematic history.So back to the point, how the hell can anyone defend this utter shit. People its not just jar jar that make this evil, its the so very obvious continuality problems between this trilogy and the OT.R2D2 having leg jets, R2D2 and c3po meet owen lars(he bloody grew up with c3po),all the millions of new alien races that are'nt in OT,etc etc. Now i can hear you all saying"Well c3po didnt have his coverings""All the races will get killed during the clone wars"(which ive heard we will not see WTF) but that is just excuses to cover crap writing. The love story, well, what can i say. Not even in a Galaxy far far away would people speak such utter rubbish to each other, let alone fall for it, C"MON. Now to crown this all off, (i would love to mention or go on further about the, accents(or lack of),the acting(others have already said it all), GL(the glorified toymaker)and the overall destruction of all things Star Wars by the prequels)but all the fanboys(and girls)who think ILMs SFX were great, i must of seen a different movie. Because the movie i saw had some passable effects(alright maybe some of them were pretty great)and had the weakest jedi fight out of all the films(the Obe Wan/Anakin/Dooku fight, gave me a good laugh especially when the CGI,sorry i mean yoda joined(i love the noise he makes when he picks up his cane and trudges off). i dont know why Ewan didnt go all TPMing(the only thing good about TPM was the jedi fighting)on Dooku and then just **** Anakin the whining stalker right up there and then. Face it,GL has ****** it all up with only two hours to tell the fall of the empire, Anakin turning to the darkside, Obe Wan ******* Anakin up, Anakin turning into Vader, twins being born and seperated(lets see if he fucks that up coz only Yoda and Amidala can know about there being twins, Vader killing everyone, and the empire taking hold. really i could add more to that, but i think, how the hell will he fit that all in about a TWO hour movie? Maybe a 4 hour movie but not 2(unless he leaves the dialogue to grunts, moans and nods).Sorry about the length, but these things had to said. maybe its just my opinion, and im the only one who has a problem with it(judging by the BO results im not),but each to there own.If you feel im insulting you, maybe the truth hurts. So ill see all you SW TBers in about 2 and a half years when you all come gushing back, demanding you have seen the holy grail, when all it was, was a cup. P.S At least the Jacksons and the Wachowski brothers of this world have a brain(heart).
Nov. 11, 2002, 7:09 a.m. CST
by Rick McCallum
I am what is referred to as a "troll". I have modeled myself after a super-producer whose saucy vernacular I admire in an ironic, sarcastic sense. As a troll, I am here to enlighten, amuse and, perhaps even, arouse. As I am modeled after a powerful film industry personality whom you admire, fear, resent and give shitloads of money to, I give you permission to appreciate my generous elucidations to these Talkbacks. You are very welcome.
Nov. 11, 2002, 7:26 a.m. CST
Perhaps they're the same person, like Emperor Palpatine and Darth Sidious, only without the evil and the cleft chin. In any event, it's always good to see Ms. DuPont checking in, even if this one recycles a lot of her review of the theatrical release. Haven't read the talkback yet, but I expect to see more of the same 'Alexandra is hot' vs. 'How dare this...this female poop on God's latest film??' Easy, guys. It's only a movie. And a lame one. And whether a DVD reviewer or a lesbian filmmaker designed the Chocula/puppet sneer, it was funny as fuck last summer and it's funny as fuck again now.
Nov. 11, 2002, 7:33 a.m. CST
I really thought i would of been crucified by now. You know for holding a flame to SWs, i'm surprised. Maybe some flaming is good sometimes, coz pain is a feeling, and it must be good to have them back. And also for those TBers on another topic, who think ILM are three years ahead of the rest, all the shots of Gollum ARE CGI. They're not puppets at all, as others already have said,but are CGI. I know some TBer will bring up how great ILM to everyone else, but go see those shots of Gollum now and Treebeard now. I bet ya GLs talking to WETA right now. If not he should be. See ya space cowboys
Nov. 11, 2002, 8:48 a.m. CST
by Gellar's Ass
Even if Lucas had to paint them on the handmaidens using CGI. Throwing in Portman's intergalactic nipples for no particular reason was a nice touch, though.
Nov. 11, 2002, 9:35 a.m. CST
by Moose of Heaven
That is all.
Nov. 11, 2002, 11:39 a.m. CST
Now THIS is Star Wars as it was meant to be seen...with a fast forward button...
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:04 p.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
AOTC was lower than Independance Day? Thats sad.
Nov. 11, 2002, 5:21 p.m. CST
by frank cotton
i can't help it, i like her. haven't read any of herc's stuff, so i can't address who sounds like who. haven't seen clones yet (will remedy that tommorrow), but it can't be any worse than TPM, which, jar-jar and midiclorians notwithstanding, was at least entertaining. and that's all it's for. ENTERTAINMENT. it's not supposed to be the peak of human creativity. you want depth, read a book. i too would like to see a picture of her (surfed around, but didn't find anything). hope she really is a chick.
Nov. 11, 2002, 6:49 p.m. CST
I don't agre with everything, of course, but you put into words many of the feelings I also had for the film. In the end, for me, not much really happened in this movie, and so much could have.
Nov. 11, 2002, 8:19 p.m. CST
by Dawn O' the Dead
But I appreciate my "Count Chocula fighting the puppet" remark being described as "funny as fuck." That's the sort of praise every girl lives for. Well, this girl, anyway. To answer your question, Martin, I made the remark. A. duP. gave me the cover identity of R.H., Lesbian Filmaker, thinking perhaps that a rampaging hoard of furious fanboys might seek me out and give me a limp-wristed smackdown for my remark. But I'm made of sterner stuff, and told her to go ahead and ID me. Thank you for your interest, may the force be with you, and nanu-nanu, y'all.
Nov. 11, 2002, 9:08 p.m. CST
I like Yoda. And I like Christopher Lee. And their duel was the funniest, wrongest thing I've seen in a sci-fi movie since Keanu screamed 'I WANT ROOM SERVICE! I WANT MY SHIRTS LAUNDERED!' in 'Johnny Mnemonic.' And then to come home and read the review: '...count chocula... puppet... bwaaahahahaha' ...I had to go away from the computer for a few minutes. So whether it was Dawn Taylor the reviewer of DVDs, or R.H. the lesbian filmmaker, or some Brundlefly third party (R.H. Taylor the DVD-maker and reviewer of lesbians, perhaps), it was, as has been noted, funny as fuck, comical as copulation, whatever. Just wanted to give a shout-out to whoever said it; the mystery of the sneerer's identity hadn't been weighing on me or anything. Well, not much. The meds have been helping. Really.
Nov. 11, 2002, 9:17 p.m. CST
by Red Raider
...is with the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone's FX were helmed by Sony Imageworks. The upcoming Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets' FX are helmed by ILM. Watch both and judge for yourself which looks better, especially the quidditch sequences. ____Another example is the upcoming Star Trek: Nemesis movie. Digital Domain is handling the FX chores for that film. Usually in the past it's been ILM. See how DD's work holds up against ILM's......
Nov. 11, 2002, 9:29 p.m. CST
Many who have posted believe this review was poor in its assessment of Episode 2. I disagree. The review captures the essence of the film:its mediocrity. No, Episode 2 is not on par with the original trilogy, nor is it the godawful mess that was the Phantom Menace. The good points of the film are mentioned in the review, as are the bad. This review did not strike me as Lucas-bashing or Star Wars-bashing in any way.
Nov. 11, 2002, 9:30 p.m. CST
I just like how your defense of GL's redundant lullaby dialogue was, like, seventeen pages long. I didn't even read it, I was laughing so hard.
Nov. 11, 2002, 10:30 p.m. CST
having to hear the Godawful commercials on TV every few minutes. "Who's the man? Yo Da Man!!!" Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one?
Nov. 11, 2002, 10:42 p.m. CST
by George Peppard
All that Joseph campbell myth crap was put forth later in the 80s by dorks who felt guilty about still liking star wars instead of moving on to acid-wash pants like the rest of us. And Lucas went right along with it "yeah, it's a modern-myth tale of mythical mythmaking blah blah" About the talky scenes, I think Return of the Jedi suffered from TOO MUCH economy in the storytelling, and since Star wars, Empire (and Raiders) did it perfectly, I think its okay that this new trilogy has more "environment time" to look out the window at stuff. Clones was neat.
Nov. 11, 2002, 11:07 p.m. CST
Nov. 11, 2002, 11:36 p.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
Well, fuck, I better cancel that FTD order...
Nov. 11, 2002, 11:38 p.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
"I'm in my 30's, well-read, and capable of being the most straight-laced person you'd know... But I can still let go for a couple hours and enjoy Star Wars without picking it apart like it's supposed to be Citizen Kane." Any foxy ladies interested, cause this hound is on the hunt! (Brought to you by the Talkback dating service.)
Good Lord, doesn't anyone realize that these characters are SUPPOSED to have a sophomoric romance? They're two budding adults who have NEVER had a romantic realtionship before...how the hell should we expect them to feel/react? If they reacted like two people who have loved and lost before, it wouldn't have been real. They're two kids in adult bodies, and while kind of silly, it comes across as real, because that's how any 13 year old would react on his/her first love..it just so happens that these two are a lot older experiencing first love.
Nov. 12, 2002, 12:41 a.m. CST
...you're wasting your time. Alexandra doesn't write for this site, her articles are cut-and-pasted on here because Harry and Herc want them here. You want this nitpicky, self-righteous, lesbian-filmmaking thesaurus-fucker off of this site? Well, then bitch to Harry and Herc, not to her. You really think Miss Thing is gonna stoop so low as to come hang out with us schlubs? Think again... Go write an e-mail to Harry and bitch about this bitch, because The Force is telling me that yelling about it on talkbacks ain't gonna do a thing. Alexandra, if you ever do come slumming around here looking for a throaty little chuckle, check this out - in my mind, you've got a mild talent for words, but honestly, your writing style is incredibly annoying and condescending. If you address people like you don't respect them or care about what they're thinking about you as a writer, then odds are that you're probably not going to gain much of a fan base in the future. Write to people like you're talking to them; it works every time. If "critics" like yourself and most talkbackers would do exactly that, then maybe websites like this would be a bit more enjoyable to visit.
Nov. 12, 2002, 1:52 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
If by best of the genre you mean the "crappy film" genre, then I agree.
Nov. 12, 2002, 2:52 a.m. CST
The more time goes by on these new films, the more I become convinced (and Ms DuPont begins to touch on this before chickening out at the last minute) that the negative comparisons between the original "holy trinity" and the new films has more to do with the fans artificially pumping up the merits of the originals than any shortcomings in the new films. Damn, that was a long sentence. Essentially, time has given many of you a far rosier picture of the original films than is really warranted. Take another look at Carrie Fisher's performance in "Star Wars" (objectively, please) and then tell me again how stiff Natalie Portman is. Forget for a moment that you've heard the lines a hundred times, and roll the phrase "I don't know where you get your delusions, laser brain" around in your head for a moment. Is that the dialogue to which you're unfavorably comparing the new stuff? Maybe you should all stop worshipping at the altar of the original trilogy and get just a teensy amount of perspective, then approach the current films as the ENTERTAINMENT which they are intended to be; not mythology, not legend, just entertainment. If you do, you might just relax and have fun with it. God forbid.
Nov. 12, 2002, 3:58 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
I enjoy hundreds that aren't "great cinema" and as flawed as the OT was (and I freely admit that they are very flawed), there was still an epic majic to them that is lacking in these last two. Not to mention the fact that Lucas is more concerned with his FX than with the story. I think, for me, it comes down to the fact that I've outgrown Lucas's ability as a storyteller. I expect more, even from fun, dumb movies. Things like characterization, plot, dialogue, it has to be forefront and Lucas can't do that. You want to like it, fine, but I don't. And I won't accept people as touting them as great, at best, AT BEST, they are Okay. Where's the love, man, wheres the love?
Nov. 12, 2002, 5:22 a.m. CST
It is interesting to note, that in these uncertain political times, creators of texts are turning more and more to themes that hark back to our darkest times; in this case, war. Charlotte Grey (2002), Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Thin Red Line (1998), We Were Soldiers (2002) all attempt to make sense of the futility of war and the effect on the human spirit. We have since had The Lord of the Rings (2002) in which the effects of the Industrial Revolution have inexorably led to a greater global conflict. On television, programmes like The Cazalets (2001) and The 1940s House (2001) have explored the effects of World War II on the ordinary citizen. In the first Star Wars (1977 - 1983) films, George Lucas had referenced the causes and effects of World War II. Now he gives us Star Wars Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones (2002) in which, he attempts to lay some blame on the politicians who draw society into the trap of war. Of course Lucas, like Spielberg, has always been interested in the 1930s and 1940s through the films, design, values and attitudes of the periods. These directors are not just harking back to a `golden age' of filmmaking. Instead, they are referencing them to make sense of them historically and to make modern audiences question their own values that have become blurred since WWII ended. In Clones, when Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) stands alone looking out over a balcony onto a serene lake on the planet Naboo, his posture and the camera angle reference Hitler doing much the same thing at the Berghof, Berchtesgaden. There are numerous visual references to the Nuremberg Rallies and a cinematic nod to Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will (1934). This episode of the series is a heart on his sleeve celebration of all things cinematic. The dialogue is pure 1940s and the production design is a glorious reworking of Bauhaus, Art Deco, Frank Lloyd Wright, De Chirico and even The Trigan Empire comics. For the planet Coruscant, a city much like New York emerges from the clouds, but New York was never like this. Referencing Things to Come (1936), Lucas gives us a metropolis by way of The Fifth Element (1997) and Blade Runner(1982). His opening shots are paraphrasing the conversation in Lunar Hilton in 2001 (1968) and his initial chase sequence comes out of knowledge of film noir. Lucas understands action and he knows how to cut action but he has difficulty directing people. His old-fashioned lines need an old-fashioned style. Charlton Heston can do cheesy dialogue and so can Harrison Ford but oldies such as Christopher Lee and Ian McDiarmid overshadow the young cast. Some of the casting is woeful - who in their right mind convinced Lucas to hire Samuel L Jackson? He looks uncomfortable, especially in his fight scenes. Lee as Dooku, the Jedi turned bad has a wonderful light sabre battle with Yoda, a highlight of the film and, once again, shows that casting is everything. The Casablanca (1942) sequence, lit almost exactly as the original, has all the ingredients - fireplace, shadows, music and Natalie Portman even does a credible Ingrid Bergman but it lacks the spark and yet, if you look at the eyes of the actors, it's all there. It needed a people's director to bring it out. You will forgive Lucas, however, because he is making a 40s film and he is referencing an age gone by, for new audiences. When he has Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) on screen he draws his inspiration from the actresses of the past - Hepburn, Harlow, Bergman and he paraphrases the movies that must have been his formative learning and his pleasure. In an idyllic world called Naboo, we see glimpses of Camelot (1967) and The Sound of Music (1965) and he pays homage to Sergio Leone by calling his bounty hunter Jango as well as referencing Django (1966) in the Clint Eastwood poncho that Anakin wears as the lovers flee Paris, oops Coruscant. This is a very sophisticated movie, dull in parts but high on adrenalin and full of detail and made with love. It is much darker than The Phantom Menace (1999) especially in the scene where our hero finds his abused mother in the Raiders camp and kills every male, female, child and animal within reach. He is an outcast, forever looking through windows (one of the recurring motifs in the film) and like John Wayne in The Searchers (1956), he cannot comprehend a world of double dealing and politics. Like Arthur in Camelot (1967), he toys with the idea of a benevolent dictatorship. This sequence is made the more poignant because we know how this is all going to turn out, having seen the films that follow this one. You can be forgiven that these knights are a bit thick and the senate much like a circus (which it resembles strongly in the film) but Lucas is making a point here. These warriors belong to a chivalrous age; one that is fading before their eyes and all the technology that surrounds them is purely enslavement to a future where machines and clones rule the day. The early genesis of the Imperial Storm troopers is also eerie because we know what will happen. Lucas wants us to see what will happen when we are duped as Jar-Jar Binks is duped in the senate to allow unchallenged powers to Senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and when we are not vigilant. In ET (1982), a movie marquee warned us to Watch the Skies! (the working title for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)) and here, that warning ( itself a motif in Lucas and Spielberg films) gains further resonance with his referencing of such science fiction films as AI (2001), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Things to Come (1936), Dr Strangelove (1964), The Fifth Element, The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and of course his own Star Wars films. Lucas also creates a world, which is heavily influenced by Asian culture, to make it all the more alienating (excuse the pun). This is a world that is imploding from the inside and is it any wonder that there are so many nasty creatures both humanoid and animal that inhabit it? A recurring motif in this film is the endless walking that characters do usually in corridors. They never seem to get anywhere just as their futile quest to maintain a sane, just world is doomed from the start. One of the big set pieces is the arena sequence - a fantastic reworking of the colosseum sequence from Quo Vadis? (1951). It is here that Lucas saves his best for last. The sequence becomes a fight for the past and he throws all the WWII imagery he can at this scene. We have Lancaster Bombers, B52s, and war on a grand scale. What he does not do, however, is to give us a satisfactory comeuppance for the baddies. He shows us how the seeds of these warriors' destruction have been sown. Lucas plays with colour in this film. He uses mainly blues and colder colours to begin and ends with sunsets as twilight of the gods. As Merlin says in Excalibur (1981), `it is a time of men and their ways, our time has come. The old magic has given way to new gods'. When Annkin/Arthur marries his Padme/Guenivere, it is at sunset; a hasty marriage or a doomed lover's pact? This film is as dark as The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and deserves to be seen in this light. Lucas is a clever filmmaker and he sometimes lets his themes and myths get in the way of good storytelling but this film is a celebration of film, a celebration of the human spirit to overcome adversity and a timely warning to heed the history lessons of the past. A class act and a must see.
Nov. 12, 2002, 8:31 a.m. CST
Nov. 12, 2002, 8:41 a.m. CST
Why, oh why do all you pseudo-intellectuals insist on needless pontification on something which should be seen as pure popcorn ind ulgence. The guy further up the page who wrote a 6 million word diatribe on the various references George Lucas used for AOTC wasted his time. The Star Wars franchise is not something we should over analyse. The Star Wars franchise is not religion. Wake up and smell the roses you fools, look at Star Wars for what it is. Some of it is good, some is bad but ultimately it's only lightweight entertainment. Not War and Piece.
Nov. 12, 2002, 9:03 a.m. CST
It is not a great movie. Sharing her observations of such does not make her a bad writer -- nor does her writing something you do not agree with. "Star Wars" was a great series of three film from the late seventies and eighties. This new stuff is nothing more than incredibly lifeless performances surrounded by thousands of zooming, headache enducing pixels -- and in desperate need of the passion and kinetic energy of a "Han Solo." It's terrible -- and no amount of love or reverence for what has come before will change that. The LOTR trilogy is as close to the honest, visionary passion you'll come to recapturing that magic -- and it actually has actors that emote.
Nov. 12, 2002, 9:28 a.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
It's pretty pathetic to find that one of the chief critiques of this review revolves around lesbianism. Lame, lame, lame. Agree or disagree with the points, this was a well-written, well-balanced review. Bravo, Dupont. Here's hoping that one day you and Moriarty open up a shop together. Ahh, it'd be movie review heaven. Anyway, I'm sure, in time, I'll buy this DVD, but I bet I won't respect myself in the morning. But dammit, I'm a collector, so I can't help myself. But at least I can watch it and skip through the lifeless middle section. And fettastic, again, what's the obsession with box office and money? It is not how most of us rate a movie's quality, yet you persist on hammering us with the math, even though we don't care! Argue the merits of the movie, not the finances of it. For fuck's sake, Titanic was a big seller, and that movie sucks. Big money returns does not a quality movie make. Anyway, that's all for now. To sum: Dupont, nice work. Clones, a melange of bad, mediocre, and spectacular. fettastic, shut up.
Nov. 12, 2002, 10:06 a.m. CST
I'm baffled. It's nice to see a sensible review of this wretchedly average movie on AICN. It's actually much more forgiving than my own opinion of the pre-series. Hurry back with your LOTR review, Ms. DuPont.
Nov. 12, 2002, 10:31 a.m. CST
"Take note ADP, sometimes I want to read an intelligent and perceptive critique, not a lame 'been to Blockbuster and read the back of the video and here's MY review!' level of professionalism - seriously, don't give up the day job." What the fuck? ADP is the best reviewer they've ever had on this normally misogynistic site. That 'Blockbuster' comment rightfully applies to just about everyone who posts on Talkback, not ADP. The one thing she didn't bring up here is the irony of having Obi-Wan play the Han Solo role here ... the voice of incredulity ... that grounded A New Hope and Empire.
Nov. 12, 2002, 11:23 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
Titanic: Number one grossing movie of all time. HA! Beat you to it, Fettastic you butthole!
Nov. 12, 2002, 11:43 a.m. CST
People, people, people...... So here we go again....AOTC is out on DVD and the arguements start anew......of course, they never went away.....u can go to any Talkbalk, for any movie on this site, and find a comment along the lines of "<Insert movie here> kicks AOTC ass!!!!".....well, I gotta say, I think this movie is being over scrutinized and put under a microscope, but it's Star Wars, so that comes with the territory......I dunno, I can see that AOTC is not the best movie of the year, not an Oscar contender, not an intelligent and beautiful polemic regarding politics and love....it's Star Wars....and I loved it...'cause it's Star Wars....yes, oversimplified, but true.....when I discovered this site, I was excited that I could let my geek light shine amongst like-minded individuals....but 4 years on, I'm just utterly embarrassed to be a geek.....I just can't HATE everything like most of u guys do.....I mean, I feel like I have to own every Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Bruce Campbell film to even be considered worthy to log onto this site......it's Star Wars, it's entertainment....AOTC is the 13th biggest movie of all time.....SOMEONE had to like it.....and yes, I do relize that the "time" of Star Wars is now past.....there are new things, new trends......LOTR, Spidey, the Matrix, Harry Potter......and that's not a bad thing.....I loved Spidey, bad parts and all.....I loved LOTR, boring parts and all, and look forward to TTT.....I liked the Matrix, not a huge fan but respect what it was.....I even thought Harry Potter was ok, not great but mildly entertaining.....so Star Wars is not "it" anymore....but the 5th movie in a series, a series 25 years old, makes over $300 million....SOMEONE had to like it....I dunno, I understand and agree that movie should be reviewed and talked about, argued over and what not....but it seems that Star Wars is always over-analyzed to the 10th degree.....I think Alexandria is great at what she does, but c'mon....if she just said she didn't like it, albeit more eloquently I'm sure, I could understand....but this reveiw just boarders on anal retentive whining.....ah well, I ain't gonna change minds, and don't want to......I loved it, and can't wait till '05
Nov. 12, 2002, 1:22 p.m. CST
... to partake in their $9.99 DVD deal. He just came back and said that when the store opened, everyone bum rushed the standee that the DVDs were in and it got crushed. What a bunch of idiots.
Nov. 12, 2002, 1:24 p.m. CST
... at Toys R Us, the 12" Luke on Tauntauns collect dust. It wasn't too long ago where that would of never happened. Anyone remember when 12" Han Solo on Tauntaun didn't even make it out onto the sales floor? What has changed? (the answer isn't that they made more, not true)
Nov. 12, 2002, 1:51 p.m. CST
All I can say about the ILM work in AFTC is look at the speeder bike chase in ROTJ, it is so much more memorable than anything in the EP1&2, and this shot, what? 16/17 years ago !! The virtual sets just don't work for me. I really can't see the point in spending million's on CGI that just looks fake. It's time things where taken back to basics....
Nov. 12, 2002, 1:58 p.m. CST
"He's no good to me dead, brother." Sorry, Chaffro. Had to steal your gimmick for a bit. I promise, it's the only time. Now and Forever, Poops
Nov. 12, 2002, 2:15 p.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
The models and mat paintings looked 1oo times better than anything in the prequels.
Nov. 12, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
Damn, I'm sorry Mom. And thats the new carpet too. My bad. I need to write that down. Wipe ass... wipe ass. I wonder if George forgets to wipe? Oh wait, obviously not, because he wiped his ass all over AOTC.
Nov. 12, 2002, 3:51 p.m. CST
While bordering on pedantic at times, Alexandra Dupont is a great writer. Moriarty is more relaxed and "comfortable" to read, perhaps, but Dupont's reviews are well thought out, well-organized, and uncommonly (especially for this site) well written. I actually agree with her opinion, so I'm more emotionally prepared to defend her writing, but at least her arguments are supported with specific examples. It certainly beats the usual (though often fun) rants with eight exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and no specifics.
Nov. 12, 2002, 4:07 p.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
True, but they still look better than anything in the prequels
Nov. 12, 2002, 4:48 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
I went to the mirror and said: "Judge Ye is a moron. Judge Ye knows nothing about criticism. The only criticism Judge Ye understands is when his mother screams "Why are you such an asshole, clean your basement hole, you dipshit, or wear your shit stains IN, scrot." But I don't see the point as to why.
Nov. 12, 2002, 6:06 p.m. CST
Obi-Wan and Jango's meeting IS NOT DULL. Anakin and Palpatine's meeting IS NOT DULL. And i STILL think AOTC is the second best of the series.
Nov. 12, 2002, 9:15 p.m. CST
.....just dont see the new star wars movies!! Youguys keep forgetting that no one forces you to go to the movies. Just watch the original trilogy. Or go see the IMAX version if you can. It cuts out a lot of the scens all you whining fanboys hated. As for myself, while AOTC had a few rough spots, it was much better than phantom menace. Digital Yoda was ok, but it was more of a "we're sick of you asking to see Yoda fight, so we'll do it" thing. other than that Im gonna buy both this dvd and the fotr deluxe edition today.
Nov. 12, 2002, 9:39 p.m. CST
by The Killer-Goat
Classic humor, good delivery, well done. I have to agree with the concensus that too many folks are comparing the new prequels to the older trilogy. It's not the same. Basically Lucas had such a great thing that it shot him in the ass 2 decades later. Everyone has advanced their perspectives and expectations on films in some way or another, no matter how minute, in part thanks to the Star Wars films of yore. The new films are just promotional advertisements to market Lucas' new copyrighted film technologies, really. Consider that Lucas waited so long after the original story to start a new one. And it ain't even NEW, chronologically speaking. It's old, beforehand, past tense. But with all this nice new advanced stuff to please all the kiddies whose perspectives have been upgraded a couple notches towards the film industry. The original effects are crappy by TODAY'S standards, granted. So maybe they were back then, also? Well,it certainly appears there was alot more ambition and effort invested by such a small group of guys supposedly destined for failure to get one unlikely mega-hit off the ground back then. So, we should stop expecting anything from Lucas from now on? Just go in with an open mind? Okay, sure, except I can do that just watching drek on TV and that costs nothing. For my personal record, any investment of compassion or conviction for the material in EP I & II placed them both in a tie for Return of the Jedi. Considering that back then we had gone from the dark and creepy ESB (good, powerful stuff), to the watered down teddy-bear fare of ROTJ, that's not the best 3rd place. Kind of a "less taste, great filling" sensation. However, even though the line delivery was lackluster, I agree that Lucas's plotlines got ramped up pretty good for the second half of the film. All the characters get so caught up with the puppets they completely ignore the puppetmaster. The foreshadowing build-up to the 3rd prequel storyline was deviously subtle enough not to distract from the fun battle.
Nov. 12, 2002, 10:51 p.m. CST
by Darth Melkor
Wow, that's funny since it was announced last week that the SW toy line was number 1 this past year. It sold more than LOTR, Harry Potter, Spider-man and the king of them all, Disney. Yup that's a sure sign of a "dead" franchise. And let's see the fifth film in any other series make 300 million damn dollars.
Nov. 13, 2002, 12:53 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
HOLY SHIT? Next you're going to tell me that earth revolves around the sun. Well let me tell you something, Galileo, I'm not buying it. You can't fool me; I know there is a huge arena out there somewhere that was built especially for the movie. What about all the reports of the Jewish slaves and that guy leading them across the Sea? What about that, Mr. Smarty-pants? Now who doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about? huh? HUH? Anyway, I don't hold a grudge against Lucas and don't rail against him anymore, I'm really only hanging here to throw gas on the fire and this promised to be a lively talkback. So its true, that I'm not a big fan of the latest ones, but you know what is the strangest paradox of the new ones? "And it ain't even NEW, chronologically speaking. It's old, beforehand, past tense." This is a true statement, and yet doesn't it strike anyone as strange that even though these take place 30 years in the past, all of the tech and designs look WAY more advanced? The ships in the OT had wires and tubes everywhere and look at the ones in these films. It just strikes me as strange. The question of how they were going to deal with the lower tech of the story's past with better FX capabilities of today was something I was looking forward too. I'm surprised that they didn't concentrate on that more.
Nov. 13, 2002, 1:01 a.m. CST
Oh my god! This is the best DVD set of all time! Nothing can compare to it. Can't believe people where buying that Episode II preview on DVD today. Can't they wait for the real EpisodeII "The Two Towers" on Dec 18. That fake Episode II had bad acting and no director. He just sat around and ate cheeseburgers! To that asshole who said that the extended scene on Fellowship where like "Phantom Menace" You got to be out of you mind. The acting is great and the Extended version is the best version of "Fellowship" Well, time to get back to watching my hold 4 disk set. What did you Star Wars geeks get. Two?
Nov. 13, 2002, 3:49 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
"Hey Legolas, let's see how many Bored of the Rings toys are collecting dust at ToysRUs. Twelve-sided dice and Dungeon Master Guides aren't exactly flying off the shelves, either peckerbreath." Dungeon Master jokes. This from a Star Wars fan. Hey, Newbomb, how's your lightsaber? Are your Jedi robes cleaned and pressed? Way to call the kettle black, nerd....
Nov. 13, 2002, 3:54 a.m. CST
by Qwerty Uiop
I don't know about the rest of you, but the sole reason I post here is too impress all the ladies with how "hip" I am. Me: "So, the other day, this guy posted on the talkback saying how cool Star Wars was, and I said to him, I said... get this: You know what? Star Wars is lame, it has terrible character development, move out of your moms basement. Needless to say, I zinged him good." Hot Lady #1: "You're so cool, Qwerty." Hot Lady #2: "And hip, tell us more, stud." Works everytime...
Nov. 13, 2002, 4:23 a.m. CST
Nov. 13, 2002, 4:28 a.m. CST
Anyone sick of Mr Judge Ye? His pathetic attempts at insults are just tiresome. I thought this was a platform for intelligent debate. Go back to school and find some manners little boy.
Nov. 13, 2002, 8:38 a.m. CST
Reading that article about how the score was chopped up, and even worse, turned down to nothing more than ambience, I can fully say that I don't blame Lucas much at all. Blame Ben FARGIN Burtt. See, this time around, not only is good ol' Burtt doing sound design for the film...he's also EDITING it!!! Yes, the FILM! So having watched the film again, I noticed something strange. Not only is the music kept really low and ambient...but the sound FX are IN YOUR FACE! Almost as if SOMEONE WANTED YOU TO HEAR IT LOUD AND CLEAR! Yepp...blame Ben Burtt. Cuz as good as a sound designer as he is...the fucker just hogged the mix with his FX, and gave poor ol' John W. the shaft. Note to Lucas: -don't let sound designers and foley artists EDIT YOUR DAMN MOVIE! Oh yeah...and the edit was slow, choppy, and the pacing sucked poodoo. There, I said it =P
Nov. 13, 2002, 9:28 a.m. CST
It's better not to think of ''Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones'' as a film, as it fails on almost every cinematic level. Though ''Clones'' is better than ''The Phantom Menace,'' the writing is still pedantic, the acting even more detached, and the direction remains ham-fisted. And so, the crucial love story -- between raging Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and stifled senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) -- is fatally laughable. Even worse, the movie has no drama of its own. The events that transpire -- and they're too inconsequentially complex to detail -- have weight only if you know that Anakin will become Darth Vader in ''Episode III.'' ''Clones'' is all foreshadow and fog. However, as a digital laboratory, ''Clones'' is a marvel. George Lucas is rewriting the moviemaking manual, and in his world, sets, locations, stuntmen, and even actual film are all but irrelevant. The verisimilitude of his CG universe is staggering, but never totally convincing (one always senses that the actors are wandering through paintings -- incredibly beautiful paintings, but paintings nonetheless). Lucas is putting things on screen never seen before; if only the movie were worth the effort. Grade: B- This was taken from Entertainment Weekly.
Nov. 13, 2002, 10:36 a.m. CST
REally whats the point in wasting your time and energy reading a story about star wars and than commenting on how much you hate it. If you disliked why not do what most people do just forget about it. There have been plenty of films that I have hated but I don't waste any of my time continually thinking about them. So for all the haters out there grow up and find a new hobby. Alexandra that includes you. We get it you didn't really like the movie. We understood that after your film review of it. So why write a DVD review. Why do you still care about a movie that you don't really care about?
Nov. 13, 2002, 1:36 p.m. CST
Hey, we can waste our time going back and forth and back and forth and backandforthandback--enough!--but what AOTC means to me (an essay by J. Dwarf) is that Ep III (ROTS or whatever he calls it)is going to be a big, fat clunker. It's clear that for every layer of icing on the last two films, there's less and less humanity involved. I don't really think that you can have both while this technology is in its infancy. G-Lu does not have the balls to NOT pull punches for the far, far away galaxy's darkest hour. Either that or he ABSOLUTELY CANNOT AND WILL NOT allow a PG-13 rating. Which "Clones" coulda and shoulda had. I mean, Gandalf's fall--whoops, not goin' there today. Sorry. Anyways, this movie while by no means is "Bad" overall, but it's even more of a disappointment, because trying to foresee Lucas' strategical arc for mass appeal, I could almost forgive "Menace". But watching those grainy "Empire" clips on the supplemental DVD just were a big smack in the face. And Ms. DuPont, if you are half as beautiful as your writing, then even Monica Bellucci and Jennifer Connelly might be put to shame. Yeah, I'm gushing. I know....
Nov. 13, 2002, 1:40 p.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
Egads. It's a movie talkback, folks. Anyone can say whatever the hell they want. Don't bother telling people not to post if they didn't like the movie, because it's pointless. In all honesty, if the negative posts bother you so much, you need to find another forum. Anyway, my earlier point stands - This was a phenomenal 45 minutes, preceded by a long, slow, over-plotted 90 minutes. I wish I did't feel that way, because I do love eps 4-6, and I'm actually quite fond of TPM. But this was just a let-down to me, I'm sorry. Now all you AOTC lovers can pitch a shitfit all you like, but I think that was a pretty harmless post... Oh, and by the way. Tyalto - you really are an obnoxious sonofabitch, you know that?
Nov. 13, 2002, 2:36 p.m. CST
First off, as far as the area I live in, the LOTR toys are flying off the shelves. There might be some Arwen/Lurtz related toys choking the shelves, but other than that, nothing. If I'm wrong, please point me to a store that has LOTR toys gathering dust because I want to go there. I have some The Two Towers toys yet to pick up and everywhere I've been, they are sold out. *** Second, what does 20 side dice and Dungeon Master manuals have to do with LOTR? Nothing, that's what. *** Third, my comment about the 12" Luke/Tauntaun collecting dust was to point out how much Star Wars fandom has decreased because I believe that the toy sales are a good indication of fandom as I have yet to have come into contact with a Star Wars fan that didn't have any or all the toys. Hell, I have almost everything that came out in 1996 up until The Phantom Menace came out. That period in time, Star Wars toys barely made it out onto the floor! Kenner couldn't make them fast enough. Employees took them out the back door and sold them on eBay. Boxes in the back of the store were ransacked. Nerds would line up before the store opened every Saturday morning and run (yes, RUN) to the toy section and buy up everything they saw. Nowadays, you can walk into the store and get any or all Episode 1 toys (which has all been pretty much on Clearance since 6 months after Episode 1 was released, probably a first for any Star Wars movie!) or Episode 2 toys and even, sadly enough, stuff from the Original Trilogy like the aformentioned 12" Luke/Tauntaun that, in 1997, would be on eBay right now going for at least $200. Like I said, no they aren't making more of them, more likely less. So why are they just sitting there in stacks? Because no one, in general, cares. And it doesn't matter that Star Wars toys are the number #1 selling toy of last year (I really don't know if that's true or not, and if so, they had a lot more figures and toys to sell than, say, LOTR, which only had the basic characters in figure form with no playsets or ships, etc.), the point was is that Star Wars used to clean house in the merchandise department and now it's barely squeaking by.
Nov. 13, 2002, 3:34 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
Judge Ye is really only cruising for dick. Sick, man, there's other TBs for that.
Nov. 13, 2002, 4:22 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! Whew, good one. Oh, my sides. I need a glass of water. Hoof Mouth, pure genius. You see, everyone, my handle is Hoof Hearted, but Judge Ye turned it around on me and called me Hoof Mouth! Boy, is my face red. HAHAHAHA. Oh, my eyes are watering... Good one... Sorry about striking such a nerve with the gay thing, guess you're not ready to come out yet, huh? ... Hoof Mouth, you guys and your comedy... Whew...
Nov. 13, 2002, 4:40 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
Judge Ye what does: "You are so patheitically out of touch with any form of reality, you turned 12" mean? That makes no sense.
Nov. 13, 2002, 5:17 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
You have no idea either?
Nov. 13, 2002, 5:19 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
Now with the sperm eating, huh? Poor, poor closet case...
Nov. 13, 2002, 10:54 p.m. CST
This tb has really lost it. now its just a bunch of whiny kids arguing about toys. GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nov. 13, 2002, 11:47 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
I happen to be argueing as to whether or not Judge ye is a closeted homosexual. Stay with the Tour, man.
Nov. 14, 2002, 5:53 a.m. CST
by Interested Party
Red Raider, ILM's last work on the Star Trek movies was on the six-year-old Star Trek: First Contact. That will only be an interesting comparison if D2's work is worse... LOL.
Nov. 14, 2002, 8:56 a.m. CST
No doubt about it: Judge Ye is a freak of the highest order! He is very funny. Who's up for starting a Judge Ye Fan Club? All pray at the altar of Judge Ye. Star Wars merchandise: PAH! I've just registered a new trademark. Merchandise is all shit and here's the new KING! Judge Ye in a box. Well, I'm waiting......
Nov. 14, 2002, 4:19 p.m. CST
by Hoof Hearted
As opposed to?...
Nov. 15, 2002, 2:07 a.m. CST
Yeah, that's a great arguement spoken in many a TB. I guess by that logic then spider-man is The Phantom Menace's bitch, or E.T.'s bitch, or Star Wars bitch since it came out in '77 and Spiderman still couldn't top it even with inflated prices. Or better yet all movies are Titanic's bitches. And no Lucas isn't trying to out gain Spider-man by releasing the Imax version. It's only being shown in 58 fuckin' theater's, how much more money could he possibly make from that. I find it funny that this same shit was argued about with the orginal trilogy back when it came out, and now I hear it refered to as the "holy trinity?" As was stated earlier, this 5th film in the series made over $300 million. Any bets on if Spiderman 5 will make it that high, or any other franchise movie.