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Utah Day 6: Kolob of the Sith

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2005

Dave!Ah, my last day in beautiful Utah started out in Zion to watch the sun rise over the park. After that, it was all about heading North so I could get back to Salt Lake City. But, along the way, I decided to get the most out of my $20 Zion Entrance Fee and take a look at the Northwestern corner called "Kolob Canyons." It's pretty sweet, but going in the morning was a big mistake, because you have to look directly into the sun to see all the coolest scenery. That means photos are pretty much out of the question, though I did snag one that wasn't all glare...

Kolob

Once back in SLC, I decided to go watch Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith in a decent theater. After reading all the rave reviews, I was really, really looking forward to it. Well, now that I've seen it, I have one thing to say...

George Lucas should never be allowed to write or direct ever again.

Ever.

George Lucas sucks so much ass as a filmmaker NOW that I find it impossible to believe that he was responsible for films like American Graffiti and the original Star Wars THEN. He is an embarrassment to himself and his profession. His once brilliant talent has been pissed away to depths impossible to fathom twenty years ago.

Revenge of the Sith was indeed better than the first two prequels... but that wasn't hard to do. Both Episodes I and II were tragically bad. Horrendously, praying-for-death bad. Lucas had nowhere to go BUT up. That he managed to do so just shows he at least has the smarts to hire some very talented people to save his hack ass. In the grand scheme of the Star Wars universe, I'd probably rate them like this...

Star Wars Ranking

And before you decide to attack me because you think that Revenge of the Sith is the coolest movie you've ever seen... think about it for a second. What was so cool about it? The awesome space battles? The mind-blowing special effects? The stunning settings? The kick-ass light-saber fights? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But Lucas didn't do any of that shit. Industrial Light and Magic created all of that. Let's take a look at what Lucas WAS responsible for... horrible, cheesy dialog that is so bad that I was visibly wincing as phrases like "it is your love that makes me beautiful" stank up the screen. He's also responsible for getting crap performances out of otherwise incredible actors. Does he even bother to actually DIRECT his characters? You can tell they're trying, but there's simply too many scenes where they wander through like zombies spouting all that f#@%ed-up dialogue.

But what I loathe most of all is that Lucas excels at drawing you into these fantastic worlds, only to sabotage himself with stupid, unforgivable shit. A fantastic scenes of Wookies on the rampage has me totally engrossed... until it's f#@%ed up by a Wookie doing the "Tarzan yell" as he swings through the jungle. WTF?!? Congratulations you dumbass, you've just shattered the illusion you worked so hard to create. But it's nothing new... Lucas is ALWAYS destroying scenes with childish bullshit like burps and farts. He defends himself by saying that these movies are written for kids... but kids from WHEN? The 1960's when this kind of idiotic, juvenile behavior was actually funny? Now it's not just lame, it's stupid.

Despite all of that, I must admit to having a good time at the movie. If you can ignore the dialogue and acting, it's a Sci-Fi lover's dream come true to finally see the birth of Darth Vader... those epic space battles... all those geeky touches (was that the Millenium Falcon?)... it's the first movie since Empire Strikes Back that actually feels like Star Wars again. I just can't help but wonder how amazing this film could have been had Lucas done the right thing and passed the dialogue writing and directing to more capable hands.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "No... I am your father."
Yesterday's Answer: Charlie's Angels (2000) with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore.

Categories: Movies 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Sayuri says:

    And that’s why I have avoided disappointment and not watched any of the new films…. :)

  2. Ben says:

    I respectfully disagree.

  3. Dave2 says:

    Oh Sayuri… the first two were horrible enough that you were right to fear watching them… but this one is not so bad, with some reservations.

    As for you Ben… you disagree that it was a fun movie that “felt” like Star Wars again? Or do you disagree that Lucas sabotages his own films with childish crap that destroys the illusion he has built? Or do you disagree that the dialogue was laughably bad? What? What is it? Don’t keep us in suspense! :-)

  4. kazza says:

    I was interested to hear what you thought of the movie. You’re probably the first person I know that’s dissed it so thoroughly.. :)

    btw, the movie quote is from empire strikes back

  5. Ben says:

    I’ve always been biased towards the new films. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the old films, but I really liked the new ones. I found the old movies a little to kitsch for me at times, and I just didn’t like many things about them. I’ll admit that Menace wasn’t too crash hot, but I really enjoyed Clones.

    Sith, in my eyes, was even better. Call me crazy, but I thought Lucas did a great job with it. I also would have to disagree with the comment on the dialogue – to me it seemed perfectly suited to the space opera type genre. And I’m sure there could have been an improvement in some of the scenes (especially the early scenes with Padmé and Anakin), on the whole I was impressed.

    So Dave ( :) ), to sum up, and as I said in my review, the movie seemed to be built for my tastes, and while everyone might not enjoy it as much as I did, I am looking forward to seeing it again. The small flaws in the movie, where well outweighed by the rest of material of the movie which was spot on.

    I guess it may be a generational thing! And besides, for once the dark side actualy one! Maybe I don’t like the old movies because they show the defeat of the sith.

    ;^)

  6. AGK says:

    Saw it yesterday. I’m already not a huge fan. Something to watch, but I’m not drooling or anything waiting. Anyway, my first thought was just how choppy it was. No scene was long enough to get into before the next one popped up. Or had that rolling fade out lame effect. I was just left with Ugh. At least the theater gave me a free pack of gum :)

  7. Dave2 says:

    I did enjoy Sith, but could never get enveloped in the universe the way I could in the original “Star Wars” or “Empire Strikes Back.” because Lucas kept jerking me out of the picture with stupid crap.

    R2D2 can fly, but forgets he has that ability when he’s sliding around the deck screaming. Jedi can toss around Battle Droids like ping-pong balls using The Force, but when a Buzz Droid lands on the ship, they somehow forget that they can do that… and the insanity just keeps piling up. A few inconsistencies are easy to ignore… but there are DOZENS in this film that kept me from falling in love with it. And don’t get me started on that Wookie Tarzan stupidity. A galaxy far far away my ass.

    If only Lucas would have found a good writer to review his script. If only Lucas would have had somebody polish the flat dialogue. If only he would have gotten a director who could push the actors to perform at the level they are capable of. If.. if… if… if… this could have been such a great movie. As it stands, I enjoyed it because of the FX and visuals, but was hoping for better in the final Star Wars film.

    Oh well, thank heavens for Ian McDiarmid… The Evil Emperor Palpatine compensated for a multitude of other sins in “Revenge of the Sith!”

  8. MRKisThatKid says:

    Still haven’t seen sith. Really not sure if i can be bothered to. Has Ewans acting improved at all? It’s hard to believe he’s same person as the incredible Renton in trainspotting.

    I disagree with the position of phantom and clones, i thought phantom menace was at least slightly enjoyable as a kids movie, whereas clones was ‘wake me up when its over OK?’. Glad to see that sith is at least better than Jedi though. God that film was embarrasing.

    My favorite lucasfilm is THX1138, which i love so much that a couple of years ago i used to use it as my handle. haha. The re-release was a bit, odd though. Not surreal-odd but goofy-odd.

  9. TheMike says:

    Oh noooo…I can’t believe I just read this post. Darth Vader was born????

  10. Dave2 says:

    Oh… should I have put a “spoiler warning” up?

    What the heck… Darth Vader does NOT turn out to be Anakin Skywalker after all… it’s his TWIN SISTER!! Gaaahhh!

  11. Chris says:

    I don’t know if I would condemn any of the Star Wars films because of Ewok behavior, Tarzan yells or General Grievous’ coughing (which I found irritating… why does a droid cough?). I spoke to my uncle, who portrays a character in two Star Wars films, after seeing this latest one. If you think about it, there are all sorts of peculiar bits of writing and such that detract from the absolute realism of the (absolutely fictional) film. Think about character names: Darth Tyrannus, Darth Sidious, Greedo, Skywalker, etc., and that things written in the original films are in English despite taking place in such and such a galaxy far, far away. Consider some of the characters that appear even in the cantina scene in the original Star Wars… was that Snuggle bear and what’s a muppet doing here? Ultimately, I don’t think it’s really important if there’s a brief Tarzan homage (and bear in mind that Tarzan’s call is itself mimicking the wild call of a jungle animal). The story is one of wild adventure, not epic history. Don’t you think that this saga’s greater accomplishment is its imaginative tale, ripe with themes of humanism, justice and morality, rather than its creation of a believable history and mythology?

  12. Chris says:

    As another though, a bit aside, I wonder how our perception of the new Star Wars films is different because we were kids when the original trilogy was made. I wonder about the perception of kids today who see these films and then go look at the Star Wars films from our youth. I suppose I’m just not as deeply affected by the less serious elements of these new films (and the earlier ones).

  13. Dave2 says:

    Okay, for everybody who thought I was harsh… here’s a review that will make your day: http://neopoleon.com/blog/posts/14280.aspx

    THX was freaky, but good. Did you see the re-release? I haven’t yet, but am looking forward to that. I put Clones ahead of Menace solely because of the abysmal performance of “Yippee!” Jake Lloyd and the scene of Jar Jar getting farted on before the Pod Race (the absolute low-point of the entire trilogy).

    Chris, you ask some very searching questions that I’ve been trying to answer for myself. But, as much as I try to analyze my feelings, I keep coming back to the fact that I pop in “Empire Strikes Back” and am completely mesmerized… then pop in “Phantom Menace” and want to beat my head against the wall. Wild adventure is fine, but there is only so much extraneous crap distracting me from the story that I can take. The dialogue and characters in “Empire” for instance, were corny in spots, but not to the point of distraction. But in all three of the prequels, it was just so outrageously bad that I couldn’t get past it (yes, Jar Jar is THAT BAD). It ruined the films for me. I wish it were otherwise, but I honestly don’t think that my fondness for the originals is tainting my outlook for the new movies that I wanted to love so badly. There was more to forgive in “Sith” but that grew out of my love for “Star Wars” overcoming my love of brilliant filmmaking.

    It boils down to the fact that burps, farts, and Ewoks were added in “Jedi” to appeal to kids and sell toys. Lucas trashed everything for the sake of toys. After his $50 million divorce settlement, Lucas wanted retirement money, and Eps I and II kept up the potty humor to sell even more toys (where the real money is at). I can never forgive Lucas for that. Sure “Sith” is brilliant by comparison, but it could have been better with decent dialogue and better direction. That makes me sad, despite my pretty-much enjoying the film.

  14. Sayuri says:

    Dave, Have you ever seen a british ‘sit-com’ (I use the term loosely because it’s sooo much more) called Spaced? I think you and the lead charachter would agree on certain ‘Star Wars’ based hypothesis….

    If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. To everyone..

  15. Chris says:

    Well, you know, judging from what we’ve seen of the earlier Star Wars films, there’s an awfully good chance that GL will “revise” these films in a few years. Maybe we can look forward to an authoritative, mature version of this trilogy once the toys have sold.
    Nonetheless, the films, I don’t think, should be considered utter crap or complete shit. They’re certainly more attractive than most anything that Dreamworks, Pixar and company repeatedly break box office records with.

  16. Ron Martinez says:

    I don’t think you know what a director does. You can’t say that Lucas gets no credit for the special effects and CGI action sequences because ILM did them. He directed those sequences, which means he has final creative responsibility for the result, and in fact is the primary creative driver and decision maker for the film throughout. Think about it – do you really think George Lucas handed off those sequences so he could focus on the live action dialogue sequences, checking in periodically to see what the movie he is publicly responsible for looks like?

  17. Dave2 says:

    Have you watched any of the “making of” segments for the new trilogy of Star Wars films? Lucas writes a rough description of what is going to happen, then hands it off to ILM. They then interpret his thoughts and create the visuals you see. Then Lucas reviews the effects and comments as to any changes he wants. So he’s not actually directing those segments… ILM’s effects director is.

    So yes, I really do think that Lucas hands those off, because I’ve read the scripts and watched the “making of” segments.

    I very much understand what a director does, and “decision maker” doesn’t cut it in my book. Of course, looking at his crappy use of actors, I barely call the directing he does do as “directing.”

  18. rick says:

    God you shit me, why do people have to look for all the faults instead of enjoying a film? Handing over a film to the graphics designers is what every director does, it not everyday you find a director who can make his own graphics, kinda why the special effect companys were created… He makes the story and says what he wants done, then he changes what he wants again… THAT IS DIRECTING! And the droid coughs because he is half human half droid, should of kinda noticed that when you saw he had a heart… and what did you expect with the dialog, its been the same through all thge movies, im a kid of today and i can see that. Maybe its just you people so in love with the old ones you wont admit they had the same faults, he directs in his own way and thats what makes starwars what it is. You think it would be so big if it was made to have the same shit all the other movies had? And give me a break, wookies have been yelling like tarzan forever its what they do, in a riot you think theyd all shut up and tip toe around?!

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