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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, May 18, 2005.
Star Wars in hi-def... One day, one day.
Just checking HBO's website, they're playing Revenge Of The Sith in HD on: Tue June 6 11:00 AM Tue June 6 08:30 PM Sun June 11 02:30 PM Sun June 11 11:35 PM Fri June 16 09:00 AM Fri June 16 07:30 PM Sat June 17 12:30 PM Mon June 19 03:30 PM Tue June 20 12:00 AM Thu June 22 12:00 PM Thu June 22 08:00 PM Sat June 24 08:00 AM Sat June 24 05:30 PM Even if no one else finds it useful, I'll be able to check the times easier than sifting through HBO's schedule.
Listening the the Revenge Of the Sith soundtrack at work today and Gosh this is a real GEM. Totally ignored by the Academy and IMHO opinion one of John Williams best. Creative and the themes resonate deeply.
The Battle Of The Heroes is one of the best pieces of music in any SW movie.
Ahead of The Rise of Skywalker one week from tomorrow, I'm attempting to re-watch all of the previous live action Star Wars movies in chronological order.
The Phantom Menace
Attack of the Clones
There has been a lot of discussion in the last month or two about what qualifies as cinema. For all of Revenge of the Sith's problems, there is no question in my mind that it's cinema. At its best, it showcases George Lucas as the height of his abilities. There are things in this movie that few other filmmakers would have been capable of even conceiving of.
One of my major complaints revisiting Attack of the Clones was just how limited and low-quality the live action elements were, shot using the first generation Sony 1080p24 cameras. It's still a problem here, but not as much of one. Evidently the technology improved in the three years between the movies. While the detail still isn't there to the degree it should be, both color and contrast are improved from Attack of the Clones. The live action elements blend in better as a result.
The opening space battle is one of the most technically proficient and ambitious in the entire saga, but for some reason it's never really grabbed me. It didn't work for me in theaters, and it didn't work for me in any of the subsequent re-viewings at home. There's a wonderful three-dimensionality to the use of space that I appreciated, but the stakes never got me invested. Every time I've seen the movie, I've known that Palpatine is the Big Bad so I don't much care if he gets rescued or not.
I was struck, in Count Dooku's brief appearance, at how good of a performance Christopher Lee delivers in these movies. There's something about actors with b-movie backgrounds, like Peter Cushing, that serves them well in Star Wars movies. I think part of it is that George Lucas is not an actor's director. The actors are mostly on their own. I think people who've made a lot of schlock over the years are more used to finding themselves in that position, and are better able to cope with it.
It really stood out to me this time around that Anakin choosing to save Obi-Wan when he got pinned under that collapsed decking after fighting with Dooku was the first major moment that didn't go according to plan for Palpatine since the beginning of the trilogy. Arguably, it's the moment that ensured his downfall at the end of Return of the Jedi. Because Obi-Wan survived, Darth Vader needed that containment suit just to stay alive. Because Obi-Wan survived, Luke Skywalker was kept safe for almost two decades, and then put on the path to becoming a Jedi. Because Obi-Wan survived, Anakin Skywalker had doubts about the path he had chosen right from the beginning of his tenure as Darth Vader.
Ian McDiarmid is so tremendous in this movie. He knows exactly when to play things subtle, and when to go full camp. The slow and steady seduction of Anakin Skywalker over the course of three movies is one of the things that the prequels really got right.
Unlike The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, this movie doesn't really have any major conceptual problems. All of the storylines work on paper, all of the major beats work. The problems are all in execution.
If the prior two movies had earned the audience's investment in Anakin and Padmé's relationship, I think all of the elements were there for this final chapter of their love story to really hit home in a brutal way. Even from their first scene together, in the shadow of that massive column near the entrance to the Senate, it's clear that their relationship is not in a good place. They haven't seen each other in months, and when Padmé becomes pregnant the prospect terrifies them rather brings them joy.
I also thought a lot about abusive relationships. Even though Anakin doesn't physically assault her until the end, many of the red flags are there:
The overbearing and insistent proclamations of love at the beginning, so that the relationship is entered into before the other person has a chance to think or slow things down.
The glimpses of anger and rage, quickly followed by regret and remorse.
The lack of empathy; everything is about him, very little effort is made to see things from others' point of view.
And Padmé displays many of the traits of someone trapped in an abusive relationship:
She avoids bringing up certain subjects so that Anakin won’t get mad.
She doesn't trust her own thoughts, ideas, instincts.
She's constantly put in the position of having to defend Anakin to those around her.
She tells herself that if she just tries harder and love him enough that everything will turn out fine.
She is deeply unhappy.
The arc from confident and decisive teenage queen in The Phantom Menace to where she finds herself in this movie is a tragic one. And Anakin is the biggest catalyst for her losing sight of the best parts of herself.
The movie can be divided pretty cleanly into two halves, very close to equal in length, with a moment of pure cinema as the pivot point. Mace Windu is on his way to arrest Chancellor Palpatine. Padmé is in her apartment. Anakin is in the Jedi Council chambers. And even though there isn't any dialog, the visuals tell the story. Anakin is making a choice. And that choice will define the fate of the galaxy.
The second half still has some clunky dialog, but the other aspects of the filmmaking really step it up. The editing in the back half of the picture is masterful, especially the intercutting between Obi-Wan and Anakin's fight on the volcano chamber, while Yoda and the Emperor fight in the Senate chamber.
The visuals, but the composition of the shots and the content that populates them, are spectacular.
The music is phenomenal. The reprise of "Duel of Fates" as the two Sith battle the last two (known) Jedi Masters is so powerful. I've got to imagine that theme will make an appearance in Rise of Skywalker, when the fate of Sith and Jedi is decided once and for all.
Ewan McGregor's performance is clunky in the first half of the movie, but he gets better and better as the movie goes along. He is tremendous in the final battle on the volcano planet. Some of the best acting (and writing) in a Star Wars picture:
OBI-WAN KENOBI: You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the force... not leave it in darkness!
ANAKIN SKYWALKER: I HATE YOU!
OBI-WAN KENOBI: You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!
The execution of Padmé's death is one of the real weak points of the movie. She should have died of injuries sustained when Anakin force choked her. There is something poetic about the idea that his attempts to avert his Force prophecy is what make it come true.
The final shot of the movie is one of the best final shots of all the movies I've ever seen.
I really need to see these films ( 1 - 6 ) again. (I recently watched the last SW film in preparation for Rise, but I haven't viewed any of the other works in a long time.)
Just popping into to make one small comment about Episode III. I thought the prequels got progressively better. I sort of theorized that Lucas was getting his mojo back as he worked on the prequels and by the time Revenge of the Sith had concluded I was ready for more from Lucas. But of course, that didn't happen.
Revenge isn't perfect (The high ground? WTF does the high ground have to do with anything? It isn't like this was combat between two pre-gunpowder forces. Considering their prowess with the Force, I would say the combatants were pretty much equivalent tactically.)
That small nerdish obsession with a scene aside, there is a lot to like about Revenge of the Sith. I feel like it is the one prequel that can actually hold its own against the original Holy Trilogy of IV, V, and VI.
Anyway, saw the thread got a bump and decided to jump in. (I probably posted pretty much this comment somewhere else in this thread, but didn't feel like searching. )
I've seen it mentioned a million times by a million people over the years but I don't understand people's problem with that line because they literally show what he means right after he says that. If Anakin tries to attack Obi-Wan from down hill, Obi-Wan has the advantage because Anakin will have to come up at him and that leaves him open to being wounded or killed by Obi-Wan.
EDIT: I'm not trying to sound like a jerk or single you out because like I said, I've seen people mention this many times ever since the movie came out.
I think the line just sounds dopey.
That's fine. It just seems like every time I see the line mentioned, people are confused by it (as if he randomly said "Hey, wanna go get a Pepsi?" instead) rather than seeing it as goofy.
No problem. My point is that given their abilities with the Force it has no bearing on the situation. Maybe the reason a million people have that reaction is because it is nonsensical. Or maybe because by showing their relative positions (if one assumes that Obi-Wan is correct) it is simply too obvious.
Anyway, it is a small point and I kind of brought it up because I remember having that reaction at the theater and because I've seen it brought up in various shows such as this exchange....
Firmly in the Luke (Danes) camp on this topic.
That line is perfectly fine....the line leading it up to it from Anakin however is a doozy!
Anakin "From my point of view you are the enemy".
Clunky doesn't begin to describe that ham fisted gem. The only line in the film that bugs me.
I agree Ewan McGregor was terrific in this. He was never better than in the final battle with Anakin when he looks at him, as they hover over the lava, and says "I have failed you, Anakin." That brought the six film saga (at the time) full circle for me. Everything resonated and made sense.
When I rewatched the film last summer, I was surprised at how much of the film goes by with little or no action. There is a lot of important stuff going on, of course, and some of it is fascinating, like the opera house scene.
Love that line. Best in the prequels.
LOL I was gonna cite that scene but I figured Gilmore Girls was too obscure of a reference in a SW thread.
Absolutely fantastic moment bolstered by everything from the performances to the look of the environment to the gravity of the moment for the SW saga to the music. It's all great.
It's not just that it's a clunky line. The movie has plenty of clunky lines. It's that it's so oblivious to the emotions of the moment.
Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are locked in a duel that both fully believe will be a battle to the death. Anakin, a cauldron of rage, knows he's crossed a line that he can't come back from. And he did it for his secret wife. Now he believes his old master has turned her against him. Maybe because he really believes it, maybe because he just can't bear to think that his own actions have turned her against him.
Either way, Anakin hates Obi-Wan in that moment, and he's trying desperately to kill him. And in the middle of all of that, is this detached philosophical statement about who is acting in the best interests of the Republic. Just completely out of place.
I seem to remember Obi Wan jumping a lot higher near the end of The Phantom Menace than Anakin had to in Revenge. Inconsistent really.
But is it a Maclunky line?
Watched a new hope, empire and force awakens on Disney+ 4k. They look amazing.
I’ll watch last Jedi too but not sure about the others. Eventually but just not a ton of time before Thursday!!!
Absolutely. It such a weird and jarring line. Anakin might as well have broke the fourth wall, looked at the camera and said "can you believe this guy?"
Other than that the movie is great.
My biggest problem with ROTS is the scene where Anakin turns. I think it is one of the biggest short comings of the prequels, a lack of a more gradual turn for Anakin. Yes, he had a few dark scenes in AOTC but, by the end of the movie he was fully on the Jedi side.
Same for ROTS. Some dark moments but he immediately pulls back to the light. Kills Dooku but, immediately has regret and then saves Obi-wan. Then we get to the turn. Mace is trying to arrest Palpatine, than a the fight breaks out and Mace decides he needs to die instead. Anakin rushes in and defends the Jedi way saying Palpatine should be arrested and stand trial. That tells me he hasn't turned yet. Then Palpatine pushes Mace out the window and Anakin, discarding the thing he was just arguing for seconds ago, turns to the dark side. This scene just doesn't work for me but, from this moment on, the movie is great (except for the broken heart nonsense).