I'm making the most definitive list of favorite movies ever.

For every year, I'm listing every movie I've seen and compare them all to each other asking one question; Which movie do I like more. Movies that score in the 80th percentile or higher, advance to the next round: Favorite of the Decade. After each Decade is done, an All Time list will be formed.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Movie: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

When I write these, I don't go into the damn plot, or a synopsis of the movie, I go into what the movie has made me think about, the real reaction to the film, not some contrived spinners four cornered box of a review... I don't write a "review"... I write my reaction, and how I think other people will react. Movies are possibly the ultimate form of art to experience, and Star Wars is, and has been, the best orgy of art and talent on film. But as a finished piece of art, what makes the perfect movie?

There is a convention it seems, that there are a few perfect movies we can all agree on... mostly. Jaws comes to mind, the first Star Wars, and Empire... the cliche's are Casablanca and Citizen Kane, and the Godfather. More modern entries into this fraternity are Return of the King and The Shawshank Redemption. There are more I know, I've just picked these to make a point... Most Great movies, or great AND successful movies are simple. Jaws; Kill the shark. Star Wars; Save the princess and blow up the Death Star. Empire; Have your ass handed to you for what you did in the last movie. Casablanca; Pick one, him or me. Citizen Kane; What is [a sled]? Shawshank Redemption, Godfather and Return of the King aren't so easily boiled down... Shawshank has had possibly the smallest audience of these movies, Godfather had enough violence, wit and style to win the masses, and King has spectacle and Peter Jackson keeping the movie damn simple for those who don't lend themselves into deep and multi-layered stories... Toss the ring into the volcano. One thing is true of all of these, they didn't seem as perfect at first glance.
Revenge isn't a simple story, that's never a bad thing, but for the masses it has one simple point get the guy back in black!
This has been talked to fucking death. Vader = cool as shit... we know, I just saw the movie again in the first 24 hours... $8.50 a ticket is going to add up... (The BIGGEST FUCKING CRIME TO THIS MOVIE IS FILM... the brief glimpse of DLP at celebration was a movie ruining experience... I can still enjoy movies at the theater, but I know better is immediately possible.) Back to Vader... ya, Cinema's greatest villian... so I have nothing to say, at least about him.

I'd like to nominate a strong canidate for any top villian list, and if you watch this PT back to back or within a week, Palpatine hits the mark. His character ascends a retroperception of this saga. "Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice" That statement makes no sense unless you keep a replacement or at least replacement canidates in ready. The phantom meanace had plotted the revenge of the Sith, Lord Maul says so in Episode I. Why would a pacifist so quickly wed a Jedi who just admitted to laying waste to an indigenous tribe? What a sweet revenge upon the woman who caused him just a little difficulty in his galactic conquest, carry the successor to her husband.

Dooku proves to be a second master stroke. Palpatine recruits as his interim apprentice the master who taught the Jedi who found Anakin, and trained the padawan who killed his own apprentice.

In Jedi Luke says "You've failed your highness" (Yes he did) "I am a Jedi, like my father before me." Luke, we hate to break it to you, but that Sith Lord you just cut down, didn't make much of a Jedi, he did hop onto the other team at his first chance... besides if you we a true Jedi, like Yoda counciled Anikin to be with his little speech about rejoicing when people join the force and letting go of whatever you're afraid to loose, Han would have never gone off the wall. Balance to the force gets rid of both teams. Luke is a passionate hero, the classic hero. He's NOT the chosen one, he's the balance to the Force, hence Yoda, Anikin and Obiwan looking on in approval.

Then what's Leia? What? Palpatine always had a backup. Balance should have one to. She wasn't needed in the end, concilation prize one Naboo retreat by a lake and a corellian Smuggler who aint to shabby around the house.

This is all terrific if you're a Star Wars fan, if you've just seen the movies and enjoyed them casually... Gee, the Darth characters are ussually the meat of the flick. I'm sure Maul seemed like an unfamiliar imitation of Darth Vader with no similarity... (note: We've all heard people who thought Episode I took place after Jedi, or that Anakin was actually young Luke or Luke's kid right?) Well, Vader is the gold standard name-brand villian and he's back, and the clones look like storm troopers... If you have no appreciation for the plot, go on calling the Arc fighters X-Wings and wondering how Yoda got off Dagobah, and enjoy.

But, The HIGHEST PRAISE this flick can get is that my son who just turned 3, who waited in line with us for 5 hours, asked when the credits rolled "Are they going to play it again?"
He's only seen it once, but he handed me the Anakin lightsaber and had a blue one for himself. He stood back and said, no shit, "I have the high ground!" so I swiped at him and he jabbed at me so I fell over, and he yelled at me; "You were the chosen one!" and walked away.

I took me about two days to fall into a "cool movie high" over Sith. The initial reaction was one of love (not romantic you twits..) of the series, and regret that its gone... BUT thoughts quickly went to another bit of childhood. Basically we've waited 20+ years for Sith... Since that realization that we were not getting one in '86 though it felt like we should. Well, we've been dreaming of Live action Transformers for over 20 years as well. Lucas wasn't destroying our childhood with the prequels, he was giving us EXACTLY what Obi-Wan was talking about in episode IV. Don't believe me; check out the dirt on the floor of the Jedi council chamber in Sith... So the ball is now in Dreamworks and Michael Bay's hands... Star Wars bloomed, don't you dare fuck up the Transformers. (G.I. Joe, we're keeping our eyes in your direction too... think Angelina Jolie as the Baroness)

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