Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Star Wars:Attack of the Clones-DVD

When the First Star Wars move was released, I rode my bike down to the theater to watch it. I didn't know much about the movie, but I was a huge Trek fan, so any science fiction film had my attention.

Like many others, I came out of the theater supercharged with excitement. The world of movies had suddenly changed. It wasn't the story, which was cribbed from The Seven Samurai, among other sources. It wasn't the acting, which to my uncritical eye was fine, but nothing out of the ordinary. It wasn't the dialog, which, outside of snappy one liners and quips was awkward and forgettable. The effects were dazzling, far beyond anything we had ever seen before, but we've seen since then that effects alone cannot elevate a sub-par movie.

So why did Star Wars rise above it's mediocre plot, dialog and acting? Two factors stand out. The first is the editing. The first movie was cut together brilliantly, hiding it's many flaws, and playing to it's overwhelming strengths. We forgave the wooden acting and sappy dialog because we were never given a chance to dweel on it. The cardboard characters were put through their cliched paces with an energy and a vigor that swept us away with them, carried along by the single most important factor in the succes of Star Wars; the score.

John Williams is the man who made Star Wars what it was. His score gave life to the story, created emotional responses where none existed. It's no surprise that the soundtrack remains one of the top selling original soundtracks of all time.

Why do I include all of this in a review of the DVD for Attack of the Clones?

Because the only scene with any emotional resonance in the entire film is when Annikin looks out over the Tattoine desert while we hear the Skywalker theme, echoing the scene in Star Wars where Luke scans the desert and ponders his semingly barren future.

The rest of the movie is sound and fury, action and adventure, without soul. The romance between Amidala and Anakin is forced, with little to no chemistry. The deleted scenes, which coincidentally almost all had to do with the growing attraction between the two lovers, make this even more apparent, although Lucas claims repeatedly that these scenes were removed for reasons of pacing.

Playing on the small screen makes the movies shortcomings even more apparent. No longer overwhelmed by the visual feast, which is truly spectacular, the flaws are thrown into relief. It's telling that the advance reviews of the DVD focused on it's technical brilliance, leaving unspoken the acknowledgement that the actual content was weak. In short, while technically brilliant, this is a fairly lame movie. George Lucas wisely decided to produce Empire and Jedi, allowing others to direct and screenwrite. I can only hope he does the same for the last movie.
Posted by Rich
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