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Re: [mythsoc] Star Wars review, yeeks!

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  • David S. Bratman
    Bill, the review I quoted from was critical of the movie, but acknowledged it had its good points and did not merely throw potshots at it. It was the
    Message 1 of 10 , May 12, 2002
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      Bill, the review I quoted from was critical of the movie, but acknowledged
      it had its good points and did not merely throw potshots at it.

      It was the reviewer's potshots thrown at Tolkien that I was quoting this for.

      There are certainly unfair and preconceived reviews in this world, but
      often enough, if someone writes a bad review, it might actually be because
      they don't like the movie, shocking as that may sound.

      When "Phantom Menace" got almost universal bad reviews, Star Wars fans
      consoled themselves with a belief that the original film got bad reviews
      too. This didn't mesh with my memory, so I went and checked. I remembered
      correctly. Most (not all, but most) of the mass media reviews of the
      original film, including those for Time and Newsweek, were wildly positive.

      The difference is, then, that "New Hope" was a pretty good film. (Even I
      enjoyed it.) "Phantom Menace" wasn't. No conspiracy or bias on the part
      of reviewers need be postulated.

      David Bratman
    • SusanPal@aol.com
      In a message dated 5/12/2002 7:18:28 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Yep. New Hope was a good movie. Phantom Menace was awful -- even the die-hard Star
      Message 2 of 10 , May 12, 2002
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        In a message dated 5/12/2002 7:18:28 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
        dbratman@... writes:


        > The difference is, then, that "New Hope" was a pretty good film. (Even I
        > enjoyed it.) "Phantom Menace" wasn't. No conspiracy or bias on the part
        > of reviewers need be postulated.
        >

        Yep. "New Hope" was a good movie. "Phantom Menace" was awful -- even the
        die-hard Star Wars fans I know think so -- and the "Clones" trailers have
        been so wincingly, embarrassingly bad that I'd already decided to skip the
        movie before the reviews confirmed my suspicions. I'm not against love
        stories per se -- the Han/Leia one was charming, and even touching on
        occasion -- but the snippets of the Anakin/Amidala one in the trailer just
        made me squirm. Whichever reviewer (A.O. Scott in the Times?) compared the
        love scene in the meadow to a feminine hygiene commercial is right on the
        money!

        Whatever flaws Jackson's version of Tolkien may have, I'm deeply grateful
        that he filmed all three films at the same time, since he may thus maintain
        the consistency of quality which has been so sadly lacking in Lucas' epic.

        And this really is a disappointment. I *loved* the first Star Wars movie
        when it came out. Everyone I know loved it. If only they could all have
        been that good!

        Susan


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David S. Bratman
        ... I know some who don t. Susan Shwartz adored it, and was incredulous when I said it was terminally boring. ... The Guardian reviewer compared it with the
        Message 3 of 10 , May 13, 2002
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          At 07:39 PM 5/12/2002 , Susan wrote:

          >Yep. "New Hope" was a good movie. "Phantom Menace" was awful -- even the
          >die-hard Star Wars fans I know think so

          I know some who don't. Susan Shwartz adored it, and was incredulous when I
          said it was terminally boring.


          >Whichever reviewer (A.O. Scott in the Times?) compared the
          >love scene in the meadow to a feminine hygiene commercial is right on the
          >money!

          The Guardian reviewer compared it with the opening of "The Sound of Music".
          I haven't even seen the trailer, so I don't know.


          >Whatever flaws Jackson's version of Tolkien may have, I'm deeply grateful
          >that he filmed all three films at the same time, since he may thus maintain
          >the consistency of quality which has been so sadly lacking in Lucas' epic.

          For the sake of fidelity to a coherent subcreation, yes. (Not that that's
          very high a priority in Mr. Jackson's work.) But Lucas's isn't based on a
          previously existing work, and can be treated cinematically however he
          chooses. That the original three films were made at separate times by
          three different directors didn't bother me, and didn't in itself interfere
          with my enjoyment: I liked or disliked each film on its own merits.


          >And this really is a disappointment. I *loved* the first Star Wars movie
          >when it came out. Everyone I know loved it. If only they could all have
          >been that good!

          I didn't love it. My exact words on emerging from the first showing were
          merely "Not bad, not bad at all." Considering that up until a week earlier
          I hadn't been planning to go see it, that's high praise.

          Over the next few years I saw "Star Wars" several times, on big movie
          screens and on tiny portable tv sets. Each time I reasonably enjoyed it.
          But then, after a long gap, I saw the re-cut version that came out a few
          years ago, and I found it dull, tacky, and chintzy. I wonder why that was.

          David Bratman
        • SusanPal@aol.com
          In a message dated 5/13/2002 9:11:50 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... LOL! The effects age, to be sure. These days it s an exercise in nostalgia (for those of
          Message 4 of 10 , May 13, 2002
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            In a message dated 5/13/2002 9:11:50 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
            dbratman@... writes:


            > But then, after a long gap, I saw the re-cut version that came out a few
            > years ago, and I found it dull, tacky, and chintzy. I wonder why that was.
            >

            LOL! The effects age, to be sure. These days it's an exercise in nostalgia
            (for those of us who are fond of it) rather than an experience of primary
            wonder, which (for those of us who are fond of it) was what it was the first
            few times.

            Susan


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Pauline J. Alama
            I still love Star Wars -- the REAL Star Wars, not the Phantom Plot -- but I think the re-edited version gilded the lily somewhat, awkwardly inserting new or
            Message 5 of 10 , May 14, 2002
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              I still love Star Wars -- the REAL Star Wars, not the Phantom Plot -- but I think the re-edited version gilded the lily somewhat, awkwardly inserting new or recovered scenes that don't quite fit, and I wonder if that pushed it from "pretty good" to "cheap" in David Bratman's estimation.

              I was surprised, when the new edition came out, that as long as they were recovering discarded scenes, they didn't re-introduce the character of Biggs. Who am I talking about? Let me explain. I came at Star Wars in an unusual way: when Star Wars first came out, my parents wouldn't take me to the movie so I read the novel version (by George Lucas, written before the movie was out -- not one of those novelizations of a movie by another author) & only saw the movie 10 years later. In the book, you first meet Luke hanging around with his friends on Tatooine, drag racing and talking about dreams of glory. Biggs, slightly older & a leader, has decided to do more than dream: he's going to leave Tatooine and join the resistance to the Empire. Luke wants to follow in his footsteps, but can't leave home. Later, when Luke joins the rebel alliance, he meets his old role model again -- but this time as an equal. Biggs is killed in the attack on the Death Star, sacrificing himself to enable Luke to go on and defeat the Death Star. You actually see Biggs in the movie, but he has no significance because the opening passage that sets up his influence on Luke is left out. I was disappointed when they didn't put that in the re-edited version. The things they did put in were trivial & didn't add to the themes of the movie.

              Pauline J. Alama
              THE EYE OF NIGHT
              (Bantam Spectra, July 2002)


              --- On Mon 05/13, wrote:
              > In a message dated 5/13/2002 9:11:50 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
              > dbratman@... writes:
              >
              >
              > > But then, after a long gap, I saw the re-cut version that came out a
              > few
              > > years ago, and I found it dull, tacky, and chintzy. I wonder why
              > that was.
              > >
              >
              > LOL! The effects age, to be sure. These days it's an exercise in
              > nostalgia
              > (for those of us who are fond of it) rather than an experience of primary
              >
              > wonder, which (for those of us who are fond of it) was what it was the
              > first
              > few times.
              >
              > Susan
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
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            • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
              I read the novel after seeing the movie and went So that s who Biggs is. Since Luke went nuts when he saw him in the movie and it made no sense. I heard not
              Message 6 of 10 , May 14, 2002
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                I read the novel after seeing the movie and went "So that's who Biggs is." Since Luke went nuts when he saw him in the movie and it made no sense.

                I heard not enough of the Biggs stuff was completed. Which makes little sense since the scene with Han and Jabba wasn't any where near completed either and they managed to resusitate that. May be because Harrison is a buddy now, and would do some retaping or something. They did have to fiddle with it to make it work.

                By the way, the book was ghost helped. George is not that good a novel writer. He's not even a good script writer (some of his dialog is impossible). But his stories can be better than a lot out there, so I watch them.

                I am eagerly waiting for Attack of the Clones inspite of his faults (George can't name movies either <g>).

                Mythically yours,
                Lisa

                "Pauline J. Alama" wrote:

                > I still love Star Wars -- the REAL Star Wars, not the Phantom Plot -- but I think the re-edited version gilded the lily somewhat, awkwardly inserting new or recovered scenes that don't quite fit, and I wonder if that pushed it from "pretty good" to "cheap" in David Bratman's estimation.
              • David S. Bratman
                ... I think not. The changes didn t strike me as that extensive, and they didn t affect the style of the rest of the film. ... It was, as Lisa notes,
                Message 7 of 10 , May 14, 2002
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                  At 05:13 AM 5/14/2002 , Pauline J. Alama wrote:

                  >I still love Star Wars -- the REAL Star Wars, not the Phantom Plot -- but I
                  >think the re-edited version gilded the lily somewhat, awkwardly inserting
                  >new or recovered scenes that don't quite fit, and I wonder if that pushed it
                  >from "pretty good" to "cheap" in David Bratman's estimation.

                  I think not. The changes didn't strike me as that extensive, and they
                  didn't affect the style of the rest of the film.

                  >I read the novel version (by George Lucas, written before the
                  >movie was out -- not one of those novelizations of a movie by another
                  >author)

                  It was, as Lisa notes, ghostwritten. It was written from the script, as I
                  think most film novelizations are. The only unusual fact was that it was
                  published several months before the film release, as an early shot in a
                  buildup campaign.

                  > le Luke to go on and defeat the Death Star. You actually see Biggs in the
                  >movie, but he has no significance because the opening passage that sets up
                  >his influence on Luke is left out. I was disappointed when they didn't put
                  >that in the re-edited version. The things they did put in were trivial &
                  >didn't add to the themes of the movie.

                  I agree with all of this.

                  David Bratman
                • Matthew Winslow
                  ... If my memory doesn t fail me, it was Alan Dean Foster, wasn t it? -- Matthew Winslow mwinslow@firinn.org http://x-real.firinn.org/ When I get a little
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 14, 2002
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                    Lisa Deutsch Harrigan [lisa@...] wrote:
                    > By the way, the book was ghost helped. George is not that good a novel writer.
                    If my memory doesn't fail me, it was Alan Dean Foster, wasn't it?

                    --
                    Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
                    "When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and
                    clothes."
                    --Desiderius Erasmus
                    Currently reading: The American Replacement of Nature by William Irwin Thompson
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