Monday, May 16, 2005

Star Wars: "Break me a fucking give."

John Podhoretz is bucking the critical trend--he hates Revenge of the Sith and puts it on his short list for "Worst Script Ever Written."

(John's review, by the way, is pretty great: "You should never have come to Naboo, Dooku!")

Here's what worries me, though: John loved Phantom Menace. At the time, he called it "a very good movie, lovely to look at, with an interesting and complicated story line."

If that's his baseline, how bad is Sith? I'll let you know on Wednesday.

Update, 12:20 p.m.: Anthony Lane weighs in:
What can you say about a civilization where people zip from one solar system to the next as if they were changing their socks but where a woman fails to register for an ultrasound, and thus to realize that she is carrying twins until she is about to give birth? Mind you, how Padmé got pregnant is anybody’s guess, although I’m prepared to wager that it involved Anakin nipping into a broom closet with a warm glass jar and a copy of Ewok Babes. . . .

The young Obi-Wan Kenobi is not, I hasten to add, the most nauseating figure onscreen; nor is R2-D2 or even C-3PO . . .

No, the one who gets me is Yoda. May I take the opportunity to enter a brief plea in favor of his extermination? . . . At one point in the new film, he assumes the role of cosmic shrink—squatting opposite Anakin in a noirish room, where the light bleeds sideways through slatted blinds. Anakin keeps having problems with his dark side, in the way that you or I might suffer from tennis elbow, but Yoda, whose reptilian smugness we have been encouraged to mistake for wisdom, has the answer. “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose,” he says. Hold on, Kermit, run that past me one more time. If you ever got laid (admittedly a long shot, unless we can dig you up some undiscerning alien hottie with a name like Jar Jar Gabor), and spawned a brood of Yodettes, are you saying that you’d leave them behind at the first sniff of danger? Also, while we’re here, what’s with the screwy syntax? Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. “I hope right you are.” Break me a fucking give.


Yeah baby!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

By far the biggest issue with the new Star Wars films is also the most obvious - where the fuck is Han Solo and/or the Han Solo character? Let's face it - the Jedi are just too boring and self-involved to care about. The whole thing smacks of Lucas being pissed that Harrison Ford dominated his pet character Luke Skywalker and he never got over it. The Sith have all the charisma and are the only people to root for.

D. Carter said...

I absolutely agree about Yoda. How that little swamp rat ever managed to get into the Jedi Knights is beyond me; I guess membership was dependent on saving up the required number of cereal box-tops.

arrScott said...

In Mr. Podhoretz's defense, Phantom Menace was almost a very good movie. Which is not to say that it is a nearly good movie; it just barely missed greatness about like how a nuclear missile that misses Moscow and hits London instead might have been off by only a degree or two at launch.

Throw in the couple of Obi-Wan scenes in the script but cut from the film and eliminate the pod-race track announcer and Phantom would have been every bit as good as Return of the Jedi. Do those things and then change Jar-Jar into an uninteligible (to us) and non-subtitled character, like Chewbacca, and Phantom could have been as good as A New Hope.

The sad thing about Phantom wasn't that it sucked so badly; the sad thing was that it would have taken so little to turn it into something really good.