Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Can I legitimately be called a fan of Sci-fi if I haven't seen Revenge of the Sith?

I'm a big fan of Star Wars. Really. But I am a fan of the "old school" Star Wars. I saw it in the theatre when I was a kid. When we got there, the theatre was packed and we had to sit way up front. I hate doing this as an adult, but somehow it seemed appropriate that such a revolutionary film be viewed up close. If you're too young to have seen it in the theatre when it was first released, then I can't begin to explain how big this movie was at the time. It wasn't a movie, it was an event. And like Star Trek, it became a kind of lifestyle for some. I do need to qualify my fan status though. When I say I am a fan of fantasy and sci-fi I mean it........ I love everything to do with it and will always pick books, movies and TV in the genre over everything else. But I don't do conventions. I have never dressed up in a Star Trek uniform or as Princess Leia, and I probably never will. And maybe that's part of the problem. Perhaps I haven't given the whole series the chance it deserves. My favorite will always be Star Wars episode IV, no question. The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi will always be favorites too, and I'm sure I'll watch them over and over in the coming years. But the newer trilogy? I'm almost ashamed to admit I haven't finished it. I was really excited when The Phantom Menace came out. My husband went and saw it first and he went on and on about how good it was. Caught up in his excitement I was expecting something really spectacular. The movie delivered on a special effects level, but it never got to me on a personal level. The only character's I liked never seemed to have a chance to develop much. Liam Neeson's character, being killed off so early was disappointing. And while a young Anakin was fun to watch I never really took a liking to the later Anakin as played by Haden Christensen in the later two films. Attack of the Clones was less satisfying for me. I agreed with a lot of critics that George Lucas paid too much attention to the special effects and not enough to the characters. The relationship between Anakin and Amidala seemed forced to me and Natalie Portman seemed very stiff in the role. But what disappointed me the most was that Anakin never had the transition from innocence to evil that I had hoped for. Like everything else, I felt it was forced and not allowed to develop in a natural fashion. In the end, I just didn't care about the characters the way I did with the original trilogy. I am told, repeatedly, that Revenge of the Sith is the best one of the later trilogy and that I should see it. But I just haven't been able to dredge up enough interest. I think I am afraid of being disappointed. I know it's only a movie. But the kid that went and saw the original Star Wars in the movie theatre has a hard time remembering that. In many ways I think that movie is responsible for the love I have for fantasy and sci-fi today. I don't know that I would read the books I do or watch the movies I do if it wasn't for Star Wars. So to not really like any part of the series was kind of heartbreaking to me. But maybe I'll feel a little better by watching the last movie. I'll have to screw up my courage and just watch it. I hope it's good.


astrid said...

Episode 3 is better than 1 and 2, but it shares their inability to create compelling characters and coherent storylines. I think you're better off not seeing episode 3.

For a totally random movie recommendation, I recommend The Thin Red Line. I don't know why reading about your feeling reminds me of The Thin Red Line, but it just came up and I remembered how much it moved and mesmerized me.

SQT said...

Is the Thin Red Line sci-fi? I've heard of it but don't really know what it's about.

I'll cruise netflix and see what they say about it.

Also, have you seen Donnie Darko? I keep hearing about it but haven't watched it yet. It has Jake Gyllenhaal-- at least I think it does. So I thought you would have seen it.

astrid said...

TRL is a Terrence Malik directed film about the battle of Guadalcanal but about the farthest thing from a conventional war film. It's a surprisingly calm and very beautiful meditation on war and sacrifice.

I own a copy of Donnie Darko. I actually feel that it's good but overrated. I think Jake Gyllenhaal is a bit overrated (but damn he looks good!) as an actor. It's a fun movie and there's lots of good things about it, but it doesn't deserve its imdb rating.

I actually liked Bubbleboy more. That movie really showed off Jake's fun goofy side before he became a "serious actor".

SQT said...

War movies are hard to watch. I only saw Private Ryan once, and I doubt I'll ever watch it again. Though I did like Black Hawk Down. The Thin Red Line does sound like something I could watch though.

Bubbleboy huh? That one always looked so silly to me. Though there are always those goofy movies that you can't help but like. Tommy Boy is my goofy favorite.

astrid said...

Funny. I also liked Blackhawk Down better than Saving Private Ryan. I loved Eric Bana's Delta Force guy and his performance convinced me that Eric Bana is worthy of a devoted following.

Jake needs his own superhero franchise. He would be a great superhero and he's been a runner's up so many times already (Spiderman, Superman, Batman) that they should at least give him a booby prize. (Would he be able play any of the Watchmen? Or the Green Lantern?)

SQT said...

You and I must think alike more than I thought. Eric Bana's character was also one of my favorites. Though I thought The Hulk didn't do him justice. He has such a great ability to be quietly intense.

I still haven't seen Munich, though it's been on the "to watch" list just because Bana's in it.

I never thought too much about Gyllenhaal as a superhero though. But I guess if Toby McGuire can pull it off, then anyone can. It'd have to be a younger character though. I little more boyish I think.

Crunchy Carpets said...

You are a true Star Wars fan if you haven't seen any of the new one's...load of deep doodoo if you ask me. My kids can't even watch them....they love the first one's though.

I have nothing good to say about George Lucas..him and Speilberg RUINED the Indiana Jones franchise too by firing all the guys that made the first movie so good.

I have done costumes though.

We used to attend the San Diego Comic con every year and hope to do so again when the kids are a bit older.

We went to Dragon Con too and that was sooo much fun.

SQT said...

Did you only enjoy the first Indiana Jones then? I pretty much liked them all to be honest. But in a lot of ways I'm not a purist about things.

Though I guess when it comes to Star Wars, maybe I am. I just didn't enjoy any of the later one's. I'll watch and rewatch the others, but I just can dredge up any interest in the last one. Sad when you don't even care how it ends.

I haven't done any conventions, though I wouldn't mind going to one. The problem is that I wouldn't be able to drag my husband to one, and I don't know any other sci-fi geeks like me locally. I lost touch with my one good friend who liked the same things I do, and haven't found a replacement yet. Kinda sucks.

Crunchy Carpets said...

You must turn your husband to the dark side...tell him there are scantily dressed women there!

I LOVED the first Indy movie and was horrified by the latter one's.

It and Star Wars proves that Lucas and Speilberg are only as good as the people around them.

SQT said...

How sad is it that I never really noticed much difference in the Indy movies? I never really knew about the inside scoop, though I doubt I would have cared much. I think I'm just infatuated with the character, so I can still enjoy it as long as Harrison Ford plays him.

SQT said...

Though, come to think of it. I can kind of understand where you're coming from. I remember, even as a kid, having issues with the second one.

The third one kind of charmed me because it had Sean Connery. So it shows I'm a sucker for casting.

Crunchy Carpets said...

My mom and I were freaking at the second one...a) why was he with this shrieking woman...where was Karen Allen! and b) what was with the kid?? Indy wouldn't hang with kids!

They lost the 1940's adventure feel and turned it into a kids show.

I hate the children in Speilberg movies...I think the kids in ET were the last believable and likeable kids in Speilberg movies...same with the horrific miscasting of that kid in Star Wars Ep1.

SQT said...

I hate the children in Speilberg movies...I think the kids in ET were the last believable and likeable kids in Speilberg movies...same with the horrific miscasting of that kid in Star Wars Ep1.

There is a noticeable tendancy for them to be too precocious or too cutesy. I did't mind short round so much from Indy, though Kate Capshaw was incredibly annoying. And the poor kid who played Anakin couldn't act his way out of a cardboard box.