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Old 05-14-2002, 10:10 PM   #1
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Star Wars Review from Time Magazine (Nat P. gets dissed)

The review is from Time magazine. I don't think Natalie Portman fans will be pleased ( I like her too but I think her acting ability is a bit overated). I'm glad to know that Ewan and Hayden deliver good performances.

Here's the review
Quote:
Let the Battle Begin!
George Lucas' new Star Wars film sends the Jedi knights against an upstart army of ... Spider-Men?
By RICHARD CORLISS


Recipe for a May blockbuster: teen misfit falls in love, disobeys a sympathetic father figure, battles monsters and stumbles toward a complicated manhood. We doubt that the Spider-Man people swapped script notes with George Lucas and his Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones team; still, the similarities are striking. So, probably, are the eventual box-office numbers. Spidey has quickly scaled the Hollywood heights, but Lucas may be able to ward off this arach attack. Remember, folks: every previous Star Wars movie has been the top-grossing film of its year.

Like the army of clones deployed in Episode II, a gaggle of critics has already spread the news that the picture stinks. It doesn't. It has more action than either Spider-Man or the last Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace. It's gorgeously designed and color coordinated; the god who created this galaxy was working from a very rich palette. In its digital version (Clones will be shown on traditional film in most theaters), the image is shallow but sharp and subtle. If this is the future of movies—at least of epics with visual effects that make the 'plex screen a computer screen—bring it on.

There's nothing deep or emotionally grand about this enterprise, but Star Wars never occupied that part of the cinema spectrum. The series was—and remains—Lucas' elaborate reconstruction of his Saturday-matinee memories and fantasies. This time the energy level is higher, the tempo brisker; a nice sense of doom crawls up the spine of the narrative. The leaden Menace was full of the posturing that two hostile nations engage in while marshaling their forces. In Clones the war breaks out.

The plot? It's boy (Anakin Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen) remeets girl (Natalie Portman's Padmé Amidala), and a noble Jedi knight (Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi) meets a naughty one (Count Dooku, incarnated by Christopher Lee). Joseph Campbell might have got a kick out of the mythic reverberations, but for the rest of us the story is a thin clothesline on which to hang some terrific computerized beasties (the iguana hashslinger Dexter Jettster, the tall, graceful llama-lamas of planet Kamino) and fab set pieces (a treadmill struggle in the clone factory). Lucas guides these scenes with ingenious care. As for the actors, they're on their own, and it shows.

It's a melancholy fact that the Star Wars films with the strongest acting and densest mood are The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi —the two that Lucas didn't direct. That may be the bargain a director makes when he goes over to the digital side. He can animate a pixel but not a Portman. An often enchanting presence, the young star is stiff and humorless here. Christensen has to carry the emotional load. And he does a fine job: his Anakin is both a petulant, impetuous boy and a young man with an appraising stare. He suggests a mind eager for action, restless and conflicted, ready to turn—as Anakin will next time—into Darth Vader.

For solid thesping, hire the Brits. McGregor tamps down his innate exuberance to play stern baby-sitter to Anakin but lends his scenes a thoughtful weight. And Lee has the tired majesty of a Dracula shaken awake in his sepulcher but with a few good bites left in him. He enunciates plot points like a teacher with a thrilling classroom style; his voice has cello music in it. His character also cues the film's one giddy musical moment: when Dooku rides a celestial scooter, composer John Williams borrows The Wizard of Oz's theme music for the Wicked Witch on her flying bike.

Clones' visual effects can be buoyant (Anakin makes a pear float, in a literal fruit loop) or imposing (the final vista of an orange sky). And they give a vertiginous kick to the fight scenes. A mile-high car chase has cool dips and speed bumps. An arena battle begins as a Gladiator knock-off and then escalates, with lumbering monsters that recall the peerless work of stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen. A light-saber duel in the dark has loads of drama and glamour.

And at the end, when the now computerized Yoda finally reveals his martial artistry, the film ascends to a kinetic life so teeming that even cranky adults may rediscover the quivering kid inside. That child doesn't think about the labor that went into all these cybersaber dances. He doesn't think at all. He just stares up in innocent awe, at one with movie magic
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:32 PM   #2
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WOW!!! Cool, thats the first positive review I've read about it!! I hope its good, I have to get my lazy arse up and go see it in the theatres.

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Old 05-15-2002, 10:10 AM   #3
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He can animate a pixel but not a Portman. An often enchanting presence, the young star is stiff and humorless here.

Whoa! Those clever critics

I thought in Episode One that the way she played it was part of the character-to be 'standoffish' so to speak. I know I've seen her in other movies-Where The Heart Is and Anywhere But Here- where I thought she did a fine job.

Anyway-in Episode One the worst acting in my opinion was Jake Lloyd as Anakin

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Old 05-15-2002, 10:25 AM   #4
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What do you expect!!?!? The kid was like 6 or 7. Most young kids are awkward actors at best.

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Old 05-15-2002, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap:
What do you expect!!?!? The kid was like 6 or 7. Most young kids are awkward actors at best.

No, this was by FAR the worst child actor ever in the history of cinema.

Don't tell me to give him a break - this kid's acting was so bad he ruined the film, not Jar Jar Binks.

There have been tons of great child actors over the years - he wasn't one of them. And I blame Lucas for choosing this kid. The same summer that "Phantom Menace" was released, we saw another huge picture with a child actor - it was called "Sixth Sense." That kid made the movie shine. Just proves what a good child actor (and director) can do.
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Old 05-15-2002, 10:57 AM   #6
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Touche

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Old 05-15-2002, 11:03 AM   #7
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Yes-that's just what I thought doctorwho

Haley Joel Osment is an AMAZING actor, so much so that I almost don't think of him as a 'child actor'. I know it's unfair to compare others to him though.

I'm glad someone else felt that way about Jake Lloyd-if I recall correctly, his acting was pretty much universally panned. Jar Jar Binks was a better actor

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Old 05-15-2002, 11:06 AM   #8
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What DoctorWho and Gina Marie said pretty much sums up my feelings.

Still have to hope that Episode II isn't as bad as it looks. *sigh* btw, the guy playing Anakin this time looks a LOT like my younger brother.
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Old 05-15-2002, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho:
No, this was by FAR the worst child actor ever in the history of cinema.

Don't tell me to give him a break - this kid's acting was so bad he ruined the film, not Jar Jar Binks.
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Old 05-15-2002, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap:
What do you expect!!?!? The kid was like 6 or 7. Most young kids are awkward actors at best.

Has anyone ever seen that film "Mercury Rising" with Bruce Willis? There was this child actor called Miko Hughes in it who played an autistic boy. I've only seen him in that film, but honestly, I was totally amazed by his acting skills. Haley Joel Osment is also great. It's not like child actors are always awkward actors, it just shows if they have talent or not

And I agree, Jake Lloyd was pretty bad. I really like Natalie Portman though, and I think she's not just one of the most beautiful girls in the world, but also a pretty good actress. But I suppose I can't judge her acting in Episode II yet. Hopefully I will get to see it on Friday (yay!). I *hope* it's better than Epsiode I.. well... in my opinion, it can only get better!

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Old 05-15-2002, 01:21 PM   #11
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I wanted to kill Jar Jar Binks after I saw Episode One. Jake Lloyd wasn't all that bad, it's not him that ruined the film for many fans but JAR JAR !!!



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