Dino Ignacio shows us how it’s done once again :
Maritess vs The SuperFriends24 May 2002
Attack of George Lucas15 May 2002
First things first, it was better than Episode I …… of course, Episode I being the crapshoot that it was, that’s not saying much.
Waiting for the Star Wars premiere last night was a decidedly disappointing experience. I was expecting fans to be showing up in droves, but all we got was a quiet crowd of barely enough people to fill the theater. Maybe it was the venue, but this was Star Wars we were talking about. I thought Episode II would have its throng of insane fans built-in.
About two and a half hours later, we all stepped out of the theater a bit confused, but altogether impressed that George Lucas seemed to have regained some of his mojo. Like I said, it was better than Episode I. (On the other hand, my issues with E1 basically boiled down to two things: Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar Binks. Since neither of them have prominent roles in E2, it went a long way towards making the movie that much more bearable.)
There are jedis everywhere in this one. There are a gazillion Jango Fetts, a horde of battle-droids and a politican sureptitiously named Newt Gunray to boot. To say that Lucas went all-out is something of an understatement. Balls-out is more like it.
Without giving too much away, the plot is basically about how Palpatine continues to manipulate the Republic (which eventually becomes the Empire of E4-6). The “romance” of Anakin and Amidala is set strongly in the foreground, to make all the adolescent girls in the audience giggle. I say “romance” because they are practically strangers in one scene and all over each other in the next. A lot happens during scene transitions apparently.
Anakin has a particularly stupid line that will forever be burned in to my memory: “I hate the sand, it’s coarse … and rough … and gets everywhere. Not like here … where everything’s soft … and smooth …”
… at which point he grabs Amidala. The jedi mindtrick here was convincing the audience that that line could actually get you some.
Some notes about the acting:
Ewan MacGregor does a great job playing a young Alec Guiness, Christopher Lee is outstanding as a short-haired Saruman, and Samuel L. Jackson truly shines as Jules the hitman in a robe. (BTW, did this guy take any swordfighting lessons at all? He holds that lightsaber like he’s drunk at a halloween party.)
Still it says something that my vote for Worst Actor of the Movie goes, not to an live actor, but to Yoda, a special effect. This walking yiddish hallmark card plays a pretty big role towards the end of this movie, and I don’t want to give anything away, so let’s just say this: No amount of “suspension of disbelief” could suspend my disbelief. (That probably did not make sense, but if you’ve seen that Yoda sequence at the end, you’ll agree with me.)
Everytime Yoda came onscreen, I cringed a little, bracing myself for more mangled-English catchphrases. Truly suffering I was.
I’m not going to say anything about the CG because we all knew it would be good. It’s not subtle either, but then again George Lucas is about as subtle as a sledgehammer when it comes to making “movies”. There are landscape and background shots where I could’ve sworn even the people were computer-generated.
It could’ve been worse of course, but with such low expectations, just about anything would’ve impressed me.
Oh well. Indifferent I am.
7 May 2002
There’s always a sense of novelty for me whenever I discover some old song being remade. Of course, some of them are better than others … Luis’ List of Kick-Ass (and otherwise) Covers
(nowhere near as definitive as Saint’s Comic movies, of course)
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
(covered by Eddie Vedder; originally by The Beatles)
The Beatles are probably the most frequently covered band in history, but it’s extremely rare that you’ll find a cover that’s even on par with the original. I wouldn’t say “kick-ass”, but definitely worth pirating. The only other Beatles covers I really enjoyed were The Vines’ “I’m Only Sleeping” and Fiona Apple’s drunken-stupor remix of “Across the Universe.” Kick-Ass
Bizarre Love Triangle
(covered by Stabbing Westward; originally by New Order)
I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with the other version of this song, so I won’t even bother commenting on that. I kinda like Stabbing Westward, but their “blt” cover is fucking gay. I never liked the original all that much either, to be honest. Suck-Ass
(covered by Marilyn Manson; originally by Soft Cell)
pretty good for a freak with bad teeth. Kick-Ass
Time After Time
(covered by Tuck & Patti; originally by Cyndi Lauper)
one of the few times that a cover actually surpassed the original. this version rocked in so many different ways. Kick-Ass
More Today Than Yesterday
(covered by Goldfinger; originally by Spiral Staircase)
the kings of the punk cover bands, Goldfinger hardly ever goes wrong when remaking a song. I actually heard the goldfinger version before I heard the staircase original, and the cover just sounds so much more vibrant.
Come On Eileen
(covered by Save Ferris; originally by Dexy’s Midnight Runners)
Save Ferris is a cool band, but the original is a bit difficult to top. Decent
Light My Fire
(covered by Train; originally by The Doors)
A poopy cover by an otherwise great band. This song is probably the reason why I didn’t pick up Drops of Jupiter until very recently. The Creed version of “Riders on the Storm” from the same Doors tribute album is probably the best work those christian mofos have produced in the past five years, btw. Suck-Ass
What’s Going On
(covered by Fred Durst’s children; originally by Marvin Gaye)
Probably the worst cover of any song anywhere that I have ever fucking heard. Listen to Fred Durst’s thinly veiled marketing ploy “turn this world around.” This song is the fucking worst. Really-Suck-Ass
(covered by Phantom Planet; originally by Jackson Browne)
A really cute cover to an otherwise boring song. Phantom Planet will be huge. You heard it here first. Kick-Ass
(covered by Mr.Big; originally by Cat Stevens)
Mr.Big fan that I am, I must admit that you can’t remake this song any better. Cat Stevens rocks. (Interesting sidenote: Mr.Big must be like, the only band in history that is currently remaking its own songs. Try to imagine Just Take My Heart without the lead guitar riffs. Pee-yoo.) Decent