Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I don’t know how you could watch the prequels and pick anyone other than Obi-Wan Kenobi as the coolest guy in the galaxy. I also appreciate that it undercuts the Jedi a bit. They are powerful and try to do some good, but they mess up a lot. I really dig the psychological battles and manipulation in this one. Great stuff. While Christensen is not a good actor, I buy into his tortured melodrama because I believe in Darth Vader’s arc. You’ll forgive a lot if the story is worth believing in. Would have loved more of that. Meanwhile, who the hell is General Grievous? (Know what’s cooler than two light sabers? Four light sabers!) Yeesh. Better than the other two prequels, I think, and a good way to close things out.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. One of my major complaints of the prequels is that everything looks so nice, and nothing really feels lived in. Very true in this one. I like that we get to hang out with Obi-Wan so much, doing private eye stuff, chasing down assassins. Overstuffed and scattered, though, and there’s just no way that Anakin & Padme fall in love. Teen Anakin is a nightmare. While I don’t see him in that relationship, I can start to feel for him here, just tragicomically buffeted by his emotions, absolutely at their mercy. The soundtrack is in peak form here, too.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Maybe it’s just that time has washed away the hurt and shattered expectations of 1999, but my thoughts after a second viewing:

If I learned anything from STAR WARS it’s to let go of hate and stuff and I realized episode 1 is kinda campy and charming on second watch?

The story is blah, the writing and acting is blah. But yet, I don’t regret watching it again. I love how every setting is packed with goofy species and local details, every cityscape is full of air traffic. If there is any saving grace, it is the soundtrack – the best part of all of the prequels.

Haywire

Haywire. Second viewing (the first). Sometimes it could use a little spark, but I do appreciate it’s overall reserve and steady rumble. If I were in charge, I’d probably do some trimming at the end. Nice, though, to let the side characters like MacGregor and Douglas shine a bit.

Haywire

Haywire. I love when genre films are cooler than they need to be. There’s plenty of moments of playing color and camera angles and audio cuts. The long shots of just running or driving in reverse (!). Quiet fights. Shower-time rummaging. The house with the lights out. The sunset beach scene. The careful, cautious rooftop chase was a nice change from the insane parkour we often see. The use of moody soundtrack reminded me of Manhunter. Carano is a little bit of a robot. It fits, though. Dialogue isn’t too special, but there’s a certain magic that a recognizable ensemble cast brings. I need to see more Steven Soderbergh. Out of Sight was great.

Beginners

Beginners. What a good, sweet movie. If you miss and/or dismiss this you’re dumb. Excellent soundtrack with old blues and standards and, much to my delight, an arrangement of the Adagio from Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor, one of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite albums of 2010. Another good movie about starting over that co-stars a charismatic dog: The Artist. The dog has the best line in the whole thing:

Tell her the darkness is about to drown us unless something drastic happens right now.