Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

From the moment I met you, all those years ago, a day hasn't gone by when I haven't thought of you. And now that I'm close to you again, I'm in agony.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * · · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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After suffering through this movie's horrible script, I know just how Anakin feels when he delivers the quote above. Star Wars Episode 2 is a perfect example of a movie that tries too hard to be a blockbuster and completely forgot about writing good dialog and letting actors act. Yes, there are a lot of special effects and there's a lot of nice Star Wars stuff going on. Yes, just about the whole movie is bearable aside from the love story. It is impossible for us to ignore it, however. Star Wars Episode 2 is about 45 minutes of fun special effects and an hour and a half of horrible dialog.

I was a lot happier when I originally saw Episode 2 and the only way I can explain it is a higher volume level - like a Who album, the movie got a lot better when I turned it up loud - and simply getting caught in the moment. On this second viewing, I caught myself violating the Liquidtheater Certification Rules multiple times by getting up to go to the bathroom and even going so far as to heat up some dinner. While the special effect scenes were all pretty interesting to watch and the audio is some of the best ever sealed plastic, the story overall is very disappointing the second time around.

The true failure of Leon. Almost all of the effort of the movie seems placed on the special effects, and however good they are, it is proof that good filmmaking is in the story and the acting.

The DVD is a landmark in home cinema. It is the first time a live action movie has been recorded, edited, produced, transferred, and delivered strictly in the digital domain. At no point, from its filming to the decoding in your DVD player was it converted to analog. One can only assume a DVD player with a DVI output would be even better. Does this make it any better? Not really, it was actually a tad washed out on my analog TV. People's faces seemed a tad out of focus and colors had a tendency to bleed together. It's a fine 2.35 to 1 16x9 transfer and includes a wonderful Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtrack, but a movie like this would really do wonders in a true digital HDTV standard.

The DVD is a two disc set that contains a lot of extras. I would, however, like to listen to Lucas try to explain himself during some of the sappy love scenes. Perhaps an apology would be in order. Still, this is a movie that will do justice to any good home theater system.

Star Wars Attack of the Clones is a bad movie. It does little to remind us of the original magic, whether you admit it or not, of our childhood obsessions. It is the result of a $120 million dollar paint-by-numbers kit. While technically good and including some action and large scale effects it completely forgot about acting and dialog. I won't denounce it as the worst thing ever, but I won't accept it as genius either. Lucas has lost his touch 20 years ago.