Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-06-11 Entry: "How Cool Was That?"

And the reason why I've nudged myself into writing this glut of entries to resolve the backlog finally arrives.

My brother, being really keen and not having seen it, persuaded myself and our sister to go and see Star Wars on Monday evening.

Having pizza for dinner meant that we actually made it out of the door in time for the early showing we'd planned for, so we got to the cinema and found it nearly deserted (which is how it should be).

Buying my usual gallon of Coke, we found seats (near the back and roughly in the middle) and settled in for the wait.

Eventually we got the Pearl And Dean adverts - does the USofA have Pearl And Dean? Do they have the same music? As bopping along to that is part of the fun... alright, yes, I'm sad, but it's catchy damnit!

Adverts out of the way and we should get trailers - we do get the "Here are some appropriate trailers" banner - then we get directions to the exit in case of fire... then we get a promo for the cinema and the "Here is the film you came for" prompt. Then we get a trailer for Minority Report (looks cool but that's beside the point) - someone's got these out of order... Then we get the Dobly Steam Train... only Dobly Stereo? I get better than that at home!

And finally, the film... Lucasfilm logo, Star Wars, scrolly text, thundery music... and we're off.

Oh goddess - Jar Jar is still in it... the new Anakin isn't much better than the last one... don't they get nice shiny silver ships... Natalie Portman gets good hair...

And the verdict? It was so cool! I was bouncing in my seat during the battle scene at the end... okay, I'd had to give up higher brain functions and pretty much treat it as a big kids film, but that's what Lucas claims they are...

The dialogue is still terrible, but the plot all comes together nicely, the evil Emperor shows that he's actually bl**dy sneaky and has been planning all this for ages. Ewan gets quite a bit to do. Natalie Portman apparently spent most of the shoot in wardrobe (as she's in a different outfit in every shot) - and the one Lucas designed? The black leather corset thing? How tight?! They do bludgeon you over the head with the music cues a bit though... we get it alright, we don't need it pointed out in massive Dobly Stereo! Although watching the Anakin theme become the Darth Vader theme as the movie progressed (and more mysteriously, the Anakin / Amidala love theme became the Luke / Leia / Han love theme by the end).

The monsters in the arena had been stolen from somewhere... I still haven't worked out where, but all three looked familiar. C3PO got all the dumb one liners. Christopher Lee gets to play another evil villain (although, during the scene with Ewan being held captive I thought he was a good guy who'd been expertly duped by the Emperor), and Yoda (although computer generated) gets some serious action scenes.

So on the whole it was very, very cool.

In other viewing notes, I caught all but the beginning of the Star Trek special of the Weakest Link. Some well laughed at (if not actually funny) insults from Anne, and Wil Wheaton came across as a smug git (although he claims he was trying to act the young arrogant actor when he discussed it after being voted off - so he isn't this unpleasant?). But Robert Picardo should have won... he was obviously the most knowledgeable on there... but pipped at the post...

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