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January 1st, 2011

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02:36 pm - Revenge of the Sith
Funny thing to start the new year by recommending, but people who are interested in film might enjoy this extended video-review by 'Harry Plinkett'* of what is wrong with Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. That's a link to a web site with three embedded videos, and the whole thing is well over an hour of watching-time. He intersperses extracts from the film, with shots from a making-of documentary, with voice-over analysing what went wrong.

Incidentally, be warned that the framing of these reviews is that they are the ravings of a basement-dwelling serial killer, a conceit which is more intrusive in his reviews of Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones (both of these are also worth watching). May put you off: the first one in particular is pretend-misogynist.

Inside that framing though, the reviews provide strong functional analyses of what is wrong with the storytelling of the three films. In this three-part review of Revenge of the Sith,for example, he talks very convincingly about how the use of blue-screen makes some scenes over-static and others too busy, with the actors disconnected from their environment. He also talks throughout the reviews about how character development and motivation is bungled in the prequels compared to the original trilogy, and how Lucas is poor at getting the best from his actors. In the third part he does some split-screen comparisons with Citizen Kane: in some ways a similar story, handled at the opposite extreme of skill.

Just as Slacktivist's long running anti-review of the Left Behind novel series has great insights into what makes good and bad writing, I think these three long video-reviews of the prequel trilogy have a lot of teach about the kind of plonking desperation which ruins so much SF film and television. And how it could be much better.

* = Actually horror director Mike Stoklasa

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 1st, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
Ooh this is just petty payback for my constant slaggery offery of Mad Men, isn't it? That sort of thing leads to the Dark Side don't you know.
[User Picture]
Date:January 1st, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
FWIW He tells the haters to lay off Hayden Christensen, whose fault it all isn't. I think the 'making of' sequences really show where the problems lie, and it's not with the poor old actors, who are all being so patient and serious.
[User Picture]
Date:January 3rd, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
lay off Hayden Christensen, whose fault it all isn't

:-D Oh come on, he is not the only reason I adore that movie. There is also an epic lightsabre fight on lava. Lightsabres! Lava! There can be no room for cinematic imperfection there!

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