Tuesday, May 24, 2005

24 May 2005: Lucas

No, I haven't seen Episode III yet. And I don't think I'm going to.

Opinion, of course, is split, as it usually is. There's a general feeling that the special effects are, on the whole, very good; meanwhile the conversations between Anakin and Padme are bad, and George Lucas can't write such scripts. Beyond that, opinions are split.

Scott says it's "awesome" and "answers every question". But this, of course, is the man who follows American Idol quite fanatically.

Rob says it's "the worst film I've ever seen" and that "Lucas could film himself in a toilet for two hours, market it as a Star Wars movie, and it would be a hit." It's hard to disagree with the latter, but can the former be true?

Last summer, we sat down in our house to watch a movie on DVD. It was shortly after Martyn moved in, and was indeed the first time I'd watched a movie with him. (The previous nearest was the duck-on-the-head football incident reported in one of my Ur-blogs.) Martyn has ever since held the opinion that I am overly-critical of films. No, not all films. Just the one we watched that day. It's name? 'The Last Samurai'.

Now, I can tell a number of you have already gone into convulsions at the very mention of the name. The Last Samurai is easily, without question, the worst film I have ever seen. Even that piece of poo that Martyn and Dave watched the other week ("Quicksand") was slightly better, which is saying something for a film that, despite having Michael Caine in it, still managed to be very poor indeed. But at least it was an attempt at originality. The Last Samurai was so utterly derivative that at times you could have been watching scenes taken directly from 'Braveheart', 'Dances With Wolves' and even 'Karate Kid', for goodness' sake; indeed there were moments (such as the arrows flying through the air) where it was identical, shot-for-shot. As I pointed out at the time, there were some differences in the script: in Dances With Wolves, the native woman's husband had been killed by 'a white man', rather than the central character personally; but hang on, if that is the biggest difference, then what's the point in even watching it? I spent large chunks of the movie (before I got up and left the room entirely) just starting at the wall because I simply couldn't bear to watch it. It was that bad.

And was I alone in this? No. Radio Five Live ran a competition at the time, which invited listeners to complete the sentence: "The worst thing about The Last Samurai is...". The winner was both clever and yet at the same time quite depressing.

"The worst thing about The Last Samurai is that it probably isn't."

Thankfully, it looks like this last Star Wars probably is. But I still won't go to see it. Sorry, Jainhollie!

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