Monday, May 16, 2005

Ith a Hit

A.O. Scott got a preview of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

I was anticipating, at least, a measure of relief: finally, this extravagant, ambitious enterprise, a dominant fact of our collective cultural life for nearly 30 years, would be over. But I was hoping, a little anxiously, for more. Would George Lucas at last restore some of the old grandeur and excitement to his up-to-the-minute Industrial Light and Magic? Would my grown-up longing for a return to the wide-eyed enthusiasm of my own moviegoing boyhood – and my undiminished hunger for entertainment with sweep and power as well as noise and dazzle – be satisfied by “Revenge of the Sith”?

The answer is yeth.

I’ll bet he’s been waiting a long, long time to use that line.

And speaking of films, I went with some friends to see Kingdom of Heaven, the Crusader story with Orlando Bloom, who achieved his fame as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings. What an amazing piece of crap it is. A muddy plot, battles in slo-mo, enough blood and grossness to appeal to a flock of twelve-year-old boys, and the requisite gloomy sex scene. Other than that, it’s a complete waste of time. The only redeeming feature is that there are several Mystery Science Theatre 3000 moments, including a scene where a priest gets set ablaze, leading me to comment, “Now he’s a friar.” A bit later Bloom is riding through a dark forest and he comes upon some other horsemen, so I inserted, “I’m looking for three hobbits…” There are also some apparently anachronistic moments — I don’t think that in the 12th century you could catapault burning materials and have them explode like Howitzer shells. Greek fire, maybe, but not artillery. There’s also a close-up of a costume where it’s very apparent someone’s wearing a Velcro patch on their sleeve. That I know is wrong.

Anyway, that’s the cimematic review for the week.