Tag Archives: Ewan McGregor

The Force is Forced Upon me

It was only a month ago when I took in my first Star Wars movie, ever (The Force Awakens). The original trilogy was a big deal to Sean, as a kid, but he failed incite the same domnic-west-star-warspassion in me. Lucky for him, I underwent a hefty back surgery a couple of weeks ago and ever since then have been a) trapped in bed b) under the heavy influence of drugs. So it was under these influences that Sean took advantage of his poor, sickly wife, and we tackled the first three movies in the series, Episodes I, II, and III.

The Phantom Menace: Watching these movies turns out to be like playing peekaboo with celebrities. I may be in and out of consciousness, but I’m pretty sure I’ve spied Dominic West (of The Wire) as a guard, and handmaids greatly resembling Keira Knightley and Sofia Coppola. I like Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson together, but almost everything outside of those two feels a bit silly. I’m definitely not a fan of Jar Jar Binks and while I’m not sure he was intentionally meant to be a racist caricature, he does make me cringe every time he talks. Interesting to see Darth Maul in action – I’ve long heard this DotF_TPM.pngvillain praised, and am disappointed that he turns out to be over and done with so quickly. Definitely digging his double-bladed light saber, though his fight with the two Jedis was uneven for me, sometimes thrilling, other times downright implausible. What I find most unforgivable in this movie are the cheesy screen wipes. Shouldn’t we, as a society, be above those by now?

Attack of the Clones: This one feels familiar when it opens – maybe a little The Fifth Element-ish? I also spent way too much time wondering – is that Rose Byrne? (yes, it is) and – that’s not Joel Edgerton, is it? dorme-star-wars(again, it is). Again I’m finding Ewan McGregor to be the best thing about this movie, and am missing Liam Neeson. Hayden Christensen isn’t great but mostly I’m stuck on why a photos-star-wars-attack-of-the-clones-23124364-1600-1200Queen and Senator would be attracted to such a whiny kid (last movie there was an 8 year age difference between the actors; this movie there’s none). I’m having a hard time keeping track of good guys and bad guys. I’m very WTF about Jimmy Smits appearing – um, really? Jimmy Smits? And same with The Phantom Menace, the very evident over-usage of green screens is tiring and flat. Also I’m wondering how it is that every time someone fights, they’re either on a very narrow bridge, or on the rim of a very big hole. Seems unlikely.

Revenge of the Sith: Whoa, this one’s got quite the body count. There’s a lot of beheadings\behandings\beleggings going on. And Anakin catching on fire? Brutal. And it star-wars-episode-iii-revenge-of-the-sith-hd-movie-2005-4goes on a for a LONG time. I was really feeling that Anakin’s back story was insufficient to explain why he’d gone over to the dark side but he might just be crispy enough to warrant it after all. As a fan of the original trilogy, Sean had a lot of problems with the prequels, not least of all because everything is so damned shiny and new in these movies. CGI makes everything look sleek and sparkly. All the ships and robots are rendered flawlessly, a huge contrast to the more practical effects used in the original movies, but chronologically, it makes no sense that 30 years later, the technology looks so much clunkier. I noticed that things like R2D2 and Vader’s mask are also so sleek that they end up looking like cheap plastic. But I’m having an even harder time justifying Padme’s death scene. Lost the will to live? Oh, is that an official medical diagnosis now? Look, lady, I’m sorry your first marriage didn’t work out and your husband turned out to be a bit of a dick (although let’s face it: Darth Vader is much sexier than joel-edgerton-star-warswhiny, emo Anakin, an entitled millennial from another millennium) but you can’t just check out. She was a fighter this whole time, politically savvy and a better shot than any of her male counterparts, but she can’t face raising her babies alone? Come on! So the babies get split up, to be raised by Jimmy Smits and Joel Edgerton. Is that weird? Yes it’s weird! Almost as weird as creepy little Hayden Christensen somehow morphing into James Earl Jones. That’s the kind of math that only George Lucas can account for.

 

So what did I think? I was as underwhelmed as I always suspected I’d be. These movies aren’t shitting all over my childhood since I still haven’t seen the original trilogy, but at no point was I glad that there were 3 whole movies to sit through. I never cared to see more. I never felt really attached to the characters, although Yoda grew on me. What did the prequels do for you?

Where does that leave me on the original trilogy? I suppose I’ll have to see them. And seeing how I’m still bed-bound, I’m sure Sean will have plenty of opportunity to foist them upon me. I am defenseless against The Force.

 

Advertisements

Moulin Rouge!

Happy love day, everyone! Whether single or otherwise engaged, Valentine’s day is a great day to curl up under a fuzzy, warm blanket and have a cozy day (or night) watching movies that make you believe in love. Today I’m writing about Moulin Rouge!, not just because it’s a great love story, but because Sean and I are in Paris and to celebrate our own VD, we’re taking in a show at the actual Moulin Rouge! Located in the Pigalle section of Montmartre, it was the birth place of the can-can, a seductive dance done by courtesans with split knickers. It was a place where the rich could “slum it” in a safe and fashionable district. And yes, they really had a huge elephant statue right in the middle of the garden, just like in the movie. This past October it celebrated its 125th anniversary. Even the movie is aging – can you believe it’s already 14 years old?

source: ericisadrug.tumblr.com

Filming was halted for two weeks in November 1999 after Nicole Kidman fractured two ribs and hurt her knee while rehearsing a dance routine for the movie. If she’s being filmed from the chest up, it’s probably because she’s sitting in a wheelchair.

source: maryjesu.tumblr.com

The necklace worn by Satine was made of real diamonds and platinum and was the most expensive piece of jewelery ever specifically made for a film – wowza! The Stefano Canturi necklace was made with 1,308 diamonds (!), weighing a total of 134 carats and was worth an estimated cool million.

source: thewickettwitch.tumblr.com

Originally, the green fairy was going to be a long-haired muscly guy , which Ozzy Osbourne was tapped to voice. Obviously it was changed along the way to the current “Tinker Bell” incarnation, played by the fabulous Kylie Minogue, but Osbourne still gives voice to the fairy’s guttural scream when it turns evil. How cool is that?

source: blindlyfromyidols.tumblr.com

The movie was shot largely at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, with no location filming at all, which means the Paris landscape was digitally produced and the two longest visual effects shots (as of 2001) appear in this film. So while famously Parisian, it’s also famously fake.

However you’re celebrating today, and even if you’re not celebrating at all, I wish you love, happiness, popcorn, and movies. I’m off to the Moulin Rouge with my sweetie, and I’ll let you know if they still wear the split knickers 😉

1280px-Moulin_Rouge,_Paris_April_2011