Monday, June 28, 1999

Half - A - Life

Did my fellows play at half life? Did those that I hold most dear to my bossom go down to city dark, play at PC games until the birth of Sol did wipe away their game filled eyes with desire for sleep? Oh to be with them in their quest for escaped pleasures of the night.

With thoughts of tedium removed, like thorns plucked from flesh, by the deeds of freindship. Yet I find that such tedium is the result of ones hart straining to be at places other then where it is. And I find less and less of that, like seeing the sun's visiage coming through some vaporus ether. The tedium being reborn as pleasure, as sublimity, offering my spirit a new fimrness on which to stand. These last three years have been some fantastical jounrey, like Aeneas, fleeing the burning Troy, across distressing seas tossed up by gods who wished him ill, only to find himself the layer of the cornerstones of the city of Rome.

So I have struggled to see my life transformed from one thing into another, all the time, not knowing the form it was to take.

Monday, June 21, 1999

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - Addendum #3

All of Mikes suggestions are first rate. I have also come up with the second Movie plot. It has to meld with the first movie so I work with what I have to work with, which is to say a lot of piddle-dy-diddle-dy stuff.

Ben Kenobi: A wayward Jedi
Anakin Skywalker: A young man who is in love with Amidala and rampantly Brad Pitt (Not Leonardo, that little freak is to...freakish to be Vader in the rough)
Amidala: Same-old- same-old.
Tarquin Telayni: Working for jedi ministry internal affairs (The real main character)

JIA (Jedi Internal Affairs) is brought in to determine the identity of the Sith Lord that killed Jinn and weather or not Maul was a master or Apprentice. The guy who runs the JIA is Tarquin Talayni, a jedi that is gifted with a shit pot load of the force to the point where he is just a
bit crazy. He has unparalleled clairvoyance. He simply has to look at
you to know what your up to. He is also a smart ass, loose canon. What he is not is a robe wearing, flagellant, bent on bland mental pondering. He has a wife and a kid on the way. (Can't a Jedi have a family? ) He marriage is on the skids because he takes his work too seriously. He throughs himself into the problem of the sith lord.

Tarquin interviews all the living players from the last flick. When he comes to the Trade federation chairman he finds that a portion of the chairman's mind is blocked from his view. He suspects that a very powerful being is behind such a block.

He meets Kenobi and Skywalker. he determines that Kenobi is fucked up to try and train Skywalker. Once they hitch up things start to happen. Palpatine is in full knowledge of Tarquin's inquiry. He is also in full knowledge of Skywalkers uniqueness. So he determines to take the young man in. Tatooine is put under martial law on the pretext of cleaning up the Hutt's and jailing the lot of them. This causes the death of Anakins mom. The jedi are in charge of seeing that Tatooine is cleansed of the Hutts. So when security forces (accidentally) brutally murder Anakin's mom he is PO'd at the jedi.

Now Anakin is a in his early twenty's. He is hot and heavy with Amidala.
They are going to be married. All this is put on hold when the mom dies. Chancellor Palpatine tells Skywalker that he'll look into who was responsible for the death. Tarquin becomes convinced that Palpatine is the only being that has benefited from all that has transpired. He convinces Kenobi of the danger and that Skywalker, now and adult, will never be a jedi and could be used to destroy everything. Tarquin tells Kenobi that Skywalker should be killed to save the galaxy. Kenobi, of course, does not do this.

Palpatine, sensing his hand being tipped, decides to physically capture Skywalkewr from the presence of Kenobi, and more, Tarquin Telayni, the only Jedi, save Yoda, that could keep Skywalker form his appointment with Mr. Evil. The end is climatic where Telayni fights Palpatine, force for force, to keep Skywalker away form him. In the end Telayni is killed, but before he dies he places, within Skywalker, a minute force block, like the one Palpatine placed in the Federation chairman, but far more subtle and undetectable. A block that prevents the good from being totally driven from Skywalker. Palpatine thinks that he has one, but Telayni knows better.

Interesting factoids revealed in this movie:
Han Solo is the unborn son of Tarquin Telayni and his estranged wife.

Power points:
Telayni has acidic humor that pokes fun at the Star Wars universe.
Hence we all have some thing to laugh at when we see the film. Humor is a good thing.
All motivations are clearly defined.

Tuesday, June 15, 1999

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - Addendum #2

Scene I The begining and end.

On the planet Curisant dark farces are at work spelling the doom of the republic. They have just about finsihed spelling the word "doom" when a space craft lands and Jar Jar Binks, now a general in the Gungan-Naboo army, slops out.

In the two years since his pivital, yet uncessary, role in saving queen Amidala from the clucthes of tax-and-spend Federation types, Jar Jar has become quite full of himself.
"Jar Jar wantin some perfume to be puttin on the feet!" He belows at his servants.
Some Ugnaughts have hitched them elves to his rising star, come out and sycophantically perfume his stinking feet. Jar Jar slaps them away and walks down a long metalic corridor.
As he steps out onto a busy street he falls into an open man-hole (creature hole). He yelps as he falls into the plantes core reactor and is atmoized.

From behind some technical mumbo-jumbo, Darth Sidius chuckles unto himself. Then carefully replaces the man hole cover.

"My plans are approaching their zenith. Moohoo Ha ha!" He says, then fades back into the darkness from whence he came.

Meanwhile Obi wan Kenobi is busy coming to terms with being terminally Scotish.

The End.

Tuesday, June 01, 1999

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - Addendum #1

Currisant, the capital buildings, Jedi ministry, etc are all totally cool and very well done. The only thinkg that bugged me was the way-over-exposed composite work during the daylight hours in the Jedi chamber. A little too much edge softening for my tastes. I wish they
could have roughed out a little more of the Jedi culture so that the chamber of "Masters?" made more sense. How many Jedi are there? What is all this testing business?

Saber duel both totally cool and aggrivating. The coreography was the best. However the setting was ho-hum seen-it-done-there before. It looked like they went through a warp in spae-time and dropped into the core of Cloud city or the Death star. The setting was totally off from the rest of the city on Naboo. Mike brought up a very good point that they could have used all those cool waterfalls that some poor CGI artist had to spend days working on. Instead we got cat walks and deep holes full of tech-gunk.

Battle droids. They were supposed to be silly and comical and they were. I enjoyed them getting wasted.

Funniest moment in the film: When Tusken raiders take pot shots at Pod racers. Contrary to Mike I liked the announcers of the Pod races. I also chuckled at the notion that Neeson was playing a galactic mini-schindler by purchasing the freedom of a slave.

Amidala and her court of costume changers: Woa this chick has some spendy looking outfits. I again chuckeld at home as I sang a version of of the old Dr. Pepper jinggle. Amildala, your a dala, wouldn't you like to be a dala too? Or stuff like: Knock, knock....Whos there?.....Amidala.....Amidala who?.....Amidala short can you loan me abuck? Here she is, on the run an everything, her people are enslaved and or killed, and she's putting on more make-up and clothing than Roddy McDowell in Planet of the Apes.

Getting back to Kevin Spacey as Gui-Gon Jinn: Picture him playing the role much the same way he played his part in LA confidential. Not you average everyday Jedi. They would have kicked ass. But oh well.

Trade federation is blockading Naboo because Naboo doesn't want to pay taxes? So the federation is like the WTO, not a real country just a bunch of money grubbing beaurocrats that try to force soverign nations into doing stuff that will help the WTO get rich. There is some interesting politics going on here and I wish they come out and explain a bit of it. Would make for a more fun in the end.

Was the story anit climactic? No, not for me. I thought the ending was good. It seems that the next movie is going to be a real downer of a film. They have a lot of time to pass by. Anakin has to grow up and have two kids. He's got to try and save his mum from Tatooine. I predict he will fail and this will drive him into some weird shit with Palpatine waiting for him.

I still think my story makes mroe sence and gells better with the existing three films.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace


Firstly I must say that Mike is probably far more qualified to review this film. He has seen it now five times. But he is not here and I am so here we go:

On a scale of 1 to 10 this film gets a 7. On a purely Star Wars scale it falls into the number 3 spot behind Empire Strikes Back,. Nothing will truly surpass the feelings dredged up in me by the first viewing of Star Wars. Empire is still number two simply because of the way Vader is portrayed as an intelligent bad guy not a cardboard british nazi imperials, of which there are a lot of in Empire and indeed all the movies.

The rating of 7 being given, let us discuss the film proper:

To use some of Mr. Mijo's critique, this film shares many characteristics of a plummet from a c-130. It shares even more characteristics with a person who is strapped to the outside of a SR-71 and then told to hit the after burner controls. I am going to have to see it again just to digest all the stuff that Lucas has seen fit to throw at me. I was half expecting to see a CGI kitchen sink flying toward the screen doing one of those slow accelerating spins. Overall the film was so fast paced that I dare say no viewer is going to get bored with it.

Visual effects: Outstanding, the best there has ever been in any movie ever made. CGI artist better get the fucking academy award for this. I really envy the dudes who got to work on this film. The Curisant and Naboo creators did good. Art direction was Grade A magnificent. This film fits in really well with the other SW films in that is as much a work of visual art as a story. Lucas knows what panavision is for.

This did not look like a fucking TV show. Unlike Starship troopers, that also used big wave attack battle scenes, this movie actually made them work. Pod race was totally cool. Light saber duel was first rate. It makes the first duel with Ben and Darth seem pretty lame.

Music: Aside from the known themes the music was very good though not really operatic as it has been in all of the other 3 films. A mediocre score. It didn't make me want to run out and by the CD.

Jar-Jar? Well he's no Chewbacca but then again who is. I liked him.
Amidala? Solid but a bit of a hypocrite thanks to the orgasmic costume designs. The flick should get an oscar for costume too. Better than Princess Leia.
Qui-Gon Jinn, nice jedi, I wished McGregor could have been offed, but alas there had to be a neo-Kenobi that must die. I guess ol' Jinn will be popping up in a blue glow in the next couple of films.
Ben Kenobi? Not bad but a bit of a dim-wit. Neeson was young enough that he should have played Kenobi. And Kevin Spacey should have played Jinn.
C-3PO, very nice. George! Make him more of a main character! Creepy thinking that Darth Vader was C-3PO's father too.
R2-D2, ditto
Darth Maul: Blah blah blah blah, a storm trooper without an outfit. The dude could use a slight saber but was so fucking thin that I swear I could see through him. The trooper who said, "look sir droids." had more character to work with than this flat scumbag. You could have cut this guy in half with a pair of kindergarten scissors.
Palpatine: A good performance. At least the guy didn't play the bad guy too heavily or the good guy too sweetly.
Mace Windu: Forget that he's Jackson and the character is fine. A bit player.
Anakin: Stable and effective. I know this doesn't sound good but I don't know what else I can say. He's cute in an Adam Rich sort of way. Too bad he's gonna turn into Mr. Evil.
I guess on the whole the characters were good but not really entrancing. They were all better than most other sci-fi characters. I liked the Federation thugs. Oh and the Chancellor Volleron....In my story the Chancellor's name was Vaxer. Both with a V and both were chancellors?

The story: Confusing and not very deep. Depth is not something that Lucas has ever had to worry too much about with his films because the characters as so strong that they can carry the simple story. However this story has only a couple of such characters and the rest I just didn't connect with. So the plot problems surface and are hard to cast aside.

Problem one: Naboo is first blockaded by lots of battle ships. In the end the whole occupation force is disabled by the destruction of only one battle ship? Where did all the rest go?
Problem Two: The motivation behind Palpatine is so murky as to be in comprehensible. Is he doing this to gain power? He he doing this to revenge his kind against the Jedi? What? What does he have on the on the Federation to make them expend so much on Naboo? I guess this isn't a problem if all this gets reveled later on, but I think Lucas could have let a bit more of the cat out of the bag besides one whisker.

Overall effect on me: I loved the film from the standpoint of it being another chapter in the saga. Judging it in the context of a chapter I find that it is a fitting installment.
One point that never hit me until Mike pointed it out was the whole bio-Force connection. This truly sucks and the guy who foisted this bunch of crap on us should have his dick pulled off with pliers. The whole Force thing is mystical., If you try and use psudo-science to reveal it then you cheapen it and reduce it's power. I agree with Mike that the force nanites, was the worst part of the film.

An the positive side this film redeems my belief that the last two films are gonna rock. I could go on about other parts that bugged me but I won't. The over all feeling was one of exhilaration over seeing Sw back on the big screen with all new characters. And despite the weird story I am sure things will clear up as time goes by.

I will be adding addendum's to this review as the Force hits me.