Archive for September, 2010

Clone Wars Debriefing: “Supply Lines”

September 29, 2010

A Separatist blockade is choking off supplies to Ryloth, which starves the populace and makes the effort at battle difficult. Thus, Bail Organa and Jar Jar Binks must convince the king of Toydaria to help break the blockade while the Trade Federation urges Toydaria to remain neutral. There are some war scenes here and there with doomed Jedi Im Gun Di (get it?), Season One’s Cham Syndulla, clones, battle droids, and so forth but a good portion of the action is on the political level. Much of the episode consists of Organa and Jar Jar debating back and forth with Sen. Lott Dodd (Douchebag—Cato Neimodia) in front of Toydaria’s leaders. On paper it doesn’t sound exciting, but it is fun to see the little checkers game being played on both sides. The interesting thing is neither side is being 100% honest. The Republic doesn’t want to say outright, “Hey Toydaria, join our side!” while the Trade Federation is of course very interested in keeping another world out of the Republic’s corner. Even the good guys only talk about the need for humanitarian aid without mentioning that the military will naturally get the backup they need if the blockade is broken. The Toydarians decide to remain neutral. Fortunately, the King saves the day by secretly agreeing to forgo Toydaria’s neutrality. Watch his approval ratings go waaay down! Still, they must sneak supply ships past Lott Dodd and Friends. This is accomplished by Jar Jar using his God-given talent for goofiness.

The eventual DVD commentary can’t say this is yet another “golly just like the OT” episode. “Supply Lines” is very much line in with the prequels all of the way, from the fancy interiors to the politicking to the lesson that even goofballs like Jar Jar have something of value to contribute.

There were some great shots in this episode, my favorite being the shot of a ship going over some Twi’leks’ heads. Very cinematic.

For an episode promising light fare, there are some heartstring-tugging moments, like the Jedi’s last stand with his clone commander.

My favorite thing about “Supply Lines” though was Ahmed Best voicing Jar Jar. Face it America, he IS Jar Jar as much as Anthony Daniels is See Threepio. My favorite bit was when he was doing the dinner party show by snatching up everyone’s plates, muttering, “Did you enjoy that” before dumping out their dinner. This is a guy with real comedic talent and it’s too bad that years of fanboy whining and media bashing have obscured that. Kudos to Clone Wars and to Robot Chicken for giving Best—and Jar Jar—another fair shot. I’m totally with TFN in its review of the same episode, calling for Best to come out to a future Celebration.

My quibbles are few. Bail Organa has a funky pseudo-Hispanic accent that Jimmy Smits DOESN’T have in real life. And I can’t understand how anyone could buy that the Trade Federation is neutral in this war when in one holo, THERE’S A FREAKIN’ TRADE FEDERATION SHIP FLOATING IN SPACE ABOVE RYLOTH!! Helloooo? And they say Jar Jar’s the dumb one.

Next time: Ahsoka, Padme, Sen. Chuchi (a.k.a. Anakin’s Stalker), and George Lucas, action hero.

TPM IN 3D 2012

September 28, 2010

Posted this evening on starwars.com:

Lucasfilm Ltd. announced today that the live-action Star Wars Saga will be converted to 3D! There are few movies that lend themselves more perfectly to 3D; from the Death Star trench run to the Tatooine Podrace, the Star Wars Saga has always delivered an entertainment experience that is completely immersive. Presented by Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm Ltd., the cutting edge conversion will take that immersion to the next thrilling level, with Industrial Light & Magic supervising the project. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is expected to be released theatrically in 2012. A release date has not yet been determined.

“Getting good results on a stereo conversion is a matter of taking the time and getting it right,” said John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic. “It takes a critical and artistic eye along with an incredible attention to detail to be successful. It is not something that you can rush if you want to expect good results. For Star Wars we will take our time, applying everything we know both aesthetically and technically to bring audiences a fantastic new Star Wars experience.”

Very interesting…I would have estimated a 2015 release date. I’m also pleasantly surprised they are apparently re-releasing the films in chronological order, meaning we’ll see AOTC 3D next in 2012-2013ish. Will Fox re-release the films or will Warner Bros., given that Clone Wars is under its umbrella now?

There’s been a lot of backlash against 3D conversions of 2D films in the wake of Avatar‘s success, most of which were cheap and slapdash efforts to cash in on a trend. If anyone can make folks believers in the process again, it’s Papa George.

PT Reference On “Chuck”

September 28, 2010

According to TFN, there was a great PT reference on NBC’s “Chuck” that aired on September 27:

“Achille’s heel. Chuck every relationship has one. A singular problem that can not be overcome, even in the greatest romances. Romeo and Juliet. Tristan and Isolde. Anakin and Padmé.”

You can see the video here!

This Week’s Clone Wars Preview

September 27, 2010

Papa George makes his action debut in cartoon form this week on Clone Wars. Check out a preview of “Sphere of Influence” at starwars.com!

Classic On Set Photo From AOTC

September 23, 2010

Star Wars Aficionado has a new/old pic on the set of AOTC reshoots, featuring Hayden Christensen, Rick McCallum, and Anthony Daniels.

Interview With Anthony Phelan

September 23, 2010

Fan site StarWarsInterviews.com has a new interview with Australian actor Anthony Phelan, who played Lama Su on set and voiced the character in AOTC.

More Fresh Clone Wars Tomorrow Night

September 23, 2010

Get ready for tomorrow night’s “Supply Lines” with a new webcomic, episode guide, and video.

I’ll be on a plane tomorrow night so I won’t be able to watch it until Monday and the usual Clone Wars Debriefing will be a few days late. Thanks for your patience!

Old French Review of TPM

September 23, 2010

Someone on TFN’s message boards managed to scrounge up an old review of TPM by French film critic Pierre Berthomieu (who apparently also wrote a book called “Le Rebelle et L’Empereur”) and thankfully translated to English. It’s short but sweet:

“The Phantom Menace stands out by its narrative and visual qualities. It is the most adult film of the series as well. Lucas plans to tell his story totally on is own, using the attendance’s (audience’s?) satisfaction to fulfill his own taste of epic mythology and comic. For the first time, adult heroes (Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker) are brought to the forefront. The first trilogy portrayed the coming of age of young late-teen heroes; the Phantom Menace makes the child (Anakin), the teen-ager (the Queen) faced with the urge of taking responsibilities, and the adults, either protectors or manipulators, interact.

The Phantom Menace achievement dwells in Lucas’s paradoxes. His film sets out a cohesive universe, where characters developped elsewhere, before or after, appear again. The shots are full of life; one action takes place at the foreground, whereas several others happen in the backgrounds, just like a narrative painting. Instead of inter-cutting to focus on each element, Lucas lets the shots flow, the visual quality operating more as a global sensation than through the details, impossible to detect at first viewing.

The style gets closer to a deepen direct realism of everyday life. The director shoots the same way as in 1977, but his vision has become larger. The movie’s big strenght is the editing, which cleverly lays the oftenly luxuriating parts of each sequence (the podrace), and then throws it in the come and goes of the general plot. It especially comes to fruition, rhythm and touches along, in the big finale editing, with the 4 alternate sequences and the overwhelming singing chorus. The opera-like vocation of Star Wars, its mastering of the popular action-packed movie’s codes are striking by then.

The syndrome of excess and speed don’t alter lots of well-executed casual moments : life on Tatooine, the desert storm, Anakin’s leaving, Shmi and Qui-Gon’s connection (the hand on the shoulder), the love between the 2 young heroes. As well as the close-ups on meditating, brooding, concerned or non-plussed faces, which give a real depth to the movie.”

The Hottest Guy of 2010

September 21, 2010

I won’t try and surmise how a guy at TFN found this item on a celebrity blog apparently aimed at teenage girls, but according to SugarScape, Clone Wars’/90210’s Matt Lanter is the hottest guy of 2010. Apparently his hotness outshines the likes of Justin Bieber, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner.

Congrats, Matt!

Clone Wars Debriefing: “Clone Cadets” and “ARC Troopers”

September 20, 2010

Clone Wars Season Three kicks off with a bang:

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