Revenge of the Sith Review

So today was a long, but interesting day.  I spent a good part of it with my friend Sam.  Our morning of hanging out was a bit unfortunate though…  And if you could please pray for her I would really appreciate it.  Wednesday Sam was involved in a car accident, in which she was involved in a head-on collision with another car.  Luckily she was not seriously hurt, and neither was her baby (who is almost 7 months along).  But that doesn’t mean there were some concerns and that Sam’s still in a lot of pain.  Her car got totaled as well.  She called me last night and asked me if I could take her to a follow-up visit with her doctor this morning, in which I was happy to do.  I spent the morning with her over at the doctor’s office.  Luckily everything’s still looking good, but Sam is still in a lot of pain and she really can’t take anything for it due to her being pregnant and all.  She’s being a trooper right now. 

 

But that didn’t stop her from going with me to go see the Star Wars opening with me today.  I really was trying to look out for her and tried to make sure she wasn’t over-taxing herself, but she wanted to go.  Geez, after sitting through it I was also in a lot of pain!

 

In all seriousness the movie wasn’t horrible, and was pretty good.  Good, but not great, and it definitely did not live up to the level of hype.  Of course with the massive publicity and media campaign going on with that movie – it was a pretty tall order.  Before I go into giving my analysis I want to make a few disclaimers:

 

Disclaimer #1: I’m not the world’s biggest Star Wars fan.  In fact, being a “closet Trekie” (see earlier post) I typically poke fun at Star Wars (Come on, no one kisses their sister on the Enterprise).  That being said, I’ve seen all the movies and as a general sci-fi fan, I have more than a “trendy” interest in the Star Wars franchise (although I am extremely skeptical).  I’m not a Star Wars junkie by any means, and the perspective I have to offer is someone who has a little more than a passing interest.

 

Disclaimer #2: I’m not a movie critic, I just play one on TV.  I don’t have white hair, have dark-rimmed glasses or respond to Ebert – so take my opinion for what it’s worth.

 

Disclaimer #3: I have a personal beef with George Lucas, mainly due to his sheer arrogance.  At the end of the day dude wrote a decent story that turned into (relatively) low-budget movie that became a media sensation.  But dude’s walking around like he wrote one of the books in the Bible or something.  I’ve seen quite a few interviews with Lucas over the years and his demeanor during the interviews is appalling.  He makes it sound like he’s doing us a favor by writing and directing those movies.

 

My contempt towards Lucas goes beyond the reaches of “A Galaxy Far, Far Away”.  An example of his arrogance is conveyed in a LucasFilms business dealing towards the end of the 90’s.  Back at the turn of the century when DVD’s were just beginning to make their mark George Lucas made a heavy investment in the DIVX format.  (And no I’m not talking about the current DIVX format, which is a compressed codec that people use today).  DIVX was a competitive technology with DVD’s where you could go buy DIVX discs (provided you had a DVD player that also support DIVX) for like $5.  You’d take it home and play it and 48 hours later the disc would self-destruct.  This was supposed to mark the end of the movie-rental industry.  The problem is it never caught on.  Back in 1999 DVD players were expensive enough without shelling out $50+ for DIVX capability, and let’s face it: part of the fun of renting movies is taking them back to the video store and looking around for the next video you would like to rent.  So DIVX tanked, and right with it: the significant investment George Lucas coughed up to invest in this.  DVD became the clear winner and we all know the rest of the story.  The trouble is Lucas was so furious and and arrogant that he held of releasing the Star Wars movies onto DVD – UNTIL LATE 2004 when he finally caved to pressure.  But here we were in 99-01 watching all of these classic movies coming to DVD and Lucas didn’t do a thing.  In my mind he was too bitter and conceited to believe that his own private protest would make a difference.

 

So yes, I have a great deal of dismay when it comes to George Lucas.  But now about the movie…

 

Things I enjoyed:

 

·        The way that the loose ends were tied up at the end of the movie.  For people who really seek closure in plot lines I believe will walk away satisfied.

·        The special effects and battle scenes were pretty good.  The CGI looked pretty decent and LucasFilms definitely didn’t disappoint (although there’s always that nagging question “if these are prequels why is the technology more advanced in the past?”)

·        Yoda kicks ass and you definitely get your Yoda fix

·        Jimmy Smits was in the film.  He is so cool – especially since he is also on the West Wing now!

 

Things that bugged me:

 

All the continuity and logic problems that plagued this movie.  Now of course when you shine a light at any major franchise it’s easy to nitpick, but there were just things that didn’t make sense…  For example:

 

·        The inability to demonstrate the passage of time.   Padme has an amazingly fast pregnancy.  Maybe her race doesn’t have the nine month’s we come to expect, but at the beginning of the movie she lets it out that she’s expecting and the next thing you know she’s giving birth in what seems to be a week later.  Now I don’t expect the movie to flash a calendar every 10 minutes, but if events are unfolding it might help to do something to demonstrate the passage of time.  Everything just seemed to blend together and next thing you know she was giving birth.

·        The inability to express time passage also made it hard to believe the whole “Anakin turning to the Dark Side” thing.  Now this character has always been a whiney little prick from the very beginning, but it was really hard for me to see any kind of digression from being this Jedi superstar to going to the dark side…   It was almost like at random moments he decided to be bad…  This could have been fixed if they showed this happening over the course of weeks or months, but again it looks like it all lasted a week again.

·        If they were so concerned about Anakin chillin’ out with that Palpatine guy, then why did they keep giving him all of these blatant assignments?  I understand they want to trust the whole Jedi thing, but for having such keen instincts they really screwed this up.  “We want you to spy for us..” “Opps!  We didn’t think you would go right out and tell him!”  Make it somewhat believable

·        When they discovered Palpatine was the Sith guy (sidenote: “Boy, I never saw that coming!” – but what was funny was there was a little kid that was maybe 6 or 7 sitting in front of us who really was shocked.  It was both cute and funny) why did Samuel L. (Badass) Jackson simply say “Um, stay here, we’re going to go kick his ass”.  Memo to Jackson: when you find out that the leader of your government is in fact a huge turncoat, you might want to tell someone so that it doesn’t look like a random assassination.  During the movie the Jedi had these awesome teleconference abilities, where Yoda was literally on the battle front but still able to attend council meetings – would it have been that hard to fire off a few messages or call a meeting of the council.  After Samuel dies there wasn’t anyone else who knew about Palpatine.  Ooops!

·        So we’re led to believe Padme is dying and doesn’t have much time left.  She’s losing strength & the will to live, but all of the sudden she has the strength to give a natural birth (to twins no less).  I understand they didn’t want to turn this into an ER episode and have to get Carter to operate, but it’s just random for her to just die the way she did.

 

The other thing that bugs me is that George Lucas can not write his way out of a paper bag when it comes to romantic drama.  CHEESEY!  These sentimental scenes were just lackluster and ultimately painful to watch.

 

The attempts to tie this movie into the other five movies were far too outstretched.  At the end of the movie Vader and the Emperor were standing on a Star Destroyer surrounded by guys in imperial uniforms (and when did that happen!  We didn’t see these guys at all during the first three movies) watching a Death Star get built!  So what exactly happens in the 18-20 years that Luke and Leia are growing up?  Are we to believe that it took 20 years to build the 1st Death Star, then 2-3 years to build the second one?  Again it boils down to the “passage of time issue”.

 

Also what was the deal with the ending scene where Yoda tells Obi Wan, “Smoke pot you can, and Qui-Gon Jinn appears, he will”.  Wait?!?  Where has that guy been for the last two movies?   Why bring him up in the last 5 minutes?  There was absolutely no point to that besides saying “Go watch the 1st movie again”.

 

Also throughout the movie we had all of these yahoos cheering away, which reminded me of my biggest movie pet peeve: Why do people cheer in a movie theater?  I get cheering at an actual theatre – of course you do!  I get cheering at a concert, but incase you don’t realize THE PEOPLE IN THE MOVIE CAN’T HEAR YOU CHEER.  At that point I’m led to believe that movie theater cheering is based on pure self-gratification and the desire to try to identify other people in the theater.  But really, just shut-up.  I’m trying to watch the movie!

 

So is Star Wars worth seeing?  Definitely!  It’s one of those popular culture events that you just have to do take part of.  Is it a good movie?  Sure.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s more than a bit rough around the edges.

Quick mid-day post

So as I said yesterday at the Rockies game Sam and I got to talking about relationships and more specifically why I am not in one.  A while ago Sam offered this premise that the reason I am not dating anyone is because my standards are so high that I basically eliminate any girls that are interested in me.  I really resent that statement though – just because there are a lot of qualities that I look for in a girl doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to take the chance and get to know someone better and see where things go from there.  Hence the definition of dating…  Or one would think.

Sam subscribes to this notion that the way I convey my expectations when I meet girls is in such a way that in her words "girls take themselves out of the running". I really struggle with this because while I do have a list stashed away of qualities that are important to me, one of my qualities I value most is my friendliness and desire to be accepting.  I think if a girl has endearing qualities that I’d just like the chance to get to know her better, build a friendship and see where things go from there.

If I was going to breakdown my reasons for being single it would there would be two primary reasons:

1)      I don’t have many opportunities to meet girls in a constructive setting.  At work I am the youngest person by far, and I work so much that when I got to class I’m not on campus before or after for long – I bolt back to work.  I’m not involved at my local church anymore (see previous posts) which has closed down a very big social avenue, and the activities I am involved with at  church (Pastoral Council, Choir, teaching) aren’t very big avenues to connect with girls either.  So yes, my “meeting” opportunities are limited.

Sam asked me “Why don’t you go to bars to meet girls?” When I told her I never would do that she goes “Well there you go – your high expectations again.”  But I resent that!  In my mind if you go to a bar by yourself (or even with another guy friend) to the sole intention of meeting girls it never goes well.  I’m not saying that you can’t meet someone in a bar – some of my friends have great relationships that happened from bar-room meetings – but when I go out I go out with the intention of just going to have a good time, chill with your friends, have a few Pops and play pool or dance.  If you meet someone along the way – great!  But I think at that point it’s just being in the right situation at the right time.

2)      Call me a romantic novelist, but I have this notion that a healthy relationship is built upon the foundation of a strong friendship. And I guess that’s one value I struggle with compromising.  I’m not someone who can just casually date for the fun of if – it really should be going somewhere.  Now I’m not saying that we need to go out and pick out drapes together and come up with our future kids’ names – but at the same time I’d like to know that there is some kind of potential there for a long term thing.  And then there’s my dream that my lover will be my best friend, so I go and build friendships with these amazing girls and most of the time those girls can’t see our relationship as anything beyond a friendship. Argh…  So maybe in that regard my standard is a bit lofty, but I don’t think it’s unreachable by any means.

At the end of the day is it too much to ask for to find someone who has a good head on their shoulders and makes smart decisions in their life?  That’s all I’m really asking for.  If that makes my standards “too high” then I don’t know what to think…

Sidenote: While I was writing this posting my friend Matt IM’s me:

HzRdS: dude, Coldplay DMB’d us
romeyinfc: What?!?
HzRdS: they’re skipping us this year
romeyinfc: DAMMIT!

What the heck?!?  This is the second time this summer we’ve been jipp’d by a really good band.  Denver is the freaking largest city in a 600 mile radius – why is it that we are now consistently being stiffed on these great bands?  Matt and I got to go see ColdPlay over at Red Rocks a few years ago, and it’s definitely on my “Top 5 Best Concerts” list…  Those guys were simply amazing live and I was looking forward to seeing them…  looks like it won’t be any time soon.  DAMMIT!  I’m already flying out east to go see DMB (for the second year in a row as they screwed us last year too).  THIS SUCKS!!!

Late night = another quick entry

Today was a good day, another very productive day at work.  I was joking that if I keep it up at this pace I’m going to run out of things to do by the end of the week!  Hahah, probably not – I always manage to find more on my "to-do" list.

Tonight I went to the Rockies game with Sam. We had a lot of fun and the Rocks won (for once!) 9-4.  It was a lot of fun and turned out to be a really nice evening.  Of course that meant I got absolutely nothing done this evening, but I’ll make it up tomorrow.

Two quick things I encountered today that I’d like to comment on:

1) At work they had a nice little story about a "limited edition" product they’re rolling out…  Well, see for yourself: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050516a.html

…Yeah…  First off you’re telling me that we couldn’t find anyone with any more talent or credibility than GWEN STAFANI?!?  Ugh… Give me a break!  They said that the camera was "designed for her fans".  Isn’t that making the presumption that SHE HAS FANS?  I guess I didn’t get the memo..  I’m sure that her 10’s of fans are very excited about this.  Now maybe I’m a Gwen hater, but I really feel that she is one of the banes of the music industry.  She has a minimal amount of talent and exploits it in the most annoying fashion..  And just because those Japanese girls wrot-ERRRR-collaborated on her new album doesn’t mean she has creative license to help design one of the ugliest cameras I have ever seen.  It’s not enough for her to ruin Ska with No Doubt (then fake R&B and reggae), or to ruin Pop with her "Love, Crappy Music Baby" CD but now she has to ruin my company’s products???  Thanks for nothing Gwen…   Also have you seen the "Hollaback Girl" video?  They say the camera was featured prominantly in the video…  After watching the whole thing it seems that the camera wasn’t the only thing that was featured prominantly…  GET SOME PANTS ON!!!  And "the S*** is Bananas?".  What’s that supposed to mean?  This isn’t exactly the best song to be associated with…

2) My conversation with Sam about why "my standards are too high for girls and is the reason I’m not dating anyone" – Too much to go into tonight, but I’ll post on that in the next day or so…  Interesting conversation though at the ballgame…

Big Upgrade Completed

Quick post, as it’s getting late and I stayed up getting some work done…

Today was a GREAT DAY!  A very busy and productive one.  First and foremost I successfully completed my upgrade installation at work.  This has been a project that has been about 6 weeks in the making (but also has been in the pipes for well over a year now), so while I’m grateful that this is off my shoulders I think my boss and team will be pretty excited that we can cross this off our list too.  This clears a final "red tape" hurdle that we needed to take our product to Prime Time, so I’m pumped about that.  So far we’ve been upgrade for 7 hours and no issues to report   I’m happy…

I’m also happy that I went grocery shopping and finally stocked up my fridge with something more than beer, condiments & pop…  Wow, it’s weird to see real food in there! lol…

Also I managed to get some good NCSC work done today as well.  I got the information for our Colorado vacation out.  This is something that’s been looming over me to get done, but once I finally sat my butt down and started doing it – it turned out to be a lot of fun!  Something tells me this is going to be a good NCSC week.

Tomorrow night Sam and I are going down to Coors Canaveral to watch the Rockies play.  Two games in two weeks – woah!  You’d think I was a Rockies fan or something   Also I bought some movie tickets for Thursday, as I think I might come down with a case of "Star Wars-itus" *cough* *cough* and might have to miss a few hours of work around lunch-time…

As far as Mondays go today was a really good day   Looks like it’s going to be an exciting week ahead!

Good but unproductive weekend

Great weekend!  Did I get any work done? No…  Did I chop any items off of my to-do list?  No…  But that’s partly why it was such a great weekend.  When Friday came I felt that the previous week was quite productive, and getting the rest that I got felt really good.

Now that’s not to say that I sat around and did nothing…  I actually wasn’t home all that much.   Saturday morning I joined my mom at the movies.  We saw "Kingdom of Heaven" – interesting movie.  I’m not really sure if I enjoyed it very much, but I didn’t hate it either.  I wish I knew my 12th century history, then I could better understand the resentment some religious have directed towards this movie.  I was disappointed that the crusades were secularized as much as it was in this movie.   They made the crusades sound like it was more about land rather than the whole "religious war" aspect of this.  But again, I’m not one to make claims given my lack of historical perspective I really can’t make any judgments.  But I’m also disappointed in the religious officials who are making every effort to denounce this movie.  I think that if people accept Hollywood entertainment as historical gospel then they probably have bigger problems.  But to spear the movie-makers seems to be going a bit far.  Let them make the movie, offer historical clarifications, and let the people take it from there.  From a cinema perspective the movie was alright, I was disappointed in the lack of character development in Orlando Bloom’s character.  The action scenes, while good, are a bit "ho-hum" when you think of Lord of the Rings..  Also the movie seemed to run a half-hour too long..  But thank you for tuning into "Behind the Balcony with Jeromey Gaudreau"…

Last night I waxed the car for the first time this season.  I did about as decent job you’d expect for a "Hey it’s 9pm, let’s wax the car" job.  Didn’t really miss a few spots but the irony of it was when I went out to the parking lot today I saw that some bird left me a nice present on the hood.  The humor in life J

The majority of today was devoted to being at Emily’s graduation party.  I love my friend Emily   She’s so awesome and I’m really proud of her achievement!  Her party was a lot of fun.  I got to help with the setup and cleanup, which made me feel useful.  I also got to spend a lot of time with Emily’s family, who I’ve discovered are one of the coolest families I know and were just a lot of fun to be around.  Got to see Jas-TOR and Julia as well, so it was nice being able to see some good friends.  I was there the entire time and this was the only grad party I went to, but it was still a blast

So in tribute to my friend Emily and her big weekend I decided to subject her to my latest Photoshop experiment.  You know those iPod ads where people are dancing around with them and you have those cool silhouettes of people with the iPods?  So I decided to take a picture I had of Emily and Photoshopped her.  The pic was taken at NCSC Orlando Conference…  This is my first attempt, so be gentle (and yes I realize she does not have an iPod in the picture  )

 

lol

So that brings to end my un-productive, but great weekend   And thus begins my summer work working as well.  Monday here I come!