In Cannes, the movie-watching continues. The last two mornings I have gotten up really early to make 8:30 screenings of “Star Wars, Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith” and “Manderlay”. I wrote a story for indieWIRE today about some parallels that I see between the two movies, but below are some opinions on both. Oh, and I also saw forgot to mention that I saw James Marsh’s “The King”, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, but disliked it enough that I dont feel like bothering to write about it.
Early word is correct, “Revenge of the Sith” is head and shoulders above the previous two recent “Star Wars” movies. Despite the Ewoks in “Return of the Jedi,” in my opinion “Jedi” is still a better movie, but this one has a lot going for it. My biggest problem with “Sith”? Its a bit overblown at times, bloated. If you are reading this, I will assume you don’t mind me giving something away (if not, skip ahead), but the crucial scene in the movie — and perhaps the key scene in all six movies — is the anticipated final fight between Anakin and Obi-wan. It sets the stage for the transformation that will lead to the black Darth Vader suit. Well in my mind, Lucas has botched this scene big time by having so much happening on screen that its hard to stay focused on the intensity that this battle represents between these two characters. After you see the movie, tell me what you think.
Throughout the movie, there is often too much going on in the background, too many effects, distracting from key scenes involving real people. Thats my main criticism, but that said there is enough of a story to tell that overall the movie is very entertaining, often told with brief scenes — it moves quickly and I found the first 30 minutes or so especially great. Along with a number of other key twists and turns along the way. By the end, it was hard to believe that the whole thing is actually over, after nearly 30 years.
As an aside, how great it was to see the final “Star Wars” in the Lumier