Review: The Clone Wars

I took my girlfriend to see The Clone Wars last night. It was thrilling.
A theatre half filled with aging geeks like me, amidst mewling children out to “have a good time”.

My takeaway : critics should be put to death.

The film was a ton of fun. I had a blast. When the story stopped to do something cute, or opaquely confusing, there was always astonishing eye candy to fall back on. I can’t recommend it highly enough as a triumphant continuation of the excellent Star Wars IP. Apparantly it was directed by some guy who directed some of the Airbender cartoons. I was impressed, and am now (finally) eager to watch that series. So should you be.

But really, critics should be put to death. i read all the bullshit reviews posted on aint it cool news and was overwhelmed with a blood lust. Just this messy morass of “please stop making star wars movies that aren’t offering what i want” and “This new standalone addition to the universe of star wars doesn’t measure up to the originals”. die. I can’t believe a critic would dare to mention disliking how the fox logo wasn’t used. wtf. They also attack the movie for using slang and being approachable for children. hatethemsomuch.

and the worst drivel there was (by far) some freak’s endless rant about refusing to cover star wars anymore because: lucasfilm has it in for him legally. because he stole their script for episode 2 and posted it long before they wanted anyone to ruin their multimillion dollar project. boo hoo. because he was asked not to run his review before opening day, and this agreement was enforced arbitrarily in his opinion. what an asshole. He dares to tease that he was the only fanboy critic there who had positive things to say about the clone wars, but now he won’t say it. this is the definition of modern whino-matic criticism, where some idiot puts himself ahead of his function as a critic. So many critics feel a need to sell themselves rather than dissect the art they’ve been presented with – and this guy takes it one step further by trying to hold the creators repsonsible for his lack of interest in doing his job. christ. and i’m slipping into some niche by critiquing the critics. but oh well: hell.

I guess i feel I’ve already said the movie was great, and you should see it. There’s little reason to go into details, because: you should see it. The only thing that stands out in my mind as a flaw was the way the whole military campaign is impossible to follow. Without understanding the big picture, it’s frightfully difficult to gauge how important their goals are. ie, (spoiler?) they need to secure some outer rim hyperspace routes. wha? how important is this really? how are inner rim hyperspace routes being controlled exactly? I just felt this strong gut feeling that if they would show the galaxy and point to clusteres needing to get from here to there, it would make the “war” more real. It seems a common war movie need. But maybe thought that just saying “this is important” would be enough for the kids. ok. fair enough. cool with me.

As for the kiddie elements, and the cutesy slang: so be it. Annoying star wars geeks like to claim Empire was the pinnacle of the series, and then poopoo the endless supply of movies that aren’t remotely trying to be like Empire. These critics are failing you, the audience (the culture?) because they are failing to identify the author’s goals. They’re critiquing some other movie (the one in their day dreams and twisted memories) instead of paying attention to what george lucas is trying to acheive. they can’t let it go, and are this quite blind and useless.

I read an excellent ranting dissertation on this recently, which pointed out the lack of “emotion subtext” in all star wars products which followed the first two. This argument does not keep in mind that star wars is trying to offer a new generation the same popcorn thrills of old serials. The new movies take this (expertly crafted) superficial thrill to an interesting place by slipping in intellectual subtext. But the tribute to serials is the point. Listen closely, would-be critics: who among you would dare critique the old pulp serials for lacking the emotional depth of The Empire Strikes Back?  Could you really? if so: please go watch some other flicks and leave the enjoyment of these peculiar works of entertainment art to those of us to are willing to enjoy what lucas is actually striving to achieve.

Multimillionaire or not, he is still an artist. Let him do what he wants. Let the artist be.

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