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The Star Wars / Shower Plan
Entered on: May 1, 2005 12:11 PM by Ross
Okay, so I'm coming to GR again either the night of Thursday the 19th of May, or early on Friday the 20th. By then, many of you will have seen Star Wars but I probably will not - though I assume there will be repeat viewings (well, not by Jack of course). You will not breathe a word to me, in any case.

Also, by now hopefully you GR locals have gotten invitations to this wedding shower my mom is throwing on that Saturday. She forgot to mention on the invite that we're registered at Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate and Barrel if you feel like giving us some loot. :) The shower is at my Uncle's house in Cascade - he has a pretty sweet place on the Thornapple River. Should be cool. We even might want to bring a couple Xboxes, who knows.

So what's everyone's plan? When can we see Star Wars?

NEWS 284 - 58 Comments
From: Ross Entered on: May 1, 2005 12:21 PM
And speaking of Star Wars, this new "music video" has some incredibly sweet footage from the movie:

From: Swerb Entered on: May 3, 2005 1:11 PM
Bert, a Star Wars screening can be wedged in at any time. I do believe Stacy's mini-shower (to which Heather is invited) is Sunday, so maybe we can go then, and I can get the heck out of the house while all the feminine bonding and tittering is going on.
From: Ross Entered on: May 3, 2005 1:13 PM
That sounds good to me, except I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait until Sunday!
From: Swerb Entered on: May 4, 2005 8:58 AM
When are you getting here? Friday?
From: Ross Entered on: May 4, 2005 10:33 AM
Don't know yet, I'll let you know as soon as we figure it out. Either Thursday night or Friday. Especially if there is a compelling argument to be made for a Thursday night showing, I will push to get out there by then.
From: Ross Entered on: May 7, 2005 2:18 PM
By the way - Fatty, Swerb, and Roche (yeah right), please check out this page:  
for info on the tuxedos. Try to get your measurements in as soon as you can. I expect Fatty will be first as he ain't got shit to do. :)
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 5, 2005 8:02 PM
No shit to do!!???!!?? You try being unemployed. You won't believe how much shit you get to do! I don't have time to get a job. I'M BUSY ;)  
Dude, are you going to make a 'Ross' Drunk and Wild Bachelor Party - Now with Stripper-Whores' Webpage so we can post evidence - whoops, I mean photos?  
[Fatty Fornication: He posted under my name -Zilla]
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 6, 2005 10:11 PM
Spoiler Alert!  
From: Ross Entered on: May 7, 2005 12:45 AM
I sure as hell hope you're kidding.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 7, 2005 1:10 PM
Those of us who have actually SEEN the movie cannot confirm nor deny Jack's assertion, under penalty of beheading.  
Sorry to go off on a tangent, but did anybody see the new ep of Family Guy last Sunday? It was hilarious. My fave line: "We have to do this for Jesus and Snoopy and all the other beloved children's characters!"
From: Ross Entered on: May 7, 2005 1:34 PM
Yes, I was just telling someone that was my favorite line from the show as well. It was a DAMN funny show. Made the Simpsons look like Joey, to be honest.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 8, 2005 5:34 PM
I agree... lamentably, the Simpsons has slipped as of late.
From: Ross Entered on: May 9, 2005 10:31 AM
I am not reading the reviews, but Rotten Tomatoes so far has pretty good ones for Star Wars:
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 9, 2005 10:56 AM
From: Ross Entered on: May 9, 2005 12:58 PM
I learned my lesson with the previous movies - I knew too much going in. I already know a little bit on this one but nothing more than the obvious, for the most part. Roche keeps trying to lure me to the dark side since he's already ruined it for himself but maintains that his quicker, easier, more seductive path is the righteous one. But I will not turn.  
Even if the movie is disappointing (likely, given the prequel track record), I would prefer to have the story unfold freshly for me.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 11, 2005 2:05 PM
Bert: I assume your wedding rehearsal is Thurs. July 14, right? I want to book our hotel for the appropriate number of nights (I'm assuming we can go home on Saturday, or do you have something planned?)  
Nice wedding website, by the way.
From: Ross Entered on: May 11, 2005 2:23 PM
Your hotel has already been booked for Thursday and Friday nights, my man. Read the fine print:  
NOTE: Parents and wedding party's rooms have already been reserved.  
And yeah, nothing planned on Saturday.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 11, 2005 10:30 PM
Sweet! Less work for me! Which hotel will we be staying at?
From: Ross Entered on: May 12, 2005 10:29 AM
We're all staying at the Doubletree.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 12, 2005 3:08 PM
Back to Star Wars: I've been pondering Ep III, and have decided I want a translation of everything R2-D2 "says" in both trilogies. It would be very, very interesting stuff.
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 12, 2005 5:17 PM
R2-D2 is the horniest little shit in the galaxy. If he spots an outlet, he's throwing a plug into it! It's surprising he hasn't caught some kind of virous the way he's always "interfacing" with all that alien hardware.  
Rough translation: "Bee Dee Boop" = "Hit it and forget it!"  
R2's even farked the Deathstar. You gotta respect that.
From: Ross Entered on: May 15, 2005 9:57 AM
Okay, I have secured 10, count 'em TEN, tickets for Star Wars Friday night at Celebration cinema at 10:10PM in apparently their only THX theater that you can buy tickets for online. The tickets are for:  
Am I missing anyone? Is that even possible? Dinner reservations have not been secured yet but I will try to do that today. Same cast of characters, right?
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 15, 2005 4:02 PM
Looks good to me!
From: Ross Entered on: May 16, 2005 10:15 AM
Reservations have been procured at Louis Benton for 10 people at 7:30 PM in my name.  
Also, Swerb mentioned a swanky place called Bar Divani that he's a big fan of, apparently they have really good food and a large beer list. Anyone heard of it? Anyway, I told him to make a reservation there as well and we could just cancel one. Thoughts?
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 16, 2005 10:51 AM
As long as "swanky" isn't Swerbish for "tapas" I don't have a preference. Louis Benton was damn tasty though.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 16, 2005 11:09 AM
My argument for Bar Divani:  
It's someplace different. The drink menu is massive - tons of interesting beers. I know a waiter there and he'll give us kickass service. The food is terrific - not a huge menu, but the two times I've eaten there, it's been great. Price-wise, it's comparable to Louis Benton. Plus, I've also heard word that Louis Benton isn't what it used to be.  
As for Jack's concern, they have sorta-floofy gourmet-style chicken and fish and steak entrees. No tapas, no deep-fried monkeybutt.
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 16, 2005 12:35 PM
Deep-fried monkeybutt is GOOOOOOD!
From: Swerb Entered on: May 16, 2005 12:38 PM
Whaddaya mean you don't like deep-fried monkeybutt? Deep-fried monkeybutt tastes GOOD!
From: Ross Entered on: May 16, 2005 2:00 PM
Didja get a reservation there, Swerb? If so, we should put it to a vote to get this resolved. I personally don't care either way but forced to I will vote later.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 16, 2005 11:04 PM
I agree, let's put it to a vote. I haven't made a reservation yet, because I kinda wanted to see what Fatty and Bone had to say first, but I guess it's not a big deal to cancel if necessary.
From: Ross Entered on: May 17, 2005 7:02 AM
Well now it turns out that San Chez doesn't take reservations for less than 15 people. So why don't you fire up a reservation for Saturday for ten, unless Jack and Angie want in, in which case it's 12. Jack?
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 17, 2005 7:11 AM
We're still out for Saturday. It's a definate on Louis Benton on Friday then?
From: Ross Entered on: May 17, 2005 8:39 AM
Sounds like it! By the way, Zilla, still have that Xbox/chip to sell me?
From: Swerb Entered on: May 17, 2005 9:01 AM
So Louis Benton Friday and Bar Divani Saturday ... sounds like a good plan to me. For what time should I make the reservation?
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 17, 2005 10:09 AM
Bert - Yeppers. Got the xbox/chip for ya and your buddy's box is all set too. No gaming for you this time or what?
From: Ross Entered on: May 17, 2005 11:48 AM
Swerb - I'd shoot for the 7 or 8ish timeframe - my guess is that we will be quite full from the overabundance of food at the shower.  
Zilla - I dont know - the days are just packed! (C&H reference) I could possibly do something Thursday night, though. What's the general jackassery availability?
From: BigFatty Entered on: May 17, 2005 1:11 PM
Bone and I are free - we are expecting to be hanging with you that night, whatever we do, so Thursday is open.
From: Ross Entered on: May 17, 2005 1:29 PM
Sweet. Swerb, what are you up to Thursday night?
From: Swerb Entered on: May 17, 2005 7:36 PM
I work at the record store until 9 Thursday night, but I'd be up for hanging out afterwards.
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 17, 2005 9:37 PM
It's on then! Thursday evening at the ZAGNUT! Halo 1/2, Ghost Recon 2, Midtown Madness and whatever silliness we wanna play. Jackophony will be in full effect. Bring earplugs and slippers.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 18, 2005 7:20 PM
We officially have reservations for 8 p.m. Saturday at Bar Divani. I had to give them my credit card number so we won't cancel... or at least call and tell them we're canceling. Strange.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 19, 2005 2:36 AM
Well, after seeing Episode III a second time, I liked it a little better - it was easier to grasp the scope of the whole story, and it helps that I watched Ep I and II prior to seeing it - but it also confirms some of my criticisms. I can't wait to see it with the rest of you cats, because it will spur much, much discussion.
From: Ross Entered on: May 19, 2005 10:27 AM
Well, Roche, who has fallen to the dark side by reading the comic book adaptation ahead of time, has already decided that it's super sweet. As has my friend Hirsch, who read the novelization. It will be interesting to see if they release their grip on this fantasy after digesting the movie.
From: Ross Entered on: May 23, 2005 11:53 AM
Even though most of us saw the movie together, expect my detailed analysis in the forthcoming days. There is much to be said about this movie.
From: Ross Entered on: May 24, 2005 1:34 PM
I will fire off my opening salvo about Episode III: I think all yall were too harsh. I thought the movie was quite good, actually. The more I think about it (and the fact that I continue to think about it is a very good sign), the more I like it. So much happened that it takes a while to digest. But I'll say this: George Lucas is a master storyteller, even with the stank factor. There was genius in this plotting. I bought 100% Anakin's fall to the dark side and I was sure before going in that I wouldn't. He wasn't weak, and I think anyone would turn in his predicament.  
There were stinky moments of ham and cheese, but I think most of you focused on them excessively - none of them were key to the overall flow of the movie, and none lasted very long. There were no wasted scenes (except the Wookies, which were kept cuz Lucas always promised it) like the previous two movies.  
In the future, when I go back to watch Star Wars, I will start with Episode III. Or possibly start at the end of II. But I think III is a very good movie, bordering on great.
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 24, 2005 2:40 PM
"I bought 100% Anakin's fall to the dark side..."  
Are you kidding me, Bert?  
To me this is the major stank of the movie. I didn't buy it at all. This dim-witted, weak-willed, grimacing-like-a-spoiled-eleven-year-old is Darth Vader? Nigga please!  
It's a shame it doesn't ring true, because there are a lot of cool ideas here. And everything plotwise fits together sweet. I'll even admit that McGagger didn't annoy me as much this time out. But the bulk of the dialogue, acting and emotional depth? Ack.  
And did the Jedi have to go down like such bitches? I swear Yoda senses a "disturbance in the force" when Obi-Wan has to shit. But they don't sense anything when generic clone troopers are shootin' everyone in the butt?  
Plus I still think everything's too clean.  

From: Ross Entered on: May 24, 2005 3:53 PM
Yoda DID sense it when the Jedi were getting slaughtered, they showed that while he was with the Wookies. The trouble was, as the Jedi mentioned in the previous prequels (you probably didn't notice over your derisive cackles), the dark side was able to shield itself from them and they couldn't pinpoint it. I admit that it's kind of just-so, but at least it was addressed.  
As for emotional depth, I definitely felt it had it. For the first time, I saw it between Padme and Anakin, this time the key was they weren't talking (all talking scenes still were stilted). But while Anakin was waiting for Mace Windu to arrest Palpatine, he was gazing across the city at Padme, and she back at him. That was genuinely emotional. Also, if you couldn't feel it when Obi-Wan resigned himself to having to fight his old friend on Mustafar, then I feel sorry for you. That was powerful.  
However, I think you're off your rocker about Anakin's fall. I'll make my case as explicitly as I can. Up until this movie, Anakin was whiny and brash, yes. But evil? Definitely not. The slaughter of the sandpeople showed that his emotions could get the better of him, but even he regretted his actions and knew that he didn't want to go that route. That was the first inkling - present, but definitely not strong enough for anyone to believe he'd turn. This was intentional on Lucas's part. I questioned this strategy going in, but it paid off, and here's why. When Anakin starts having the dreams about Padme (planted by the Emperor? Don't know, but it's interesting to ponder), he seeks Yoda's counsel and Yoda basically tells him to learn to let go. Granted, Yoda's advice for a Jedi is sound - clearly if Anakin never got attached in the first place, none of this shit would happen. But the point is, from a storytelling perspective - we as the audience can understand Anakin's position on this! Natalie Portman is fucking hot, and we all love her too! So this advice of Yoda's is bullshit. Meanwhile, Palpatine seizes his chance and tells Anakin about Darth Plageus (one of the coolest moments of the movie) and how he could keep people from dying (this also harks back to Ep II and Anakin's pledge to do this after his mother dies). This is obviously what Anakin wants to hear, and I defy you to put yourself in his shoes and say you would turn away the chance at that knowledge. There is nothing weak-willed about that.  
However, that's STILL not enough to turn him, though for many it assuredly would be. He finds out Palpatine is the Sith Lord and rats him out to Mace Windu, even at the possible cost of never gaining that knowledge he desires so strongly. The dumbshit Jedi master tells Anakin not to come along. So Windu gets 3 other Jedi killed but manages to get the drop on Palpatine (not sure whether that was legit or not, but I digress) and Anakin shows up and ONLY when Windu makes motions to kill Palpatine and eradicate Anakin's only chance of saving his wife's life does he make the (clearly torturous) decision to stop him. He doesn't to kill anyone, either. But the Emperor takes care of that for him. Now Anakin has no choice - he's an enemy of the Jedi and this is his only route to saving not only Padme, but himself.  
Not only is that sufficient, in my mind, from a plot perspective, but from a philosophical perspective, I can see the allure. As Palpatine says, the Jedi are very narrow in their view of the Force, and very dogmatic. As you know, I shit on dogma of all sorts. The Sith are far more pragmatic in their approach to studying the Force as far as I can tell. If you could learn to keep others alive thru the Force, why wouldn't you cautiously study it?  
Personally, I think if that story couldn't convince you, nothing could. Your complaint seems to be that Hayden Christensen couldn't fill Darth Vader's shoes - and perhaps you're right - but the issue I'm talking about is Anakin's fall to the dark side - and that was highlyl convincing.
From: The Bone Entered on: May 24, 2005 7:30 PM
I don't know man. You make some good points Bert but I'm going to have to side with Jack on this one. Anakin was converted to the dark side with ridiculous ease. He has a couple bad dreams and he's ready to kill some 5 yr olds. As Jack puts it - Nigga Please! What kind of fucking intestinal fortitude does he have?  
Don't get me wrong though - I liked the movie. I just don't see how you can turn a punk little turd like Annakin into a hard pipe hittin motherfucker like Vader.
From: Ross Entered on: May 24, 2005 9:06 PM
Keep in mind it's not just "bad dreams" - he had them about his mother too and look what happened. He had every reason to believe they would come true. I will however, concede that killing the younglings is too soon a step toward his future midieval self.  
As for Anakin -> Vader, as I said, that's a different story than his fall. He has 18 years or so to become more badass. I don't think it's reaslistic for him to be the Vader we know in A New Hope so quickly anyway.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 24, 2005 10:39 PM
My two cents: The underlying story is very good, and Bert's argument for Anakin's conversion is convincing. I just think it's muddled. I was talking to a friend who read the book (OK, listened to the audiobook), and, for example, the book explains that Yoda feels the Emperor is stronger, and thus, he doesn't confront him again, and simply goes into exile. This is barely implied by the movie. The same goes for Anakin's conversion to the Dark Side: Christensen and Ian McDiarmid's shitty acting doesn't help, and neither does the hokiness of the Emperor/Mace Windu confrontation in general.  
I think the scene is just underwritten, and needs some fleshing out to make it convincing - a couple more minutes of screentime is all it really needs. If I was writing the screenplay, I'd have Anakin run out of there and really beat himself up about what happened, have a scene in which he decides there's no turning back, to really torture himself before making the decision - something really psychologically heavy. Instead, he says "what have I done?" (which is rather lame) and immediately bows down and devotes himself to the Emperor.  
I can say this, though: I watched Episodes IV-VI the last couple days, and when Vader dies at the end of Jedi, it's more emotionally affecting, and definitely sadder than ever. We know the character through most of his life, understand his fall from grace (for lack of a better term) and therefore feel more empathy for him. We read more into his scenes with the Emperor (especially the altered scene on the Empire DVD, in which the Emperor tells Vader that Luke is the son of Anakin Skywalker), and pick up on some of the subtleties of his actions. It's all retroactive on Lucas' part - that is, he modifies the character in the prequels based on what already exists in the original trilogy - but it does work for the most part.  
But what Lucas SHOULD have done is focus the prequels almost entirely on Anakin. He even admits in that Entertainment Weekly article that he resorted to filler in Eps. I and II in order to stretch it into a trilogy. How frustrating! Why the fuck didn't he show Anakin in training, developing a bond with Obi-Wan, show them on all these adventures together (he saved Obi-Wan's ass 9 times, you know), and really DEVELOP the character. Maybe then, his conversion would be more convincing. George Lucas the storyteller is a genius; George Lucas the writer/filmmaker sucks balls.
From: Swerb Entered on: May 24, 2005 10:47 PM
And I have to agree with Jack: Everything is too clean. One of the common criticisms I've read (and I've read way too many reviews) is that Lucas is a major masturbator when it comes to digital design. The ships are too sleek and clean, and the same goes for the production design in general - the interiors of buildings, etc. It's too sterile, designed more to wow us with its meticulous beauty than to actually enhance the story.  
Speaking of reviews, this one is particularly asinine, but I did laugh at it:
Way too harsh and utterly biased, yes, but not as stupid as Richard Roeper saying Ian McDiarmid deserves an Oscar nomination...
From: Ross Entered on: May 25, 2005 8:00 AM
That review is hilarious. I especially like the reference to Padme's leather football helmet, and 3PO as a gay, gold-plated Jeeves. But if you notice, he agrees with me that Yoda's advice to Anakin is bullshit.  
I don't like the cleanliness of the Republic era either. I think Lucas thought it would be a neat contrast with the rebellion - but that was a miscalculation, I think. The grimy and lived-in feel of the first trilogy is one of its most endearing characteristics if you ask me.  
As for Anakin, you make some good points, Swerb. I guess I can agree with you that it would be more convincing if they added what you're asking for. But I guess I was convinced enough - I could read between the lines - maybe Chistensen failed as an actor but the storyline overwhelmed that in my opinion, to where I could understand the processes behind his choice. It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough for me.
From: Ross Entered on: May 25, 2005 8:24 AM
The Flick Filosopher has a sweet (as usual) review:
And I agree particularly strongly with this bit:  
"...people who saw the original films as adults will not share this reaction, I don't think; nor will younger kids who did not experience Star Wars the way we did the first time around in the 70s and early 80s. It has to do with the visceral first encounter with Darth Vader -- you had to be a little kid of a certain age, it had to come on a big screen, and it had to be something you couldn't possibly have anticipated (ie, Vader couldn't already have been a pop-culture icon)."
From: Ross Entered on: May 25, 2005 9:05 AM
She (the FF) also has a hilarious review of the Star Wars Holiday Special:
If any of you want it, I have a copy I can burn for you. It's truly atrocious. And what's worse is that after having seen it as a kid, over the years, and memory being malleable, I assimilated it into my memory of the original Star Wars film so that in my mind, the "original" Star Wars had Stormtroopers bursting in to Chewbacca's home and harassing his kids - and I could never understand why the versions on HBO never had this "director's cut" version that I remembered. Oh, the horror....
From: Jackzilla Entered on: May 25, 2005 10:28 AM
I'm ready for a remake of the whole saga. When's Peter Jackson done with King Kong?
From: Ross Entered on: May 25, 2005 10:53 AM
I could do with a remake of the prequels. But don't blaspheme about the Holy Trilogy - NO ONE is going to touch Empire Strikes Back while I'm still drawing breath!
From: BigFatty Entered on: May 25, 2005 10:55 AM
OK - My two cents, even though I am thought of as a 'non-fan' by Ross and Roche. I too saw the originals as a kid and loved them. Taken on the whole, the Star Wars story is sweet. Lucas is sweet in his big picture, vision, concept, role. You really can't look at Sith without including the rest of the story. I think this is where people clash. Watching Sith with all the memories of my childhood Star Wars makes it a better movie. It completes an *almost* 3 decade journey to this point. I brought along all my baggage from the previous movies. How can someone not bring all the previous movies into their review.  
But, taking Sith as a stand alone movie, it has some very bad points. Mainly, The acting, script, and direction. I will blame the bad acting on bad direction because most of the actors are have shown their abilities in other films. I'd say the film was not firing on all its cylinders - missing on at least two, but two major ones!  
So, I liked it. Not because it was a great moive, but because it finished off Star Wars for me. It completed a great story. Who knows, maybe in our lifetimes someone will remake the series and put some quality scriptwriting in and better direction. Wouldn't it be great to have a whole series of the same caliber as Empire? They have been redo-ing Batman enough. Give Star Wars a shot!  
Oh - Bring on Batman Begins!!
From: Swerb Entered on: May 28, 2005 10:27 AM
This is by far the funniest review I've read so far:  
This is my favorite line:  
"A lot has been said about how shitty the dialog is, but I feel I need to say something: the dialog is shitty. It stinks like a Shriner Hall men's room: the old, stale, rancid stench of a lifetime of undigested beef finally making its way out the ass."

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