Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

Sith Happens

I saw Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith this past weekend but didn’t feel the need to rush a review out – this is easily the most over-discussed and over-reviewed film of the the year. No one is waiting to hear what I think before they decide to go see it or anything…

To establish my position, you can count me in the camp of those who grew up a huge fan of the original films and was sorely disappointed with the first two prequels. I won’t bother getting into the specifics of why – everyone’s heard the arguments countless times over the last few years from the haters and the apologists and it’s just played out and unimportant. What’s a fact is this – barring a huge change of heart from George Lucas, Star Wars is over. Maybe one of the most anticipated films ever (I’ve been waiting to see Obi-Wan and Anikan duke it out on the lava planet since I was 8), Revenge Of The Sith has closed off the prequels and bridged the gap to the original films. But was it any good?

I say yes. And not even a qualified yes. Best of the six? I don’t know about that – technically, yes, but that’s just technology for you. Sure, there were still moments of cringeworthy dialogue, but within the context of the melodrama/tragedy unfolding onscreen, it fit. It certainly helped that his was by far the most violent and action-packed of all the films, allowing Lucas to play to his strengths and create maginificent visuals. Someone at ILM must have figured it out between Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith because the effects no longer looked excessively CGI-ed or cut-and-pasted. The opening space battle was exhilerating and the final battle between Obi-Wan and Anikan was everything I had hoped for. Actually, it was considerably more gross than my 5-year old mind had conceived of. I’d say that the violence and darkness of Sith puts lie to the excuse that these were children’s films. I counted 11 severed limbs and countless more gruesome deaths – this was not a kid’s film. But it fit and it was necessary, and I give Lucas credit for not pulling his punches.

Even the acting was better. Maybe it was because the cast knew that this was the end and afterwards they could begin rebuilding their reputations as capable actors, but they seemed much more comfortable with their roles and characters. Ewan McGregor, in particular, does a fine job in his portrayal of a young Alec Guinness (though I can’t quite accept how much he ages in the twenty years between episode three and four – desert living, it’s tough). And that opening credit sequence with the logo and the music? Still goddamned exciting. And to all the nitpickers who are determined to let minor things ruin the film for them – lighten up, Francis.

Some assorted sundry Star Wars links – Play twenty questions with Darth – yeah, it’s a thinly-veiled Burger King promotion but it’s still fun. Check out some Episode III Easter eggs and last but not least, the Star Wars special edition gangsta rap.

And I didn’t really want to use that as a post title, but damned if I couldn’t think of anything better.

Some show announcements – A Northern Chorus are at Lee’s Palace on June 25, tickets $7 at the door. UK folkers Turin Brakes is at the Mod Club July 21 (tickets $12.50, on sale tomorrow) and Ray Lamontagne is also at the Mod Club a week later on July 28, admission $16.50.

It seems NXNE has just lost a venue, mere days before the fest is scheduled to begin. The venerable 360 on Queen West has closed, just in time to leave three showcases homeless. Apparently the Legionnaires (the 360 is technically a Legion hall) got tired of all those damn kids and their music? It was never my favourite room in the city, but I’ve seen some good stuff there and it’s never positive to lose a live music room.

And Lee’s Palace is also closing – but only temporarily. They’ll be doing bar renovations for approximately two weeks around the end of June, but will re-open by the 13th of July when they host The Go! Team.

I’m writing this post on my fancy-pants new laptop. I bought the thing so as to be work/blog mobilely, though that pretty much means in the living room in front of the TV… I’m sure I’ll be able to adjust my lifestyle to make full use of my no longer being tethered by an ethernet cable or desktop PC, even if it means having to go out and scrub the balcony clean (it’s muy filthy right now) so I can have an inspiring view of the car dealership across the street. For the moment, I’m installing software and trying to figure out how to get my two machines networked together. The desktop (which I’ve named Compy 386) is on XP Home, the laptop (which I’ve named Lappy 486) on XP Pro, and while they’re both online via my router, they don’t seem to be able to see each other. Also, if anyone can tell me why IE on the laptop is trying to resize webpages to around 125% of what they’re supposed to be – and how to get it to stop – I’d appreciate it. I’m mainly using Firefox but still have to use IE sometimes and images all look really ass in it from being very crudely upsampled.

Oh, and I transferred the domain name to the new server yesterday – everyone should now be pointed at the new site. Looks a helluva lot like the old one, eh? Yeah, shut up.

Update: Yes, all you RSS-reader people, I know that my RSS feed is now ultra-truncated. Blame Nucleus. I am going to get that fixed ASAP, but you’ll have to give me a few days. In the meantime, come on in the old-fashioned way. Sit a spell. Take a load off.

np – Teenage Fanclub / Man-Made

By : Frank Yang at 8:18 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. francis says:


    I’d have rather see that version.

  2. Ryan Waddell says:

    Just a question – did you intend to cut off your RSS feeds and make them summary-only instead of full length? Or is that just an artifact of switching the servers over that you forgot to fix?

    Oh, and my home computer is ALSO named Compy 386… awesome!

  3. Frank says:

    yeah, the rss truncation is the default setting in nucleus – I had to do a fresh install instead of copying the files over from the old site. I am going to get those fixed so that the whole post shows up very soon – within the next week or so.