Monday, January 26, 2009

Could It Really Be That Bad?

I'm terribly ill and my shoulder feels like it's been put through a meat tenderizer, so I have been spending lots of time on the couch recuperating. The only thing I can do without moving my arm is watch movies. Watching movies is my way of healing my body and avoiding pain.

But "The Phantom Menace" is causing me more pain than I've felt in years. It's simply AWFUL. It has the script and pacing of a children's Saturday morning cartoon, simultaneously stretched out (to two hours) and compressed (so that no scene lasts longer than thirty seconds). The dialog is on par with a Care Bears episode -- just a collection of soulless exposition, boring cliches, and totally unfunny gags -- and it's delivered with no verve whatsoever. It's like Lucas said to the actors, "Just read the goddamn lines!" and they read the lines once, and he said "Okay, next scene!"

I am only 45 minutes into this film and I already feel like I've spent an entire day with it, but paradoxically I have no interest in any of the characters, environments, or bizarre racially-loaded cultures. Why's the junkyard guy speaking like he runs a pizzaria? What spliff did Jar-Jar crawl out from under? Boy, those Japanese Federation monsters sure pulled a Pearl Harbor on Naboo!

And yet, when characters DON'T have funny accents...well, they have nothing at all. They're blanks. They're actors that Lucas obviously wishes he could have replaced with a CGI model.

I hear the second and third episodes are better than this one, but you know what? I'm so appalled by Lucas' chutzpah that I don't think I'll be able to watch them. I don't even know if I can get to the whizzy eye-candy that supposedly ends this episode...not if I have to hear Jar-Jar say "How rude!" again.

Ha ha!

"How rude!" That's a punchline!

7 comments:

Tricky said...

A few years ago, some well-meaning pirate released 'The Phantom Edit' on the internet, and it was a Good Movie. Not great - but on the high end of 'watchable'.

Then, Lucas with his lawyers crushed the circulation into little bits, and we're stuck with the Menace.

I loved Star Wars as a kid. I still sort of love Star Wars. Nonetheless, the prequels are largely terrible with a few moments thrown in to add insult to injury. I'm not sure how you can get all those wonderful actors together - LIAM NEESON! The man could read me the phone book, and i'd be happy to listen - and have such a terrible movie.

The other two are better, but only in comparison.

JJ Binks said...

how rude!

Gary said...

Since the movie isn't interesting - how'd you hurt your shoulder?

Obviously, don't tell us if it's too personal - but your blog readers probably hope it's more interesting than, "I strained it changing the litter box."

BTW, is Zsa Zsa a good "therapy cat"?

Feel better soon - and watch something better now!

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Zsa Zsa is the worst therapy cat in the world. Her way of making me feel better is to meow incessantly for attention.

The only tragic part of my shoulder injury is how mundane it is: before Christmas I reached behind me for something and felt my shoulder stretch. It hurt for a bit, and then I started teaching myself to play bass, and then I slipped on the ice and hit the shoulder against the wall, and finally I wore an outfit that required intensive fiddling behind my back.

And all my life I've slept on that shoulder too.

So as a result it seems I have a lot of pulled muscles in my shoulder and bicep, a convergence of issues that simply must be allowed to rest. When I move my right arm in various surprising ways, it responds with a blast of excruciating pain. I'm spending very little time around keyboards when I'm at home, I've put down the bass for now, I'm applying lots of heat, and I'm watching movies.

And moping!

Tricky said...

I feel like a boor. In my Star Wars geekery, I forgot to wish you well. I hope you feel better soon, Muffy.

Rachel said...

Ouch, your poor shoulder! Alternate hot and cold on it, 10 minutes at a time and remember to keep it moving. Now, that doesn't mean running around with arms flailing, but a light rotation here and there keeps the tendons from tightening up.

Also, love the blog.. and the plog..? (photolog) as well!

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Thanks for your well-wishes and advice! Watching these movies gives me lots of time to lick my wounds (figuratively).

I hadn't heard of alternating hot AND cold...I'd simply heard "hot" (from my massage therapist). Maybe I'll give some cold a try.