Monday, May 16, 2005

Star Something? Somebody's Sister's Revenge?

Yeah, well, you're all going to hate me for this or something, but Star Wars (parts 1 - infinity) really kinda suck. I saw the first one, way back whenever it was, and was kinda bored, because it seemed like cowboys & indians, or maybe like kung fu-David Carradine-grasshopper-ish, but with light sabers. I really didn't want to see either of the next two, but ended up going to both because in both cases someone else around me in a which-movie-decision-making role wanted to see them. And there was more boredom; I couldn't tell you a single thing that happened. I managed to avoid the subsequent two, and I expect to avoid this one as well, though, with a 7-year-old around, there's no telling. All things considered, I still don't really get it. It's an opera, people, except without the singing! It's a fucking Ring cycle, except without the Wagner! And, possibly, it's shorter than Wagner, but, not being an opera buff, I can't tell you for sure.

One of the most boring things about video/playstation/gameboy games, or at least the ones my stepson plays, is that there isn't much there there. It's a swordfight here, a swordfight there, some kind of battle or another, such that one advances to another level of fighting. He likes to recount these battles, and I try not to cut him off, but there's only so much interest I can feign. We had a brief discussion of plot last week, for example, and the notable lack thereof in the games he plays. (He pointed out that there are swordfights in Lord of the Rings, which he knows I adore, but I pointed out that they were in service to something, rather than merely existing for their own sake. He hasn't quite grasped this concept yet, but we'll return to it, oh yes we will.) And that's why Star Wars does so little for me--there's an incredibly simple plot, stretched out over hours and hours and hours of film, punctuated by lots of battles that feature a variety of special effects.

In a related event, we watched the remake of "Godzilla" on Saturday night. (The stepkid recently has become enamored of Godzilla in all its incarnations; two weeks ago the kid and his Dad watched the original, the one with Raymond Burr.) The remake, with Matthew Broderick, et al., is heinously bad. It makes "Plan Nine from Outer Space" seem like a marvel of plotting and movie-making. It also, however, provided an opportunity to discuss the badness of it, e.g., by pointing out various cinematic cliches as well as places where suspending disbelief was way too taxing, which will probably help the kid along in understanding plots as a concept. So it wasn't a total loss. We'll see what happens with Star Wars, though; given his current love of battles, I suspect he'll think it's just the thing.


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