I finally saw Episode II

In general, I liked it. I didn’t go in with great expectations (as with Episode I), and I waited a week or so. SPOILERS ahead…

Some observations:

The acting is horrible — wooden and stilted. The best acting in the whole movie is from Yoda, who is entirely computer-generated (and much better done than the frog king guy from Episode I). I thought Yoda was really well done here. I loved watching him bust Dooku’s ass (for a little while, anyway), especially the Force quick-draw of the lightsaber and the acrobatics.

I like that they took every opportunity to show off Natalie Portman’s skin. I especially liked the way the tiger-thingy ripped her clothes into a Britney Spears-like costume for the climactic battle scene.

Having the guy who played Owen Lars in Episode IV play Owen’s father in this one was nice.

Why is R2-D2 flying? Why is C-3PO in it at all, and why does he have such crappy and annoying one-liner-type lines?

Playing the Darth Vader theme when whiny puss-boy Anakin goes on a tirade was a nice touch. Giving him the most famous Han Solo line was a stupid touch. It would have been better from Obi-Wan, who gets off some nice (well, nice for a Star Wars flick) one liners.

Why is Mace Windu the only one with a purple lightsaber? Is there any special significance to the color of one’s lightsaber other than the obvious one that the bad guys have red ones? Yoda’s is green, btw.

I didn’t like seeing Jango Fett’s face. I think they took away most (if not all) of Boba Fett’s mystique by doing this. He still has the coolest ship, though.

The Corinains (or however you say their collective name) were well-done.

If you see it, see it in a digital theater. The visual effects are fucking amazing in digital. I’d almost be willing to see it again just to see all that groovy effects work again on the big screen.

Lucas recycles too much from earlier movies. To wit: the execution scene at the end is much like Luke’s battle with the Rancor in Jabba’s palace, Anakin loses his arm by having it chopped off by the bad guy who’s trying to recruit him (and gets it replaced with a creepy chrome skeleton thing), the “disappearing bridge” thing (though it was handled differently), the space chase/battle through the asteroid field, etc. In each case (pretty much), Lucas got to remake a scene with immensely better efx is all.

IN SUM: It’s an EFX extravaganza with a little plot and some bad acting wrapped around it so they could actually call it a movie. Better than Episode I and maybe better than Return of the Jedi in some respects.