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November 4th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

At the movies

Monsters, Inc. is good. Pixar gets it. Even the opening short, “For the Birds” is a treasure. The animation is so good, and the gags are just thrown away, one after the other. I’m sure I missed a bunch.

Before the movie, we saw two trailers of note. One was for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the other was for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

I just made myself read the Harry Potter book, just to find out what all the hub-bub’s about. I heard the buzz on the movie was good, and that even the author liked the movie. The book lasted me for three train rides, and was amusing, but hardly compelling. I could see where it would make for an entertaining movie though. I also can see why the movie is true to the book: there’s not a whole lot to the book.

So, when I saw the coming attraction, I had to admit, it was neat to see what I had just read appear on the screen, and executed just like I’d imagined it. A bit spooky, really. The audience reaction to the Harry Potter trailer was pretty positive.

When the Lucasarts logo introduced the Star Wars trailer, there was a cheer in the theatre. Black screen. The only sound is the familiar breathing of Darth Vader. Short scenes appear on the screen and fade, with no other audio than the sound of Darth Vader breathing. When the trailer ended with the title of the movie “Attack of the Clones” several people laughed out loud.

Generally it’s not good if a trailer is unintentionally funny. I thought the trailer was pretty lifeless. I know it’s just a “teaser” trailer, but it doesn’t build up any sense of expectation or anticipation. Maybe I’m still aching from the tripe that was “Phantom Menace.”

Personally, me thinks “Lord of the Rings” will be more successful, both critically and financially, as well as more popular, than the next Star Wars movie. I say this because Lord of the Rings is a pretty deep license, with a huge fan base, and I think the director “gets it,” whereas George Lucas has lost it. Lucasarts is just throwing darts at this point, and while Lucas is a technically brilliant filmmaker, the emperor has no clothes when it comes to storytelling.

I know I’m looking forward to Lord of the Rings, even though I’m not a fan, and I thought for sure it would be brought to the screen as a complete mess. All I read and see is to the contrary, though. So now I’m excited. It’s not high art by any means, but it looks like it might be a good bit of fun celluloid.

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