Monday, November 21, 2005

One Down, Five to Go!

Carnac the Magnificent…
“What the high school quarterback said 2 minutes after he left the prom with six cheerleaders”

Well, I have finally done it! I have seen the first Star Wars movie. These futuristic visions of George Lucas are quite remarkable, but what’s even more impressive are the real time goodies that are coming out in 2005 America! I just finished reading today’s Parade Magazine and this Adam Baer article “Now, Hear This” is very very fascinating. He writes an article about pod casting which is exactly what I want to do with this blog. I already use a hosting site for my videos, and if I can html code the links right here on blogspot, then I can add audio and even video commentary. I’m not too hip with all the technical stuff, but this article says you can just download the “podcasts” right into your ipod. Hmmmm.

We go from the race to the ipods to a movie about pod races. I wasn’t quite sure how to approach watching the Star Wars movie. I thought of maybe watching them in reverse order kind of like “Memento” or the Seinfeld episode where they go to India. Then, I thought about watching them in the order they came out like everyone else did. However, I ultimately decided to get a fresh perspective by watching them in chronological order. So while I don’t have the “back story” that everybody else has been talking about, I can at least approach this project with a sense of innocence about what is going to happen.

I was hoping to watch the movies with someone who had also had never seen them before. I was looking to hook up with an Amish guy but it would be too distracting…(Hey, puppy breeder, why do you people always name your kids Jebediah, and churn butter?). I thought about inviting a chosid but that would also be distracting (Why do some of your Rabbi’s prohibit you from visiting the public library;? And why does your newspaper of record Hamodiah (except for the Satmars who refuse to read it because it‘s not in Yiddish) refuse to print photographs of women because men might see them dressed immodestly? Not even Rosa Parks? Mother Teresa? Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and her star spangled shirt?)

So I popped the movie into the dvd player and I was not too impressed with the beginning of the movie. At first, Liam Neeson’s character reminded me a little bit of his role in the most recent Batman movie which by the way was directed by Christopher Nolan, who also directed the aforementioned “Memento“. I started to think that he might be typecast in that type of role, but now I see he is doing a new movie about Abraham Lincoln which is very coincidental since I saw the movie on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. (Can you imagine if Mrs. Lincoln had a blog about theater reviews? “For the most part, the play was pretty good, however….”)

So Neeson and Ewan McGregor are playing Jedi Knights who are basically futuristic Jack Bauers. This movie came out before “24” but I could see the similarities especially in the end when there were four battles going on simultaneously. I was almost waiting for the screen to split into 4, but it never happened. These Jedi’s have to save the day for a planet ruled by a Queen played by Natalie Portman. But, for security reasons they have a decoy queen…”I’m the real queen; no I’m the real queen”… Gosh it sounded like the dress rehearsals when Rosie O’Donnell joined Harvey Fierstein in “Fiddler on the Roof”.

So these 2 guys hook up with this character named Jar Jar Binks which I now find out is actually a computer creation! I thought it was an actor… or more specifically an actress. He walks like a tall woman with turtlehead! I remember people complaining about this character, but I actually liked him. He is from this underwater secret society where he has been flatly rejected by everybody; yet he hooks up with our 2 Jedi amigos in an attempt to save this poor Queen. Well they evacuate the Queen and lo and behold their ship breaks down. I guess they didn’t have AAA there, because they get stuck on another planet.

Well wouldn’t you know there is a ship parts store that has a young boy genius working there as a slave! And his name is Skywalker. Now I know theres a Luke Skywalker in the later movies so I think that there must be some connection here! The 2 Jedi and the Queen befriend the little pisher who turns out to be a genius who can build all kinds of stuff. (Get a good trademark lawyer Skywalker…. Microsoft might steal some of those ideas!) He also creates C3PO who he leaves behind when he is freed from slavery for winning a pod race (not the kind of pod referred to earlier). The pod race is actually pretty cool; sort of like a futuristic air vehicle.

So little Skywalker joins the gang and now that the ship is fixed it’s off to save the Queen’s planet. They team up with the displaced Binks who have been tossed out of their underwater homes. Now they have to fight light saber wielding men and futuristic machines and during the 4 simultaneous battles, Jar Jar and the rest of the Binks have to fight these creatures that look like the shoe trees my dad used to use in the 70’s. Ultimately the good guys win out and ol’ Jar Jar is accepted by his Binks. They have a big parade at the end…. (which was spoofed on “The Family Guy”, but back then it went way over my head”)

As for my review, and remember you people all saw 4-6 before you saw 1; it was a pretty good movie, except I find it hard to believe that the world was saved because little Skywalker accidentally launched a pod (which he was told to sit in by the Jedis so he’d be out of the way during a battle at the Queen‘s palace) and bombed the power source for all the machines that were effectively on the cusp of winning the war.

I used to do radio movie reviews in the early 90s (with Danger Spouse…see the comments after The Grand Premiere or check out his brilliant and often quoted blog at and I will grade them now as I did then. On a scale of 1 to 4 bladders meaning how less likely I would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom… Star Wars 1 gets 2 and a half bladders. It would have gotten more with all the special effects, but there was too much suspension of disbelief that a little kid could save the world the way he did.

I’ll be back Wednesday with some thoughts about Thanksgiving!


Dangerspouse said...

God but it's great to see the "bladder scale" resurrected! (Er...can I say "resurrected" in a Jewish blog?) So you're gonna pod-cast, huh? Might I suggest having someone with, pipes *cough* do the voiceovers? LOL...not that there's anything WRONG with your nasally tenor, mond you. Hey - thanks for the plug! If I ever get back to blogging, I'll return the favor :)

Nate said...

Yes you can say resurrected... and no, this is not a "Jewish" blog... however I will make it a point to explain the Jewish references that might get past my non Jewish readers. Zei gezunt and Chag Sameach.

Steve said...

Oh boy... are you in for a surprise... If you give Star Wars 1 2 1/2 bladders you are gonna need a couple more bladders on that scale before you finish...

Neil said...

Nice to see a fresh perspective on these films. I saw the originals so long ago, I can't remember that well ever not having seen them.

Nate said...

The bladder scale only goes to 4... doesn't go any higher than that. As a matter of fact, when I did the reviews from 90-94 only a handful of movies got 4. Off the top of my head I gave 4 bladders to "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Terminator 2". I think 4 bladder movies just might be the topic of a blog in the not too distant future.