Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith

The final film of the Star Wars saga is the best of the recent prequels but still lacks the charm and wonder of the original films.

Since George Lucas decided to make the three prequels to his original Star Wars trilogy, critical opinion has been divided and fans of the first three films have had much to fret over. It would be fair to say that the The Phantom Menace was one of the most eagerly awaited films in recent times in 1999 but the flat story line and annoying CGI sidekicks disappointed many despite the film’s commercial success. Attack of the Clones in 2002 was an improvement with more engaging action sequences but it still suffered the same problems. Revenge of the Sith still has the same problems as it’s predecessors but nonetheless provides an agreeable bridge between the two Star Wars trilogies. Continue reading “Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith”

Kingdom of Heaven

Despite the obvious pedigree behind the camera and some impressively staged battle scenes, Ridley Scott’s latest epic lacks the human drama and visual invention of his previous work.

The critical and commercial success of Gladiator in 2000 kick started the recent revival of ‘sword and sandal’ epics. Now things come full circle with the same director helming the latest in the genre, an epic tale of a blacksmith who is drawn into the Crusades and the battle for Jerusalem in the 12th century. To make a large scale film about Christians invading the Middle East might seem a provocative move given current world events, but in truth the film is a fairly routine example of the epic genre. Like Gladiator we see a mournful protagonist drawn into a wider conflict in which he emerges a heroic warrior. But unlike that film Kingdom of Heaven tries to encompass so many points of view that it ends up being a diluted and underwhelming experience. Continue reading “Kingdom of Heaven”