So you know what really bugs me? The number of people I've encountered who, upon hearing that I loathed Attack of the Clones, declare in disbelief, "It wasn't that bad. I mean, it was okay."
Note: most of these people are not diehard Star Wars fans.

It boggles the mind, truly. Has the average moviegoer become so numbed by the mediocre pabulum churned out by Hollywood every week that they can't even tell when a show well and truly sucked, even by ordinary standards?

[Obligatory disclaimer: Loads of spoilers ahead, if you haven't seen this shitty film, which you really shouldn't if you haven't, so read on anyway.]

I'm not upset that AotC didn't live up to the expectations of the original trilogy; after The Phantom Menace, I wasn't expecting much. I'm upset that AotC isn't even a halfway decent film. I mean, it's one thing if a creator of a money-spinning, cult-inducing franchise decides, "Oh, fuck it. I'll just play with my nifty new CGI machines." It's far more heinous when he's so caught up playing with CGI and all the other funky technology that he doesn't realize that his film has more technical flaws than all the amateur fan-films out there put together.

Firstly, the pacing was awful. Whoever did the editing --- and I'm sure the almighty GL held up his end of the scissors --- doesn't seem to realize that even efficient scenes need time to breathe, expand, climax and wind down. Snip-snapping scenes all ove the place does not a movie make. (Oh, and Yoda's syntax? It worked in ESB; it doesn't work every time it's used to cover up bad writing.)

So yeah, pacing. Then there was the bad script. Then there was the self-indulgent overuse of CGI. And don't forget plot loopholes. And then there's the excessive CGI. There was also the bad acting, but I'm inclined to forgive the actors for that because they really didn't have much to work with. There was the campy Yoda bit --- it worked, initially, when Yoda confronted Count Dooku, but it crossed the line into camp when it was reduced to just a little green guy bouncing all over the cave.

I think the godawful script did it in, really. On my way back from watching the film and before I fell asleep that night and even the next day, all I could think of was how the same essential story (Anakin and Amidala fall in love, Boba Fett hands out some clones, Palpatine takes control of the Senate, Count Dooku is temporarily defeated, Anakin inches towards the Dark Side) could have been told with far less melodrama, planet-hopping and angst. Same story, just different treatment. And I'm not talking about any sacred Star Wars holiness that must be preserved; I just want to watch a good story, plain and simple.
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Okay, /rant off. I just have to go around saying, "I hated it, absolutely hated it," a few more times and then maybe people will stop trying to convince me that it was not that bad.


Meanwhile, work this week has been a surprisingly lenient affair. I think they haven't really cottoned on to the fact that I'm back, even though everyone has seen me and said hi and how was the trip and we've gone to lunch and everything. I spent most of my afternoons, truth be told, surfing the internet. I caught up with so many of my regular websites (the ones I'd neglected when I was on vacation) that as of 2:30 pm today, I had run out of regular hangouts and was bored out of my mind.

Not that I'm complaining, since I'd rather be bored and then go home on time, then be exhilarated with work and have to stay late everyday. Plus it's a nice way to ease myself back into the work rhythm --- inasmuch as I've experienced any kind of rhythm this week, other than having to wake up early again.

Socially, the week was hopping. Tuesday night was spent at a certain Irish pub that T is enamored with. T and Mr B drank potcheens (sp?), some kind of Irish potato spirit, sorta the Irish version of moonshine. It's wicked strong; I wouldn't touch it. T and Mr B, on the other hand, drank five shots altogether. Mr B proceeded to be hungover the next day. T, however, is on holiday (the month-long mid-year school break began this week) and had plenty of time to sleep off any incipient hangover.

Wednesday night we had dinner with my cousin and his fiancee. They took us to a nearby swimming club (which is like a country club, minus the golf) for a cheap dinner. However, we got back a little later than I expected so G, I missed taping about five minutes of this week's The X-Files for you. It was a letdown anyway, as this final season (thank goodness) has been. At least it's consistently bad, unlike a certain science fiction franchise I could name.

Thursday night found us having dinner with Miffy and her man. The evening began with a slight hiccup because we had wanted to eat at this place at Fort Canning, except it turned out that on that very night, Fort Canning was overrun by tons of people attending some kind of Festival Village that marked the opening of the annual Arts Festival. So the cafe wasn't serving its usual goodies and parking was a nightmare and T got grumpy as a result. We adjourned to Park Mall instead (and the aforementioned Irish pub afterwards), so the evening was neatly salvaged. However, my back hurt. I think it's going to take my spine a while to get used to the fact that I have to go back to sitting at a desk all day.

The downside to my sterling social life is that I didn't get enough sleep --- exacerbated in part, no doubt, by mild jet lag. I will atone for it this weekend.

I haven't written about my trip yet, but at least I'm sorta caught up on what's going on in the present, so I'll try to slip in a trip-related entry this weekend.

Okay, since I began this entry with such vitriol directed against AotC, I'll end with the only thing that's redeemed it for me so far: Episode 3: Yoda Goes Nuts and Hides in the Swamp by Chris Cook. It takes at least a PG-13 rating, by the way, if not just big fat R and it's filled with Episode 2 spoilers galore. Read at your own risk. At least it helped me pass the afternoon at work more quickly yesterday.


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