• Feature
  • Extras

Maybe you'll remember a handful of months ago when geek-lightning struck

me and I reviewed a little DVD called The

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
? Ring any bells? I thought

it might. Well, apparently geek-lightning is not like regular lightning

in the fact that it CAN strike twice. Only this time, I've hit the motherload.

Yes, my pulse quickened and my palms became sweaty as I opened that package

and realized I had the LOTR

… but that is nothing in comparison to what I felt when I

opened today's little unmarked package. You see, this DVD had no marking.

There was no little note accompanying it letting me know what I was about

to experience. Nope, nothing at all. So I had no idea what to expect.

For all I knew, it could have been a DVD version of the mysterious RING

video that's been going around. But I'm an adventurous soul, so I decided

to throw it in the old DVD player and see what was to be seen.

Ladies and gentlemen, my eyes began to tear as my mind struggled to comprehend

what it was beholding. That familiar logo… that music, so burned

into the popular culture of the world… those first familiar images…

I sat speechless… dumbfounded. No spy in a million years could have

convinced me they would get me this DVD early. Not even our boy Lee,

and his minions from the depths of Hell itself could have sold me on this

coming my way. For the love of GOD, this is the Star

Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones

When I awoke from passing out cold, I had to stop the DVD and start it

again. I couldn't possibly miss a thing of this experience. The disc stars

off with the Star Wars logo panning back, images from the films

filling the letters. From there, the Jedi Starfighter screams onto the

screen, disembarking from its hyperdrive ring.

Then we pan down to the planet Kamino and the amazing menu screen. It's

the city on the water. And within the water, images of the main characters

cycle by. I waited for a few moments, hoping one of those little scenes

like from The Phantom Menace

would pop up, urging me to make a selection. Alas, the images

atop the water just recycled themselves and started again.

Next I went to the Options Menu. Wow! Here we are treated to an animated

fight between Obi wan and Jango Fett on the rain soaked platform. This

menu is not images taken from the film, but rather it was created for

the disc, and it look amazing. Again, after a short while, the fight recycles

itself and starts anew, but it's worth watching! From this screen I could

customize the setup.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 sounds incredible on this disc. Once again, Lucas'

people have outdone themselves with the technical specs of their disc.

Not only is the DD sound amazing, but the disc also comes equipped with

a THX Optimizer which runs both an Audio and Video test of your system

so you can get the best possible audio and video quality for what you're

running! And for those lucky enough to see this film played digitally,

let me tell you, the transfer to DVD is FLAWLESS. The colors just POP!

You can see every spark flying from Obi Wan's lightsaber as the rain hits

it during his battle with Jango on Kamino.

Ok, time to review the film itself. Sure, we've all seen it, but the

period of hype has worn off, and this could have been a vastly different

film now. And to be honest, it was. I loved this film in theaters. Loved

it. It brought me back to that place that made me fall in love with movies

oh so many years ago. All of the awww of a “galaxy far, far away”

was back. Crazy Uncle George had finally met my expectations. He'd finally

recaptured the magic. I saw the film 4 times opening weekend. Each time,

the colors in my old Yoda tattoo seemed to brighten a little bit more.

But would it be the same now that the initial glow had worn off…

I mean, I've seen some amazing films this year. Would the old love of

everything Star Wars still be as strong?

In a word: Yes. To expand on that word… even more so. Attack

of the Clones
is everything a Star Wars film should be. It's

exciting, and aww inspiring. It's epic, yet personal. It tells a big story

with a small amount of characters. And it's the characters that make this

portion of the mythos a great one. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you don't

think Hayden Christiansen is poised on the verge of major stardom, think

again. Perhaps you weren't fully focused on his performance in this film.

That's Ok. I mean, there's a lot going on, and Star Wars films

aren't the types of movies you sit back and pick apart the acting. If

you do that, you'll miss the point entirely. But in this film, Hayden

shines. And if you need further proof, go out and rent (better yet, BUY)

Life as a House. The boy has

serious skills, and he brings them to full bare within the tormented and

arrogant Anakin Skywalker.

What else can I say about the acting in this film? Well, Ewan McGregor

adds to his amazing portrayal of Obi Wan Kenobi. This film allows him

to expand more on Obi wan, giving him a sense of power and responsibility,

yet still keeping him light enough to have traces of the youthful arrogance

he gave the character in The Phantom

. Natalie Portman does a nice job once again as Amidala, although

she still seems the most uncomfortable of the cast in dealing with all

the CGI work. The majority of the stiffness that plagued her performance

in The Phantom Menace is gone,

but not entirely.

And now the latest addition to the Star Wars mythos, Christopher Lee.

Not much can be said about the man that hasn't been said already. He's

a legend, and the fact that he would lend his talents to Star Wars

really says something about the power of the series. The only complaint

I have about his portrayal of Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus is that it was

painfully short. Granted, he should have more of a roll in Episode

, but I wanted more of him now. He's so sinister without ever going

over the top. He's a master craftsman who is finally getting more of the

recognition he so richly deserves.

Ok, ok, enough of my drooling over the film itself. It seems that old

Uncle George has done the same thing he did with The

Phantom Menace
DVD here with Attack

of the Clones
. He's added little bits here and there. He's tweaked

it more to his liking. The most notable addition is the extended scene

with Anakin and Amidala after Anakin has returned from finding his mother.

After Anakin breaks down, Amidala crouches next to him, telling him, “To

be angry is to be human.” to which Anakin responds, “I'm a Jedi..

I know I'm better than this.” The addition of this little bit of

dialogue makes it easier to believe Amidala would fall in love with Anakin.

He seems less like a psychopathic killer and more like a confused kid.

We also get a quick addition of Amidala moaning in the sand after she's

fallen out of the transport during the battle on Geonosis. Finally, and

please, correct me if I'm wrong on this, it appears a small amount was

added to the Yoda/Dooku battle. If memory serves me correctly, when Dooku

fired the force lightening at Yoda in the theatrical release, Yoda just

balled it up and pushed it aside. Here, he first catches it and sends

it back at Dooku, who deflects it into the ceiling. Dooku then fires more

force lightening at Yoda and he collects it in a ball. I don't remember

Yoda firing the force lightening back at Dooku…


Unfortunately, much like my Lord

Of The Rings
disc, I was not sent the second disc with the special

features. Once I procure that disc, I'll be adding to my review.

However, I am graced with the audio commentary by George Lucas, producer

Rick McCallum, picture editor and sound designer Ben Burtt, ILM animation

director Rob Coleman, and ILM visual effects supervisors Pablo Helman,

John Knoll, and Ben Snow. Impressive lineup, huh? It's an impressive commentary.

It's got something for everyone. As usual, Lucas doesn't offer too much

insight, but Rick McCallum is great. Ben Burtt is amazing, and hearing

him talk about the sound for the film is a treat, as is hearing the ILM

guys talking bout doing their thing. These are the unsung heroes of the

film ,and them getting the recognition to talk about their contributions

is great.

One special thing we've actually listed as an Easter

happens when you pop the disc into your player, you actually are

entered into a random array where you will get one of two menus. The first

menu is the one I described above with the Jango / Obi-Wan duel in the

rain on the planet of Kamino.

If you take the disc out of your DVD player completely then load it back

in you are likely to get the other menu. This is completely random, but

if you do get the second menu you will be treated to a full blown animated

city of Coruscant. The same menus and features are listed on both randomly

generated menus.

What can I say? I'm in heaven right now! It's only the beginning of September,

and I just sat in my living room and popped the Attack of the Clones DVD

into my player. Does it get any better than that? If it does, don't tell me

about it because right now, I'm glowing.

Lucas and his crew have seriously outdone themselves again, putting together

one of the most impressive looking and sounding DVDs I've ever witnessed. Now

if only we didn't have to wait so long for Episode


Take a look at some screenshots! And then get to our FORUMS

to talk about this great DVD! E-mail me and tell me what you think!

All images © Lucasfilm 2002

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