VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: SHOWS: REVIEW: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.6/10 IMDB.

We forgot to watch the pilot movie to The Clone Wars cartoon series! For the uninformed, Clone Wars is the the CGI animated TV series that’s been airing since 2008. It chronicles the period of time between Episode 2 and Episode 3 of the Star Wars movies. We recently finished the last season of Clone Wars, and decided to go ahead and watch the introductory movie — since apparently we are doing things backwards. (And no, we haven’t seen the Clone Wars animated shorts by Dexter’s Lab/Samurai Jack animator Genndy Tartakovsky, which precede this movie that precedes the series we watched. Maybe we’ll do that next.)

This was a great introduction to the show. This seemed better than the 1st season of the actual show. We didn’t really like the first season all that much, and the “roger roger” droids were really annoying and juvenile. We barely slogged through the 2nd season. By the 3rd season we were begrudgingly admitting this series’s awesomeness, but we still were into it at a lower level than most other shows, procrastinating so much that when we watched Season 4, season 5 started a mere week after we finished. But here’s the kicker: We watched Season 4 in like a week. A season at a time, this series goes down MUCH better. It got totally worth it. The ending of season 5 is a shocker. We’ve also gotten to enjoy many side episodes, for example an episode about only the droids. There are some pretty epic lightsabre battles in the series, like watching Dooku go toe to toe with Darth Maul.

As bad as the first season is, I strongly recommend any Star Wars fan to slog through and watch all 5 seasons of The Clone Wars — plus the remaining bits that are still to be released. (New animation has stopped, but they’re still going to release some stuff to wrap it all up.)

But perhaps, unlike us, you should watch this movie/pilot first.

Starring Matt Lanter (Harry Osborn in Ultimate Spider-Man, Brody Mitchum in Heroes) as Anakin Skywalker (voice).
Ashley Eckstein (8 episodes of That’s So Raven) as Ahsoka Tano (voice).
James Arnold Taylor (Wooldoor Sockbat in Drawn Together, Green Arrow in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, 4 eps of Young Justice) as Obi-Wan Kenobi / 4-A7 / Medical Droid (voice).
Dee Bradley Baker (The new Thundercats, Adventure Time, Avatar The Last Airbender, Ultimate Spider-Man, Waddles the pig in Gravity Falls, and many more) as Clone Troopers / Captain Rex / Cody / Fox (voice).
Tom Kane (Professor Utonium in The Powerpuff Girls, Magneto in Wolverine And The X-Men, and much more) as Yoda / Narrator / Admiral Yularen (voice).
Ian Abercrombie (Mr. Pitt in Seinfeld, Green Lantern-TAS) as Chancellor Palpatine / Darth Sidious (voice).
Kevin Michael Richardson as Jabba the Hutt (voice).
Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury in the Marvel movies, Django Unchained, Snakes On A Plane) as Mace Windu (voice).
Christopher Lee (Saruman in the Lord Of The Rings movies, Death in The Color Of Magic, The Golden Compass) as Count Dooku (voice).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1185834/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: S1m0ne (2002)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: IMDB: 6.1/10. Netflix: 3/5 stars.

Watched this to see the remaining unwatched Andrew Niccol-directed movie, after really loving In Time, The Truman Show, and Gattaca. (Though I liked Lord Of War way less than the other 3.)

What a great post-modern idea: Computer-generated actors becoming popular without the public realizing it — and of course between when the movie came out and now, it’s happened in real life, at least once, specifically in Japan with a pop singer who turned out to be a computer-generated composite of several band members: http://gawker.com/5814822/japans-newest-pop-star-revealed-to-be-computer+generated-fake .

A great idea, but this movie didn’t explore the technosociological implications of the idea as much as I hoped. It was more about Al Pacino getting in over his head (“Say hello to my cgi friend!”), and how crazily the public can be easily manipulated. That made it not quite fulfill my own made-up internalized potential hope for what this movie should be (somethign I always advice against people having in the first place). Carolyn wasn’t bothered by that as much. Maybe I shouldn’t be.

Still a good movie.

Very interesting that Andrew Niccol married the woman who played Simone — who was not originally credited in the credits, leaving people to think she truly was computer-generated in the movie. (They were going to do it, but the Screen Actors’ Guild pressured them into not doing it, for fear that it would be the end of all actors, much like what the movie depicted.) This movie also has Catherine Keener (surprisingly playing a light, non-bitchy, warm person), Winona Ryder, and a way-younger Evan Rachel Wood.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258153/