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James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:06 am
by TheThrasher
James Rolfe, or also known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, is reviewing Star Wars in a two part special. The review is on his movie site, Cinemassacre. Its a very good review, like all of his other movie reviews. It has very little swearing, unlike his AVGN videos ;) . The first part is about the OT, and the second part will be released soon, which is about the PT.

Part 2 is now up

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:41 am
by Marf
This video is pretty neat I never knew how many things George based Star Wars on :shock: I may be very slow but in this video I just realized that in Ep. 4 when the Lars' Homestead is burned their bodies are there kinda creepy I must've forgotten since I havent watched it in a while :p . I want to see that video that explains how they did the special effects probably gonna drive to the local library later today. Thanks for showing me this video it showed me a lot about Star Wars that I didnt know.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:26 pm
by GIR3691
Part II is up.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:09 pm
by Flynn
I was actually considering posting this myself. Just caught Part II, and all I can say is that I think he was a little harsh on EP. I. But, whatever, it's all personal opinions. It does make me want to pull out the OT and watch them back-to-back over spring break. :)

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:35 pm
by onions
nah, i don't think he was harsh at all. i think he was spot on in every aspect. they were quite enjoyable reviews.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:29 pm
by thepatient
These were cool to watch, but he didn't seem all that angry. If you like his take on the films, and if it ever comes on again, see Star Wars:The Legacy on the History Channel. It goes over many of the themes he talks about (not so much fan stuff) in this review. Only it goes into much more depth since its a 2 hour show. It dissects pretty much all of the characters and shows that Star Wars is more than what it appears to be on the surface. It's the only show I won't let my wife erase off of my DVR. Until I can get it on DVD or something.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:46 pm
by Flynn
onions wrote:nah, i don't think he was harsh at all. i think he was spot on in every aspect. they were quite enjoyable reviews.


I'm partial to Ep. I because I saw it at a young age and it was the first SW movie I saw in theatres. It's certaintly not my favorite SW movie, but I can enjoy it in spite of the flaws.

But, as I said, it's all personal opinions, so who cares.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:04 pm
by deco_droid
i guess my question is why do we care what james rolfe thinks about star wars? he's a movie reviewer, i gather? whatever -- i doubt the guy was ever that big a fan in the first place. he even admits he didn't like star wars after the ot concluded in 1983.

i like how he criticizes the prequels "overuse" of cg (as most lucasbashers do), yet fails to mention the fact that there were more models used in the prequels than there were in the ot. i also find it funny how the ot with its low-tech matte paintings and rubber masks earns a "10", "5 star" rating, yet the prequels (for the most part) get just a "ho-hum" yawn from mr. rolfe. i'm sorry, there is just no practical way to make half the stuff in the prequels without cg -- it would be nice if some of the bashers recognized that.

he also criticizes the "boring" story of the prequels with it's taxation of trade routes and trade federation talk. i know he must be in his 30s, but he sounds like a 10 year old with that statement. i know i found the more adult dialogue in the pt interesting, especially since we're watching how palpatine uses government to seize control by the end of rots. to balance that, there were quite a few action sequences, so i don't know why the guy has such a negative view of the prequels as a whole.

i will give him that the han solo/greedo shootout change was stupid, but the reason i don't like it, is it wreaks of political correctness -- a good guy can't shoot a bad guy in self defense! do we forget that han solo was cornered with a gun pointed in his general direction?!? bah...

really, the guy just comes off as jaded when it comes to the pt, yet forgiving when it comes to the ot. to me, it's one story, six chapters. i don't go around saying fellowship of the ring sucked, but the two towers and return of the king were awesome, because it's ONE STORY. anyway, my view...take it with a grain of salt.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:08 pm
by Draykov
deco_droid wrote:i guess my question is why do we care what james rolfe thinks about star wars?


I can't answer that for anyone but myself, but I'd have to say it's because he makes a relativlely thoughtful and intelligent observation of the films. Even if you don't agree with him, that's valuable. It's certainly more worthy of attention than the unflinching praise of fan-boys or the bitter, rant-filled disgust of your average cynical SW fan.

deco_droid wrote: i know i found the more adult dialogue in the pt interesting


Jar-Jar: "Ooh mooey mooey I love you!"

Anakin: "When I'm around you, my mind is no longer my own"

Anakin: "Don't you see? We don't have to run away anymore! I am more powerful than the Chancellor, I... I can overthrow him! And together, you and I can rule the galaxy! Make things the way we want them to be!"

The prosecution rests, your honor. ;)

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:06 pm
by thepatient
Flynn wrote:
onions wrote:nah, i don't think he was harsh at all. i think he was spot on in every aspect. they were quite enjoyable reviews.


I'm partial to Ep. I because I saw it at a young age and it was the first SW movie I saw in theatres. It's certaintly not my favorite SW movie, but I can enjoy it in spite of the flaws.

But, as I said, it's all personal opinions, so who cares.



You are exactly what Mr.Rolfe is referring to when he mentions; how do the following generations watch these movies? He is even younger than I am, because I saw Star Wars when it came out in 1977. I actually like his example of how when my generation watched ESB we were shocked to find out about the relationship between Luke and Vader. Later generations won't be surprised by that because they already know when you start the story at TPM

Here's my question for anyone here: How will you show the movies to your kids down the road? Starting at EP.I or at EP.IV?

I would start at EP. IV. Just to give my kids the same opportunity for surprise like I did.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:36 am
by Darth's Daddy
This was an awesome review. Many others have discussed the influence of older movies on the OT, but I liked how he actually gave side-by-side examples.
I also agree that he was spot on in his reviews. The reason the OT gets such high marks is NOT simply becuase of the special effects, but because of the strength of story, the strength of the characters, and the chemistry between the actors (dialogue plays a big part of this). All three of those things are weak in the PT (no chemistry, poor dialogue, bland plot). So what we are left to do is look at the "cool" special effects. When the effects of any movie are put under that much focus, we see the problems with it. That is why many people are overly critical of the special effects from the PT.
In the OT, the special effects are not spectacular compared to modern times. They have their own issues, but they are good (great even). In essence, they were better than anything else from the 70s and 80s and they merely enhance the movie instead of try to carry it. We can forgive their flaws because we are focused on the other parts of the movie.

And to answer thepatients questions:
I have already introduced my kids to Star Wars. We started with Episode IV from the OT. My opinion is that the story is told best from that point forward. I think that the time gap between the sagas makes it hard for the little ones to understand how they are even related. I also feel that until they are older (teenage), most kids are just going to think the two are not related, but different stories told in the same universe. Plus I don't plan to show Episode III to my kids until they hit 12 or so.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:21 am
by Mister Ed
thepatient wrote:Here's my question for anyone here: How will you show the movies to your kids down the road? Starting at EP.I or at EP.IV?

I would start at EP. IV. Just to give my kids the same opportunity for surprise like I did.


I started at Episode IV. Watching the prequels first really ruins too many of the dramatic reveals. Frankly I thought it wouldn't have been too hard for Lucas to fashion them so as to avoid that. I mean, really, if they hadn't seen it as necessary to SHOW that Padme gave birth to twins, (and actually NAMED them, to boot) we could have kept Leia's status as Luke's sister a surprise, and if Anakin hadn't used the Darth Vader name in Episode III, and we had been left with the impression that Anakin had died after fighting Obi-Wan (which would have been the obvious assumption had we not seen Palpatine pick him up), that surprise would have been left, too. Then we could have watched the Episodes in order, preserved some of those dramatic moments, AND opened up the possibility that a first time viewer would be surprised when Palpatine was revealed to be Sidious. True, there was no real way to salvage the surprise of Yoda being a Jedi Master, but was anybody ever really surprised by that anyway? As it stands, if you watch the movies in order, you MIGHT wonder for a bit if Yoda went dotty living by himself in the swamp all those years.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:29 am
by Daz Hoo
Great review! I surprised myself agreeing with him the whole way, the only exception being when he talks about Episode I. It kinda grew on me over the years, so now, even though it's not that good, I can honestly say that I do enjoy it every once in a while.

I still say that keeping Darth Maul alive for the rest of the prequels could have help made them better...

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:21 am
by Flesh Skywalker
I can honestly say I enjoyed evey movie. I was born in '76, so I did not see Star Wars until it was on TV, Empire too. I did see Jedi in the theater with my family. I watched the rerelease of A New Hope and Empire at the theaters and when the PT came out I avoided previews like the plague. I did't even know the titles of the films until i went into the teater and saw the familiar scroll. From this perspectie I as looking to see what the story was behind the OT, so I ot what I wanted.

My 3 year old daughter has seen all of the movies from 4-3, I plan on showing my second child (due in May) in the 1-6 order, just to see the different perspectives.

As far as changes in the story (special ddition), I am OK with them. If you see a play, it has different performances, perhaps nightly. If I tell a story, it will be different the next time I tell it. They only place the story is complete is in the mind of George, and it's his story so I can't fault him for trying to make it the best story. Specifically, I don't care if Han or Greedo shot first, I think it doesn't look quite right unless he has the force move the laser blast. I don't enjoy the musical changes to ROTJ, but that is really all. I'm even ok with Jar Jar.

Mister Ed, that is anawesome thought, but the theater would have been crying foul if we didn't see Vader.

Re: James Rolfe (AVGN) Reviews Star Wars

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:36 pm
by Flynn
deco_droid wrote:I guess my question is why do we care what James Rolfe thinks about Star Wars? he's a movie reviewer, i gather? Whatever -- I doubt the guy was ever that big a fan in the first place. He even admits he didn't like star wars after the ot concluded in 1983.


He's one of the most popular video reviewers online, due to his AVGN series. Besides, why critisize someone for doing a review? Would you critisize Roger Ebert by saying "Why do we care what he thinks?". It's nice to see another person's opinion on something, that's what reviews are for.

deco_droid wrote:I like how he criticizes the prequel's "overuse" of CGI (as most lucasbashers do), yet he fails to mention the fact that there were more models used in the prequels than there were in the OT. I also find it funny how the OT with its low-tech matte paintings and rubber masks earns a "10", "5 star" rating, yet the prequels (for the most part) get just a "ho-hum" yawn from Mr. Rolfe. I'm sorry, there is just no practical way to make half the stuff in the prequels without CGI- it would be nice if some of the bashers recognized that.


What if there were more models in the PT? Most of it is dominated by the CGI used for almost all the ships, aliens, and scenery. And also, he doesn't dislike the PT just for the CGI, he doesn't like it for other reasons as well. He gave the OT a 5/5 because of the story, characters, references, and special effects. Also, I can't beleive you're critisizing the OT because it used rubber masks sometimes. They didn't outright look like masks, and the overall effects were incredible, even to this day. The CGI just looks...fake. As he said, with the models, what you're seeing is actually there, and there's some wonder about how they did it, even if you already know. With the CGI, it was all just done on a computer.

deco_droid wrote:He also criticizes the "boring" story of the prequels with it's taxation of trade routes and trade federation talk. I know he must be in his 30s, but he sounds like a 10 year old with that statement. I know I found the more adult dialogue in the PT interesting, especially since we're watching how palpatine uses government to seize control by the end of ROTS. to balance that, there were quite a few action sequences, so I don't know why the guy has such a negative view of the prequels as a whole.


"More adult dialouge"? Seriously? Half the stuff was banal or cliche, and the other half was ruined by horrid acting (Pardoning McDiarmid and McGregor, they were great). Also, he gives distinct reasons for why he dislikes each film, if you don't remember them, watch the review again.

deco_droid wrote:Really, the guy just comes off as jaded when it comes to the PT, yet forgiving when it comes to the OT. To me, it's one story, six chapters. I don't go around saying Fellowship of the Ring sucked, but the Two Towers and Return of the King were awesome, because it's ONE STORY. Anyway, my view...take it with a grain of salt.


Just because it's one story doesn't mean you can't grade each one on its own. Take the Harry Potter movies, for example, it's all one story, but that doesn't mean I can't say Goblet of Fire sucked but Sorcerer's Stone was good. The PT movies were considerably less quality than the OT, and I'm allowed to say it, I can't just forgive it because it's part of the same story as the OT.