So, we finally saw Attack of the Clones tonight, at one of the few digitally-equipped theaters nationwide (I heard, but, like, don’t quote me on this, that there are only two on the West Coast: Mumble’s [formerly Graumann’s] Chinese, in Hollywood, where the film premiered and one of the places we visited while in Cali, and the Cinerama here in Seattle, the place to catch SF and epics here in town, with a full cinescope setup).
My experience was marred by technical flaws, both within the film and in the screening: the film seemed dim throughout, as though I were watching it through sunglasses, and there were several times when the soundtrack became at least a quarter-second out of synch with the actor’s mouths, giving the impression of a poorly dubbed foreign film.
Additionally, and truly trivially, there was a visible moment of MPEG blocky corruption in one shot. But damn, this was supposed to be the poster child for digital projection! Once I’d been tenderized by these warts I was sensitized to every problematic use of digitally-derived FX in the movie, from the jerky motions of the digipuppet riding the herd-tick in the meadow to the inexplicable decision to shoot Princess Amidala’s recovery from a tumble to the sand with digital sand and shadows that failed to properly meet the lovely Ms. Portman in motion, causing that irritating “floating” appearance.
It made me grumpy.
As reported, the romance is a fine time and place to take a nap – I couldn’t begin to tell you why, but I yawned and yawned and Y-A-W-N-E-D.
Other than that the vastly more positive blog-world feedback you’ve undoubtedly noted is by and large borne out. Mostly, the big scenes go over well. The battlecruisers taking off in the final moments of the film, for example, was a perfect realization of the scope and power of seventies SF art that partially hooked me on SF to begin with. Also, the only time I actually felt emotionally involved in the film was in the climactic scene involving Yoda; again, as advertised.
So, I guess my take on it is, go see it on film, screw digital. At least the soundtrack ought to remain in synch.
Although seeing Christopher Lee reprise his role as Sauruman so soon was interesting, to say the least.