TF Film Review: The Clone Wars (2008)

The Star Wars Celebration Japan event in July wasn’t just celebrating 30 years of Star Wars in Japan but was also about promoting the new animated movie ‘The Clone Wars’ (released in Japan on August 23rd) which was originally intended to be a TV series pilot filling in the gaps between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I do remember from the aforementioned event that director Dave Filloni did say that he had become interested in the Clone Wars from the moment he heard Luke Skywalker ask Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi “You fought in the Clone Wars?” in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Can’t say that it got me thrilled or that I was too concerned about these blanks so it was with fairly low expectation that I went to the cinema last Friday to see how things were developing in this latest part of the Star Wars saga.
Myself and Gideon weren’t the only Star Wars geeks there as there was a single line of loner ‘otaku’ (nerd or geek) going down a fair few rows with them all sitting in the middle of the row. The plot is a bit thin, desparate and fairly forgettable but with no expecatation and hype surrounding the movie I was able to enjoy it. Of course if you’re not a Star Wars fan then it obviously won’t appeal and I’m sure its not even designed for us original trilogy generation fans either.
The dialogue was inevitably cliched but I thought that about Revenge Of The Sith so no real change there. The addition of new female character Ahsoka Tona was not as bad as I thought it would be and was it actually quite enjoyable watching her banter with Anakin at times. The storyline involving Jabba the Hutt and his kidnapped son Rotta did slightly remind me of the far, far superior Dr Evil and Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies but overall I would have to say that I didn’t mind the film. High praise indeed!!

TF Film Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

Of the comic book heroes the one that I always liked best was Batman. I could come out with some cool reason for preferring him to Spider-man or Superman like the fact that he has no truly supernatural powers. Sadly I wasn’t that thoughtful as a kid and a more likely (but still probably not true) reason was that I just liked the idea of wearing blue underpants over the top of grey trousers better than the other outfits! Or it may have even been because I played Batman in the school playground and in later years really liked the Batman game on the Amstrad CPC 464. As you can see I was easily pleased as a child! More likely reason is that I just thought (and still do) that Batman’s more cool than the other super-heroes.
Now I’m not really a cinema-goer but for some reason I have seen most of the Batman movies on the big screen (I did give Batman and Robin a miss though) so I was very keen to see The Dark Knight (released in Japan on August 9th) which I went to a couple of weeks ago with Gideon. I loved Batman Begins in 2005 and this was gripping stuff too and thoroughly enjoyable although Christian Bale’s voice as Batman seems to be more over the top than in the last film. Overlong too though thats more to do with my poor concentration for films beyond the 90-120 minute mark. Anyway, it did enough for me to live up to its hype which was of course heightened by the death of Heath Ledger who gave a very dark and fairly scary performance as The Joker fitting in with the films quite threatening image.
After a couple of hours my chair started to jolt which I thought at first was due to Gideon having a shaky leg but it wasn’t him and neither was it a special effect of the cinema as this was no Universal Studios ride. Instead the room was shaking due to one of the earthquakes which take place in Japan day in day out.