One good thing has come from the past three days, I have been able to lay around with my baby son Jordan (5 years old) and recover with him. During the day hours and through the lenses of 101.5 and 102.5 degree body temperatures respectively, we watched several movies together, than at night I watched a few more of my favorites, namely The Godfather trilogy.
Two things strike me when comparing George Lucas' "Attack of the Clones" (Star Wars Episode II) with Francis Ford Coppolla's "The Godfather".
First, I was amazed with the utter awfulness of the dialogue in the Clones movie. I am not sure there could be more hideous script-writing. Obviously one does not watch the Star Wars saga with high expectations concerning the dialogue, but it takes work to make the lines as bad as they are in Episode II. I caught myself physically wincing when Anakin says "You are so beautiful" and Padme responds, "Only because I'm so in love". Just plain awful writing.
Second, I was amazed with the absolute brilliance of Copolla and Puzo in putting together the script for The Godfather. Talk about making every line count. Interspersing the heavenly language (italian/Sicilian dialect) throughout the movie was all the better. Just think of all the classic lines that come from that movie.
I just don't get to watch many movies, let alone see them close together like this. I won't argue that comparing these two films is fair, however, There is a chief similarity that makes the bankruptcy of Clones' dialogue more disappointing.
Both movies boasted tremendously talented casts. Clones posessed several accomplished actors and some solid newcomers- Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Jimmy Smits, Hayden Christiansen, Ian McDiarmid and Natalie Portman. Godfather, of course, had the likes of Marlon Brando, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino.
It is a crime for George Lucas to have done what he did to these great actors. Its like handing a stratovarius to a toddler and watching him play it like a guitar. Too bad the actors agreed to read such bad lines. Have they no pride? I am disappointed in Samuel L. Jackson for agreeing to say something like "This party is over" when dropping in on Count Dooku (and why not Lord Poopy-head for a name also?). I wish Jackson would have rebelled and unleased with one of his Scripture-reciting lines from Pulp Fiction instead. Then, to have the great Christopher Lee (of Saruman fame in the Lord of the Rings Movies) be reduced to the kind of drivel he had to speak...oh the shame. If it would have been a cast of no-names maybe I could take it, but it wasn't. Have you seen Hayden Christiansen in "Shattered Glass"? The guy is a very good actor, don't let his role as Anakin unduly taint your impression of him. Yet, in Clones he came off as an unjustifiably unstable person. The leap from the sweet little kid on Tatooine to the enigmatic, seemingly spoiled, "I killed them all", Anakin of Clones was totally artificial.
Wait a minute....am I trying to compare a Star Wars film with The Godfather? Good grief. I am very sorry. The words of Solozzo to Tom Hagan about Vito Corleone might suit me in my current semi-conscious state- "Admit it Tom...the Don is slippin'."