RiffTrax Forum

RiffTrax Discussion => Individual RiffTrax Discussion => Star Wars Ep1 Phantom Menace => Topic started by: Yarg on November 16, 2006, 10:13:32 PM

Title: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Yarg on November 16, 2006, 10:13:32 PM
I just watched the Star Wars Episode 1 Rifftrax for the first time and holy crap is the acting bad. I didn't remember it being this bad. When I saw it in the theaters I didn't notice as much because all those long talky scenes put me to sleep and then the explosions woke me up and I only saw the action.

Anyway, I vote for Natalie Portman, although she was thoroughly upstaged by Hayden Christensen in the other two Star Wars prequels, who invented new ways to suck at acting. Seriously, what the heck is with the acting in these movies? Samuel L. Jackson is not a bad actor, it's like they were directed to give wooden and robotic performances. Why can't they put good acting in this CGI Monster-filled enviroment. Troll 2 has better acting than these movies! Compare the kid in Troll 2 to the kid in Episode 1.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on November 16, 2006, 10:41:36 PM
I was going to vote for little Jake Lloyd, but at least he has the excuse of being 9 years old. Natalie Portman, on the other hand, is an Oscar-nominated actress. And you can't argue that Amidala's worst lines were delivered by Keira Knightley, because Natalie sucked in the next two movies as well.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 16, 2006, 10:58:55 PM
What's amazing is that Portman was actually a pretty good child actress (see Leon, in which the 5th Element guy made a much better movie) yet seemed in this movie as though she'd never seen a camera. I'd say at least half of it is the awful script and a big chunk of the rest is that fact that I bet everyone halfway competent in this movie realized how stupid it would be and stopped trying.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: kodiakthejuggler on November 17, 2006, 04:26:20 AM
I was disappointed with Portman's acting and delivery in TPM, so she got my vote. Plus, after seeing her in The Professional, she has no excuse.

p.s. "Leam" is actually spelled "Liam"   ;)
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: PsypherPunk on November 17, 2006, 04:39:49 AM
i read somewhere (on the internet, so take with a barrel of salt) that Lucas was so worried about script-leakage that he didn't let anyone see it until just before shooting began. I'd like to think that this is true if only to justify why some fairly decent actors came off looking like they were in a daytime soap opera.

I remember watching the Lord of the Rings bonus features and seeing exactly how much input Peter Jackson had into the actors' performance. From the look of it he told them how to do everything, they just had to do it over and over. Something tells me George just said, "Action!" and was done with it.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: mrbasehart on November 17, 2006, 06:08:33 AM
While I was disappointed with Portman's performance (I've always found her to be a good actress), Jake Lloyd has utterly no business in front of a camera.  When I watch him in this movie, it's like someone's rubbing sandpaper on my brain.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: David on November 17, 2006, 06:38:31 AM
What about Kiera Knightly? She was the one who actually played the decoy queen... pretty great for her career that everyone thought it was a camera trick with Natalie Portman instead.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: LadyKenobi on November 17, 2006, 08:55:48 AM
Portman.  Just atrocious.

I thought Ewan McGregor did as well as he could with the material, though.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: SaucyRossy on November 17, 2006, 11:21:29 AM
can you add George Lucas to your choices?
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: PlayMSTie on November 17, 2006, 11:37:52 AM
Seriously, what the heck is with the acting in these movies? Samuel L. Jackson is not a bad actor, it's like they were directed to give wooden and robotic performances. 

I thought they were! Seems to me I heard somewhere that Lucas wanted them all to act in a certain way to get the effect he wanted. It just happened that the effect he wanted resembled a bunch of automatons.

I like Portman and Christensen, but she was terribly wooden. Christensen I actually didn't think was all that bad. (Ducks rotten tomatoes) I mean, he was supposed to act like a sullen, smart-mouthed teenager, and that's pretty much what he did.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Pak-Man on November 17, 2006, 11:45:01 AM
The arguement could be made that Ahmed Best did a really great job of portraying Jar-Jar Binks. SO good, that everyone thought the character was as annoying as Lucas wanted him to be!

I'll be quiet now. :^)
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on November 17, 2006, 11:45:23 AM
While I was disappointed with Portman's performance (I've always found her to be a good actress), Jake Lloyd has utterly no business in front of a camera.  When I watch him in this movie, it's like someone's rubbing sandpaper on my brain.

I'm adding that phrase to my vernacular.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: PlayMSTie on November 17, 2006, 12:00:51 PM
The arguement could be made that Ahmed Best did a really great job of portraying Jar-Jar Binks. SO good, that everyone thought the character was as annoying as Lucas wanted him to be!


Yeah, that's a point.  :D
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 17, 2006, 12:11:06 PM
i read somewhere (on the internet, so take with a barrel of salt) that Lucas was so worried about script-leakage that he didn't let anyone see it until just before shooting began. I'd like to think that this is true if only to justify why some fairly decent actors came off looking like they were in a daytime soap opera.

I remember watching the Lord of the Rings bonus features and seeing exactly how much input Peter Jackson had into the actors' performance. From the look of it he told them how to do everything, they just had to do it over and over. Something tells me George just said, "Action!" and was done with it.
I watched all of those features, and I'm pretty sure Jackson did what good directors do- he told the actors as much about their characters as he could, and let them figure out how to act. I'd bet money he wasn't trying to give Ians McKellen and Holme or Christopher Lee acting lessons. Lucas, on the other hand, probably told his actors exactly how to perform. Most actors look less wooden improvising than these guys did on script.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: mrbasehart on November 17, 2006, 12:22:54 PM
Lucas, on the other hand, probably told his actors exactly how to perform. Most actors look less wooden improvising than these guys did on script.

I think you can be exacting and still come up with a great performance: Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick are known perfectionists.  Perhaps it was a culmination of the Director, the script, the pressure, and all the CGI they had to cope with that marred everything...?
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 17, 2006, 12:31:02 PM
Lucas, on the other hand, probably told his actors exactly how to perform. Most actors look less wooden improvising than these guys did on script.

I think you can be exacting and still come up with a great performance: Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick are known perfectionists.  Perhaps it was a culmination of the Director, the script, the pressure, and all the CGI they had to cope with that marred everything...?
Well, right. I mean, Kubrick basically picked non-actors half the time so they wouldn't interfere with what he wanted them to do. The difference is that Kubrick and Woody Allen are very, very talented. I like Peter Jackson, but I haven't seen any evidence that he's capable of making Paths of Glory or Crimes and Misdemeanors, and he's probably well advised to do what he does well. Lucas, on the other hand, seems to have decided at some point that he's a genius on the Kubrick level, and the manner in which everything turned to crap shows it. It's actually a pretty clear example of auteur theory in action- Lucas definitely left no question as to who authored that maggot-ridden pile of crap.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: BBQ Platypus on November 17, 2006, 12:33:15 PM
Jake Lloyd was EASILY the worst.  I remember watching it and being pissed because I had done some extracurricular programs that involved skits when I was as old as he was, and at age 9 I could have outacted Jake Lloyd.  And I hadn't even done any real acting.  (Which he hadn't either, of course - but he had no talent for it whatsoever).  I wanted to KILL that kid!  To me, he was more annoying than midichlorians and Jar-Jar Binks combined!
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Variety of Cells on November 17, 2006, 09:08:41 PM
While I was disappointed with Portman's performance (I've always found her to be a good actress), Jake Lloyd has utterly no business in front of a camera.  When I watch him in this movie, it's like someone's rubbing sandpaper on my brain.

While I completely agree with you, having so much hate focused towards you must be really scarring as a child.  I'd be terrified of being chased by roving bands of nerds screaming "lynch the boy!  He's the one who ruined Star Wars!".  I hope his poor acting was due to under developed reading skills, because if he can read, and he happens across a Star Wars forum, oh man, I don't even want to think about it.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: mrbasehart on November 17, 2006, 09:41:31 PM
While I was disappointed with Portman's performance (I've always found her to be a good actress), Jake Lloyd has utterly no business in front of a camera.  When I watch him in this movie, it's like someone's rubbing sandpaper on my brain.

While I completely agree with you, having so much hate focused towards you must be really scarring as a child.  I'd be terrified of being chased by roving bands of nerds screaming "lynch the boy!  He's the one who ruined Star Wars!".  I hope his poor acting was due to under developed reading skills, because if he can read, and he happens across a Star Wars forum, oh man, I don't even want to think about it.

Yeah, I hope he was protected from that and doesn't take it personally when he grows older.

I think it's a crucial difference that some should recognise: I mean, I don't hate Jake Lloyd, I hate his acting.  That's what my comment was aimed at.  I don't even blame him, it's George Lucas who cast him when he had the pick of all the child actors in the world.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: davo on November 18, 2006, 10:41:21 AM
can you add George Lucas to your choices?

that'd be my vote.  if the director doesn't direct the actors and uses bad takes in the movie, the actors are going to look wayyyy worse than they are.


that being said, samuel l. stands out as the phone-in performance of the decade.  stinkola!
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Inv8r_BILLY on November 18, 2006, 10:13:57 PM
"Lucas, on the other hand, probably told his actors exactly how to perform. Most actors look less wooden improvising than these guys did on script."

I think you're dead wrong.  Everything I've EVER heard about Lucas the director is that he gives virtually NO feedback to his actors.  He's a fantastic editor, and a superb post-production director (the guy has an uncanny sens of pacing, timing, and delivery when he directs animators), no matter what the current trend of easy-target vitriol says, a creative genious, and a brilliant businessman, but he's a mediocre director of actors.  Couple that with throwing actors into an almost entiely bluescreen environment where they probably have no real idea as to where they are, and what they are supposed to be doing, and I think you end up with something that looks like Phantom Menace.  I think the real problem with the performances in TPM is that the actors were lost in an invisible world, and ladden with shit for dialogue.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 18, 2006, 10:41:20 PM
"Lucas, on the other hand, probably told his actors exactly how to perform. Most actors look less wooden improvising than these guys did on script."

I think you're dead wrong.  Everything I've EVER heard about Lucas the director is that he gives virtually NO feedback to his actors.  He's a fantastic editor, and a superb post-production director (the guy has an uncanny sens of pacing, timing, and delivery when he directs animators), no matter what the current trend of easy-target vitriol says, a creative genious, and a brilliant businessman, but he's a mediocre director of actors.  Couple that with throwing actors into an almost entiely bluescreen environment where they probably have no real idea as to where they are, and what they are supposed to be doing, and I think you end up with something that looks like Phantom Menace.  I think the real problem with the performances in TPM is that the actors were lost in an invisible world, and ladden with shit for dialogue.
It's possible, I was just going based on his reputation as a control freak and the horror of even the competent actors' performances. I maintain that most halfway decent actors improvise much better than that. It's true, though, that staying on that piece of crap script and making it convincing would be impossible for even a fantastic actor, but it's hard to believe they stayed that wooden intentionally- if they'd gone 5th Element style over the top, it would have improved the movies dramatically.

And if he's such a damn good editor, why didn't he trim the crap out of all three of the new Star Wars movies? Why all the damn powerpoint style wipes? Why does his universe have to be goofily candy colored now? I don't doubt that he's at least in part responsible for an amazing amount of movie based technology, but I honestly don't think there was a single aspect of those movies that didn't suck. Yes, I'm including the lightsaber battles- they may have been faster and more three dimensional this time, but the extra blades and obvious choreography (I was never once convinced that they were trying to hit each other and not each other's blade) made them much less exciting, as far as I'm concerned.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on November 18, 2006, 11:32:45 PM
Why all the damn powerpoint style wipes?

I like the wipes. They're a staple of the Star Wars feel.

Yes, I'm including the lightsaber battles- they may have been faster and more three dimensional this time, but the extra blades and obvious choreography (I was never once convinced that they were trying to hit each other and not each other's blade) made them much less exciting, as far as I'm concerned.

Yeah, I hate the over-choreographed swordplay. I get that two evenly matched swordsmen could conceivably spar interminably, but come on. They're not fighting, they're dancing. Anakin and Obi-Wan's final battle works pretty well, though, but I think that's due more to the actors actually putting some emotion into it for once. It's the only one that feels more like a swordfight than a fencing duel.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: BathTub on November 19, 2006, 12:37:32 AM
Why all the damn powerpoint style wipes?

I like the wipes. They're a staple of the Star Wars feel.

The Kurosawa feel you mean. ;)
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on November 19, 2006, 12:45:53 AM
Why all the damn powerpoint style wipes?

I like the wipes. They're a staple of the Star Wars feel.

The Kurosawa feel you mean. ;)

True, it's an homage to Kurosawa, but I think a Star Wars movie without those wipes would feel wrong. Well, even wronger than the prequels already feel.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 19, 2006, 01:19:18 AM
Why all the damn powerpoint style wipes?

I like the wipes. They're a staple of the Star Wars feel.

The Kurosawa feel you mean. ;)

True, it's an homage to Kurosawa, but I think a Star Wars movie without those wipes would feel wrong. Well, even wronger than the prequels already feel.
It's funny, they never stuck out to me in the original series, but I noticed them every time in Episode 3. I don't know if they're any different or if I'm just giving the better movies more credit, though.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on November 19, 2006, 01:22:15 AM
Why all the damn powerpoint style wipes?

I like the wipes. They're a staple of the Star Wars feel.

The Kurosawa feel you mean. ;)

True, it's an homage to Kurosawa, but I think a Star Wars movie without those wipes would feel wrong. Well, even wronger than the prequels already feel.
It's funny, they never stuck out to me in the original series, but I noticed them every time in Episode 3. I don't know if they're any different or if I'm just giving the better movies more credit, though.

I haven't counted, but I think he did use the wipes more in the prequels. But that may simply be due to there being more opportunities for them.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: BathTub on November 19, 2006, 04:11:24 AM
I'm sure that since going Digital makes the wipes incredibly easy to do would have helped.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: J-Proof on November 20, 2006, 09:28:16 AM
I kind of always wondered why /any/ kids that young were considered in the first place for the part of Ani, ya know? My littlest brother is about Anakin's age for Ep1, and he looks and acts nowhere near as immaturely as Jake Lloyd's character does.

Interesting.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: jedi2187 on November 20, 2006, 09:36:26 AM
If you can locate online the original draft for Episode I, Anakin was actually a little more mature than in the final film, and Obi discovers him first and then introduces him to Qui-Gon when they arrive on Coruscant.


Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: davo on November 21, 2006, 11:36:52 AM
I honestly don't think there was a single aspect of those movies that didn't suck. Yes, I'm including the lightsaber battles...

my guess is if the first three movies weren't called "star wars" you wouldn't say that.

i think there's plenty to like about them. they just don't live up to the star wars fanboy mythos.  they certainly don't live up to a 2 decade wait.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 22, 2006, 09:09:11 AM
I honestly don't think there was a single aspect of those movies that didn't suck. Yes, I'm including the lightsaber battles...

my guess is if the first three movies weren't called "star wars" you wouldn't say that.

i think there's plenty to like about them. they just don't live up to the star wars fanboy mythos.  they certainly don't live up to a 2 decade wait.
I think I've watched the original trilogy like once in the last five years. They're decent movies, but they're far from perfect. Other than that, I thought the Jedi Knight games were pretty good. That's all the connection I have.

The prequels sucked, hard, and I can't think of anything particularly likable about any of them.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Teaflax on November 22, 2006, 04:45:19 PM

my guess is if the first three movies weren't called "star wars" you wouldn't say that.


My guess is that if the first three movies weren't called "Star Wars" they would have sunk without a trace and almost no one would be defending what minor qualities they might have.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: J-Proof on November 22, 2006, 04:51:58 PM

my guess is if the first three movies weren't called "star wars" you wouldn't say that.


My guess is that if the first three movies weren't called "Star Wars" they would have sunk without a trace and almost no one would be defending what minor qualities they might have.

I second that
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Road_Element on November 28, 2006, 09:51:51 PM
Personally im going with Kiera Knightly. Because as annoying as Jake Lloyd might have been. He was only 9 and while Natalie Portman wasnt great. Kiera Knightly lines and way she devilered them were so lame and dull.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: kodiakthejuggler on November 29, 2006, 04:45:49 AM
Personally im going with Kiera Knightly. Because as annoying as Jake Lloyd might have been. He was only 9 and while Natalie Portman wasnt great. Kiera Knightly lines and way she devilered them were so lame and dull.

Yeah, 'cause she was given the task of mouthing a few important lines about treaties and danger and senates and such that it came across as dull. Plus, she looks nothing like Natalie Portman. I personally don't believe there was a single human being who watched this movie that didn't think there was something very different about "Queen Amidala" from scene to scene.  ;)
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: MSTJedi on November 29, 2006, 09:42:28 AM
Gotta go with Jake Lloyd. I really think they should have gone a little older for the role just for the fact that Lucas apparently directs kids even worse than he does the rest of the cast. As I've said in other forums, Lucas is a great ideas man. He has a firm grip on action and sfx, but he couldn't direct or write himself out of a wet paper bag if it was perforated.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Tyrant on November 29, 2006, 11:04:32 AM

   I have to side with the majority. Jake Lloyd was aweful and I, like many here, often wondered why Lucas didn't just go with an older character. C'mon, Luke doesn't even start training until he's almost twice as old and he winds up being one of the greatest Jedi knights ever. The story could have supported an older future Darth Vader. Maybe even one Luke's age so it'd be a cool "coming full circle" arc in the series. Bah.

   Regarding the other actors, though, I think we're forgetting that the acting of the original cast of the original trilogy wasn't exactly Oscar winning either (but props to Sir Alec. He was brilliant in anything he was in). Lucas' goal was never to feature solid acting to tell a story, but rather to tell a story using actors. There's a big difference between those two concepts. I can cut almost everyone in the new trilogy some slack.

 Except Jake Lloyd. There's just no excuse for him.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Pak-Man on November 29, 2006, 11:25:25 AM

   I have to side with the majority. Jake Lloyd was aweful and I, like many here, often wondered why Lucas didn't just go with an older character. C'mon, Luke doesn't even start training until he's almost twice as old and he winds up being one of the greatest Jedi knights ever. The story could have supported an older future Darth Vader. Maybe even one Luke's age so it'd be a cool "coming full circle" arc in the series. Bah.

   Regarding the other actors, though, I think we're forgetting that the acting of the original cast of the original trilogy wasn't exactly Oscar winning either (but props to Sir Alec. He was brilliant in anything he was in). Lucas' goal was never to feature solid acting to tell a story, but rather to tell a story using actors. There's a big difference between those two concepts. I can cut almost everyone in the new trilogy some slack.

 Except Jake Lloyd. There's just no excuse for him.
'Scuze me whilest I geek-out on my wife. ;^) Luke wasn't the greatest Jedi ever. He was sure one of the most IMPORTANT, but he was barely up to snuff by the end of Jedi. That's why Luke isn't jumping around with acrobatics during his light-sabre fights. It's all because he was, in Yoda's words, "Too old to begin the training." Even little Ani was a bit old for the process. Usually they're raised from birth. If he'd been found much later, he wouldn't have made much of a Dark Lord.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 29, 2006, 11:47:19 AM

   I have to side with the majority. Jake Lloyd was aweful and I, like many here, often wondered why Lucas didn't just go with an older character. C'mon, Luke doesn't even start training until he's almost twice as old and he winds up being one of the greatest Jedi knights ever. The story could have supported an older future Darth Vader. Maybe even one Luke's age so it'd be a cool "coming full circle" arc in the series. Bah.

   Regarding the other actors, though, I think we're forgetting that the acting of the original cast of the original trilogy wasn't exactly Oscar winning either (but props to Sir Alec. He was brilliant in anything he was in). Lucas' goal was never to feature solid acting to tell a story, but rather to tell a story using actors. There's a big difference between those two concepts. I can cut almost everyone in the new trilogy some slack.

 Except Jake Lloyd. There's just no excuse for him.
'Scuze me whilest I geek-out on my wife. ;^) Luke wasn't the greatest Jedi ever. He was sure one of the most IMPORTANT, but he was barely up to snuff by the end of Jedi. That's why Luke isn't jumping around with acrobatics during his light-sabre fights. It's all because he was, in Yoda's words, "Too old to begin the training." Even little Ani was a bit old for the process. Usually they're raised from birth. If he'd been found much later, he wouldn't have made much of a Dark Lord.
Allow me to countergeek you: it was never required that he be among the most powerful Jedi, just one of the most powerful Sith. And if I recall correctly, there's no real past due date on being a hugely powerful Sith, since they never really have to learn control.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: kodiakthejuggler on November 30, 2006, 08:33:46 AM
They don't have to learn control, so much as learn to watch their backs. The Sith are all about absolute power, and knocking over/off anyone who stands in their way. That includes their own Masters.

That being the case, I was very unconvinced with Anakin having Dark Side tendencies. The excuse put forth by defenders of Lucas/Lloyd/Christensen is that the Dark Side can dominate absolutely everyone, and it's so easy to fall into it, yet, I remember something being said that Anakin had an inkling of evil in him, and that he was much more susceptible to the Dark Side's draw.

With Lloyd's performance and Christensen's Ep. 2 performance, I was not seeing it. I was not telling myself that this guy was definitely going to evolve into the evil bastard who killed so many Jedi and tortured the Rebels in the original trilogy. It wasn't until ep. 3 that I began to see the similarities, which is why Christensen was redeemed in my eyes. Nevertheless, it was still quite a drastic change from good to evil.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Tyrant on November 30, 2006, 10:19:18 AM

   I have to side with the majority. Jake Lloyd was aweful and I, like many here, often wondered why Lucas didn't just go with an older character. C'mon, Luke doesn't even start training until he's almost twice as old and he winds up being one of the greatest Jedi knights ever. The story could have supported an older future Darth Vader. Maybe even one Luke's age so it'd be a cool "coming full circle" arc in the series. Bah.

   Regarding the other actors, though, I think we're forgetting that the acting of the original cast of the original trilogy wasn't exactly Oscar winning either (but props to Sir Alec. He was brilliant in anything he was in). Lucas' goal was never to feature solid acting to tell a story, but rather to tell a story using actors. There's a big difference between those two concepts. I can cut almost everyone in the new trilogy some slack.

 Except Jake Lloyd. There's just no excuse for him.
'Scuze me whilest I geek-out on my wife. ;^) Luke wasn't the greatest Jedi ever. He was sure one of the most IMPORTANT, but he was barely up to snuff by the end of Jedi. That's why Luke isn't jumping around with acrobatics during his light-sabre fights. It's all because he was, in Yoda's words, "Too old to begin the training." Even little Ani was a bit old for the process. Usually they're raised from birth. If he'd been found much later, he wouldn't have made much of a Dark Lord.

  I have to counter-geek you directly now.

  You're looking at the flashy Jedi fighting gimmicks only. Every Jedi is different and every Jedi uses different parts of the Force. Some Jedi are great warriors, some have great knowledge, ect..

  In Luke's case, his destiny was to make sure his father fullfilled his. By choosing the road of compassion instead of combat, Luke emerged as a great Jedi by purposefully not striking down his father when he had the chance. Not only that, but then he had to rebuild the Jedi Order from the ground up after the Empire fell.

  As a fighting class Jedi, Luke may have sucked. But in all other areas of Jedi-dom, he was one of the greatest. Mercy and compassion are far higher attributes than one's ability to wield a lightsaber and do fancy gymnastics.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: gammer on November 30, 2006, 10:21:02 AM
I voted for "the kid".

Truely, very poor acting.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on November 30, 2006, 12:53:21 PM

   I have to side with the majority. Jake Lloyd was aweful and I, like many here, often wondered why Lucas didn't just go with an older character. C'mon, Luke doesn't even start training until he's almost twice as old and he winds up being one of the greatest Jedi knights ever. The story could have supported an older future Darth Vader. Maybe even one Luke's age so it'd be a cool "coming full circle" arc in the series. Bah.

   Regarding the other actors, though, I think we're forgetting that the acting of the original cast of the original trilogy wasn't exactly Oscar winning either (but props to Sir Alec. He was brilliant in anything he was in). Lucas' goal was never to feature solid acting to tell a story, but rather to tell a story using actors. There's a big difference between those two concepts. I can cut almost everyone in the new trilogy some slack.

 Except Jake Lloyd. There's just no excuse for him.
'Scuze me whilest I geek-out on my wife. ;^) Luke wasn't the greatest Jedi ever. He was sure one of the most IMPORTANT, but he was barely up to snuff by the end of Jedi. That's why Luke isn't jumping around with acrobatics during his light-sabre fights. It's all because he was, in Yoda's words, "Too old to begin the training." Even little Ani was a bit old for the process. Usually they're raised from birth. If he'd been found much later, he wouldn't have made much of a Dark Lord.

  I have to counter-geek you directly now.

  You're looking at the flashy Jedi fighting gimmicks only. Every Jedi is different and every Jedi uses different parts of the Force. Some Jedi are great warriors, some have great knowledge, ect..

  In Luke's case, his destiny was to make sure his father fullfilled his. By choosing the road of compassion instead of combat, Luke emerged as a great Jedi by purposefully not striking down his father when he had the chance. Not only that, but then he had to rebuild the Jedi Order from the ground up after the Empire fell.

  As a fighting class Jedi, Luke may have sucked. But in all other areas of Jedi-dom, he was one of the greatest. Mercy and compassion are far higher attributes than one's ability to wield a lightsaber and do fancy gymnastics.
I don't think it's fair to use conflate 'great Jedi' and 'good person'. Luke may have been an extremely nice guy, and that would have gotten him pretty far when Jedi was a religion and not a magicianhood, but talented Jedi means good at doing the things only they can do. Anyone can have mercy and compassion.

I haven't read the books since I was twelve, but doesn't he become ridiculously powerful after a brush with the dark side later? It's hardly fair to expect him to be fully developed when he's only been Jedi-ing for a few years, without any proper tutors.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: mrbasehart on November 30, 2006, 08:06:25 PM
I chuckled to myself during Episode One when Qui Gonn brought Anakin into the council of Jedi and said something to the effect of "I believe he's the one who will bring balance to the force" and I thought "Yeah, by killing every good bugger out there."  ;D
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: LadyKenobi on November 30, 2006, 08:55:52 PM
I never understood why they would WANT that prophecy to come true anyway.  And if they didn't know about the Sith, then how did they know it was "out of balance" to begin with?  Did they think the Force like a washing machine, and you just have to rearrange Yoda's boxer shorts and Mace's parachute pants so it's not out of balance anymore?
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: TENEBRE on December 01, 2006, 12:00:04 PM
I agree, the more I look at the prequel the more it seems "The Force" only existed in order for bad things to happen later. Whereas in the original trilogy it existed to unite the characters against a common goal, in these films, particularly the Phantom Menace, it exists only to move a character from one plot point to another, it has no say as to whether or not that character actually evolves the way that Luke did. Take for example the scene where Anakin's pod racer was sabotaged (this was pointed out on the Ep 1 riff track) and they know nothing, they don't sense something is wrong. They have no idea that the Emperor is deceiving them or that their temporary enemy is only a facade for a greater foe. It takes them, what, about six years to figure this out. Then, later speculation over the force, leads Anakin to stray to the dark side in hopes of saving his wife from her death, and then once she's dead he doesn't want to bring her back.

I think Mike put it best on the riff track for Episode 1 , "...the force, being a rather impotent version of intuition."
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Tyrant on December 01, 2006, 01:01:10 PM

    Maybe that particular Jedi council just wasn't a very good one.  ;D


   Yes, I'm probably going to get flamed now because Yoda was on it. Just make it quick and move on.

    I would have thought that if Anakin was the chosen one, The Force would have made it more obvious, and the Jedi council wouldn't have done so much to piss him off (IE: not letting him on the council, telling him to stay out of everything, ect). I've always thought that Palpatine was only partially responable for Anakin's journey to the Dark Side. The Jedi have only to blame themselves for their part in it.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on December 01, 2006, 01:31:06 PM

    Maybe that particular Jedi council just wasn't a very good one.  ;D


   Yes, I'm probably going to get flamed now because Yoda was on it. Just make it quick and move on.

    I would have thought that if Anakin was the chosen one, The Force would have made it more obvious, and the Jedi council wouldn't have done so much to piss him off (IE: not letting him on the council, telling him to stay out of everything, ect). I've always thought that Palpatine was only partially responable for Anakin's journey to the Dark Side. The Jedi have only to blame themselves for their part in it.
Or, I don't know, not institute inexplicable celibacy rules. And maybe Jedi the fact that poor Annie is having nightmares. Honestly, they can mind read and they're worse at figuring each other out than your standard mommy.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on December 04, 2006, 02:41:32 AM
I never understood why they would WANT that prophecy to come true anyway.  And if they didn't know about the Sith, then how did they know it was "out of balance" to begin with?  Did they think the Force like a washing machine, and you just have to rearrange Yoda's boxer shorts and Mace's parachute pants so it's not out of balance anymore?

My roommate and I have had far too many distrubingly geeky discussions about the "balancing the Force" question and we've come up with this: Whatever ancient text prophesized that a chosen one would bring balance to the Force was translated correctly, but misconstrued. Mathematically, Anakin did bring bring balance to the Force. At the beginning of Episode I there are two Sith and countless Jedi. By the end of Episode III there are two Sith and two Jedi. Balance. The Jedi just stupidly interpreted the prophesy as a good thing instead of a warning. Yoda's so wise he can't see past his little green nose.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: LadyKenobi on December 04, 2006, 05:59:52 AM
That's pretty much what I've arrived at.  Without conversation, which is the scariest thing ever.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: PlayMSTie on December 04, 2006, 06:58:05 AM
I never understood why they would WANT that prophecy to come true anyway.  And if they didn't know about the Sith, then how did they know it was "out of balance" to begin with?  Did they think the Force like a washing machine, and you just have to rearrange Yoda's boxer shorts and Mace's parachute pants so it's not out of balance anymore?

Ha! Love it.  ;D

Quote from: 00Sharktopus
By the end of Episode III there are two Sith and two Jedi. Balance. The Jedi just stupidly interpreted the prophesy as a good thing instead of a warning. Yoda's so wise he can't see past his little green nose.

That's very well thought out. But looking even more deeply into the background of the films, isn't the Force based on the kind of dualism that teaches that evil is the equivalent of good and they're always supposed to be kept in balance? I think Lucas's mistake was to try to combine the good-must-defeat-evil kind of storytelling with the good-and-evil-must-be-kept-in-balance kind of philosophy, and it came out a mishmash. So it's Lucas who can't see past his little green -- er, past his nose.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: J-Proof on December 04, 2006, 09:53:36 AM
I never understood why they would WANT that prophecy to come true anyway.  And if they didn't know about the Sith, then how did they know it was "out of balance" to begin with?  Did they think the Force like a washing machine, and you just have to rearrange Yoda's boxer shorts and Mace's parachute pants so it's not out of balance anymore?

My roommate and I have had far too many distrubingly geeky discussions about the "balancing the Force" question and we've come up with this: Whatever ancient text prophesized that a chosen one would bring balance to the Force was translated correctly, but misconstrued. Mathematically, Anakin did bring bring balance to the Force. At the beginning of Episode I there are two Sith and countless Jedi. By the end of Episode III there are two Sith and two Jedi. Balance. The Jedi just stupidly interpreted the prophesy as a good thing instead of a warning. Yoda's so wise he can't see past his little green nose.

I always saw the "fulfillment of the prophecy" as being Vader throwing the emperor into the Death Star reactor.

Also, up above it was wirtten that the force seemed less like a uniting entity, and more inconsistent in the prequels. I totally agree. I loved hearing Mon Mothma and General Akbar say "May the force be with us" in the original trilogy cuz it made the entire religion seem to make sense. That the Force was basically "the power of good" which jedi-monks had a special connection with, while the darkside was the /misuse/ of that power. The developments that they gave to the force in the prequels added too much inconsistency for me. The jedi couldn't sense the pod-sabotage in ep 1 (not that it mattered cuz pushing some buttons fixed it anyway...), but they /could/ sense the evil slug aliens that the bounty hunter put in Padme's room during ep2.

It just made me hyper-critical of everything! "Size doesn't matter" as Yoda put it, but we see the exact opposite throughout the prequels. They couldn't "sense" that she was pregannt with twins?? They couldn't "sense" that the clones were going to turn on them?? AAAAAAAH

Anyway - fun movies to watch on a rainy day with a bunch of film-nerd friends.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Pak-Man on December 04, 2006, 10:02:16 AM
Regarding the clones, I don't think the Jedi could sense the intentions until they had it. And they didn't have it 'til Order 66 came in to play.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: J-Proof on December 04, 2006, 10:21:19 AM
Regarding the clones, I don't think the Jedi could sense the intentions until they had it. And they didn't have it 'til Order 66 came in to play.

Yeah you're probably right about that. But still - many inconsistencies ;)
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on December 04, 2006, 02:44:05 PM
Yeah, but clones are the definition of weak willed- why didn't they just mind trick the lot of them as soon as that had been put in their heads?


And always assumed the 'balance' thing was a nasty joke- strictly in terms of the movies, it does eventually end with the complete elimination of the Sith. They just have some technical difficulties along the way.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: LadyKenobi on December 04, 2006, 02:57:48 PM
Quote
Or, I don't know, not institute inexplicable celibacy rules.

I don't think the celibacy was inexplicable.  I'm pretty sure the reason behind it was to avoid forming overly emotional attachments so that we don't have what happend with Vader/Padme.  I think it's also so that they are free to travel, suffer exposure to extreme danger, and leave for long times without worrying about family connections... the Force-sensitive babies are also separated from their families at birth because of this as well.  They don't want the Jedi over-attaching even to their parents.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on December 04, 2006, 03:09:51 PM
Quote
Or, I don't know, not institute inexplicable celibacy rules.

I don't think the celibacy was inexplicable.  I'm pretty sure the reason behind it was to avoid forming overly emotional attachments so that we don't have what happend with Vader/Padme.  I think it's also so that they are free to travel, suffer exposure to extreme danger, and leave for long times without worrying about family connections... the Force-sensitive babies are also separated from their families at birth because of this as well.  They don't want the Jedi over-attaching even to their parents.
Oh, so the holy Jedi aren't allowed any of the more relevant parts of being alive, and also they practice créching and eugenics. Geez, maybe it's best they got taken down.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: LadyKenobi on December 04, 2006, 03:19:54 PM
I was just trying to point out it wasn't "inexplicable." 

As for the "creching," I think they wanted to teach the Jedi from the early age that the order was all about community, not the individual.  I also think that is that it was such an honor to be a Jedi that they parents willingly gave up their children to the training.  I doubt they went cradle-robbing.  Notice that Qui-Gon gave Annie The Boy a choice as to whether or not to come with him.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: 6079SmithW on December 04, 2006, 03:29:23 PM
I was just trying to point out it wasn't "inexplicable." 

As for the "creching," I think they wanted to teach the Jedi from the early age that the order was all about community, not the individual.  I also think that is that it was such an honor to be a Jedi that they parents willingly gave up their children to the training.  I doubt they went cradle-robbing.  Notice that Qui-Gon gave Annie The Boy a choice as to whether or not to come with him.
Nice job on knowing the word 'creching', incidentally, since Firefox doesn't. Anyway...

Taking kids away from their parents at presumably below 10, on average (since Anakin is supposed to be too old) is going to screw them up, and you'll get a large number of very powerful people with severe emotional disorders. That sounds like a clever plan.

But your right, the word I wanted wasn't 'inexplicable', it was 'idiotic'.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on December 04, 2006, 09:39:52 PM
I was just trying to point out it wasn't "inexplicable." 

As for the "creching," I think they wanted to teach the Jedi from the early age that the order was all about community, not the individual.  I also think that is that it was such an honor to be a Jedi that they parents willingly gave up their children to the training.  I doubt they went cradle-robbing.  Notice that Qui-Gon gave Annie The Boy a choice as to whether or not to come with him.
Nice job on knowing the word 'creching', incidentally, since Firefox doesn't. Anyway...

Taking kids away from their parents at presumably below 10, on average (since Anakin is supposed to be too old) is going to screw them up, and you'll get a large number of very powerful people with severe emotional disorders. That sounds like a clever plan.

But your right, the word I wanted wasn't 'inexplicable', it was 'idiotic'.

Isolating children from their parents so that the parent-child bond won't overpower the bond with their religious community? Sounds like Scientology.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: BBQ Platypus on December 07, 2006, 07:04:01 PM
I agree, the more I look at the prequel the more it seems "The Force" only existed in order for bad things to happen later. Whereas in the original trilogy it existed to unite the characters against a common goal, in these films, particularly the Phantom Menace, it exists only to move a character from one plot point to another, it has no say as to whether or not that character actually evolves the way that Luke did. Take for example the scene where Anakin's pod racer was sabotaged (this was pointed out on the Ep 1 riff track) and they know nothing, they don't sense something is wrong. They have no idea that the Emperor is deceiving them or that their temporary enemy is only a facade for a greater foe. It takes them, what, about six years to figure this out. Then, later speculation over the force, leads Anakin to stray to the dark side in hopes of saving his wife from her death, and then once she's dead he doesn't want to bring her back.

I think Mike put it best on the riff track for Episode 1 , "...the force, being a rather impotent version of intuition."


Yeah, the Force is almost a MacGuffin in the prequel trilogy.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: aneel on January 15, 2007, 09:10:25 AM
You have to admit, though, the prequels weren't that well conceived.  C'mon, the whole "Chosen One" prophecy was so horribly cliche that it failed to evoke any sympathy for Anakin.  In episode one, Lucas never seemed to stick to the plot; the whole Tatooine episode was a very lofty tangent, from meeting Anakin all the way up to the podracing sequence, which was cool but at the same time a novelty at best.  After all, they did spend a third of the movie looking for ENGINE PARTS (If only MacGyver was a Jedi).

Lucas just seemed to hurry through the prequel trilogy, hence Anakin's overnight transformation into Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.  I agree with the comment made earlier that there was a lack of continuity between Jake Loyd's character and Hayden Christensen's character that made the Sith-transformation difficult to believe.  This happened to Obi Wan as well between Ewan McGregor and Alec Guiness in the original trilogy; McGregor's character was a sarcastic smartass whereas Sir Alec's Kenobi was wise, humble, and caring.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: LadyKenobi on January 15, 2007, 08:33:25 PM
Oh, I bought the Obi-Wan connection.  I saw occasional glimmers of Obi-Wan in the trilogy, and thought that if you connect the Obi-Wan with the end of III to the moment he meets Luke again, you can see where the 20 years or so of hiding had wrought patience and wisdom that he may have been lacking in his younger self.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Sharktopus on January 16, 2007, 12:19:29 AM
I'd like to see what that "crazy old wizard" was doing in the desert for 20 years, besides cultivating Zen calm. Reading all the Star Wars novels perhaps?
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Doctor Who? on November 03, 2007, 07:38:30 PM
Or maybe he was watching the prequells and banging his head against the wall repeatedly saying...

"Damn it!"  "How didn't I know that this kid was going to kill everyone!" " I mean he wanted the power of life and death,to be a dictator,and he killed a whole camp including the children!"  "This guy had Hitler written all over him and even with my force powers I didn't notice anything?!" 

Damn I'm dumb!"
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck on November 03, 2007, 08:04:25 PM
Or maybe he was watching the prequells and banging his head against the wall repeatedly saying...

"Damn it!"  "How didn't I know that this kid was going to kill everyone!" " I mean he wanted the power of life and death,to be a dictator,and he killed a whole camp including the children!"  "This guy had Hitler written all over him and even with my force powers I didn't notice anything?!" 

Damn I'm dumb!"
Supposedly, he was learning from Quoi-Gin how to communicate from the other side.

And - I hope - beating his head against the wall going "This is all YOUR fault!!!! 'Chosen One', my ass!!!"
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Doctor Who? on November 03, 2007, 08:14:02 PM
Yeah some great Jedi Quoi-Gin turned out to be.

His greatest claim to fame will be setting things up so that Billions of people over the next 20 years will die.

Good going you fearless defender of peace and justice!
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck on November 03, 2007, 08:34:38 PM
BTW.....

Lucas, on the other hand, probably told his actors exactly how to perform. Most actors look less wooden improvising than these guys did on script.

I think you can be exacting and still come up with a great performance: Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick are known perfectionists.  Perhaps it was a culmination of the Director, the script, the pressure, and all the CGI they had to cope with that marred everything...?

I like to remember a line in Bob Fosse's auto-biographical movie, All That Jazz,  He's watching the rushes of a movie he's directed and, disgusted, says of the actor, "Now why did that asshole do that?"  And he thinks for a minute and then goes, "Because I'm the asshole who told him to."

That having been said, I can I suggest that what's-his-name playing the Emperor deserves a mention for worse acting?

Yeah, he had the "Emperor" part of it down.  But the whole time he was supposedly good ol' trustworthy Palpatine, he was just as creepy and calculating - more so than most politicians.   I couldn't see why anyone trusted him for a split-second.

Again, it's probably all down to bad writing coupled with bad direction.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Doctor Who? on November 04, 2007, 07:48:43 AM
I voted for Portman.

I cann't blaim a nine year old kid who can most likely can't read that well and can't have done much else before.

Lucas shouldn't have cast a kid who wasn't an actor.

but Portman has been acting for a long time and she still was awful.
Title: Re: Why did the acting in this movie suck so bad?
Post by: Nergol on January 31, 2008, 10:52:15 PM
Just as Natalie Portman is a fine actress when not interfered with by a director who couldn't direct a telephone pole in being straight and wooden, so Hayden Christensen is actually a very good young actor too. Go rent "Shattered Glass" and you'll be blown away by his performance. Unfortunately, I think poor Hayden committed career suicide by being in the prequels - or maybe it was career homicide, with Lucas as the murderer.