Lucas, Spielberg and summer movies

That is the title to a CNN.com article, God I love that website, which talks about summer movies. I’m actually going to make this one quick, because I love summer movies and I don’t have time to properly write about just how much I love the summer movie season.

Here is the article:

Lucas, Spielberg and summer movies

Monday, April 25, 2005 Posted: 3:19 PM EDT (1919 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — This summer means war between old buddies George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

Colleagues on the “Indiana Jones” franchise, the two will duke it out for the title of galactic overlord on the 2005 science fiction front, Lucas with the final installment of his “Star Wars” saga, Spielberg with his remake of “War of the Worlds” starring Tom Cruise.

“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” opens May 19, “War of the Worlds” June 29.

“At least we’re six weeks apart, so we won’t be competing against each other,” Spielberg told The Associated Press.

Other big summer movies include Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell’s “Bewitched,” Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda’s “Monster-in-Law,” Adam Sandler’s “The Longest Yard,” Ice Cube’s “XXX: State of the Union,” Christian Bale’s “Batman Begins,” Johnny Depp’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven,” Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger’s “Cinderella Man,” Cedric the Entertainer’s “The Honeymooners,” the cartoon tale “Madagascar” and the comic-book adaptation “Fantastic Four.”

With “Revenge of the Sith,” Lucas concludes the prequel trilogy to his original three “Star Wars” movies, explaining how hotshot pilot Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) turns into black-cloaked villain Darth Vader.

Lucas has cautioned fans for years that to connect with the original trilogy, “Episode III” necessarily would end in the darkest of places.

“It is a different ‘Star Wars,”‘ Lucas told the AP. “It is a tragedy. It’s a real tearjerker. All the women who have seen it, some of the men that have seen it, cried through it.”

Sustaining terrible injuries in a duel with former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Anakin is rebuilt as the part-man, part-machine Darth. Being fitted for Vader’s legendary costume thrilled Christensen.

“I don’t know how to define the sensation,” Christensen said about putting on the black robes and helmet. “It was exhilarating and empowering and just all things overwhelming.”

The prequel trilogy has drawn scorn from fans who disliked seeing Anakin as a cuddly kid in “The Phantom Menace” and a lovestruck, petulant teen in “Attack of the Clones.”

The payoff, though, is the harsh fate awaiting Anakin in “Revenge of the Sith,” Christensen said.

“This film has all the right themes,” he said. “It’s Anakin becoming Vader, it’s a republic becoming an empire. It’s all very epic stuff, and the way in which it’s told and how it ties into the original trilogy is done so perfectly.”

While Lucas wages war in space, Spielberg rains destruction from above.

As George Pal did with his 1953 version, Spielberg updates H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” from 1890s Britain to the contemporary United States, partly because turbulent times today provide a relevant backdrop for terror from the skies, and partly for simple cosmetic reasons.

“I can’t stand the costumes of 1898,” Spielberg said. “There’s just something about those high collars, those frou-frou gowns. It’s not my style, I guess.

“I think also, we’re living in a fearful atmosphere, fearful times, and every version of ‘War of the Worlds’ that has occurred either in literature, radio or film has occurred during fearful times.”

Spielberg also jettisons Wells’ premise that humanity’s assailants come from Mars, noting that explorations of the red planet have shown that “if life is ever discovered on the surface of Mars, it will be microscopic life.”

The film never reveals where the aliens come from. Spielberg figures their anonymity adds to the terror.

“It’s just really scary to imagine being invaded, especially being invaded by not only an unknown race bent on our total annihilation, but with no context,” Spielberg said. “They don’t spend any time explaining why they’re here. There’s no, ‘We needed to move here because our planet has become inhospitable. …’

“We have absolutely no idea why they’ve come, why they’re doing this to us.”

God I love the summer movie season. This coming season looks like its going to be the best one in a long fucking time. The last two summers have sucked hairy ball sacks and I’m hoping that this one makes up for the last couple of years.

–Socram

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