Wednesday, January 26, 2005

77th Annual Academy Awards nominations: Congratulations on Jamie Foxx for being nominated as Best Actor in Ray and Best Supporting Actor in Collateral, and Natalie Portman for being nominated as Best Supporting Actress in Closer. I'd say something about The Aviator and its 11 nominations (um, do you think it'll win Best Picture??), but I haven't seen the film yet, haha. Do you think Jim Carrey is envious of Foxx? I knew once I saw the preview for Ray at the theater that Foxx would beat Carrey in being the first In Living Color actor to at least be nominated for an Oscar. And Collateral was an awesome movie. I still have the urge to be a hitman. Just kidding! No, I'm not. I haven't seen Closer yet, but let's hope that whatever awesome performance Natalie Portman gave in that film will replay itself in a certain science fantasy movie this May...

Natalie Portman in Closer and Jamie Foxx in Collateral.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Episode 3 clonetrooper

Revenge of the Sith Trailer Description: The full theatrical trailer that is supposed to be released in March begins with the following exchange, according to TheForce.Net:

Palpatine: "The Dark Side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."

Anakin: "Is it possible to learn this power?"

Palpatine: "Not from a Jedi."

We are then introduced to the political maneuvering of Palpatine, Obi-Wan and Mace Windu. All of them actually want to use Anakin as a pawn in their game (Palpatine makes Anakin his "personal representative on the Jedi Council" while Obi-Wan wants him to "report on all the Chancellor's dealings"). The first minute or so is surprisingly heavy on dialogue and consists mostly of shots of various characters speaking to each other [intercut with short glimpses of evil droids (General Grievous), space battles etc.]. We even see how Mace Windu and three other Jedi attempt to arrest Palpatine (he grabs his lightsaber and confronts them). When Mace Windu tells Anakin "You are on this council but we do not grant you the rank of Master", Anakin loses it and joins the Dark Side (Darth Sidious: "Every single Jedi is now an enemy of the Republic"). At least that's how the trailer makes it look.

Then the more "visual" half starts with some very neat scenes like a low angle shot of Anakin marching in front of a clonetrooper army. We see Wookiees on some kind of war machine, the duel in the volcano field of Mustafar, gigantic 10-wheel military transports (known as Juggernaughts) and actual destruction of the Senate chamber. Everything is very dramatic, several deaths are implied, Padme is seen crying loudly and music from the final lightsaber duel inReturn Of The Jedi (the eerie chorus when Luke goes berserk on Vader, and the Emperor's theme) is heard.

Overall, the first half of the trailer is surprisingly specific, making no sense whatsoever to people who don't know Star Wars well. The second half is very dark and dramatic, but with lots of action. Bad guys (apart from Sidious) only appear for a fraction of a second and have no lines. The final seconds consist of Obi-Wan shouting "You were the chosen one!", fighting Anakin while both dangle from some ropes/wires. After the closing titles, there is a bonus shot of Vader and Sidious standing side by side, accompanied by Vader's breathing.

This is a preliminary version with effects and sound not quite finalized. One part of the trailer is actually without music (either for dramatic effect, or will John Williams' new score be inserted here?). The running time is little under 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

When further questioned about the "evil droid", our source confirmed that there wasn't a clear shot of General Grievous but there was one of the bodyguards:

There is some evil-looking humanoid droid with a cape around his head and torso, flanked by two classic battledroids (from Episode I). He seems to hold a lance in his hand. Later, Obi-Wan is seen swordfighting with a humanoid droid but he's only seen from back and moving quickly. (I'm 90% certain it IS Grievous, but it's extremely short and quick shot.) Anyway, both of these shots are VERY brief (about half second).

One of the shots depicts Obi-Wan being surrounded by dozens of droids. Some of them look different and wear capes, maybe one of them is Grievous. But it's very wide shot, the characters are small.

EDIT: Oh yea, George W. Bush got re-inaugurated as president today.

Bush is wack

Saturday, January 1, 2005

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!! Hope all of you are having a fine and dandy holiday. In terms of what to expect to see in 2005, this year sees the San Antonio Spurs becoming the NBA champions once more, Ron Artest continuing his reign of terror when he returns to the Indiana Pacers this Fall, the Cardinals getting revenge on the Red Sox this October, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, George Dubya trying to come up with more reasons why the Iraq war was a good thing, them space shuttles making a long-awaited return into space around May or June, a tsunami early-warning system deployed in the Indian Ocean by the end of this year (or two years. I'll leave this fact in, anyway), Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson trying to strike gold again with King Kong, Steven Spielberg trying to strike gold with the motion picture version of War of the Worlds, the return of the Dark Knight Detective to the big screen with Batman Begins and the final installment of the Star Wars saga. To celebrate these eleven facts—well, at least the one about Star Wars (I was being sarcastic about George Dubya, and the sports ones were a bunch of BS...except the one about Ron Artest)—I decided to post up a few screenshots and publicity stills from Revenge of the Sith. Of course, all but two of these pics haven’t officially been released by Lucasfilm yet...meaning I’m totally screwed if they visit this page. But you didn't hear that from me, haha! Thanks to the beauty of Statcounter, however, I’ll know if someone from Skywalker Ranch is prowling through my journal. I hope! My lifelong (not really) geeky dream of working on a Star Wars film is pretty much moot now that the release date is only four months away (May 19), so whatever! Enjoy! And I’m rooting for USC to beat Oklahoma this Tuesday.

Oh, and if Lucasfilm wants to send me a cool cease and desist letter, e-mail me here. On second thought, go here. I don't think this is something I should be joking about...since I am overdoing it with showing all these pics.

WARNING: If you don't have DSL or any other high-speed internet service, leave now!! Or else it's gonna take forever for you to download all these pictures!! (UPDATED with more pics!)

Revenge of the Sith opening text crawl.

Obi-Wan Kenobi watches a hologram of Anakin Skywalker being knighted as Darth Vader by Darth Sidious.

Anakin takes on two fellow Jedi...including Cin Drallig (played by the prequels' stunt coordinator Nick Gillard).

Obi-Wan and Yoda confer in the Jedi Temple.

Anakin chokes Obi-Wan while standing atop a Mustafar conference room table.

Escorted by three V-Wing fighters, a Theta-class shuttle carrying what remains of Anakin Skywalker following The Duel returns to Coruscant.

Anakin and Padme share a tender moment on Coruscant.

Anakin and Padme share a tender moment on Coruscant.

The Jedi Temple burns following the slaughter by Anakin and the clonetroopers.

Obi-Wan and Yoda arrive at the Jedi Temple to view the aftermath of the Jedi slaughter.

Obi-Wan Kenobi takes out a super battledroid onboard General Grievous' main flagship...known as The Invisible Hand.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker confront trouble onboard The Invisible Hand.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker confront trouble onboard The Invisible Hand.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker make quick work of a group of battledroids inside the hangar bay of The Invisible Hand.

Anakin Skywalker arrives at the lava world (or moon) of Mustafar.  His mission: To eliminate the remaining leaders of the Separatists.

Yoda in the Jedi Temple after the Jedi are slaughtered by Anakin Skywalker and a group of clonetroopers.

Yoda arrives at the newly-proclaimed Emperor's office.

The Imperial Guards of Palpatine look down at Yoda, as the Jedi Master arrives at the newly-proclaimed Emperor's office.

Yoda deflects an attack by Darth Sidious.

Yoda trying to get up from the ground during his duel with Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious.

Darth Sidious bares his fangs before he whups a certain Jedi master's ass.

Chancellor Palpatine reveals his true self as a Sith Lord to Yoda in a Senate hallway.

Chancellor Palpatine turns to see who his new arrivals are.

Chancellor Palpatine confronts Mace Windu in his office.

Chancellor Palpatine turns to see who his new arrivals are.

Mace Windu and his Jedi posse await their doom as they confront Chancellor Palpatine in his office.

Mace and his posse draw out their sabers as they prepare to confront Palpatine.

Darth Sidious, dressed in his Chancellor robe, addresses the Galactic Senate.

Above Coruscant, a squadron of ARC-170 Clonefighters follow Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighters into battle.

The opening space battle above Coruscant.

The opening space battle above Coruscant.

The opening space battle above Coruscant.

A clonetrooper at the helm of a turbolaser battery finds himself in a bad situation...

The Invisible Hand, controlled by Anakin Skywalker, makes a guided crashlanding onto the surface of Coruscant.

Two fireships spray water onto the burning hull of the Invisible Hand.

Obi-Wan Kenobi confers with Commander Cody...who is flanked by other clonetroopers.

Mace Windu, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi confer onboard a Republic Gunship following the rescue of Chancellor Palpatine.

Padme Amidala Skywalker.

Anakin wakes up after having a bad dream...a dream that deals with Padme's fate.

Padme consults Anakin after he awakes from a nightmare.

A TIGHTLY-cropped shot of Anakin staring out at the Coruscant cityscape after waking from a bad dream that he had...a dream that deals with Padme's fate.

General Grievous and his bodyguards...a pair of IG-100 Magnadroids.

General Grievous ready to fight Obi-Wan on the sinkhole planet of Utapau.

A Magnadroid bodyguard flanked by two battledroids.

Obi-Wan fights a Magnadroid onboard the Invisible Hand.

A publicity still and CG image of General Grievous.

A CG image of General Grievous' starfighter.

Two CG images of a clonetrooper.

A clonetrooper scout on an AT-RT walker.

Darth Sidious, dressed in his Chancellor robe, addresses the Galactic Senate.

Bail Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, C-3P0 and R2-D2 watch over an injured Padme (off-screen) in the Polis Massan medical facility.

Publicity still of Ian McDiarmid as Darth Sidious and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

Publicity photos of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

Producer Rick McCallum poses with the slate as Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) and Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) look on.

Promo pics of Episode III Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

Publicity photos of Mace Windu and Darth Sidous.

Padme and Senator Bail Organa in the Senate chamber.

Obi-Wan and Anakin stare at an unseen enemy as they attempt to rescue Chancellor Palpatine.

Onboard The Invisible Hand, Chancellor Palpatine looks on as Anakin duels with Count Dooku.

Onboard The Invisible Hand, Anakin Skywalker duels with Count Dooku.

Onboard The Invisible Hand, Chancellor Palpatine looks on as Anakin duels with Count Dooku.

Anakin moments before he decapitates a maimed Dooku.

Count Dooku giving a 'worried' look just as Anakin is about to use his and Dooku's saber to behead the Sith Apprentice.

Anakin stares down at Dooku's body after he is decapitated by the Jedi Knight.

Bail Organa and Yoda confer in an observation room of the Polis Massan medical facility.

A droid hands Yoda and Obi-Wan both good and bad news about Padme: Her two infants were able to be saved, but not her.

Obi-Wan comforts a dying Padme.

FIRST PIC: Padme turns to look at her Jedi husband Anakin Skywalker (offscreen) after he awakes from a bad dream.  SECOND PIC: Anakin Skywalker confronting a battledroid onboard General Grievous' flagship, The Invisible Hand.  THIRD PIC: Anakin's Jedi Starfighter.  FOURTH PIC: The space battle above Coruscant.  FIFTH PIC: Senator Bail Organa and Obi-Wan Kenobi watch as an injured comrade (Padme) is tended to offscreen.  They are in a medical facility on an asteroid of Polis Massa.

BELOW: The cover spread of the January, 2005 issue of Vanity Fair (which comes out on newsstands January case you're planning to buy a publication other than Sports Illustrated, Slam, Maxim or High Times magazine anytime soon. Not bloody likely.).
The cover spread of the January 2005 issue of Vanity Fair...out in newsstands on January 11th.  The cover is a group portrait of all the main actors from both Star Wars trilogies.

The cover of the January 2005 issue of Vanity Fair.