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Early review trashes The Clone Wars movie

Harry Knowles, founder of Ain’t It Cool News, got a chance to check out a screening of the new Star Wars animated feature The Clone Wars, opening in the US on Thursday. What did he think?

Lucasfilm asked him to pull the review if that gives you an idea.

“I hated the film. HATED IT. REALLY HATED IT.”

Since the review has been pulled you can’t see it on Ain’t It Cool News anymore but luckily Valleywag scored a copy so here’s the complete review:

Harry hated THE CLONE WARS!

I’ve never hated a STAR WARS film before. I have weathered Jar Jar and any number of Ewoks. I survived Hayden and a wooden Portman. I even accepted Jake Lloyd. I handled all that because it felt like STAR WARS.

I can accept all of Lucas’ flaws, so long as at its heart it felt like Star Wars. I can deal with politics in Star Wars. I can deal with trade skirmishes in Star Wars. I can deal with musical numbers, breathing in the vacuum of space. Basically – so long as it feels like STAR WARS – I can watch any of it.

Was I looking forward to STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (2008)?

******** A!

I was dying. After Genndy’s CLONE WARS – I felt that perhaps Lucas “got it” – and that this new animated series was taking a lead from Tartakovsky’s brilliant assembly of pieces. Genndy’s CLONE WARS got STAR WARS better than anyone has got it since Lawrence Kasdan and Irvin Kershner. Genndy took designs and characters that folks were dissatisfied with and made them cool. He did this by using and adapting the themes created by John Williams, the wholly perfect entity involved with Star Wars along with… the sound effects of Ben Burtt. He understood speed and motion – not just with action, but in editing. He understood classic film composition and iconography. And he knows what BADASS is.

The folks behind this STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS movie… you could tell, they looked at what Genndy did – but they didn’t understand any of it. There’s a ****load of battles and ***** going boom. There’s noise everywhere – fury everywhere… but none of it is directed. The music by Kevin Kiner is criminally bad. Why they didn’t employ Paul Dinletir and James Venable is beyond me. No, no – let’s hire the composer of WALKER, TEXAS RANGER. Ahem.

Now – I made excuses for this film as I was watching it. I don’t think you understand how much I love STAR WARS. Maybe you do, maybe you do too.

Before the movie started I was firing myself up to go out after the film and buy that new $200 Hasbro Millenium Falcon. I really wanted to go buy it, and I wanted this movie to empower my brain to go through with that. Instead, I found myself at home – putting on Genndy’s THE CLONE WARS – to try and rebuild my passion – so I can go get that new Falcon.

Instead – I’m thinking I’ll just be here at home enjoying this and that’ll be all I need.

Anyway – as I was watching the film, I was excusing the sloppy shots, the sloppy use of the Clone Troopers and Droids – undoing all the awesome work that Genndy had done – and the droids are silly again. The Clone Troopers are limp. And the Jedi – they’re at 25% power from the mind of Genndy. But I was accepting that. I figured that was Lucas dialing back so that the animated series wouldn’t overpower his features.

Then they introduced Baby Jabba aka Rotta the Huttlet aka Stinky. At the point of this character’s introduction – it officially became, the worst character in the history of STAR WARS. If you hate George Lucas cutsiepoo bull**** – oooooooh boy. You’re gonna have a field day of venting and hatred directed at this unbelievably ****ing awful little ****.

Oh – but wait… Little Stinky the Hutt isn’t the worst character in the history of STAR WARS… because Stinky got introduced earlier in the film. As much as I hated lil Stinky… I was weathering Stinky. I seriously was. But later there was a character of such immense **** – offensively bad. The character was so bad, so incredibly awful – that it was a slap to the face. It woke me out of my ****-accepting stupor and made me angry. SUDDENLY my “inner fanboy rage” was awoken.

As I watched this terrifyingly awful character named Ziro the Hutt. A seemingly female Hutt – with tattoos and make-up that sounds like a racist take on a Black New Orleans Crack-Dealing Whore. Because this Hutt speaks ENGLISH – and it is many times worse than I’m actually describing. This character was actually too much for me. So bad that every flaw I was looking past, was now a road sign to inadequacy and mediocrity. All of a sudden my brain realized that Asajj Ventress’ voice no longer was acceptable – and sure enough – the amazing Grey DeLisle, who originally voiced the character back in 2003 – had been replaced by a Nika Futterman – and that voice was missed. The character didn’t have that snarling menace anymore.

I realized that nothing in this animated film felt right. I felt time expanding. It seemed that the film was dragging – nevermind that lots of **** was firing all over the place – and stuff was going boom and things were being revealed. I just didn’t care because this wasn’t what I wanted.

I hated the score, the animation, the shots, the characters and most of all the retarded ******** idiot story.

I hated the film. HATED IT. REALLY HATED IT.

Does this mean the whole Star Wars Animated Series is doomed? No – but it isn’t a good sign. So much of this is awful because of the Hutt plotlines and character. I also feel that Dave Filoni must be a hack. His work here is sloppy – and depending on writers and directing talent – individual episodes may be better. This film was several episodes all strung together – my prayer is that the individual episodes will be both great and awful – and we’ll discover which talents are responsible for each.

That said – the audience did have light applause. My father liked it. My sister felt too much was going on. Me nephew really liked it. That said – Yoko was complaining right along with me. She thought it was **** too. I know Moriarty liked it. Wonder what Quint and Massawyrm thought.

****. I hated a STAR WARS. That ****ing sucks.

This doesn’t mean that EVERY reviewer will feel this way but it certainly is a bad start.

[Via Valleywag]

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Prince of Persia movie delayed

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Apparently the video game-based movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, originally expected to be released on June 19, 2009, has been delayed until May 28, 2010.

It’s not exactly clear why its been delayed, but it does seem to still have Jerry Bruckheimer producing it, Mike Newell directing it and Jake Gyllenhaal starring in it so it doesn’t seem to be some Hollywood scandal. Maybe Walt Disney Pictures just didn’t want it to compete with the next Transfermers movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, scheduled to be released June 26, 2009?

[Via Kotaku]


Gears of War movie gets a producer

The video game-based Gears of War movie has gotten some more traction. Variety is reporting that Legendary Pictures will be co-financing the film with New Line.

You might remember that the project also has a director–Len Wiseman, director of Live Free or Die Hard, has signed on to do the project.

[Via Kataku]


Movie based on Lost Planet video game confirmed

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According to a story at Variety, another video game is heading to the big screen–Capcom’s Lost Planet.

The game Lost Planet takes place on a frozen world where you battle big spider-like creatures called Akrid–think Hoth mixed with Starship Troopers.

The movie will be written by David Hayter, a name you might recognize. Hayter was the writer on the first two X-Men movies as well as The Scorpion King.

No news on a planned release date yet, but we might hear a bit more at Capcom’s E3 press conference taking place later today.

[Via Kotaku]


Trailer released for Max Payne motion picture

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The Max Payne series of video games have always been about over-the-top action–like playing the leading role in a Hong Kong style action movie. When it was announced that a movie was going to be made based on the games I personally had a bit of a mixed reaction.

Sure, the game was a lot of fun to play, but how would it make the transition to the big screen and still capture that adrenaline rush and, more importantly, could they keep the project out of the hands of directory Uwe Ball?

If the first trailer released for the film is any indication, we can breath a sigh of relief–looks like they did a pretty good job capturing the feel of the game AND the director isn’t Uwe Ball.

Look the movie to be released sometime in October of this year. In the mean time, check out the trailer below and see what you think:

[Via Kotaku]


87% of PS3 owners watching Blu-ray movies

According to a recent report by the Entertainment Merchant’s Association, many PlayStation 3 owners are jumping on the Blu-ray train and watching high definition movies on their consoles thanks to it’s built-in Blu-ray player.

How many?

According to the groups 2008 Annual Report on the Home Entertainment Industry, 87% of those surveyed reported that they are indeed using their console to watch HD movies.

For more specifics from the report including how many videos were released and how people spend their entertainment money check out this story at TG Daily.

[Via Engadget]


Netflix to keep profiles feature

A couple of weeks ago Netflix announced that it would be eliminating the profile feature which allowed multiple profiles to be created under one account with each able maintain it’s own rental queue, rate movies, and receive unique recommendations (so the kids wouldn’t be recommend Rambo while the parents wouldn’t be recommended Barney the Dinosaur).

After receiving lots of calls and emails complaining about this decisions Netflix has decided to back off and keep the profiles feature intact.

Why would they want to eliminate profiles in the first place? To “continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.”

It’s not really clear how eliminating the profiles feature would improve the website, but they’ve backed down–profiles are here to stay.

[Via Ars Technica]


Sony announces PS3 downloadable movie service

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Kazuo Hirai, head of Sony Computer Entertainment, announced that this summer US PlayStation 3 owners will have access to a new movie download service, with more about a launch in Europe and Japan coming “next month.”

Details like what date the service will be launching, pricing, and which movie studios have signed on were not released. Hopefully we’ll get a lot more info as we get close to E3 opening on July 15th.

[Via Gizmodo]


Len Wiseman named director of Gears of War movie

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The upcoming big screen adaptation of the hit video game Gears of War officially has a director–Len Wiseman.

You might recognize Wiseman as the director of other movies such as the Underworld movies as well as the most recent Die Hard movie, Live Free or Die Hard.

Chris Morgan, writer one of the writers on Cellular, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Wanted, will be head writer and Cliff Bleszinski (aka “Cliffy B”) will be executive producer.

The movie was initially aiming for a summer 2009 release but Epic Games chief Mark Rein says “we want to get it right. There’s no timetable for us.”

[Via CrunchGear]


Flexplay disposable DVDs coming to Staples

flexplay Remember Flexplay DVDs, the self-distructing DVDs that would expire after 48 hours?

They’re back and Staple’s is getting them.

Once the discs are exposed to oxygen, a slow chemical reaction begins and 48 hours later the disc is unreadable.

Are they serious? What a waste.  Are they recyclable? Yes, but isn’t the point to reduce the amount of waste we create?

With most other providers looking at streaming content as the future, I’m a bit surprised to see this coming out on a day other than April 1st.

[Via Engadget]