After the discussion going in the TPM thread, I was wondering what everyone thought of AOTC at this point. Like TPM, I re-watched this movie for the first time in quite awhile over the weekend on Spike TV. Also like TPM, there is a lot of things that bug me, and some stuff that I really enjoy.
I remember coming out of the theater after seeing this for the first time, I thought it was great. It seemed closer to "Star Wars" to me, maybe due to the presence of the Stormtrooper-like Clones, as well as ties to Boba Fett and other OT concepts. The vehicles started looking more OT-esque as well, different from the sleeker/shinier looks in TPM. My friend and I left the theater saying that the last 45 minutes or so (if I remember right) were amazing. Pretty much from when Anakin and Padme get taken into the arena to the end - good stuff.
I pretty much feel the same way now. I really enjoy the Arena battle(s), as well as the lightsaber battles following (although I always wished that Anakin/Dooku would have been a bit longer). It was a nice setup to the Clone Wars and ROTS, and like Jesse mentioned in the other thread - it would have made a nice first movie, setting up a Clone Wars centric Episode II. Dooku was a pretty cool villain, and I did enjoy Jango even if he was essentially just "cashing in" on the popularity of Boba Fett. He still looked pretty cool to me, and Temuera Morrison was pretty good in the role. I don't have quite the problems with Hayden as many others do, as I think he is a decent actor and has been good in other non-Star Wars movies I've seen.
On that topic though, some of the Anakin/Padme stuff was cringe-worthy to me. From the first viewing to the current one, the "fireplace" scene dialog and the running through the grassy hills stuff was just not for me. It really seemed cheezy. I remember someone saying in an older thread one time that the original Clone Wars animated series seemed to portray the love story better with a few words or "looks" than the entire AOTC movie did. I could see that. Other than that, I don't know that I have a ton of other major complaints about the movie. Jar Jar was really toned back, and there's things that could be changed, but the love story stuff didn't work for me as well as I'd hoped. Also, it might just be me, but for some reason some of the Obi-Wan/Anakin banter really sticks out to me. Mainly the way that Obi-Wan, when he's "scolding" Anakin, always calls him something that seems excessively long. "My very young apprentice", "my young padawan", and things like that. It just stands out to me as sounding strange for some reason. They are supposed to be "good friends", and for the most part that didn't seem to come across all that well to me. Anyways, what are your thoughts on AOTC now?