So, a few weeks ago, I wrote about how "Avatar" and 3-D movie were bad things for cinema in general, because filmmakers were more interested in what new things they could come up with through CGI rather than telling a good story.
If there's one filmmaker to blame more than James Cameron, it's George Lucas. Contrast what he did with the original three "Star Wars" films, which used special effects to enhance the storytelling process, with the "Star Wars" prequels, which were all about stuffing as many special effects into a single shot as possible, and story be damned.
Anyway, don't just take my word for it. A Web site called Red Letter Media has been created by a very clever film buff at http://www.blancscreencinema.com/redlettermedia/index.html
He completely deconstructs the first two "Star Wars" prequels through a series of YouTube videos. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the Web. The guy at first comes off as a bit crazy -- he tells it from the point of view of a really, really creepy fanboy -- but the points he makes about plot, effects and character development are as sound as any legitimate film critic.
Be warned -- his review of "The Phantom Menace" is 70 minutes long and "Attack of the Clones" is even longer, but if you ever had trouble explaining why you hated the prequels other than Jar-Jar, this site is for you. (His "Star Trek" criticisms get to be a tad nitpicky, and I'll save you the trouble of not even bothering with the 2009 "review," which is just stupid and tasteless.)
Anyway, it's something I hope future filmmakers pay attention to, but alas, I see them going the Cameron/Lucas route and trying to stuff as much imagery as possible into their films.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: What has Desmond been up to all these months? Well, we find out tonight on "Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m.), which follows "Dancing With The Stars" and precedes a new "V."
CBS finally rolls out some new episodes, with an all-new night of "NCIS," "NCIS: LA" and "The Good Wife." NBC has "The Biggest Loser" and "Parenthood" at 10 p.m.
Fox has two hours of "American Idol" performing Beatles tunes, while the CW has new episodes of "90210" and "Melrose Place."
On cable, there's a new "Justified" (FX, 10 p.m.), a new "Law & Order: SVU" (USA, 10 p.m.) and the season finale of "Soutland" (TNT, 10 p.m.)