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Since you all know by now that I saw the movie weeks ago, and are probably wondering where the heck my review is, I guess this needs to be said: Cinema Blend has been barred from reviewing Star Wars: The Clone Wars until its release on Friday. No we’re not in bed with the studios and helping them hide a crummy movie. It’s a standard embargo. These things happen all the time, and studios like Warner Brothers often slap them on reviewers as a condition of seeing the movie early. Warners isn’t doing anything out of the norm here, it’s a frequent practice for the industry. The only difference in this one is that it’s being enforced against more people than normal, people who for whatever reason, are often able to ignore the embargo thing, and so there’s been a little more noise about it. To Warner Brothers’ credit, they’ve barred negative and positive reviews alike from showing up online, this isn’t some attempt to put only WB approved opinions out there. Whatever criteria they’re using to determine who is allowed to review the film, that has nothing to do with it. I guess these guys just know who to blow.
Yes we could break the embargo, but then we’d never be allowed to see another Warner Brothers movie again, and instead of simply being barred from reviewing this one movie early we’d be barred from reviewing every movie early. No, an embargo does NOT have any influence at all in what we say about a film or how we say it. If it did, we’d never agree to it. No, I don’t know why outlets like Variety and Hollywood Reporter are being allowed to review the movie while others, like us, are not. That’s the way this always goes, and only they know what terms they agreed to before being allowed to see the film ahead of time, or why they might be getting special treatment.
So since we, and a lot of the rest of the reviewing world, are being barred from talking about the film until Friday, here’s a look at what the people who are allowed to review the film are saying. It’s not like you guys have any other options. The rest of us can’t give you our opinions. So here’s a quick look at some of the Clone Wars opinions which are out there, and check back for my review of the film at 12:01 am on Friday:
"It’s all decently told in the manner of a movie aimed at tweeners, though the jokes are so broad they’re flat and writer Henry Gilroy doesn’t seem to know that laying on action scene after action scene diminishes, rather than enhances, the thrill of that action." - Ken Lowery, PopSyndicate
“This isn't the "Star Wars" we've always known and at least sometimes loved. Young kids will constitute the biggest audience for this Warner Bros. release” - Todd McCarthy, Variety
“This feels more like great television writ large than a movie in its own right.” - James Dyer, Empire
“A fairly simplistic plot, which is mostly just a clothesline to string together effective action sequences, eventually runs out of gas and the momentary recapturing of the old thrill fades away.” - Tim Grierson, EmanuelLevy.com
“Anakin’s a real mannequin in this stiffly-executed CG feature.” - Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
“A worthy addition to the original six-film cycle, staying true to the spirit of the series while overhauling it in a number of important ways.” - Jurgen Fauth, About.com
“Very young kids, Star Wars completists and Lucas apologists may find themselves compelled to attend; anyone else would have a better time going to the Toshi Station to pick up power converters.” - Alonso Duralde, MSNBC
“Once I accepted that this film was unapologetically a little kids movie and I moved beyond my rage about that annoying fact.” - John Campea, The Movie Blog
“Stylish and slick, it greatly heightens expectations for the TV series.” - Staff Writer?, PinkNews.com