I have re-watched all three Prequel Trilogy films back-to-back. I've come to live with and accept some earlier harsher criticisms, so I won't focus too much on those. But I will be talking about what was dumb. Some random thoughts:
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Released May 2002, 17 years ago!) -- thoughts:
Anakin acts like an immature, whiny brat the entire first half of the film. It is awkward to watch these scenes, as everybody else in the scene is taken aback at his petulant behavior. And he can switch on this behavior at a moment's notice. But starting with his visit to Tatooine to search for his mother, Anakin starts to exhibit a lot more interesting and better acted traits. I got chills at he scene where Anakin rides into the desert to search for her, then he loses control to rage and takes his revenge on all the Sandpeople. It was a great touch showing how Yoda could sense ripples in the Force from Anakin's pain, and hearing deceased Qui-Gon yell out "Anakin! No!!".
I enjoyed the Jango scenes and seeing Slave I's offensive abilities. It was awesome when the Jango-Clone soldiers finally showed up, along with ole 'backwards-speak' General Yoda commanding them. "To the forward command center, take me!" And Yoda's lightsaber battle vs Christopher Lee's Count
Dracula Dooku! BITD, I seriously geeked out at that scene at the theater! This time, I still mustered up an eager smile at the scene, even though I knew what was coming. I love some of the little details, such as how Yoda uses the Force to pull his saber from his belt to his hand. "Much to learn, you have!" It was a treat to watch an older Christopher Lee in action, battling and defeating Obi-Wan and Anakin before almost meeting his match when Master Yoda shows up.
Dumbest parts #1: Love-scene dialogue. In the past, I'd usually fast-forward past the dull, clunky dialogue between Anakin and Padme. But this time, I watched them all; they are what they are. I had forgotten the "I hate sand" meme was invented here and couldn't help but produce a rude snort when I heard the line again.
Dumbest parts #2: the video-game styled steel-mill / factory dangers. I still don't understand how Anakin got his arm out of the steel casings. This sequence reminds me of playing Dragon's Lair for some reason. And speaking of this sequence...
Dumbest parts #3: C-3PO's excessively forced humor and 'action'. Ugh. He loses his head, it gets grafted onto a battle droid. "This is such a drag!" as R2 drags his disembodied head away. Just like the "Roger-Roger" droid dialogue we've had to deal with, this may have been aimed at young children, but this fourth-wall-breaking joking around is so corny that it takes me out of the movie, just like in the ridiculous Gymnastics Raptor-Take-Down-Scene in Jurassic Park: The Lost World.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Released May 2005) -- some thoughts:
Ah yes, I remember now, General Grievous is in this one. With a hunched-over gait and as sinister-looking as George could manage, also with a hacking cough that isn't explained. I actually appreciate how some things aren't explained by spoon-fed expository dialogue. Another example is how Palpatine is pulling the strings in all three Prequel films - at first I think many wouldn't realize his just how deep his craftiness goes, but there are clues that basically every major event was being planned and orchestrated by him. Thus, I feel it is not beyond reason to have him somehow found a way to survive and to be part of the upcoming Episode IX, as the trailers indicate. Getting back to Ep3, Palpatine isn't even trying to pretend that he isn't a Dark Lord of the Sith at this point. Ian McDiarmid is a treat to behold in this film, he appears to be relishing his role as Chancellor / Emperor Palpatine and really chewing up his scenes! Ha!
I think George Lucas tried hard to give fans their money's worth with all the STUFF stuffed into Revenge of the Sith. Lightsaber battles, chases, and spaceship battle scenes. Anakin really does look agressive and ferocious when he goes on the attack. But Yoda has the best lines. At an end your rule is, and not short enough it was.
Finally, I've often wondered, why does Obi-Wan only in this film strike the two-fingers pose? And why does Obi-Wan's ridable bird lizard have that annoying yell? To quote Mr. James Carrey from Dumb or Dumber, "want to hear the most annoying sound in the world???"
So far I've re-watched 3 films and my personal ranking hasn't changed: Ep3 > Ep1 > Ep2. (Yes, I like the oft-maligned Ep1 a little more than Ep2).