Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace

Bomb Rating: 

Originally, the idea was so very simple: Luke (Mark Hamill) used"the Force" to learn to believe in himself and the superiority of natural intuition over technology. The release date of "Star Wars," 1977, marked the end of a war era when the U.S. had attempted to defeat Communists in Vietnam with superior technology and failed. Luke represented American myth reborn as the guerrilla fighter battling for a just cause. Now, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) talks about "the Force" like he's giving a speech on personal improvement on "Oprah." I started hoping the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) would use "the Force" to stick his light saber up Qui-Gon's ass.

As far as I'm concerned, "the Force" now refers to this film's marketing campaign and little else. It's certainly not the philosophy it once was to George Lucas, who's populated the film with so many computer-created characters it's hard to tell whether you're watching a movie or a "Toys-R-Us" commercial. In "The Return of the Jedi" this was known as "The Muppet Effect," which spawned many a joke (Q: How many Ewoks can you get in an industrial-sized blender? A: Dear God, I'd love to find out.)

The most prominent of these characters in "Phantom Menace" is Jar Jar Binks, which, as far as I could figure out, is what you get by mutating Roger Rabbit and Pauley Shore. He's part of a race of creatures that live underwater on Naboo, which is where the story takes place. His leader is this fat, spitting, computer-created thing. There are a couple scenes of them talking to each other and trying to make out what they're saying is like listening to a debate between Roberto Benigni and Jackie Chan on helium and without the benefit of translation.

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Average: 2.8 (6 votes)

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How to have made a better movie

gamerarocks's picture

One, the first time Liam the Lame uses a Jedi mind trick the supposed victim skewers him with the jagged rusty fin off a land speeder.

Two, one of those Sith flying recon things obliterates sweet little Ani's head for creating C3POMG, or, Sabulba runs the arrogant shitstain into a boulder the size of the Superdome.

Three, Amadala's hairdresser gets pissed off at being asked to create a fourteenth hairstyle of the day finally and strangles Padamei with AquaNet and a braid.

Accomplish those 3 things and Jar Jar would have been tolerable. 

One out of four people is freakishly stupid. If three of your friends are normal, then it's you.


In general agreement

Coaster's picture

Huge Star Wars fan here as is my wife.  But we're both trying to lose weight, but that's another whole thread.

The 3D didn't add much and in itself, compared with the 3D effects of Avatar, wasn't impressive at all.  I'd rank the 3D quite a few notches below that in Hugo.  In fact, I'd rank the 3D of SW1 below that of Dark City, which was a 2D movie. 

And greetings to all Crankylanders.  It's been a while.

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