Escape to the Movies: The Phantom Menace 13 Years Later

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I just got back from the theater. There were three people there, me and two friends. It was so much fun. It was incredibly nostalgic for us.

Being a person who was a child at the time i understand this, im thinking of borrowing a friends DVD of the original version (because i won't abide that shit in my house on a permenant basis) and just having a good old fashioned riff. Although it usually ends in drunken insults of Lucas' mother.

The Phantom Menace was proabaly one of the most important things i ever saw. It tought a 10 year old me that just becuase a peice of entertain ment is related to something popular or expectional dosen't make it automatically any good.

Sadly a large chuck of movie audiences and 100% of stuido executives, investors, studio boards and the entire holywood system have yet to learn this basic lesson.

To be fair, the original trilogy hasn't aged particularly well either.



What I did want is to know what they did to the 3D (you know the part that they're presenting/selling/exploiting now) - and what did you say about that - NOTHING. Not even "3d looks ok", you said "3d" once maybe. Let me judge a movie that I already seen, but tell me if it the 3d is crappy or interesting or ANYTHING.

Just so you know the 3d was about as good as you can expect as a 2D turned 3D film to be mediocre over all and some what visually appealing at best.

Thank you.

See, when I saw this film as a ten year old, I didn't really hate it, it was just...kind of "meh". It wasn't until I watched it a second time at a slightly older age, with very little connection to Star Wars and an absolute man crush on Liam Neeson that I started thinking it was an awful film on its own. Seriously. I can't think of a very good reason to see it, if it's not a Star Wars film, then why would I see it? It's random, and assumes you know the basic elements of a universe thirty years old. If I had, then why would I? it was the death of many a childhood, and a waste of two hours of my life, minus the five minutes Darth Maul was on screen.

And just out of curiosity Moviebob, where was the review of the 3d or anything in this film? Bully pulpit aside, did this add anything? Did they change anything? I was genuinely curious and I was kind of hoping that would be in here.

Alright Bob, while I agree with some of what you said(it does have some VERY good elements), I need to voice several issues I have with this video.

1) Please stop assuming that everyone who dislikes this movie is a rage filled fanboy who thinks it is the worst film ever.

2) At least Attack of the Clones had a better actor, fewer annoying characters and some EPIC battles. There is just too much wrong with PM to call AOTC worse.

3) Stop with the "I am right and enlightened and everyone else is wrong". Many people had reasonable expectations for it and it STILL sucked in comparison. Just because we expected it to be as good as the first three doesn't mean we are idiots. As an addition, I find it downright stupid for you to say it was as good as ANY of the movies you listed.

4) Why rage against it? Well, to put it simply, it feels damn damn good. Speaking only for myself, I love to hate it and in for me, hating it makes the others seem better by comparison.

Also, this is all opinion, so don't get your panties in a twist...

Excellent episode of the Big Picture bob... what a minute its not Tuesday. I've never really cared for the Phantom Menace or the other Prequels, they where always... meh. However to say they just another mediocre Sci-fi summer flick is wrong. The list you made and even some of the howlers you mentioned where actually entertaining. They actually made me leave the cinema with a spring in my step thinking I'd seen the greatest movie every (if there was only a way to maintain that feeling for longer than about the time it takes me to walk home). The prequels never left me with that feeling, they where just meh, not so bad as to make me bash my brains out, not so bad as to be entertaining and not so bad as to make me want to go and see them again. They just left me bored and the supposedly exciting bits, the light sabre duels, the battles, the escapes from certain death... they where just meh. This was really just a one star movie, just meh.

Why can't I think all the prequels are absolutely terrible movies but also NOT obsess over them? I just don't care. Of course, I also think pretty much everything Star Wars outside the first 3 unaltered movies sucks. I just liked them as movies, that's about it.

I... completely agree with everything you just said. George Lucas made a few mediocre movies and because he had made amazing ones before that he was drowned in the cries of a billion angry fans and basically quit big time movie making. I watched the new trilogy when it came out in theatres, and at no time was I thinking "this movie is the worst thing that has ever been produced in the history of mankind." I was more over thinking "what's going on" at worst, and "oh, that fight scene was pretty good" at best.

Sincerely, I don't think the Clone War's was badly drawn or animated.

It actually was very good drawn and animated. It has a fluidity, mostly of the robes and hair (which are, most of times, hard and unmovable as a rock in most 2d animations).

While I don't know about the american version, the version in my country is very well voiced.

Also, grievous actually felt like a badass in the Clone War's, unlike the movies. Jedis were scare of him, as he pretty much fought 3 or so knights and a master, and beat them all. Then he proceeded to kidnap the chancellor and fight other 3 (or was it 4?) jedi masters, killing two (or three) while on it.

Um, was I the only one who thought we would get a review on the quality of the 3D update we've been asked to shill out for?

I really enjoyed Phantom Menace...

I enjoy it the same way I enjoy a lot of movies. I didn't want to think about it, but just let it happen and absorb it like a sponge.

some advice from a former emo kid: Stop having so many expectations about everything. Some things you just need to let happen. When you're not expecting anything, you'll be surprised by how much the world will just... surprise you.

It's funny how people are now speaking up and saying 'I don't hate it', after Bob says he doesn't hate it.

Fanboys piss me off but sheep are even worse, grow a pair, jeez.

For the record, I saw the Star Wars films in order, 1-6, And I have to say Phantom Menace was my favourite one, and they got progressively worse from there up until 5, which I thought was good and 6 was just ok.

This is the smartest and most insightful moviebob video I've seen. Almost beautiful in its simplicity and anti-cynicism message. I sort of guessed where he was coming from, in that it's not a godawful movie, but it isn't especially good either. The redlettermedia video really isn't about "hating" any particular movie, but more about the Plinkett character himself and the mechanics of moviemaking. Seeing the Episode 1 video by itself without watching the others (namely, the Star Trek ones) would be doing oneself a disservice. And even in that, he sort of says some of what moviebob is saying here.

The anti-Episode 1 movement didn't really hit me as hard as people older than me, I don't think. I had been watching Star Wars since I was 2, but Episode 1 came out when I was about 12 or 13. At the time, my review was something along the lines of "it's star wars." Not really great, but just yet another product in a homogenous line of star wars products I had been buying for years (and gradually was getting sick of anyways). I did like Episode 2 more than the other two prequels, but that was more on the basis of the set design and general look of the movie. Plus, there was actual death and not just endless robot slaughter.

This will be somewhat ironic as I generally don't like Star Trek and do like Star Wars but...

There is no way in hell you just stuck the Star Trek reboot in with GI Joe and The Phantom Menace (which, incidentally, I do quite like). NO WAY IN HELL, SIR!

That film does have good writing. And a well designed story (although I now have the nagging feeling at the back of my brain that someone's pointed out a massive plot hole to me before the destroys the whole thing, but shh). And interesting characters. With full and interesting arcs. And its really fucking pretty.

You bring up an interesting point of what people expected from Star Wars though, which was an inherent problem that was laid as soon as the originals came out; they take place roughly 20 years apart (in-universe), but the whole premise is that the galaxy is a completely different place on either end of that time-span.

They're not just prequels to what happened to Vader, they're prequels to what happened to that entire galaxy. The original trilogy's mold (essentially a classic fantasy adventure) just doesn't fit within the context of the prequels.

I enjoyed this re-review from Movie Bob -- trying to convince people to let go of the hate. You don't have to like it but there is worse out there. I'd rewatch Phantom Menace again over a lot of other movies out there... and I'm no fan boy of Star Wars.

On the other hand, I don't know that I can ever completely get over Jar-Jar. I just picture Lucas and his team forcing this character into the script because they wanted to appeal to kids and sell more toys. I will let go of the rest, but Jar-Jar really was out-of-place.
We already had C3P0 for humor, and that's enough.

Well, one more thing... little Anakin was terrible. They took cute over skill, but I guess it's hard to find a kid that can act well at that age. Trouble is, Anakin grew into another bad actor in the other movies, but that's another topic...

Honestly I really liked episode 1 when it came out, granted I was 6 at the time. When I saw it again recently i thought to myself that the entire film felt like it was targeted at a much younger demographic, which might also contribute to the problem with the new trilogy.

god...I dont see what the big deal is

you didnt like the film...good for you

you liked the film..good for you

I dont see how it requires 7 pages of people talking about the people who eather liked or didnt like a film that came out and went through the hate machine years ago

we should all just move on

that said I dont think you have to be a whiny fanboy to the think the films arnt very good...I c'mon seriously

All of this has been said before but Phantom Menace and the rest of the prequels cannot just be taken in a vacuum. It isn't just the quality of the movie(s) but also what it represents.

The movies have numerous continuity errors. Annoying, but made far far worse by the fact that these are simple errors that even a casual fan could have pointed out and vetoed and they were introduced by a man who maintains a tyrannical grip on the IP's lore. This is the only fictional universe I know of that has an established set of rules for its canon, but its creator cannot be bothered to double check his original movies to make sure things follow properly.

Old vs New. There is a lot of issues here for anyone weaned on the originals. The force seen as a nod toward eastern religious philosophies turned into a contagion. A universe where aliens are ubiquitous turned into segregated racial cliches. Even filming technique, CGI vs models. And this isn't an issue of fear of change, something fanbois are notoriously guilty of, this is an issue where the changes were, by a large consensus, for the worse.

It's continually in your face. The thing with comparing this movie to something like Batman and Robin is that Batman and Robin is done. The movie sucked, that's it its over. It isn't considered an essential part of the lore. The comics continue, the character was aptly reconceived for film and if I want to watch the Burton Batmans I can without even considering that sequel.

Not so with PM. Lucas is determined that I must acknowledge his prequels as a legitimate part of the series I loved as a child. To the pont where he is unwilling to allow me new copies of the old movies without his changes that tie in the prequels. Even this re-release feels in part like them pushing the prequels on us. I cannot both enjoy the OT and ignore the prequels because Lucas won't let me.

Last thing I will mention is that it represents a horrible shift in movie making in general for me and many others. Just like the original Star Wars is considered one of the films that hearkened the blockbuster era, PM and the prequels became the harbingers for this era of empty soulless FX pics. You hate Transformers, Expendables, and all that other schlock that make big money while better movies that actually have some semblance of a coherant story get overlooked? You can say it is ultimately the fans' fault, which is true, but it was movies like these that highlighted the model as successful and ushered in the era.

It's okay if you are tired of the complaints. And I realize this was one of your troll reviews, anyway. But dismissing the complaints just because you don't want to hear it anymore, and then acting like it has anything to do with you evolving as a person is actually more childish than those who continue to rant whenver the opportunity arises, imo.

Bob, I don't agree with a lot of what you say, and after that last simpsons big picture video, I was really skeptical that you'd make a legitimate argument for the Phantom Menace, but you managed to pull it off. I wouldn't say I'm a fanboy of the series, I really didn't like episode V for a long time, and I even liked Phantom Menace as a kid, but retroactively looking at the movies ... It just breaks my heart. I wouldn't have minded a bad movie so much if it still had some of the magic from the old series. Just a moment where there's a conversation about wisdom and the mysticalness of the force would have been nice ...

Still, you make a good point. Good video. Obviously I'm not sure if you're reading this. I remember in one video you said you read all the comments. So if you are, I totally appreciate that you listen to your audience.


And finally just for Funsies, here's Mace Windu soloing an army.

the greatest Star Wars animation moment!

OT won't be seeing any 3D Star Wars movie,
1: George Lucas has ruined everything for me with the "Gredo always fired first"
2: 3d gives me migraines
3: See point 1!

The really sad part is that most of the anger and rage from fanboys would just go away if Lucas released the original un-edited trilogy on DVD and Bluray as well. That's it, that would shut up a lot of that bile spewed forth any time someone mentions the name George Lucas. But he's defensive, touchy, and takes a hostile stance toward fans that don't agree with him, so he won't release them on his own.

Take notice of the 1988 Lucas who testified before congress to take a stance against the alteration of movies while originals are hidden away and current Lucas

It's been 13 years? Holy crap, do I feel old. Anyway, props to Movie Bob for using the original RotJ ending. Anyone who does't understand this is going to make me feel even older then before.

Once again bob shows his movie credentials by saying a crap film is good because it looks good.That is the worse defense on any film and a "professional critic" as he claims to be and i am sure is paid to be is atrocious

Bob acts like a goddamn cat bounce a ball of shiny in front of him and watch him defend it to the hills.

Normally i would just let the Bob fans get on with it but i liked the Phantom Menace but there are alot better reasons than it looked good

Overall, I think this was a good video. I always said that the prequels weren't THAT terrible, in fact, most things that people say is "TERRIBLE" is usually just mediocre or even sub-par. You want TERRIBLE? Go watch Troll 2. Also, I totally agree with the nerd rage stuff, because there were just too many people with unrealistic expectations, who wouldn't have been satisfied NO MATTER WHAT. I'm glad you gave praise to the mr. plinket reviews too, because the red letter media guys have opened my eyes to a lot of concepts to film making without having to go to film school.

But it does say something when you have to compare episode 1 to twilight, transformers, and every other extremely mediocre movie you listed, and that's not something that would get me to come and rush to episode 1's defense. Is mediocre really the new "great" or even "okay"? The original trilogy is on a whole other level, and these just blend in with the rest of the mindless movies that are released over and over each year for quick cash, rather then artistic purposes. Lucas really needed to get some fresh minds to be included on its creation and let these prequels be genuinely developed instead of just rushed out the door.

And then there are the very strange and unnecessary changes done to the originals that truly bug me. "Han shot first", adding goofy CGI robots that do not fit the movies tone at all, changing the entire performance scene in Jabba's palace, the "noooooooooo" being added in the final scene (which feels more like a lucas /trollface then anything), and then adding young Anakin in the very end of Return of the Jedi but Obiwan looks as he did when he died and even the final song, there's just too much stuff that he CHANGED to the original movies we loved. There of course were lots of genuine improvements to the special editions, I'll admit, but when you change things within the original movies that go outside of "improving" is when its expected to get some reaction, and definitely not a positive one. I dont hate Lucas, but this stuff is like trying to change culture, and saying in the process "You're Wrong", and he really SHOULD get heat for that.

Anyways, this was way longer then I expected but thanks for reading if you did.

You know what I think? I think The Avengers is actually going to bomb, and it'll be the Phantom Menace all over again. Any wagers?

So, to have a strong opinion is being "butthurt"?

Remind me, how bad were the Transformers films again?

This is a pretty good burn, too bad nobody's noticing it.

So... Hardcore fanboys are basically just big, whiny kids.

"No shit Sherlock", comes to mind.

On a side note, I never really cared all that much about the Star Wars universe. Any of it. Just like Dragonball Z or well-known 80's horror flicks, I've noticed that watching carefully thought out spoofs of those works are often more entertaining than the original works. For me at least.

Amen. Personally the most fun I had watching a Star Wars movie was seeing the Family Guy specials back-to-back. And I don't even like Family Guy! Go figure.
And if I'm going to be honest the Phantom Menace is my favourite of the prequels as well. Especially that fight at the end had me sitting on the edge of my seat.

Thomas Guy:
Movie Bob, you have convinced me. Tonight I shall go see it with my 3 little ones and give it another chance. Also, Return of the Jedi isn't as good as everyone remembers.

I re-watched the original (unmodified) trilogy a while back; I was surprised. There are a lot of places in those movies where the dialogue is nearly as bad as anything in the prequel trilogy.

Oh yeah, and the Empire was defeated by Ewoks. Kind of puts the whole Gungan sub-plot in perspective. Not Jar-Jar Binks though; at least the Ewoks didn't get to talk.

Phantom menace is the only one of the prequels I find as bad as the stereotype says. I'm sorry but when it comes to this one I still hate it (although they did get Darth Maul right).

Episode 2 and 3 I find quite tolerable. Anakin's bitching is still there which still holds them back but quite frankly once the council, senate, Kamino and the clones start getting involved I find it much better. I can fast-forward through the whiny Anakin parts. Just like I do the Ewok parts of episode 6.

Well said, Bob. Well said.

I honestly never understood all the hatred for the prequel movies -- they weren't horrible, they were just kind of forgettable.

I didn't need the Phantom Menace to be amazing, it would help if it just made sense. I'm not old enough to grow up on the originals. Actually, for the longest time, I thought the originals and prequels were two separate series when I was little.

Anyway, I finally got around to watching the originals when I got older and thought they were pretty awesome.

At the very least the prequels could have made sense and contain nice action scenes. The only time things got exciting was when Obi-Wan storms in pass the laser field to fight Darth Maul. But then that lasts for like 5 seconds before a really anti-climatic ending. I rewatch the prequels all the time and some of it still doesn't make sense to me.

Bob's butthurt that the Red Letter Media guys more e-peen from three review videos than he's ever going to get from dozens of fanboy whingefests.

Well this video certainly helped stave off the feeling of disappointment over Episode I by comparing it to the even larger flop and disappointment of The Mummy 3. Now there's a piece of shit. As for Phantom Menace? I liked it when I was a kid, but as the years went along- I realized all the things I wasn't paying attention to and just lost interest in the prequels up until Revenge of the Sith.

I would call it a very dull film- not really good at all, not necessarily horrible. Attack of the Clones, yes, is another ordeal with some of the worst written dialogue and line delivery Ive ever seen.

Episode I may not a terrible film, but it is a terrible sequel. In the exact same mold as Godfather III.

Bob is generally right, But it isn't an argument that needs to be made. We already know that fans are whiny, entitled and react with utter disproportion to shit that doesn't matter. That is not news, and it certainly doesn't deserve sacrificing most of another 5 minute review slot, just to make that point again.

However, most people I know about who complain about new Star Wars aren't really exerting anywhere near as much energy over hating the films as Bob suggests. Hating something in this postmodernist, internet, "That Guy With The Glasses/AVGN" age is something people do for fun, not because they actually suffer. If it is just a new way to derive entertainment (however smug and self-congratulatory), is that something we should really be bothered about?

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