Escape to the Movies: The Phantom Menace 13 Years Later

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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?

I watched it just now, on DVD. I have to say, the CG - especially on Jar-Jar - is a damn sight better than what I remembered. It was a pretty neatly filmed movie. Too bad for the whole pacing, character development, and editing that the original Star Wars films will be remembered for. I wrote this yesterday, and I stand by it:

"The prequels have a lot of spectacle, but it all falls flat - or rather, is flash-in-the-pan - without a coherent narrative. They don't have that. They're sloppily written and edited, and poorly acted. I don't get that idea: "the acting [in the original series] sucks", because that was probably what held it all up! It had a core ensemble of characters (Han, Luke, Leia, C3PO, R2D2, Chewbacca), it followed their exploits and their exploits alone; they were well-defined and we grew to care about them as they grew to care about each other. It felt real. And we all remember those films positively because of this.

The prequels? They're ads for themselves. We remember them because they were over-produced and had spectacle, but not for anything real. They made little impact on popular culture (I mean, the staying power of the original Star Wars is phenomenal. We'll remember Darth Vader forever. Not so much Darth Maul). What are the best scenes in The Phantom Menace? The podrace? The lightsaber fight? ...that's it really. They aren't even very good. The point being, the films aren't bad just because they're bad (and boy are they bad). They're bad because they were made badly, written badly, directed badly. The films themselves could have been passable if the basics of the plot and characters were figured out, but they weren't. Not in the slightest."

Ishigami:

BTW. I prefer The Expendables over the prequel trilogy.
Whats up with the hatred for that one? - At least you should have been able to expect the outcome of that one...

Movie Bob just takes shots at Expendables any chance he gets because it trashed Michael Cera's god awful acting as Scott Pilgrim at the box office. Seems if people have the option between gratuitous violence with a generic plot and Michael Cera's one dimensional lifeless acting they'll go with the violence.

Umm, Bob? This was a Big Picture episode... Where is the Escape to the Movies part where you... You know... Tell us how the experience compared in 3D and how it all looked?

Gee Bob, you sure put a whole deluge of words into our mouths there, and it didn't taste very nice, please don't do that again.

Yes, I think the prequels are terrible, but no I don't rant and rage on about it nor do I let it dominate my life, I'm a happy person. =p

You Bob are a really full of yourself.

TPM was bad, is bad and always will be bad. The issues isn't that the movie should be taken by itself. It can't be. It is a Star Wars movie. By making this a Star Wars move it must be taken as a part of a whole. By making it a pile, it deserves any hate that someone wants to spend the time and effort on. I hate the movie. I hate that it signals the decline of star wars. It is the forerunner of so many bad decisions of the part of George Lucas, and the creative teams behind the new movies, and the changes to the old movies.

No the movie was never going to recreate the same feeling that I had when I was a kid watching a New Hope. But they could have at least tried to make a good move.

And who are you to tell anyone how they should and shouldn't fell about it. How about you give your reviews of the movies, and leave all the holier than thou commentary to your other videos.

I'm 21 now. I grew up watching the originals on TV, but I guess it just wasn't memorable then to me. When they re-released the originals during the 90's, my God, I fell in love three times in a row. Those years were filled with flying my toy X-Wing and Millenium Falcon around and having lightsaber fights with the kid next door. Then I heard about the prequels coming out. I was so freakin' excited. After all, it's more Star Wars. And then I saw the film. I really liked it. Accompanying my X-Wing and Millenium Falcon was an N-1 starfighter and Podracer. I added Qui-Gon's lightsaber to my collection while the kid next door got Maul's. Needless to say, the battles we had were the stuff of legend. I just saw the movie last night. I still loved the hell out of it.

Still don't like the movie, but hat's off to you, MovieBob. Star Wars prequels aren't the apocalypse, but I'll just stay away from them because I don't want to watch the same bad movies again.

Thank you......my sentiments exactly. Giving people 20 plus years to fantasize about something will create something so superb in their minds that nothing in reality will ever come close to attaining. And nothing will make you feel the same way it did when you were a child.

I still think Episode 1 is the worst, but it has its place in the Star Wars universe. Not the worst film ever made, but could have been a lot better. And I don't think Episode 6 was very good either.

Just came back from the 3D release, yeah, the movie isn't nearly as bad as the other prequels and other crappy genre films. Of course, I grew up with the thing along with the original trilogy. I agree, Attack of the Clones is easily the worst Star Wars movie. Revenge of the Sith is okay, but it's even more of a "dumb action movie" than The Phantom Menace.

Also, I thought the 3D conversion was pretty good, not nearly as bad as more recent theatrical releases, you can tell they actually worked on it as opposed to hastily converting the thing. Does it add much? Not really, but it's not laughably offensive in any way either, like say Thor's 3D Kashi box...

You know, I have to agree. I remember having a blast watching The Phantom Menace as a kid and I've never really understood the level of hatred it gets. Sure, it wasn't great, but it was still fun. I think part of it is the intense desire on the part of Star Wars fans to make the whole franchise be something far more adult and complex than it has ever actually been.

I'm going to have to disagree that movies can't be made good enough to roll us back to our childhood. I watched the original Star Wars films at the movie theater so I'm ancient. But you know watching the Lord of the Rings movies brought me right back to the magic and wonder of watching movies that I felt as a kid. So it can be done it just takes something epic.

I think what bothers me the most about the prequel films is that they represent Hollywood just cashing in on popular names with half ass movies instead of going for something epic. They just seem like one of the many poster children for taking the cheap McMovies way out instead of going for movie magic.

All my applause.

All of it.

Congrats, MovieBob, you have regained some of the respect I'd lost a while back.

I don't really think the prequels were that worthy of hate. They're just extremely forgettable and unrelatable. There's just no emotional connection with any of the characters. Plus they emphasize really weird scenes while ignoring what should be more emotionally important ones.

The bad guys aren't intimidating or scary and they act like incompetent idiots that you can't take seriously.

The "good guys" are aloof apathetic assholes. I mean come on, Qui Gon and Obi Wan show no compassion or empathy towards a planet ruled by slavers and criminals.

Take for example, the dinner scene where Anakin tells Qui Gon, Padme, and Jar Jar that he and his mother are slaves and they have bombs implanted in their bodies that will blow them up if they try to escape. Look at the Qui Gon, Padme, and Jar Jar's reaction. None of them are surprised, shocked, horrified, or saddened by that revelation. Jar Jar just says, "that's so woo-d" while Qui Gon gives no reaction at all and Padme just casually says how she's surprised that there's still slavery in the galaxy.

Why wasn't that a more significant scene? Learning about Anakin's hardship and having the protagonists sympathize and form an emotional bond with him would allow the audience to better connect with the characters. But then later, you have a scene where Anakin fixes up his pod racer and when he's done, there's all this dramatic music and Anakin's all excited. Why did Lucas put more emphasis on that pointless scene instead of the one where Anakin's sad backstory is revealed?

I am not even a star wars fan. I find the whole universe kinda lame and don't see how anyone can get into it when even the biggest bad asses in the universe are still gigantic pussies. And even I thought Phantom Menace sucked a big fat nut.
Thats right. Im not butt hurt over it "ruining the franchise" I just think it was absolute garbage. Boring, annoying garbage.
Attack of the Clones was at least fun to watch.

Oh and Bob, you make your living off complaining about shit. That puts food on your table and a roof over your head.

Ok, where is the review?

It's nice to know that you regret hating the movie when it first came out. Which is something i've never understood(i LOVED it when i saw it).

But this kinda -for the lack of a better word sorry- "ranting" episode isn't acceptable. It just doesnt seem professional to me.

The Big Picture is for ranting, Escape to the Movies is supose to be movie reviews is it not?

Not once did i hear a thing about how the 3D effects the movie at all or if it was used well. Or even if the movie is worth seeing again after all these years.

Where is the review? :(

"inexplicable fan-favorite Boba Fett."

No, Bob, its pretty explicable.

As someone who is not a very big Star Wars fan and has just seen the movies and thought they ranged between okay to bad, I was happy to hear this.

Star Wars fans more often than not (I'm speaking generally and from personal experience, not trying to directly attack anyone here) the worst kind of nerds. Anytime I see someone go into a large rant about how the Star Wars prequels ruined the franchise or even going as far as to say how they think George Lucas needs to die just because Greedo shot first, it makes me ASHAMED to know that as a nerd, I'm automatically lumped with this person through societies eyes.

I don't want to be associated with people with such flimsy coping skills and such negative obsessive behaviors, which really seems to be the majority of Star Wars fans*

I agree with you, Phantom Menace is not a good movie (though it's actually my favorite of the prequel trilogy because of Liam Neeson, the pod race was kinda cool and Darth Maul was indeed fun)

What I liked the most about this movie though Bob, and what I respect is that you probably made this movie knowing a large chunk of these comments were gonna be people eating you alive (and just by briefly glancing at some of the comments on this last page I see I was right) and you did it anyway.

Because it needed to be said.

I'm sure you're not reading this, but I want you know that some people respect what you had to say. I'm probably not gonna go give this film a shot because movie tickets are expensive and like I said, not a big star wars fan anyway, but the message was nice.

So yeah, thanks for this video. Even if it did get a few peoples panties in a bunch.

*Since this is the internet, I'm actually assuming that's not the majority. It's just that the minority are REALLY loud about it...

This is always the issue with films. As soon as you peel back the protective plastic cover, you start to judge it to death. I like to watch the movie, decide if I like it or not. And based on that experience I'll decide wether or not I'll watch the movie again. But if you get into the guts, you'll probably never will. Remember ignorance can be bliss in some situations.

I do hate Jar Jar with a passion though.

Uhh...yeah. We accept that. Hell, the ending duel alone makes half the crap worth watching. That doesn't change the fact that there were some history-changing facets of the movie. Fucking midichlorians? You kidding me? You shift the idea of some kind of lottery-born genetics for awesome to one of "you should eat more fiber to get more midichlorians!" changes the concept that Luke was this celestial divinity, someone born with more power than ever had been before to one of how he was just one of many, but they haven't been breeding much lately, so, uh...yeah, he's rare.

But it wasn't that bad. Not really. With concepts like the Old Republic floating around, where we understand that the Force was being spread too thinly, and that the restrictions in place work to make what little is left more valuable, fine. Midichlorians as regulators, I can cope with that. Whatever. But, with nothing as memorable as the defeat of the first Death Star, or those "find yourself or die" moments of the original trilogy, and an overextended transparent structure that has to feed and establish the story we already know but miserably fails at doing so, the prequel trilogy cannot stand on it's own, let alone the individual movies. It's as if they took something that should have been a couple of chapters at best, and drew it out into three full novels. Without the context of IV, V, and VI, then I, II, and III have no weight, no gravity, and no purpose. Conversely, each of the other three movies can stand alone, or together. Yes, they're better as part of the trilogy, but even alone they have their own merit.

Not one of the first three movies can hoist that claim.

i watched the phantom menace before the 4,5 and 6 and thought it was better than all of them (and the over 2 star wars films) i mean it had space ship races and duel light sabers! whith cool epic battles in space and on land and im not going to let one scene about mediclorians ruin it for my eight year old mind because it doesnt fit the shit that is star wars cannon. it was much better than ewok puppets fighting toy machines for pretty bad reasons (i never saw what was wrong with the empire) or some kid winging over his dad and that weird cousin loving romance thing.
come to think of it the star wars films are all pretty mediocre (except 2/3 they were shit) but the phantom menace was the best mediocre film in that mediocre series because it had the same flaws as all star wars films (cripplingly bad writing) but it was by far the most entertaining
(crouches in bunker and prepares for flame war)

I laughed out loud when you said "better than batman and robin" that's setting the bar pretty low. I have had bowel movements more entertaining than that movie.

I don't know... While I can certainly see Bob's point about fan rage getting irritating, I can't let Lucas and company off the hook for what they've done to their most loyal fans. It actually seems to have turned into a very unhealthy codependent relationship and both sides seem to be to blame.

Lucas Arts and company keeps on churning out crappy merchandise and the poor dumb Star Wars junkies can't help but shovel out fistfuls of their money for it. I mean, who the hell would even consider wanting to see such a mediocre movie as the Phantom Menace in theaters again? Why the hell would anyone even consider re-releasing it if they didn't think they could make money off of it?

While I've walked away from Star Wars long ago, my main concern is that its noxious odor and front and its center presence in the Sci-Fi genre (along with Star Trek) will end up suffocating any chance of a newer better series out their.

[quote="Oh and Bob, you make your living off complaining about shit. That puts food on your table and a roof over your head.[/quote]
hes given loads of films positive reviews like the grey which i (based on the adverts) expected to be destroyed by the critics but bob had a positive review on it and i find myself judging things allot more harshly than him at times

StriderShinryu:

I personally liked the part where he put another plug in for the Avengers at the end of a 6 minute video essentially talking about something), it s.

very well thought out post, if only that's what he meant

i am certain that he meant it literally though with no irony of any sort being implied which is what bugged me

I've never actually seen it. I gave it a go a while back and it just veered between dull and unwatchable. So I turned it off.

xSKULLY:
i watched the phantom menace before the 4,5 and 6 and thought it was better than all of them (and the over 2 star wars films) i mean it had space ship races and duel light sabers! whith cool epic battles in space and on land and im not going to let one scene about mediclorians ruin it for my eight year old mind because it doesnt fit the shit that is star wars cannon. it was much better than ewok puppets fighting toy machines for pretty bad reasons (i never saw what was wrong with the empire) or some kid winging over his dad and that weird cousin loving romance thing.
come to think of it the star wars films are all pretty mediocre (except 2/3 they were shit) but the phantom menace was the best mediocre film in that mediocre series because it had the same flaws as all star wars films (cripplingly bad writing) but it was by far the most entertaining
(crouches in bunker and prepares for flame war)

That panic bunker better be fucking prepared to last a nuclear winter because if somebody told me that in real life I would literally punched them in the face. The script in the big three (A new hope, empire, and jedi) where the best part about those films and the acting is stellar. Also, NEVER SAW WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE EMPIRE!!??? THEY COMMITTED MASS GENOCIDE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES DO THEY NEED A SIGN AROUND THE'RE NECKS THAT SAYS "Were the bad guys" FOR YOU TO NOTICE THAT!

nothing in the phantom menace made sense. All of the characters were as emotionless as the blue screen sets around them. There was no Protagonist.

also, why is one of the leading arguments for the prequels is the fight scenes are good? I hated every scene with a lightsaber in all three prequel films with a seething rage. They were cold calculated and overly flashy its like you're dangling your keys in a baby's face. My least favourite one of them is clones because they just fucking jam shit into the scenes to keep our mindless asses in the cinema for 40 minutes.

I click the video and what do I get? An advertisement for Star Wars The Old Republic, one of the many attempts for George Lucas to siphon off money from his fanbase. Then I get an idiot who rambles on about how Episode 1 wasn't that bad and says it's as good as Tim Burton's Batman. He then tells me to see it with a fresh site of eyes which surprise I can see it tomorrow in 3D (great timing Movieblob)! And to top if off then he plugs Bioware's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic who happens to have an MMORPG called Star Wars The Old Republic.

How much money did Lucasarts pay this awful site to promote their garbage? I haven't seen such shady journalism in quite a while.

Cacodemon:
I click the video and what do I get? An advertisement for Star Wars The Old Republic, one of the many attempts for George Lucas to siphon off money from his fanbase. Then I get an idiot who rambles on about how Episode 1 wasn't that bad and says it's as good as Tim Burton's Batman. He then tells me to see it with a fresh site of eyes which surprise I can see it tomorrow in 3D (great timing Movieblob)! And to top if off then he plugs Bioware's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic who happens to have an MMORPG called Star Wars The Old Republic.

How much money did Lucasarts pay this awful site to promote their garbage? I haven't seen such shady journalism in quite a while.

Haha i get it bob's a sell out and everything funny
image

LOL YUP DEFINITELY PROMOTING A MOVIE HE SAID WAS MEDIOCRE AND COMPARED TO BATMAN AND ROBIN. AND YOU KNOW BECUASE KOTOR AND TOR ARE SUCH BAD GAMES AND EVERYTHING.

Summary of this video: "God guys stop being such whingy fanboys, we shouldnt get our expectations up for a movie representative of our childhood"

*Then completely contradicts himself by including that bit about the avengers showing he's just doing the same*

Part of me really wants the avengers to suck just to see Bob's reaction after he has been (to use Yahtzee's words) "tossing himself off with glee in expectation" for about 2 years...

richard misiak:
I never thought the film was that bad, and i maintain hat the lightsaber duel at the end is the finest one from the entire saga

to this i agree. the brief fight between Obi-wan and maul just after qQ

btw, has it really been 13 years? holy s*** that means i was only 6. and that means I've been a fan of star wars since i was 5 freaking years old. thank god i grey up with the prequels so i don't hate them so much. no nostalgia seeing that i grew up with them side by side.

Stand back people I'm about to blow your mind: Star wars Episode 4,5 and 6 all suck. The characters are bad, effects bad, ending bad and most of all story bad. At least 1,2 and 3 it had a feel of something much more epic. It had back stabs and plot twists. Because in 1,2 and 3 it was the light side vs dark side. Two massive armies fighting to the death with the main villain slowly gaining control of the heroes army. It was man vs machine. It was a whole jedi order vs the sith. While in 4,5 and 6 it was a group of young adults taking down an entire government. Yeah fuck that. The characters are: a farm boy whose trained as a jedi for a month who is able to take down Lord Vader a man who has trained his entire life as a jedi and who for the last couple of years have being hunting jedis down. A princess who hasn't had any military training able to take on trained storm troopers. So how does that work.

Also how is it that people find Jar Jar Binks more annoying than Chewie. At least Jar Jar spoke English while Chewie just growls while everyone is agreeing with him. That's like trying to have a conversation with your dog. They can understand you but you can't understand them.

If episodes 4,5 and 6 were about Starkiller from the force unleashed then that would have being a good trio of films.

The Phantom Menace may not be as bad or cringeworthy as Attack of the Clones, but it was still a bad film on its own. As a Star Wars film, it was absolutely horrible. Probably the most boring Star Wars film I have ever seen. I may have been four years old when my father brought me to go see it, I couldn't pay attention to the story and its characters because they were so uninteresting. The only part of the movie that got me was the lightsaber duel at the end, but even that has lost it's effect on making me pumped years later.

I believe The Phantom Menace was my first Star Wars movie, whilst I saw the original trilogy on television a couple of days after the film's release date. The OT managed to catch my attention and draw me in. It was fun to watch and the characters were definitely more interesting than the prequels'. The lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader in The Empire Strikes Back will forever be my favourite scene and duel in the entire Star Wars saga because it was so memorable.

Or maybe its the entire prequels that pissed me off. Maybe it was the Lucas approved New Jedi Order books that compounded my rage. Maybe it was the constant editing of the original movies. Maybe it was sanctioned killing off of major characters that I loved in the official books and media. Or maybe it was Lucas' interviews where he treated his fans like idiots. Maybe it was a lot of factors that all influenced us in different ways to result in our hatred of Lucas and his Star Wars garbage. Just maybe it wasn't just The Phantom Menace, like you seem to think it is.

It wasn't just that first prequel. It was all of the above.

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