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“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D” – Review (SO-SO POSITIVE)

February 10, 2012

Let me make this perfectly clear, I am NOT a huge fan of the prequel trilogy, I’ll give some credit to “Episode III”  for getting things somewhat back on track, but “Episode I, II”  are just terrible. That being said, I actually had a good time with “Episode I” in 3D. It’s still the same crappy film, but the 3D conversion is as close to near perfection, and for a movie that’s only 13 years old, that’s pretty damn impressive. I’m actually somewhat excited to see “Titanic 3D” next week, but I digress.

As the story goes, the film takes place nearly (or over) 30 years before the events of “A New Hope”, the evil Trade Federation, led by Nute Gunray (Silas Carson) is planning to take over the peaceful world of Naboo. Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam ‘fuckin’ Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are sent to confront the Trade Federation leaders, yet the mission doesn’t go as planned. Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan make multiple daring escapes. As the make their way to the planet of Naboo, they…God I cannot believe I’m going here…….they befriend a fellow Gungan, Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best). The three head to the capitol of Naboo to warn Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman), but droids have already started to capture the planet as well as it’s leader. Eventually, after escaping the Federation droids, the group land on Tatooine, where they become friends with a young boy known as Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd). Qui-Gon is curious about the boy, and sees a bright future for him. The group must now find a way of getting to the city size planet of Coruscant and to finally solve this trade dispute, but there is someone else hiding in the shadows. Are the Sith really extinct? Is the Queen who she really says she is? And what’s so special about young Skywalker? Will he bring balance to the force?

Ok, I know it’s quite a stretch, Lucas has promised to release all 6 “Star Wars” films, each year sadly, so we won’t get to the good stuff till 2015 sadly. But, for those who’ve never seen a “Star Wars” movie, this is probably a good fit to start getting people back into the “Star Wars” groove again. After seeing “Episode I” I got this sense of nostalgia, I was 11-years-old when I saw “Phantom Menace” in theaters, but I was also around to see the original trilogy during it’s 1997 re-release, so I’ve had the opportunity to see every single “Star Wars” movie on the big screen. And yes, I liked “Phantom Menace” a lot when I was that age, of course now if I had a time machine, I’d slap that lil 11-year-old moron for even remotely saying the words ‘Jar-Jar’ & ‘funny’. Never the less I can see the positives of re-releasing these movies in this day of age. Especially when we’re in a 3D infested world…

Which brings me to the 3D aspect of the movie, I think a lot of movies who’ve shot in 2D and are planning to release a 3D post-conversion in theaters need to take notes from Mr. Lucas, say what you want about George, but the man is dedicated to newer techologies, and it’s safe to say that he’s perfected the post-conversion problem. The action doesn’t get fuzzy anymore when it’s all going by too fast, and that’s always been a problem for me. It’s crystal clear, it has significant depth, and it’s easy on the eyes. I don’t know how the post-conversion process works, but I’m glad to see that with a little time, and passionate effort, it CAN be accomplished. The two most notable sequences that will leave audiences breathless are the Pod-Race (always loved that sequences, even to this day) & the Duel of Fates. I can promise you this people, you WILL be shocked by the awesomeness, and that’s what has me really excited for the upcoming other releases, maybe not so much with the EXTREMELY boring “Episode II”, but the rest of the films are gonna be epic; the fight between Anikin & Obi-Wan on the volcanic planet of Mustafar, the asteroid field scene in “Empire”, even the final battle of “Return”. It’ll be worth the wait.

Look, I’m sure some of you have already made up your minds, and that’s fine, I won’t recommend this movie in 2D, you can stay home and watch it on DVD or Bluray, although stick with the DVD versions because at least those don’t have a CGI Yoda (oy vey), but for the 3D portion I’d give this a go ahead. It’s worth the experience, that’s what I’m really recommending, the experiences. May the force be with us all…2015 isn’t too far far away…

MOVIE GRADE: C

3D GRADE: A+

OVERALL GRADE: B+

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jesse permalink
    February 13, 2012 6:50 am

    imo, the new cgi yoda in episode 1 is the best thing about its blu-ray edition. the old puppet used for that film was horrendous.

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