The Geek Life: Phantom Menacing Comments - Mania.com



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mellowdoux 1/11/2012 6:53:57 PM

 I'm still waiting for them to make an action figure of that old biddy from The Phantom Menace who says "Storm's coming, Ani!!!"

SmokingFrog77 1/11/2012 7:39:56 PM

Some good points in the article, and an angle I hadn't considered. The criticisms of AOTC were also extremely valid - the movie does pull you all over the place and tries to be too many things before settling into just being an all out action slug-fest. That said, AOTC isn't bad, I quite like it actually, the second act is clumsy though, which is unfortunate.

TPM's greatest fault is simply that it's boring. Not a lot happens, and the action is fairly tepid for the most part. It starts strong, great in fact right up until Obi-Wan makes his terrible "The negotiations were short!" joke. Then it's into the rut for quite a while. I won't stand for Jake Lloyd copping so much stick either, the kid did a fine job with TERRIBLE dialogue which proves Lucas has no idea how children talk. He more than any other Star Wars actor deserves a break. And of course the lightsabre fighting was all fantastic, especially at the end.

ROTS is the only one on par with the originals in my opinion, as it packs a dramatic punch and has far more solid writing and performances than TPM and AOTC. I still get the feeling that much more could have been made of key scenes, but unlike AOTC which had plenty of extended actions scenes that could have been trimmed in favour of more story development, I think ROTS sets itself up for failure by presenting something too complex to be done justice in a 2 hour film. If it was up to me I also would have changed aspects of the ending (Obi-Wan cutting off Anakin's arm along with his legs always seems an awkwardly lucky shot, and it would have been cool to see Anakin lose the arm earlier in the fight and duel with only one arm, with Obi-Wan just taking his legs at the end; also the Pollis Massa asteroid base was a pointless "Hey look at this CGI environment!" inclusion, the twins should have just been born on Dagobah, and Leia should have been shown to open her eyes and look at Padme).

But overall I will always pick ROTJ as my favourite, even though TESB is a better film overall, but it just can't match the drama of Luke's revelation to Leia, the punch of the final duel, the screen bending evil of Ian McDiarmid, the power of Vader's death, or the sheer awesomeness of the space battle. Hoping to watch ROTJ on blu-ray tonight actually. Don't know if I'll bother with any of them in 3D though (although perhaps ROTS because it's such a visual feast), I think I'll spend my cash on films I haven't already seen at the cinema.

sportwarrior 1/11/2012 10:56:00 PM

Phantom certainly has some sentimental memories attached to it for me. I was just out of middle school when it came out, so still very young... not quite a kid but certainly not feeling like a true teen. It was just this sort of intermediate phase in my life when there was still a little magic in the world before the inherently jaded perspective of the typical teenager grabbed hold over me. So in some respects this was the last big thing I remember from my "childhood," and as such I'm rather fond of the movie.

That doesn't speak much to its quality, though. The movie just isn't that great... but it's tolerable. Well, other than that goddamn space battle. Anyway, by default Phantom sort of takes the top spot for me.

morley 1/12/2012 2:55:38 AM

 I do agree in certain points of this article. Script-wise TPM is much tighter and complete then the other 2 prequels. ATC is a complete mess and ROTS fails because it tries to fill in so much story(that should have been adressed in the first 2 prequels) that it feels illogical. The biggest problem ofcourse beeing the 'turn' of Anakin to the dark side.

Yet there is a bigger problem with all 3 prequels and it all starts in TPM. Growing-up with the original trilogy, the small dialog from Obi-Wan in ANH about the clone wars and the jedi, had given the impression that the Jedi were something like lonely space samurais. Yoda and other warriors lived in abandoned planets like Dagobah and trained people in becoming Jedi. Obi-Wan was actually the one that convinced Anakin(probably himself a retired Jedi?) to  fight for an 'idealistic crusade', the Clone Wars. 

The elements where laid for a great story: Obi-Wan and Anakin where trained together by Yoda on Dagobah and have some adventure helping the republic or something(first movie). Second movie opens with Anakin retired and having a family on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan comes and convinces him to become a general for the republic and fight in the clone wars. This leads to his wife being killed and Anakin falling to the dark side(end of second movie/cliffhanger). The third movie is Obi-Wan trying to bring Anakin back to the light side leading to the duel and him becoming part robot/Darth Vader. 

This structure(or a simillar one) could have worked for a much more 'serious' trilogy made in the spirit of some of Kurosawas best Samurai flicks. No need for a young Anakin, no need for a Jedi temple, no need for Coruscant or Trade Federation droids or all this stuff that were half imposed by the EU and made the prequels silly, childish, incosistent and ultimately dull. 

Hobbs 1/12/2012 6:30:23 AM

I can't beleive I'm reading comments about how good the phantom menace was.  Please remind me to never see any movie that all of you recommend.  What a crepfest TPM was on every single level.  Even the maul dual at the end didn't save it.

Some of you are or a lot of you were smoking some good crack while watching TPM if you really liked it.

goldeneyez 1/12/2012 7:11:03 AM

I liked the South Park Turd Sandwich vs. Douch Taco that was mentioned.  Personally, I never hated the Phantom Menace as much as some people, but none of the prequels measured up to the original movies.  Also the cartoons have surpassed the prequels as far as story telling.  It probably helps that they have time to do so.  It also probably helps that they actually have good writers to the point where they can even make Jar Jar Binks a character that you can watch.  If you think I'm making this up check out Paul Dini's episode Bombad Jedi.

The Gennedy Tartakovsky 2D traditional animated Clone Wars was superb as well.  Tartakovsky is a person that has a knack for showing emotions in his cartoons from Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack, The Clone Wars, and Sym-Bionic Titan.

I disagree with the argument that Shellie put out about cartoons not being able to show love.  I feel Rob was correct in his assesment that those few seconds in the 2D Clone War cartoon had more emotional integrity than anything they showed in the prequel movies.  The acting in Episodes II and III were wooden and the writing was horrilbe.  I just can't buy the "love" between Anakin and Padme the same way I can between Han and Leia.  I don't think it's the actors.  In both cases both sets of actors are good if not great.  I would chalk it up to the writing and directing, however.  Also to say that cartoons can't convey love... wow.  I'll just give you one example, have you seen Pixar's Up?  The romance between the main character and his wife prior to the main story blew away anything in Ep II or III.  Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you were trying to convey

George Lucas is a great idea man, but seems to be a bad writer and directer at least in present day.  I think what helped him most in the past is that he wasn't surrounded by yes men that would let him think that Jake Lloyd was a good Anakin or that what he tried to show as the "love" between Anakin and Padme worked.

 

EagleManiac 1/12/2012 10:55:20 AM

Hobbs, TPM was a bad movie, I agree. BUT, it did have several "moments" that were fun! I LOVED the Duel between the Jedi and Maul at the end. IMHO, that is still THE BEST Lightsaber Battle ever put on film of ANY of the Star Wars movies or Clone Wars episodes. I liked the Pod Race. Just plain ole mindless fun!

All-in-all, I think EP1 and 2 stunk like 3 day old dead rats, but EP3 was good, and is better than RoTJ. The opening Space Battle kills the end Space Battle from RoTJ! And Anakin/Obi-Wan's Duel is easily more powerful and incredible than Darth/Luke's in RoTJ!

As I see it, the movies fall in line in this order of my favorites:

TESB (BEST sequel EVER made, and one of the best movies of ALL-TIME!)

ANH

RoTS

RoTJ

TPM

AoTC

Shellie 1/12/2012 11:07:54 AM

 Revenge of the Sith is my ALLTIME favorite movie and ALLTIME favorite Star Wars movie - that sword fight was absolutley AMAZING...all of Anakin's anger comes rolling out against his mentor.  The moving part at the beginning of the film with them both in their airships, the wonderful and friendly banter between them, the grown up Anakin in body is still that whining little boy but doggone sexy and manly!  His inability to mature correctly is a direct correlation with how the Jedi have thrown him to the wolves..unbenost to even them.

EagleManiac 1/12/2012 2:01:22 PM

RoTJ would have been better without the Ewoks! If Lucas had gone with his original plans, and made that a Wookie World, and had a battle of Wookies, as was seen in RoTS, it would have made RoTJ as good as Empire! The Ewoks brought it down much like Jake Lloyd/Jar Jar brought down TPM.

Then, with the forest moon battle being Wookies would have made the story come full-circle between RoTS and RoTJ! In RoTS we would have seen the first clash of Empire/Wookies, and in RoTJ we saw the final battle and the "revenge" of the Wookies for being made a Slave Race to the Empire! Would have made that whole battle so much more powerful and meaningful!!

 

 

violator14 1/12/2012 2:07:37 PM

EagleManiac- Omg that would have been mother effin epic and made soooo much more sense!! Cant believe Retarded ass George LuCant went w/ Ewoks over Wookies!!! Must have been persuaded by his dam kids or something!!

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