Sunday, February 19, 2012

ReviewsByJames: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D

Movie Review
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D

If you know me, then you know that I am a huge fan of the Star Wars movies and anything with that name attached to it. So when the announcement of the Star Wars movies being re-released in 3D format, I was super excited. Now when I saw the original theatrical release of Episode I back in 1999, it was a global phenomenon since its the first big screen Star Wars film since Return of The Jedi in 1983. There was a whole new generation being taught by a generation before them about the way Star Wars has affected us culturally. 

I didn't go to the midnight release of this 3D rendition but we tackled it on a Friday night at 8pm. Yes, many people were in line but the feeling was just not the same as it was 13 years ago. There were no people dressed up in their favorite Tattoine outfits or Galactic Empire Armor Suits. Not even a single sight of a lightsaber in the forming line. This kind of movie is what makes going out to the theaters fun. Only my 5 year old son, donned in his best Dark Side of the Force attire, Lightsaber and Vader helmet and all was the only one showing his pride. We got a lot of ladies and older folks saying "how cute", and many guys saying "cool", and even had random strangers taking pictures with him. Regardless of the slim sight of other out-of-this-world garments, I can say that my son had a great time.

Now on to the movie. I won't review the movie's plot cause, come on now, we all know how it goes. Rather, I will focus on the updated 3D effects. First of all, I have to say that Darth Maul is my favorite character in the Star Wars universe. Even though he was killed off quickly, had about three lines in the movie, and is in the least popular Episode, he was still bad-ass. I thought the 3D effects were cool. Now since this movie was originally shot without the intention of ever going 3D, we don't get a lot of those in-your-face effects that you've come to expect from movies that were intended for 3D. The effects used in the movie is about 15 years old so for a movie goer in 2012, it looked really outdated. It had its moments, 3D-wise, but I thought it was nothing more than a way to re-introduce the Saga to a whole new generation and for geeks like me to buy in to all of the hype.

My only complaint in the movie is how Episode I Yoda suddenly is a Computer Graphics Image. Remember, in the original theatrical release, the powerful Jedi Master was a puppet being puppeteered by one of the industry's leader: Frank Oz. I thought they should've left Yoda untouched because he looked legit. But I understand that this update was necessary since the next two Episodes, Yoda is all digitalized out.

I give this movie a 6/10 primarily based on the 3D effects. It was originally made for a non-3D movie so a lot of the effects that you've come to expect from a 3D movie were absent.



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