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Moriarty Reviews THE PHANTOM MENACE, Mann's CHINESE and VILLAGE go ahead! And DAY ONE in line here in Austin! Ebert too

Published at: Aug. 15, 2008, 1:05 a.m. CST

First off, THANK GOD Mann's and Lucasfilm worked out the CHINESE and WESTWOOD Village Negotiations! And, it looks like Sony is working out their bits, though it's still strange, word is reaching me that the Manhattan Loews will not be getting it, but that the Long Island Loews will.... Geez.... Who really knows? Looks like everything is being worked out for the best THANK GOD!

Before I get to MORIARTY's review.... In a way... I feel sorry for Moriarty and the folks that have seen the film already. The ones with their shiny press badges, the exhibitor screenings.... the easy road. A road that often takes you to the dark side.

Today, in 40mph wind gusts, with fierce pelts of rain Father Geek and I staked out the last spot that would allow us into the First Screening of THE PHANTOM MENACE in town. We are camping not just for us, but for all the AICN crew, The Dynamic Alamo Drafthouse duo, Them Wacky Tom Joad Femme Farts, among others. We are in a big domed tent near the far edge of the theater before the line... TURNS. And... It's fantastic.

There is a feeling in the line, this charge... I know what I'm getting myself into. It's the reason I pursue information on films as vigorously as I do. I want to see this film with an entire posse of exhausted film geeks. Pushed to the very end of physical lack of exertion. People that out of a deep love for a common film... are willing to look like a pack of fools... To see... a Movie.

Can't you see the beauty of that. I mean, we are laying siege to the theater. We will not leave till they show us the film. They may turn on their garden sprinklers, they may stampede lines of MUMMY watchers through our camps, God may hurl bolts of lightning and blow with all the torrential might of the Big Bad Wolf, but we remain.

There is a brotherhood to the line. We are not fooling ourselves, I've known for months that JAR JAR is the very embodiment of EVERYTHING WRONG WITH GEORGE LUCAS IN MY EYES... But I'm in on the joke of it, I bought my Jar Jar tie as a sacrifice of my own honor. I wear his terrible visage around my neck as I await my two hour version of the OX BOW INCIDENT.

Today, the rains came to an end. It's my father and I... In line, it was just the two of us. Conversing with no telephones, no computers, no pressing matters. Just two best of friends in a tent. Waiting on a movie that we've been standing in lines for the last 22 years together for. At one point he fell asleep, and as I watched my father sleep I peaked out my screened window to see the clouds part, and a rainbow form in the distance.

That's not in the movie, but it's in my memory. It's my moment, it's one of the many moments that I got in this line to live for. Now I'm joined by FANBOYS' writer/director ERNIE CLINE, Tom Joad and Quint. We are all friends, playing trivial pursuit, listening to FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL while playing poker with 1950's nude playing cards with a badass wolf on the back.

The theater full of people that I will see THE PHANTOM MENACE with will be people that I have come to know. Like the couple, two tents ahead of me. They have their infant Kal-El child in their tent. He comes out playing with various toys... Magnetic word blocks, rattles and a lightsaber. The next generation of me... you... us. Or the crowd huddled in the cave like entrenchment of the theater's walls. They sit in their folding chairs and laugh and sing. The guys behind us that sit in their chairs smiling as the rain wipes away the years of anticipation, making way for mere days of hope.

It's not about STAR WARS! It's not about A MOVIE! It's about a cultural identity. It's about OUR GENERATION. I'm not talking about an AGE RANGE, but a mental range of people that love movies, who's loves of film sprung from Lucas' original movies. And here we are to gather our vagabond gypsy garb and stand and sit and lay in front of all these NORMAL people as they gawk and stare.

Ya know what? We're staring right back atcha. Our thoughts are, "Man.... What sad people that they are not yet in line. Too bad... They'll never know."

The line is about simple moments, about retarding the acceleration of life. It's about taking the time to relax, talk to your neighbors, share drink and merriment. Folks... You don't know this if you aren't in line, but we do.

How will this affect my FILM EXPERIENCE?

I don't know, but you couldn't offer me a ticket in the morning to get me to see the film until after the line. Why? Because... I'm in line, I'm doing my thing... Ain't no rush.... I've waited so fucking long now that I can do 8 days without so much as breaking a sweat.

Yes, I am updating. I take 5 hours a day to come home.... Check emails, run my messages, bathe, and get back in line. If you want to talk to me... Come on down to the Metropolitan. I'm the fat redhead with the smile. Come say HI!

Before I go onto Moriarty, here's a tidbit of a scoop on where Roger Ebert is on the film... Allegedly.... Here's our scooper...

Don't know if you have heard this yet or not, but here it goes. I have a friend waiting in line in Chicago for TPM, and he called me from his cell phone about how Roger was taping somethingby the line. My friend told me that Ebert said something (I'm paraphrasing here, my memory is horrible) along the lines of "Is this movie well worth the wait// Well, my review won't be out until the 19th, but in a word, Yes!!!!" I know I'll trust Roger's opinion a *lot* more than some trendy hack from Newsweek any day.

And now... It's time for MORIARTY's review. Taint orgasmic, taint awful. He's formulating a final opinion that I'm willing to bet will be moving back and forth over the coming days and weeks and months. My review is 8 days away.... It'll have all the emotion of the wait, the line, my pursuit of knowledge of this film, the success and stigma it's emblazoned upon me. And hopefully... The only emotion I want to leave the theater with is... JOY. But for now.... Here's Moriarty.... An evil genius... that's seen it!

Hey, Head Geek... "Moriarty" here. I feel a great disturbance in the Force tonight. I have been sitting here in front of this computer screen for the last hour now, talking to my best friend in the world, trying to give voice to the wildly conflicted feelings I have about STAR WARS EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE. In the end, the only thing I have as a critic is my honesty, and so I am going to try to be as direct and clear in my feelings on the film as possible. If this means there are going to be spoilers, then so be it. If this means I ramble a bit and jump from subject to subject, so be it. This is not just any review. This is the review I've waited 16 years to write, so I'm throwing all conventional rules out the window. This afternoon, Lucasfilm showed TPM at the Mann's National in Westwood. By the way, before I get started, let me extend my congratulations to Mann's and Lucas for working out the situation with the Chinese and the Village. Putting the fans ahead of whatever concerns either party might have had was the right thing to do, and you will be rewarded for your efforts. Seeing it at the National was nice, especially since I was literally the first person to be let inside. Imagine seeing TPM on opening day, being the first person inside, getting exactly the seat you wanted, having no line at the concession stand, and seeing a pristine print. That was the experience I had today, and it definitely put me in the right mood to enjoy the film without any of the hassle and baggage of what we're all going to have to go through at regular theaters. When 5:30 came and the lights went down, I could feel my heart race. The 20th Century Fox logo was first, followed by the Lucasfilm Ltd. logo, accompanied by the familiar Fox fanfare. When the simply blue letters appeared -- "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." -- I stopped breathing. And then, just like that, the simple yellow STAR WARS appeared, followed by the opening scroll, and we were off. How to describe the impressions that rolled over me as the opening of the film unfolded... I was underwhelmed by the Niemoudians, to say the least. They're weak villains, weak characters, and visually uninteresting. They're also hard to understand at times due to their strange vaguely Oriental (I know that's not a PC term, but neither is the accent, folks) way of speaking. On the other hand, I was fascinated by the Jedi from the moment they appeared onscreen. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor both make strong impressions at first, and that initial shot of the two of them pushing back the hoods of their cloaks is great, revealing the two faces we're dying to see, really launching us into the story. No time is wasted before the action begins. There's a betrayal, a trap, and the Jedi spring into action, lightsabers flashing. Lucas uses all sorts of trickery to give the Jedi the power that we've always imagined they would have, and it works. They're both all-powerful and very human. Human is a key word when discussing THE PHANTOM MENACE, or any STAR WARS film for that matter. It is the human story that has always drawn us through the films, made us care so deeply about them, and on paper, this film has a story that easily fits into the universe Lucas created. Onscreen, though, so much of the film has been handed over to alien creatures that we are left floundering, trying to figure out who to latch onto as viewers. Even now, having seen the film, I would be hardpressed to tell you who the film is about. It's definitely not Obi-Wan's story. I don't think it's Anakin's story. Queen Amidala is kept too much of an enigma for it to be her story. So who does that leave? What other major human character is there for us to cheer? That's not to say that I don't like some of the alien characters. Watto is a particular standout, a funny, shady little guy with personality to spare. Boss Nass is very funny, and R2-D2 registers well in his brief screen time. But there's one alien who really stands at the center of the film, and a large part of what you personally feel about the film will be centered on your feelings about Jar Jar Binks. *Sigh* What do you do with a problem named Jar Jar? I have defended the character in theory since the day I first read the script, and I still think he works in terms of story mechanics. It's important that Obi-Wan be taught the value of seemingly worthless creatures by Jar Jar. Qui-Gon is well aware of what he's doing when he brings Jar Jar along. The problem I have with the execution of the character can be narrowed down to one particular element of how he was handled: his voice. Jar Jar is simply impossible to understand at many key moments in the film. Having read the script, the book, the comic, etc., I was well aware of what Jar Jar was saying in each scene, and even I had a hard time following him. Mr. Furious, who was my host for tonight's screening, missed at least half of what Jar Jar said, including some fairly important exposition. This isn't just an aesthetic choice I disagree with, either. This is about simple communication. Jar Jar doesn't work in communicating to the audience, and it hurts the film. In addition, Jar Jar's just not that funny. There's not one joke with him that even approaches the comic perfection of the first film. If there had been even one line as good as "Boring conversation anyway" in this film, it would have helped engage the crowd more. Without a rogue to say those things, we're left with a group of main characters that may simply be too bland and good to hold our full interest for two hours. Let's talk about some positives now. I think this is quite simply one of the most startling visual realizations of a fantasy world ever brought to the screen. There are long stretches of the film that are filled with sights that are jawdropping. There's a marvelous amount of visual imagination on display here. The podrace sequence is everything you hope it will be, fast, frenetic, and involving. Coruscant is ravishing, overbusy, filled to the breaking point with design detail. Otoh Gunga is a place I would pay $8 just to visit again. There are a few effects here and there, particularly from the makeup department, that are simply not acceptable on any level, but one gets the feeling that George counted on the overload factor to get past those moments. Speaking of George, one of the first things someone asked me about this film was, "How did George do? How is he now as a director?" I think he did all right. He's done his homework regarding special effects, but he forgot to brush up on dealing with actors, and it shows. The cast is adrift in this film in many ways, left to fight it out between different acting styles, different accents, and even different levels of emotional reality. Shmi Skywalker, played with quiet dignity by Pernilla August, is wonderful, and she brings out the best in Jake Lloyd's Anakin. And how is the much maligned Mr. Lloyd? Sporadically good, sporadically bad. He's a child, though, and any failings in his performance have to be pinned on Lucas squarely. In a scene involving a number of Anakin's friends, the children all look lost, standing around like they can't wait to run out of frame. There are many moments where adults find themselves in the same predicament, lost as to what to do or how to inhabit these fabulous spaces they find themselves in. It's disconcerting to have a cast this good and never have them really click as an ensemble. It's not for lack of trying, though. Neeson and McGregor work well together, Ian McDiarmid is very good as both Senator Palpatine and Darth Sidious, and even Terrence Stamp makes the most of his brief moment as Chancellor Vallorum. Still, you've got Captain Panaka, played without even a hint of charisma by the bland Hugh Quarshie, as well as characters like Sio Bibble and Ric Olie who add absolutely no life to the proceedings. Of all the characters in the film, though, one has been embraced by fans around the world already, and I think Lucas is going to kick himself in hindsight. Who would have thought in conception that Darth Sidious' pit bull Darth Maul would be so beloved? Not Lucas, based on the final fate of the Sith Apprentice. He's in so little of the film that it's really surprising when he goes into full attack mode at the end of the movie. When he does, though, the movie finally becomes, for one glorious ten minute stretch, exactly what I had hoped it would be. The lightsaber battle between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Maul is spectacular, kinetic, and faster than you can follow. Hats off to Ray Park for not just his energetic duelling work, but for the real malice he brings to one of my favorite beats, as he waits for a power shield to open so he can continue his epic duel. As he waits, Maul paces, eyes fixed on Qui-Gon, and there's such deadly malice in that look that I believed for a moment, wholeheartedly. And maybe, in the end, that's why this review feels so mixed from me. I never found myself completely absorbed. There's parts of the film that left me resolutely on the outside looking in. Although it's the big climax of the movie, the Trade Federation Blockade is never a very compelling threat. When I pointed out to Mr. Furious that the whole blockade and invasion was simply to leverage Palpatine into the Supreme Chancellor's seat, nothing more than an elaborate subterfuge, Furious pointed out to me that even if that was true (it wasn't clear to him in the movie), it doesn't really give you anything to root. Yes, Anakin flies his Naboo fighter for the first time. Yes, Jar Jar accidentally stumbles into heroism. But these payoffs don't deliver any real charge. There's no kick to it all. Trust me... there's no shot that will send a surge of energy through you like the final destruction of the Death Star. There's never a goal that focused. Of course, there wasn't in EMPIRE either, but that had the cliffhanger structure to involve us, keep us drawn in. This film is meant to stand alone, despite all the clues it drops for the remainder of this trilogy, and its conclusion just feels... anticlimactic. Lucas also made some very strange editing choices as he moved from script to screen. He cut Bail Organa completely, which seems a shame since Organa reckons to figure so prominently later. He cut a really wonderful early scene involving Jar Jar, the Jedi, their sub, and a waterfall, and he cut one moment I thought was absolutely critical to the character of Anakin, in which he fought a Rodian on the street, only to be lectured by Qui-Gon about giving in to anger. I thought this laid the groundwork for who Anakin is later, and without it there are no indications of Anakin's later fall in this film. Maybe that's on purpose. I'm sure George had his reasons. Still, it would have been nice to plant the seed, at least. Don't let any of this deter you from opening day, STAR WARS fans, as if anything could. You will be rewarded with remarkable sights and sounds in this film, and you will be introduced to some spectacular new faces and places. This is a STAR WARS film, for better and for worse. George's directorial jitters may leave this film flawed in many important ways, but his imagination makes up for it in others. This film will not be embraced universally, and I expect there will be many who rank it lower than JEDI in the overall series so far. Personally, I thought it works better as a complete piece than JEDI, although it shares many of that film's weaknesses. I also strongly suspect that I had my STAR WARS experience at ages 7, 10, and 13, and that this first new film is really for someone who is that age now. I'm not suggesting that you pretend you're that age in the theater... that would be preposterous. Lucas made the film he wanted to make, and you have to judge it based on who you are right now. Clear your mind of all the clutter of the last three years before you walk into the theater. Forget all you've read or heard. Watch this with unbiased eyes. Even if you manage to do that, I promise that some of you will love this film and some of you will still hate it. I expect this will be the most hotly debated film of recent memory, with the people who hate it weighing in very vocally and in the strongest possible terms. I heard someone call it an "abomination" as we left, and someone else suggested finding and burning the negative. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle. I think it's better than JEDI, but it's not A NEW HOPE and it's certainly no EMPIRE. I also wouldn't say it's my favorite film of the year so far by any means. I'd put THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, IRON GIANT, and ELECTION way ahead of it without hesitating. On the other hand, I heard a little boy who couldn't have been more than seven years old ask his mother a question as we were leaving the theater. Even though all the credits had rolled, he kept craning his head to look back at the screen with these big saucer eyes. Just before we slipped out the door, he glanced at his mom and said, "How do they do that?" "Do what, honey?" "Make that. How did they make all that?" The sound in his voice and the look in his eye told me that he had been rocked by the experience, blindsided, and it took me back to that afternoon in 1977 when I stumbled out of my first viewing of the first film, only to stare at the movie poster and ask my mother who made films. When she told me it was the director, I decided that's what I wanted to do. Maybe another filmmaker was born tonight. Maybe one day he'll show us things we can't imagine. If that's the case, then God bless George Lucas for returning to us. Now that the warm-up is out of the way, let's get busy with Episode II. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Harry here. Let's talk about the KIDS for a second. I just got this report from a lady who has recently sent a buncha kids for an advanced showing of STAR WARS EPISODE ONE, and their reactions... As far as I know... this is the first we've heard from this age bracket. Here ya go....

Harry, I am a Jr. High youth director at our local church in the Portland Metro area (Oregon), I was given 40 Passes to a 13 and under screening of The Phantom Menace. I gave them to the kids in our group ( Making them Promise not to tell me anything of the plot). If anyone seriously wants to know how huge this film is going to be, stop by any one of our next activities.

These kids, and every other kid in that packed theater, are FREAKING OUT! These are the people this film is made for. It is a rollercoaster ride that prepares you for each next step. Climbing up steep hills before careening downs HUGE dips. Critics say hot and cold, the kids say otherwise.

I don't care what any adult tells me about a Star Wars film. Adults are pretentious. These kids cannot stop talking about how awesome this film was. Once again Lucas is taking the imaginations of kids all over the world by storm. THis film will, Just like the others, be panned by critics and loved by fans. Johnny5

Readers Talkback

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  • May 11, 1999, 12:04 a.m. CST

    Nice review, Mysterious One! *nt

    by cookiepuss

  • May 11, 1999, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Moving On..

    by mpyre

    Am I first? Thanks for the honest review. Before the pre-screenings, I had sky-high expectattions. But now, I'll gladly watch it on opening day (twice) with a much more open mind. I've bought all the figures, got the legos and I have all 4 tv guides. It's been a blast, but I'm already looking forward to seeing Dogma Wed. night, I just got my Tarzan tix, and I'm looking forward to Iron Giant. There is life after Episode 1...

  • May 11, 1999, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Perhaps George should have started Before Anakin

    by GrouchLord

    Maybe, ol Lucas would of been better off and us, too, if he'd began with a story about Qui-Gon and Obi-wan without the little Anakin "future" thing looming. Hmmmm. I'm not to perturbed, though.:-)

  • May 11, 1999, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Man...

    by Lando C.

    This is all too much. When am I going to wake up, and realize, "No! Nobody's seen this yet! It'll be great! We have a new Star Wars film on our hands!! If I had one wish, it would be to remove this dark sense of dread. If it's only AS GOOD as Jedi, I'll be happy. PLEASE!

  • May 11, 1999, 12:17 a.m. CST

    What a circus!!!!

    by Mr_Paste

    Everyone just remember; when you read those bad reviews in Time, Newsweek, NY Times, and such, keep in mind that these are the very same critics who panned A New Hope and Empire when they came out. There's only a select few who actually "get it", like Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:22 a.m. CST

    A little thing called COLLEGE.

    by Down10

    You know, I really would love to hop in line at the Coronet (the closest movie theater to my house-- how ironic), but I have final exams coming up in school. and my last final is ON MAY 19. There is just no way I can wait in line for this, as much as I want to, without getting a major hit on my GPA. Perhaps the Star Wars phenomena is just a little too far out of my grasp.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:29 a.m. CST

    "It's A Dark Ride"

    by Stuntmonkey

    I'll be brief. For anyone who remembers the John Larroquete Show, that was the sign his character had by his desk, signifying not just his life, but life in general. That's what I felt when reading the last Star Wars talkback. There is serious ANGER out there, over a movie most haven't seen. A MOVIE! I've always thought that a person takes out of any experience only what they come in with. ANY EXPERIENCE. So, if that's true, then what we choose to see in movies is what we choose to see in our lives. And nothing is more telling about a person than how they interpret things, events... dreams. These are dark times, darker than they really seem. And now, more than ever we need to acknowledge what WE put out into the ether. I love movies, ALL movies. For what they fail to do as much as what they accomplish. Apparently, most of you don't. We now have a generation of film lovers that spew how they HATE movies. That scares me. What I read here yesterday scares me. And if I sound touchy-feely or moronic, I understand and apologize... but read what will follow me. REALLY READ IT. Thank you for your time.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Well put, Harry!

    by Peteski

    I hate to sound like a kiss-ass, but Harry, you said it all right there man. I didn't read Moriarty's review, I'm trying to wait until I have an opinion before I start reading other folks opinions. Anyway, it's funny, I had an almost identical experience, only I haven't been in line. Or, maybe I have - in a different way. I was sitting in my boring-ass 10.50 an hour deskjob the other day bragging to a co-worker about being in a Toys R Us parking lot at 1:15 in the morning running around, waving a lightsaber above my head yelling "TONIGHT WE WILL HAVE OUR REVENGE! I AM DARTH MAUL!!" The co-worker winced and suggested that this was not something to brag about. Another co-worker suggested I get a life. Then I stopped and looked at them. These, boring, broken people who spend their lives calm, cool, and collected tell me I should get a life. Then a voice inside my head said to me: "I AM DARTH MAUL AND I ROCK!" I'd much rather be a 28 year-old kid with his toys and the guts to be silly and fun and goofy than a quiet, conservative suit-and-tie-type who's only idea of celebrating is tossing back a brew and whatever. I don't need alcohol to loosen up and relax. I have my imagination - we all have our imagination. And they do too, they've just forgotten how to use it. I think if everyone had a Darth Maul double-bladed lightsaber and at least once a day ran around waving it over their head our planet might be a slightly happier place. -peteski@spinninghead.com

  • May 11, 1999, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Can it be???

    by Jonte

    Am I first? Oh,well... I think it's to much to have to wait until august 20 (Sweden), to make up my own mind about this movie.I think it's hard as it is,when people I don't know personally, suggests what's good or bad about this movie. Solution: To stay away from these Talk Backs! (Yeah right...) PS. Stay away from the dark side! DS.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Harry- get a life!

    by Fairlane

    This Stawears my out. Stop mouning, complaining and all that crap. What really pisses my off is that i'm feel that im forzed to read all this crap about this movie. On top of this we have people(like You Harry) who insists on closing Your eyes on the fact that this might not be a very good movie. But what I really hate is theat in the months to come i'm going to listen(argue) and read with/about people who will defend this movie- not because its good but simply because it's Starwars. Wake up- everything a quality brand produces ar'nt goooooooood

  • May 11, 1999, 12:51 a.m. CST

    But Mr. Paste, you forget...

    by Kmdr. Coenig

    ...as Lucas apparently has (conveniently), that most of the reviews for A New Hope and Empire were quite positive, glowing even. How many of us can forget that issue of Time in 1977 that had, up in the corner, a blurb on an article about "The Year's Best Movie Inside!" ? Guess what that was? The original, effusive Time review was no doubt the first time millions of people were made aware that something wondrous was awaiting them. And Time wasn't the only one. Newspaper ads at the time of ANH and ESB's release were overflowing with great reviews. I keep trying to think well of Lucas's intentions, but his use of revionist history against those who fully supported him in the past, when he has done well, is pretty damn odious...

  • May 11, 1999, 1:15 a.m. CST

    KIDS is what it is all about

    by GAYJEDI

    This movie is a movie for kids. Period. Screw all of us adults. We enjoyed the original trilogy as children. Now it's time to pass the torch on to the next generation. Star Wars movies are just that. They are in a category all their own, like Star Trek and Aliens. If Lucas were to have truly let us down, he would have made the new SW movie to today's style of violent obtrusive cinema and made it like any other shoot em up blockbuster movie (like Matrix). He didn't do it that way because it's a movie geared towards kids and the kids at heart. Here are the reasons why I am going to see Star Wars, Episode 1: lightsabers, John Williams, stars, aliens, good vs. evil, lasers, droids, and spaceships. This movie delivers all that. And that is the kid in me telling you what I liked about the original trilogy. What more is there to say?

  • May 11, 1999, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Jar Jar Binks

    by Tector Gorch

    I don't know what anyone else thinks, but is it too cynical to suggest that Jar Jar Binks' primary function in TPM is as a toy model? Whereas the incredibly successful merchandising of the first Star Wars films came as something of a surprise - certainly to Fox, who gave Lucas the rights for nothing - this time around it's all been orchestrated down to the last dollar. Movies are commerce, but some movies are more commercial than others.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:37 a.m. CST

    "...lower than JEDI." Whoooops!

    by Cthulu

    I think the Internet will kill the era of the sneak preview. Lucas should have kept this film under lock and key. Should have flown the theater owners to Skywalker for a single eyes-only screening. And if I were a studio exec, I'd think twice before test screening any of my high-profile movies and just trust my instincts (hey, it's worked for Spielberg, as well as that other guy who's overused last name begins with a K). Nobody outside those directly associated with the project should have seen TPM until its release date. Moriarty's review sounds like everyone else's. Confused, bi-polar, tentative. Afraid to say he loved it or hated it. He spoke from the gut, sounds like. But it also sounds like he's got indigestion from all the forbidden fruit out in here in cyberland. Stuff none of us should have seen. Don't get me wrong, I personally think this particular site is by far the best on the internet. And Harry it is so sweet hearing that an honest to goodness film fan's name is on the Premiere Power List. But if I wanted to experience TPM with an open mind, I'd shut my computer off right now and not turn it back on until after I've seen the goddam movie.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Excuse me? ???

    by BadWisdom

    You're putting Election and iron Giant in front of Episode I ? Are you mental ?? I really think you need to see the movie a few more times before you make that kind of judgement. I really believe that people whove waited 16 years for this need to see this movie several times before giving a review, because they are bound to be overwhelmed the first time around, and wont have the clarity or objectiveness of the heart to make a valid review.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Say it ain't so

    by Darth Taun Taun

    Man. I am completely terrified this movie will suck. I've hated Jar Jar from the minute I heard the first words out of his mouth. What a cutsie-poo piece of crap. I mean, is this Richard Simmons with rabbit ears? Seriously, though, I really don't think George is doing any of this for the money. He could buy and sell each and every one of us 3 million times over. He's putting out what he believes to be a quality product, but I'm worried he's making this for his kids, and not for adults who think like kids. Our standards have risen, so should his. All the CG in the world can't make me like Ewoks. Cut the cute crap, George, and get back to making us look at the Dark Side within all of us. Please.

  • May 11, 1999, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Objective Reviews?

    by HappyCat

    Hmm ... I don't know about you lot but I'd much prefer an empassioned, just outa the cinema review of this film than a considered, seen it a dozen times and I'm going to examine it's artistic merit type review. If I was to write a critical review now of A New Hope after having seen it well in excess of 50 times and loving it every time I'd probably slate the crap acting, dodgy dialog, weak effects and linear plot, but I'd still give it 5 stars and a thorough recommendation. It's just not an artistically credibly film, but boy does it rock anyway! If Moriarty is so critical after one viewing I'd be very surprised if further viewings would make him see it in a better light, he'd probably just pick up more flaws. And anyway, I'm quite glad to have my excitment dampened and then maybe I'll get more than I expect when I finally see it.

  • May 11, 1999, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Cool moment on the internet #1

    by JJ McClure

    "Then a voice inside my head said to me: "I AM DARTH MAUL AND I ROCK!"" I like your attitude, man!!

  • May 11, 1999, 2:46 a.m. CST

    For kids? Hogwash

    by Jeffeeyore

    The original trilogy wasn't just for the kids, and kids aren't the only ones who will see Episode 1 ten times in the next three months. The only reason people say Star Wars is for kids is those of us who were youngsters (me being 23) when it came out, so it makes us feel good to think that we made a franchise. Guess what? Our parents liked the trilogy as well, and also look forward to seeing the new one. My mom made sure we get tickets for opening night--not the midnight show like my siblings, but she has to work, so I understood. Another thing, Paul Cezanne's "Still Life of Curtain, Bowl and Fruit" sold for $60 million Monday, so I don't want to hear anyone make fun of fans who spend $32 on a really cool double-bladed lightsaber! All of a sudden it's become cool to poke fun at Star Wars fans. So what if some get in line a week before the film premiers? If you want to get in line overnight for Spice Girls concert tickets, more power to you!

  • May 11, 1999, 3:01 a.m. CST

    I second! Three cheers for Peteski

    by the boom

    Couldn't have said it better myself. That goes for both Harry and Peteski. Some people will never understand. I get the same blank stares from people when I discuss Star Wars that I get when I tell them that I wake up early on Saturday morning to watch Batman cartoons, or that I get when I'm in the toys section at WalMart looking at the Star Trek dolls, or when people see me at a coffee shop reading comic books, or even when I tell them how I'm flying to England in the summer to see a total eclipse of the sun. To them, I just don't figure into their "sensible" adult world. I never grew up. What they don't understand is, I never wanted to. Dude, Star Wars!

  • May 11, 1999, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Where did I hear this before?

    by Jayce

    Oh yeah, I remember... Months ago Harry posted an extremely negative review of Star Trek Insurrection. When I saw the film many weeks later, I wondered if we had both seen a different film. I mean, ofcourse this wasn't a perfect film, but it was solid, beautiful and funny. I suspect the same of The Phantom Menace. There are always people who want to knock down something as big as Star Wars/ Star Trek. I mean, when something has became so incredibly huge, everyone seems to have an opinion about it. And you stand out when you're negative about it. Still, I wouldn't be suprised if The Phantom Menace just isn't that good. And I wouldn't be suprised if I could honestly say afterwards: Insurrection meant more to me than The Phantom Menace. Both weren't perfect, but at least Insurrection was a bit more...human. But, no use in speculating. I'll try to see The Phantom Menace with a very open mind and make my judgement then. At least this all proves one thing for me: not only Star Trek gets (undeservingly) negative response.

  • May 11, 1999, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Comments from a fan in Spain

    by APlaza

    Hi everybody. It

  • May 11, 1999, 3:28 a.m. CST

    I can't believe I've seen it...

    by mr_ripley

    It was incredible. Period. For those who have seen it, I agree that there are problems with it. For those who haven't seen it, just shut up about Jar Jar and the early reviews. I read some negative opinions and started to worry. Last night I watched "A New Hope" in anticipation, and I am really glad I did. I didn't remember the deliberate (some might call it slow) pacing or the wooden acting (sometimes bad, sometimes adequate, rarely very good). None of the Star Wars movies are perfect, BUT they are still some of the greatest movies ever made. I think "Return of the Jedi" is pretty lackluster (compared to its forerunners), but still it's amazingly magical, part of a greater whole. What we have with "The Phantom Menace" is a film that is about focus and scope. This is one film in a huge saga. It is one rather small conflict at the beginning of some major star wars. It is about individual pieces in a larger puzzle (a puzzle that Lucas has made with amazing skill). Qui Gon Ginn says that though a Jedi can see the future, he (or she, I guess) must live in the moment. I think that is the lesson of this film. Lucas wants us to enjoy the text itself (the film's present) with loads of subtext (knowing the future). So go into this movie and appreciate the little twists of fate, knowing where they will lead. I teared up C3P0 met R2D2 for the very first time. At times the knowledge of the future weighs upon the viewer with amazing force. Enjoy that. And forgive the bad acting, since at least this world will be consistent (like father like son). I also think I forgive the trade conflict as being not exciting enough, because it's what will logically lead to Episode II and III. As though, exciting or not, it is what has to happen in order for everything in the saga to make sense. And everything makes sense (to Lucas' credit), no plot flaws yet. And anyway nothing in it is all that flawed. Instead people have unreasonable expectations. So my advice is to watch the other episodes before you see "The Phantom Menace". And for those who hate Jar Jar, here is some comfort: this film contains no Ewoks. Enjoy!

  • May 11, 1999, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Jake Rules!

    by Anakin Rocks

    Once again, I must add my positive 2 cents to the discussion of Episode I. I saw the film last week & I really loved it (in fact I keep having vivid dreams about Amaidala's palace as well as GunGun city)! The kids I was there with were totally swept away. My seven year old buddy spent the whole next day talking about it non-stop. He even built a lego GunGun city. I think THAT is VERY cool. As for Jake Lloyd, I TOTALLY believed his character & his young Anakin was BY FAR my favorite character in the film. Jake Lloyd did a GREAT job! Jar Jar worked for me, I laughed at his antics and my seven year old buddy practically fell on the floor, he enjoyed Jar Jar so much. I must agree that his voice WAS hard to understand in many parts & frankly I was shocked at such a large mistake being made in a pretty near technically perfect film. I look forward to seeing the movie again to see if this problem fades with multiple viewings. In terms of whose story it is, I think it serves two purposes. I think it IS Anakin's story as it gives us an idea of what the boy is like, best summed up by Gui-Gon's line along the lines of "the boy gives without thinking." This is a generous, loving, kind child. That makes the eventual transformation into Vader all the more shocking & heartwrenching. I thought the seeds of the transformation were clearly there in this film. My prediction is that Anakin's attempts to save Shimi will fail & then he will decide he no longer cares about anyone. If he can't save the most important person to him, then he will take revenge. Personally I can no longer see Darth Vader as an "evil" character, but only as a tragic one. I also thought the film BRILLIANTLY set up EPISODE II. There wasn't exactly a cliffhanger but there WERE a lot of unanswered questions & my mind has been racing to try & predict what will happen next. The fact that the whole Naboo blockade was all a smokescreen for Palpatine coming to power in the senate was something I did NOT expect & I must admit I gasped when he was talking to Amidala on Courescant, telling her that the senate needed strong leadership. When I realized that he was using her, my heart sank. Palpatine brings me to Darth Maul. I don't quite understand why he has become so popular. He was scary (& he certainly did a horrible thing there at the end) but I have always been one to pull for the good guys. I was happy to see more of Anakin & less of the red faced Darth. (Don't scream at me, I KNOW I am the minority opinion here.) As for waiting in line. I wish I could, Harry, I truly do. I wish I were there right now, but alas, it is logistically impossible. -John

  • May 11, 1999, 3:43 a.m. CST

    some thoughts

    by aycmic

    I remember going to The Return of the Jedi Special Edition with a friend who had never seen it and who wasn't particularly familiar with the other movies. Half of my fun was watching her and explaining things to her, getting caught up again in the experience of first viewing the film. If I'm watching The Phantom Menace with lots of little starry-eyed kids full of a sense of wonder, maybe that's worth some artistic compromises. And maybe, watching it for the first time myself, I can duplicate that reaction. One question I keep having: why is everyone so down on Return of the Jedi? To my mind, it beats Empire in a squeaker, with both miles ahead of A New Hope. The last half hour of Return is the best passage of action-adventure film I've ever seen, with the three battles all creating tension for themselves and each other, and culminating with Luke burning his father on the pyre. The rest of the film is not as good as Empire, but that section puts it over, I feel. Also, for the first time in Star Wars, the aliens in Return were truly alien. Jabba, the Sarlacc, even the Ewoks are more interesting than the humans-with-different-heads that passed for aliens in the earlier movies.

  • May 11, 1999, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Reviews are screwed.

    by The Consul

    I bought the book yesterday and read the first four chapters so as not to ruin it too much. From what I have read this movie will be an absolute classic. There are some good one liners delivered in the opening scenes by Obi Wan and I found the scenes and jar Jars character is brilliant. I actually felt sorry for the guy. I was reassured. From what I've heard on the net the opening scenes are the worst element in a bad movie. What the hell has happened here?. People are saying this film is confusing, It has too much dialogue, No defined goal for the heros. People thought the Back to the Future movies were confusing for christ sake. People are Morons. The Star Wars movies are a mini series. Noone can judge it fully until episodes 2 and 3 are released. I dont think this film will be perfect but I think I will love it anyway. On the off chance that I do not love it i would like to make a small request to George Lucas: Listen to the fans. Star Wars is one of the few decent things that have come out of this century. Don't fuck it up.

  • May 11, 1999, 4:43 a.m. CST

    O.k

    by The Consul

    Has anyone considered that we are viewing this film through Anakins eyes. Hence episode three we will see it through Vaders Eyes. No more reviews for me.

  • May 11, 1999, 4:52 a.m. CST

    And another thing...

    by The Consul

    The reason that reviews are so negative is not because the movie is crap but because reviewers are assholes. Given the oportunity they would much rather make people miserable, maybe cause a couple of suicides than make the world a better place. I hope George has learnt his lesson in screening Star Wars movies in America First. Miserable bastards as they are. Much better to screen in Australia where people appreciate good movies. If this movie kicks ass I am going to boycott this site. Fuck you guys... I'm going home.

  • May 11, 1999, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Moriarty's Comments at 4:51 A.M.

    by Moriarty

    Hey, all... "Moriarty" here. I've been up since I wrote my original review, talking to a few friends, thinking it over, listening to the soundtrack, and I have a few more thoughts I want to throw out there. Just so no one misunderstands me, I want to say that one of the basic levels at which I want a STAR WARS film to work is as a persuasive travelogue of another galaxy. When I was seven and saw the first film, I was transported, and I believe the new film has even more visual thunder than the original trilogy. George has truly crafted something we haven't seen on screen before, and that's exciting. More on Jar Jar's voice. One could make the argument that since the Gungans are basically amphibian creatures, human language probably isn't their strong suit. I liked enough about the Gungans and their culture that I wish Ben Burtt and his team had just tweaked Jar Jar slightly more into the realm of legibility. On the other hand, maybe he'll reward repeat viewers, who will gradually understand everything he says. I also want to add that when Lucas gets the human element of the film right, it is very affecting. There are grace notes throughout the film, and the wooden expository moments are just that... expository. But I still am deeply troubled by those damn Neimoudians. I think I have more problem with them than with Jar Jar. In fact, I know I do. Like I've said since my initial script review, I like what Jar Jar does in the film... I like the general purpose he plays. The Neimoudians are just boring, though. Maybe if Lucas could have come up with a truly memorable race to have head up the Federation, or even given us an old favorite served up en masse, like Hammerheads or Mon Calamari. It would have lent some interest to what are probably the weakest segments of the film. God, people... realize how surreal it is to actually sit and watch a new STAR WARS film. The whole experience is still somewhat dreamlike, and I'm a little dissociated. I feel like I finished something, and that's both good and bad. I know this, though... I'm still going to go to the first show with my friends, because I also treasure the experience of seeing with the right people. My best friend of fifteen years and I became friends over our mutual love of STAR WARS, and I won't actually feel like I've seen the film until we've seen it together. I know this is a cultural event, btw, so no one has to tell me that the movie is critic proof or that no criticisms apply. I'm not going to convince any of you anything about the film. I just wanted to try and impart some of the impact that the film had on me after finally seeing it. And to anyone who doubts that I'm a fan... just look at my past articles on STAR WARS. You'll see where my heart is. "Moriarty" out.

  • May 11, 1999, 5:16 a.m. CST

    Lucas softens

    by Redleader

    I imagine that having kids is what has softened Lucas as a story writer over the years. The infamous "Greedo gets the first shot" was not the only attempt to soften preveously released movies. Go back and watch "A New Hope" again and you will see that the shooting of imperial officers (Docking bay control, Detention Area) is cut different so you do not see the laser bolts hitting them. Steven Spielberg had the video release of ET changed eliminating the one kid dressing up like a terrorist for Halloween. Speilberg even went so far as to suggest digitally editing out the federal agents weapons that were aimed at the kids. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of Steven's finest was remarked by it's creator that he could never make a film like this today. The story of Roy Neary's obsession with UFO's was so alien to him now, he would not know how to do it. I wonder if Lucas has what it takes to write the story he envisioned so long ago.

  • May 11, 1999, 5:31 a.m. CST

    The real review lies between the lines

    by Teko

    I've read a couple of Phantom Menace reviews now, and don't intend to read any more until I've seen it. The bulk of the reviews have been strange, rambling, waffling articles that never quite get around to a clear opinion. I think Moriarty's review is by far the best I've seen, and for one reason: I can sense the feeling behind the words. All the quibbles people have about Jar Jar and the Trade Federation being wimpy and whatever else comes down to mere technicalities. At heart, I can tell that this film has as much of an effect on its viewers as the Trilogy did. Reading a review from a professional like Moriarty that feels breathless and giggly says it all: it's hard to put into words what one feels after seeing something like this. That's all the review I need.

  • May 11, 1999, 5:39 a.m. CST

    illustrated screenplay

    by This is me

    Hi. I was traveling through Heathrow airport here in London last Thursday 6 May when I saw something. TPM's illustraded screenplay book for sale. They also had the novel and a kid's version and a great looking cut-away book of the spaceships from the movie. Can you buy it in the states yet? I haven't seen it anywhere else here. Had to buy the screenplay and read most of the first act. The action never stops. And Obi-wan's first line is inspired. But it's mid July before we get the film in the UK. How am I going to make it without reading all of the damn thing? Frigged if I know.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Aw, poor movie guy.

    by Foster Zygote

    Did you get banned? Aw, how sad. It takes such courage to say "I'm an asshole and nobody likes me so I'm gonna be the best damn bitter social outcast that I can be" and I admire you for it.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Gen X ego check

    by Azure Tyger

    I like the last comment by the lady who sent all of the kids to see Star Wars Episode I. I asked myself afterwards "Who am I, to think that I was the person for whom this film was created?" I am an adult fan of the original series. Like many of us here, I saw ANH when I was about 5 (In fact, seeing this film with my dad is my earliest memory.) I had this subconcious expectation that George Lucas was making this film exclusively for me and the other people in my age group. This is simply not the case. I, for one, am going to see this film without the expectation that it will mean the same to me as the originals.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:56 a.m. CST

    reviews

    by m2298

    Right Kmdr. Coenig! I also remember that glowing 3-4 page review in Newsweek that same week. Other than Stanley Kaufman, John Simon, Pauline Kael, can anyone come up with more than a handful of critics that hated Star Wars in 1977? The Empire reviews were more mixed, but still mostly positive. Jedi got some pretty terrible reviews but also many good ones. I think fans hate Jedi more than the critics! IMO, Lucas can ignore the professional critics as much as he likes (although I doubt he felt this way when they loved Star Wars and Raiders) but when most of the (objective) fans are critical, I think he really has to take notice.

  • May 11, 1999, 7:01 a.m. CST

    How to Garauntee STAR WARS does not suck

    by NEEDLE

    I stumbled upon this websight lookin for the buzz on TPM, and without sounding condescending I've really enjoyed everyone's comments. People are still passionate about STAR WARS and that is great. My take on this whole phenomenon and this IS a cultural phenomenon, is that I pity all of those who grew up on Star Wars on video. I consider my self as one of the 'chosen few'...I was 12 years old when Star Wars was released. I was in sixth grade, and at 33 yo, I can still remember to this day seeing the SW commercial and being uterlly grasped by it, as if Chewbacca reached through the screen and grabbed me by the collar and pulled me into the screen AND into the Star Wars universe. I remember seeing that commercial, and make no mistake, it was advertised in '77 as a saturday morning serial with corny voice overs and the works. -----SW is, and always was, a kids movie..."For children of all ages" as someone above quoted beloved George as saying. I will never forget going to school the next day after seeing that commercial, and all of the boys in my class were equally excited and ran towards each other, all seeming to want the same thing, to verify if the brief glimpse of magic we saw was true..."did you see that movie that was advertised last night? was that a monkey flying a spaceship? Get this, and make no mistake: Star Wars was great because at that time, it had never been done before. Period. All you people who grew up with it on video GREW UP with those kind of special effects etc. Try putting your self in a place where the best special effects of the days was...Silent Running? It was fresh and new and wonderous and corny and magica and the acting sucked and we all saw the blue screens and we LOVED IT. People are bitching about corny dialogue??? How many fans out there can honestly say that everytime they watch Star Wars (I've seen it easily over 35 times) and they here lines like "Help, I think I'm melting! This is all your falt!" They don't cringe at the leaden awkwardness of the line? Or the plot so full of holes the movie would sink if thrown in water: They are tracking the ship, right? The fate of the Universe hangs in the balance that the Empire does not find the Rebel base, right? O.K. DON'T GO TO YAVIN! Drop off the ship somewhere, take the droids, and find other passage to Yavin! Period. THE POINT Star Wars was great. Empire was fun (the 'love dialogue' between Han and Leia in the beginning was atrocious...)though the Walker scene was cool but not long enough and the asteroid scene made the movie for me...And Return sucked, except for the lightsaber battle at the end. All Ewoks should but tortured like baby seals..All the acting sucked, and the special effects were O.K., but we all saw the flaws but decided to look past them. I ultimatley enjoyed the Empire and Jedi because I was not expecting the world, and I knew that they would never surpase the freshness of Star Wars because that total magic could never be recaptured. I figured this out when I was disapointed by Empire, but decided to like it anyway because IT WAS STAR WARS. Now, TPM is not going to give give any one a reason for living, it is not going to end the war in Yugoslavia, nor will it singlehandedly carry the universe through the next millenium. But, its STAR WARS for crying out loud, so HAVE FUN! It is meant to bring out the kid in all of us, but it will only do that IF YOU LET IT! MY SECRET PLAN I have found the best weed I have ever had in my life. This awesome hydro that totally knocks you into hyper space. I am going to get totally wasted on the biggest fatty I ever rolled, I am going to go to a matinee showing with no lines and I am going to pretend that it is 1977, that I am 12 years old and I am going to LOVE THIS MOVIE. I'm going to fly spaceships, allow myself to be terrified, exhilirated...I am going to fall in love with the Queen, bond to Liam like a goddam father image, travel to Naboo, fantasize that its ME kicking Mauls ass, and cheer and shout and HAVE FUN. Then I am going to go home, jerk off, and GET ON WITH MY LIFE. Try it...ya never know...

  • May 11, 1999, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Prepubescent hysteria

    by Dr Speed

    No one really liked Star Wars either when it came out, but at least it had characters and a decent story (it damn well should have been, seeing as it was a rip-off of Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress"). Thank goodness adults can look forward to "Eyes Wide Shut" and leave "awesome" digital effects to the five year olds who so appreciate them.

  • May 11, 1999, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Sithslayer sez

    by Sithslayer

    Hey, does anyone know where I can get those hot "IRON GIANT" & "ELECTION" action figures? They must be really popular because I've been searching Toys R Us, Kaybee and other stores and haven't found them yet. I've also heard a rumor that the "tan-vested" Matthew Broderick & the "vinyl-caped" Reese Witherspoon figures are pretty rare to find.

  • May 11, 1999, 7:16 a.m. CST

    the Niemoudians role in phantom

    by McCREADY

    The Niemoudians, from what I gathered from the screenplay, are surposed to be easy to manipulate, there pawns not players, this is the Darths show. That's not to say this is going to be a perfect movie, because no movie is....except Raiders of the lost ark!

  • It appears to me that those who enjoyed the movie the most, are those who the anticipation of the movie hasn't touched. Hence children, and people who aren't fanboys. The goofy hacks at Time, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone were all expecting Ep. 1 to be the greatest movie of all time.These hacks lash out when it doesn't meet the extreme expectations that they have placed on it. I am hoping to go in and experience the universe that George Lucas wants me to experience. The eyes of a child are the eyes that any Star Wars film should be viewed through. If we choose to view Ep. 1 with the same eyes that saw "The Matrix", then we are in for a huge let down. Keep in mind we have been conditioned to watch movies that use speed, and violence to propel them. Ep. 1 is definitely not the typical 90's movie. More than anyting I am expecting "Star Wars", and from the reviews that I have head (even the bad ones) I think that I am going to get my fill of "Star Wars". When it comes to characters and plot, let's not forget the whiniest line spoken in any movie ever. "I want to go to Taashi Station to pick up the Power Converters" -- Luke Skywalker in Ep. 4. The plot to Ep. 4 is the same as "Wizard of Oz" combined with "The Flying Leathernecks" tacked on at the end. "Star Wars" is the most creative, and amazing universe that has been presented to us in the form of a film. I believe that Ep. 1 will be a great extension to this universe.

  • May 11, 1999, 7:33 a.m. CST

    whipped!!!!!

    by Abaddon

    I cant believe that manns and sony theaters only held fort for two days..I expected more from them, lucas is still laughing at them at skywalker ranch while he eats a tuna fish sandwich and counts the tally for the days reciepts he got in for the toy line..I liked moriarty's review, it was honest and everyone thought it was going to be the second coming of christ, fools, only James Cameron can give us an experience like that.Lucas blows, i hope will smith blows him out of the fucking water on july 4th weekend with that big tarantula...

  • May 11, 1999, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Hey, JMS . . .

    by Eos

    I give up trying to moderate. If everybody else on this talkback can behave like a 2-year-old, so can I! So JMS, you'd better be careful who you jeer at. Mock any of us from the Star Wars Society while WE'RE standing in line, and we'll kick your ass! Feel the power of the Dark Side . . . - Dawn

  • May 11, 1999, 7:50 a.m. CST

    The Dark Side

    by Pod Racer X

    I may be staying away from Talk Back for a while since all this negativity is getting me down. Not about the movie but in general. I just wanted to say one thing before I hang this up until after May 19th(maybe). For all of you who wonder if this movie is too kiddie think about this. There is one thing that will seperate us from the children and that is we understand what is to come. Most children, even if they have seen the original movies, may not realize what is really happening(at least the younger ones). But we do. As my wallpaper I have the teaser picture of Anakin with Vaders shadow and I stuck a quote on there "I had a dream I was a Jedi...". This to me is so poignant and moving a picture and this is what the young kids won't get. We know that the wonderful young boy on the screen is one day going to become the most ruthless villan in all the galaxy. It is so sad and poetic. Let the kids have Jar Jar and the rest of the visuals for that matter. We, the long time fans, have something else...an understanding of a deeper truth.

  • May 11, 1999, 8:13 a.m. CST

    This is a great review

    by alexf302

    Can't you people tell a good review from a bad one? Sure Moriarity didn't think the film was perfect, but it still seemed like he loved it. And did anyone really expect TPM to be absolutely perfect? I don't think so. You people are taking the excellent reviews and turning them into "ok". You're taking the "ok" reviews and turning them into "it sucked." I have yet to see one review that actually says the movie is bad. If the reviews coming out now were for ANYTHING but Star Wars, they would be considered GREAT. Anything with this much hype surrounding it will be picked apart until it is unrecognizable. Picture a review of a new car coming out. It is the most hyped car ever, and when it comes out, people start picking it apart. They don't like the pinstripe or the shape of the steering wheel. So what? Would those two things affect whether or not it was a great car? Of course not. My point is to put this who thing in perspective and stop taking it out of context. And no, JMS you weren't right about shit. What the hell kind of drugs are you on? 99% of us haven't even seen it yet, so shut your damn mouth until the 19th.

  • May 11, 1999, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Fear

    by S/R Tan

    Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Isn't it all so simple? For those of you 'film-lovers' who delight in tearing down movies, have fun. I couldn't.

  • May 11, 1999, 8:24 a.m. CST

    The Phantom Penance

    by hastur

    Moriarty's review certainly confirmed a lot of my fears about this film, particularly about Jar Jar (whom I think is a cool-looking character, but whom I've also been seriously worried about ever since hearing that almost unintelligible sound file of him talking). Lucas and selected Talkback correspondents definitely have a selective memory when it comes to reviews of ANH and Empire: most were really positive (and written by some of the same critics panning TPM). David Ansen of Newsweek is certainly right on, though, when he calls this movie "critic-proof." If ever there were a film where people are just going to want to see it, no matter what they hear about it, it's this one. Despite my misgivings, I'll see it for the creation of the alien worlds and the inhabitants therein. But I won't expect much else because Lucas has been dumbing down the franchise ever since the high point of Empire. But he's an 800-pound gorilla and he can do what he wants. As for those who claim the original movies were just for pre-teens, that most assuredly isn't true. I was 17 when I saw Star Wars--old enough to legally drink--and it had plenty of adult appeal. I'm 40 now and I know a lot of other people close to my age who loved these movies when they came out. Return of the Jedi was the warning sign that Lucas had stopped trying to appeal to the inner child of adults and turned Star Wars into a Saturday morning kiddie cartoon. I guess that's what comes of sitting on acres of money for nearly twenty years and not directing anything. Maybe he'll get some snap and the next two will be better. But I won't be holding my breath.

  • May 11, 1999, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Maltin

    by Sefster

    I dunno if anyone caught Leonard Maltin's reaction when asked by ET's Mary Hart and that other doof what he thought of the movie. He paused for a little bit, and then said, "It's fun; a nice addition to the Star Wars movies." He had a pained, hesitant look to his face before he answered, though. He didn't just respond with "wonderful." Knowing his relationship with Lucas, this worries me.

  • May 11, 1999, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Ebert is going to review TPM this weekend, and a question involv

    by spike lee

    I always thought I was the biggest Star Wars fan. but I am not going to wait days in line. Props to the line dwellers and may the good weather be with you. Here is my question, this film will be in every mall theater in america, so how do you wait in line when the mall closes at 10 p.m.? And what happens when you are in line for say 2 hours and it ends up being a line to Corn Dog 7?

  • May 11, 1999, 9:04 a.m. CST

    In reference to my last post...

    by Stuntmonkey

    See what I mean? Listen to all their voices. We live in a world where a movie like TPM, is blasted for "PANDERING" to children, meanwhile most of us got our first lessons in philosophy- as children- from the original trilogy. Who can tell me that, as kids, hearing "DO... or do not. There is no TRY," did not affect them? I just hope that the naysayers will keep their self-important traps shut during the movie. Cuz there're gonna be kids there. And, once again, Yoda will say something to them that will resonate for the rest of their lives... just like us.

  • May 11, 1999, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Lucas Does it again

    by justice313

    I can't believe all these reviews. They have revealed my biggest fear about not being able to understand Jar Jar. Damn that Lucas for always making characters that we can't understand like that Chewbacca guy couldn't understand a word he said! You should all rise up and beat him with all the toys you bought!!!::::) naysayers get over yourselves!

  • May 11, 1999, 9:37 a.m. CST

    To arms!

    by Foster Zygote

    OK JMS, you've really talked yourself into a corner here and I can't wait to see this tape. Here are the rules: You have to be seen on tape insulting total strangers just because they are Star Wars fans. You can't just yell "Youguysuck" from accross the street and run. (And you're not allowed to proposition any under-age girls either) You have to really get up in their faces (just a few feet away) and PISS THEM OFF. You must say exactly the sort of things that you say here. If they are obviously your friends acting like strangers then I WILL KNOW. You are only allowed to flee if they are about to beat your ass or the manager calls the cops. I will obtain a post office box and send you the address. (You can understand why I wouldn't want a weanie like you to have my address) Any footage of you getting an actual lap dance would be a bonus. If you have the brass ones to make this tape and really make it something special I will post here for all to know that JMS backed up his word. I will even be glad to provide copies to anyone who would like one. God, don't you wish that you knew when to keep your mouth shut?

  • May 11, 1999, 9:47 a.m. CST

    A Voice Inside My Head

    by Cosimosis

    Just then a voice inside my head said, "I am Jar Jar. I have annoyingly big, irritatingly cute ears."

  • May 11, 1999, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the first REAL review

    by Dingo Wrangler

    Moriarty's review was the sort of review I have been waiting for with baited breath and thank you for posting it. It was frank, it told what he liked and what he thought was lacking. it was intelligently written and it made valid points. Thank you for posting a review which wasn't simply another geek typing "I loved it" in capital letters and then masturbating over the effects without thinking. Moriarty, you now have my respect. You are a real lover of film, not just another blind geek who will accept anything as long as the Star Wars logo is on the front.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:04 a.m. CST

    JMS and good reviews

    by mooch

    Reading the reviews, it strikes me that JMS is going to have to face his ultimate conflict; that something he loves is the same as something he hates: the reaction to Episode One makes it sound the same as Titanic. Breath-taking, standard-setting, amazing visuals, but great actors suffocated by rubbish material and handling, and godawful dialogue. But I agree with the "This is a great review" guy/girl, in that the Rolling Stone, Time and Newsweek reviews are overall pretty decent. Is it going to be worth $9? Yes it is going to be worth $9.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Get A GRIP

    by vverduzco

    First off remember that when the majority of us saw this movie for the first time we were under 10 years old. At that time I don't care how sophisticated you think you were, most of us weren't paying attention to the plot of the movie, the acting, or the underlying messages of the movie. We were watching Tie fighters, X-wings, light sabres, and stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and robots, That's it. It was great pure visual eye candy for little kids that kept us enthralled for viewing after viewing. Our parents took us because we begged them constantly untill they couldn't take it any more(for the 5th time). Well now were are all grown up and we still love these movies,but some of us have forgotten what drew us to them in the 1st place, They were just fun too watch!!! They entertained us, that's all. For some reason people are expecting visions of our Lord when they see this(ain't gonna happen) Enjoy it have a good time.And if you have kids they will probably bug you till you can't take it anymore to go see it over and over.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Leonard Maltin

    by Foster Zygote

    Sefster, I have no idea what interview you watched but I just put the tape in and distinctly heard (no pause)"...I can tell you, it was worth the wait." And later (no pause) "I had a good time, I had a good time" Maltin gave me every impression that he loved it. Maltin and Ebert are two unpretentious critics who I trust to give an objective review. (Although I still judge for myself in the end.) And didn't anybody read the resident evil genius' review? He had a couple of issues but overall I got the impression that he really enjoyed it. We could all find a couple of issues with the original three as well I might add. Everyone (who hasn't seen the film) thinks that it sucks because it's not PERFECT. Give it a rest.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Better than ROTJ?

    by johnnyq

    With many of the reviews putting TPM on a level with ROTJ, and the general trend of ranking ROTJ as the worst of the Trilogy, I now must admit.... I think ROTJ is better than ANH and that ESB is only marginally better than ROTJ. Having said that, I should also admit that I have never found the ewoks particularly annoying, I'm just kind of ewok neutral, which probably right there increases my estimate of the movie a couple of notches over the majority of people here who seems to really hate the little guys. I have always thought that ROTJ brings the Vader/Luke story thread to a nice close and Luke's "I am a Jedi, like my father before me.", is probably my favorite moment in the Trilogy. The Vader/Luke parts of the movie are far stronger than Endor/Shield generator plot from which it cuts back and forth.So for that inconsistency in ROTJ I rate ESB slighty higher, as it is fairly solid throughout. Anyway, sorry if this goes too far off topic (although that would probably take some doing at this point), but having only seen one other person in all the various talkbacks on the subject express a similar opinion (sorry, forgot to note your name), I just had to get it off my chest.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Did that movie review actually just bring tears to my eyes?

    by holomorphic

    Moriarty -- those last three paragraphs were so strong (and flawlessly manipulative) that they actually brought tears to my eyes. I've never had a movie review do that to me before (although Paul Tatara of CNN has made me laugh until I cried.) Beautifully done... hats off. It's that sort of envelope-pushing, emotionally charged "movie review" that keeps me coming back to this place.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Perhaps George will Repeat his Ploy

    by SquizL

    In the same way he didn't direct the second and thrid of the first triology, perhaps George Lucas is planning the same with his prequel triology, adn if he isn't, maybe its time he considered it. It seems to me to be no mistake that he has been out of "front-line" (ie writign and directing) moviemaking for many years, and perhaps that's where it should stay. I know I'll be shot down for it by somebody somewhere, but I think its time he let someone else in on his baby. If he used a professionla writer to spruce up his scripts, to give them that final draft polish, and allowed someone else in at the helm, then perhaps he can still make the second and third parts of THIS triology work to the hoards of over-expectant Star Wars fans out there. In my view, what the main failing of TPM will be, is his failure to share his baby with anyone. A friendly bit of advice here and there could have helped perhaps, but letting someone else in on the reigns would have been a much better idea. But then, that's just my opinion.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Why the early critics are completely misguided and full of BULLS

    by Garth of Izar

    First off the critics. Did anybody even think that Episode I would get mostly glowing reviews upon its initail release? I mean, it's not an art film, or a serious drama, or some flashy independent film so right there many critics will hate it on principle. Next to that, many of the critisms seemed to be akin to critizing a spoon for not being a fork. Anybody who's seen the originals will tell you that complex characters and sophisticated dialogue take a back seat to action, adventure, exotic worlds and such (and Ep I certainly looks like it delivers on that). Episode I is just simply not the type of movie that needs great dialogue or complex characters. They are the least relevent things in a movie like Star Wars and the critics knew that and understood that but opted to slam the film anyways. Star Wars is a visual film in a visual medium. If you want good dialogue, go watch a Tarintino film or a Mamet film. If you want complex characters, go watch something by Scorsese or John Sayles. Critizing a Star Wars movie for not having good dialogue or complex characters is like critizing a Scorsese/Mamet/Sayles/ Tarintino film for being bad because they have no exotic creatures, or worlds or any sense of adventure. Another stupid thing is critics complaining that the film is geared to much towards children. What's wrong with that? How does that make it bad? Are Disney cartoons bad because they are geared towards children? Are the original SW movies bad because of that? That's like saying a movie that's rated R or NC-17 and has lots of violence and/or sex and/or profanity is a bad movie because it's too much geared towards adults. That's the reason why most of the early reviews for Episode I are just by bullshit critics who already made up their mind that they were gonna hate it. Because they're griping at characteristics and qualities that a Star Wars film simply has to have to be a Star Wars film. Just because a film is geared towards children and is more of an adventurous and visual film, designed only to entertain as opposed to a sophisticated drama with complex characters and dialogue does not make it a bad movie. Any critic who judges Episode I on that basis (and so far almost all have) is a bad critic and it's an obvious example of forced criticism by people intent on hating the movie because they feel above entertainment and fantasy and adventure: they only like "serious" or "art" movies. Other bullshit examples of knocking the film include one critic (Newsweak, I think) saying that Anakin's character is not evil enough. What the fuck did you want? Omen in Space, Star Wars Episode I: Damien? Did it ever occur to this critic that the reason why he's not evil is because he's young and has not been corrupted yet and that will come in later episodes and by having Anakin be a more or less innocent kid at first, will make his downfall in later episodes all the more dramatic? Of course not, the critic was determined to hate the film. Another critic, Time I think, knocked the film for having an opening crawl and saying that since it was the first episode it didn't need one and chided Lucas for being an imcompetent filmmaker because he should have dramatized it instead. Just shows you how stupid the guy is. First off, it's the beginning of Anakin's story, not the beginning of goddamn time itself in the Star Wars galaxy. Lucas is using the opening crawl to tell us of what's happening in the galaxy of Star Wars as Anakin comes into the story. Anakin isn't even mentioned in the opening crawl. Critising it for haven't an opening crawl explaining the state of the galaxy is just simply a poor and unfounded observation. These are the reasons why the mixed reviews by major critics should have no bearing on the film itself. I'm not saying Episode I will be a perfect film or that everybody should like it. Alot of us will surely be at least a bit disappointed with the film no matter what, though over many repeat viewings and years of letting the film sink in will probably change our opinions significantly for better or worse. For example, I thought Empire was nowhere near as good as Star Wars when I first saw it and when I first saw Return, I was certain it was the best. Passing time and dozens, if not hundreds of repeat viewings have certainly changed that notion in the extreme. Also, is it any wonder that most of the reviews that came out this early (when the papers made an agreement not to print them until the films release, which they broke of course) are mostly negative. It's just simply a cowardly means of trying to sabotage the movie and sell papers and have the papers themselves make the news. The earlier the reviews come out, the more these papers jumped the gun on competing papers. The more negative the reviews are, the more press the publications themselves get on a nation-wide basis. The more press they get, the more likely there circulation will get increased. I mean there's NO problem with not liking Episode I. Many of us will not like it, many of us will and a good many of us will be in between. It's just that these critics have not done even close to a good job of convincing us that the movies are not that good - the sign of a bad critic. A good critic can pan a movie that you thought was the best movie ever made, but even while you couldn't disagree more with them, you're at least made to understand why they did not like it. These critics so far has done a terrible job at that. They've just simply picked on too many things that have no real relevance. You read their reviews and the only impression you get is that they were determined not to like the movie. There standpoints are just simply too refutable and I haven't even seen the movie yet!

  • May 11, 1999, 10:43 a.m. CST

    JMS.

    by ElGuapoDeluxe

    What the hell happened to JMS's post that got all you geeks feathers ruffled? Harry, did you remove it? 'Cause if you did it had to be for a good reason. Great steaming Christ, did he threaten to kill people standing in line to see Star Wars or something?! If not, then I call censorship! I wanted to read it!

  • May 11, 1999, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Why the hard feelings on BOTH sides?

    by Dr. Channard

    Well, in scanning the postings here and on the previous TPM board, I am struck by the (apparant) polarization of feelings about this movie. MOVIE! The conclusions I've come to (if anyone gives a leap): MANY MANY people are sick and tired of the hype, the merchandising, the relentless in-your-face drumbeat of it's coming...it's COMING....IT'S COMING SOON!! to a theater (and toy store, make no mistake about THAT) near you (or not). And on the other hand, there's the folks for whom the original (and/or it's successors) were obviously transforming, Maslowian "peak experiences" moments in their lives, whether seen as children, adolescents, or adults. I'll admit, I count myself more in the first rather than the second category, but then, I remember ANH competing with "Smokey and the Bandit" for space at the mall, the CB craze, the crappy clothes, and all the other 70's baggage I'll always associate with the movie. As I've written before, I enjoyed it, but it simply wasn't a religous experience for me (and Yoda's being an influence on kids? When he sounds JUST LIKE Fozzy Bear? Naahhhh.)But I'll still go to see this flick, even if I'll wait until the lines are gone. I don't care if a bunch of people want to make it into a "Rocky Horror at noon" kind of event - what the hell, they aren't hurting anything. Let them enjoy the flick in their own way. For the (obviously LEGIONS of) fans for whom any slight against the NEW movie is comparable to literal blasphemy, you, too may need to lighten up. LOTS of people won't like this movie as much because they are angry about being involuntarily subjected to weeks of hype (and hyper-ventilating fans) as because of the many-times-mentioned weak plot, over-reliance on CGI characters, and finiancial drain (if your kids are young enough) induced by the DOZENS of characters, each requiring it's own "action figure". DAMN - the original movies didn't cause any schism like what I've seen here, and that alone makes me wonder just WHAT the problem is with THIS one. Sallah.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Revenge of the leezard leezard leezard

    by hastur

    I love how anyone who expresses doubt about TPM is automatically branded a naysayer. Sorry we can't all be starry-eyed Lucas worshippers, but that's how it is. And there's nothing wrong with Lucas dispensing predigested chunks of mythology and fables to the kiddies, it's just that we adults wouldn't mind being included in the proceedings, as we were in Star Wars and Empire. Is it possible to make a movie that appeals to adults and children alike? Of course. Lucas did it in the late Seventies. What I seem to be hearing now is a lot of Lucas apologists compensating for the less-than-glowing reviews by saying, "well, Star Wars is supposed to be for kids anyway." Maybe that's how it has evolved, but it didn't start that way. Finally, something no one has yet brought up: Lucasfilm posted a spoof of the Godzilla "Size Matters" ad campaign last year, posting "Plot Matters" on their web site. Given that most of the reviews so far complain about TPM's apparently aimless plot, George Lucas may have a big bowl of glowing green words to eat in a couple of weeks. We'll see.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Kudos to Moriarty for (yet another) thoughtful, honest review

    by Oberon

    Moriarty is quickly turning into the star attraction here at AICN. As with his editorial on violence and the entertainment industry, his TPM review is thoughtful, honest, and moving. We aren't movie critics here (their reaction is too predictable); we're fanboys, and Moriarty gives us an eloquent review from a fanboy perspective; it's above all _fair_, deeply respectful while neither overlooking flaws nor tearing it apart because it didn't meet sky-high expectations. One point that's worth making is that even the WORST review of TPM that we've seen to date still makes it out to be a unique (and immensely worthwhile) filmgoing experience. These reviews have done a needed thing in getting us to tone down our impossibly high expectations, and none has done it better than Moriarty, who simultaneously reaffirms that: yes, it's not a perfect movie, the dialogue is a little flat and the human element a little rough in spots, but it's still a mindblowing film experience, and you'd be an idiot to miss it. In other words, it's a Star Wars movie. And for nearly all of us, that's more than good enough. Tonight I go in line for tickets, and Moriarty's review is a nice note to go out on: realistic expectations blended with still high hopes. It will be interesting to see what his take is a week from now - and how it meshes with my own.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:21 a.m. CST

    to Justice 313

    by hastur

    Chewbacca and R2D2 (whose blip-and-whistle speech was also a bit hard to decipher) had characters to translate for them. As I understand it, there is no such translation for Jar Jar's patois. But if he keeps to form, eventually Lucas will release the Special Edition version of TPM, and maybe we'll get subtitles, or redubbed speech.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Probs as I see it

    by Julilla

    I have a feeling that all of this 'I don't know what to make of it' stuff has more to do with our outrageous *expectations* of what this movie was going to be. It's cliche'd by now, but there is no way *any* movie can live up to what we in our minds fantasized and hoped and wished for. Hearing a lot from people in my age range (29), "I was (5-10) years old when I saw Star Wars and..." I think we all need to take a deep breath and calm down. I can understand how many reviewers feel, even though I haven't seen the movie. We've waited for so long for this moment, for something that I for one had given up hope of. All the excitement, all the trowling for any scrap of info we could get. Now what? The one thing I hope is that we can go into the theatre and put all of *our* baggage away. I'm willing to go where Lucas takes me. So let's all just take a deep breath and calm down.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:46 a.m. CST

    star wars.the truth gets out.

    by tkip

    After seeing The Mummy this weekend,I doubt that the new star wars can be any worse.I went with a group of friends and while the movie had some funny moments(the film's ONLY saving grace)it was in the end still pretty cheesy,and just too dumb.And I finally saw Saving Private Ryan on friday.While the movie had an excellant opening(graphic)and the ending was exciting and moving,the middle of the film dragged on way TOO long.So in the end the movie was okay but was no oscar material.As for The Matrix,well while it had some good,kickass action scenes and a interesting story premise,its something thats been done already.Think Dark City.Once again another movie that the critics are loving and calling inovative but really just another shoot-them-up hollywood movie with an story idea thats already been done. So WHILE Phantom may not be a masterpeice,probably won't be a time waster either.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:04 p.m. CST

    CONGRATS HARRY!!!!!!!!!

    by Simon Templar

    I was flipping throuh the pages of premire's Power 100, List And Saw Your name. I was Damn Impressed. I also know the feeeling you describe of waiting in line. The First Showing Starts At 12:01 Here and I know I will Love themovie. BUt I think waiting in line, Will play a major part in my expericnce. ROCK ON

  • May 11, 1999, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Coulda been, shoulda been, woulda been...

    by dennis

    Please, people. Just enjoy it for what it is. I have no doubt I will find faults with this film, but I know I will thoroughly enjoy it. This is not Empire! We all want another Empire, of course, but this is a new story with familiar aspects. We really don't know ANY of these characters yet, just what they are to become. I do not what the human side to take a backseat to the CGI, but this is what was given us. Besides, I honestly feel that this movie is purely for setup, and the darker, more Empire like tone will be in the films to follow.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Unbiased eyes

    by Mandolin

    Just read Moriarty's review and he encourages us to view the film with "unbiased eyes." His review, thoughtful and impassioned as it was, makes that impossible. As does this website which has encouraged everyone who has been lucky enough to catch a pre-release screening to rush in with their impressions and opinions. All I knew about Jar Jar was that he was my five-year-old son's most requested action figure. Reading all the missives here, I will find it hard to be objective about this apparantly despised character. I guess it will be best to stay clear of Aint It Cool until I see the film, lest there be no surprises left for these now compromised eyes.

  • May 11, 1999, 12:58 p.m. CST

    HARRY KNOWLES MUST BE A COMMIE

    by The Movie Guy

    I knew Harry Jay Knowles was big red-headed tub o' lard, but I didn't know he was RED. That's right, Fat Harry must be a commie. Why else would he suppress free spech? Just as the pro-Star Wars people have a right to express their views, so do I. I've lost all respect for Harry at present. He'll have to prove he's more than just a big kid who likes movies. Visit me at http://www.angelfire.com/biz3/themovieguy *rr*

  • May 11, 1999, 1 p.m. CST

    in a proverbial nutshell: getting to the point

    by The Rat

    "The Phantom Menace": is an animated film, in the vein of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". Although they call it digital, it's a form of animation. After all, "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story" most likely utilized the same computer process to achieve their damn results. The story: is about Senator Palpatine. The other characters serve as a perfunctory function to help propel this clandestine and nefarious man into a dictatorship. And HELLO EVERYONE!!: the film borrows heavily from Akira Kurowsawa's "The Seven Samurai" both in story and especially it's Japanese aesthetics. You might even call "Phantom" a foreign film. You could barely understand what most of the alien lifeforms were saying. Needed more subtitles. The visuals: were stunning and believable. Although I'm sure in twenty years, George Lucas will want to redo some shots that were irking him for that long interim, and then we'll all be standing in line for "The Phantom Menace - Special Edition". The problem with the film: is it's character development. There was none. The only true strong character and actress was Natalie Portman. But honestly, she didn't serve any purpose. As of yet, that is. Also, is George Lucas implying that she's Luke and Leia's mother? If so, isn't the age difference of her and Anakin a little too spread apart? Although in about twenty years, it probably won't be an issue. 20 years Galaxy time, of course. And it's about time we see an "older" woman with a "younger" man on screen. Instead of these geriatric Sean Connery/Robert Redford films. (Nothing against age, but the rule should work both ways, to be fair...don't cha think?) Visually: the film was a pastiche of many Jules Verne adventures. Also I saw some Flash Gordon in there. Colorful. Flashy. Vegas of the future. Also, Jake Llyod: wasn't the problem. It was his motivations. I saw a strange parellel between his character and it's final outcome, and the real life menace, Hitler. I speak of the malignant evil that metastisized throughout Hitler's body and brain, forcing him over to the dark side. The way they had Jake playing the role of a soon to be Darth, was like some surfer kid from Malibu. If that's the vibe they were after, they should have had him have playmates called Bill and Ted, and then Anakin could have had some Excellent Adventures...Dude! Glaring at Samuel L. Jackson with an evil stare, didn't suffice. Believe or not, we need more character cliches in the next two films. That's what A NEW HOPE thrived on. A handful of years before the release of that film, we had just lost many troops in Vietnam and we needed to feel that we - as a collective group in the United States - won some type of victory. Star Wars accomplished that deep seeded passion. We knew who to fight against, and what we were fighting for. George Lucas is an intellect, and his virtures are on display in every film he takes part in, inlcuding "Howard the Duck". But like that film, if you don't have characters you truly care about, then their mission means beans to the the audiences. And ironically enough, one of the main complaints about "Howard" was the voice for Howard the Duck. Jar Jar Binks is not the only maligned character in the Lucas library. (a note about Jar Jar's voice: I would have gone further with the Jamaican accent. It would have added the levity the character needed.) But in a nutshell: there were enough visually stunning elements to "Phantom" to make it impressive on a fantasy film level. Could it be the next "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"? May the shwartz be with you and thank the fates that there were imperfections about "Phantom" to allow us to discuss the merits of the film making, rather than the constant and annoying predictions of the eventual boxoffice. Until next time....

  • May 11, 1999, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Double Standards

    by KeyTheMetalIdol

    Kudos to the "I am Darth Maul" guy. Does anyone else out there find it sickening that somehow, lining up a week in advance for a movie we've been waiting to see for years is somehow wierd and stupid, but yet any white-bread bland-ass boring jerk out there would stand in line for 2 weeks to get Super Bowl tickets, and that would be acceptable? How exactly is it that being dull and boring, living your life in this perfect "acceptable" fashion, IE Goal = Dupe some girl into having sex with you, Fun = Alcohol, is somehow MORE desirable than living your life working and consumed with exciting, fascinating hobbies that provide fertile ground to take your imagination anywhere. My girlfriend and I have a blast being geeks - I'll be in line at 6 AM sharp tomorrow with her to get my Star Wars tickets. Consider this a hearty "fuck you" to every bland-ass, boring, sports-loving, white bread plastic asshole who's ever told a fantasy-enriched geek to "get a life". We have one, thank you, and frankly, it's a hell of a lot more interesting than yours.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:02 p.m. CST

    On being banned

    by Foster Zygote

    Well first of all I don't think that the Constitution applies here. After all Harry and Father Geek are pretty much gods here. They wield the power to decide who lives and who dies. They are mostly benign gods but they are of course entitled to god like whimsy and may smite anyone they see fit to. What's the point in being a god, even a lesser deity, if you can't smite anyone? However, personally, I don't suport banning anyone, even if this person were hypothetically say, crazy as a shithouse rat. Besides, is anyone really "banned"? All you have to do is get a new pseudonym so it's more an act of censure than censorship.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:15 p.m. CST

    A POST THAT MAY GET REMOVED IF SOMEONE DOESN'T AGREE WITH ME.

    by WesReviews

    This is really something...Guys, I am a huge Star Wars fan, and I do intend to see The Phantom Menace at some point, BUT IF IT DOES SUCK PLEASE ADMIT IT! Some of you fanboys out there are already making the rest of us look bad by giving sugar-coated reviews just to make sure that everyone else will go see it. IF IT SUCKS, IT SUCKS! I am a devout Wes Craven fan, and even I admit that THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 is one of the worst movies I have had the misfortune to see. Same thing with John Carpenter. Carpenter is my favorite living movie director, but Village of the Damned could've been a tad better. I freely admit it when my idols make mistakes. Craven and Carpenter both are leaps and bounds more talented than George Lucas any day of the week! At least Craven has the dedication that Francis Ford Coppola did when directing the GODFATHER movies to direct all the sequels in his SCREAM trilogy.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:18 p.m. CST

    The Movie Dork

    by Foster Zygote

    Actually I must make an exception and say I would feel no pain if The Movie Guy was banned, repeatedly. He acts like he wants to discuss Star Wars yet all he really wants to do is pander his porn site. Some 12 year old kid is gonna think you've got Star Wars links and open your porn page. I'm sure that that's why you were banned you asshole.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:23 p.m. CST

    by yoshue

    If the original Star Wars was so hated by critics like everyone has been saying, then why the hell was it nominated for Best Picture that year?

  • May 11, 1999, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Why...?

    by yoshue

    If the original Star Wars was so hated by critics like everyone has been saying, then why the hell was it nominated for Best Picture that year?

  • May 11, 1999, 1:31 p.m. CST

    AND AS FOR HARRY...

    by WesReviews

    And as for Harry, all I can say is wow...a guy who claims to love movies and so forth as much as he does removing people's messages and banning others from talkback. I simply can't believe this. I suggest everyone on here to no longer use talkback, because it is abundantly clear that it is no longer an unbiased forum where fans of differing opinions can share their beliefs and thoughts with others, no matter how positive or negative they may be. Fans of good old fashioned movies in general are no longer welcome here, for this has apparently become the "Lets Kiss George Lucas' Ass No Matter What Crap he Puts Out". I'd even bet Harry and a few of you others are a tad upset that I didn't capitalize "he" in that last sentance. Well, unlike what some may be lead to believe, George Lucas ISN'T God. He isn't even a movie director. I honestly don't see how you people can place George Lucas in the same category as Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, or even Steven Spielberg. John Carpenter has created more of an impact on people's imaginations. His creation of a pale, emotionless, remorseless masked figure dressed in black that is Michael Myers continues to frighten people to this very day. As big of a Star Wars fan as I am (and I own the very first video copy of STAR WARS which has a plastic 20th Century Fox clamshell-like case) I've not once had a dream where I am a Jedi. On many occasions, I've had nightmares dealing with Carpenter's Michael Myers where I've been terrified to the point of having a headache upon waking up. Now THAT is how a real movie makes an impact on someone. Harry, I love the site...but this biased stuff has got to go. You're either fair, or you're not. Nothing in between.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Nyack NY Palisades Confirmed!

    by JediFunk

    Thanks to my letter directly to Lowes Cineplex, the public relations manager contacted the regional manager, who contacted the REAL manager for the Palisades Theaters, who contacted me PERSONALLY. He apologized profusely, and gave me the following information: Tickets will go on sale May 12th 3pm for 3 screens for shows from 9am to 1am starting the 19th. #10 screen is the biggest. A flyer at the theater gives the times for each screen. I asked for screen #10: 10am, 1:15pm,4:30pm,7:30pm & 11pm..(there may be more) The MALL WILL allow a line-up starting tonight, and stay overnight if you want! Security & theater personnel will be there, to make sure is organized and fair. E-mail me if you are planning to line up and at what time. David cybrfunk@eclipse.net

  • May 11, 1999, 1:43 p.m. CST

    The Phantom......

    by me2

    Everyone figures the true 'phantom' of the movie is palpatine, but that's not entirely accurate. The phantom in this movie is the villain, darth maul, because he's barely in the movie. He's only there long enough to kill qui-gon and have obi-wan then cut him in half. Oh yeah, he gets to make a menacing facial expression or two. Ooooooooo how scary and threatening. Also common sense and good taste is a phantom in this movie. For god's sake someone slap lucas on the head, because what the hell was he thinking by making anakin 'the virgin birth', and shmi his 'surrogate mother'?????? Lucas is starting to believe all the hype from fans that worship every turd he drops in the toilet. Plus we still have the issue of midi-chlorians. barf barf barf. Another phantom is good humor. Watching jar jar step in a pile of dung isn't funny, it's lame. In fact it's lower than the ace ventura jim carrey type of humor. This is supposed to be a star wars movie for crying out loud, not jerry lewis in the incredible land of great-but-still-fake-looking-cgi. This isn't a movie, it's a non-interactive video game. The backlash over this has started, and once it gets released into theaters it's just going to grow and grow. First it'll be there on the net, but then once the gross isn't what everyone was expecting it to be, once it's obvious it won't beat titanic, won't even come close to it, then the mainstream tv and print press will start to trash it, and then "THE SECOND COMING" will turn out to be a godzilla. A movie that never had a chance to live up to the hype and that everyone looks down upon now. The phantom will finally be the audience, because once they see how bad it is they won't be there anymore to buy every little toy, every little ewok/jar jar type creation which perverts children worse than the teletubbies and barney combined, and they won't go see the movie anymore. And when the film doesn't make as much money as hoped the theaters will be beyond pissed, and they'll get back at both fox and lucas, and when episode 2 comes out the theaters will be in the position of power and lucas will have to bend over and take it worse than jan de bont did for speed 2 or joel schumaker for batman and robin. And lucas will hopefully have learned his lesson and will let someone else direct and write episode 3, because it's probably too late to save episode 2. Lucas wasn't the sole writer or the director of ESB, and the film turned out great, and he should do ep's 2 and 3 like that so there's a chance the fans can get a good movie for once, and not this pile of cgi gungan doo-doo. But it's not likely to happen, so true movie fans better start looking elsewhere for a great ongoing film franchise to watch. Like alien, er, 3 and 4 sucked, damn. I mean like star trek, er, damn odd numbered films. Um, I really meant superman, polar bears guarding the fortress of solitude, ick. Well at least there's batman.....and robin with their rubber nipples and butt shots. Damn, there's no franchise left anymore that hasn't been f***ed over by money grubbing jerks(of which lucas has now been included). Oh well, there's always video.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:45 p.m. CST

    FOSTER ZYGOTE

    by WesReviews

    Foster Zygote, if you consider a site dealing with movies and movie reviews to be porn, then GO TO HELL. There is no porn on The Movie Guy's site. I may not agree with him on all his movie opinions and such, but it is FAR from being pornography. Grow up and get that lightsaber out of your ass, okay? Okay. Thanks.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Adults...Pretentious? Harry, get a grip.

    by Josho

    Harry, Your attitude is indefensible. First, in case you haven't figured it out, adults MADE Star Wars. In fact, George Lucas is old enough to qualify for membership in AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). Second, also in case you haven't figured it out, the people who are adults NOW are the same people who made the first three STAR WARS films a hit. So let's not pretend that these people don't know how to enjoy good movies. The people who are seeing TPM as a first-run movie now, and who have never seen a first-run STAR WARS movie before, should be down on their hands and knees THANKING US for making the original SW films a big enough hit to warrant this prequel (and future prequel sequels). Instead, we adults are being blasted as being pretentious, for not knowing how to "enjoy" a film. That's crapola, and somewhere in your heart of hearts, you know that's true. TPM, like the other SW films, are the VISION OF ADULTS brought to fruition BY ADULTS. Someday I believe you'll look at what you've written here and amaze yourself at your naivete and your crass dismissal of "adults" as some sort of villains in the entire TPM saga. Get a grip, child.

  • May 11, 1999, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Banned?

    by Eradan

    Just wondering if I, too, was banned for calling JMS a pinhead.

  • May 11, 1999, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Psychobabble

    by Jay Sherman

    Unfortunately, I would have to agree that "Election" was a more enjoyable film than "Episode I." The Matthew Broderick film was fresh and original, whereas "Phantom Menace" was, umm.. well, I dare not say. I don't want to incur the wrath of some mega-fans who haven't even seen the movie. Not that it matters. They have still managed to make excuses about every lukewalm to negative review about the new film. Don't those critics understand? "TPM will be the BEST MOVIE EVER!! They should have seen the movie with the mind-set of an 8-year old!!! They probably didn't even cry when the title appeared on the screen! They were too busy looking to be entertained that they forgot that this movie is not about entertainment! How could they trivialize this movie by looking for 'character development' and 'acting.' It's soooo much more than that. They wanted to hate it!! They were comparing it to other "Star Wars" movies!!! That's totally unfair. And besides, "TPM" will BE BETTER THAN THE OTHER ONES! Oh yeah, and it's part of a new trilogy!!! YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LIKE THE PHANTOM MENACE UNTIL 2005!!!!!" In the end, every person who has seen "TPM" and didn't like it is wrong, and only those who left the cinema trembling as if they had touched the hand of a higher power wil truly have appreciated "Menace." Look folks, you're not supposed to go in to a movie pretending you're a wide-eyed child. You can't. That's what MOVIES are supposed to do! Brilliant films like "Star Wars" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" turned-up the inner child in even the most jaded unsuspecting critics, none of whom walked into a screening thinking to themselves, 'you know what, to enjoy this movie, I'm going to pretend like I'm six.' You can't plan an emotion. They just happen, and don't fool yourselves. When the movie opens, the fanfare begins and the title appears on the screen, I can almost guarantee you will feel like you did during "Empire" and Jedi." Whether the rest of the movie can sustain your giddiness depends on what you think of it. But remember,you are sixteen years older. If you see "TPM" and don't like it, blame George Lucas. It's his fault and not yours, no matter what some apologists write. HE'S the one who couldn't rekindle your inner-Second Grader.

  • May 11, 1999, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Jar Jar (please validate me)

    by johnb

    Yes, Jar Jar may be a little annoying, but isn't he supposed to piss us off? He pisses Obi-Wan off, and he pisses Qui-Gon off. He is in TPM to be funny, as well as to make us as the audience feel the same way about him as the other characters do. Please validate me by agreeing in your post names. THANKS!!!

  • May 11, 1999, 2:14 p.m. CST

    George Lucas

    by JSG

    First off I would just like to congratluate Minority on his excellent and honest review of The Phantom Menece. Let me tell everybody what I think of TPM. I havn't seen it yet but I think we're all preety damn lucky to even be seeing a Starwars movie. I really feel sorry for George Lucas. I mean look at what the guy has on his shoulders. He's trying to make a film that well try to live up to everybodies HUGE expectation and hype. he's trying to make a film that well live up to all the other Starwars films. He's trying to make a film that's been anticapated for years and years and everybody expects to be one of the best. The guy's got a lot of weight on his shoulders trying to do all of this. Give the guy credit for trying to make the best Starwars film he knows how to make. It's got to be hard making this movie and knowing that you have to make it live up to all the other highly successfull Starwars movies. I say even if this Starwars movie isn't as good as all the other ones we're still lucky. A bad or not so good Starwars movie is better than no Starwars movie at all. The reason I'm so excited about this movie is because I've never experienced a Starwars movie on the big screen. I saw the origanal Starwars on my freinds 27 inch TV screen when I was like five years old. I don't even remember the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back and I saw Return Of The Jedi on my old TV which sucked. I'm just happy I can finally see one. I don't care if it's not as good as the rest. I'm still excited and will be even more excited when I see the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." Give George Lucas credit for atleast making this film and making it the way he thought we would like it best. A bad Starwars film is better than NO Starwars film at all. Don't take it for granted. I won't.

  • May 11, 1999, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Star Wars - the truth?

    by Sibod

    Well, I've not really read the previous posts too much, and I've not thouroughly read the reviews so far either. So forgive my opinion if it's been stated elsewhere or if it is wrong, but let me just point a few things out. First, lets look at Star Wars again. Ok, how old were most of us when it came out originally? What - 5 - 15 year olds? How old are we now? What - between 20 and 35? The point is, our eyes are a lot different now. We were once children, and everything is different then. Movies like Star Wars were really magical - and they had a lot more besides the on-screen movie thing - the toys, the bedspreads, the lunchboxes, the Disneyland rides, etc, etc. Lets not forget also that Star Wars was really a world apart from any other movie of it's time. If anything it's the biggest boost the Sci-Fi genre and movie industry got in years. Now lets look at The Phantom Menace. A lot of the original Star Wars trilogy fans are in their adult years, some even aproaching the age their parents where when they took them to see Star Wars. A LOT of anticipation has been built up since the last theatre released Star Wars movie. The Special Editions, the re-released toys, the sheer ammount of pariphinalia around Star Wars can't have gone unmissed. If anything, I think that Star Wars is more now than it was even when it was released. It was sucessful then, but now I beleive the success has gone beyond that. There are people that have watch the original so often they can repeat every line from the film script word for word, and there are those that have written succsessful books in and around the Star Wars Universe. In short, Star Wars is worshipped. So when George Lucas announced the production of Episode One, naturally the entire fan community - old and young, have been incredibly excited (to totally understate it!). I dont think there is ever a movie more hotly anticipated and wanted than The Phantom Menace. With all the years of waiting, and fandom building, and so on, even the merest mention of a new movie is enough to send palms to sweatydom. Lucas knew that Star Wars is just a tad big these days, and how badlythe Phatom Menace would be wanted. So the hype machine and manipulation of events has been perfect. Even limiting the number of theatres that can show it has been a way of getting people excited, and of course, inventing yet another sound system for this movie - well, it all adds to the experience. So, we now have the stage set for the most anticipated movie of all history (well, maybe not, but it';s certainly legendary). However, now consider this: Cinema has moved on leaps and bounds since Star Wars. Two more Wars movies have been released, and then re-released again with souped up effects, and new endings. We've had the revival of Star Trek and it's spinoffs, Earth Final Conflict, Babylon 5, Dune, Indipendenc Day, Aliens, etc, etc, etc. Special effects are tremendously sophisticated and most importantly, so have the publics expectations. With all this behind it, the Phantom Menace had two things to prove: 1. It can match, if not better the original SW trilogy. 2. It can beat all the other movies released recently and over the last 16 years. I think this movie had a monumental task, and I for one dont beleive even Lucas could muster such a feat. He had a nearly impossible task ahead of him. So with all this both for and against it, the Phantom Menace had a unique position. And I beleive that it is the first movie to be held on a pedastool before it's released, only to be clearly knocked from that stool once it's actually hit the screen. What I suspect is that perhaps, yes, it might not be the best movie ever made - but hey, what is it like as a individual peice of movie making? Is it entertaining? Is it fun? Does it make you go Wow? Who cares? It's "The Phantom Menace" - and I dont think that any of that will care. It has to be the best thing ever, or it will be seen as bad. As Bart Simspon coined once, "I didn't think it was physically possible, but this movie is so bad it both sucks and blows at the same time!". I doubt TPM would ever meet expectations, and I doubt it could ever be viewed as a individual movie due to it's heretage and what has preceeded it. Remember though, Star Wars whole plot revolved around several co-incidences: 1. The R2 unit that Likes uncle chose blowing up at the right moment. 2. R2D2 being at the right place at the right time (The very person that was needed to help save the universe), who went to seek out Ben Kenobi. If that robot had not shroted out, then the whole star wars plot would be nothing more than a tale of how Luke Skywalker got a new robot! Also consider that Star Wars was really a first. It's plot, well, lets face it - very much a mishmash of Swords and Sorcery, with some pretty bad dialogue and acting at times, and (as pointed out above) some pretty gaping plot holes. However, what made it the experience it was, was the way it was all excecuted. It was a rollercoaster ride of a movie - the first surround sound systems, the most spectacular and advances special effects ever used, wonderful imagery and imagination, creting a beleivable atmosphere that, when we were kids, blew us away. TPM will never recreate that experience, it couldn't. I think some people will only be satisfied if they sit there feeling exactly as they did 20 or so years ago. Impossible. I myself think I'll go and see an above average movie that will further the story and plot of the best movie trilogy of all time (IMHO). Lets see what the next few months do to the world of moviemaking shall we? My words are complete, Sibod.

  • May 11, 1999, 2:21 p.m. CST

    I CALLED THE NUMBER AND THEY ANSWERED!!!!!

    by +Trustno1+

    Hey this message board is pretty ok, as long as Harry dosent get offended. Oh i offered up a ram to you earlier so you dont smite me. 8-) Anywho I called that number for Gateway and someone from origin(who will remain anonymous) answered the phone. We talked for a few moments about how many people were in line(about 150 right now). He said noone was wearing any costumes as it was burning hot out there. He also answered 3 questions for me: 1. Do you think that TPM will be as good as wing commander? Answer: "Are you kidding heck ya!" 2. Do you think that the lucasfilm people had to wait in line for your wing commander movie? Answer: "No I dont believe so, however I heard there was plenty of room if they wanted to stand around waiting" 3. Is lord british around? Answer: "We have been getting alot of those lately. Do you know the story behind this one? Well Origin made wing commander and Ultima online, although we had nothing to do with the movie" So there you have it from the line front. Back to you Big Red!

  • May 11, 1999, 2:26 p.m. CST

    One down...two to go...REMEMBER THAT!

    by utz_world

    i suspect that we may appreciate Ep.1 more after we've seen the other two. let's wait till Episode 3 is released before we start firing our pistols at Mr. Lucas, okay? who knows...the stuff that goes on in Eps 2 & 3 will help to make sense what goes on in Ep. 1. just a thought. see ya at the Chinese!!!

  • May 11, 1999, 3:05 p.m. CST

    IM BACK!!! DONT CENSOR ME(good Album)

    by =Trustno1=(2)

    Hey everbody im back! Harry banned my other login for who knows what?!? I emailed him but strnagely he never got back to me??? Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Anyway just wanted to reintegrate that people wasting their lives to stand in a line for a MOVIE!!! is just plain idiotic! HAHAHAHA. Thats what I love about ya Harry. You encourage people to exspress their opinions here and allow those same opinions to remain posted as long as they are positive or share the same views as you. Well we all dont have the same opinion as you Harry! I think TPM will be a great movie, but im not gonna sit in line like some sack o crap for 2 weeks waiting on it! GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!

  • May 11, 1999, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I cant believe you called that number! Haha.

    by =Trustno1=(2)

    Hey +Trustno1+ I cannot believe you called that number. Good show Good show. I especially liked that part about the ram being sacrificed. 8-) That was great. Call me tonight dude. See ya.

  • May 11, 1999, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I call it, no more ticket price mentioning...

    by Funmazer

    Please. Really. Does everyone HAVE to 'impress' us with how much they have to pay for a movie ticket? Are they complaining? Think about it this way. A movie lasts 2 hours. What if you make 7, 8, 9 or 10 bucks an hour? Job pay rates probably coencide with movie ticket rates. You know, big city, better job, more for a ticket, vice versa for smaller towns. So, let's say, ON AVERAGE, one hour of work pays for your ticket. So, that's ONE HOUR of work, TWO HOURS of movie. Seems fair to me... Also, if you like those sound systems and digital seats, you have to pay for it! It's worth it, I think.

  • May 11, 1999, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I'd Like to thank Redleader and Peteski(s.p.?) and Clarify

    by GrouchLord

    First off, I think both Redleader and Peteski have valuable veiwpoints on all this, and Secondly, though I may post jabbering, scatelogical nonsense from time to time, I must clarify for the denser that I'm well aware my humor doesn't exactly play well. I think absolutely that I won't change and I applaud the sentiment expressed by Peteski, especially when in a toy store I overheard a bitch expressing her disdain at the "geeks with no Life wasting their money" ! Realize this; Everybody has their thing that they dig. I'm just as sure about her as I think she was about us,but I suspect her vice is hair products! I'm not saying we can all live uninsulated from Critics, but we can aspire to keep on keepin' on despite them. Think of all the $$$ we made for them-

  • May 11, 1999, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Why Harry blows on reviews

    by Vilos Cohaagen

    Harry proved himself a sellout earlier this year with "The Faculty" crap. His going on about the gore and big ass titties. The biggest tits in the film were his. Makes you wonder if he's kissing Lucas' ass because he wants to play Jabba in the next two films. I hope the film is great, but the scenes I have seen look fake and childish. Lucas is just concerned with marketing toys and making another fortune.

  • May 11, 1999, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Lucas should team up with Copola and try American Zoetrope again

    by paragonian

    I don't know what Lucas could possibly do with all the money he makes but I know that if I was in his position I would try something different to help the art of filmmaking in America and overseas. If Lucas truely cares about the future of film he should lay it all on the line like Copola did in the seventies. The worst that could happen is he wouldn't be able to buy another yacht or some other stupid material possession. If he did it I would definietly give it all the support I could and I'm sure a lot of people who are reading this would be willing to do the same.

  • May 11, 1999, 3:59 p.m. CST

    backlashing

    by Pat Buddha

    I like what Roman Polanksi said about backlashing: "Critics love to 'discover' new talents. Then having praised them to the skies, they take an even greater delight in knocking them off the pedestals of their own creation." A couple of years ago there was this wonderful little film called Forrest Gump. People flocked to it, a lot of times more than once. Once their contributions had catipulted it to the status of one of the top moneymakers of all time and after its big wins at the Academy Awards, all of the sudden Forrest Gump wasn't all that good anymore. I talked to a guy in a chatroom who had seen the film seven times in the theater, but didn't think it was very good. He only went because he was overseas at the time and it reminded him of America. Uh, sure. Of course Forrest Gump had robbed all of the big Oscars from the much superior Pulp Fiction and its director, deity-turned-artist Quentin Tarantino. Of course Tarantino also fell victim to the same cultural schizophrenia that worships success, but despises the successful. The Phantom Menace has the added bonus of being a special effects film. I defy anyone to find a positive review of an effects laden review by a "serious" critic or by even the hack in your local newspaper who wants to sound serious. The conventional wisdom is that if it has a budget in the $70 million+ range then it must lack substance. It's more of a video game or an amusement park ride than art.

  • May 11, 1999, 4:12 p.m. CST

    ergerg

    by Wittman

    erhetrhtre

  • May 11, 1999, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Christ, my face is red...

    by Fred4sure

    Waiting in line for days to see this movie is pathetic and an embarrassment to all science fiction fans. Life is short and precious. We're only on this planet for a limited time, so don't waste a single day doing stupid stuff like this. Take control of your lives, people.

  • I have read the TPM script, and I must that just BY SCRIPT ALONE, this is THE BEST SW MOVIE. That's saying alot. And I totally don't understand all this bullshit about the conflict in TPM: Yeah, The Trade Federation blockades the planet of Naboo, and then takes it over. Amidala, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, & the Gungans take it back. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO COME UP WITH EXCUSES FOR THIS PLOT???????????????????? WHY CAN'T YOU REALIZE HOW GREAT THIS PLOT IS???????? Let's look at the plot to ANH: Rebellion vs. Empire. Luke blows up Death Star....duhhh... OKAY! THAT'S ABOUT THE MOST SIMPLE FUCKING PLOT EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MOVIE-MAKING!!!!!! Now, don't get me wrong, I love the originals. I was one of the first in line to see ANH: SE, and I have always loved the original Star Wars trilogy. But EPISODES IV-VI ARE EXTREMELY SIMPLISITC!!!!! TPM's plot has THE MOST BRAINS by far of the SW movies. I guess some people don't like the fact that this plot has intrigue, surprises, and politics. They just want a simple shoot-em-up bad guy plot. DUH, REBELLION VS. EMPIRE. COME THE FUCK ON!!!!!!! This is the movie that starts everything! At this point in time, there is no empire, only the Galactic Republic. The conflict HAS to be COMPLICATED!!!!!!!! This is what starts it all!!!!!!!!! I love how Nute Gunray sits in Queen Amidala's throne. I love how the Queen's palace becomes the Neimoidian palace! I love the idea of evil triumphing in the beginning and then rooted out in the end! At first, it seems so simple. A simple trade dispute. Then, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are treated like rats and the Federation tries to stomp them out. Their plan: TAKE OVER THE PLANET OF NABOO. THEIR SECRET BENEFACTOR, THE GUY BEHIND IT ALL: DARTH SIDIOUS! SENATOR PALPATINE HIMSELF!!! In fact, this plot is THE BEST of the Star Wars movies! Did someone say that TPM cannot stand alone??? BULLSHIT. This movie is an epic all it's own. And it's story envolopes the very myth/legend nature of Star Wars. IN FACT, I THINK THE PLOT EMBODIES THIS MYTH/ADVENTURE FAR BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS. Two Jedi Knights caught up in a battle over a planet. They must protect the Queen at all costs. At first, they are forced to flee, and as they do, The Federation takes over Naboo. NUTE GUNRAY riding in triumphantly on his mechanical chair is AWESOME!!!!!!!! He says "Ah, victory!" and it makes you grin! The Neimoidians aren't Darth Vader. They aren't Sith Lords either. BUT THEY ARE THE PERFECT VILLAINS! They're like these evil, high-class, wealthy, exotic alien warlords that have built their own armies to do the dirty work for them. They sit above a pedestal and watch their minions from afar as they triumphantly ride in style as the the majestic and beautiful, paradise-like Naboo is taken over by these exotic alien lords. Their evil pollutes the place a bit. One AMAZING shot is the Naboo Palace underneath a beautiful moon. Inside, you cringe and smile at the same time when you see Nute Gunray sitting in QUEEN AMIDALA'S THRONE!!!! It is a very cool feeling. But these guys are NOT the kind of evil that the Sith are. I think Lucas's use of the word "GREEDY" is ABSOLUTLEY PERFECT!!! These are the kind of villains who worship power and wealth. They must possess. And they have the means to do it. They represent the technological evil in this film. The Sith Lords USE the Niemoidians' greed and make them and their armies their PAWNS!!!! The TRUE AND ABSOLUTE EVIL is Darth Sidious and Darth Maul! They represent the mystical, old, and mysterious side of evil. The Neimoidians represent the technological money-hungry and exotic side of evil. Their outfits are PERFECT as well. Nute in his exotic head-dress and flowing red robes. It is so alien and exotic. Yet is regal at the same time. These beings use their armies to do the talking for them, unlike Sidious and Maul. And....I just LOVE the Neimoidians. They are, by far, my favorite Star Wars villains. Of course, no one can ever beat Darth Vader. But as much as I hate to say it, I like the Trade Federation much better than the Galactic Empire.

  • May 11, 1999, 5 p.m. CST

    Christ, get a life

    by TheWord

    As much as I love Star Wars, I'm sure as shit not gonna pitch a tent up in front of a movie theater a week in advance just to say I saw it a couple days before everyone else. Don't get me wrong fellow geeks, I'm a fan of the series myself, but devoting a week or in some cases even a month(!)of your life to something that's meant for a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon is a little sick. Call me cruel, but I feel like hopping a plane over to California and passing out xeroxed copies of the "Time" Phantom Menace reviews to those poor souls camped in front of the theaters, just to get some reactions. Probably wouldn't do any good, though. "It's a sad devotion to an ancient religion..." and people are going to line up to see if even if it sucks the big one.

  • May 11, 1999, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Obsession just ain't a perfume, Gorgar...

    by Fred4sure

    Hmmm...what could be better than wasting a week of your life standing in line. Gosh, come to think of it there is nothing better. I've already met the woman of my dreams and fathered a wonderful child. I've read all the great books...a couple of times. I've devoted hundreds of hours to all my favorite charities. I've been both a Big Brother and a Big Sister to some children in need. I've exercised my body and expanded my mind plenty. Silly me. I've done it all...is there any room in line for me? Here I come!

  • May 11, 1999, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Another nose

    by Rivulus

    I must admit, I can identify with all the SW fans out there - even though I am not one of them. I identify because I am a die-hard fan of something - er - someone else. I'm sorry to admit that for me, SWTPM is not too important, and that my life won't end if I don't see it in the theater. I can wait for it to hit video. (Actually, I have a hunch it would make a good drive-in movie this summer.) But, I do enjoy watching the dedicated fans of the entire SW saga. I like watching their dedication - their devotion. I truly admire them for it.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Non-spoiler review

    by Sefster

    From someone who has shielded himself from most information about the movie before seeing it: I had mixed feelings about the movie. The story was not as exciting as it could have been, and I think that was the biggest let down. Very plotty, but not a whole lot going on and not a whole lot of tension. The effects, while they were phenomenal, sometimes lacked the real, lived-in, textured feel. He's ahead of his time (again), but I don't know if that's a good thing. For instance, many of the creatures were computer animated, and it showed. They sometimes lacked life. At the same time, there was a lot that was fascinating to see, as far as showing what life was like before Episode 4. And the impending doom hanging over Anakin's character added to that. The acting was shaky at first but got better. The kid wasn't great. Natalie Portman is drop-dead beautiful, though I've always liked her. Jar Jar was annoying at first, but then I started liking him. He was actually pretty funny. Again, once I got used to him. It lives up to star wars in the way that it's fascinating to see what the galaxy was like before ANH. Thing is, ANH felt much more alive, rich and lived-in. It grew on me a lot as I watched it, if that's any indication. The excitement of it doesn't really live up to the others, though. Better than Jedi, but not as good as ANH or ESB. Similar to Jedi in that there was a lot going on, but nothing much happening.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Please please please please read this everyone

    by schnepf

    This letter is being sent to every movie site which I consider to be major and to Fox, Lucas Arts, Lucas Films and every other thing related to the new Star Wars film. To begin I work at the Hoyts Cinema 12 in Newington New Hampshire. Today it was anounced that my theater will not be showing the new Star Wars film. In the area , Portsmouth NH area, there are only a select few theaters, mostly Hoyts. The Hoyts which I work at is by far the largest in the area. We have 12 theaters, a huge parking lot, and a huge lobby. There are a possibility of 4 box offices and many concession outposts. We have 2 digital sound rooms, each which seating for roughly 300 people. We have a professional projectionist, who takes great pride in his work and keeps all of our films in the best conditions. The theater in the area which was given Star Wars is the Portsmouth theater. This is an old theater, one box office , two concessions, a lobby the size of our bulk candy area and only one DTS room. The only reason this theater was given the movie was the fact that its two largest theaters can hold more than our two largest. I have often gone to this theater and never once have I seen a movie there that did not have at least one scratch in the film. Their projectionist is who ever is not busy at box or concession. Our theater has a nw manager who worked at this smaller Portsmouth theater and even he feels it is wrong for them to get it. George Lucas's dream was for his film to be shown in only the best conditions and the Portsmouth Hoyts is hardly the best conditions. Im asking anyone of you with any kind of power to try and fix this travisty. If Fox could send a representative to each of these theaters and see the conditions of each this person would with out a doubt agree with my above statements.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:57 p.m. CST

    break on through

    by panaken

    I've never seen so much discussion on a film that only a handful of people have seen. One thing thing that I've haven't seen mentioned here in regards to the original trilogy and even the upcoming one is the "I want to do that" factor. How many people out there wanted to jump into their local moviescreen and shoot a couple of stormtroopers while escaping a certain spaceport in the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. Take on vader at cloud city? Through a couple of one liners at the emperor? "You're overconfidence is your weakness! If this next one makes me want to be a jedi all over again, to jump in a podracer or to take on Darth Maul and his double-bladed lightsaber, I will be more than pleased. I don't know about the rest of you, but movies with the "I want to do that" factor since the original trilogy have been few. Two more things: instead of disecting a film you have't seen yet, go back to the original three and ask questions like.. in Empire Vader and luke duel. At the beginning of the fight, why didn't luke just say " Hey Darth, look over there and while he's distracted just hit a couple of buttons on that exposed chest panel and stop his breathing? Less dramatic but justifiable to all the logical folks out there. For all the people out there that hate the plot for the new movie, take a trip down to your local bookstore and purchase a copy of the book called SCREENPLAY. You know most of the plot, write the story that you think Lucas should have done. Should Anakin have been like that kid in Apt Pupil; killing a couple of womprats while no one was watching? Wrap it up and send it to george with a note saying this is how it should have been done sir!

  • May 11, 1999, 7:01 p.m. CST

    CISCO Bunny

    by mrbeaks

    I see. Now, who's bitter? I guess it can't be the guy who assails the consistenltly mild-mannered Moriarty over his well-written review of TPM. And to think..... a happy-go-lucky guy like yourself is mired in the retail industry. Forget Kosovo, *this* is the true human tragedy.

  • May 11, 1999, 7:06 p.m. CST

    JMS At Denver Celebration?

    by panaken

    Over at The Force. net they have some photos from the star wars celebration in Denver. There is a guy there dressed as stormtrooper with an orange rank pad on his shoulder. The guy in the trooper outfit is identified as J-M-S. Could it be the same banished Napoleon known for his Lucas diatribes. Take off your mask Anakin and let us look on you with our own eyes.

  • May 11, 1999, 7:22 p.m. CST

    ANAKIN DOES NOT FALL INTO A VOLCANO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by quentin2

    Are you all deaf, blind, and dumb??? At the 1997 Press Conference in Caserta, Italy, Lucas was asked what influence, if any, the novels would have on him. He took that oppurtunity to PUBLICALLY DISAVOW EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE NOVELS. He said the novels will have no bearing whatsoever on the prequels. Evidence of this is clearly seen in TPM. After seeing the movie and reading the novel, it is clear that there are two schools of Force-users: The Sith, who use the Dark Side, and The Jedi, who use the Light Side. This is the opposite of the expanded universe: In the comics, The Sith were a monkey-like race that was rich in the Force. They were enslaved by Dark Jedi, and their Force powers drained. Thus, the term "Dark Lord of the Sith". How fucking stupid is that???? Now, when you think about it, "Dark Jedi" is a bullshit term. There is no such thing as "Dark Jedi". You're either a Sith or a Jedi. So, ahem, as I was saying. Anakin's duel with Obi-Wan and him falling into a volcano was a bit of free imagination of the guy who wrote the ROTJ novel. I doubt that Anakin actually falls into a volcano. On the official site, it says his "lungs were crushed and his body broken".

  • May 11, 1999, 7:58 p.m. CST

    it's a mighty cold force

    by Thunderball

    I saw this movie tonight and found it very cold. All the computer animation in this just sucks the humanity right out. Through major chunks of the story I felt like I was watching a cartoon. I loved the beginning and greatly enjoyed the grand finale but I was restless through much of the middle. The whole business with the Senate, what a waste of time. And Natalie Portman displays none of her usual charisma here. And that's a problem. The first Star Wars had characters I loved. I felt far removed from this bunch. Hey, I'll still buy the dvd but to be completely honest, I just don't feel any great need to see this movie again anytime soon.

  • May 11, 1999, 9:01 p.m. CST

    getting the (exclamation) point.

    by Powerslave

    With all the exclamation points flying about on these talkbacks, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm reading copies of "Gamepro" magazine with realizing it.

  • May 11, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Johnnie Danger

    by mercator

    Wow. I hope the above poster has actually seen the movie, otherwise his comment sounds pretty darn silly. I think he wants TPM to suck.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Star Wars was NOT originally made for kids.

    by McDanz

    What's all this BS about Star Wars being for kids??? I'm sorry but I would never define a children's film as one in which the hero cuts off his father's head to reveal his own, then later have his hand lopped off!!! Empire, with all its Yoda philosiphy and dramatic conflict was NOT for kids. ANH was intended for an audience of teens, granted ROTJ was a kid's film. But saying "oh it's for kids anyway" is a poor way of excusing all the cartoonish characters and cheesy lines. Considering the last part of this trilogy will end with mass Jedi slaughter and a real bummer of an ending, I'd harldy call it a story intended soley for children. By all means have fun, but don't excuse the cheesiness by claiming the target audience was originally for younger people anyway.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Why the need to defend?

    by Integra

    Why do ppl feel the need to defend this movie like one of their children made it? If it stinks it stinks, judge it like you would any other movie, i almost always ignore critics anyhow. So many ppl seem to feel the need to defend this movie. why? I love film and science fiction and fantasy, im a total geek when it comes down to it, but if this movie blows, then it blows.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:21 p.m. CST

    eulogy for a volcano

    by Cthulu

    As early as fall 1977 I was already hearing rumors of Vader's plunge into a volcano. Like the above poster I also recollect this 'birth' happening during a climactic fight with Ben Kenobi, resulting in Vader's collapsed lungs and horrific facial disfigurement (which by the way was the let down of the century when he was finally unmasked). Isn't that a good five years before the Rot J novelization? Sorry to hear that origin is out now. I was looking forward to it.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:23 p.m. CST

    robot rock(another good album)

    by Moby

    Anyhoo, if Harry did that(censor comments that weren't even foul-mouthed or pedophilic), that's sad. I think the movie will be very enjoyable, just not one of my favorites. I hate it when they compare it to Godzilla because that movie had next to no entertainment value and one of the most boring, hideously unrealistic and awful scripts of all time. As a whole, Godzilla was a 5.5 on my scale. It wasn't an awful movie, just not nearly entertaining enough to recommend. But the way the plodded along with so many tiresome and annoying sequences and preposterous consclusions, it almost made you wonder if the guy writing this did it as a way to screw Sony mandating a "safe" script with "special effects shots for the trailers" and "predictability galore" and "nothing new at all, OK?". John Hughes is a guy who seems to do that by ripping off his old movies with unfunny scripts for Disney almost as a display of utter disgust for their lack of interest in anything good, just "give us another Home Alone, OK?".

  • May 11, 1999, 10:47 p.m. CST

    For the kids

    by Pat Buddha

    If anyone doubts that the Star Wars movies had always been made with a younger audience in mind, go to Toys R Us and see how many Saving Private Ryan toys and coloring books you can find. I don't think that the darker elements of the original trilogy necessarily mean that they were made for an older crowd. Children's literature has always had darker elements. Take the case of the original ending of Cinderella in which the step sisters mutilate their own feet in an attempt to fit into the slipper. Or Little Red Riding Hood in which the grandmother gets eaten and well, so does Red. There was no huntsman to save the day originally. So I will now leave the debate to go play with those Taxi Driver toys that I've had in my collection for years and then after that I'll pull out and read the comic book adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:05 p.m. CST

    The Difference between the Super Bowl and the Phantom Menace

    by Willjum

    Well...after reading way too many tiresome hate mails to Harry, i have a few comments of my own. First off, to the guy who thinks the Super Bowl is the same as Star Wars...i dont remember ur name...frankly i couldnt care less. Lemme explain the difference between a movie, and the superbowl. The superbowl occurs once a year...-once-, so a limited few are the only ones who get to see it at the stadium. If Star Wars was only gonna be shown once...i'd be in line RIGHT NOW, screw my finals. But its not...PM -will- be in the theatre for at least a month...at LEAST. Patience is virtue my friend...i would suggest you invest in that theory. And before u give some retaliatory BS about "well, the SB is on television, everyone can watch it", i dont wanna hear it...thats like sayin u'd rather watch Phantom Menace at home then at the theatre! Its not the same. Im honestly not trying to be vindictive or mean, i just want you to look at both perspectives. As for the lining up thing, and my opinion...more power to ya...if u feel PM is gonna be such a life-changing experience that u have to stop everything and camp out for a week...go for it. I've had 3 reactions to seeing those tents outside of Barton Creek Theatre...1: Losers...they need to go get a job. 2: I wish i could convince one of my idiot friends to stand in line for a week. 3: man, why in the world do finals have to be this week...i wanna be in line! In regards to the Moriarty review...i havent seen the film but i must agree, u embelished a bit. I agree that it should be viewed through children's eyes, but u must realize also that its important to keep in perspective that we are adults now, and Star Wars was the first film many of us cut our teeth on. It contributed to many of our personalities today, hell i remember owning a good number of action figures, (including about 9 crimson guard...they were just so much fun to beat the crap out of!), a darth vader helmet and cape, 2 plastic light sabers (red & green), and the darth vader action figure carrying case. However, those days are long gone...now i spend all my time at UT awaiting my graduation. I've seen the trilogy about 900 times (not willingly a few times...i can only watch it 3 times in one day) but, it is not the defining moment in my life, nor will the Phantom Menace ever be anything more than a movie masterpiece (and a helluva marketing plan). I can guarantee you I will enjoy the film, but it aint gonna make me a better person. Lets see...next subject, Everybody out there who talks smack about the film, or talks smack about people with opposing opinions of the of the movie itself. Please dont create some BS war over a movie...have a civilized arguement for the love of god!! LISTEN TO EVERYONE...your opinion is not the ONLY one out there... Man, that got really preachy...my bad. im just sayin, i aint got nothin but love for all of ya...so dont go trippin on one another cuz y'all have different opinions of the film. K...thats all i got now...dont know if Harry will ban this or whatnot...never posted here before, but i had to say something. Much love to the Dirty South, G-town, H-town, and of course, Austin (cuz thats where i live!). Oh yeah, harry, where in the world is the metropolitan??!!

  • May 11, 1999, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Ed Wood is better than George Lucas...as far as Morals Go.

    by WesReviews

    You people use the term "filmmaker" SO incredibly loosely. Did you know that Ed Wood has directed more films than Lucas ever will? Though his movies were awful, Ed Wood only wanted to make films. To Hell with the money. He just wanted to tell stories that he thought were interesting. George Lucas only wants to sell action figures, gift wrapping paper, tooth paste, and slap bracelets (and, hell I'm sure out there somewhere, there is a turkey baster with "Star Wars" scribbled across it). That, my friends, is not a filmmaker.

  • May 11, 1999, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Well said

    by SegueZagnut

    Moriarty, as always, words it well. And for the record, Moriarty thought Armagedon was a joke.. so it looks like CISCO Bunny has the wrong guy.

  • May 12, 1999, 12:31 a.m. CST

    I just saw The Phantom Menace

    by Rhodes

    I just want to give you all what I was waiting to here until today. I just got back from the press screening of The Phantom Menace and I will tell as a critic, and a fan, and as a person who likes movies that matter: George Lucas did it. The reviews you have read are blatently wrong. Trust me. The scope and shear orginallity of this movie are unparalleled. This movie works on an emotional and intense level. It also is very smart and that is why I believe that many critics have a problem with it. It is not the "classic" 90's empty whole with frosting on it. Think Armacrapden. And once and for all: I do not know where this got started but "THIS IS NOT A KIDS MOVIE AT ALL!" There are some funny kid moments but there is a masive, mature adult political story going on and the level of violence is more than the other 3 combined. It is twice as violent as Star Wars. This kid thing is a joke. It is just simply not true. Finally, this movie is full of shocks and many of you who think you know all will be in for quite a big big suprise. This is the most thought out, interesting, clever, nice, intense, non-insulting movie I have reviewed in the last 5 years. Unlike anything I as a critic have ever seen. He did it.

  • May 12, 1999, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith's EPISODE 1 Review!

    by cookiepuss

    Posted by Kevin at proxy-332.public.rwc.webtv.net on May 12, 1999 at 00:13:41: I saw 'Episode One' tonight. Hee-hee-hee! Ah - being in this business finally pays off. The good folks at the BBC sent me to a press screening, so that I can review the flick next week for them. I offer my new Brit peeps a shoutout for that. Of the film, I can say many things. But the long and short of it is that I liked it - quite a bit. I'd rank it right after 'Empire' in a list of fave 'Star Wars' flicks. It starts great, ends great, and has great stuff sprinkled in between. Is there too much Jar Jar? For a small stretch, yes; but then the Binks quotient calms down considerably. Is the kid bad? I thought he was okay. He certainly wasn't wooden, as some people have suggested. He was a kid actor - no more, no less. I will say that - while it's probably unintentional, his exhuberance juxtaposes nicely against what he eventually becomes in the stories. Is it a puppet-heavy, CGI affair? There's a great deal of it, but not to the point where it's irritating (though the two-headed pod-race comentator was a bit much). I think the key is to go in with low expectations. I did, and I really dug it. Dug it more with distance. I'd see it again. The stuff I liked: Liam, Ewan, Darth Maul (who's in the 2:10 flick for maybe a half hour, tops), R2's introduction, the reappearance of the Tusken Raiders, the treatment of the Jedi as supreme badasses that are to be feared, the political subplot, the fact that Lucas slows the second act way down to introduce Anakin, and of course, the lightsaber battles. The use of the lightsaber in this flick is astounding; worth the price of admission alone. I'm sure in about a week, it's going to become quite fashionable to bash this flick - hard. But I'd like to go on record as saying I dug it. It's a good movie with great moments. Two things that stuck out to me, though: at one point, they refer to 'space'. Has the word 'space' ever been used in a 'Star Wars' flick before? Padme says "Space is cold." It struck me as odd, because I can't recall anyone ever using the term 'space' in the flicks before. That, and the Viceroy of the trade commission. For half the flick, I was trying to decipher his accent - was it Jamaican, French, what? Then it came to me: he sounds like the Czech Brothers from the old SNL (or Steve Martin's 'Wild and Crazy Guy' character). Weird. Anyway, see the flick when it comes out. It's better than half the crap out there, and it's got history on its side. In a world of grades: B+ or A- In a world of stars: 3 or 3 and a 1/2

  • May 12, 1999, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Keven Smith Review IS Real - Here's URL.

    by cookiepuss

    http://www.viewaskew.com/newboard/board.html

  • May 12, 1999, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Hey, calm down!

    by WeirdDave

    OK, let me just say I'm in the UK at the moment and so won't get to see the film for a while, but I've got a pretty good idea of the plot. It seems to me that almost all of the criticisms people are making could quite easily be about the other three Star Wars films too. Let me explain. Several of the criticisms have said 'the effects detract from the characters', etc etc. You're telling me that the biggest starship in history flying overhead at the start of ANH detracts from that? Or the space battle in Jedi? Come on, the effects are what make the saga what it is. Then we've had people go on to say the middle section's dull, when calm and character development are exactly what make these films so good! Oh, and JarJar - compare with R2D2, totally incomprehensible, major character great fun? It seems to me the years of wait have led people to overestimate the films. They're just fun, which is what makes them so great.

  • May 12, 1999, 6:31 a.m. CST

    You Just Don't Get It

    by jeannied

    Hey, all you losers out there who think you can tell George Lucas who and what to put into HIS world should stop posting in AICN. This site is for people who LOVE movies and admire the work of moviemakers. It's George Lucas's world, NOT YOURS. Do you really think he cares what you think about JarJar or the Ewoks? Get some perspective here. We don't have to like everything about TPM, and Lucas isn't going to change his script because of a few jaded losers with closed minds. "Cut the cute crap?" "Get back to looking at the dark side in all of us?" GET A CLUE. That's what the whole trilogy + is about. Not all of life is jaded and tired. Cute is part of life, too. Cute is worth saving, protecting it from people who don't value the unspoiled, untainted, unjaded joy of life. Maybe you've lost that part of yourself that can smile at cute ... maybe you've got too much of the dark side in you ... hey, maybe that's the message? DUHHHHH.

  • May 12, 1999, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Lucas-Jar Jar

    by ricky

    JHONNY DANGER: LUCAS IS THE FORCE, NOT THE DISTURBANCE, HE IS STAR WARS About Jar Jar, just from seeing little tidbids on E!, he's got my love. "Duel of the Fates"? Kicks ass! better than "Jedi"? all right! plot? amazing acting? well, haven't seen it, but Ewan and Liam sure beat Mark visuals? as far as trailers go? best in fim so far sounds? impressive overall? yeah

  • May 12, 1999, 7:52 a.m. CST

    darth's disfigurement

    by m2298

    Actually I believe it was Lucas himself who brought up the Obi-wan/molten lava duel in an August 1977 interview in Rolling Stone magazine.

  • May 12, 1999, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Here's what I want you to do...

    by Rocqueja

    ...find me one interview, one little snippet where George Lucas says anything that makes him seem like he's in it for the money. One direct quote, not inferences from articles, not your own interprtation of his words, I want a direct quote. Secondly, each one of you jealous sons of bitches would do the same thing with action figures and posters in his spot and don't you dare deny it!

  • May 12, 1999, 8:25 a.m. CST

    It's only a film guys.

    by macker

    I'm sitting here in Dublin, Ireland reading the anger and vitriol that you guys are slinging around at each other. Who cares? We'll all get exactly what we expect from this film. Even if I'm wrong and we dont - WHO CARES? Lucas has made this film for two reasons 1. HIMSELF. 2. MONEY. He's entitled to do that. Just because some/all of you dont share his vision doesnt mean a damn. IT'S HIS FILM. If some of you feel you could do a better job of it. FINE. Go out and make BILLIONS and do so. The film doesnt open here for another 8 weeks or so, people are looking forward to it, they are excited, they know they will either like it or not. They'll be disappointed for a day or two if they dont like it, and then will look forward to ep 2 in anticipation, try a little patience, try a little reality, try a little tenderness...

  • May 12, 1999, 8:46 a.m. CST

    I JUST GOT MY TICKETS!!! 8-]

    by Eos

    YEEESSS!!! After spending last night in a sleeping bag in front of the Pavilion, the box office finally opened at 7 AM. I managed to get the last 2 tickets for the first showing at 12.01! When May 19th rolls around, my sister and I will be there! YEEEHAAAH! The Force is definitely with us!!! - Dawn

  • May 12, 1999, 9:01 a.m. CST

    JMS post deletions, and Moriarty...

    by HAL9000

    Why did Harry opt to delete all of JMS's posts? There was a lot of controversy over at DH, so I wanted to clarify the situation if possible. Did JMS go out of his way to offend everyone, or was his rationale astute? Also, I would like to personally thank the notorious Dr. M for not smoking crack before he saw Episode I. I have a sneaking suspicion that the evil swine was on crack when he saw The Mummy, which is the only logical explanation for his rave review. Just kidding guys, Moriarty rules, despite the fact that he thinks The Mummy is on par with the Raiders of the Lost friggin Ark!

  • May 12, 1999, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Implosion...

    by Robroy

    You're all just gonna implode before the movie is even out! Sounds like I'm taking my nephews so I can see it through their eyes - it's obviously for them. And I agree with "tears to my eyes" - great finale on the review! That's why I'm taking the kids. But I know I'm going to like it anyway.

  • May 12, 1999, 11:07 a.m. CST

    worr

    by tkip

    Well,now that more positive reviews are surfacing,I'd thought I add another 2 cents in.They showed another advance screening in Toronto last night and the media talked to some of the viewers after. The results were quite positive and even one of the media personnel from the top news station said he had a hoot watching the film.And my friend who saw a test screening last week after hearing all the bad reviews is unfazed.He basically said that its mostly people being WAY too critical about the film,or star wars bashing.He still stands by his review of it being a fairly solid,fun movie.

  • May 12, 1999, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Is there a list of theater stars wars will be at

    by 44666

    I am trying to find a theater that star wars will be at in ft lauderdale fl. does anyone have a site dedicated to that?

  • May 12, 1999, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Fuck the Critics

    by Baddest Mouse

    Listen...all I hear are people bad-mouthing the prequel..you get all these old farts talking about character development and what not..jesus, if it's an alien and it speaks english..perhaps it should have an accent. Did chewbacca in the first movie have any "character development"? It's a movie..you pay your money and you watch it..if you don't like it shut the fuck up. The modern era has ruined film watching. Star Wars is a fantasy film...fiction, leave conventionality out the door..just be a kid again....and not an old fart!!! Fuck the Critics..p.s. Titanic is gonna get it's ass kicked!!!!

  • May 12, 1999, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Plot really does matter Mr Lucas

    by orac_uk

    With most of the reviews coming out against TPM, can we really be suprised? Willow and Howard The Duck should have warned us long before the CGI cartoon nightmare of a trailer first appeared. I always thought it was dangerous to put so much faith into this film. I worry now that it could have a severe knock on effect to future possible sci-fi projects. Shame that Lucas has failed to follow the example of story telling set by Babylon 5. At the end of the day, plot really does matter.

  • May 12, 1999, 11:24 a.m. CST

    star wars reviews from the past

    by 44666

    Would n't it be interesting to see the reviews of the star wars empire and jedi in comparison to tpm if anyone has these please post or let me know where to find.

  • May 12, 1999, 12:21 p.m. CST

    READ THIS IMPORTANT

    by Simon Templar

    I was Browing the Music Section at my local wal-mart, And I saw the score to episode I and I flipped it over to read the back. HUGE MISTAKE DO NOT READ THE BACK, OR ANY LISTING OF SONG TITLES. There is one on there that pissed me off and gave away a big part of the movie( Im sure of it.) So If you can wait untill after you see the movie to purchase the cd. I don't understand What the hell was going though there minds when they decided to name that track whaat they did. I think that for all the Rumors and everything surrounding this movie as a whole. They would have maybe thought it not smart to name that track. Anyways, I hope this can save you all a little greif, For I was Pissed off when I saw it. And I haven't even seen the movie yet. So Unless you're a coplete moron you will understand what the track means. Its very very badd thing that they have done.

  • May 12, 1999, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Harry rocks!

    by greenegrl

    Just wanted to tell Harry that his comments on "being in line" were amazing. I'ts difficult to sum up an experience like that and he did a flawless job. I teach high school here in Austin and have been trying to explain it to the munchkins. I printed Harry's column and they seemed to get it. With tickets in hand for the premiere here in the city, it's back to teaching for a couple of days...

  • May 12, 1999, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Willow,The Line Trash, and bannings.

    by +Trustno1+

    Well first I wanna say yee-haa to all the people on the "FRONT LINES" get real people. Anyway this is concerning the post about WILLOW. Dude that movie rocked!! I loved it!! I actually watched again a few days ago. It si a great flick! I dont care if Fidel Castro made the freakin movie. It was jsut a great flick!! Oh well I guess good taste dosent come naturally to all people. Oh and as for the bannings going on in here. Apparently someone is trying to surpress opinions that might offend someone else, namely...well need I say it agian. 8-)

  • May 12, 1999, 1:50 p.m. CST

    NOT JUST FORD KIDS!

    by Troy

    Contrary to what many think, Star Wars is NOT just for kids. I'm getting tired of hearing people say that to excuse Episode I. Look, the first time I saw the Star Wars movies was on video... I was about 20 at the time FAR from being a kid. And I loved them. Still do. The SW Trilogy had a story that could appeal to adults and Episode I should appeal to adults as well... If he it doesn't... well, then it will flop.

  • May 12, 1999, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Baba Laba Ding Dong; Got my tix, too!

    by GrouchLord

    Well, not quite the scoop of the century since a bunch of you Deaks already got to see it, but I will happy to see TMP in a crappy, kid-infested theater which at least hopefully be ToyBroker-Free...Die Scalpers! DIE! See ya!

  • May 12, 1999, 3:28 p.m. CST

    RE: Plot really does matter Mr Lucas

    by quentin2

    Okay, I guess you dumb fucks just don't know when to quit. You all think: "Jeez, this movie has SO MUCH FX, it must have a really shitty plot too." NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!!!! And maybe some of you are FUCKING BRAIN-DEAD ENOUGH to actually listen to the critics! DON'T!!! They say TPM has a crappy plot? Corny dialogue? The actors are "wallpaper"????? GUESS WHAT? Take a look at the reviews for ANH, and you'll get a real deja-vu feeling going down your spine!!! In 1977, the critics said "Bad acting", "Corny characters", "Simple plot", "Relies to heavily on special effects". LOOKS LIKE THESE CRITICS BASHING TPM HAVEN'T SEEN A FUCKING STAR WARS MOVIE IN OVER A DECADE!!!!!!!! THEY THINK TPM HAS A BAD PLOT???? IMAGINE HOW BAD THEY'D BASH ANH!!!! I GOT ADVICE FOR THESE CRITICS AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO TAKE A BITE OUT OF TPM: AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME FROM WATCHING TPM, POP "A NEW HOPE" INTO YOUR VCR. NOW, FUCKING TELL ME WHICH MOVIE IS BETTER!!!!!!!! AND I AIN'T TALKING SPECIAL EFFECTS HERE!!!! I'M TALKING ACTING, CHARACTERS, DIALOGUE, AND PLOT PLOT PLOT!!!!!! IF YOU CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT ANH IS BETTER, THEN SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THOSE THAT SAY TPM HAS A BAD PLOT, GUESS WHAT? IT DOESN'T!!! IT HAS THE BEST PLOT OF THE STAR WARS MOVIES!!!! HERE'S A RE-POST: I have read the TPM script, and I must that just BY SCRIPT ALONE, this is THE BEST SW MOVIE. That's saying alot. And I totally don't understand all this bullshit about the conflict in TPM: Yeah, The Trade Federation blockades the planet of Naboo, and then takes it over. Amidala, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, & the Gungans take it back. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO COME UP WITH EXCUSES FOR THIS PLOT???????????????????? WHY CAN'T YOU REALIZE HOW GREAT THIS PLOT IS???????? Let's look at the plot to ANH: Rebellion vs. Empire. Luke blows up Death Star....duhhh... OKAY! THAT'S ABOUT THE MOST SIMPLE FUCKING PLOT EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MOVIE-MAKING!!!!!! Now, don't get me wrong, I love the originals. I was one of the first in line to see ANH: SE, and I have always loved the original Star Wars trilogy. But EPISODES IV-VI ARE EXTREMELY SIMPLISITC!!!!! TPM's plot has THE MOST BRAINS by far of the SW movies. I guess some people don't like the fact that this plot has intrigue, surprises, and politics. They just want a simple shoot-em-up bad guy plot. DUH, REBELLION VS. EMPIRE. COME THE FUCK ON!!!!!!! This is the movie that starts everything! At this point in time, there is no empire, only the Galactic Republic. The conflict HAS to be COMPLICATED!!!!!!!! This is what starts it all!!!!!!!!! I love how Nute Gunray sits in Queen Amidala's throne. I love how the Queen's palace becomes the Neimoidian palace! I love the idea of evil triumphing in the beginning and then rooted out in the end! At first, it seems so simple. A simple trade dispute. Then, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are treated like rats and the Federation tries to stomp them out. Their plan: TAKE OVER THE PLANET OF NABOO. THEIR SECRET BENEFACTOR, THE GUY BEHIND IT ALL: DARTH SIDIOUS! SENATOR PALPATINE HIMSELF!!! In fact, this plot is THE BEST of the Star Wars movies! Did someone say that TPM cannot stand alone??? BULLSHIT. This movie is an epic all it's own. And it's story envolopes the very myth/legend nature of Star Wars. IN FACT, I THINK THE PLOT EMBODIES THIS MYTH/ADVENTURE FAR BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS. Two Jedi Knights caught up in a battle over a planet. They must protect the Queen at all costs. At first, they are forced to flee, and as they do, The Federation takes over Naboo. NUTE GUNRAY riding in triumphantly on his mechanical chair is AWESOME!!!!!!!! He says "Ah, victory!" and it makes you grin! The Neimoidians aren't Darth Vader. They aren't Sith Lords either. BUT THEY ARE THE PERFECT VILLAINS! They're like these evil, high-class, wealthy, exotic alien warlords that have built their own armies to do the dirty work for them. They sit above a pedestal and watch their minions from afar as they triumphantly ride in style as the the majestic and beautiful, paradise-like Naboo is taken over by these exotic alien lords. Their evil pollutes the place a bit. One AMAZING shot is the Naboo Palace underneath a beautiful moon. Inside, you cringe and smile at the same time when you see Nute Gunray sitting in QUEEN AMIDALA'S THRONE!!!! It is a very cool feeling. But these guys are NOT the kind of evil that the Sith are. I think Lucas's use of the word "GREEDY" is ABSOLUTLEY PERFECT!!! These are the kind of villains who worship power and wealth. They must possess. And they have the means to do it. They represent the technological evil in this film. The Sith Lords USE the Niemoidians' greed and make them and their armies their PAWNS!!!! The TRUE AND ABSOLUTE EVIL is Darth Sidious and Darth Maul! They represent the mystical, old, and mysterious side of evil. The Neimoidians represent the technological money-hungry and exotic side of evil. Their outfits are PERFECT as well. Nute in his exotic head-dress and flowing red robes. It is so alien and exotic. Yet is regal at the same time. These beings use their armies to do the talking for them, unlike Sidious and Maul. And....I just LOVE the Neimoidians. They are, by far, my favorite Star Wars villains. Of course, no one can ever beat Darth Vader. But as much as I hate to say it, I like the Trade Federation much better than the Galactic Empire.

  • May 12, 1999, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Review

    by BumpinFreshYo

    How about trying to review this as a movie and not as "Episode I?" Just for the hell of it, let's try to review a movie based on what was on the screen. 1. Putting aside things like our expectations of what the film should be like. What made Star Wars so great was that there was no predecessor to follow. Now everyone has their idea of what a good "Star Wars" movie should be like (Have you ever heard two Star Wars geeks argue over whether Empire was better than ANH?). I've seen so many comments like "Real Star Wars fans", "Not the Star Wars you may have hoped for." "what Star Wars was supposed to be." (or my favorite; how everyone says how the last part of the movie w/Maul is the REAL Star Wars they were expecting) and so on. Hello, it's not Star Wars. That's right. That is why this movie is called the Phantom Menace. They are two seperate things. Go to the movie without a pre-conceived notion. 2. We call it a prequel, but is it really a prequel? The point of a prequel is to lay the foundation for the rest of the story to continue on. Does TPM do this? If it doesn't than it's really nothing more than another sequel with different faces and the same old gags. Hiding behind the premise that it's not just another sequel. I mean Empire and Jedi are actually progressive chronologically progressing parts of a whole story. So are they sequels? No. 3. A good movie is not "geared" for anyone (kids or adults). When I was a kid of 9 or 10, and I saw Star Wars, one of the things that appealed to me was the fact that it didn't seem targeted at me. That's why ANH and Empire holds up to this day under the most scrutinizing criticisms, because we've grown up and seen the movie again, and realized that it was just a damn good flick and it held up. If it felt targeted then it was. And it's poor craftsmanship as well as skill when it shows through. I can watch Sound of Music, or Mary Poppins knowing it's a Disney kiddie movie and it still doesn't feel geared (because they were good flicks). Oh, and all this "It may have been magic when we were kids..." "How old were we when we first saw it, 10-12?" That makes no fucking sense. Here's why: I saw Exorcist when I was a kid and I thought it was awesome. I see it now and it still rocks. I thought James Bond movies were boring/stupid shit then and I still think they are now. And now the final blow to that lame-o excuse, that was Star Wars not TPM. Star Wars rocked period, Young or Old. If TPM doesn't do the same then, tough shit, it's not as good. 3. CG? ONH even w/o all the latest cutting edge technology of today still looks, sounds, and feels awesome (minus enhancements). Any movie that relies SOLELY upon visual eye-candy to get it by, is doomed. Godzilla, Jurassic Park, Lawnmower man are prime examples. CG is a perk. 4. Judge it by its writing (dailogue), plot, direction, cinematography (story telling techniques with camera not fx w/camera), acting, exposition (confusing or not?), and of course the guts (or entertainment value). Not by whether it meets the requisites of a geek film. 5. The thing that no one wants to admit I will say. It is the one that everyone really dreaded more than anything else about this movie. IT IS A MEDICORE "MOVIE." Sorry, It had to be said.

  • May 13, 1999, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Moriarty is god!

    by howsannie

    That review was truly brilliant. The last three paragraphs especially. You deserve a Pulitzer...

  • May 13, 1999, 11:33 a.m. CST

    ALEXANDRA DuPONT reviews EPISODE I!

    by Alexandra DuPont

    I just weighed in on "Phantom Menace" over at the DVD Journal. I'm sorry to report that I kind of hated it, but I also can explain very clearly WHY I hated it. If you want to find out the specifics of my disappointment (and [a], I'm not polite, and [b], I include spoilers and specific examples), visit my review page at http://www.dvdjournal.com/news/phantommenace1.html

  • May 13, 1999, 11:42 a.m. CST

    This movie

    by not_a_jedi_yet

    I can't believe how much I dislike this movie. The characters are totally unbelievable, the plot is basically non-existent, and overall I found the magic gone. In fact, the entire tone of this film is negative, nobody in the movie seems to possess the ability to even look happy, much less BE happy. It started off promising- chubby guy starts a web page in celebration of geekdom and moviemaking, posts rumors and news and reviews, and seems to be having fun doing it. Then the evil Empire moves in, advertisements appear, the chubby guy becomes famous and his site gets too much serious recognition, and the whole plot disintegrates. When the once-innocent geeks who inhabit his world get too full of themselves and take their own opinions far too seriously, well I just about walked out of the theater. But I'm still in my seat, my popcorn's only half gone, and I'm asking, "Who will restore the innocence, the sense of fun, the joy to this universe I once knew and loved?" I refer to the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to AICN. The dark side has taken over, people. Control, control, you must learn control! I sense much fear in you, and in some of you that fear has already given in to anger and hate, and to tell you the truth we're all suffering for it.

  • May 13, 1999, 11:52 a.m. CST

    If anybody is reading this and lives in Austin, please wake Harr

    by spike lee

    Its been two days and no updates, and I feel the seizures coming on. About this line thing, all the buzz was on Wednesday that the tickets were all going to be bought for the opening weekend, well I had to work so I planned to go after school today. I figured I might be lucky to get one for Monday, and I GOT ONE FOR THE OPENING DAY FIRST SHOWING AT 9 A.M.

  • May 13, 1999, 12:30 p.m. CST

    marketing/toys/ewoks/jar jar binks

    by bearcat

    One thing that just struck me... there's been some people in talk back (and in some reviews)dismissing either Jar Jar or the ewoks as cynical marketing ploys put into the series simply to sell toys. My question is, how come I don't hear you guys gripping about landspeeders, wookies, Jabba, x-wings, y-wings, Bobba Fett, storm trooers, Lightsabers, Yoda, the Millenium Falcon, Jawas, various droids, Tauntauns, Sand People, the Death Star, At Ats, sand crawlers, Tie Fighters, and assorted cantina aliens? Weren't those made into toys? Don't you think they were designed with an eye to merchandising? Why, then, is it wrong to design something as cute (hoping to sell it based on cuteness), but not wrong to design something cool (knowing damn good and well that people will buy it because it's cool)? The only crime the ewoks and Jar Jar ever committed was being too "cute." I haven't heard one person blast Darth Maul's two-sided lightsaber... and if you don't think that was put into the movie with full knowledge that fanboys everywhere would rush out to buy a toy one, I've got some swamp land in Louisiana I'd like to sell you.

  • May 13, 1999, 12:35 p.m. CST

    A word to the Critics (Not Moriarty)

    by Mythical

    Why is it that every movie that is released these days has to be reviewed by people who either don't like the subject matter, or can't be objective? I've read the Time magazine and Washington Post newspaper reviews of this film and both panned it. But you know what gets me? I was 4 when the first film was released. I've seen the trilogy at least a thousand times. I bought the VCR tapes twice, special edition and not. Why? Because none of the drivel that they call perfection is worth $8, let alone $100. I saw the English Patient and wanted my $8 back. I saw Shakespeare in Love, and found it offensive. As a fan of Shakespeare Theatre, I found it very "Americanized" and I'm American! In short, to the critics who dislike the fact that this film won't be the next Citizen Kane, I'll make one statement. When you, in your infinite wisdom (And in the very long search you'll have to find the next Citizen Kane), make a movie that I'll watch a thousand times, then I'll listen to your drivel. Mythical P.S. Moriarty, many many kudos for your well written and objective opinion of the film. It's refreshing to see true journalism at it's finest is still alive and well. And to Harry, keep on camping for all of us in spirit.

  • May 13, 1999, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Great Expectations...

    by Slugworth

    Come on people. Can ANY movie withstand the microscope that TPM is being put under. Let's look at the Matrix. I loved the movie. It was a lot of fun. I saw twice the first weekend. To this day I haven't read a single review that was even negatively slanted. But lets look at it as critically as TPM and see if it stands up. PLOT: Well, lets see? Umm... Neo "wakes up", is trained, and then beats up a bad guy and the movie ends abuptly, with mankind still enslaved. (Not to mention the silly and impossible premise of mankind providing energy to a race of droids. As a biologist, I can vouch that people would very inefficient as energy sources. You do have to feed the you know) Character development: Hmmm... I don't really remember any. Which makes it all the more silly when Trinity "falls in love" with Neo at the end. Don't you have to talk first? My point is this. The Matrix was great because I didn't expect anything going in. It was a great ride, and a lot of fun. If you want to pick any movie apart, you can. Its pretty easy. I challenge anyone to post their favorite movie and see if someone out there can't bash it to pieces. On another note, I saw Election last night. Great flick. Wonderfully casted. The guy (don't know his name) who played Paul could very well be the next Keanu Reeves.

  • May 13, 1999, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Re: Alexandra DuPont's review

    by jmartinx

    I was about to read the abovementioned review, but ran across the following statement in the first paragraph, concerning those who see the movie and say they liked it: "you're about to brainwash yourselves into the short-term, delusional embrace of a sub-par cinematic product -- which is even worse" Fantastic. Anyone who feels the need to qualify their opinion by pointing out in advance that those who disagree are "brainwashed" either suffers from either extremely low or extremely high self-esteem. Needless to say, I didn't bother reading past that point. I enjoy looking at the many opinions that have come in (both positive and negative) concerning this movie, but have no interest in a person who claims to be all-knowing.

  • May 13, 1999, 1:48 p.m. CST

    My favourite reviews and fear.

    by DigitalCygnus

    After reading this site for the past few days, I have come to realize that my favourite reviews start out with the sentence "I haven't seen the movie yet...but it sucks" so I'll say for a moment "I haven't seen the movie yet, period!" After all these years, I have personally found that reviews fall into 2 categories. The reviews I agree with, and the reviews I do not agree with. But in all those instances, I am sure to have at least watched the movie I'm making an opinion on. How can you like or dislike a movie before you have watched it. Now, I will go see this movie, and I know I may be a bit biased with the outcome of my opinion but we all do that no matter how open minded we are. But, when and if I decide to put up a review, it'll be from my viewing of the movie. Not based on other peoples comments. You wont hear "I haven't seen it yet, but this movie is gold Jerry...GOLD!" Are those people that haven't seen it afraid to go see it , and maybe are setting themselves up for a shitty picture, in hopes it is better than shit? Or maybe assuming it is brilliant, setting themselves up for a fall? Go see it, or whatever you want to see, for yourselves. How apt is it that the words Yoda speaks in the first preview are exactly about this stuff. It goes something like this... "Fear leads to the dark side...fear something...fear...fear's bad..."(you get the idea) and here I am reading these posts and they're based on fear. Fear that this movie wont sink Titanic? Fear that Lucas will cancel making the next 2 movies? Fear that there wont be enough death to satisfy our sad societies likes? Fear that there may be too many bright colours on the screen, outweighing those dark and dreadful images we have come to love? Fear that you may have to decide something for yourself? Fear that you may in fact love or hate this movie? As Luke said "I am not afraid..." and I am not afraid to go see this movie...are you? Happy Star Wars Day!

  • May 13, 1999, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Just wondering....

    by Fred4sure

    What are y'all going to obsess on next week?

  • May 13, 1999, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Packed Here

    by ClarkGoble

    All the lines were huge here in Utah, although a couple of theatres didn't have preliminary sales. Tickets to Star Wars are getting scalped too. I'll probably wait until Thursday, but around here the negative backlash against Star Wars doesn't seem to have slowed anyone down in the least. Quite a few people here who've seen the early releases have given favorable reviews as well - with the typical caveats everyone else has given.

  • May 13, 1999, 2:26 p.m. CST

    matrix,good???

    by tkip

    I agree 100% with a posting someone(can't remember who) made earlier about any movie when put under the intense scrunity,will and can be torn apartThis matrix movie?????? .The critics having been talking like the movie was some kind of new,fresh visually stunning movie we've all been dying for.Maye its just me,but I have seen the movie and putting aside the visuals(they were good)the movie wasn't that good.The plots simple and its been done before(think Dark City)and character development??What character developmen are they refering to??I didin't see any.And that kiss at the end where he comes back from near-death?! Oh yes,we've never seen that done before.It was an entertaining movie but thats it. No masterpiece and the crowd I saw it with seemed to agree. One last tidbit before I go,if ever I needed more proof of film critics not always being on the mark,a local paper called the Mummy an excellant movie and gave it 4 out of 5 stars?!I rest my case.

  • May 13, 1999, 2:31 p.m. CST

    going back to my youth

    by vernfett

    Monday night i watched WWF wrestling. Two old timers came out to fight. The music they played for them sent a smile to my face and i found myself singing along to Hulk Hogans old music. I was a kid again for a few moments. On May 19 I again will fall back into my youth. Wether the film is as good as Empire or not I dont care as long as its Star Wars. I list the films in this order ESB, ROTJ, and ANH. The final saber battle between Luke and Vader is my favorite moment in film history.I read the script to TPM and you know what i loved it. Jar Jar is a little annoying at first but heres the thing hes meant to be. We are supposed to like him more as the film goes on. Darth Maul isnt meant to be Vader. The whole political side to the story will go over kids heads. The crtics who have seen the film are hipocrites. They all say we want to see films with a reason foreffects, we want a film to have more plot for the effects to work on, we want films like they made years ago. Know they have it and they dont want it because it aint some independant film or some eurpean art film or as witty as shakespeare in love. Well its been 16 years and the movie is here and im happy to go to the movies again because there wont be one bit of cynasism in it.

  • May 13, 1999, 2:49 p.m. CST

    THE LINE! WHAT LINE?

    by zerofactor

    Life treats you good sometimes. Here i was in my office at 3PM yesterday. I had the computer set to movielink.com, I had 777-FILM on speed dial, AND FOR ONE WHOLE HOUR I COULD NOT GET A FREAKIN' THING!!! The phone, busy, the internet (w/ a T3 line) busy, when I finally did get through online I got nothing but jibberish. As 4PM came and went, i said "screw this!" I was going to the theater. But which one. I was worried as only three theaters in NYC had the movie. I saw the reports of the mobs of geeks at the Ziegfeld (and with that, please don't ct like a trekkie and dress up as Yoda or Luke, or Maul, save it for Halloween) I knew that Union Square would be the same. But, on East 34th Street was my saving grace, just nine blocks form my office. I told my assistant to hold down the fort and booked it up to the theater, NO LINE!!! And I was able to by 18 tickets! (I'm not scalping, there all for friends) 8:30 PM on the 19th. So I'll see it opening night, I'll have a good time, and I'll give my Mom the review, because that's the only review that she wants to hear.

  • May 13, 1999, 8:02 p.m. CST

    ha ha HA!!!

    by McDanz

    All those geeks who waited for over a day in line wasted a hell of a lot of time! I phoned the local theatres today expecting to hear that they'd be sold out for at least a week. Apparently anyone can go leisurely stroll on down and STILL get tickets for the first showing on the first day!!! NOTHING has been sold out!

  • May 14, 1999, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Standing in line

    by Eos

    Just for the record, the tickets went on sale at our local theatre at 7.00 AM. There were about 20 or 30 people there by 3.00 AM, and the entire high school Sci-Fi Club had spent the night there with sleeping bags and pup tents. Around 5.30, a nameless fan turned up with a portable TV and VCR. He played "The Empire Strikes Back," while we all huddled around the screen and watched. When the box office opened, he quietly packed up and left, while everybody else got back into line - in their original places! Nobody knows who this mysterious fan was, but he left a silver lightsaber . . . For what it's worth, not only does "Star Wars" rock, fans are pretty cool too sometimes. :-)

  • May 14, 1999, 8:27 a.m. CST

    CISCO

    by Lord Shell

    Yeah you're right! Screw all those internet geeks! Posting their opinions on . . . oh wait a second . . . how did you post all those messages on this site? DOH! (P.S.-I think you should check YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY. IT SEEMS TO BE STUCK.)

  • First off i would like to say that Those guys at entertaiment weekly and those other guys are stupid peices of $#!t they wouldn't know a good outstanding movie if it hit them in the freakin head the reason there pissed like i read on a reveiw i read because you actually need a brain to understand this movie you can't be a little ditssy calista flockheart if you want to under stand this move in it's entirety even a 15 year old like my self can see that and the only reason it got thse bad reveiws is beacuse the writers of those of those articals are complete jackasses so what it's lacking in real actors but when you think about it do you know how much it would cost to make gun gan army and do you know how long it would take so why not make one gungan jar jar binks and model the rest of the gun gans off him so i say that those stupid ignoramus @$$#0LEs ignorant jackasses can stick their bad reveiw and stick it where the sun don't shine cause their dumb

  • May 16, 1999, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Arrogance, pretence, and Episode 1

    by JarJarRocks

    Okay, I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm dying to. I've read all the naysayers and these people, the ones who are hating the movie, well given the reasons they hate it, I'm GLAD they hate it. Whenever there is somethign that is immensely popular and well loved, there are going to be people who get off on putting it down in order to appear more "high brow." These are the people who forget that Titanic is supposed to be a cheesy epic tearjerker romance, that the SPice Girls are *supposed* to be fun, mindless pop music, that "Batman and Robin" wasn't meant to be dark and was meant to be a 90's version of the 60's TV show, and that Star Wars is pure escapist hokum. These are the people who have Boba Fett-ishes because he looks like a bad ass. They hate Ewoks and the Jabba dance sequence because how dare anything have the audacity to be cute or funny or lighthearted in the Star Wars universe. They are worried what people think of them as being die hard fans and in order to justify their obsessive zeal they have to play up to the serious aspects of Star Wars as if taking pleasure from jokes or silliness or something cute is something to be ashamed of. Take the Ewoks. People hate them because they're cute. Who dictates that the Star Wars universe can't have cute aspects? You have darkness, vile creatures, beautiful princesses, robots, dirty scavengers, why not cute furry warriors? Notice that many of these Boba Fett/Darth Maul worshippers are typically men who are probably afraid to say that they like the cute furry Ewok stuff or the silly campness of the dance sequence because it might be a threat to their masculinity to actually admit to taking a bit of pleasure from these things. Be a bit balanced. The reason these people are creaming their pants about The Matrix is all that movie has is action, violence, a woman with a gun, and people genearlly looking like bad-asses. The Matrix is a very "male" movie in that men can talk about how wonderful it is without ever having to include anything, cute, camp, or silly. Me? I equally get a shiver from Darth Maul's demonic appearance as I do from the gorgeous, sumptous dresses that Queen Amidala wears. But if you are so sad that you ahve to make yourself feel better by badmouthing somethign that millions of people adore, then I guess that's what you have to do. Shame.

  • May 17, 1999, 1:14 a.m. CST

    I just saw the movie, and I want to thank everyone here...

    by eminar

    ... for increasing my enjoyment of the film. I probably would have enjoyed it anyway, but thanks to my lowered expectations from reading the venomous reviews here, I absolutely LOVED it. It was magnificent. A visual feast. A stupendous soundtrack -- John Williams outdid himself. An entertaining adventure on the surface, but with a wonferfully subtle undercurrent of dread, of wheels within wheels, setting the pieces in place, laying the foundation for what is to come. I like this aspect of the film for the same reason I like Babylon 5; complete immersion in a vast EPIC as it unfolds. The sets were amazing -- Coruscant like Asimov's Trantor in all its glory, Naboo like a surreal blend of ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy, and the underwater Gungan city like everything that Flash Gordon and other way-out pulp sci-fi wished it could be. After watching this film, I watched the tape of Empire Strikes Back, which I haven't seen in years, and I was amazed at how... *primitive* it looked. And it was no more fast-paced than Phantom Menace... in fact none of the original films was. All four were great films as much for their expository sections as for the action segments. Actually, that said, I vastly prefer the exposition in TPM (the scenes on Coruscant, for example) to the business with the Ewoks in ROTJ. :-) This was a great movie. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)

  • May 18, 2005, 7:09 p.m. CST

    I must say I enjoyed reading those!

    by performingmonkey

    It's funny seeing people's reactions to TPM and reviews of TPM. So many people were trying their damnest to love this movie, and to not believe the negative comments. The subject of Jar Jar crops up a hell of a lot. However, I think he is one of the smaller problems of TPM. The poor story, script and direction totally outweigh anything that's bad about Jar Jar.

  • May 19, 2005, 4:47 a.m. CST

    I never read Mori's review of Ep I before, but it is exactly how

    by George Newman

    I also very much disliked the star fight in Phantom. Awful and zero impact.

  • July 25, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Harry camped out for Bridget Jones.

    by Wolfpack

  • March 16, 2008, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Bam.

    by thebearovingian

    I stumbled upon a post by Orcus...again.

  • Aug. 17, 2008, 12:59 a.m. CST

    by TheGoddamnSiege

    I think most people use Jar Jar simply as a point of focus for their overall frustration with The Phantom Menace.

  • Aug. 17, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    When the Blu-ray comes out

    by Autodidact

    It would be awesome if some internet wizard released a set of custom bookmarks for WinDVD. Just edit out as much Jar-Jar and childish bullshit as you can by skipping the right scenes, and Phantom Menace is a pretty tight one-hour jedi action movie.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Pooe bastards from 1999, trying to defend TPM

    by ricarleite

    Little did they know what was ahead of them.

  • March 12, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    test

    by The_Goddamn_Batman

    just testing paragraph breaks <P> So I thought I'd come back here and have a go <P> <I>Where no one can find me. <P> Apologies to the time travellers. :)

  • March 26, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Good grief...

    by The Eskimo

    <pb>...this is from the talk back on Alexandra Duponts site when she gave this film a bade review. The link to her review is up there in the talkback somewhere.</pb> "I appreciate your brutally honest review of "The Phantom Menace". While reading your article, it ocurred to me that you wasted no time in figuring out plot lines, in depth character analysis, etc.etc. What may have contributed to your lofty expectations for such a film, may have been your lack of intelligence. Your explanation of how you read Terry Brooks novel, and listened to John Williams musical score sums up why your parents probably never left Christmas presents behind unlocked doors. Your impatience is astounding. More over, your overall inability as a moviegoer to just have fun. Surely, by now you understand that movies like this can never truly achieve the greatness of the original predecessors. Truly, for most, "Star Wars" is a cross generational influence incapable of being explained.. I almost hesitate questioning you, because I myself haven't seen the movie. But I do know one thing Miss DuPont, you are not 5 years old anymore. Has it even entered your mind that maybe you've grown up a bit since 1977? I am roughly the same age as you, and the film "Star Wars" borders on the same level of passion that yours teters on. Miss DuPont, there is no doubt that your review depicts "Star Wars" as a kids movie. How long did it take you to figure that one out? George Lucas is the last one you should be blaming for the disaster that is as you put it "The Phantom Menace". Better yet, why don't you just ask him to abandon all hopes of directing the second installment. In that way, you can save your last breath in trashing one of the few people who has brought joy and wonderment to millions of fans like myself. Your review lacks the most important feature, I believe the word is called "innocence". Please feel free to respond, I know I can't be the only person in the world that feels this way in reference to your pitiful review."</pb> And that is only one of them. There are tons just like it. I love that they go into this rant about how wrong she is, and then mention that they feel this way "even though they have yet to see the movie themselves." Classic. Brings back memories of how much of a let down this movie really was, and how deluded people were for a long time afterward.

  • May 4, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Not this fucking guy again

    by orcus

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    <i>italics</i>

    by SithMenace

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    <b>bold</b>

    by SithMenace

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST

    italics

    by SithMenace

    <i>Italics</i> Italics off