PT Phantom Menace 3D Review

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by kypzethdurron, Feb 8, 2012.

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  1. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    I think it varies by theater chain, and sometimes within each movie. From what I have noticed watching the 3-D version in two different chains, it would appear that the Scat ("Ice Age" character) short film comes attached to the print of TPM. That would explain, perhaps, why there seems to be so little pause between the short and the start of the actual movie.

    Guess I could have done without the Scat short, but after all the movie is still aimed mostly at kids and I guess they'd kind of enjoy it...
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, the Scat short didn't do much for me.
  3. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Reposting my initial reaction/comments from Amp:

    The 3D is mixed in quality. It doesn't enhance the space battles as much as I would have preferred and the 3D is almost non existent in the early Naboo scenes (especially the planet core, which looks very, very flat). I've read this might have to do with TPM being shot with a very narrow focus.

    However, Tatooine and Coruscant fare much better, as does most of the end battle (though not so much with the lightsaber fight, sadly). The podrace is spectacular, though (and definitely enhanced by the 3D to be more exhilarating). Sidious's hologram is unexpectedly excellent in 3D- the cowl of the hood really pops at ya.

    Also, Jar Jar is just as annoying as ever in the movie- he's almost constantly annoying throughout the whole film. His TCW appearances have been so much better.

    CGI Yoda is impressive, though (I haven't had the chance to watch my TPM BD yet)- a huge improvement over the stoned misfire puppet they originally used, except for the "Everything!" line, where they really blow the original performance's intention and undercut the line's original impact. Also, is it me, or did they make, in the "your apprentice, Skywalker will be" scene, CGI Yoda much larger/further away from Obi-Wan so it would cover up the original puppet?

    Makes me wish they'd take this TPM3.1/ROTS CGI Yoda and redo his AOTC scenes (especially the early ones) as now they are the worst looking Yoda effects in the saga. Just don't touch the OT puppet. Ever.

    Also, this is the first time I noticed some of the Battledroids have a trace of an aussie accent in their voices (the most noticeable one is the one later in the film that takes to Gunray about "rumored underwater cities".

    The film itself is still the same movie, so not much more to say than what has already been said over the last 13 years. But just to sum up- I still have the opinion that, Jar Jar aside (who, barring 3 or 4 scenes, is a complete misfire as a tolerable character (never even being used for his supposed function within the plot, beyond the humor)- and even most of those 3 or 4 scenes is where the other characters find him as annoying as the audience does), the film's individual segments are excellent stories, but they don't come together as a cohesive whole which harms the movie overall. It's also decidedly lacking an everyman perspective (preferably human) that could have vastly enhanced Naboo's plight (as well as the grassy plains and space battles) ala the Battle For Naboo N64 game or Tricon Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/KFC commercials.



    Comments from kids overheard during the movie:

    "Aurra Sing!" "Aurra Sing!" (looks like TCW had had an effect afterall)

    "Waaahhhhh...." (during the midichlorian explaination)

    "I wanna go home..." (during the Gungan surrender)

    [face_laugh]
  4. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Why would they need to "cover up" something when it's so easy to digitally remove stuff? :confused:

    Sorry to hear you're not a Jar Jar fan - he seems so much more real in 3-D and I still like him every bit as much as I did 13 years ago... that also goes for the other CG characters, especially Watto and Sebulba (that they look better integrated into the movie when they're 3-D, I mean).

    I've a hunch the 3-D conversions will become better and better over the next few years, simply because software grows more powerful all the time. By the time they get to the OT, we'll probably be seeing some really awesome stuff!!! :D
  5. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I don't have a problem with Jar Jar from a technical execution standpoint, just his execution as a character in TPM (as I mentioned, I rather like how TCW has handled him most of the time).

    As for the Yoda thing, it actually wouldn't be easy at all for them to digially remove puppet Yoda from that scene, because puppet Yoda was not composited on top of a background plate of Ewan's performance- the puppet was actually in the shot in front of Ewan. They'd either have to match the puppet's movements exactly, or create a digital Ewan to act as a background plate.

    Easier just to make Yoda bigger so he covers up the puppet (and probably more of Ewan) which allows them to alter the motions/performance to match the other CGI Yodas.
  6. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    It doesn't matter that the puppet was there, physically. All they have to do is grab the image of the floor/wall from a frame where Yoda is not in, and then just put that on top. There were quite a few scenes in TPM that were digitally recomposed, even back in 1999, because GL liked some elements of a shot and wanted to combine from different takes. It's all in the blu-ray commentary. Listen for example to the scene in Amidala's Royal Starship when they're congratulating R2-D2.

    Again, I'm not saying they did or didn't, just it doesn't seem like it would be such a big problem if they wanted to go that way... actually seems a bit easier than having to create a digital Yoda that's just the exact size to "cover up" the old one.
  7. WhiskeyGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 4
    They should call it 2 1/2 D or something. It's wasn't much of 3D. I couldn't even tell in 85% of the movie.
  8. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
  9. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Maybe its just me, but I can never tell if English people are joking or being serious, hehe! Half way through he hasn't gotten to the 3D part yet... he's still talking 99.
  10. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    Oh, don't be sensitive. It's called humor; look into it. You completely ignored the fact that I followed my negative remark with a positive one, and I even said the film is worth the admission.
  11. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    He hates Star Wars though. And he hates 3D. And when I say he hates Star Wars, I mean he hates everything from Star Wars (1977) on.

    I'm genuinely surprised at that. I thought Gunga City and the Planet Core would be one of the most enhanced aspects of TPM 3D.
  12. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Saw it today with my husband and our boys. The theater was probably 3/4 full; we sat in the very back row. I really liked the conversion. The new Lucasfilm logo was the first to jump out at me, and then the script in the beginning--looking forward to those two for all the Star Wars movies.

    I felt that the scenery was really enhanced by the 3D, and I felt that I was in the room with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan at the beginning. The ships and Theed Palace hallways were really impressive. The underwater aqua monster was scarier in 3D.

    Flying through space seemed somehow more "real" in 3D, another aspect that I'm looking forward to in future SW conversions.

    The pod race--stops my heart every time I watch TPM even though I know how it comes out, and did the same today. And flying through the canyons in 3D? Awesome.

    As many times as I've watched TPM, including 5-7 times in the theater in 1999, I had never noticed Anakin doing that until today.
  13. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I've noticed before, but now you get a pretty close look at Anakin's power wrench. (I donno what it's actually called, that's just my name for it :p)
  14. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    To me, the 3-D in those scenes was a moderate/good improvement, depending on the shot. I liked being able to look out the "windows" of the big room that is Boss Nass's throne; imho you can notice the depth of the stuff that's behind. Also the shots with the bongo cockpit and all the stuff in the back... when the first fish starts chasing them.

    Those shots looked a lot better to me.
  15. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Me neither, so I just end up laughing at everything they say. That's probably why I don't have any English friends anymore.
  16. DarthWuher Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2010
    star 1
    Seen Phantom Menace 3D today with my wife and son. Was very impressed with the 3D quality. It was the first 3D movie we've ever been to.

    The best "in your face" effects were the Lucasfilm logo, Opening crawl, pod race crashes, and Anakin's magnetic retrieval tool.

    The rest of the movie was still good, in that it still had lots of depth. Very cool.

    We all enjoyed it.
  17. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I should probably be clearer- I'm specifically referring to the shots with Yoda in the foreground, passing in front of the kneeling Ewan in the background.

    In order to remove Yoda, they'd have to fill in parts of Ewan's image if the replacement CGI model doesn't match the space/movements exactly when they overlap.

    Unless, as you say, the Yoda puppet was filmed separately and composited over the Ewan plate, but for that particular shot, I would find that to be unlikely.


    Gunga City isn't bad, actually- the shot that just has the CGI Jar Jar swimming towards the city is actually quite good in CGI, but the rest is rather flat, particularly the planet core. I think the aforementioned focus depth has a lot to do with it. The Gunga City approach has a lot of depth to it, while the planet core is shot very up close and tight).

    I'd suspect they were also lower on the priority scale for conversion time versus the podrace and climax battles, which didn't help.


    It wasn't in the theatrical cut- it (and some other portions of the extended/deleted podrace sequence, as well as the Coruscant taxi ride sequence) was added back into the film for the DVD release (and maintained for the BD & 3D releases). The same changes (overall, not that specific moment) resulted in the deletion of Watto's "SEH-BULBA!" cheer as well, alas...

    You'd need to watch the film on VHS, LD or VCD now to see the original "near miss" Mars Guo moment (which really isn't very different at all, beyond the editing).

    But, yeah, that magnetic pole bit was the most overt "sticks out at the audience" moment for the 3D.
  18. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Jar Jar could be the everyman perspective.[face_clown] Really though, there's a lesson to his humor. Jar Jar is one of those surprising characters. He appears to be an idiot who nobody wants to tolerate, but he brings peace to Naboo!
    Young Anakin is more of an everyboy perspective, though. Most boys like to think they're good at a particular thing, or that they're special in some way or another, and want to impress a girl. They also would have a hard time leaving their mothers forever. Anakin may not be an everyman Force-ability-wise, but he's a slave too, and a little defensive about it.

  19. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Just saw "THE PHANTOM MENACE" today. The 3-D effects really didn't do much for me. But I wasn't surprised. The 3-D effects never do. They didn't for "AVATAR" or any other movie I've seen with those effects. But I still enjoyed the movie immensely. In fact, I found myself on edge through the whole movie, despite knowing how it ended. "TPM" is my sister's least favorite SW movie. She had expected to fall asleep by the middle of the movie. And yet, she was clearly awake through the whole thing . . . at least according to her. Hmmm . . . interesting.

    It was really nice to see a SW movie on the big screen again, after so many years.
  20. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I'd say those "could have been" an everyman perspective (especially Anakin, who could have been like Luke in ANH), bit the way they are presented/executed, they are not.
  21. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Lucas special editions.

    Something that would objectively fix an effect, like removing matte boxes? Too much work. On the other hand, if it's as easy as a few clicks on the ol' iMac, then sure, go ahead and make Vader yell there just for the heck of it.
  22. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2
    yeah , I hope they colorise the old "Three Stooges" movies and convert them into 3D too , that'd be great , I'm sure Lucas would love that too , he's a big Stooges fan

  23. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Now you're just being sarcastic. You should know Lucas would never be in favor of films being modified (at least by anyone but the original filmmakers). ;)
  24. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    All true, and yet...

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    Another reliably hilarious review from Mark Kermode!

    I love how he always works himself up into a storm when he reviews something he doesn't like.

    Haters may say the best thing about the prequels being bad (or perceived as being bad) is RLM; but I say it's the ridiculously funny ranting of Mark Kermode.

    Love that guy, love him. Sometimes, the fun of film is not the fun of film at all, but the way certain people -- beyond yourself -- respond to films.

    BTW: Nice anecdote from him about interviewing Lucas at the end. :)
  25. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    Saw it Sunday afternoon with my fellow 42-year-old prequel-loving friend. There were maybe 6 or 8 other people in the auditorium. The projection was murky and the sound was waaaaay too low. (I like to be knocked out of my seat when the STAR WARS logo zooms into space!) Other than that I enjoyed it immensely. Well, I enjoyed parts of it immensely; one of my gripes about this film (which I rate higher than ROTJ but lower than the other STAR WARS films) is that it drags in the middle. Of course, having seen the thing 40+ times could have something to do with it. :p

    Seriously, I've felt that way since the first screening on opening night in 1999. Now, with no remote handy to pause for snack and beer breaks, I found it dragged something terrible. I found myself writhing in my seat a little bit. Just get to the podrace already! :rolleyes: Much of the lead-up to the race, esp. the dinner scene, is really very poorly paced, IMO.

    The 3D is pretty cool; I've been a fan of the format since 1983. But after a while you just kind of forget about the 3D. For me it's just fun seeing a SW movie -- any SW movie -- on the big screen!

    Highlights included seeing the various extra DVD scenes (engine revving, extended racer intros, etc.) on the big screen for the first time. And, most especially CGI Yoda in all his nuanced glory. This is truly an exceptional computer-animated performance, full of subtle facial movements and emoting with the eyes. Really, really fantastic and pleasing to watch the ILM team at the top of their game here.

    I plan to re-watch it next weekend with my wife (who was sick, may the Force be with her) at a different theater. Hoping for better projection and sound.
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