PT Phantom Menace 3D Review

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

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  1. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I never felt like I forgot about the 3D, because it was quite impressive... but I know what you mean. Seeing SW on the big screen is just a thrill in and of itself. Too bad the volume was too low for you; for us, it was loud enough to feel the explosions and even the lightsaber clashes. Also, I totally agree on the podrace scenes and the new CGI Yoda. It just felt right to have him look like he did, and have the old TPM puppet Yoda gone.
  2. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    I've read elsewhere that Lucas purposefully avoided "gimmick" 3D -- the kind seen for example in that awful, awful Conan movie, in which a close-up of Ron Perlman's face brings his mustache and lips into sharp, 3D relief while banishing the rest of his face to a vaguely unfocused background; /shudder/. So I suppose there's a case to be made for subtlety. But while watching TPM, I cheated. I slid my 3D glasses down several times to check out the process. In several shots there was no 3D conversion at all. In other shots it was only done on extreme foreground figures or extreme background elements, while leaving the rest of the frame entirely untouched. So a fair portion of the movie was just us watching the original TPM with dark glasses on. [face_thinking]
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I think it's an outrage that going to the movies nowadays is such a crapshoot in these areas, with the prices they're charging.
  4. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well, I agree, totally - the sad part is that in the long run the theater chains are kind of shooting themselves in the foot, they are just making it more tempting to wait for home video and stay home.

    There are very few movies for which I am willing to pay a premium... TPM being the first that comes to mind. :D
  5. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Well I'm taking my nephews to see it tomorrow. Apparently they are climbing the walls with anticipation and driving their parents nuts. Oh to be 10 again.8-}

    I'll let you know what I and more importantly (as they are the target audiance) they think.[face_thinking]
  6. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    The topic of discussion is the re-release of Phantom Menace and the new episode of the Bombad Radio podcast: http://thegungancouncil.podbean.com/2012/02/15/episode-28-the-phantom-menace-with-the-fanboys/
  7. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Ok, saw it this afternoon.

    Theatre was half full - Which I didn't think was too bad at all on a Wednesday afternoon, for a 13 year old movie that supposedly everybody hates.

    The 3D experiance. For me the 3D most stood out with background imagery. I saw a lot of stuff (especially people) in the background of scenes that I'd never noticed. The Pod Race was excellent, but the 3D made surprisingly little effect on the Duel Of The Fates. I haven't seen many films in 3D so don't really have much to compare it to, however I thought overall the 3D was quite well done and not intrusive or annoying.

    What I don't like, however, if that you lose a lot of the colour intensity with 3D. One of the great things about TPM and AOTC (is less so for ROTS given much of ROTS happens at night or in dark settings) is that they really are beautiful movies in terms of colour and brightness. From the beauty of the Theed Palace and the greens and blues of the Naboo landscape TPM is a movie that should exude beauty and I'm afraid that for me much of that beauty was lost with the 3D conversion.

    That said, I do think the 3D conversion is a worthy project because it brings Star Wars back into cinemas (where these films should really always be seen) and it allows another generation to enjoy Star Wars on a cinema screen.

    As for the film itself, its exactly the same film that its always been for me. Deeply flawed with several major problems, but when it hits the right note (pod race, Duel of the Fates) its an outstanding film.

    The real problem with TPM and this has been the case since 99 is that so much of it is simply filler. So many scenes revolve around people having boring conversations that don't relate to the rest of the story and aren't even that interesting in their own right - At least nearly all the scenes in AOTC are either interesting in terms of the film or have a meaning for the wider story and will be important in later episodes, etc... - This is not the case with TPM. And its for this reason that I never minded Jar Jar Binks that much and still don't, because I think without Jar Jar over an hour of this film would be unwatchable for kids and ultimately kids are the target audiance.

    I never found Jar Jar was as terrible as a lot people seem to and my view of Jake Lloyd is the same. He wasn't as bad as they hype in 99 said.

    Liam Neeson was excellent, though Qui-Gon's dominance in the movie at the expense of Obi-Wam is harmful to the rest of the Prequels. AOTC and even ROTS never totally recover from that lack of a relationship between Obi and Anakin. It still blows my mind that Ewan Mcgregor is basically reduced to a bit part for most of TPM and like I said, not only is that a major flaw in TPM itself, worse, it harms the rest of the Prequels. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if we actually got a pay off in ROTS with Qui-Gon returning in some form, but we don't even get that, so as I've said before TPM is a film thats dominated by two characters, Qui-Gon and Jar Jar, who then pretty much disappear from the rest of the story. Its still kind of hard to fathom what George was thinking when he wrote this film.

    Natalie Portmans performance remains mixed. I still think she's great as Amidala, but sometimes not so great as Padme. I still find the subplot revolving around her and the decoy Queen interesting and enjoy working out which scenes have Queen Natalie and which scenes have Queen Kiera.

    The political scenes are still some of the best in the movie for me. I love Ian McDiarmids subtle protrayal of the seemingly benevolant Senator Palpatine and that scene where he manipulates Amidala into bringing down Valorum remains the best non action scene in the movie, IMO.

    The audio wasn't up to standard in my showing. The sound effects were great, the music was OK, but the dialouge was poor. Not sure what went wrong, but its the first time I've ever been left underwhelmed by a Star Wars audio experiance, which you normally expect to be given the absolute best audio and visual presentation.

    The audiance reaction seemed
  8. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I agree. =D=
  9. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    There was a fairly pathetic smattering of applause at the end of the showing hal and I attended. I think it was probably someone (maybe two people) who were going to applaud whatever. Still it was very nice to see certain portions of the film on the big screen once again. Thirteen years after I last saw it on such scale. I could've done without the 3D - not least because I despise the technology (but know I have to make my peace with it if I'm to get the most out of The Hobbit) - and would've preferred a sparkling digital presentation.
  10. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    What did you and COD think to the audio? I found it weirdly lacking for the first time ever with a LFL movie? [face_thinking]
  11. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Audio was nice and thunderous in my theatre.
  12. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    No audio problems in my local. If anything it was a bit too loud.
  13. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Perhaps its jusy me than. I'm as deaf as bat. [face_laugh]
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Eh, I wouldn't suggest it's just you; some theatres seem to think "sound system" means this:

    [image=http://www.blogcdn.com/www.switched.com/media/2008/09/ht-is100_speaker_wstrawberr_switched.jpg]
  15. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    [face_laugh]
  16. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    I didn't notice the sound, so I guess that means I accepted it. To be honest though, my ear isn't very sophisticated. I think something would have to be particularly bad or particularly good for me to really notice.
  17. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    Mine too. Not only could we feel the booms of explosions, we could feel the rumble of podracer engines and even lightsaber clashes too.
  18. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    It seemed like the volume was low in the theater where I saw TPM on Friday... but maybe that was intentional. They didn't want to bother all the romantic saps watching The Vow in the next room. hehe!
  19. JEDI-RISING Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2005
    star 3
    i saw it tonight. didn't notice anything about the sound. i was impressed with the conversion at first, but as time went on i expected a little more. some scenes seemed to have more 3d effect than others.
  20. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I really noticed the sabres too. They actually made me wince a few times with how loud they were.
  21. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Sounds effects were very good in my theatre too. It was just dialogue that seemed low, but it was probabaly my terrible hearing.
  22. ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2009
    star 1
    Here's a retrospective I posted on my blog about TPM. It only briefly covers the 3D itself and more or less looks at the film's strengths over its weaknesses.

    http://romancinema.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/underrated-star-wars-episode-i-the-phantom-menace/
  23. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Its interesting to read the varying opinions of the 3D conversion for Phantom Menace. But I?m sensing discrepancies in opinions of what constitutes the ?proper use of 3D? technology in enhancing the movie going experience.

    Prior to the re-release of TPM, during these past several years as the format has risen in popularity, there have been some fairly common criticisms of 3D:

    - Dark image
    - Headaches/Nausea
    - Blurring
    - Price
    - Distraction
    - Over Use of ?in your face? moments
    - *Insert your own additional complaints*

    In general, it seems (to me) that most complaints about 3D involve there being ?too much? of everything.

    And then we come to The Phantom Menace, a film which uses 3D much more subtly, enhancing depth of field, and drawing the audience in toward characters and conversations.

    For me, TPM 3D works, its subtle, artistic even, seeming never to exist simply to call attention to itself? as if to say ?here I am, look at me.? TPM never resorts to that kind of gimmick.

    On the other side of the aisle, I?m reading quite a few comments that say there is too little 3D, that its too subtle and there is not enough flash.

    Who is right? Do we even have a reliable definition of what constitutes a great 3D film yet?
  24. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well, I guess it's a bit of progress that the critics of TPM are no longer as harsh on it as they used to be... but it still boggles the mind, for me at least, that people are still saying stuff along the lines of, "The stories that George Lucas wanted to tell are OK, but they would be more interesting if they got somebody else to tell the stories."

    I mean, c'mon, it's his universe, and the execution of the movies reflects his sensibilities as a filmmaker. He was largely inspired by the kind of stuff he enjoyed as a young kid growing up in Modesto. He did not set out to make another "Casablanca" or "Gone with the Wind" or "Citizen Kane" - he set out to do stuff that was partly inspired and part homage to stuff like Flash Gordon, Captain Marvel, Tarzan, and all the other stuff that was fun for kids in the 40s and 50s.

    How many of those old movie serials have you watched all the way through? They are not masterpieces with super-polished dialogue, for crying out loud. Their charm lies largely in the fact that they're frequently cheesy, corny, and sometimes just plain awful in parts. If you can't appreciate that quality, in what is essentially stuff made for children, then you probably still don't really get what Star Wars is all about, and what it always was supposed to be all about.

    As far as I'm concerned, the dialogue in the PT and in the OT is all perfectly adequate for what those movies are trying to do. Yes, perfectly fine. It's not trying to reinvent the wheel, it's not trying to win an Oscar for best screenplay. It's not about that at all - and it's sad that so many people still claim to be fans but do not seem to really get it.

    Sorry if I sound a bit harsh here, but I think much of the criticisms that are made in regards to Lucas' film usually come from people who have seen far fewer movies than Lucas has, especially stuff from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and yet a lot of them keep acting as though they are the ones who know better.

    I was among those who thought the 3-D was just fine. Completely fine. It did enhance the viewing experience for me. And to me, that should be the most important thing.

    Many people would say that "Avatar" was a great 3-D movie, and in a strictly technical sense, it is. But I didn't enjoy watching it in 3-D in the theater nearly as much as I enjoyed the 3-D conversion of TPM. Why? Because "Avatar" wore out its welcome early, in my case, by the last half-hour of it, I was just thinking to myself "just end already". The storyline was all too familiar, and with the running time it had in theaters, it felt terribly overlong. Which, oddly enough, was not how I felt about other James Cameron movies that were also about 3 hours or so - "Titanic" and "The Abyss".

    The bottom line is, you should at the very least have fun while you're watching it, be able to enjoy it. If the movie would be fun even w/o 3-D, then the 3-D will probably make it even better. If it isn't a movie you'd enjoy watching in 2-D, then the 3-D really shouldn't be enough to make up for whatever the movie lacks, imho
  25. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Well said, MandalorianDuchess.

    As far as 3D, I haven't seen too many movies in 3D, but one that comes to mind is Harry Potter 7 part 2, which I saw in IMAX 3D. I honestly wish I had saved myself the extra money, at least for the IMAX segment, which gave me an up-close-and-personal view of Voldemort's head veins. The 3D was OK but again, I think the effect of the movie would have been just as good in 2D.

    TPM in 3D, however, was worth it. It was not in-your-face 3D but it was effective where it needed to be effective, and certain moments, like Anakin fixing his podracer while in motion, were fantastic.
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