PT Phantom Menace 3D Review

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

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  1. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    I didn't see Avatar in 3D, but I absolutely adore the film. I saw it three times in the theater, and to me it has the same appeal as Star Wars. Deceptively simple classic, and still powerful story, in a wrapper of the likes we?d never seen before, which is exactly what Star Wars is. I really find it strange that any fans of Star Wars and similar tales would not appreciate Avatar.
  2. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well I appreciate nearly everything else that James Cameron has done - except for "Piranha II". :p

    And it's not that I didn't start out appreciating the movie, it's just that by the last half-hour, it had worn out its welcome for me. The points it was trying to make could just as easily have been made in a little over 2 hours, imho.
  3. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    I don't think the extended cut added much to Avatar, but the theatrical was spot on for me in terms of length. A movie is only too long when the emotional level drops, and Avatar never lost me.
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Avatar is one of my favorite movies of all time.

    I've never seen it in 3D though.
  5. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    I think a lot of the complaints about Avatar are about as faulty as the complaints about the prequels. Like the argument that Avatar isn't original... they call it "Dances with Wolves... in Space," because the main character "goes native," and "Fern Gully," because Cameron dared to suggest an environmental theme. The problem with the first complaint is Avatar is very much Cameron's "Star Wars," his stab at taking a archetypical tale and putting it in a new wrapper (Just like Lucas.) And the fault in the second complaint is that they?ve taken a movie with a theme, and attacked it on account of their own personal opinions about that theme in present day, real world politics. But complain way. Cameron won?. Simply by striking a nerve. Lucas also won with The prequel trilogy. People attempt to chalk their dissatisfaction with the PT up the quality of the films? in truth, I think Lucas made them look at themselves in the mirror? and they didn?t like what they saw. Anakin is frightened, angry, selfish, dissatisfied? just like many of us.
  6. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    And that would be where I don't agree with you. First and foremost, a movie has to work even on its own terms, leaving aside even things like whether or not it's a "message movie" or whether or not you agree with the "message".

    And to me, "Avatar" is a movie that comes frustratingly close to hitting the bull's eye, yet misses it mostly due to overlength. The movie had already sold me on its vision and for me at least, it overstayed its welcome... as much as I had enjoyed the early part, maybe even 2/3ds of it, by the time it was near the final stretch, it just kinda lost me.

    So I think that on purely cinematic terms, it doesn't work nearly as well as it could have. It definitely had potential, but to me it would rank a distant 5th or 6th place among my favorite Cameron films, if I even include it at all.

    Yet in spite of my reservations with "Avatar", I am still really looking forward to the converted version of "Titanic". That's one movie I don't really have any reservations about - and I'm not even a Leo fan.
  7. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Eh, something about your reasoning doesn't sit right with me (Don?t get me wrong, its your opinion and you are welcome to it). Your issue is length, but the theatrical version of the film has all the essential dramatic elements of story telling, and nothing comes to mind to me as "fat" which could be trimmed without causing the story structure to collapse.

    I think there is ?How long a movie needs to be,? and ?How long someone wants a movie to be.?

    Avatar is 2:43 minutes, and I don?t think that?s too out of the ordinary these days.

    But anyhow.... Star Wars!!!!!
  8. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    That's the problem, right there. Most good movies are usually pretty good right around the 2-hour mark. For comedies, around 90 minutes is ideal. There are movies that truly demand a longer-than-average running time, but imho "Avatar" isn't one of them. I could very easily think of ways in which the basic story could have been told that would have made the story shorter by at least half an hour.

    Please don't think that I have a problem with long movies, either. I love "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Godfather Part II," both of which are around 4 hours long. And even some of Cameron's earlier movies seemed to justify a 3-hour running time, as did even "Dances with Wolves".

    There is no right or wrong answer, in this case it comes down to a question of what works for one person or doesn't work for another.

    And, as you quite rightly suggest, it's probably a good idea to get back to the discussion at hand - TPM 3-D
  9. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    So. Watching the second half of Scrat's Continental Crack-up before the start of TPM 3D made me realize something important:

    Podracer Dud Bolt may be a member of the squirrel-rat species. [face_laugh]
  10. StarWarrior92 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2011
    star 2
    I knew that there had to be a reason why that put that short film in front of TPM 3D! [face_laugh]
  11. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Just posted this in another thread:

    Saw it. Loved it.

    Full review coming tomorrow.

    The review will be full of praise, but will also contain its share of criticism.

    At its best, watching TPM in 3-D, on a big screen, was close to a religious experience. No, scratch that. It *was* a religious experience. There were some parts, especially early on, where I literally couldn't breathe. It was THAT good.

    At its worst, the experience occasionally became pallid and aggravating, due to some severe technical flaws I will expound on. I also became aware of film-making/aesthetic points bashers have raised for years; but this was countenanced by a ton of other things bashers have complained about that totally transfixed and blew me away.

    Seeing this revamped TPM on a big screen is DEFINITELY an experience worth having. At least once in your life. It has a touch of the numinous and the transcendent to it: high art. It absolutely raises the film, and the sensual-orgasmic experience we call "Star Wars", to new heights. And I am really not kidding. Man, I am itching to write my full review, now, but the hour is late, so I'll get to it tomorrow. Lots to say. But every Star Wars fan should look upon this like a holy pilgrimage. Seek TPM in 3-D out, because it's something worth having wash over and pass through your geek life. Seriously.
  12. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Not my express intention to spam in any way, but I might as well post my review in this thread, as well...

    I don't know where to begin with this, so I'll just begin. "Star Wars: The Beginning." Or "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D" for all you nerf-herding pedants out there. The same film, but better. Re-tooled, revamped; and for the most part, revitalized. An ocean of bliss washed over me while watching this film. "Watching". Such a small word. While experiencing, living, FEELING this film. I was taken through the stargate; Beyond The Infinite. In 3-D, it was -- and is -- the pinnacle of Lucas' digital dreams: his esoteric blending of Kurosawa and Bergman, Flash Gordon, Beatrix Potter, and the Holy Bible, by way of matte paintings, models, miniatures, puppets, pyrotechnics, flesh, marble, sand, plywood, linen, wide angle lenses, computer generated imagery, bluescreen, wire work, deft acrobatics, and Jar Jar Binks. It's all here and it's never looked or felt better. In isolation, perhaps. But never in compilation. "His cells have the highest concentration of midi-chlorians I have seen in a lifeform." Yes, the midis made this film. Not a person. Not George Lucas. Rather, something small and subtle and intricate, tied to something unearthly, unending, incarnate. No, in reality, PEOPLE made this film. LOTS of them. And they were all working in service of a singular -- yet disparate, amorphous, adaptive -- creative vision. This film, as it now exists, and, in a sense, has always existed, is a tribute to something grand: the human spirit and all the best it can be. As well as all the worst. In the narrative and outside of it. Money, greed, corruption, superstition, arrogance, bigotry, repression, violence, self-righteousness. Yet also wonder, beauty, sublimity, warmth, humour, imagination, audacity, wonderment and wanderlust. Honestly, there is a bit of EVERYTHING in this film. It's epic and THEN some. And 3-D finally does it a peculiar justice.

    My effusive overture aside, I really felt I was watching something magnificently whole and rich. The colours, the framing, the sound design, the music, the characters, the setpieces. THE WORLD. Star Wars has finally come of age by being put into 3-D. It's not like the 3-D even works. It doesn't. It works fitfully. Awkwardly. Hazily. Brilliantly. Badly. It is never convincing, but it is sometimes captivating. Never real, but always rarefied. Rather than appearing credible, it merely serves as a lens that magnifies the film's underlying absurdity. Its crazy rhythms and jives. Its cunning viscerality. But this is fine. More than fine. Unexpectedly awe-inspiring. It is like opening a music box and seeing a beautifully hand-crafted figurine. We know she isn't real, the tiny dancer pirouetting, but she has tactile grace: a quiet, insistent loveliness amidst her abstracted existence. By partaking of the 3-D, we enter a theatre of the absurd. A pointing Neimoidian? A swimming Gungan? A smug politician? An angry hologram? An unsteady protocol droid? A grieving padawan? It's all here as you've never seen it before. You're drawn IN by being taken OUT. It's ridiculous and it's wonderful. It is not pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, or any of that guff. It's perfectly silly: people walking across a screen, looking weird, with weird stuff in the background. Projected nonsense. Now, extruded nonsense. More layers, more meaning. Literally. A feast that one can never hope to eat. Not in a million years. Weird, stupid, distracting, idiotic. But absolutely irresistable. This is the way Star Wars should ALWAYS be viewed from this moment on.

    But you know what? It wasn't perfect.

    Of course, it wasn't meant to be. It was simply meant to be... different. A sufficiently-enticing money-earner. Mission accomplished. But I can still grumble. What else are message boards for? It was a film where my mind was totally surrendered to the lush operatics of the experience itself; or totally willing to be surrendered, but annoying limitations and egregious distractions kept getting in the way. For every par
  13. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    ^
    |
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    Holy wall of text! :eek:

    I think that might take longer to read than watch the movie. lol

    My review will be much shorter, I promise.

    I saw it last weekend. This was my first 3D movie. I've been on 3D theme rides before, like at Universal. I guess since those were my only 3D experiences leading into this movie I was kinda underwhelmed by some things. Like with the Spider Man ride, you have environmental effects like water and heat. I knew it wouldn't happen in the theater, but for some reason, the lack of those effects still made the 3D a little less awe-inspiring than I'd hoped it would be.

    I was astonished at the life-like appearance of the characters, but how all of the non-character stuff (usually backgrounds) was so painfully out of focus all the time drove me nuts. It was almost like every background was a matte painting and the characters were the only things that were real, even in scenes where I know that the background was at least partially constructed.

    Still, it was awesome to see Star Wars live-action in the theaters again for the first time since 2005. I can't wait for the rest of the movies. On the way to the theater, my one friend and I were saying that we'd go see them all again even if they were just 2D. We need no excuse to see them.
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Riven-I want you to focus on something close to you. Your computer, maybe. See how it's in focus and the background is sorta blurry? Yeah. :p That's the effect TPM 3D is going for. It looks real because depth has been added.
  15. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    I know that.

    But my point is that the backgrounds were painfully blurry, like the filmmakers weren't even trying to make the background seem real. It was like one of those only 90s games that had live-action cutscenes where the backgrounds were static images and the videos of the people just moved atop the background.
  16. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    It might. :p

    Again, not to spam, but I just wanna add the extra stuff I wrote in the other thread, again. This will be the last copy-and-paste job:

    The visual rush aside, I was glad to experience TPM on the big screen again for the sound. At my cinema, while the sound system was nothing out-of-the-ordinary, it was still decent; and the volume was high without being ear-splitting. I managed, in a few cases, to pick up on conversations occurring before the camera gets to them, so to speak. One is that bunch of BS being spouted by Palpatine to Amidala in his apartment. Before he says, "There is no civility, only politics", the film just catches the end of him saying something else. Clearly, we are dipping into his honey-dripping lies (the truth: from a certain POV), and even the film can't bear to make us listen to them all. That's one of the cool things about watching TPM all the way through, rather than jumping in at a certain point, as I have been wont to do with many of my films in the last few years. Damn and blast the seductive ease of digital technology! Watched beginning to end, by the time we get to Coruscant, we are, I think, slightly worn out by the podrace, and we have already gorged mightily on all the cornucopic riches the film has spilled forth, so, at this adjunct, we may be forgiven for thinking things can only get better for the characters now that their immediate trial of getting to Coruscant is over. But no. Palpatine, quite in contrast to the various players we've yet seen -- bipedals, for the most part, of good repute and considerably lesser natures -- suddenly slows the film down with his phony political spiel. His sly pacing of the floor (almost a nervous tic, given what he's on the verge of accomplishing), in a redolent space from which Anakin and Jar Jar have been barred, raises a subtle contempt in this viewer. The prior villainy on Tatooine -- the wry avarice of Watto, the murderous cheating of Sebulba, even the decadent worm-god gangsterism of Jabba -- is suddenly nothing next to this Elizabethan-robed schemer and his oily designs. He is even more richly-insinuating, and aggravating, in a straight-through viewing. Die, Palpatine, die! Another conversation I picked up on was one between, seemingly, Qui-Gon and Panaka on Naboo, while Nass is addressing Jar Jar in the foreground. You can hear some tactical discussion going on before Lucas takes us directly to their confab. I felt this added a subtle realism; a nice little moment I had clearly forgotten about. In fact, I'm rather fond of that ensuing "this is what we're gonna do" scene, these days, because it's largely expositional. It is key characters working out what they're going to do next in a strategic/militaristic sense. It's obviously echoing the briefing room scene from ANH; and it strikes a similar grace note at establishing a comparable verisimilitude. I also feel that this ragtag, improvisational aspect to these planned assaults is vintage Star Wars.

    I also shirked my duties, earlier, in not pointing out a couple of other bright spots for the 3-D conversion. The first I wish to indicate is that of Maul being chopped in half; specifically, the shot of his cloven body falling down the pit. Now, previously, and don't ask me why I ever thought this, but on my first-ever-viewing of TPM, I thought Maul fell down intact, and that the other piece of black was part of his garment (?!). Gratifyingly, in the 3-D version, you can tell, plain as day, that he is completely severed in two, with each piece of his body appearing very distinct as it bumps and bashes against the granite-like periphery. A rather graphic effect becomes more graphic with the 3-D doohickery; and is surely one of those things that kids will find suitably cool since it's got a new dimensional clarity to it (and yet, it's not *too* graphic, I don't think). The second moment, from the same passage, no less, is the shot of Obi-Wan clu
  17. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2
    So just came back from seeing it with a gang of SW pals some of whom I've not seen for several years .

    ok , well I haven't watched TPM all the way thru for at least 6 years so it was interesting to see how I'd feel about it now .

    the 3D was decent (saw it in a decent theater) , the annoying bits are still there nothing really to add on that point , but what I did find is that it drags quite a bit , sure Lucas throws stuff in the background and all over the place to try and liven it up but it just slumps constantly , people talk about what they're gonna do then talk about it some more , they look and sound bored .

    the pod race is like a mini-movie all its own , very well done .

    then its back to boredom , hanging round against a pretty backdrop .

    there's just no sense of excitement , adventure, involvement etc. And this is a SW movie !

  18. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    Just a heads-up that Rebelscum has a poll going about SW in 3D. Hit the link for the story and a link to the poll. Make your voice heard!
  19. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Thanks for the link, LAJ_FETT!
  20. EmSeeSquared Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2004
    star 1
    guess i might as well post my own video review me and a friend made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHsYnerxl1A&feature=plcp&context=C38f2ef4UDOEgsToPDskJ2jjHZgPWWUeYD8Sd0FDu8
    feel free to check my other videos if you enjoyed.
  21. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
  22. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    *I deleted this post and put it in the other thread*
  23. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    My vote has been cast. :)

    Clicked this last night. Nice video. I really like that Star Wars t-shirt! Who'd have thought a simple protest from Hayden Christensen's "Mannequin Skywalker", originally from the pen(cil) of George Lucas, the self-professed "king of wooden dialogue", would now be proudly emblazoned on geek apparel that's easily purchased with a few clicks of the mouse? LOL. Good stuff there. You're clearly not huge fans of TPM, but big enough admirers of the PT to admit that it's, at the least, watchable, and at its best, totally compelling. The comment that's made some way into the video about the prequels ramping up to a big finale is perceptive. It's amazing how so very few fans are able, it seems, to even conceive of this point, let alone consider its implications. The PT is not the OT. It has a different stucture, tonality and purpose. Lucas, himself, has said that TPM and AOTC largely consist of "jazz riffs": things that interest him. Lucas has also said, in the same interview, that the entire PT, but particularly TPM and AOTC, is "a character study", and "an exhibition piece about politics", making it explicitly clear that it's got a different temperament to the OT, and by extension, requires a different temperament to watch and absorb. Yet all fans wanted to do, when those remarks hit the web, was excoriate him further, roundly declaring that even "the maker" admits the PT is flawed (but that's not what he has said, at all). In the future, more people might appreciate the differences between the trilogies, and between the films within the trilogies. Or not.
  24. EmSeeSquared Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2004
    star 1
    i'm glad you enjoyed this vid. i'm glad to see there's others who "get" the prequels like i do, instead of all the Red Letter Media lemmings i see all over the place. The point of the prequels is to tell a back story, and watching all 6 chronologically tells a story that just gets better as it goes, just like any novel. why would it be backwards? it's like if the first chapter of the first harry potter were a standalone movie; it wouldn't be very awesome. or the first chapter of the first Lord of the Rings.

    i also have a 3-part vid responding to all the outcry toward the bluray release a few months ago, if you're interested.

    (PS, as to my shirt, no click of a mouse was involved, i got it at Target, heh)
  25. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I'm normally averse to YouTube reviews and the like -- prose, nine times out of ten, is infinitely superior, in my view -- but there are occasions when the more human dimension of a person, or group of persons, speaking into a camera is welcome. I would watch your 3-part Blu-ray polemic, sure. I may also have to get one of those shirts (and then get the stones kicked out of me)!

    As for the prequels...

    They're a backstory, yeah. They're also a frontstory. I don't think a lot of fans quite grasp the idea of binary oppositions or dialecticism. The prequels, on the one hand, are historical dramas, right down to the costumes and baroque production design, while, on the other, they are futurist fantasy, alluding to a contemporary reality tinged with the ever-increasing human pursuit of techne. Just look at the vivid depiction of Coruscant in Episode II. The clones. The ReBoot-ish setting of Dex's Diner. Hell, look at the whole damn movie. It's this clashing of values that, in part, makes them so rich and involving, to me.
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