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Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash

Kevin's Phantom Menace Review

Originally posted May 1999

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

Resurrected post courtesy of www.chud.com

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