Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D Review

Darth Maul's duel with Qui-Gon and
Obi-Wan is one of many reasons
The Phantom Menace has aged well.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace returned to the big screen for the first time in 3D and earned $22.5 million domestically and $20.5 Million across the globe bring it's total gross to $968 million.

The Phantom Menace, the first in the series of Star Wars prequels, is the first to receive the 3D treatment.  The 3D adds depths to the mostly digital worlds and is most noticeable when an object appears in the foreground.  The up-conversion of this film is much better than recent up-conversions such as The Clash of the Titans.

Since it's release in 1999, many criticisms of The Phantom Menace and of George Lucas have made their rounds on the internet and have seemed to sour many people's opinion of this film.  The anticipation and hype that revolved around the film before it was released has not been matched since, and perhaps the high expectations were the beginning of all the complaints.

The complainers seem to forget that these movies are aimed towards children and that kids today still laugh at Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) and his antics.  They also seem to forget that this film includes two of the best action sequences in the franchise.  The much maligned Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) races in and wins the Boonta Eve Podrace.  The ending sequence, with four simultaneous battles, is very similar to the ending of the much loved Return of the Jedi.  Jar Jar leads the Gungans against the Battle Driod army which allows the Naboo to make their assault on the Trade Federation.  As the Naboo pilots take off to destroy the Trade Federation control ship in a space battle, Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) square off in an epic lightsaber battle against Darth Maul (Ray Park).  All the while, the Queen (Natalie Portman) and her decoy (Keira Knightley) lead two separate groups attempting to get to the throne room to capture the Vice Roy.

In addition to the action, the now teenage film's special effects hold up very well.  Considering that the majority of the film's droids, sets, ships, worlds and a few of it's characters are CGI it still looks great even by 2012's standards.  Unlike previous re-releases, the only addition to the film was the added depth from the 3D conversion, the film remains unchanged from the recent Blu-ray release.  The higher quality transfer and the 3D also enables viewers to see things that may have gone unnoticed previously.  The Wookies, the E.T.s and other aliens in the Republic Senate are much more noticeable for instance and many of the actions in the background are clearer as well.

Star Wars is now playing on a big screen near you.  If you are a Star Wars fan, supporting this movie will ensure that the other Star Wars films will also make it to a theater near you.  May the force be with you.
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About Art with Jimmy

Jimmy in GA is a blogger, host and producer of the several podcasts including The Muppets Podcast with Jimmy in GA, The Random City Podcast, and several others. Jimmy is a life long Muppet and Star Wars fan. Jim Henson and George Lucas are two of the individuals that he looks to as visionaries who have helped to shape not only entertainment but the lives of countless people by inspiring others to create, write, share and perform.
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