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#4470494 - 04/15/19 12:26 PM The Phantom Menace review done in 1999  
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this is so good that I wanted to share it :

it is easy today to say today what a horror it was, but this guy really nailed it right before it hit the theaters,

https://slate.com/culture/1999/05/dark-side-lite.html

I watched it the day it came out, still remember that afternoon waiting in line to buy a ticket and watching some fans unable to stand still eagerly waiting to get in and everybody anticipating the fun, if I recall correctly, I did not have yet internet at home at that time, did not see the reason why I needed it biggrin.

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4470495 - 04/15/19 12:31 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Yes, I read that review as well many years ago and it was extremely well done.

At the end of the day though did it all matter? The movie still made over 1 billion at the box office world wide.

Last edited by PanzerMeyer; 04/15/19 12:32 PM.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4470496 - 04/15/19 12:42 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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it does - as Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon.

as for money, so did Avatar make billions, yet Avatar did not leave any Cultural lasting mark and that Trilogy lives today in infamy.

I watched the Phantom Menace once, the second one I walked out to grab a popcorn and spent half an hour outside chatting while my nephews watched it and third one I skipped altogether.

#4470497 - 04/15/19 12:44 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss
it does - as Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon.

.


My point is that the only way film studios and writers make changes to their story-telling formulas is when they are poorly received by mainstream audiences and they LOSE MONEY.

If the film made a crap load of money, the studios, writers, directors, producers, etc. couldn't care less what critics have to say.

Last edited by PanzerMeyer; 04/15/19 12:45 PM.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4470499 - 04/15/19 12:49 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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George Lucas saw it differently - he wanted to make all that money making something great and better than the original, by his yardstick it was a failure.

this youtube video review is also awesome, later in the video you can see Lucas, his artists fear of him is bone chilling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKtZmQgxrI


#4470500 - 04/15/19 12:52 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss
George Lucas saw it differently - he wanted to make all that money making something great and better than the original, by his yardstick it was a failure.





You're aware that Episode IV was trashed by the majority of the film critics at the time right?


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4470501 - 04/15/19 01:01 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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sure - as was 2001, Alien and Blade Runner, then they all became classics that stood the test of time, If you watch Star Wars today, it aged quite a bit here and there.

I remember how they trashed Alien in TIME, I loved it from the get go.

Alien and Blade Runner are as good as ever if not I am sure in time Blade Runner 2049 and Rogue One will also become Classics.

#4470502 - 04/15/19 01:03 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss
sure - as was 2001, Alien and Blade Runner, then they all became classics that stood the test of time, If you watch Star Wars today, it aged quite a bit here and there.

I remember how they trashed Alien in TIME, I loved it from the get go.

Alien and Blade Runner are as good as ever if not better.



+1 And this further illustrates why I made my previous statement that for the most part, it really doesn't matter what critics say even though their reviews at times can be entertaining to read like the one you posted in your original post.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4470504 - 04/15/19 01:08 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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their opinion only reinforces mine, I am nor going to change my opinion because of theirs.

take Predators (2010) - I enjoyed it thoroughly regardless of any critic's opinion.

one of the reasons to read reviews of a critic you trust is to skip duds.



-

I am sure in time Blade Runner 2049 and Rogue One will also become Classics.

#4470518 - 04/15/19 02:29 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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I seem to recall that written review, certainly the one on YouTube.

One point from the written review, that they should have hired writers and directors to add some life... I can't help but consider the recent Disney Star Wars movies, and how they apparently did this very thing, and yet there still seems to be a lot of negativity from some fans.


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#4470519 - 04/15/19 02:42 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: adlabs6]  
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Originally Posted by adlabs6
and yet there still seems to be a lot of negativity from some fans.




You'll never please 100% of the fans no matter what you do. We also need to draw a distinction between the hardcore fans and the mainstream fans. The vast majority of the mainstream/casual fans have liked the Disney movies as evidenced by their impressive box office numbers (with the exception of Solo). It's my belief that "Solo" failed because it simply came out too soon after Episode VIII and because the production costs ballooned due to the change in director and the extensive reshoots.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4470520 - 04/15/19 02:49 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss

as for money, so did Avatar make billions, yet Avatar did not leave any Cultural lasting mark and that Trilogy lives today in infamy.


Avatar was as bad or worse than the Phantom Menace.

#4470521 - 04/15/19 02:53 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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"Avatar" made the huge money it did simply because of the 3D visuals and because it came out when the 3D fad was at its peak. Nothing more.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4470522 - 04/15/19 02:56 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss
it does - as Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon.

.


My point is that the only way film studios and writers make changes to their story-telling formulas is when they are poorly received by mainstream audiences and they LOSE MONEY.

If the film made a crap load of money, the studios, writers, directors, producers, etc. couldn't care less what critics have to say.


I bet that if I were to watch TPM again, now, after all these years, I might be able to tell you where in these formulas Lucas ignored the rules or threw them out and made up his own. But I don't want to. TPM was horrible.


Writing a story seems complex but can be distilled into the following:

Create some characters
Have a nifty narrative hook at the beginning to grab the reader/viewer
Give them a mcguffin to chase after(may or may not be significant)
Start feeding the characters sheet sandwiches

Then, depending on the type of story--thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, drama, etc...

Have a spot that eases tension and provides relief
Double up on the sheet sandwiches
Keep feeding them until the end and give the viewers what they want at the end(or give them the opposite for dramatic effect and to make a statement)

Fin




Going from memory, Lucas violated the above formula, and instead fed the audience the sheet sandwiches.

#4470525 - 04/15/19 03:20 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Originally Posted by Mr_Blastman
Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss

as for money, so did Avatar make billions, yet Avatar did not leave any Cultural lasting mark and that Trilogy lives today in infamy.


Avatar was as bad or worse than the Phantom Menace.




worse - its wanton disregard on bladder size and endurance was borderline criminal, after enduring it for close to 2 hours I got up and went for some much needed relief, had a coffee and strolled back, it took me long enough to arrive a few minutes before the ending biggrin

I like retelling this story smile

Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
"Avatar" made the huge money it did simply because of the 3D visuals and because it came out when the 3D fad was at its peak. Nothing more.


it did.

3D gives me headaches, can't stand it.


#4470528 - 04/15/19 03:35 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
You'll never please 100% of the fans no matter what you do. We also need to draw a distinction between the hardcore fans and the mainstream fans. The vast majority of the mainstream/casual fans have liked the Disney movies as evidenced by their impressive box office numbers (with the exception of Solo). It's my belief that "Solo" failed because it simply came out too soon after Episode VIII and because the production costs ballooned due to the change in director and the extensive reshoots.


Yes, a fair point on the distinction. I suppose I tend to fall closer to "hardcore" and so far as that goes, I think that "Rogue One" was the best of the Disney stuff, so far. Didn't see "Solo", so can't comment on that one.

With regard to film and story telling formulas, I always did think that Lucas had a weird situation on his hands with Anakin/Darth Vader. Given what we see in the original trilogy, there's no way to tell his story as one of a likeable, even good-guy, protagonist who gets such a hard time that he just becomes a loathed, sorry excuse for anything. The person of Anakin would seem to always had to have had some darker aspects that just aren't going to resonate in any good way as a protagonist. Where does the arc ever get to make the turn during the prequils? Even at his best, Anakin/Vader makes all the wrong choices until the very last moment, in Return of the Jedi.

But even at that few moments of redemption at the end of his life... A movie audience will still have to sit through several prequil movies illustrating the development of an antagonist.

The formula Mr Blastman posts doesn't work for this. Anakin gets crap, and gives crap. Then gets and gives more, movie after movie. Until those last few seconds in Jedi. IMO, even the ending of Jedi, with Anakin appearing there as a good-guy ghost was really a sort of wonky deal, given the countless lives laid to waste in such a passing, casual way, by this guy during his life.

Anyway, my point is just that the story of Anakin in the prequils was never going to be the typical movie protagonist stuff. Lucas' choices with the prequil characters surrounding Anakin didn't offer much to counter this, the closest was probably Obi-Wan, but this element wasn't really developed until late in RotS.

Anyway, probably off topic now!


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#4470529 - 04/15/19 03:37 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Originally Posted by Tom_Weiss
worse - its wanton disregard on bladder size and endurance was borderline criminal, after enduring it for close to 2 hours I got up and went for some much needed relief, had a coffee and strolled back, it took me long enough to arrive a few minutes before the ending biggrin

I like retelling this story smile


Hahah! Fortunately for me, I saw Avatar on DVD at home, so my bladder endurance was not overly taxed.

Though I suppose pausing Avatar would only serve to make it longer... something I did not appreciate at the moment. biggrin


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#4470535 - 04/15/19 04:10 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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the extended-extended-director's cut version is even longer biggrin

#4470582 - 04/15/19 08:50 PM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Episodes I, II, and III (in my opinion) had two big problems, and they weren't the writer(s) and director(s). They changed the focus of the story completely, and significantly changed the dynamic of relationships.

Focus of the Story:
Seeing Episodes IV, V, and VI without the benefit of the background your heroes are Luke, Leia, and Han and the story is one of their fight to against evil. The main villain is Vader until the very end of Return of the Jedi. Even once we learn that he's Luke's father, he's still evil because he's willing to kill his own son if the son won't help him destroy and supplant his own master. Either way his treachery is boundless and there's not much in the way of redeeming values. But if you've seen Episodes I, II, and III first the true hero is Anakin Skywalker and the villain is Palpatine. Luke, Leia, Han, Obi-Wan, Yoda, everyone else who were the "heroes" of IV, V, and VI are reduced to secondary players...the catalysts in the redemption of the Knight Errant central figure, Anakin.

Shift in Dynamic:
All the "big reveals" in Episodes IV, V, and VI are completely blown before you see the movies. "Luke! I AM your father!" We all knew that. Luke and Leia are brother and sister. We knew that, too. By the way, that completely changes all the romantic "Will she choose Luke or Han" interplay in Star Wars and Empire. And in a very creepy way, I might add. And how do you explain Vader's not recognizing C3PO, and R2D2? How did Obi-Wan not recognize them? He recognized Leia even though he's presumably not seen her since she was a few days old and the droids look exactly the same as they did when he worked with them for ten years or more. And the biggest (in my opinion) WTF is that Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, who is so strong with The Force, had no clue that his son was being raised on his home planet by the family his mother had married into. Note to self: if you want somebody force-choked, call Vader; if you want to find a missing person, call Mr. Keen (look it up).

When you add to all that the hype that had built up around the Star Wars phenomenon, Episodes I, II, and III had an almost impossible hill to climb. I'm not necessarily defending them here, just pointing out that they were bigger underdogs than my local high school baseball team would be going up against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. And yes, I meant to say "baseball team".


SALUTE TO ALL!
#4470623 - 04/16/19 12:09 AM Re: The Phantom Menace review done in 1999 [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
"Avatar" made the huge money it did simply because of the 3D visuals and because it came out when the 3D fad was at its peak. Nothing more.


I've told people from the beginning - if you didn't see Avatar in IMAX 3D you missed the entire experience. In any other format it was just an average movie. I still don't get the hate though, I've seen a LOT of worse movies, much worse.

I have a similar opinion of Phantom Menace - when measured against the originals, yeah, not so great, but still a much better movie than a LOT of others I've seen...

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