I often find myself stuck on a movie that I like part of but just cannot say to myself that I liked it enough to think it was a good movie. I wandered on that for a while and came up with a list of movies that I wanted to like really bad, but for reasons that will be revealed I did not. I decided to jut come up with a top 5 list, so here it goes
1. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) directed by George Lucas
Why I wanted to like it:
Because in 1999 I was 19 years old and Star Wars was a huge part of my life. I had tons of Star Wars toys and video games and was so excited to see the movie I felt like I had been waiting forever for. Star Wars movies were finally coming back onto the big screen for the first time since 1983. I was at that age where I had just graduated a year ago and was starting college with my two friends who were both Star Wars fans. We would have long talks about how we thought the movies would play out and what things they needed to show. This movie was huge not just for me but for everyone who wanted to see how Star Wars came to be, we were all thinking these movie would be better then the others because they would explain how Darth Vader came to be. I didn't think this movie could do any wrong, the internet buzz was staggering. I just kept hoping it would come out so I could say I saw the Star Wars prequels when I was 19 and tell my kids all about it, similar to how my dad would retell the stories of how he went to see the first Star Wars movie and how it blew him away. This would be my story to tell, this would be amazing..
Why I didn't like it:
The Phantom Menace is a terrible name for one thing. To be honest when I was done seeing this movie for the first time I was on a nerd high and thought it was one of the best movies I had ever seen. There was no way I would listen to the little voice in my head that was disapointed and confused. Why did I care about trade federations and senators? I just wanted to see a pissed of kid Darth Vader going around and being badass. I felt the movie tried to take on too much and was just a complete disaster. Lucas made sure to make this movie appeal to kids, he needed to sell those toys! Jar Jar Binks is the worst character in the history of Star Wars, no questions asked. I think the Sarlaac Pit from Return of the Jedi acted better in the 5 minutes he acted. Anakin was played by Jake Lloyd who did not know how to act at this point in his career. Usually good actors like Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman phoned in expressionless performances as well, it was mind boggling that such good actors could not convey any emotion.
The CGI was decent, I will give Mr. Lucas that. But was it needed for every little thing in the entire movie? If I had to say there was a good part of the movie it would be the Pod Race scenes (when no one was talking) and the final duel between Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson), Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul. Maul was the most intriguing character from the movie and is subsequently killed off in the end, which means he would not be appearing in the other prequels. The only hope I had is knowing that there would be two more movies to wrap up the series and I was hoping they would be better then this one and I could just erase this from my memory.
I own this movie, I bought it when it was first released on dvd because I just wanted to try and watch it again hoping I would find more to it I liked. Whenever the movie comes on cable I just shake my head and cannot come to watch much of it. In 1999 this was the movie I wanted to like the best out of any movie I had ever seen and it let me down bad.