Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace DVD Review

Written and Directed By George Lucas

Genre
Science Fiction, Adventure

Cast

Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn
Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi
Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala / Padme
Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker
Ian MacDiarmid as Senator Palpatine
Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka
Ray Lloyd as Darth Maul
Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
Frank Oz as Yoda
Terrance Stamp as Chancellor Valorum
Brian Blessed as Boss Nass
Warwick Davis as Wald / Pod Race Spectator / Mos Espa Citizen
Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu

Certificate PG

Synopsis

Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor lead the cast in the beginning of the legendary saga

The opening chapter in the fabled Star Wars saga: two Jedi knights, Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, must rescue the young Queen Amidala and help her save her home planet, Naboo, which is under blockade by the ruthless trade federation.

When the federation attacks, the Jedi spirit the queen away to relative safety on the desert planet of Tattooine. It is there that Qui-Gon discovers a boy, enslaved by evil gambler Watto, who has the potential to become the most powerful of the Jedi. His name: Anakin Skywalker...

Special Features
  • Commentary by George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Buritt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires
  • Exclusive Deleted Scenes Documentary
  • All New Hour Long Documentary 'The Beginning'
  • Multi-Angle Storyboard to Animatic To Film Segment
  • Five Featurettes Featuring The Storyline, Design, Costumes, Visual Effects and Fight Scenes
    Award Winning Web Documentary
  • 'Duel of the Fates' Music Video featuring John Williams
  • Never Before Seen Production Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Posters and Print Campaign From Around The World
  • 'Star Wars: Starfighter - The Making of a Game' Featurette
  • DVD-ROM Weblink to Exclusive Star Wars Content
Review
Where do I start with this? When the prequel trilogy was announced, I was immensely excited about all the possibilities that could come from the mind of George Lucas.

Then this turned up. To me, this movie isn't a Star Wars movie. It's more like a Disney movie in space.  The best way to discribe this dross of a movie would be that someone gave my 3 year old son some money and a computer and told him to make a story.  It really is that bad!

The cast is poor beyond belief and one of the worst culprits of this is Natalie Portman, which is very disappointing as she is one of my favourite actresses.  She's meant to be exuding an aura of calm and serene royalty but she comes across as just being bored.  It's the same with Jake Lloyd as Anakin but it's more forgiveable with him as he's only a kid, albeit a really annoying one.

Don't even get me started on Jar Jar Binks.  What the hell was Lucas thinking when he created that piece of crap character.  For the first time in my life, I was actually rooting for the bad guys to capture this guy and kill him off!

Ray Lloyd as the silent but deadly Darth Maul was definitely one of the few highlights in this movie.  Maybe if they had put him in there a bit more and made him seem like more of a threat then maybe I would have enjoyed this movie a hell of a lot more.
It's not all bad however. There are some flashes of immense quality. The fight scenes with Darth Maul, the space battles and the pod race are well done but those flashes of brilliance are so buried under the rubbish in the rest of the movie that they are so hard to find that it's very close to not being worth the effort.

But all that hard work is let down by some severely wooden acting, poor dialogue and some moments of sheer mediocrity.

The extras are amazing and this double DVD set is quite literally over flowing with extras, all of which really excite the Star Wars fan in all of us.  It's a shame that the movie didn't live up to the promise shown by the special features.

If I'm honest, it's nearly worth getting this title just for the special features alone, it's just a shame that the release is let down by such an awful movie. 
Movie 1/5
Picture 4/5
Sound 4/5
Special Features 4.5/5
Overall 13.5/20

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