Review: The Phantom Menace Still Blows in 3D
Yes I was foolish enough to go and see Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3D, but I did it more out of curiosity and a desire to score the Darth Maul 3D glasses than anything else. I had no doubt that this prequel would still be of a lesser ilk than the originals, but for some reason I honestly thought that the 3D effect would make it slightly more interesting. I was wrong, horribly wrong.
The Phantom Menace in 3D
EB 3 out of 10 Buddhas
When I first read the news that Lucas wanted to re-release his Star Wars films in 3D I actually got semi-excited. Even though the prequels kind of sucked donkey d*ck I thought that a 3D makeover would do them some good. You know maybe make the heavy CG scenes pop a little more, or give the action a little of that “in your face” feeling. Unfortunately, after watching The Phantom Menace in 3D, I can tell you that there really is no hope for the prequels in an older fans’ eyes. Even the 3D gimmick can’t manage to shine through the heaping layers of sh*t that make up these movies.
Best part of the whole Star Wars 3D experience
I’m a realist. I wasn’t expecting Avatar-like 3D effects in TPM, but I was at least expecting The Green Lantern, and it couldn’t even deliver a 3D experience on that pathetic level. I’ve seen some recent movies that have done the 2D to 3D conversion quite well, but once again it feels like Lucasfilm knew its legion of fans would clamor to see the Star Wars films in 3D, so they half assed their approach to the conversion process and put out a less than perfect product. I don’t care what else you’ve read about this movie’s 3D effect, it just plain stinks.
A good 3D movie will provide a sense of depth that the viewer can almost live in and become part of the action on the screen. I didn’t experience anything remotely close to the feeling of watching a world that I was viewing from within its walls. If the screen didn’t have blurred images when I took my glasses off I would’ve sworn that I was watching this movie in 2D. When the depth did kick in a bit, it was of such low quality that it made TPM even worse than it already is. Any actors or sets in the background all tended to blur, or have the doubling effect that is seen in bad 3D images. Even the often praised pod race scene didn’t look that awe inspiring in 3D. Sure the Boonta Eve race may be the highlight of the film, but I’ve seen better 3D footage in low budget movies like Final Destination. Pure crap I tell you, and I’m not just taking my fanboy anger out on Lucas.
The pod racing scene in 3D was much less epic than I thought it would be
Oh well, just like the latter part of my Star Wars life I have to take this travesty with a grain of salt. I knew The Phantom Menace wouldn’t improve drastically with 3D effects, but I was at least hoping for some “Oh that was neat” moments, which unfortunately never happened. Luckily I got an awesome pair of Real3D Darth Maul glasses to use at home for my troubles. If you’re a glutton for Star Wars punishment I’d tell you to just go see TPM in 3D, and just get it out of the way. I understand that there’s an inner child still in you that keeps tricking you into thinking that your beloved Star Wars hasn’t been tarnished too greatly.
My 3D Star Wars experience has proved that that inner child is still blinded by his youth, but he too is slowly starting to come to terms with the fact that Star Wars will never be as special to him as it once was. For that I give Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3D an EB 3 out of 10 Buddhas (worst score ever doled out on EB). Man it’s depressing being an older Star Wars fan. You’ve been wondering why I even gave it 3 Buddhas…
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