Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D Review


Well Jar Jar is officially back on the big screen as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace returned to theaters last night in 3D, but how was the conversion that we’ve all heard so much about? Not that awesome. If you are expecting big scenes like in Avatar, you are going to be sorely disappointed.

I went to see the movie at the local AMC at the mall, put on my 3D glasses and sat down amongst what was a pretty big crowd actually. I have to give Lucas credit, even if the audience had so much venom for the flat version of the movie released more than 10 years ago, they still bought their tickets. So whether they booed or cheered, the money will still come rolling in.

So what was it like? Not a whole lot different than the original release. The problem with the process of converting 2D movies is that you get sort of a pseudo 3D effect, just like colorization of black and white movies that only colored some of the elements and not others. The 3D effects are subtle and just as bland as the movie plot really. Characters are separated from the background, which is a nice touch and there are some depth effects in the action scenes, but nothing too earth shattering that makes one reconsider the movie’s initial issues of plot and acting. In an age where the audience has seen what a real 3D movie (filmed and conceived with the 3D in mind from the start) is like, it’s not going to impress anyone.

I could go into a whole lot more detail about the movie itself, but if you are reading this site, you probably have already seen Phantom Menace when it appeared in theaters the first time, and since on DVD and Blu-Ray. I will say that this version did not seem to have any tinkering done with the plot itself, although it certainly could have used it. The digital Yoda that we saw in the Blu-Ray re-release is in this one and there may have been some subtle visual differences, but amongst the 3D it was hard to tell.

So should you see it? Well that depends on your perspective. If you liked the first prequel, then the added 3D is kind of fun, although it doesn’t really enhance the movie that much. If you hated it the first time because of the many problems it had, then you will still hate this one and the 3D isn’t going to make that any better.

For me, I guess I give it a 7 out of 10. The most enjoyable part was actually more watching the reactions of my fellow theater goers than it was the actual film, which can make for a fun afternoon. Whether it was worth the money or not I’m still trying to decide.

Star Wars: Phantom Menace 3D is in theaters now…
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