Review of “Star Wars: Phantom Menace”

Review of “Star Wars: Phantom Menace”

Well, I was a dork and saw Star Wars: the Phantom Menace the day it came out. But at least I didn’t wait in line for tickets. I let my slightly dorkier roommate take care of that. And I figure that it’s been almost a week, so for the 5 of you out there who haven’t seen it yet, you might not want to continue reading this until you’ve already watched the movie at least once. Stryker saw it 4 times before he came back into work Monday. He redefines the word “dork.” But enough about him, you’re probably asking yourselves “what did Dustin, oh wise elastic guru of the film generation, think of the much awaited and overpublicized prequel of the already highest grossing trilogy in world history to our knowledge?”

It didn’t suck.

I’ll elaborate… Is there anybody else out there that felt that Chris Tucker’s character in the Fifth Element ruined the movie for them? Well, Jar Jar Binks is less annoying. But not by much. He has this grating, squeaky voice with an unrecognizable accent and speaks in broken English worse than Yoda’s. And he refuses to keep his dirty-ass tongue anywhere near the inside of his mouth. They even made a $7 lollipop (the kind where they put $6.75 of plastic around a regular lollipop) called the “Jar Jar Binks Monster Mouth Candy Tongue,” in which you are forced to French kiss this hideous sidekick creature-thing. (Actually, it’s probably closer to $0.50 of plastic and $6.25 of Lucas copyrights). The thought makes me never want another lollipop as long as I live. Who knows what his tongue tastes like? Probably artificial cherry, but I’m not taking the chance.

Anyway, this guy and random other Lucasville creations were too distracting too overlook. He’s clumsy and stupid. At least C3PO and Chewbacca were helpful and humble. They didn’t hog the spotlight from Mark Hamill, who can’t really act anyway. But this Jar Jar guy is in about 85% of the film. Thank God Natalie Portman was in the whole thing. Then there’s the kid. I didn’t think he could act at all. But it’s kinda tough to tell with dialogue as poor as what it was. I’ve never really cared for the dialogue in the Star Wars films though, so this film was about on par for the series. But the effects were awesome, as you would figure. In fact, I think a lot of the effects went unappreciated by me because I was already expecting them to be good. When you go see it a second time, pay attention to the sound effects during the pod race (and go see it in a theater with surround sound). And that’s another thing. Everybody I know tells me I need to go see the movie a second time because it’s so much better the second time. Well, I’m having problems accepting the fact that I’m not intelligent enough to get it all the first viewing.

But I guess anything is possible.

I’m not going to bother critiquing the story because I’m sure I’d piss off some Star Wars droid out there. I didn’t follow it from conception. I haven’t done any of the research required to understand every little thing that is going on. I don’t own any Star Wars paraphernalia at all. I got a Jar Jar pog from Pizza Hut and set it on fire. I feel bad for Star Wars fans. Because even if they didn’t like it, they have to pretend they did to save face with respect to the rest of us, who ignored all the hype and went to see it on our own leisure. I didn’t dress up like Darth Vader or that Undertaker-looking dude. Imagine if you dressed up to go see the newest film in your favorite series and you didn’t like it. Would you have the guts to tell anybody that? Or would you look straight at the lens of the channel 8 news camera and go “It was awesome!”? I’d do the same thing if “A Bug’s Life II, Flik Goes to Hollywood” sucked. Keep in mind, I’m not saying Star Wars sucked, I just think it pales in comparison to the hype it’s been getting. Kinda like Jurassic Park II, The Lost World. Except that sucked. Rating this film is difficult in many ways. For one, I don’t know the entire background of The Trade Federation, Palpatine, and Naboo like a real Lucasfilms junkie. Secondly, I fell asleep several times during crucial moments in the movie. Thirdly, I’m biased by all the hype. Even someone as self-proclaimed numb to the media as myself couldn’t help but be influenced at least a little bit by all the damn tokens and placemats and the first 8 pages of the new Toys R Us catalogue. So I’m rating this film with respect to 3 different axis. First, as a part of the series, I’ll give it 8 bugs. I guess it follows the story pretty good. Maybe. Second, as a kid’s movie, I’ll give it 9 bugs. The kid hero gets everything right, and there are lots of neat bungling Gungans in it. And they don’t curse at all either. At least not in English. As a regular movie that I went to see to be entertained, I give it only 6 bugs. The Matrix was much better. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I see it a second time, plebian that I am. But for now, it gets only 6 bugs. The annoying factor was just too high.

I have no quote for you. I’m very sorry. Actually, I’m going to quote John from the message he sent me about the new Star Wars movie (which is where I got any actual Star Wars related facts that you may have read in this review). It’s not fall down belly laughter, but it’s topical and relevant…

Quote of the Day 5/21/99

“Look, go see it again, I’m tellin’ you. Your opinion might not change, but at least you’ll be sure you really do hate it.”

-Boba Fett Freak

That’s actually how I get stuck in so many relationships.

Putting the lid lid on Jar Jar,

Fun Solo.

Still Standing Right Here…

Warning

Hey. This is just a warning to all of you not to read the next message (5/21/99) unless you’ve already seen Star Wars. It will taint your view of the film, and that’s the last thing I want to do to you lovely people. You may read whatever other one I finally get around to sending that you choose, but just let this one sit untouched in your inbox until you go see the movie. That’s all. I gotta go send that message now. Oh, it’s long too. Prepare accordingly. Thanks.

D.

Rebound

Rebound

A long time ago, I made Wednesdays optional. I don’t know if you all remember that. Well, I’m playing that card right now.

I love this quote. This quote reminds me of why I took the job in the first place. It’s funny, it’s a social commentary on dating, and it’s grammatically correct to boot. I was talking to an ole buddy of mine, Jason Varga, and a guy named Jeff who I’ve seen before about dating. Jason said that he couldn’t come to the volleyball house with us Friday because he had a date. I was being facetious and said something to the effect of “it’s not a date if you’ve been going out with the girl for two years already.” He replied that he had broken up with his girlfriend about 2 months ago. I was proud of the guy. Two months out of that crappy relationship and he’s already got a date. Nice work. It’s been two years for me and I’m still not doing so good. Jeff chimed in that he had been out of a relationship now for two weeks. Being as though it was the topic of conversation, I asked him if he had started dating again, to which he responded…

Quote Of the Day 5/20/99

“I thought I did, but apparently we were just ‘hanging out.’”

-Some guy Jeff

That’s kinda how I feel about my job.

‘Hanging out’ with Tony and Flynn,

Screaming Cricket.

Still Standing Right Here…

Bad Toes

Bad Toes

I’m getting cranky and anxious, so I’m going to spare you all a long paragraph about nothing in particular. I was backing out of my chair today, and accidentally clocked Gary (my boss) in the knee. He made this face and grunted something that I could have sworn sounded like “you’re fired,” but he just sucked it up like a real man and shook it off. He told me that I got him in the good knee too, to which I replied that he didn’t have any good knees. He agreed and retorted…

Quote Of the Day 5/18/99

“Yeah. My only good knees are my toes.”

-Boss Man Gary

I don’t know what it meant, but it was random enough to make me laugh.

FaTKiD groupie,

ExTEndO.

Still Standing Right Here…

Puke, Documentaries and Little Girls

Puke, Documentaries and Little Girls

I guess I’ll take this time to explain that last not-so-sonnet you guys got this weekend. Friday night, a 13-year not-puking streak came to an EXTREMELY abrupt end. I hate beer. The overall concept of it isn’t too bad, but I can’t stand the taste. I tried to “acquire” it a little too late in my career. So now I think it sucks. Since it takes so much more beer than vodka to get drunk, I decided to try to go the vodka route Friday night. The problem with that is that I have no idea how to mix vodka and orange juice. Apparently, my one to one ratio was a little heavy on the vodka side. So anyway, I partied hard for an hour or so, then “took a nap” on the couch. Here’s a brief description of my thought process when I “woke up:” I opened my eyes and felt this feeling I haven’t felt in… well, hell, I couldn’t remember how I felt back when I was 11. Anyway, I felt it coming, and I immediately headed for the bathroom. I got about one step toward it. This was no longer an option. So I just aimed away from any electronic equipment. That was the best I could do at that point. Trust me. So anyway, now there’s a big stain on Brian’s rug where I will be forever immortalized. And smelled. Any other information you want about that night is included in your sonnet. I’m done talking about it now.

Before the quote, I have 2 announcements: First of all, if you haven’t seen my film, “Nothing But Rim, the World’s Worst Basketball Team” in wide screen format (the way it was meant to be viewed), it’s playing on campus in another film festival Thursday night. Let me know if you want to go. I am. And I’m really excited about it. You’ll get some serious brownie points if you come. It’s in Fine Arts 306 sometime after 8:00. I’ll let you know more as it happens. Secondly, we’re holding a contest to name our kitten. We currently call it “Baby,” though we are aware of the fact that it will not be small forever. That’s why we need a new name. The kitten is all black with a little white on its underbelly and it acts just like every other cat. It’s a girl too, if that helps. So far, the best ideas we have for it are Jiggy, Rockwell, and Baffled By String (Indian heritage name). What we’re looking for is some sort of name that will help us pick up chicks. The winner gets a lifetime supply of Meow Mix. All entries will be considered. The sooner the better, as my RAM is already kind of low.

Geoff and I are gearing up for camp this summer. We have our gator skin balls, snoopy band-aids, and handcuffs (those are for the lifeguards) all ordered for the semester. One of the campers was in here taking swimming lessons tonight. She decided to pass some time by hanging out in the office and getting harassed by Geoff. See, her mom was born June 12th, and she was born June 13th. So Geoff said “So your mom is only one day older than you?” She tried unsuccessfully to try to explain that her and her mom were born in different years, but Geoff’s sadistic persistence wouldn’t let her. About 10 minutes into the eavesdroppingly grueling conversation, she decided to use the following stand, which Geoff also shot down:

Quote Of the Day 5/17/99

Little girl: “You know how you were born in a year?”
Old mean guy: “No I wasn’t. It took me 9 months.”

She must be thinking of elephants.

Worlds Worst Basketball Documentarian,

Throws Cats Far.

Still Standing Right Here…