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Check Out My Thor: The Dark World Video Review!

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, recently I reviewed Thor: The Dark World on my blog and now that the film is FINALLY playing worldwide I feel like its time for me to bust out my badass spoiler-free video review!

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Now for those who don’t know, I’m primarily a video review kind of guy on YouTube, have been for about 3 years and over the summer I sort of dropped off the radar and gave all that stuff a rest because I was too lazy and was perusing other ventures. But with Thor: The Dark World, I knew I have to come back to the online world and share my thoughts and I can tell ya that it is SO good to be back.

Check out the review below:

So what did you think of my review? Was it good, bad, indifferent? I’d love to hear your thoughts/criticisms. Also how was Thor: The Dark World for you? Whatever your thoughts, drop in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Thor: The Dark World Review

Howdy people of the internet, its time for a new film review and today’s review will be on a film I’ve been easily anticipating for AGES; Thor: The Dark World. Now I reviewed Thor on Tuesday and now we have the follow-up which promised more character development, a new villain and more realism and not only does The Dark World have to follow-up from the first film but also The Avengers too, so does this film succeed or fail? Read on and find out in this spoiler-free review!

In terms of the story it takes places two years after The Avengers, Loki has been imprisoned, the Bifrost bridge has been repaired and Thor has been fighting away to restore peace to the Nine Realms. And for a little while things look like they’re stabilizing and becoming peaceful, but in the depths of the universe evil lurks waiting to be unleashed. A powerful energy known as the Aether is chased after by the race known as the Dark Elves, lead by Malekith who wishes to use it to plunge the universe into darkness. This not only spells trouble for Asgard, but also Earth and the rest of the realms too, so now Thor will have to go above to save not only Jane Foster but the rest of the universe too.

I thought the story in this film was great, from the beginning there’s a greater sense of scope and danger that comes with this plot and it all feels so much bigger and more involved than the first film. The overall tone is much darker and more serious and considering the threat involved that is a welcome addition, that being said there are still great moments of humour that works really well. The involvement of the Dark Elves and the history of Asgard and the Aether brings a lot more mythology to this fantastic world that was established in the first film and fleshed it out a lot more. I also like how even though there are crazy chaotic things happening on Earth and in Asgard, that there were still intimate moments with the characters. Family is still one of the key themes in this film and it is brought to the forefront and handled is a beautiful way, most moments between Thor, his family, friends and Jane are wonderful.

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When it comes to the cast all amazing. Firstly Chris Hemsworth is still amazing as Thor, in the first film he took on the role with such charisma, flair and understanding of what the character embodies in the comics and in The Avengers he continued to impress. And in The Dark World Hemsworth just in his element, he’s badass, intimidating, funny, but also human and expresses a great deal of emotion too. And then there’s Tom Hiddleston as Loki, OH MY GOD, WHAT A BEAST! At this point its hard for me to deny my love for this character, since the first film Loki has inhabited a more sympathetic and likeable demeanour than his comic book counterpart and in The Avengers, Loki when to new heights to become the more villainous and despicable man he’s known as while still having a sense of humour and being incredibly cool and sophisticated. In this film Hiddleston nearly steals the show, his acting talents know no bounds and he takes Loki to deeper, more emotional places which just makes the character a joy to watch. Hiddleston along with Hemsworth are just fantastic and share some amazing scenes together and they’re both the major highlights of the film.

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Natalie Portman as Jane Foster was pretty good, I feel like she’s matured just a bit and because of her role in the story I feel like she’s a lot more useful and interesting than the first film. Anthony Hopkins also steps it up as Odin offering some really wonderful father-son moments whether they agree or not, Odin looks out for Thor but is not afraid to voice his opinion. I also loved Idris Elba as Heimdall, this guy had a bit more to do in this film as he had more screen and action time than the last film, Elba is awesome in most roles he’s in and in this film he’s no exception. Then there’s Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Accursed is pretty damn awesome as the main villain of the film, he’s scary, doesn’t seem too cliché in his personality and I like how he just wants to rule the universe in darkness like the days he knew before now. Also Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse was pretty cool, he a very creepy and powerful beast-like creature and offered up some good challenge for the good guys in this film.

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Other good performances include Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, while her character is still primarily for comic relief, she did provide good moments of humour. Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig makes a great return and strangely enough is a lot funnier in this film. Jaimie Alexander as Sif still looked incredible and kicked ass though she wasn’t nearly in the film as much as I’d hoped. And then there’s the Warriors Three with Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Zachary Levi as Fandral and Tadanobu Asano as Hogun, they were all great and did well in their roles especially newcomer Zachary Levi, I just wish there was more screen time for them. Oh and Rene Russo as Frigga she was epic, I like how her role was expanded for more active stuff and emotional moments with her family and Jane. Oh and lastly may I just say that Chris O’Dowd in this film was great, while his role was small it offered up some really funny scenes.

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As for the presentation of Thor: The Dark World it is easily one of the film’s strongest points. Visually the film looks INSANELY beautiful, the CGI is so much more vivid, colourful and detailed than ever before offering up some truly impressive material when it comes to the scenery of Asgard and the other realms. And may I just say that Asgard on a whole is WAY more lively and seems more realistic than before with more scenes dedicated to interior and exterior locations within the city that aren’t just in the main hall. Also the action sequences are very intricate and vast than before and luckily everyone gets enough screen time to kick some ass! Oh and the soundtrack by Bryan Tyler is amazing, this guy is really starting to become one of my favourite film composers, and while none of his music reaches the majestic points that Patrick Doyle’s score did in the first film, this soundtrack has a lot of epic and beautiful moments that amplified the emotion tenfold.

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So in conclusion Thor: The Dark World is another great film for Marvel, it takes the foundation from the first film and amplifies the story, characters and action by a lot more. Alan Taylor has done a really good job at giving us a more dramatic and realistic version of this fantastic world that Kenneth Branagh crafted. In truth it is the characters that make this film truly special and Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are simply incredible and really elevate this film into something special.

Rating: 8.5/10 (This is a sequel that goes above and beyond to deliver much richer and deeper experience than the first film)

So what did you think of Thor: The Dark World? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? Whatever your thoughts, drop in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Feel The Thunder In This Thor Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, its film review time once again and with the release of Thor: The Dark World just around the corner I thought I’d give you my thoughts on its predecessor, Thor. Now I’m just gonna say this upfront, I love this film, I saw it 5 times in the cinema! If that doesn’t say enough about my love for this film, then let me elaborate in this review. So here we go!

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So story-wise the film is about our main character Thor, god of thunder who happens to defy the rule of his father, Odin and because of his defiance Odin strips him of his powers and banishes him to Earth. While banished, his evil brother Loki takes over their home and has some questionable dealings with the enemy known as the Frost Giants. Over the course of the movie Thor has to learn the lesson of humility to gain his powers back through his interaction with humans and stop Loki from causing havoc to the world of Asgard.

The story is pretty good overall, though it has problems. The film deals with cause and effect, redemption and change, honour and family, and these issues are tackled in a thoughtful and spectacular fashion. I loved the focus on the relationships between Thor and Loki, and Thor and Odin, at the end of the day this is a film about family ties and how important they are. In addition to that I really liked the dialogue too, how it had a very Shakespearean vibe and there were some really beautiful, humourous and memorable lines. Obviously there were a great deal of aspects from the comics that were changed and for better or worse they’re now part of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I believe most of the updates feels realistic, fresh and approachable for by both comic and casual audiences. That being said there are problems with the story in terms of pacing, uninteresting scenes on Earth when related to Asgard and obviously the not so believable relationship between Thor and Jane, which was materialized over a few days rather than a longer period of time. But other than those issues its impressive how the filmmakers crammed several years of comic book history is into this film.

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As for the cast who’re all really great and add a lot of realism to this sci-fi/god-like story. Let’s start with the Asgardians. Firstly Chris Hemsworth is fantastic as Thor, he does a great balancing act between being larger than life, arrogant and aggressive, but also adds subtly, charm and drama to his performance.And then there’s Tom Hiddleston who does an equally great performance a Loki. This adaptation is more reletable because he is misunderstood and misguided, that in turn makes us feel for him and come to terms with his transition into darkness and evil. Hiddleston added some more remorseful aspects to the character and his transition to evil is portrayed well, though I wish he’d been a bit more sinister, but otherwise he was fabulous. Anthony Hopkins as Odin was as expected really cool, Odin was such a strong, imposing, yet caring character and I loved his speeches and aura. Hopkins already had the tools to portray the character effectively and he was so cool. The Warriors Three (Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun) played by Ray Stevenson, Joshua Dallas and Tadanobu Asano were delightful, they were all interesting, quirky and pretty awesome on and off of the battlefield. While I primarily know about them from Hulk Vs. Thor and my Wikipedia research, overall they seemed to be depicted pretty well though I wish they had more screen time.

Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif was great too, she was gorgeous and knew how to handle herself in battle, again like The Warriors Three I wish she had more screen time but she was still fun to watch. Idris Elba as Heimdall was very good too, I really wasn’t sure what to expect because this was very far removed from Elba’s standard line of work, but he did well, though some of his words were a bit hard to comprehend at times. Rene Russo as Frigga did a nice job well in the film too, although she was severely underused and I wish she’d had more screen time. Okay, now let’s talke about the human characters. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster was decent, Jane was good for the first half of the film and had nice chemistry between her and Thor, however I didn’t buy into her like her relationship with Thor. Firstly I find it hard to believe that someone as pretty as her would find it so hard to find love, and secondly I the time that she and Thor spent together was FAR too short for her to go from an infuation to all out love, more time wasneeded for that relationship to grow as it kind of felt forced towards the end of the film. Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig was pretty good too, can’t really fault him. And Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis was good too, she had some funny dialogue and was also very beautiful. 😀 And finally it was so great to see Clark Gregg back as Agent Coulson, he had some great scenes and dialogue and by that point he’d definitely become more of an interesting character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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When it comes to the presentation of Thor it is pretty good. Visually the film was very pretty with lovey art direction,good CGI, great costume design and nice cinematography. The visual effects were handled by BUF and Digital Domain, and they crafted some great gorgeous stuff, from the space worlds of Asgard and Jotunheim to the Frost Giants, Destroyer Armour and battle sequences, it was pretty awesome. The travelling sections via the Bifrost Bridge is some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen on-screen for some time (the first time it’s like, “Wow! FRIGGING AWESOME!!”). That being said the world of Asgard seemed a tad empty outside of the main hall and one had to wonder where all of the residents were haha. There also seemed to be a lack of sharpness and clarity in certain sections and I feel a studio like Industrial Light & Magic would have been a better choice for tackling the VFX, but still overall the film looked good.

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The action sequences in the film was handled in an effective manner too, with most characters getting decent screen time. The action was shot wonderfully with lots of quick cuts and a variety of camera shots. I loved how Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir was depicted as it demonstrated a lot of different techniques especially with the spinning attacks which I wasn’t expecting to make it into the movie at all. The lightning effects were good and even Thor’s flying ability looked well portrayed too. Loki’s action on-screen was pretty good with a lot more physical combat with a staff, though I wish he had done more magic-based attacks. Everybody else have good fight scenes from the Warriors Three to Sif, from their battle with the Frost Giants to the attack on the Destroyer Armour. One thing that does bug me is the fact the first battle with the Frost Giants is the best one and everything that follows afterwards never quite reach that same level of greatness. Also the soundtrack crafted by Patrick Doyle was pretty great, it epic, dramatic and can go from being really powerful to being quite small and emotional. It really elevates whatever is happening on-screen and hits all the right notes for all the key scenes

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So in conclusion I liked Thor a lot, it was a grand film with a good story, great characters, good action and a decent soundtrack. While there are some notable problems with the story, pacing and action, the film laid out the groundwork for these characters and other comic aspects to be incorporated into the sequel. Kenneth Branagh must be commended for taking what seemed to be an impossible task and making it feesable for comic book fans and casual audiences. A lot of people hate on Thor but I reckon its one of the better Phase 1 films, I recommend it and I can’t wait to be blown away by The Dark World (hopefully)!

Rating: 8/10 (It really was one of my favourite superhero films of recent years)

So what did you think of Thor? Whatever your thoughts, drop in the comments below and come back to this blog in the next few days for my review of Thor: The Dark World! Laters yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Thor: The Dark World Trailer #1 Review

Ah yeah boy its time to talk about the first trailer for Thor: The Dark World yo! I’ve waited forever for there to be some official trailer for this film and FINALLY we have something to ogle over, and the end result is something very different from what I was expecting but it’s all sorts of awesomeness. Check it out for yourselves below:

So the trailer starts out in London all nice and pretty then it cuts to a scene with a kid who touches a button on a truck and then it starts levitating and turning. Woah this is supernatural stuff going on here. We then see our Jane Foster (again played by the incredibly beautiful Natalie Portman), then it cuts to some hooded enemy standing in the darkness (I think it may be inside of a ship because of the next scene) and then chaos descends upon London as some massive upside-down triangle ship thing crashes through the city and all the people run in panic… And just for a second oh hey Darcy what’s up (Kat Dennings observing with some random guy)?

Then we enter the man of the hour, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who comes drops from the sky in a spectacular fashion. He and Jane meet again, Thor tells Jane to come with him and she’s all like “What?” And then bam they disappear into the sky leaving Darcy to stare into the sky. We then return to Asgard and there are shots of fancy doors, Thor and Jane checking out the scenery, Sif (Jaimie Alexander), trekking through an icy location and Jane lying down raising up her hands and with these scenes there’s a voice over from Jane saying “We’re from two separate worlds, maybe they were separate for a reason.” Oh I can sense drama ahead. Then we cut to more action where we see a ship crash into the outside of one Asgardian areas, there’s fighting in the woods and now scene with Odin and Thor. Thor states “If they do nothing they will destroy us.” Cut to more shots of London and people getting mashed, then cut to Mjolnir flying right into Thor’s hand as teleports there and then he lays the smack down on several guys on the battlefield like boss!

We see shots of Malekith, Sif looking all badass on the battlefield, Thor throwing a guy, explosions, and then another shot of Thor where he seems to be inside some swirling circle along with Malekith who’s holding Jane towards the air. Thor falls to his knees and he’s all like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” See that? That’s called drama.

I love the final scene in this trailer where we hear a familiar voice saying these words: “You must be truly desperate to come to me for help.” It is of course Loki (played by the awesome Tom Hiddleston) who’s serving hard time in some kind of jail where he looks rough. Thor goes to see Loki in his time of need and says that anyone who crosses him will be killed to which Loki smiles and replies “When do we start?” See that’s the sign of badass ladies and gentlemen.

Overall this trailer has a much bigger and grander sense than before and it seems like there’s a few story elements from the comics that will find themselves in this film like possibly the Asgardian trials for Jane Foster or the look into Thor and Sif’s relationship. I’m also liking the style of the action, it’s looking rough and ready, we may even get to have more than one badass action sequence in this second film. Before watching this trailer I wondered how Jane Foster could truly fit into this film with all the Asgard and Malekith tuff going on but it seems she plays an intricate part in all of this so I can’t to see how that unfolds.

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All in all the this trailer shows off a lot of cool, dynamic and interesting things, Thor: The Dark World definitely shows promise. I just hope that the film will be everything I wanted and then some. This trailer was great and all but mind wasn’t blown like it was when the Iron Man 3 trailers showed up, well hopefully the next trailer will fix that.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D Review

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Howdy to all who are reading this blog post and welcome to another film review and today’s review will be on the re-release of the first prequel in the Star Wars series; Star War Episode 1: The Phantom Menace… In 3D!! (not that the 3D part really matters haha)

Oh and before I go into this review I’m going to go into some degree of detail so beware of potential spoilers in the review.

Now when I found out that The Phantom Menace was going to be re-released in the cinema again in 3D I was like “What the hell!?! Why? Does George Lucas really need all that additional money? And doesn’t the majority of fans hate that film? Just why?” And so I investigated online and found out that this was going to be first part of the six films to be released again in the cinema in 3D. So then I was like “Oh good gravy, I should have seen this coming.” I mean with Star Wars being released on home video and DVD like 5 times in different editions with special updates to each one it should come as no surprise that it would find its way back into the cinema considering the potential money-making it could do and not only that, but with the addition of 3D and with the amount that those kind of films take in each year then it would be great for Star Wars to get a quick post-converted image job and then be released to the public. So here we are in 2012 with the first installment in the Star Wars film saga, The Phantom Menace that originally came out back in 1999, so after around 15 years does the film still hold up? Well yes and no in a lot of ways.

I’m not going to bother explaining the plot because most people who have seen Star Wars know what the deal is already, but if I had to summarize The Phantom Menace is basically meant to be the starting point of the entire Star Wars saga, giving us a story of a world set before the original trilogy, explaining the origin of one of the most pivotal characters in all of the films, Anakin Skywalker. This film gives us his origin story as well as an insight into the world of the Jedi before they became next to extinct in the original trilogy and it introduces us to whole new worlds and characters who play a part in setting the events that lead up into A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

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The story overall is pretty decent for what it is, but as the starting point for a film series as highly regarded as Star Wars its kind of messy in a lot of ways. It deals in a whole lot nonsense that doesn’t really have a place in world of Star Wars like politics and corruption in the world of government-based things, long and dull conversations about things not overly relevant to what’s happening at the current point in time and its these aspects that really bring the film down. This is especially bad for kids watching Star Wars for the first time, they won’t care about all this talking bullshit, they’re just watching for the spectacle. The long-winded conversations and scenes of debate and government will turn them right off. But the rest of the film’s plot is pretty nice, we see how the Jedi get involved in Anakin’s life, we also get to see what the younger life of Obi-Wan Kenobi and see Yoda too in a more active state. We also learn more about the Sith and see how Queen Padmé Amidala’s appearance in the film series establishes a connection with Anakin Skywalker too. We get to visit some familiar locations and characters that fans of the original trilogy would be interested to see like the first appearances of R2-D2 and C-3PO, its like noticing subtle easter eggs lurking around that you spot throughout the film. Anyway as I said before the plot of this is decent, but as the start of a film series like Star Wars it leaves so many questions unanswered like say why the Jedi exist in the first place or why the overall new form of enemies are droids or why there is a Galactic Republic or why the Sith have returned randomly out of nowhere. While some of those points are kind of irrelevant or just nitpicking it does make one wonder about some of those things.

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When it comes to the presentation of The Phantom Menace surprisingly it holds up pretty well and in many ways is the best part about the first prequel film. Say what you will about the story but when it comes to action and audio I believe that The Phantom Menace delivers on many levels of awesomeness. The CGI is still fabulous and works throughout most of the film, from the futuristic setting of Coruscant to the fight against the Federation droid control ship in space to the brutality of the podracing to the Gungan fight against the massive droid army, everything holds up pretty well. even small things like the look of Jedi’s lightsabers looks crisp, sharp and lovely and its pretty surprising considering that this was done back in 1999. But with the picture enhancements that the films have gotten in the last few years and the fact that Industrial Light & Magic worked on this film means that one shouldn’t be too surprised. And in terms of audio, the sound production on this film is pretty cool too showcasing some great sound effects for lasers and explosions and things of that nature, but all of that pales in comparison to the epic soundtrack constructed by John Williams. Good god the soundtrack for this film is so epic, so powerful, so absolutely incredible that it really is beyond words in a lot of ways. The song “Duel of the Fates” is simply incredible and totally orgasmic, yes I will even admit that. When it’s used in the film in the lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul, holy man it just sets my soul on fire and my just mind just explodes!

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Also I don’t think I can mention the presentation of this film without talking about the 3D aspect of the film. Was it good and did it add anything to the film? No, absolutely not. While I didn’t expect that adding another dimension to the film would make any proper difference, the thing is I’m sure I read in an interview that this film’s 3D would make an actual difference to the film’s quality unlike most post-converted 3D films of present. And yet I never really noticed the 3D aspects of the film after the first 10 minutes of the film, in some areas of the film its noticeable but otherwise the 3D in The Phantom Menace is invisible. The best films I saw in 3D have been Avatar and Kung-Fu Panda 2 because the 3D in those films felt like it had a presence, it was actually noticeable and it added depth of field to the picture. However this is not the case with The Phantom Menace, it’s just another film that didn’t need the 3D conversion at all.

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There’s also one other thing to mention and that is new footage and picture quality. Before going to watch the film me and a friend wondered if they were going to show the original version of The Phantom Menace or whether it would have the additions that came with the recent Blu-ray release of all six Star Wars films and funnily enough we got to see The Phantom Menace with all of the enhancements from the Blu-ray release with several additional scenes, better picture quality and the massive addition of the CGI Yoda to replace the puppet original. These changes range from great to completely unnecessary. The new CGI Yoda looks great and now he looks like he fits in the whole of the prequel trilogy, though I can’t help but feel like he looks a little too detailed when compared to his later appearances in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, plus even though the new Yoda looks good I can’t help but look past it and remember every scene with the original puppet version. And when it come to the new scenes some of them are completely irrelevant like some additional bits in between scenes on Coruscant. Most of the new scenes are noticeable around the point of Anakin’s podrace from the introduction of the riders to additional scenes in the actual podracing itself which are interesting to see but not entirely necessary.

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To be honest I’ve always kind of like The Phantom Menace. While it was one of the first films I remember from my younger days in the cinema, it does have a special place in my memories and has that nostalgic quality that has never left me since I was 9 years old. After the seeing the film recently I realised that my love for this film extends far beyond the nostalgic aspects. The spectacle is still pretty lovely, the Jedi kicked ass (especially Obi-Wan) with their brilliantly choreographed lightsaber duels against Darth Maul who I swear is still one of the coolest Siths ever. As I said before the soundtrack is still incredible with John Williams delivering in every way and the funnily the film was pretty hilarious too, though not for the obvious reasons, like when me and my friends were laughing at aliens from the Trade Federation as their accents are just frigging hilarious or just when we were completely ripping into Jar Jar Binks because he’s such an idiot. Plus my experience of this film was heightened on an epic level because I went to view it with two friends who are Star Wars fanatics like me and we were in our element quoting several moments from the film and we were so in sync about several parts of the film, it was perfect.

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However now after watching the film again in 3D with the knowledge that I have as a media student who studied film beforehand I’ve noticed this film doesn’t hold up as well as it used to. For the most part it was nice for nostalgia’s sake, but there were several moments where I was just bored waiting for something more interesting to happen or where Jar Jar’s comedy antics were just getting on my nerves. But for all its problems I still like in The Phantom Menace, there’s a lot to like, but it’s really down to personal preference; if you like all of the Star Wars films then this’ll be a fun trip down memory lane, but if you’re one of those fans that only like the original trilogy than this film won’t change your mind at all and if you are new to the Star Wars film series than I would say give it a go.

Rating: 8/10

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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