The phantom reviewer

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There's a good chance that you've seen this already, but if you haven't and you care about good, clear storytelling and you have 70 minutes to kill, you must watch this epic deconstruction of The Phantom Menace.

Aside from the pointless serial-killer subplot (seriously—the narrator of the review is supposed to be a delusional serial killer), this is a brilliant and funny dissection of why the Star Wars prequels suck so hard. It crystallized for me many of my own unfocused thoughts about the films, and gave me ten times as many new reasons to hate the them. The sequence where the reviewer asks friends to describe specific Star Wars characters is alone worth the price of admission.

Because of the 10-minute limit on YouTube content, the review is broken up into seven parts. (Part 7 doesn't always seem to play in its original configuration. If you have that problem, try this version of Part 7 instead.) Here's Part 1 to whet your appetite:

I'm reminded of a couple of my own objections to The Phantom Menace (which I have not seen since its opening week in 1999). First, I was disappointed that Anakin as a child showed no sign of any of the dark character traits—cruelty, rage, craftiness, whatever—that would later turn him into Darth Vader. That, for me, meant I felt no tension in his interactions with the other characters, and it made his eventual seduction by the Dark Side seem kind of arbitrary.

Second, even if that had been in the script, I doubt the child actor who played Anakin could have conveyed it. That kid had no charisma or acting ability whatsoever. I think I remember Orson Scott Card saying somewhere around that time that they were trying to get the same actor to play Ender. Why? Because Card wanted the Ender's Game movie to suck too?

Anyway, I hope this same reviewer tackles the other two prequels someday. After the clusterfuck that was Attack of the Clones, I didn't even bother seeing the third movie. Still haven't.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on December 20, 2009 4:41 PM.

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