Samuel L Jackson,
20th Century Fox
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5:1 EX and 2.0 Dolby Surround
Technical Features: Scene selection, animated menus, multiple
language subtitles, and English for the hearing impaired.
Extras: Two-disc DVD set, anamorphic; 2.35:1 film transfer, Dolby 5.1 audio mix; director's commentary; seven deleted scenes completed; 12 Web
documentaries; five featurettes; the John Williams music video "Duel of the Fates"; galleries of
stills; trailers and television spots; "The Beginning," a 66-minute
For some reason this was the first movie I checked out when I was finally kitted
out with my full multimedia set-up.
If you want to show off with whatever
sound system you have, then this is the movie to pop into your player
when people visit. The sound is fantastic. So is the picture quality of
this movie. Really great. After watching it I wanted to throw away my
VHS tape, which I bought so that I can say that I own ALL the
Star Wars movies.
If you want to show off why DVD is so much better,
this is a double disc set of which the second disc contains a great making-off
documentary and other features such as trailers, music videos and the
differences between the DVD version and the cinema version.
Huh? You read that right. From George Lucas the man who brought you the
superfluous Star Wars - Special Edition comes,
well, Phantom Menace - Special Edition. Fans of the movie might
go gaga over the extra added scenes, but they don't add any extra value
to the movie really. They just make the movie, erm, longer.
And that's the problem really: The Phantom Menace gets worse
every time I see it. I quite enjoyed the movie on the big screen when
it came out, but repeat viewing on the small screen just accentuate the
movie's faults. That kid that plays Young Darth Vader's acting gets poorer
every time, Jar Jar Binks' voice gets more shrill and grating and everybody
else seems more bland than before. I once said that Phantom Menace
is better than Return of the Jedi, but I don't
know anymore . . .
Watching the movie I thought how fantastic the Star Wars proper
DVDs would be one day. I don't think I'll be able to force myself to watch
the videos again until they do. And maybe the DVD will have an option
to skip all those rubbishy Special Edition bits that stand out like a
sore thumb . . .
WORTH IT? The extra features on the disc is great, especially
the making-off feature, which really shows just what a huge undertaking
a movie like this is. With all the visible effort that went into it one
almost wants to forgive Lucas the ultimate mess the movie is. Almost .
RECOMMENDATION: Rent it. I am sure Lucas will bring out yet another
"Special Special Edition" one day to wring more bucks out of you. Wait until
he has finished the new trilogy . . .