action, adventure, comic book, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 7th, 2018 Movie – X-Men


A new century is upon us and with it came the rise of something we never thought we would see; Marvel Comics exploding onto the big screen. Yes, technically the Marvel Movie phenomenon really started with Blade back in 1998 (or you could even say with Men In Black in ’97)  but it was today’s movie that really made everyone take notice. Now I have been a fan of the X-Men ever since I first saw them guest star in some episodes of Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends as a kid. They would soon become a staple of my comic buying days and when I first heard that a live action movie was being made, I hoped that it would not be a complete debacle. Well, I know it has been a while since it first came out but let’s see just how good today’s movie is as I watch X-Men.

The plot: In 1944 Poland, young Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents when the enter a concentration camp. As he tries to get to his parents, the guards try to stop him and Erik’s mutant powers begin to manifest, allowing him to bend the metal gate until a guard knocks him unconscious. In present day Meridian, MS, a young girl named Marie is at her boyfriend’s house, discussing her plans to run away and travel the country. When the two kiss, Marie suddenly starts to absorb his life force and her boyfriend starts seizing. She screams out, alerting his parents, and as they rush to tend to him and calm Marie, she yells at them not to touch her. Some time later, in Washington D.C., Jean Grey is speaking in front of the senate and trying to discourage them from passing Senator Kelly’s Mutant Registration Bill but Kelly, posing extreme hypotheticals and using fear tactics, gets the audience on his side. Charles Xavier is in attendance and as he sadly watches the audience applaud Kelly’s speech, he notices Erik is also in attendance. When Erik leaves the assembly, Xavier heads out to talk with him and Erik tells him that he heard all of this before and asks Xavier not to get in his way, saying that mutants are the future. Meanwhile, Marie has hitchhiked up to a small town in Alberta, Canada and as she enters the bar, she watches a man called the Wolverine gets beat down in a cage fight before coming back and winning the fight. As the bar closes down for the night, Rogue is drinking some water at the bar when Wolverine sits down and orders a beer. When the loser of the fight goes up to Wolverine and complains about him cheating, then tries to stab him in the back, Rogue shouts out a warning to Wolverine, who dodges the attack, then pins the man against a post with his claws. When the bartender points a shotgun at Wolverine, he uses the claws on his other hand to cut the gun in half and after staring down the two men, leaves the bar. After driving down the road a little ways, Wolverine discovers Rogue hiding in his trailer and he leaves her on the side of the road at first but has a change of heart and lets her into his camper. As the two talk for a bit, where Wolverine introduces himself as Logan, a tree suddenly falls in front of them, causing the truck to crash and Logan to go flying out of the truck. Rogue finds herself stuck as the camper catches on fire and Logan recovers and moves to help her when he is attacked by Sabertooth, who knocks him unconscious. As Sabertooth approaches the camper, he is suddenly attacked by Storm and Cyclops, who quickly rescue Rogue and drag Wolverine to safety before the camper explodes. When Wolverine regains consciousness, he finds himself being attended to by Jean and quickly grabs her but then releases her as he leaves the room. Finding himself in a strange corridor, he finds a hoodie he can wear and tries to find his way out of there when he hears a voice in his head. He eventually ends up in a room with Xavier, who is teaching a couple of children physics, and after the students leave, he introduces himself. Xavier explains to Logan that this is a school for mutants to train them in how to use their powers so they can reenter society without being a threat. He then tells him about Magneto and asks Logan to give him 48 hours to figure out what Magneto wants with him and then he is free to go wherever he wants. Meanwhile, Sabertooth returns to Magneto’s lair and informs him about the X-Men stopping him and Magento says that they have to prepare for the UN summit on Ellis Island. When Senator Kelly boards a helicopter and flies off, his aide Henry Gyrich reveals himself to actually be the shape-shifting mutant Mystique, who knocks him out then joins the pilot, Toad. When Kelly regains consciousness, he finds himself in Magneto’s lair and Magneto talks with him briefly before stepping into a machine and activating it, bathing Kelly in a radiation which Magneto feels will induce mutation in him, but weakening Magneto at the same time. Back in New York, Jean runs tests on Logan and discovers his skeleton and claws are infused with adamantium and the only reason he survived is due to his mutant healing factor. As Jean shows him to a room he can stay in for the night, Logan starts flirting with her but she tells him she is with Cyclops. That night, Logan has a nightmare about his forgotten past, brought on when Jean attempted to read his mind and saw the process where he got his adamantium. Hearing his cries, Rogue goes to check on him but when she moves to wake him, Logan lashes out and accidentally impales Rogue with his claws. Logan calls out for help but before anyone can get there, Rogue teaches him and steals his powers, allowing herself to heal, then apologizes to Storm, Jean, and Cyclops before leaving the room, with the other students quickly stepping out of her way. Back at Magneto’s lair, Kelly has been imprisoned so that Magneto can see if his machine works but Kelly has gained the ability to make his body elastic and is able to escape. Back at the mansion, Rogue is approached by one of the students, Bobby Drake, who tells her that Xavier is upset with her and she should probably go ahead and leave the school but when Rogue leaves, Bobby is revealed to be Mystique in disguise. Logan comes too and asks about Rogue, whom Xavier says is fine, but when he goes looking for her, he discovers that she is gone. Xavier uses Cerebro to locate her at a train station and Logan wants to go get her but Xavier says it is too dangerous. He sends Cyclops and Storm out there but Logan steals Cyclops’s motorcycle and rides off ahead of them. Back at the mansion, Mystique makes her way to Cerebro and sabotages it, then leaves the mansion. At the train station, Logan finds Rogue on one of the trains and after talking with her for a bit, tells her that he thinks Xavier really wants to help her and it would be best if she goes back there. Meanwhile, Storm is asking the ticket agent if she has seen Rogue when she is attacked by Sabertooth. Cyclops goes to help her but Toad manages to grab his visor, causing Cyclops beams to go out of control until he is able to close his eyes. Meanwhile, Magneto stops the train that Rogue and Logan are on and as Logan faces off against him, Magneto easily is able to overpower him. When Logan asks what Magneto wants with him, Magneto tells him that he never wanted him and Logan realizes they were after Rogue, just before Magneto knocks him out, then captures Rogue. Sabertooth and Toad join Magneto and they start to leave with Rogue when the police show up and try to stop them. Magneto disarms the police and points there guns back at him when Sabertooth suddenly grabs him by the throat and Toad starts to leave with Rogue. Realizing that Xavier is there, Magneto speaks out to him, then threatens to kill the police and the only way to stop him is to kill him and Xavier reluctantly releases his hold on Sabertooth and Toad, allowing Magneto to leave. Back at the mansion, Logan is upset about Rogue being kidnapped and wants to go find her but as he opens the door to leave, he finds Senator Kelly there. Kelly is brought to the infirmary and as they try to help him, Xavier reads his mind to discover what happened. As Xavier explains what happened to Logan, Cyclops, and Jean, they realize that Magneto plans to transfer his powers to Rogue to power the machine, sacrificing her life instead of his own. In the infirmary, Kelly asks if someone is there and when Storm says she is, he talks briefly with her before his body dissolves. When Storm tells the others that Kelly is dead, Xavier goes to use Cerebro to find Magneto and Rogue but is incapacitated by Mystique’s sabotage. As Cyclops sits with Xavier in the infirmary, Jean repairs Cerebro and then uses it to locate where Rogue is and they figure out that Magneto plans to use the device to mutate the members of the summit. Cyclops, Jean, Storm, and Logan head out to Liberty Island to try and stop Magneto and when they enter the base of the statue, Logan says someone is there. He goes looking for the other person, motioning Cyclops and the others to stay there. When he returns, he moves to stab Cyclops but another Logan stops him, as the Logan that was about to attack Cyclops is revealed to be Mystique, then quickly locks them in another part of the building to prevent Cyclops from accidentally blasting the wrong one. Before the can react, Toad appears and attacks Cyclops, Jean, and Storm, locking Cyclops into a display, knocking Storm down an elevator shaft, and spitting some gunk onto Jean’s face, suffocating her. Cyclops is able to free himself and then save Jean while Storm emerges from the elevator shaft and uses her hurricane winds to knock Toad away. He manages to save himself by using his tongue to grab onto the railing but Storm summons a lightning bolt to electrocute him, sending him flying out into the water. Meanwhile, Logan and Mystique continue fighting and when he starts to get the upper hand, she manages to get away. As Logan goes looking for her, Storm joins him and says that they should regroup with the team but Wolverine stabs her, revealing that Storm was actually Mystique. After they all regroup, they head up to the torch when Wolverine suddenly warns them to run, as he is unable to move. The X-Men are suddenly trapped by Magneto’s power and after making sure they can’t move, he heads up to the torch to use Rogue to activate the machine, leaving Sabertooth to guard the X-Men. Logan stabs himself in order to get free and begins fighting with Sabertooth on the top of the Statue of Liberty. Sabertooth gets the upper hand and throws him off the statue, then goes inside to kill the rest of the X-Men but Logan returns and, with Jean’s help, gets Cyclops to blast Sabertooth out of the statue and send him crashing onto a harbor patrol boat below. Seeing that Magneto has activated the device, Logan has Storm and Jean send him up to the machine, where he works to free Rogue. Magneto tries to stop him but Cyclops is able to blast Magneto, allowing Logan to destroy the machine before the radiation reaches Ellis island. After freeing Rogue and finding her unresponsive, he places her bare skin against his, using her power to siphon off his healing factor to save her life. Magneto is captured by the authorities but Mystique, who survived being stabbed, changes to a security guard and is taken to a hospital for treatment. Some time later, both Xavier and Logan recover from their injuries and Logan asks how Rogue is doing and Jean tells him she is fine. Xavier tells Logan about an abandoned military base at Alkali Lake in Canada and says that it might be the best chance for finding out more about his past and Logan thanks him. Later, Xavier, Storm, Cyclops, and Jean are watching TV when they notice that Senator Kelly is on TV, reversing his position on the Mutant Registration Act, and they realize that Kelly is actually Mystique. As Logan goes to leave, Marie stops him at the door and says she doesn’t want him to leave and Logan hands her his dog tags, telling her that he will be back to get them from her. As Logan rides off, having stolen Cyclop’s motorcycle again, Xavier pays a visit to Magneto in his special plastic cell and Magneto says that he will escape one day to continue the fight and Xavier says he will be waiting for his old friend when he does.

X-Men met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.” Shortly after accepting the role of Magneto, Ian McKellen was offered the role of Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He originally was forced to turn down the role but after talking with director Bryan Singer about his desire to be in The Lord Of The Rings, Singer agreed to alter the shooting schedule so that McKellen filmed all of his scenes by the end of 1999 so he could head to New Zealand to start working on The Lord Of The Rings. The movie was a box office success, earning $296.3 million off of a $75 million budget and would go on to spawn 2 sequels, 3 prequels, and 5 spin-offs, with 2 more films in the series set to be released.

Luckily for everyone that this movie turned out pretty good cause otherwise, who knows what superhero movies would have looked like in the future. The acting was good, with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen doing great jobs as Xavier and Magneto respectively. I also thought that Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, and Famke Janssen did good jobs with Logan, Cyclops, and Jean respectively and did a great job bringing the tension among the three in the comics onto the big screen. The story was interesting, mainly because the idea of forcing mutations like that felt a little out of character from the way Magneto usually is in the comics. This actually felt more like something that Mr. Sinister or Apocalypse would do, not Magneto. The special effects were pretty good and definitely some of the best around at the time. I do think that they went overboard with some of the slow motion action scenes during Wolverine’s fights but other wise, it was highly enjoyable. Super hero movies have come a long way since this movie but this is still a great movie to watch on it’s own merits and definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

action, adventure, fantasy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 11th, 2017 Movie – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

star wars episode I - the phantom menace

At the end of the 20th century (shut up purists, I know the 20th century didn’t end until Dec. 31st, 2000), fans lined up for miles outside theaters in order to watch the first new Star Wars film in 16 years. Teaser trailers abounded for a year, which wasn’t really necessary as the mere mention of a new Star Wars movie was enough to get fans salivating. I know they weren’t necessary for me, as I did my part waiting in line to be there at a midnight showing opening night, hoping that my expectations would be met with the movie. Well, I enjoyed it and bought it so let’s get to watching how Vader came to be with today’s movie, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

The plot: The Trade Federation has set up a blockade around the planet of Naboo so Chancellor Valorum dispatches Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi to Naboo to negotiate with them. When they arrive on Viceroy Nute Gunray’s ship, Gunray contacts Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord, and tells him about the Jedi’s arrival so Sidious tells him to kill the Jedi, while he works on making the blockade legal. Gunray has the Jedi’s ship destroyed but fails to kill the Jedi, who attempt to reach Gunray on the bridge of his ship before they are forced to leave when a pair of destroyer droids arrive. Sneaking down onto the loading docks, they see an invasion army preparing for launch and stow aboard the ships so they can make their way to the planet’s surface. Meanwhile, Gunray receives a transmission from Queen Amidala of Naboo, demanding he cease the blockade and saying she knows that the Chancellor’s ambassadors are on his ship but Gunray denies any knowledge of them, then orders the invasion to begin after ending the transmission. After the invasion ships land on the surface, Qui-Gon rescues Jar Jar Binks, a Gungan who has been banished from the Gungan city. After meeting up with Obi-Wan, the two Jedi convince Jar Jar to take them to the city so they can get help in reaching Naboo. When they reach the city, they are taken to see Boss Nass, the Gungan leader, who ignores their pleas to help the Naboo so Qui-Gon uses the Force to influence him into giving them a ship so they can go, then arranges for Jar Jar to accompany them, saying that Jar Jar owes him a life debt. The trio make their way in a Gungan sub through the waters and after being attacked by several large predators, arrive in the capital city of Naboo. Meanwhile, Gunray’s droid army has taken control of the city and captured Queen Amidala and her court, then tells Amidala that he wants her to sign a treaty to legalize his occupation of Naboo but she refuses. As Amidala and her court are taken away, they are rescued by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, who want to take her to Coruscant, as Qui-Gon believes that there is more than just an occupation at work here. Heading to the hangars, they rescue some pilots and make their way to a cruiser and leave, but the ship is damaged as they make their way through the blockade and they are forced to land on Tatooine in order to make repairs, though Captain Panaka, Amidala’s Chief of Security, doesn’t like the idea and voices his displeasure. Meanwhile, Gunray and his aide contact Sidious and explain Amidala’s escape but Sidious tells them his apprentice, Darth Maul, will find her and bring her back to Naboo to sign the treaty. On Tatooine, Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, and R2-D2, the astromech droid that repaired the shield generator as they were leaving Naboo, head towards Mos Espa to search for the parts they need when Panaka stops them and says that Amidala wants one of her handmaidens, Padme, to accompany them and though he says it is a bad idea, Qui-Gon reluctantly agrees. Heading into one of the shops, Qui-Gon speaks with the owner, a Toydarian named Watto, and Qui-Gon learns that Watto has the parts they need but finds the Toydarian immune to mind control and is unable to make a deal with him. Meanwhile, Padme speaks with nine-year old Anakin Skywalker, a slave that Watto owns, who tells her he is a pilot and one day plans on leaving Tatooine. After leaving the shop to figure out there next move, Jar Jar has a run in with Sebulba, a mean-tempered Dug, but Jar Jar is saved by Anakin, who taunts Sebulba about the upcoming pod race. As a sandstorm approaches, Anakin takes them to his home to seek shelter, introducing them to his mom, Shmi. When they get there, Anakin shows Padme C-3P0, the protocol droid he is building to help his mother, and 3P0 starts to bond with R2. Meanwhile, Amidala receives a message from Naboo detailing what is happening but Obi-Wan tells her not to contact them back, as it could be a trap, but unfortunately, Darth Maul is able to track their location and he heads to Tatooine to find them. Back on Tatooine, Qui-Gon is talking with Shmi and Anakin and ends up explaining their situation to them. Anakin says he is building a racing pod and suggest entering him into the race, which would allow them to make the money needed to buy the parts, and though Shmi doesn’t like it, she agrees it is their best chance. When the storm passes, Qui-Gon returns to Watto’s shop with Anakin and makes a deal with Watto, using their ship as collateral. That afternoon, Anakin works on getting his pod racer ready and Qui-Gon speaks with Shmi about Anakin and his father, to which Shmi said he didn’t have one. That night, as he tends to some of Anakin’s cuts, Qui-Gon takes a blood sample and sends it to Obi-Wan, who says the Midi-Chlorian count is off the charts, higher even than Master Yoda. On the day of the race, Watto taunts Qui-Gon about the race, saying he is betting on Sebulba to win the race, so Qui-Gon takes the bet and if Anakin wins, he is free to go with Qui-Gon. As the racers move to the starting line and the announcers introduce them, Sebulba secretly heads over to Anakin’s pod and sabotages it, before taunting Anakin. As the race starts, Anakin’s pod stalls out but he manages to get the engine started and takes off after the other racers while Sebulba, who is in the lead, does whatever he can to keep it. After two laps, Anakin and Sebulba are the only two racers left and Anakin takes the lead when Sebulba’s sabotage finally takes effect, causing one of his engines to catch fire. As Sebulba retakes the lead, Anakin is able to put out the fire and restart the engine, then catches up to Sebulba and as they jockey for position, one of Anakin’s engines latches onto one of Sebulba’s and Anakin leaps forward, causing Sebulba to crash as his engines separate, leaving Anakin the winner. As Jar Jar, Padme, and Shmi congratulate Anakin on his victory, Qui-Gon speaks with Watto, who is angry at losing his bet and starts to refuse to give Qui-Gon Anakin but reluctantly agrees when Qui-Gon threatens to take the matter up with the Hutts. After taking the parts to the ship so Obi-Wan and the others can get started on repairs, Qui-Gon heads back to town to get Anakin and tell him he is free and Anakin is excited about leaving but sad about leaving his mom. As the two make their way back to the ship, they are attacked by Darth Maul and Qui-Gon battles with him as Anakin runs ahead to the ship. Once Anakin is on board, Obi-Wan has the ship fly towards the battle and Qui-Gon is able to leap onto the open gang plank and they make their escape. When they arrive on Coruscant, they are greeted by Naboo’s senator Palpatine and the Republic’s Supreme Chancellor Valorum and Valorum says that he has arranged a special meeting of the Senate so Amidala can speak of what is happening on Naboo while Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan head to the Jedi Temple to speak to the Jedi Council. In the Council, the Jedi believe that Qui-Gon’s attacker is a Sith Lord but are surprised that the Sith could have come back without their knowledge. Qui-Gon then speaks to the Council about Anakin, asking that he be tested for entry into the Jedi, as he believes he might be the child spoken about in a Jedi prophecy. At the Senate meeting, Amidala pleads her case but when Valorum asks that it be turned over to committee, Amidala, at Palpatine’s subtle urging, calls for a vote of no confidence against Valorum. After returning to her chambers, Padme is approached by Jar Jar, who talks about the situation back on Naboo, and when she learns that Palpatine is one of the men in contention to be the next Supreme Chancellor, she decides to head back to Naboo. Meanwhile, Anakin is tested by the Jedi Council and though he is strong in the Force, they refuse to train him as a Jedi. Qui-Gon argues against their ruling, so he will take Anakin as his Padawan, as he believes Obi-Wan is ready to become a Jedi Knight, but the council forbids it, then has him and Obi-Wan accompany Amidala back to Naboo. When they arrive on Naboo, Amidala sends Jar Jar to seek out the Gungans but when Jar Jar finds the city deserted, he feels that the Gungans went to their hidden place to regroup and leads them there. When they approach Boss Nass, Padme reveals herself to actually be Queen Amidala, explaining that the other Amidala was merely her bodyguard serving as a decoy. Padme then begs the Gungans for help in defeating the droid army and Boss Nass, liking the fact that Padme does not act like she is better than the Gungans, agrees to help. Padme lays out her plan, having the Gungan army lure out the droid army into the plains, while she leads the rest of her group into the city to capture Gunray and send her ships out to take out the droid control ship in space, shutting down the droids. The Gungans head out into the plains and activate an energy shield, which is able to withstand the droid army’s tank fire so the droids march on foot into the shield to fight the Gungans. Padme’s group enter the city and manage to secure the hangar, sending their ships out to destroy the command ship. As Padme heads out to go after Gunray, they are confronted by Darth Maul, wielding a double-bladed lightsaber, and Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan move to deal with him while Padme and the rest of her soldiers are attacked by 3 Destroyer droids. Anakin, who had hidden inside a Naboo fighter with R2, accidentally activates it and manages to take out the Destroyer droids as the auto pilots takes him out into space. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan continue their fight with Darth Maul but eventually end up being separated from each other by some energy shields near the power core. As the shields go down, Qui-Gon continues the fight with Darth Maul while Obi-Wan rushes to join him but is trapped behind the energy shields again and can only watch as Qui-Gon is stabbed in the gut by Darth Maul’s lightsaber. Meanwhile, Padme leads her troops to capture Gunray, splitting up when their way is blocked, but she ends up being captured. As she is taken to see Gunray, Sabe, her decoy, appears and Gunray sends his droids after her, allowing Padme to grab some hidden weapons and take Gunray hostage. Out in space, R2 is finally able to take the ship off auto pilot and as Anakin pilots the ship, he ends up crashing into the control ship’s hangar. As R2 gets the systems restored, Anakin uses the weapons and ends up blasting the power core, then flies out of the ship as it explodes around him. On the surface, the Gungan’s shield is destroyed and they are forced to retreat but are quickly captured by the droid army when they suddenly shut down, and the Gungans begin cheering over their victory. Back in the power core, Obi-Wan continues the fight against Darth Maul and though he manages to cut Darth Maul’s double bladed lightsaber in half, Maul Force shoves him and knocks him down the central shaft. Obi-Wan manages to grab onto a handhold and as Darth Maul swings the lightsaber towards him, Obi-Wan is able to leap over him, and summon Qui-Gon’s lightsaber to his hand, using it to cut Darth Maul in half. As Gunray is led to a shuttle and forced to leave the planet, Palpatine arrives, having won the special election and is now the Supreme Chancellor. Members of the Jedi Council and in a private meeting, Yoda confirms Obi-Wan as a Jedi Knight and, though he thinks it is a bad idea, says the Council agree to let Obi-Wan train Anakin. As a funeral pyre is held to cremate Qui-Gon, Yoda and Mace Windu speak about the attacker, wondering if it was the Sith Master or Apprentice that Obi-Wan killed. The next day, a ceremony is held as Boss Nass, Jar Jar, and Captain Tarpals of the Gungans join Padme, Palpatine, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Panaka, and the rest of Padme’s court in a peace celebration between the two races.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy — albeit visually dazzling — start.” When the first trailers for the movie were released, theaters reported that up to 75% of audiences would buy tickets for movies which screened the trailer, then leave after the trailer was shown. Audiences were surprised, and delighted, to see E.T.’s species featured as a Senate contingent, which was done as a tribute to George Lucas’ longtime friendship with Steven Spielberg and to show that the two movies shared the same universe. The movie was a box office hit, earning $924.3 million off of a $115 million budget, making it the highest grossing movie in the franchise at the time, until it was surpassed by Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

This has some good parts to it, but I was honestly a little disappointed in the movie as a whole. The acting was fairly good, with Liam Neeson doing a great job as Qui-Gon, playing the mentor role with Obi-Wan as well as showcasing the tendency to move to the beat of his own drum, which would sometimes move against the wishes of the Jedi Council. I thought Ewan McGregor did a good job in playing a young Obi-Wan, and I liked Natalie Portman as Padme, but the idea of bringing back Ian McDiarmid reprising his role as Palpatine was genius in my opinion. The story was good in the sense that it set up future events that we know will happen, but it was a little weak on it’s own merits. Another thing I felt that they could have done a better job with was that the added too much of a comic twist to this movie. I mean, Jar Jar was nothing more than a comic foil for the entire movie and it took away from the depth of the story. Yes, there was some humor in the original Star Wars trilogy but it was more subtle and usually a line or two, or a line and a reaction or situation resulting from it, but Jar Jar was just annoying. The special effects were very good but I honestly think they relied on the special effects a little too much at times to try and help carry the story. That aside, the scenes of the citys (Gungan City, Naboo, Coruscant) were spectacular and definitely showcased some of the best elements of the effects. A great start for a new generation of films, but definitely lacking compared to the original trilogy.

Rating: 4 out of 5