The 70-Minute Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Is the Best 70 Minutes You’ll Spend All Day
December 19, 2009

I’ve never fully understood the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace backlash.  It’s damn painful in parts (mostly the parts with Jar Jar Binks or Jake Lloyd), but I’ve always been willing to allow for its (frequent) missteps as inevitable the result of George Lucas being rusty and out of touch with what made the original trilogy a cultural milestone; after all, taking twenty-some-odd years away from the story that made you famous can do that.  I’m not saying The Phantom Menace is an unheralded classic, but I am saying we’re all allowed to make mistakes, and at least those mistakes don’t involve sloppily borrowing from not one but two Ridley Scott movies.  Whoops, Attack of the Clones, that’s your bad-idea cross to bare.

Anyways, there’s now a thorough (70-minutes long) and compelling (utterly hilarious) argument for The Phantom Menace being the nadir of the series.  That may seem like too much time to commit to one nerd’s take down of a movie that wasn’t worth its own bloated running time in the first place, but it’s not:

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The Bitterness is Strong in This One
July 26, 2009

A note by Shmathan…

Despite the general bitchiness with which I express myself on this blog, I am actually a pretty nice person.  I hold doors open and give up my seat on the subway to old ladies.  I’m good people.  Consequently, I don’t normally find the suffering of another human being enjoyable.  But there are exceptions.  For example, when a person has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors against all of mankind, I find a certain sense of joy in the miserable existence he reaps as a consequence.  But who is this person, you may ask?  This person against whom I direct such righteous fury?  The answer, dear readers, is Jake Lloyd.

When cinema critics look back on the abomination that was The Phantom Menance, they have no shortage of targets.  The fact that Lucas went batshit crazy for CGI effects at the expense of actual dialog.  The fact that the mystical nature of the Force which had intrigued science fiction afficionados for decades was reduced to something as lame as midichlorians.  That every CGI alien from the Nemoidians to Watto was some sort of racial stereotype.  And of course, in that vein, the introduction of the worst most offensive character in the history of Science Fiction:  Jar Jar Binks.  And then, there is Jake Lloyd.

Jake Lloyd, or as I like to call him “Mannequin Skywalker” for the unnatural, plastic manner in which he “acted.”  Now, I know some people would jump to his defense, saying he was only ten years old.  No dice.  Talent is not defined by age.  Anna Paquin won an academy award at 12.  Dakota Fanning had more presence at eight years old than most actresses muster in their prime.  The simple truth is, Lloyd’s pathetic articulations and awkward manner meant he couldn’t even play a kid naturally.  You have to really suck to be a ten year old boy who fails at playing a ten year old boy believably.  He deserved every savage review he received at the time.  And now, ten years later, one might wonder how he’s doing.  Well, wonder no more, and marvel at his recent interview at Australia ComicCon.

To quote the great Jane Lynch:  “Your resentment is delicious.” (more…)

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