Customer Reviews


402 Reviews
5 star:
 (182)
4 star:
 (79)
3 star:
 (59)
2 star:
 (27)
1 star:
 (55)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this film takes some real bad criticism but personally i really like it
The first Star Wars film i ever watched as a kid and has always stuck in my head as a very special memory, this film takes some real bad criticism but personally i really like it, a must have for any star wars fan.
Published 7 months ago by J-L

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Have an open mind, if you can.
The Phantom Menace is probably one of the most divisive films ever made. Generally hated by Stars Wars/ Sci Fi fans and critics alike, although a stonking hit worldwide, Phantom had a lot to live up to and it is generally accepted that it didn’t cut the mustard.

The first nail in its coffin was that meaningless title. What on earth was Lucas thinking of...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. G. Robinson


‹ Previous | 1 241 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Have an open mind, if you can., 2 Dec. 2014
By 
Mr. G. Robinson "garyrobinson15" (North Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
The Phantom Menace is probably one of the most divisive films ever made. Generally hated by Stars Wars/ Sci Fi fans and critics alike, although a stonking hit worldwide, Phantom had a lot to live up to and it is generally accepted that it didn’t cut the mustard.

The first nail in its coffin was that meaningless title. What on earth was Lucas thinking of? The fans, at least all the ones I knew, hated it and the first alarm bells started to ring well before the release date. When the film eventually arrived, we were presented with the horribly irritating digital character Jar Jar Binks, Ewan McGregor’s strained accent, embarrassingly bad dialogue, especially for young Anakin, over reliance on CGI sets, uninspiring direction from Lucas and a wordy leaden script. Fans were extremely vocal in their initial appraisal that Phantom was a complete and utter mess for its full 130 minutes.

However although I agree with most of the above, Phantom is no mess. Imperfect and disappointing it may be but there is much to enjoy. Many have doggedly concentrated on the negative and will not even acknowledge the positives plainly on show.

Phantom is firmly set in a recognisable Star Wars universe and looks very handsome; the production design and overall look are in keeping with what was expected, the music by John Williams is right up there with his best, Duel of the fates being rousing and exiting in the same measure. The POD race, scorned by many, is a marvel of sound design in itself. The special effects are very handsome and convincing if not exactly mind-blowing. The acting by Neeson, McGregor, and Portman are generally very good if hampered by stiff dialogue on occasion. And who cannot like that fabulous double ended Light Sabre.

So to sum up Phantom Menace is not very good, but it’s not very bad either. The overall film is definitely a disappointment after a 16 year wait, but is not the total disaster many insist it is. If I had to give it a mark out of 10 I’d give it 6.5.

If you’re a big fan of the original trilogy, and a film purist, then you probably have your view on Phantom already carved on a stone tablet for easy reference somewhere. However if you are not a purist and accept that Star Wars is not a listed building or a protected ancient monument, you can enjoy it for what it is; a Star Wars movie made 16 years after the last one. The world has changed and so has the franchise. Even if its not for the better.

Knocking the prequels is a bit of a national sport for diehard fans and I’m positive they absolutely love doing it, because I know quite a few. Shoring up and projecting, to others, your original trilogy credentials are more important to some, than accepting and enjoying the less successful prequels. Many also seem to think that accepting the prequels as Star Wars movies in some way reflects badly on the originals and is also in some odd way disrespectful. Nothing of course could be further from the truth. The real truth is all 6 are fully fledged Star Wars films, some more successful than others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Greed can be a very powerful ally,, 14 Feb. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is written, produced and directed by George Lucas and stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd and Ian McDiarmid. The fourth film released in the Star Wars franchise, it is, however, the first of three prequels that lead up to Star Wars that was released in 1977. Plot basically follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Neeson) and his apprentice padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor), who escort and protect Queen Amidala (Portman) from Naboo to Coruscant in the hope of finding peace as an interplanetary trade dispute starts to boil over. During the journey the party stops over at Tatooine and encounter a young boy named Anakin Skywalker. The Jedi feel the force is strong with young Skywalker and enlist him into the group with the intention of training him to become a Jedi Knight. Meanwhile, as hostilities escalate in the galaxy, the mysterious Sith is moving into the equation.

The most anticipated movie of all time arrived in 1999, hyped into the stratosphere, the fanfare and bunting stretched from Hollywood to the far corners of the cinema loving world. Perhaps unsurprisingly? The Phantom Menace failed to meet the expectation of Star Wars fans and critics alike. That the film in box office receipts alone made almost $930 million, has, tended to be forgotten. But that`s not to say the film deserved such rich financial rewards, because all told it didn`t. It`s not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a fun movie experience, and in retrospect it can be said that Lucas and co learnt from the film to make the next two film`s in the series better. Mistakes were made, for sure, but for action and intrigue the film scores points well enough.

On a personal note, I was one of the fans who came out of the cinema after watching it the first time and hated it. So whilst I wasn`t one of the "fans" who at the time accused Lucas of ruining childhood memories, I was suitably annoyed to stay away from the film for over ten years. After the prequel trilogy had run its course, I was often asked by some film loving friends to give "Menace" another go. Their argument was that free of hype and expectation, "Menace" can really be enjoyed as a sort of popcorn and beer sci-fi blockbuster. And they were right. Watching it sparkle in HD and disassociating it with those golden memories of 77, 80 and 83, it has much to enjoy. Sure the old problems still exist, dodgy acting (why is McGregor playing it so fey?), Binks (aargh), fart gags (really Mr. Lucas? Really?), close to the knuckle racial stereotyping and the absence of a Hans Solo type to stir the blood of both sexes. While of course the writing is borderline tepid, full of a need to explain things and prove itself as a reason to exist. So yes, full of flaws (many others exist for different people of course), but the whizz bangery of the action and set pieces keep it, to my mind, far away from stinker status.

The pod race, a souped up extension to Return of the Jedi`s speed-biker pursuits, is one of the series` highlights, as is the showdown between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul (Ray Park), a superbly cool villain with an even cooler double ended light sabre. The latter of which is excellently scored by John Williams and features top notch choreography. The battles widen the eyes and the ears, notably the Droid army versus the Gungan`s, and there`s a whole host of new creatures and aliens to get acquainted with (check out those underwater beasties). The charge of CGI overkill is a fair one, and this issue is a more prominent problem in standard HD, never mind the Blu-ray, as the non human characters look too obviously CGI next to the human`s. Which is just another reason to pick apart what`s wrong with the Phantom Menace. But why do that? Sit back, relax, munch some snacks and sip that beer, it`s not that bad a movie experience. Honestly. 7/10
Comment Comment | Permalink
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ***Money For Nothing***, 8 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
It's not that Phantom Menace is a bad movie, far from it, but then any franchise that waits 22 years between chapters is going to suffer. It also didn't help Episode One's cause that it was a prequel. It serves as an explanation exercise into characters and events that have already been well established....it presented the audience with little in the way of originality and invention. Indeed, the fact that Darth Maul...the films big selling point...only amasses a handful of screen minutes and is despatched to Sith heaven all too quickly seems testament to the fact that George Lucas has money to burn.
In 1977, with a meagre budget and considerable studio restrictions, Lucas created a small sci-fi movie that captured the hearts of millions. Myself included. But now, after the original Star Wars trilogy has been immortalised in cinematic history and it's profits firmly bulging Lucas's bank account....there are no restrictions or money considerations to be adhered to.
Phantom Menace...and the entire Star Wars universe...is George Lucas's baby, but with the cash coming from his own pocket he was free to do what he wanted. This lack of restriction seems to have ruined an otherwise golden opportunity to give us what WE all wanted...More of the same!
Phantom Menace is a movie of clean, dazzling effects, a movie of composite digital flare that leaves all in it's wake gagging in envy. It's a movie of dynamic design that HAS stood the test of time whilst alsorans strive to recreate it's undeniable power and attention to detail. It's a movie filled with references to characters that we know and love...it strikes a note within anyone who's ever been absorbed by the Star Wars phenomenon....BUT!
It's a movie of hollow, empty acting. It's a movie of idiotic religious leanings. It's a movie of missed opportunites and wasted set pieces...constantly cutting away from the light-sabre fight at the movie's climax is unforgivable. It's a movie that peaks an hour before it's end, the Pod Race is the ONLY nod towards the style and passion that we all know Lucas is capable of. It's a movie bursting at the "scenes" with Jar Jar Binks...If Mr. Lucas truly cared about US and what we want from these movies he would do away with this debacle of a character forthwith. Feedback came in torrents of negative response but he's moved not a jot. Perhaps a studio snapping at his heals would have seen Jar Jar consigned to digital hell, but as I said before...control is solely in the hands of Lucas. End of argument.
I didn't hate Phantom Menace but it IS the weakest of the four movies. A 22 year wait, a fan-based longing and a critical chomping-at-the-bit could never be overcome...not even without Binks.
A serious case of style over substance. I await the hate mail with a sense of dread.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't sense anything....., 14 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
As imminent conflict brews between the powerful Trade Federation and the peaceful planet of Naboo, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi travel to Naboo to warn the Queen of the galactic fallout which is to follow.

Eventually, Naboo is invaded forcing the Jedi to evacuate the planet with the Queen and her court.

They travel to the desert planet of Tatooine where they meet a slave boy named Anakin Skywalker who is evidently one with the Force.

They enlist his help in fighting the war, while the Jedi confront one of the Dark Jedi behind the invasion, Darth Maul.

Mauls master Darth Sidious continues to lead the invasion as a "phantom" behind the scenes.....

OK, so there is nothing really more to say about one of the biggest pillagings of a beloved franchise, so I won't hit on it too much.

I just wanted to see it again after all these years, Just to see if it really is an insult to 'real' fans. I have the Blu Ray but never once put it in my machine.

I just wanted to know, is it really that bad? No, it isn't, it's visually stunning, and Maul is one of the most iconic villains this side of Hans Gruber, but when it comes to direction and acting, the film just loses it's way.

People dog on Lloyd for 'bad' performance, the kid was ten for crying out loud, and wasn't really that bad.

You want to see the bad acting in this? see Macgregor, who just spends the duration of the film doing a really bad impression of Alec Guiness, and Portman, why is it whenever she is wearing make-up, she has to do a really silly voice.

Neeson, knows what he is making and walks around with a swagger, acting cool and basically telling Obi-Wan to chill out.

So all in all, it's not a good story, the narrative is awful, as is a lot of the acting, but it's visually stunning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many graphics, not enough plot..., 9 Aug. 2002
By 
A. P. Ryan - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I have to say that Episode I was slightly disappointing...but only slightly. The special effects are amazing, the battle outside Naboo being one of the best, and the lightsaber fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul is, put simply, AMAZING.
Most people I've spoken to find Jar Jar extremely irritating. I can never understand why: he adds a comic aspect that, given the slightly bad plot, is very welcome. He does get a bit annoying at times, but he's still very funny to watch.
Only one major gripe: THEY CUT SOME OF THE BEST BITS OUT!
When you watch some of the deleted scenes, and read the novel, you'll see what I mean.
The music, as usual, is unfaultable. "Duel of The Fates" has to be one of the best pieces of music in the film.
As for the plot...well, it fades in places that it shouldn't. For example, in the fights involving the Naboo and the Battle Droids...well, they don't really seem that worried about being shot at, especially not Padme Amidala, which is slightly worrying.
Nevertheless, Episode I is a worthy beginning for the Star Wars saga, and well worth viewing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An honest reappraisal, 7 July 2008
By 
N. Smith - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This absolute mare of a film with be 10 years old next year. And guess what? Time hasn't been kind to this boring, insulting film, and complete and total disappointment.

George Lucas should have been brave enough to hand the reigns over to the likes of Frank Darabont and David Fincher to direct what should have been a dark, depressing journey all the way to the dark side of the Force. It should have been thrilling, amazing, and awe-inspiring. Instead it was trill, mediocre, and bloody awful.
He's directed one good film - back in 1977 - what idiot thought he could deliver a trilogy of real quality in this day and age? Well, with the chief yes-man Rick Mcallum on board to ensure this dated, patronising, twee vision actually made it to the screen, I guess we were in deepest. darkest committee hell. Remember - a room of professional, mature, articulate, creative adults, would have met on numerous occasions and discussed the introduction of Jar Jar Binks as being a good idea for the film. They would have discussed design sketches, discussed accents, and then, weirdly, amazingly, decided on something that they ALL agreed would benefit the film.

The story (if you could call it that) was devoid of any kind of excitement and plot development, and the casting of Anakin Skywalker brought to light two of world's worst wooden actors. Again, what were they thinking? And why make him the focus - the original three films had a real characters with many different threads to the story. Little brat turns to teenage brat then goes bad - what should have been an epic, sad, terrible journey to the dark side of the human psyche was handled with all the panache of a 6th form film student.

Then there's all the obvious insulting plot holes that make you think that the film was directed by someone who was brought in at the last minute having only watched the original trilogy the day before.

I'd have more respect for George Lucas if, in some weird, almighty precedent, he held his hands up and disowned the films - he could blame Mcallum, retrieve the films and give them to some directors with talent.

And the argument that the new films were aimed at a new generation of young people as the original trilogy was doesn't quite wash. I can watch any of the original trilogy as a thirty-something, whereas the new ones were insulting to even teenagers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this film takes some real bad criticism but personally i really like it, 3 Aug. 2014
By 
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
The first Star Wars film i ever watched as a kid and has always stuck in my head as a very special memory, this film takes some real bad criticism but personally i really like it, a must have for any star wars fan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Just stop it and take the opportunity to be 6 again, 8 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
You will point at me and laugh but I don't care because, you know what, I really like this film.

Yes, I know its a cash cow, but come on, all of us knew that the moment these three films were announced. Get over it and take it for what it is. Cheesy, sci fi fun. It has spaceships. It has robots. It has lasers. It has space robots with lasers! It has lightsabre battles. It even has Liam Neeson.

Unfortunately it also has Jar Jar Binks which is why it only gets four stars. And thinking about it, Sebulba is a really, REALLY, stupid name. It just annoys me. But look on the bright side, it isn't the Ewocks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars l Tom Kenmare Review., 3 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I really enjoyed watching Star Wars, All of the Episodes are good.
I thought Liam Neeson was very good in the first one probably my favourite Character in the First One. Shame he wasn't in any more Star Wars films,
I want tell you what Happened to his Character Quay Gon Gin.
I think Grownups and Kids will enjoy the Star wars Boxsets
I also like many Characters in the films, Like Yoda, C3PO, R2D2
Chewbacca, The Storm Troopers, Darth Vader, and Many More
I also thought Jar Jar Binks was ennoying and so were the Ewoks.
But overall Watch the films, and enjoyed the adventure in a Galaxy Far Far Away:
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get of your high horses all you retro buffs..., 26 April 2014
By 
Mr. G. Cresswell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Ok. if there were going to be more StarWars, there was always going to be a compromise.
This isn't just quite as good as the original trliogy, but hey, we asked for more...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 241 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999]
£8.38
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews