Watchmen, The Phantom Menace and Iraq

Saw Watchmen last weekend. Really enjoyed it. It’s been years since I read the original graphic novel, but as a standalone film I thought it was on par with some of the other recent, excellent comic book films. Nice blend of action, drama, romance and comic book story. Big and cinematic, fun craftsmanship… Not a masterpiece, but definitely worth a watch on the big screen.

But I’m not here for Watchmen, I’m here for The Phantom Menace. In this Newsweek Watchmen review the author manages to compare TPM with Iraq. Well played, sir! And let me say for the record that I do in fact proudly applaud myself for immediately identifying TPM as the complete and udder disaster it was (design/vfx excepted). Here’s what the reviewer had to say:

Somebody had better appreciate the guts it takes to admit this: the first time I saw “The Phantom Menace,” I thought it was great. I remember heading straight to a bar after the movie with two pals, sifting through what we’d seen and grumbling that so many people were so oblivious to its towering awesomeness. Give them time, we said. Maybe it’s hard to believe now, but this wasn’t such a rare and ridiculous view in the days just after “The Phantom Menace” came out. Just as with the war in Iraq, a lot more people now applaud themselves for recognizing the disaster right away than actually did at the time. For those of us who grew up on “Star Wars,” there was a similar ache to believe, almost trancelike in its power. You just blocked out the bits that challenged your reality. That’s how I watched Jar Jar Binks, or that brat who played Anakin Skywalker, and said to myself, I am totally fine with this. For weeks after, a friend at NEWSWEEK taunted me with morsels of George Lucas’s brutal dialogue (“Patience, my blue friend”) and kept calling the kid Mannequin Skywalker. It was months before I could say aloud what most people instantly knew: the movie was a stinker. Oh, the things we do for love.


One Response to “Watchmen, The Phantom Menace and Iraq”

  • Aaron nelson Says:

    I’m a sucker for VFX. I’ll admit it. Blow enough stuff up, make enough flashy lights and shiny bits, and I’ll enjoy a movie even if the script is a bit lacking. I _enjoy_ being pandered to.

    This being said; despite the fact that TPM had amazing graphics and VFX, I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a bent, rusty fork than sit through that train wreck ever again. I’m even more bitter that I camped out for 12 hours to get opening night tickets.

    I’m an easy audience to please, and I was eager to love the movie. Seems like you’d have to miss the mark pretty damned far to have me hate it so much.

    Also: Hi, Michael :)

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