A Tale Told by an Idiot

I mentioned RiffTrax a while back. Tonight I finally got to try it out.

Fans of MST3k have wondered a lot what it would be like if the guys had been able to do a good movie for a change. Well, I still can’ tanswer that, because I saw The Phantom Menace. (Yes, I own a copy of The Phantom Menace. Am I supposed to be embarrassed by that? Please, I have no shame left.)

The RiffTrax deal is just about exactly what I’d expected. Sci Fi Channel-era MST3k with bigger-budget movies and no host segments. It’s pretty damn funny, and I’m looking forward to the other ones. With the commentary and the “DisembAudio” they use to keep in sync, I’d say it’s the best possible job they could do without actually having the rights to the movie.

Now, for the movie itself. Holy cow!

What kind of reality distortion field was I living in when I saw The Phantom Menace the first time? I remembered it was bad, but I’d somehow managed to convince myself that it wasn’t completely irredeemable. It’s pretty, at least. And the pod race is kind of cool, right?

No! It’s such an enormous flaming turd that has nothing, nothing going for it. When it was released, it was bad enough to inspire years of disappointed mockery on the internets. It’s still got all that awful stuff — Jar Jar, midochlorians, racially offensive aliens, a plot so boring and incomprehensible it makes Russian movies seem action-packed.

Now on top of all that, it hasn’t aged well.The CG was the only thing it had going for it, but it already looks dated and it draws attention to itself. There’s just not a single good thing about that movie. It’s been like seven years since it came out, and now I’m mad at it all over again. I want to burn the DVD, but there’s still just enough residual Star Wars fanboy at my core that won’t let me.

Best moment in the whole thing is when Mike tells Jar Jar, “Okay, just go to hell, all right?”

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