A Conversation for The Phantom Menace

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 1


Well...I just got back from opening night at "The Phantom Menace", and I have to say that there was only ONE dissapointment (after all the nay-saying reviews of the past week) - THE AUDIENCE!!!! My gosh, there was an obvious lack of enthusiasm tonight. And I'm not talking about during or afterward, but even BEFORE the movie began. The theater was not packed, the room wasn't a-buzz. And when the ever-so-familiar 20th Century Fox drumroll began, followed by the even-more-so familiar John Williams theme (enhanced nicely by the THX sound- not a luxury back in the 70's) while the very-much-belov'd letters "STAR WARS" appeared big and bright on the screen (I really thought I was going to cry...I'm so silly)....and nothing. One or two of us clapped nervously, looked around, and stopped. What is wrong with our world? (Purely rhetorical)

Am I to believe that there really are only a select few of us who truly love this series? Were the rest of the people there tonight only because of the hype...because the same media sources that told them how HORRIBLE the movie was were also touting huge
advertisements, consecutively? Are people really just cattle, waiting to be told were to go next, what to think, how to feel? (Again, rhetorical)

What happened to cultural intsitutions? Daydreaming? Fun? Are those just things of our childhood? Now that we - the generation born shortly before, during or after the original STAR WARS years- are all "grown up", whatever that means, we aren't allowed to indulge the part of us that was never supposed to grow up? (I think you know where I'm going with this...)

I couldn't even scare up friends to go see the movie with me. I've never heard so many different excuses. I mean, this is really sad...I hope it's only a symptom of the city I live in.

So, as my boyfriend and I joined the three others who stayed after the movie was over to watch the credits, everything I've just blithered hit me. I'm listening to the beautiful score, contemplating all the new questions raised by this new episode, and watching the letters scroll by - while all the others are fighting to be the first out of the parking lot. What could be MORE wrong? Am I taking this all a bit too seriously? I don't really think so. It just hurts to see such a huge part of my (our) childhood and culture get thrown by the wayside.

Maybe Saturday night's screening will go a bit better.


Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 2


Make that TWO dissapointments...HTML codes not working here :}
Boy is my face red...
Amanda ;P (preview, preview..PREVIEW!!)

Only ONE disappointment....

Post 3


...Coupled with a penchant for continuously misspelling the word "disappointment". D*I*S*A*P*P*O*I*N*T*M*E*N*T.

There. Got it. Boy, I could use some more caffine, huh?
I'm going to quit posting to myself, now.

Amanda (finally) ;P

Only ONE disappointment....

Post 4

Doc Saly

Gotta differ with you for my crowd. For us, the opening midnight showing was a reunion for those who had camped out for pre-sale tix the week before. A sort of Star Wars Anonymous meeting.

Numerous folk (myself included) showed up in full Menace regalia (I even shaved my pate for the part of DM, kudos to my friends for an excellent make-up job-photo in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today). Light saber duels were the norm for the evening. The energy was enormous.

Loved the show...although I believe the critics may have hit a few nails smack on the head, I think their dissatisfaction stems from unreal expectations. Instead of some sort of conversion experience, TPM represents the latest in the series of eye-popping, ear-grabbing fairy tales told by Lucas.

Finally, having done some stage combat, I must praise the fight choreography.

Only ONE disappointment....

Post 5


The Provo, Utah USA crowd was STOKED! We had the rebel fighter pilots and the Darth Mollies running around. The 'projectionist' asked if anyone would mind if he turned the sound up. Duh! From the 21st C. fanfare to the final credits it was a thrill. The swordplay got the biggest reaction, the pod race was also intense.

I gotta see it again!
RSBohn U37566

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 6

Researcher 39961

what is it with Americans that make them so obsessed with whooping and clapping - shurely that spoils the movie-going experience by obliterating the 'wonderful JW music' that is oh-so-familiar? I want to hear the Dolby THX ear-thumping ewok-snapping soundtrack in all its glory without some cheesy guy bursting into tears

Bad american theatrical habits

Post 7

Zach Garland

I wholeheartedly agree and I AM American. I would LIKE to believe that the majority of theater goers to Star Wars One shut up and don't applaud for many reasons:

1) They don't want to spoil the movie experience for themselves. Making unnecessary laughter or applause in a theater might make you miss the next line of witty dialogue, or the next sound effect. I even put down my nachos and stopped chewing once the famous blue words first appeared on the screen.

2) They don't want to spoil the movie for others. Unnecessary noise in a movie theater should be browbeaten into submission and silenced. The audience I saw the movie with was very quiet, and I was thankful for that and responded with the same silent politeness.

3) George Lucas is NOT in the building. The people on the screen will NOT appreciate it when you applaud or whistle or hoop and holler. Anyone even remotely involved with this film is either vacationing very far away from where you are or they're already on their way to Australia to start work on Episode Two. So save your excitement for afterwards when you go to a fancy restaurant with your friends and talk loud and animatedly about how great the movie was, which will no doubt displease everyone else in the restaurant who hasn't seen it yet.

The worst example of noise in a movie theater is when parents take an infant. This should be ILLEGAL! At the very least, theater managers should instruct their employees not to allow infants in the building. If someone approaches the doorman with a baby in tow, the theater employee should refuse them admittance and refer them to the cashier for an immediate refund.

A word of advice to all parents: save up for a babysitter and keep the darn kid at HOME! OR DON'T GO! It's gonna be loud with one very bright wall in an otherwise dark room. The kid would be DEAF and DUMB if he didn't wail in response to it.

Think I'm being unfair? YOU are being unfair to your infant child for subjecting the poor thing to a movie experience before s/he's old enough to appreciate it, and YOU are being unfair to anyone within ear shot of your loud and obnoxious child.

Be thankful I'm not suggesting the courts get involved and deny child custody to any family stupid enough to partake in such a selfish act.

*whew!* I feel much better now!

Bad american theatrical habits

Post 8


If a little clapping and cheering makes you miss dialog or sound effects, the sound is obviously not loud enough. Besides, people are sensible about it, at least in my experience. The cheering was at the beginning, and applause at the end. You're not going to tell me you don't laugh out loud when things are funny, are you? You stay totally quiet even in comedies, is that it? Give me a break.

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 9


I think that 'The Phantom Menace' is suffering from over hype. When 'STAR WARS' first came out I remember the excitement that I had in going to see this amazing movie, and I still get that same feeling watching it today, to some extent, but there wasn't the same expectations for this movie back then. The new Episode 1 has been hyped up sooooo much that if it isn't Mind blowing and more advanced than anything else, then it must be rubbish. I haven't seen it yet but all the bad press isn't going to put me off. I intent to let the movie speak for it's self rather than let some bored journalist tell me how ' dissappointed' he was and ' what a let down' the film was for him. I'm 30 years old and I can make up my own mind thank you very much. Long live the Empire.

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 10


I think that 'The Phantom Menace' is suffering from over hype. When 'STAR WARS' first came out I remember the excitement that I had in going to see this amazing movie, and I still get that same feeling watching it today, to some extent, but there wasn't the same expectations for this movie back then. The new Episode 1 has been hyped up sooooo much that if it isn't Mind blowing and more advanced than anything else, then it must be rubbish. I haven't seen it yet but all the bad press isn't going to put me off. I intent to let the movie speak for it's self rather than let some bored journalist tell me how ' dissappointed' he was and ' what a let down' the film was for him. I'm 30 years old and I can make up my own mind thank you very much. Long live the Empire.

Our audience was good.

Post 11


We cheered and clapped at the beginning and end both times I saw it, and nearly forgot to breathe for most of it. Before the movie on opening day was a time for lightsaber battles, speculation, and fun. I was nervous that the packed theater would be loud, but when the movie began, we all were in awe. And the sound was loud, so we could hear dialogue even when laughing. I have found a good way to judge a movie is if the audience shuts up.

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 12

Rathgrith - Researcher 36670

I went to the 3:30am show at the Fox theater in Westwood, CA on opening night. Our crowd was GREAT. Even after staying up all night, people were excited to see the movie and most of them stayed for the credits. I don't care what the consensus is on movie-going habits; it is completely appropriate to cheer and yell and clap and whoop when the famous yellow-on-black intro-text sequence begins to roll to the familiar "Da-da-da-dah, Dah, da-da-da-Dah, Dah..." after 15 years of waiting.

What a rush. I went with unrealistically high expectations for this movie, and though I will not say that it was the greatest thing ever, I was not disappointed at all. The scenery was breathtaking, the effects were amazing, and it sets up the Star Wars universe we know so well quite nicely. Yes, I noticed some of the continuity problems, yes I found Jar Jar and the Gunguns somewhat annoying, and yes I thought to myself "Huh? Midi-chlorians?" But as a setup for the next two movies, which set up the next three, which build on the next... You get the picture. It wasn't meant to be looked at as an individual piece. It's part of a larger whole. And as for an Episode I, it was all it should have been.

I don't want to have to wait two more years for the next one. Oh well, at least it isn't 15.

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 13


i can't wait. i wish i could afford to go to the states for a weekend just to see it (more than once)

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 14


The audience in my showing was full of finatics. The only problem is that the guy in the Chewbacca suit next to me smelt like the suit was very hot (and he must have been short on the deodorant). The characters in the robes were rumored to be carring sawed-off shotguns, and the darth maul person got in a fight with what looked to be an ewok. All in all I thought it was a fun experience.

Bad american theatrical habits

Post 15

Zach Garland

I never said laughter was out of the question. To be honest I generally like to avoid going to the movie theater unless I'm relatively certain there will be few people there. Fortunately I got to see Star Wars on Thursday morning, and less than a dozen people were in the theater. Perhaps you like hearing children crying or people talking in the seats behind you when you paid eight bucks to see the movie. I generally only go to the movies when 1) I don't care about the movie but the woman I'm with will enjoy it, or 2) the movie is as special as Star Wars One.

Thank God for videotape. Most films I can simply wait six months to see.

habits or spirit???

Post 16


OOHHHH you got me livid on this one. You know, when people are talking during a movie in loud or high tines i agree, it can be annoying. But when you are going to see an action film, especially one like phantom menace, I will say that it is wonderful to have people in high spirits.
When I went to see the 12:01AM showing, EVERYONE was in high spirits. We had all met eachother in the line for the tickets five days before and were sqirming for the duration. THe theater opened an hour early and Ive never partied at the theater like we did that night. People were running in the isles, havind combat scenes in the front and quoting episoddes 456 ....when it was about 11:55 a countdown began...every minute someone yelled the time. When the theater darkened everyone screamed and i loved it...the force was strong in this one...

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 17


Unfortunately, the vast majority of people 'out there' are not alive as you are. They have lost their sense of communion and no longer know when to keep still and silent. Their eyes are closed.

And the worst thing is, there's nothing you can do for them. Unless you run a shopping channel, that is.

Only ONE dissapointment....

Post 18

TraKter Pilot

I would tend to believe that most people are cattle these days or at least think they're cattle.
If your looking for people who think part of the problem is the media, consumer culture, corporations, and all those other great post modern boogey men give www.adbusters.org a hit.

And remember - "Vivez sans temps mort!" (live without dead time).


Post 19


When the special editions came out over here they got cheers, even though everyone must have been watching them to work out where the new bits were. People even cheered the new bit with Jabba in, even though it was some of the ropiest CGI this side of "The Last Starfighter". What makes this worse is that no-one besides me was sitting grinning stupidly and jigging about when the Falcom took off from Mos Eisley in the new cool way, nor when it landed at the rebel base. Nor when the new X-wing shots appeared. I recommend going to a late-night screening when the die-hard fans are there and, more importantly, THERE ARE NO BLOODY KIDS. Kids really get up my tits during Star Wars films at the cinema as they don't concentrate. Anyway.


Post 20


I will say this...one of the greatest experiences I've had through this Star Wars frenzy was the other day when my boyfriend and I caught a matinee. LOTS o' kids around. They cheered at the good parts, whispered questions to their parents, reverently, and sat in hushed amazement through most of the film. One guy sitting next to our group of twenty-somethings had brought his little seven year-old girl. He told us, before the movie started, how he was taken to see Star Wars when he was seven, and it was only fitting. The little girl sat amazed throughout the film; I was "monitoring" her reactions, kind-of. I'm a child-psych major...give me a break! smiley - smiley Anyway, every now and then, you could hear her whisper, "Ohh, doesn't she look pretty?" and "Daddy, is the other girl the queen, too?" Pretty smart for a kid, huh? This was the general reaction through the movie (and the credits; I was surprised at how many stayed), and when it was over, the cheering began again. Conversations ran to Anakin's new "job" as a Jedi, and the "cool" pod-race. Imaginary light-sabre fights errupted in the lobby. Boy, I wish I were a kid again...not an adult in this jaded and cynical world where you're ridiculed for having fun.

Amanda ;P

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