It's on HBO today, and well... I'm the kind of guy who tends not to do himself many favors. I realize what the real lesson of the movie is though.
Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.
Gungan speak. The underwater sequence. Poodoo humor. Little orphan Ani. Cartoon aliens. Obi-Wan disappearing for the entire second act. Midi-fucking-clorians. C-3P0's secret origin. Anakin's vigin birth. "Wizard!" Pit droid humor. The Padme/Amimdala dupe that fooled no one. The Sidious/Palpatine dupe that fooled no one. The clumsy way Shmi got left behind on Tatooine. Padmé is the 14-year-old democratically elected Queen of Naboo. Seriously? The senate sent the Jedi to mediate the dispute, but didn't call them to session to report on the situation? Why doesn't Qui-Gonn use the virgin birth as a selling point to the council? Anakin tagging along in a war zone. Every time Jar-Jar opens his mouth. The Gungan cartoon army and it's energy shield technology. A child flying a starfighter. The plot device energy shields that separate Obi-Wan from Qui-Gonn and Maul. The boy is too dangerous, but it's okay for a freshly minted Knight to train him?
There is some awesome though. Cutting through a blast door with a lightsabre. Droidekas. Natalie Portman and her sexy, sexy kabuki make-up. Qui-Gonn's attitude. The honestly touching parting of Shmi and Anakin. Theed. Darth Maul. The music. "Wipe them out. All of them." The N1 Naboo starfighter. Kiera Knightly. Wow? That's it?
You know, I think I just made one of those "should we stay together" lists. And with a final tally of 23-11 it looks like "The Phantom Menace" and I are breaking up. I guess the only appropriate thing to do, since I'm on the rebound, is to get drunk and make out with my "Firefly" DVD boxed set.
If only Anakin was, at the least, 15. If only Amidala was, at the least, 21. If only Jaxxon had the Jar-Jar role. If only Maul didn't go down like a bitch, succumbing to cliched falling bad guy syndrome. If only the movie was't so jarringly different in tone and style (and I'm looking at you here, Preponderance of Special Effects) from the Holy Trilogy.
Sigh. If only.