Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

4.0 80
Director: George Lucas

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman

     
 

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The two-disc special edition of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was a long-awaited item, but should keep both serious and casual Star Wars fans happy for a while, thanks to a slightly expanded version of the film and a plethora of extras. Disc one contains the film, transferred from a new print (as made clear by producer Rick McCallum some timeSee more details below

Overview

The two-disc special edition of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was a long-awaited item, but should keep both serious and casual Star Wars fans happy for a while, thanks to a slightly expanded version of the film and a plethora of extras. Disc one contains the film, transferred from a new print (as made clear by producer Rick McCallum some time ago). The transfer is anamorphic, at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is quite simply gorgeous to look at. The image is crisp and clean throughout, with vivid and subtle colors both, and deep, detailed blacks. There is no sign of edge enhancement and no indication of compression artifacts. The original soundtrack was recorded in Dolby Digital Surround 6.1 EX, but has been downmixed to 5.1 EX for this release. Again, the soundtrack is flawless, with excellent surround effects, excellent separation, and beautiful mixing work. The directional effects alone are worth hearing. The standard Dolby Surround downmix sounds quite good, though it does lose the directional definition of the 5.1 EX mix. The disc also includes a Spanish Surround mix which deserves notice for a combination of an excellent voice cast and perfect matching. Disc one also includes an audio commentary by George Lucas and Rick McCallum, along with other crew members. This commentary is highly entertaining, informative, and helped tremendously by supertitles above the image that identify the current speaker. Disc two is simply packed. There are seven deleted scenes to start with, completed especially for this DVD release. Some are hardly worth looking at, but the expanded pod race is quite an eye-opener. The scenes can be viewed separately, or as part of a documentary. Other documentary pieces include "The Beginning," which is a new one-hour documentary, the 12 web documentaries originally carried on www.starwars.com, and five featurettes covering aspects of the production. Another section includes the teaser and theatrical trailers, TV spots (including the "Tone Poems" spots), and the "Duel of the Fates" video. There is also a section of animatics, and a further section of stills and graphic images. A featurette about the making of the Starfighter game completes the disc. All told, disc two alone takes hours to work through. Additional content is available through the www.starwars.com DVD section, which is accessible via the Interactual player/browser utility included on the disc. The feature has 50 chapter stops. Menus and transitions are animated, with some cute and funny moments to be found. Both discs are single-sided, dual-layered, and come in a slimline dual disc case.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ben Wolf
Fans waited 16 years for this latest entry in George Lucas's epic space opera, and the payoff was big. Advances in digital imaging technology gave Lucas the tools to bring his most extraordinary visions yet to dramatic life. Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- an action-packed intergalactic adventure -- introduces an eye-popping parade of new aliens (such as loopy amphibian Jar Jar Binks) to populate future installments, as it begins the backstory to the phenomenally popular Star Wars trilogy. Brave Jedi Knights Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor join forces with young Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) to save her civilization from invaders, setting the stage for political intrigues to come in future episodes. The film also sets sci-fi history in motion by bringing Queen Amidala face-to-face with prodigious Jedi-to-be Annakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a sweet boy with the darkest of destinies. From its breathtaking Pod Race to the exhilarating light-saber battles with the villainous Darth Maul, The Phantom Menace dazzles with its technical wizardry and whets the appetite for Lucas's next adventure.
New York Times
Stripped of hype and breathless expectations, Lucas' first installment offers a happy surprise: it's up to snuff. It sustains the gee-whiz spirit of the series and offers a swashbuckling extragalactic getaway, creating illusions that are even more plausible than the kitchen-raiding raptors of Jurassic Park. Janet Maslin
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
As surely as Anakin Skywalker points the way into the future of Star Wars, so does The Phantom Menace raise the curtain on this new freedom for filmmakers. And it's a lot of fun.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/22/2005
UPC:
0024543023920
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Letterbox]
Sound:
[THX-Supervised Mastering, Dolby Digital Surround EX]
Time:
6:00:00

Special Features

Disc One:; ; Commentary by George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires; Anamorphic widescreen (Aspect ratio 2.35:1); Sound: English Dolby 5.1 surround EX; English Dolby 2.0 surround; Spanish Dolby 2.0 surround; Subtitles: English; ; Disc Two:; ; Exclusive deleted scenes documentary features seven new sequences completed just for this DVD release, including extended Podrace scenes; All-new hour-long documentary film culled from over 600 hours of footage, "The Beginning" takes you where few people have been before-inside Lucasfilm and ILM during the production of Episode 1; Multi-angle storyboard-to-animatic-to-film segment featuring the Submarine and Podrace Lap 1 sequences; Five featurettes explore The Phantom Menace's storyline, design, costumes, visual effects and fight scenes; Award-winning twelve-part web documentary series that chronicles the production of Episode 1; "Duel of the Fates" music video featuring John Williams; Never-before-seen production photo gallery with special caption feature; Theatrical posters and print campaign from around the world; Theatrical teaser and launch trailers, plus seven TV spots; "Star Wars: Starfighter - The making of a Game" featurette from LucasArts; DVD-ROM weblink to exclusive Star Wars content

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan Kenobi
Liam Neeson Qui-Gon Jinn
Natalie Portman Queen Amidala / Padme Naberrie
Jake Lloyd Anakin Skywalker
Pernilla August Shmi Skywalker
Frank Oz Yoda
Ian McDiarmid Senator Palpatine
Oliver Ford Davies Sio Bibble
Hugh Quarshie Captain Panaka
Ahmed Best Jar Jar Binks
Samuel L. Jackson Mace Windu
Ray Park Darth Maul
Ralph Brown Ric Olie
Terence Stamp Chancellor Valorum
Brian Blessed Boss Nass
Sofia Coppola Sache
Anthony Daniels C-3PO
Greg Proops Beed
Keira Knightley Decoy Queen
Kenny Baker R2D2

Technical Credits
George Lucas Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Trisha Biggar Costumes/Costume Designer
Gavin Bocquet Production Designer
Ben Burtt Sound/Sound Designer
Rob Coleman Special Effects
Robin Gurland Casting
Fred Hole Art Director
Industrial Light & Magic Animator,Special Effects
Tom Johnson Sound Mixer
John King Art Director
John Knoll Special Effects Supervisor
Rick McCallum Producer
Rod McLean Art Director
John Midgley Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis Muren Special Effects Supervisor
Shawn Murphy Sound Mixer
Christopher Newman Asst. Director
Gary Rydstrom Sound Mixer
Ben Scott Art Director
Scott Squires Special Effects Supervisor
David Tattersall Cinematographer
Peter Walpole Set Decoration/Design
John Williams [composer] Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Star Wars: Disc One
1. Opening Logos [:21]
2. Queen Amidala [1:31]
3. The Phantom Menace [1:31]
4. Short Negotiations [1:31]
5. Landing on Naboo [:09]
6. Jar Jar Binks [:09]
7. The Planet Core [:09]
8. Otoh Gunga [5:52]
9. Boss Nass [:54]
10. Invasion of Theed [1:05]
11. Surprise Rescue [1:22]
12. Watto's Shop [2:05]
13. Running the Blockade [1:25]
14. Tatooine [1:31]
15. Fateful Meetings [:52]
16. Dinner Conversation [3:26]
17. Meet the Podracers [1:44]
18. Preparing for the Race [:53]
19. A Wager With Watto [1:53]
20. Begin the Race [4:19]
21. Lap Two [:50]
22. Choosing a New Path [1:18]
23. Home Stretch [4:10]
24. Collecting the Prize [1:24]
25. Darth Maul Attacks [3:31]
26. The Queen's Worries [3:27]
27. Senate Session [:03]
28. Arrival on Coruscant [6:10]
29. The Jedi Council [:13]
30. Testing Anakin [:08]
31. Palpatine's Nomination [1:12]
32. A Plea to the Gungans [2:59]
33. Anakin's Future [2:34]
34. The Queen's Gambit [:49]
35. Battle Plans [2:06]
36. 'Wipe Them Out' [1:53]
37. Duel of the Fates [3:05]
38. Retaking the Palace [4:12]
39. The Conflict Continues [:21]
40. Gungan Retreat [1:10]
41. Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul [5:02]
42. Control Ship Destroyed [:27]
43. Capturing the Viceroy [1:19]
44. Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul [2:18]
45. A Sith Vanquished [3:31]
46. Chancellor Palpatine Arrives [:20]
47. Naboo Celebration [2:26]
48. New Knight New Apprentice [3:09]
49. Farewell to a Jedi [1:07]
50. End Credits [:08]

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