Required Viewing: "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" 70-min Critique

Over the past week, I've been told over and over to watch this series of videos, but resisted until the weekend. I mean, how could it truly be so awesome? I don't care about Star Wars, why would I find this funny? 70 minutes? How could I find time for this? I can now only regret those long days that I deprived myself of the wonderousness of this bizarre, hilariously nerdy "review" of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. I debated posting it here because it does use some spicy language (within ten seconds, the first f-bomb is dropped), but guys, come on. You need to watch this. You'll know within the first few minutes whether it's your kind of thing. And if it is, you've got SEVENTY MINUTES OF IT.

Let me break it down for you: this dude makes movie reviews and puts them up on YouTube. He's been doing it for a while (I strongly recommend his 2008 review of Star Trek: Generations, which came roughly 14 years after the film was released). Through the reviews, you see his analysis of each movie's particular failings, including detailed analyses of plot holes and explanations of how to make film -- in case George Lucas is watching.

Meanwhile, you realize that the reviewer is also playing a character, and he reveals bits of his character within each review. (Talking about various deceased family members, etc.) At various points the review falls off the rails entirely, as in Part 2 (below) when the reviewer rants about his "medications" and then offers to mail pizza rolls to anyone who leaves a comment on "this web zone." It's brilliant. Funny, often inappropriate, genuinely insightful -- what more could you want from a web video?

Tip: if you are not immediately hooked, wait at least until he says "protagonist" for the second or third time. Trust me. If you get through all seven parts, maybe you can get yourself a pizza roll.

Part 1

"Really, how hard could it be to screw up? It's like screwing up mashed potatoes: you boil the water, pour the packet...."

Part 2

"It's almost mind-boggling how complex the awfulness is."

Part 3

"Now this is where it gets complex, my lovelies. So I think this is what happened -- I'm not sure -- but Palpatine wanted to create a crisis on Naboo so that the naive young queen would propose a vote of No Confidence for Chancellor Velorum. This would lead to Palpatine getting elected in his place, right? Like, I mean, that's the plot? I think?" Also, THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

Part 4

"Invasion...of boring!"

Part 5

"If you ask me, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi should have been combined into one character, called Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Part 6

"Please, God, make it stop, make it end." ... "So we're back to the three guys we know nothing about fighting each other in a scene we have no interest in. ... Hey, maybe this'll finally get good! Maybe I'll get emotionally involved!"

Part 7

"The Ending Multiplication Effect."

Did You Watch Them All?

If you want a pizza roll, make a comment on this web zone. I can't promise anything about the pizza rolls, I'm just saying make a comment and then go buy yourself a pizza roll.

Fox Photos, Getty Images
4 Fascinating Facts About John Wayne
Fox Photos, Getty Images
Fox Photos, Getty Images

Most people know John Wayne, who would have been 111 years old today, for his cowboy persona. But there was much more to the Duke than that famous swagger. Here are a few facts about Duke that might surprise you.


John Wayne, surfer? Yep—and if he hadn’t spent a lot of time doing it, he may never have become the legend he did. Like many USC students, Wayne (then known as Marion Morrison) spent a good deal of his extracurricular time in the ocean. After he sustained a serious shoulder injury while bodysurfing, Morrison lost his place on the football team. He also lost the football scholarship that had landed him a spot at USC in the first place. Unable to pay his fraternity for room and board, Morrison quit school and, with the help of his former football coach, found a job as the prop guy at Fox Studios in 1927. It didn’t take long for someone to realize that Morrison belonged in front of a camera; he had his first leading role in The Big Trail in 1930.


Marion Morrison had never been fond of his feminine-sounding name. He was often given a hard time about it growing up, so to combat that, he gave himself a nickname: Duke. It was his dog’s name. Morrison was so fond of his family’s Airedale Terrier when he was younger that the family took to calling the dog “Big Duke” and Marion “Little Duke,” which he quite liked. But when he was starting his Hollywood career, movie execs decided that “Duke Morrison” sounded like a stuntman, not a leading man. The head of Fox Studios was a fan of Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne, so Morrison’s new surname was quickly settled. After testing out various first names for compatibility, the group decided that “John” had a nice symmetry to it, and so John Wayne was born. Still, the man himself always preferred his original nickname. “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me,” he once said. “I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne.”


Anyone who knew John Wayne personally knew what an avid chess player he was. He often brought a miniature board with him so he could play between scenes on set.

When Wayne accompanied his third wife, Pilar Pallete, while she played in amateur tennis tournaments, officials would stock a trailer with booze and a chess set for him. The star would hang a sign outside of the trailer that said, “Do you want to play chess with John Wayne?” and then happily spend the day drinking and trouncing his fans—for Wayne wasn’t just a fan of chess, he was good at chess. It’s said that Jimmy Grant, Wayne’s favorite screenwriter, played chess with the Duke for more than 20 years without ever winning a single match.

Other famous chess partners included Marlene Dietrich, Rock Hudson, and Robert Mitchum. During their match, Mitchum reportedly caught him cheating. Wayne's reply: "I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set 'em up, we'll play again."


If you say you know someone battling “The Big C” these days, everyone immediately knows what you’re referring to. But no one called it that before Wayne came up with the term, evidently trying to make it less scary. Worried that Hollywood would stop hiring him if they knew how sick he was with lung cancer in the early 1960s, Wayne called a press conference in his living room shortly after an operation that removed a rib and half of one lung. “They told me to withhold my cancer operation from the public because it would hurt my image,” he told reporters. “Isn’t there a good image in John Wayne beating cancer? Sure, I licked the Big C.”

Wayne's daughter, Aissa Wayne, later said that the 1964 press conference was the one and only time she heard her father call it “cancer,” even when he developed cancer again, this time in his stomach, 15 years later. Sadly, Wayne lost his second battle with the Big C and died on June 11, 1979 at the age of 72.

Getty Images
Move Over, Star Wars Land: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios
Getty Images
Getty Images

As Disney gears up for the 2019 openings of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at both its Florida and California amusement parks, there may be some sci-fi-themed competition on the horizon. According to Disney and More, there’s a rumor out there that Universal is planning a fourth Orlando theme park, which will include a land dedicated to all things Star Trek.

The blog also states that there have been rumblings that a Star Trek stage show at Universal would take the place of the now-defunct Terminator 2 3D show, but that’s just one option, with a Bourne Identity attraction being the other. Instead, the potential Star Trek show could be expanded to a whole area of the rumored fourth park, with a focus on a recreation of a sci-fi city, according to the site.

This rumored park would be the most high-profile Trek attraction since Las Vegas's Star Trek: The Experience (as seen in the main image). Housed at the Las Vegas Hilton from 1998 to 2008, Star Trek: The Experience included a restaurant based on Quark's bar from Deep Space Nine and the popular Borg Invasion 4D, which was an attraction that combined motion platforms, live actors, and a short 3D film to simulate a Borg takeover.

Any potential Star Trek land would be much further off than Galaxy's Edge's fall 2019 debut in Orlando. But with two new Trek movies on the horizon, and Star Trek: Discovery returning to CBS All Access for a second season in 2018, the venerable sci-fi franchise might just be able to ride a wave of momentum to become real competition for Star Wars—if not at the box office, then at least as a theme park.

[h/t Screen Rant]


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