Star Wars: Episode I---The Phantom Menace

Rating = B+

I thoroughly watching this (I mean the literal “watching”). I'm not enough of an expert to have been amazed by the special effects (although having a complete CG character was pretty impressive). However, throughout I smiled and sometimes laughed out loud in delight at everything that was going on visually on the screen.

Overall it was fun!

The acting was not particularly more stilted than in the earlier films, although there was no one with the exhuberance of Hans and the Princess in Episode 4, and the new Jedi's don't have the presence of Alex Guiness (who could?). The level of character development is at about that of a superman film — good enough for the genre.

The plot is no worse than in Episodes 5 and 6. In my view none since Episode 4 have had the childlike simplicity that makes you not really care about it and just follow the characters.

Jar Jar Binks and his kind have been accused of talking baby talk by some critics. Actually it is a sort of creole, which anoying because it's hard to understand. However the “people” of this species have a cool strut to their walk (which further suggests that Lucas's eye and ear were influenced by creole speaking “black dudes”).

The movie is in the genre of the old Saturday matinee serials — realized with \$100M of the most modern computer imaging and sound.

The Williams score does a good job of supporting the movie.