Revisiting Episode I: The Problematic Menace

On January 14, 2019, Clashing Sabers released Episode 28 wherein we revisited The Phantom Menace (TPM) with spectacular guests Brian Ballance and Katie Horn.  The idea was to re-watch the film and come up with our Top and Bottom 3 of the whole movie.  That in itself was a pretty tall order, and when it came time to put the show together we decided to stick with just the Top 3.  A few factors went into that decision but mainly in order to put out an episode that was less than 3 hours long and give the guest hosts the opportunity to share their loves with us, we had to make a cut.  I noted in that episode that I would intend to make my notes from watching TPM for the first time in several years available so you could see that, while it was extolled greatly on air, perhaps TPM isn’t exactly perfect.  

You can best enjoy this by keeping in mind how it was developed: I watched TPM over the course of two nights and took stream-of-consciousness notes as the film played.  I only had to pause several times in order to expand upon something that stood out immediately.  Those are indicated by longer entries.  Lastly, I have gone back and added small amounts of notes to the original line item in order to make it more clear what in the world I may have been talking about.  

The numbering is only present for clarity to tell where one observation ends and another begins. However, there is correlation between the value of the number and how far along in the film I was at the time.  That is, there are about 130 entries or so, and TPM is approximately 134 minutes long. And one final note (as if it wouldn’t be clear already), Obi-Wan Kenobi was shorthanded to OWK and Qui-Gon Jinn to QGJ.  Trying to keep notes and having to use hyphens are indeed mutually exclusive.

At the end of this list, I will identify some common themes and elements that stood out during this view and hope that you enjoy this trip down memory lane.  

Welcome to The Phantom Menace.

  1. The opening crawl says that the Trade Federation seeks to “resolve the dispute” over the taxation of trade routes by sending in a fleet of “deadly battleships.”  That’s insane. Imagine a scenario wherein a company claims to be taxed unfairly and sends in the Sixth Fleet in response.  
  2. That Radiant VII looks great, maybe the CGI holds up better than I remember.  
  3. There’s a weird film language being used where something happens but the context is poorly connected until a shot or 2 later:
    1. The pilot starts speaking but you aren’t sure to whom until 5 seconds later
    2. The ship starts landing, the camera shows a shot of some droids that you have never seen before, then back to the ship.  The ship lands, and then the droids walk into the shot
    3. This concept goes on and on throughout the film.  
  4. “Send a droid” is a great way to establish the predilection of the Trade Federation’s cowardice, way better than Qui-Gon straight up saying they are cowards.  They could have struck the line reading since nothing else in that line really adds much to the story.
  5. Sidious’ instruction to kill the Jedi is bizarre.  He knows how strong they are and the absolute nightmare that 2 Jedi deaths would cause; why would that be his immediate conclusion?
    1. This, along with a few other instances later on, may have been designed to fool the audience into believing that Sidious and Palpatine are not indeed the same person, but once that shroud is lifted then a lot of these events fall apart.  
  6. Those battle droids look like they are straight out of the Clone Wars series, so maybe not all the CGI holds up.  
    1. Either that or the Clone Wars animation is that much better.  
  7. I remember seeing Qui-Gon forcing his saber through the door for the first time and being utterly amazed at the clever way of using it.
  8. The pacing of the film moves so darn quick.  You see them speed run, then someone says they went up the ventilation shafts, then we see them drop out.  That’s a lot of actual action glossed over, all in the course of about 12 seconds.
  9. Dude that’s TOTALLY Kiera Knightley, how did we ever miss that for Natalie Portman?
  10. Those Neimoidian masks are really rough; they have not aged well, if they were ever good.
  11. The extras in this film are terrible; nobody in the Queen’s circle of advisors reacts to the disruption of Palpatine’s message.  Nobody even flinches or looks at the Queen.
  12. It would have been awesome if that was the only appearance of Palpatine for the whole film.  
  13. “I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war.”  In the context of having only a volunteer army, this is ridiculous; why have an army if you aren’t willing to use it, especially when your planet is invaded?  Panaka makes his armed forces sound like wannabe enthusiasts rather than professionals.
  14. There is so much Star Wars shorthand being used, how is it possible for any new viewer to comprehend all that is happening so fast?
    1. Lightsabers
    2. Jedi, the Force
    3. Life debts
    4. It’s absolutely nuts
  15. If you are a new viewer, OWK looks like a total jerk; QGJ looks disinterested and bored.
  16. Breathing apparatus that doesn’t cover the nose: seems less than optimal, right?
  17. OWK’s hesitation going through the portal into Otoh Gunga is good
  18. Is it possible that Boss Nass is correct, that they wouldn’t be bothered by the Trade Federation if they keep a low profile?  There’s a line later about the droids investigating an underwater city, but why do they do that? Why do they go to investigate it?
  19. Do the city bubbles of Otah Gunga float?  They don’t seem to be anchored to anything in the shot when the trio leaves for the planet core.  And if they float, how do they stay where they are such that Jar Jar knows how to find them? Wouldn’t they be subject to the tides and whatnot?
  20. I love the bigger fish scene, but wish QGJ wouldn’t actually SAY the line!  Show, don’t tell, right?
  21. “You will find controlling her will not be difficult.”  Yet it proves to be exceedingly difficult. However, Palpatine has first hand knowledge of her character and attributes; why would he say it is easy to control her?  
  22. Why do I know that the thing is called a Colo Claw fish?  
    1. This must have some sort of root in the old Collectible Card Game or some book I read when I was a teenager.  Yet another factoid that I have no recollection of its origin.
  23. There is also no way they actually go through the core of the planet.  Why does Boss Nass call it that then?
  24. “Victory” for the Viceroy simply means landing their fleet in an unoccupied city.  What if Amidala evacuated the city? That would have been a clever action yet stands opposed to later when we learn that there are detention camps and that the “death toll is catastrophic.”
  25. Is having the queen sign a treaty to legitimize an occupation tactical?  It might actually be.
  26. “There’s no logic in their movement.”  I hear you Qui-Guy.
  27. Why wouldn’t Sio Bibble come with the queen?  Why does he stay behind?
  28. QGJ says he is an ambassador to the Supreme Chancellor.  Isn’t he an ambassador FROM the Supreme Chancellor?
    1. Only the best pedantry here at CLASHING SABERS!
  29. OWK tells Jar Jar to “stay out of trouble.”  Up to this point, he hasn’t caused any trouble!  In fact, it’s because of Jar Jar that they were able to get the Queen in time (in time for what, I don’t know).  OWK is unreasonably mean to Jar Jar at the moment. Maybe that’s why adult audiences had a negative reaction to Jar Jar: because that’s how the adults in the film treat him.  
  30. Finally, the real droid hero!  R5-D4!
    1. I said what I said, deal with it.  
  31. “Shield generator’s been hit!”  Wouldn’t you put the shields up immediately after leaving the planet?  Then Ric Ollie says the shields are gone, so were they actually up? I don’t understand how anything works on that ship.
  32. The camera shakes as the turbolaser cannon blasts with the ship zipping by, that’s cool.
  33. I like that Darth Maul was just hanging out of range of Sidious’ holo-projector by inches, standing behind Sidious, waiting for his cue.  What if he wasn’t needed that conversation? “Guess I’ll go back to my corner, boss.”
  34. QGJ: We should go to Tatooine.  Panaka: I don’t agree with the Jedi on this one.  QGJ: I don’t care what he thinks. QGJ is acting pretty gangster for an old man.
  35. When arriving at Tatooine, OWK says “there’s a city,” as if there is only one.  
  36. QGJ barely reacts to OWK saying that they need a brand new hyperdrive.  Given the value of such an item (determined later on), you would have thought that would have been a bigger deal.  Unless of course money wasn’t an issue for the Jedi.
  37. I hate how QGJ narrates the denizens of Mos Espa as we see them on screen.  Too much telling distracts from the showing.
  38. There are no signs on any of the buildings to denote the type of shop; how would a non-Force sensitive individual be expected to find anything here?
  39. Is it wrong that I think Watto is awesome?
  40. Jar Jar’s first ostensible act of causing trouble is knocking over the pit droid, and even that isn’t that big a deal.
  41. Little Anakin talking off Padme’s ear makes more sense now that I have a 7 year old that won’t shut up.
  42. I don’t think I ever noticed the C-3PO skin hanging on the hook behind the dormant pit droid; that actually establishes a nice character connection to AOTC
  43. “No, they won’t!” might be the best line so far.
  44. First explanation of mind tricks, which either connects back to Boss Nass or comes off as lazy correction and explanation of that scene from 30 minutes ago.  I’m leaning towards lazy explanation.
  45. “The beings hereabouts, cawazy!  Weesa be robbed and crunched!” Again, what evidence is there for that? Three seconds later, Jar Jar goes and steals from a street vendor! The locals don’t make trouble, it’s the outsiders!
  46. Jar Jar’s interaction with Anakin is the only genuine seeing interaction, why is that? He looks right at Anakin, speaks with emotion, gestures, way more than anything QGJ does.  QGJ is spaced out for most of the scenes, very detached from what’s actually happening. He’s trying so hard to not look conspicuous that he stands out like he’s glowing green.
  47. There’s also no recognition from Padme that she met Anakin 2 minutes earlier.  No surprise that she just met this little boy. As if he followed them out of the store.  
  48. Film cuts to a Coruscant scene where Darth Maul and Sidious are talking.  This is the first visit to Coruscant, and maybe should have been cut? The film doesn’t tell you where it is taking place, you have to connect that dot on your own (see above about disconnected sequencing).  And even when we get to Coruscant, it isn’t nighttime, so there is even less of an easy connection, never mind that it is still another 20 minutes at least before we get there. So what does the scene do? It tells us that the bad guys know where the Jedi are and are out to get them; however, Sidious already told us that Maul would find the Trade Federation’s lost ship, so there’s no real need for the shot!
  49. Shmi cutting off Padme with “the Republic doesn’t exist out here,” is good character.  And the fact that we call that out as good character makes me sad.
  50. The hammer on nail conversation of “you must have Jedi reflexes!” plus “don’t do that again” is just too much.  You can tell the film is not meant for an audience with drivers licenses
    1. Keep in mind that I absolutely loved that exchange when this was first released.  
  51. First instance of Anakin’s dreams and visions, which will be a common theme (one of the few) in the rest of the prequels.  
  52. “He was meant to help you,” is a pretty powerful line when you know about Anakin’s parentage (or lack thereof).  However, the music playing underneath QGJ and Shmi’s conversation feels mighty oppressive. Might be the first instance of misusing John Williams’ music.  You can feel the music saying “FEEL EMOTIONS, FEEL EMOTIONS!” which overpowers the subtle conversation that Shmi and QGJ are trying to have.
  53. It’s weird that Jar Jar and Watto are CGI but the Neimoidians are practical masks.  Why not make them CGI as well? What do they benefit from being actors in masks?
  54. Why is it too dangerous to call for help?  Couldn’t QGJ contact the Jedi Temple and ask them to send help?  Maybe he could hit up Yoda through the Force.
  55. QGJ asks, “Who was his father?”  Does he think that Shmi lacks Force sensitivity?  Seems like a weird question to ask rather than, “does anyone in your lineage have Force powers?”  Does Force sensitivity pass through the paternal side of the family? That can’t be true because Ben Solo got it from his mama, so what gives?
  56. Artoo is working on the pod engines, is it possible that Artoo is the reason that the pod works at all?  Or could he have actually been the one to sabotage it so that it fails to start at the beginning of the actual race?
  57. I love Anakin’s “ITS WORKING! ITS WORKING!” because it’s such a 9 year old thing to do and say.  And it’s ridiculous.
  58. Midichlorians.  There is intrigue and question around them immediately and it is done without being explicit.  They are important to QGJ because he needs OWK to do the scan. The result is unexpected to both of them.  The numerical value is immaterial; it is the exceeding someone called “Master Yoda” that they both latch on to.  QGJ does not know what that means, and now we have the central mystery of the film: who is Anakin and what is going on?
    1. If this mystery had been established earlier on and been the central issue of the film, it would have been much stronger.  But it might require eliminating all of the Naboo stuff. Which doesn’t bother me.
  59. Darth Maul finally appears.  His silver control bracelet throws off his entire black get up though, seems like strange design.
  60. Watto is flying around the podracer garage holding a cane.  What does he need a cane for?
  61. “No pod is worth two slaves, not by a long shot.”  That line is fantastic. He says it with such certainty and force that you don’t question how absurd it is to actually say.
  62. The boy and his mother; is there good reason for QGJ to try and rescue Shmi as well?  Anakin would have been separated from her the moment he was accepted into the Jedi Order, so what does she do?  Move in with Qui-Gon?
  63. Ah the podrace.  Let’s see if it is as good as I remember
    1. Spoiler: yes, yes it is.  
  64. So the DVD includes the extended introduction sequence with the additional racers.  I wasn’t sure how much of that was only on the blu-ray.
  65. Shmi visits Anakin on the track; what if the other racers’ moms did the same?  The only other racer we know has family present is Ratts Tyrell (who didn’t get introduced here, is that maybe on the blu-ray?)
  66. The extra playing Bib Fortuna looks legitimately confused as to what is going on.  He probably was since Jabba and Gardulla the Hutts were CGI, meaning the balcony was virtually empty except for Bib.
  67. The sound design of these pods is fantastic.  Though there seems to be a lot of unnecessary establishing shots of engines, turning parts, and drivers gripping their handlebars.  It just goes on
  68. Aurra Sing sighting!  Remember when she was supposed to be a big deal?
  69. Why does this look so different from the rest of the film?  There’s something about the photography style that is so different from everything else.  Maybe it’s the amount of camera movement, the life of the secondary characters, the shakiness of the camera lending credibility to the speed that they are traveling at?
  70. The unique designs of the engines and pods helps the viewer keep good track of where Anakin is in the race.
  71. The split cable hazard is a really unnecessary element though.  Magnet pole arm to rejoin the cable and establish the link between engines?  He lost all that ground just to gain it back in a heartbeat. So what does it actually do for the story of the race? What does it demonstrate? We already understand his mechanical prowess, and the way he maneuvers around racers shows his reflexes and fast-thinking.  
  72. The service ramp climb and dive is similarly fantastical; while I know we shouldn’t be considering physics in SW, but that’s not how physics work.  You don’t go a further distance faster by going up and then down. It’s like traveling along the long way around a triangle when Sebulba just took the shortest most direct route.
  73. So what is happening to his engines?  One goes dead from the fire. Then the screen shows all blue stuff in the right engine, none in left.  Anakin gets that balanced, then restarts the engine. Once that occurs, it is all green. Is it fuel? Power?  What is happening here?
  74. Why does Anakin pulling away from Sebulba break the link between Sebulba’s engines and send them spiraling out of control?
  76. Poor OWK gets sidelined during the whole Tatooine act.  He barely has anything to do.
  77. How do you think QGJ got Anakin to sell his pod?  They walk into the house with the money from selling it, but according to his friends he had spent years working on it.  And now that he just made ALLLLL that money, he has to leave it behind with his mom.
  78. If the pod was worth 1 slave, and they sold the pod, wouldn’t they have the money to buy Shmi from Watto?  
  79. Anakin says he doesn’t want things to change, but he just sold his hobby, was freed from Watto, and was literally on his way to pack his things to go be a Jedi, literally a billion light years away.  Nine-year olds are dumb.
  80. My kids get emotional when I drop them off at church for 75 minutes, yet Anakin and Shmi barely register any emotion whatsoever.
  81. “Qui-Gon’s in trouble!”  and nobody bats a freaking eye.  It’s like they don’t even remember who QGJ is.  There’s so little emotional reaction in all of these performances; it really feels like the first run through for all the actors.
  82. “My troops are in position for these rumored underwater villages.  They will not stay hidden for long.” Why does that matter? Are they threatened by the Gungans?  Are they planning on signing a treaty with Boss Nass as well?
  83. Are the messages from Sio Bibble supposed to be faked?  Bibble’s in-person posturing to the Viceroy is so different from the video, but we have also seen him waffle positions in the blink of an eye (back in the hangar on Naboo).  Not sure that faking messages makes sense, either, though.
  84. “I don’t need this to remember you by.”  Is that supposed to be indicative of the relationship these characters are developing?  They’ve had, what, 3 conversations together on screen? It feels like the characters are being forced into a relationship not because the characters feel for each other but rather there’s only one real female character and we know that Anakin has to have kids with SOMEONE.  Feels very reductive.
  85. “The queen being very nice, meesa thinks!  Pretty hot!” What makes Jar Jar think she is being very nice?  And does he really say “pretty hot?”
  86. Palpatine looks like what Josh Lyman would grow up to look like.  Something about that hairline and curliness.  Plus, Josh has that boyish thing.
  87. The Jedi Council!
  88. Yareal Poof’s head really does bob back and forth like a balloon!
  89. That Yoda puppet is rough, I’m sure the blu-ray version looks better.
    1. Editor: the blu-ray completely replaces the puppet.  So, thanks for all that hard work Frank but we’re going to with Macintosh on this one!
  90. The Trade Federation has a Senator.  That’s mind boggling terrifying from a governmental perspective.  
  91. I hate how the Senate pods keep spinning and moving around the chancellor’s tower.  
  92. Having a queen being elected is likewise bonkers.  
    1. Yes, I know that is all addressed outside of the film.  No, my opinion is not swayed.
  93. So the TF calls for a committee and gets shouted down.  The Queen calls for a vote of no confidence which she has no senatorial authority to do and everyone’s all “VOTE NOW!  VOTE NOW!”
  94. “See through you, we can.”  That’s a pretty concerning statement from Yoda.  
    1. This might be the single most unintentionally terrifying line in the film.  But, oddly, it makes the most sense and fits inside the nature of not just the characters, but also the history of the Jedi Order (as relates to its complacency and unintentional disconnect from the Living Force) and the situation presented.  
    2. Everyone is mind-probing this 9 year old and he has nobody there to advocate on his side.
  95. Amidala’s super unconvincing “I hope not” has become a default reference for me in everyday conversation.
  96. There’s a weird cut to Jar Jar every so often, especially during Amidala and Palpatine’s back and forth that adds absolutely nothing.
  97. So was the Queen being played by Padme when the decision to return to Naboo was made?  Hard to tell when Keira Knightley steps in and out.
  98. “This is the clue we need to unravel the mystery of the Sith.”  And what mystery is that? If they’ve been extinct for a millennia, what do they need to unravel?
  99. Midichlorians explained.  They tell the Jedi the will of the Force.  Still feels wackadoodle.
  100. I hate how short some of the scenes are, like when Sidious is telling Nute Gunray that he is sending Darth Maul to Naboo.  It’s maybe 7 seconds long and offers so little to the plot.
  101. “I have one battleship on my scope.”  That’s strange, because it’s supposed to be a blockade and there were dozens on the way off of Naboo a day or so ago.  
  102. Ewan McGregor is so young in this movie it almost hurts.  
  103. Boss Nass pronounces it “goonguns” whereas Jar Jar says “gungans.”  Is that reasonable? I grew up in New Jersey so I know I pronounce all sorts of things differently than my North Carolinian family, but mispronouncing the name for your species may be a bridge too far.  
  104. Darth Maul is not shown arriving, like he was on Tatooine.  Homeboy just appears on screen.
  105. “Without the Viceroy, they will be lost and confused.”  No, I don’t think that is accurate. Droids operate based on instructions given, not the safety and security of their fleshy leader.
  106. Palpatine’s image walks along with the Viceroy on some spider legs.  Maybe that’s where Darth Maul got the idea after falling down the pit subsequent to being sliced in half?
  107. The Gungan shield makes a strange wobbly wobbly noise that is completely unnecessary.  
  108. Naboo assault.  They bring in a speeder with some sort of heavy cannon, it fires once, then backs off.  We see it spinning around a little as well, but it doesn’t make any sense what is happening.  
  109. Those pilot robes are super unwieldy.  Nobody wants to go drive a car while wearing a heavy trench coat, and speaking as someone who wore a trench coat through most of high school I can attest to that.  
  110. The racks of battle droids is still dang awesome.  
  111. I like the idea of the two armies lining up against each other to face off like it’s 1776 or something, but that doesn’t seem to square with the development of the galaxy at large.  
  112. The Gungan armaments (the boomers) are the most ineffective method of combat possibly imagined.  If the Gungans lived in opposition of the Naboo, and these weapons have no effect on flesh-beings (as evidenced by the simple way the Gungans handle them), what other army of robots were the Gungans ever expecting?
  113. QGJ’s “we’ll handle this” is still epic and awesome.  
  114. One of the things that has always bothered me about this movie is when Maul activates the second blade on his saber, it looks like the handle spreads out a little; it gets longer.  I don’t know if it was digitally created or if it is a trick of shadows, but it looks like it changes length and it bothers me every single time.
  115. Why does OWK make a grunting sound when he feints towards Maul?  Is there some contest in the Force between them that we can’t see?
  116. Panaka’s blaster (or hand cannon) is a really cool design, so much more impressive than Amidala’s silver pea shooter.  Though her pistol is in line with Naboo’s love of chrome and shininess, so at least it is consistent with her cultural design.
  117. I wonder if Anakin’s scenes in the Naboo starfighter were filmed earlier than his Tatooine scenes; Jake Lloyd looks significantly younger in those shots.  Maybe like he was missing a tooth or something?
  118. Man, the editing in this movie is really rough.  The cut from Amidala blasting through the window resolves with about 4 seconds of them way down the hallway, not doing anything.  Then its a sharp cut along with the choral hits of “Duel of the Fates” into an establishing shot of the power reactor columns. There is so little connection and management of time in the construction of this film; like the cut together one version of it and never reviewed their work.  The whole movie except for the podrace feels like a first draft even though we know things changed from inception to publication (like the switch from making OWK the focus to including QGJ since Liam Neeson was totally on board for doing more).
  119. Would the Gungan boomers work on the Naboo?  Did they have to somehow manufacture all these weapons specifically to combat a mechanical army while on the run from their underwater cities?  Does the Sacred Place have some sort of war foundry that is just off screen? This movie is a disaster.
  120. What kind of architecture includes ray shields that open and close in dramatic fashion?  
  121. Okay, so there is evidence of a second take: when QGJ collapses to the floor, his next shot has him doing a different flop around on the ground.  So they couldn’t even edit that appropriately.
  122. In the time it takes Padme to fetch two blasters from the throne, call out “Captain!” toss Panaka a blaster, and take out 2 battle droids, the remaining battle droids get all of one blaster shot off.  That’s it. One.
  123. OWK and Maul get the decidedly better fight sequence.  
  124. How can Anakin’s starfighter overheat?  They are in space. Where it is cold. And the droids down in the hangar for sure do not need atmosphere or heat, so it shouldn’t be that much warmer there.  No clue what’s going on their except for forced plot contrivance.
  125. This battle might be sold by defenders as “nature versus industry” just like the Battle on Endor, but I don’t think that analogy works.  The battle droids defeat the Gungans, hands down. Technically speaking, the battle is over when the control ship is destroyed. By a child.  Using a co-opted starfighter. That happened to have the keys in it, I guess. If you want to call all of that “nature,” then there’s not a lot of hope for healthy debate I suppose.
  126. The Jedi Council comes to Naboo to memorialize QGJ.  Why not have such a ceremony back on Coruscant? Is immolation in line with the tenets of the Jedi Order?  Disposal of crude matter?
  127. The Council is also present for the parade marking the peace accords between the Naboo and the Gungans.  What are they doing there?
    1. Also, seems like the Queen did end up signing a treaty after all.  Heyooo.
  129. Final Thoughts
    1. Qui-Gon Jinn really is the main character of the film.  He is the protagonist who makes the most decisions and drives the most action of the film.  He takes the crew off Naboo (heading for Coruscant). He drives most of the choices on Tattooine.  He is thwarted by the Council in his announcement to train Anakin himself and offer up Kenobi as ready for the trials.  Amidala comes a close second although her main contribution is to return to Naboo.
    2. There is no way this film makes good cohesive sense to a someone watching it to pay close attention.  Very little is explained and the things that are made explicit do not make sense (like midichlorians).  The viewer is expected to have done A LOT of homework before watching this one. There is no way episodic viewing order is the best way to enjoy the saga.  
    3. Shmi gets sidelined hard in this story when there is a clear way for her to actually come out in a better way.  Qui-Gon has the opportunity to get her out of slavery, which he clearly desires for her, and yet fails to follow through on it.
    4. The Jedi are presented as heroes in the movie without any indication of their alleged malfeasance or misguided role in the galaxy at large.  All of that falls on the governmental entities of the Republic, which seems to push a religion > government mentality. That seems odd given the known political background of the writer.  
    5. The crafting of this film is a major detriment to its success.  The editing, pacing, acting, and scripting all suffer from an apparent unwillingness to give anything a second attempt.  So many scenes suffer from significant disconnect from their adjacent scenes, how is it possible this thing got story-boarded effectively?

If you made it this far, you can probably tell from the tone of the notes how my opinion shifted during the viewing from, “Alright, I am willing to give this a shot,” to “How on Earth did this movie get made?”  There were a lot of fun and good things here, and Brian and Katie do an excellent job of singing the praises of those moments on our episode together. However, it should not be lost that there are significant issues in the construction of the film that take a heavy toll on the viewing experience.  

Chime in with your thoughts!  Which note best describes your opinion of TPM?  Or which one makes you want to throw up your arms in disbelief?  Let us know!

Drew Brett


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