Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D has officially launched in Europe and some of our readers were nice enough to write in sharing their new TPM experiences. First we venture to the UK and a report from our friend Nigel:
"Today marks the official release of Star Wars Ep1 3D...I saw it at a midnight screening and LOVED it..(mini review..)...at its heart, remember, this is an innocent, family adventure movie...but I now have greater respect for it because of how the quality of the movie is enhanced by the 3D in such a way that the detail in every scene comes to life and gave me a greater appreciation of all the hard work, imagination and craftsmanship involved in its creation. The 3D conversion feels very natural - no gimmicks - it just adds depth and a richness to the environments so you feel you are "experiencing" the planets, spaceships etc..I noticed a LOT of little extras going on in the background too that I'd never seen before..stand out sections for me right now include; End battle (amazing in 3D), Journey through the Planet Core, Podrace and even more minor subtle moments...Gungan city looks incredible and the scene at night at the slave quarters (never noticed how far back the buildings go, v cool) and the dusk scenes set at the Jedi council..amazing shots of Coruscant through the windows (animated Yoda is also featured and is soooo much better! Lol)...I came away from the movie smiling and like I was a kid again (alright not that much different to reality lol), remembering all the magic that surrounded its original release and hopeful that kids find the movie as amazing as my younger bro's did back in the day...so if you have kids, take them to see it, if not, escape from the sometimes harsh cynicism that surrounds us all every day in this World and go see it anyway and become a kid again yourself : )"
UPDATE: Nigel has created a a 1999 TPM memories album on his Facebook page to go along with his write-up.
Thanks Nigel! Next up, we travel to Spain where our buddy Angel (Sithpadawan) shares his experience:
"My name's Angel and I'm from Spain. I just want to share some info and thoughts about Star Wars Episode I 3D. We had the press event last Saturday on February, 4th, and I was able to go. We saw the movie and played some Star Wars Kinect as well. The event was held at Kinepolis Madrid, the largest cinema in the world (still holding the Guinness World Record since its aperture in 1998), with 25 screens and more than 9.200 seats. You can see the cinema in this url from Bing Maps: http://binged.it/zuG7zx Once there, we were recieved by a small Tatooine set, where the photocall was placed. The 501st Spanish Garrison was taking photos and cheering up the people, and there were also 3 Xbox 360 with the Star Wars Kinect game ready to be played. You could play on Bespin or a pod race in Tatooine. The game was funny to play with, and after playing it, you were given a free Star Wars Kinect T-Shirt. (Cool!). Also, there was a draw where you could win one of the 3 Xbox 360 Star Wars Edition that Microsoft was giving away.
And then... the movie itself. I saw a couple of minutes of Episode II in 3D 3 or 4 years ago on a special event, and I saw the Episode I trailer in 3D too, and now, at last, it was the whole movie. The first Star Wars movie in 3D ever. First of all... I was nervous, like any other new Star Wars movie. We had our last Star Wars movie on theatres 7 years ago, and we had not seen Episode I on the big screen in 13 years. That's a lot of time, and it was a strange feeling being on the cinema again for a kind of new Star Wars movie (it's in 3D!)
So, lights went out, 20th Century Fox logo (amazing), Lucasfilm logo going up (incredible), and at last Star Wars logo going to the background with that music we all know. Then the movie. It was crystal clear in all its digital glory. We never saw Episode I this way, and it's great we can see the picture this way.
What can I say about the 3D conversion? First of all, if you think you're going to see lightsabers jumping out the screen or ships flying around the audience, you're wrong. The conversion is more about depth in the scene. It's more like if the screen is the foreground where the main characters in the scene are, and then everything else is "behind" the cinema screen. It's a sense of depth, not a sense of things popping out the screen. The podrace is less spectacular than people is going to expect (I know), being the "start your engines" part the most impressive with all those huge engines starting up. You get used fast to see the movie in 3D, and some scenes are much better than others, but overall, is a great experience. I love this kind of 3D, subtle and with no scenes "made for 3D enjoyment only even if they have no sense", like a lot of movies do nowadays.
Also, there is one thing I loved about the 3D. I loved to look at the sets and props of the movie. You get a great and better sense of how things were built in the studios when filming... how big was the reactor where Darth Maul and Obi Wan fight, how huge were the Sebulba podrace's engines... all that kind of things that I loved to imagine how they were, now have a better answer. Trust me and look at the sets and props... you can more easily imagine that you're there on the set, surrounded by cameras, lights...
So, go out there and get your tickets right now if you haven't purchased them yet. Even if you like the 3D or not, it's a Star Wars movie in cinema after sooo many years, and it's presented like you've never seen before. I loved the 3D-depth effect, but some people would miss things flying by and jumping out the screen. You won't get that, but it's all about what each of us like. And as a Star Wars fan, I loved the movie, the way it's presented, the 3D, and, above all, the feelings you'll have 13 years later, bringing back old memories, and reuniting with some old friends to see the movie.