I just watched this for the first time in over a year, and last time I watched it, I wasn't paying attention. So it's probably been about 2 years. I noticed way too many things I'd never noticed before, and this time around, for the first time, I thought this Episode was excellent! I don't know how it ever got as much flak as it did. I'm now going to list the major pros and cons I noticed this time around:
1. Jake Lloyd's acting. It was superb! He's a little kid, come on. I can't believe all the negativity concerning the poor kid's performance, especially considering his age! There was only one line I wasn't happy with, and it was, "This is tense!" But that was the line itself, not the acting.
2. The battle droids. They were great! I loved their personalities, the cocking of the head, the voices, the dash of humor here and there. They were great.
3. The podrace. An excellent idea we'd never seen before that was pulled off beautifully. There were things that could have been better, definitely, but I thought it was great all the same.
4. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul. This was an extraordinary lightsaber duel considering the last thing we'd seen was Luke vs. Darth Vader.
5. Darth Maul himself. The awesomest bad guy other than Boba Fett and Vader. I love him to death.
6. Coruscant. That planet still impresses me every time I see it. I love the views we're provided, and the idea of a planetwide city is just awesome. I realize Zahn came up with it in the Thrawn trilogy, but actually seeing it was great.
7. The trip through the planet core. I love the attacks by the fish, and that one shot of the "bigger fish" eating the first attacker...gorgeous. I'm not morbid, I promise. But for some reason I just love that scene.
8. Watto. I don't know, but I love Watto! The fact that he flaps around all the time, as well as his attitude, he's a great character.
9. Sebulba. You love to hate him. He's an excellent antagonist.
10. The politics. I realize they were confusing, and they weren't what people were used to or expecting, but it was a great way to branch off into something else. To give us a different view into Star Wars. I enjoy it.
11. The ending song. I love that song! It reminds me of the Lion King, and I always end up getting it stuck in my head.
1. Yoda as a puppet. I'm not sure what happened there, but it wasn't so great.
2. The lighting on Naboo. Obi-Wan always looked horrible when he was outside on Naboo, poor guy. They should have fixed that.
3. The scene near the beginning when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon run from the Droidekas. Apparently they're using Force Speed? But the scene doesn't work, because it simply ends up looking like bad editing.
4. Maul's height. They should have disguised it a bit more when he's walking beside the Neimoidians. I can't take him seriously in that shot.
1. Jar-Jar. He wasn't nearly as bad as I remember, and I didn't totally mind his presence. The movie most probably would have been better without him, but I can tolerate him so much better these days.
I'm pretty sure there was one more con, but I can't remember it at the moment, so it must not have been that big a deal. The dialogue wasn't horrible in TPM at all! The only bad line I remember was the one Anakin uses that I mentioned earlier, "This is tense." Otherwise, it was fine. I don't know, but this 17th time around, I absoultely loved it. There's a scene during the Battle of Naboo with the Gungans, where a battle droid is totally flattened by one of his own tanks, and it's hilarious! This was the first time I noticed it, and I cracked up laughing.
Anyway, overall I thought the movie was gorgeous, and while it of course doesn't compare with the Original Trilogy, I found none of the things wrong with it that I have before, much less the things everyone continuously harps on. So yeah, watch it again. If you were previously having doubts, hopefully you'll like it better this time around.
"It's not about the legacy you leave, it's about the life you live." ~Mara Jade Skywalker