This has been one of the one's requested from the beginning. Honestly I have always been a bit hesitant to review the series because of two reasons: one-that I would, by accident, give away the whole plot or major spoilers to people who may not have seen the series and while I do usually give minor spoilers, this series is special to me and I want people to watch it with fresh eyes. The second reason is that I will piss some people off. Surprisingly there ARE a lot of people who like the prequel trilogy but I am not one of them. I also do not like the Clone Wars cartoon (the new one...the original? Classic) or pretty much anything Star Wars related, besides games, that came out after Return of the Jedi.
Why is that? Well I think George Lucas should have just let things be. His first mistake was titling the original star wars episode 4. Although it WAS the original film that started it all, people complained after Return of the Jedi came out that they wanted to see the first three episodes. I think I am partly to blame for that. I loved Star Wars growing up and it was especially great growing up in the 90s when there was such a renewed interest in the series. The only problem was George Lucas had to re-release the series with different things in it. Some were for the better but at the same time it took a little bit away from the nostalgia that was the untampered original editions.
But I'm nitpicking and avoiding the actual review. Which one am I reviewing? Phantom Menace...WHY??!!! George Lucas? Really? I shook your hand dammit and you make this crap? I knew I was doomed when the kid from Jingle All the Way was Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader whoops spoiler). And then you added the little bug man who acted like a mobster and a race of water people with one who talks like a....oh God...can I avoid talking about Jar Jar? I guess not. Jar Jar Binks was George Lucas's attempt at bringing kids in. But Jar Jar was so infantile, so stupid and so aggravatingly annoying that it made it hard for me to even watch the movie. To top it all off they killed the two best characters in the movie: Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. Nothing against Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan but when you are following Alec Guinness its pretty hard to live up to his standards. But Star Wars has had a knack for that: killing or "misplacing" its best characters.
Oh well. I still have the other five in the series. Honestly its not that bad of a movie. The effects are great, the music is epic and the acting, save for Anakin and Jar Jar is pretty good. If you are a Star Wars fan then you've probably seen it already but if you are new to the series, I don't recommend starting with this one.
MY VERDICT: RENT IT