Phantom Menace with less Jar Jar

While browsing Youtube yesterday I stumbled across a fan edit of Star Wars: Phantom Menace referred to as the “Mature Edition.” The mature in this case refers to a cut from fan Matthew Fisher that is less juvenile than the original. Basically, Fisher has cut out portions of the film with Jar Jar Binks that aren’t critical to the film. He has also removed some of the droid voice effects. His goal was to present a version of the film “with a much more serious tone to match A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.” For the most part, it works. In all honesty, nothing can turn the Phantom Menace into a good movie, but less Jar Jar does equal better. Of course, there’s nothing Fisher could do about the poor acting and terrible special effects, but he did his best … and I appreciate it. He has also posted cuts of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. I’ll link to them after I get a chance to watch them.

Enjoy.

My Review of ‘The Flash’ Season 1

flash
Image from sky.com

I tried watching ‘The Flash’ when it first debuted and my first impression wasn’t a good one. I’m not the biggest fan of ‘Arrow’, the show it spun off of, and thought The Flash sort of resembled 90210 with super powers. But recently my boys convinced me to give it another try and I needed something to watch when I was running on the treadmill so I gave it another go.

Boy am I glad I did.

The Flash is a good super hero television show and it gets better as it gathers momentum throughout season 1. It’s got all the elements of a comic book and the show does a good job of capturing that vibe. Yes, some of the acting is a little iffy but, for the most part, all of the principle characters are represented fairly well. In my opinion, this show is in a dead heat with Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ as the best super hero show on TV. Here’s why:

  • You actually get The Flash. Unlike other shows (think Gotham or Smallville), The Flash, in full costume, is a staple of this show. It’s not ‘preteen flash’ or ‘flash before he was the flash’ – it’s The Flash. And he’s pretty cool.
  • It represents the comic book well. I’ve never followed The Flash in comic books closely other than being a fan of the Justice League, but this show seems to represent his comic book story line pretty well. I’m sure there’s some liberties taken with his main plots, but all the elements are there. There’s the Reverse Flash, alternate universes (especially as you move into season 2), time travel and all sorts of stuff Flash fans should remember from his comic book.
  • Each episode feels like a comic book. I don’t buy comic books very often any more (adulthood and responsible budgets have ruled out that aspect of discretionary spending), but this show makes me feel like I’m reading a comic book. Each episode stands alone pretty well and new super villains are introduced regularly, however, there are threads and plot lines that run throughout the season. For the most part, the writers do a good job of embracing the comic book vibe.
  • It’s family friendly. Unlike ‘Daredevil’ on Netflix, this show is pretty tame. There’s not a lot of cursing, sex, or uncomfortable elements to the show. The violence is comic book violence. I can watch the show with both eyes wide open unafraid of what I, or the family, might see next.
  • Watching The Flash develop his powers is cool. I enjoyed watching The Flash develop his powers and comfort with the ‘speed force’ throughout the season. He is slowly turning into The Flash, power wise, that can hold his own with Superman in the Justice League.
  • I can live with the acting. I particularly like the performance of Jessie L. Martin who plays Barry Allen’s father figure Joe West. Tom Cavanaugh also does a good job as Dr. Harrison Wells. None of the other actors are bad enough to distract from the show and Grant Gustin makes for a pretty good Flash.

If you watched the short-lived Flash show back in 1990, you can expect this one to be much better. All of season 2 is available on Netflix and season 2 in currently on the CW. If you are a fan of super hero stuff, do yourself a favor and don’t give up on the Flash.