I haven't watched the prequels since they were in the theater. Figured I'd rewatch them to see how they've held up.
I remember The Phantom Menace as being pretty decent when I saw it at the movies. However, after watching it yesterday, I'm much less impressed. Lots and lots of actions scenes, and next to no plot or even decent dialogue.
The pod race was WAY too long. It should have been cut down to only a couple minutes (I think it lasted at least five minutes in the movie). In any case, it was just way too long.
Jake couldn't act for shit. It's not really his fault, since he's just a kid. It just pisses me off that Haley Joe Osment was busy making The Sixth Sense at this same time, and he was a great actor. (Also, it's been 13 years since Ep I was in theaters! How the heck did that happen?)
Jar-Jar was bad. If he'd been toned down a bit, I think most people would have been ok with him. Stupid crap like his taking fruit off the table with his tongue was annoying, though.
Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor both did good jobs, but Natalie Portman was kind of bad. Ray Park was awesome as Darth Maul, and I think he only had 5 or 6 lines in the whole movie. Ian McDirmid was very good as Palpatine.
I loved the gungan and droid armies. Very cool tech. Costumes were extremely well done overall, as well.
Again, they could have cut out one destination or some scenes, and added some actual character development to the movie. It just seemed to jump from one action scene to the next, with the exception being the initial half of the Tatooine location.
Overall, the movie did not hold up well. It was flashy and bright, but had little substance.