whiskey in the jar-jar

little prague, davis (envelope from peking university)

Last night, I partied like it was 1999. That is to say, I went to see the Phantom Menace. In 3D. I know I always say that 3D is shite, and that Phantom Menace is, largely, also shite, but I couldn’t wait – this would be awesome man! Well, the chance to see Star Wars, any Star Wars, on the big screen again couldn’t be passed up. Phantom Menace has its faults (I am looking squarely at you, Jar-Jar Binks – time has not made it easier to forgive the Gungan for his hapless existence) but in many places it is quite great – Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon is someone everyone would want to know, a favourite uncle, Obi-Wan’s lightsabre skills are still world class, and I think Jake Lloyd was superb as young Anakin. They made some improvements, fixing Yoda from that terrible puppet to a digital one that more closely resembles the original puppet, and switching all of Amidala’s lines with ones that made sense (actually they didn’t do that, sadly).  I was reminded of how excited everyone was when the trailer first aired,  when double-bladed lightsabre wielding face-painting experiment Darth Maul told us he would be revealed to the Jedi. But was it 3D? Nope.

It’s hard to just switch a regular movie into a 3D movie, I guess. I remember seeing Jaws 3D at the pictures when I was a kid and jumping out of my seat when a harpoon flew out of the screen – now that was 3D (actually, Edgware cinema it may have been a real harpoon, looking back). There were trailers for new 3D movies last night which did look quite spectacular, but they were made with 3D in mind. Phantom Menace just wasn’t. Not even the podraces, exciting though they were, particularly flew out of screen. The most 3D bit, seriously, was when Watto was speaking Huttese and the subtitles came up. I was like, “oooh floating letters!” After a while, the 3D glasses (“3D – Real D” it says, whatever the heck that is supposed to be) were bugging me. I expected those light cardboard ones you used to get, red on one side, blue on the other, but these were proper plastic sunglasses. They’re great, if you don’t already have glasses on. They fit over your glasses, but wearing two sets of specs is a real pain on the nose.

Still, after Darth Maul went to pieces, after Qui-Gon Jinn was set on fire and after the Gungans paraded their vuvuzelas in the streets of Naboo  (with Palpatine looking on saying to himself, seriously what part of “wipe them out” did they not understand??), it was fun to come out of the movie theatre feeling like I had relived the olden days. I then fancied a beer and a sketch. One other thing I did in 1999 was spend a couple of weeks in Prague, so I went to local pub Little Prague for some Czech beer. I’ve drawn this place several times before, and this time I drew on a brown envelope (from Peking University), using a uniball vision micro, a superb Y&G Calligraphy pen, and a white gel pen. Oh and a bit of warm grey Pitt brush pen. Took me about an hour and a half, while people milled about dancing and drinking. I like Little Prague, but the music on Friday nights can be a bit loud and, well, not my thing. Lots of others seemed to enjoy it though, but I concentrated on drawing all those bottles. I considered extending the envelope to draw the rest of the bar (I would love to do a curving panoramic of this bar sometime, perhaps on a less busy evening). I would like some time to organize a Drink and Draw type group here in Davis, something that seems to be popular in other cities. In the meantime, here’s wondering how the other Star Wars films will look in 3D. I think I can guess!

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5 thoughts on “whiskey in the jar-jar

  1. Prodigal Gil says:

    ‘Edgware’ Cinema for Jaws 3D…I think I was with Adrian who was working in Sainsbury at that time! I knew the 3D was a gimmick…like all Lucas Gimmicks since the original, which by the way should have at least bee chosen as the 3D version…they totally copped out choosing Phantom Menace! Also, low cost Shutter non-proper (passive) 3D Glasses.

    However, one great thing will be the proper Shutter 3D (Active) version on blue ray if it perhaps, using frequency alignment on my Panasonic 3D glasses, instead of good old red/cyan glasses (non-full colour spectrum)!

    • pete scully says:

      You know a lot more about technology than me Gil! I did think Phantom Menace would work well in 3D, but it doesn’t really, so I don’t hold hope for the others being all that enhanced. The trailers for the newer movies like Spiderman and John Carter looked awesome in #D though. But I reckon they should bring out a modern 3D version of Jaws 3D… Maybe call it Jaws 6D…

  2. Cold Dead Heart says:

    I just read this article about the actor who played Jar Jar. His career didn’t go as planned as he was one of the most hated characters in all of moviedom. I’m not sure I’ll go see this in 3-D. It lost it’s luster for me.

  3. Morris says:

    Edgware cinema no longer exists – which shows you’re missing nothing. There’s little sentiment in recalling the occasional Saturday matinée but I do remember my father taking me to see ‘The Guns of Navarone’ there and shouting at the electioneering Alec Douglas-Hume on a platform outside the cinema. Something along the lines of “Up your ass with Baillie Vass”! may have been the best line.

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