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Thursday, 13 May, 1999, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Star Wars a damp squib?
Star Wars
While thousands are still camping out for tickets, the first reviews of this year's hotly-awaited Star Wars movie have hit the Internet.

Star Wars
The verdict is likely to add to the pre-Phantom Menace angst experienced by many, with some fans who managed to get tickets to top secret screenings rating it as disappointing.

Star Wars devotee Ronald Epstein went to a screening in New York on Tuesday night. He anticipates that 'hardcore' Star Wars fans will not be satisfied.

"It looks like Star Wars, it smells like Star Wars and it feels like Star Wars. However, is it a Star Wars that we are going to walk away satisfied with? Well... perhaps, but not for everyone," he writes in his review.

'Don't feel miserable'

Epstein blames the technically brilliant but overpowering computer graphics which he says dominates the real-life actors and makes the film more suitable for children.

Despite the fact that he rates The Phantom Menace on a par with Return of the Jedi, considered by many to be the weakest of the first three films, Epstein says he will be going back for more.

He reassures fans: "Don't feel miserable about my review. The waiting in line will be worth the wait. Phantom definitely looks great on the screen."

Other reviews - posted at the Ain't It Cool News Website - are more positive, with fans gushing "I can't wait to see this film again!" and "George Lucas is pure genius".

Other cinema-goers will have to wait until The Phantom Menace opens in the US on 19 May and in the UK on 16 July before they make up their minds.

See also:

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