dark chocolate almond and fig clusters

The Munch in FilmMunch is back and this time round Amy from AmyLeCreations provides us with a treat that will make watching Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace a little easier to watch. It’s that time of year already, and we are all preparing for the much anticipated Star Wars Episode VII. Will you be watching Episode’s 1 to 6, or Episode 4 to 6 and then 1 to 3? For the sake of numerical sense, here at FilmMunch we are starting from one.

Dark Chocolate Almond and Fig Clusters

dark chocolate almond and fig clustersdark chocolate almond and fig clusters

Makes 12

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
1/4 cacao or cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil and rice malt syrup until just melted. Whisk in cacao powder.

Stir in almonds and figs, making sure they’re well coated.

Spoon the mixture into mounds onto the baking sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour or until set. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer to eat later on.

dark chocolate almond and fig clusters

Over to Mr. FilmMunch –>

the phantom menace still

It really seems unusual to start reviewing Star Wars from Episode 1, considering that the 1999 effort was the first reboot to the series which had already given us a stellar and super influential trilogy. At the very least if you start at Episode 1, things only get better. So to make it a bitter sweet experience, make sure you have Amy’s Dark Chocolate Almond and Fig Clusters!

the phantom menace still

The major issue with The Phantom Menace is that there would have been unbelievable pressure for it to succeed. This is not a series of films that could be ‘stuffed up’, considering that billions would be watching. This also reminds us that The Force Awakens too has that same amount of pressure, if not more! From what we have seen it looks promising, and I have the confidence that CGI and Practical Effects are at a stage where they can be married together successfully. And this is the first point were Episode 1 falters heavily on, the excessive use of early generation CGI.

the phantom menace still

Considering that there is hardly a single frame that doesn’t employ CGI, it’s a wander they didn’t get Pixar to do the whole film instead, perhaps then there would have been a little more care. Only because of Liam Neeson’s height did they construct taller sets, and then filled the rest will mediocre animation. What if Qui-Gon Jinn was played by the likes of Danny Davito, what then!? It was too soon for a film to be so heavily washed up with CGI, and the film looks very dated now, which is such a shame, but don’t fret, have a Dark Chocolate Almond and Fig Cluster!

the phantom menace still

Not only was the surrounding and sets animated by super computers, but they opted to have main characters also ‘created’ by this, back then infantile method. You see, there is this unusual looking character that is like a cross between a lizard an insect and a human, plus he has a Jamaican accent, or something like that and they called him Jar Jar Binks. Most of the time when you’re not busy looking away because he looks so clumsy, you can hardly understand what he says, is he trying to copy the way Yoda speaks? While we’re on the subject of Yoda, he too was completely CGI, the blasphemy! Episode’s 4 to 6 spent the time and crafted beautiful creatures and characters and brought them to life, but here there is no life, there is only cringe-worthiness. Have another Dark Chocolate Almond and Fig Cluster, you’re going to need it.

the phantom menace still

When a film is over 2 hour’s long, it enters the EPIC category of films, in terms of time, anyway, but you can hardly call Episode 1 epic, because the story it tries to tell us has virtually already been told. There isn’t a sense of suspense and wander, and perhaps we had already imagined things a little differently in our own minds, I mean, most certainly we never thought there would be a Jar Jar Binks. Plus as good as the cast is, there is little they can do with a one dimensional script, although Ewan McGregor is a great young Obi-Wan Kenobi. I call for Liam Neeson to employ the same hairstyle he has here for Taken 4, it’s a must!

the phantom menace still the phantom menace still

It’s not all negative, there are some amazing scenes, like the pod-racer sequence, it’s well crafted and reminds me of the chariot race scene in Ben-Hur, although it doesn’t come close to in scale of epic-ness. This scene also highlights how amazing the sound mixing and sound effects really are. Remind me to get a sound effects-only version of the film, perhaps that too would help to make Episode 1 easier to watch.

the phantom menace still

So now that Episode 1 is over, we have episode 2 to look forward too! You’ll be happy to know that Episode 2 is a whole 6 minutes longer, all the much more Star Wars goodness to enjoy. Pardon my sarcasm but I can’t wait to get to Episode’s 4 to 6, you know why, understand you do, I’m sure!

A big thank you to Amy from AmyLeCreations for providing us with tasty treats for our movies nights! Please help us spread the word about The Munch in FilmMunch by sharing this post with friends and family, plus we always welcome you feedback. Be sure to check out Amy’s Instagram for more amazing and fun recipes. FilmMunch wishes that the force be with you!

dark chocolate almond and fig clusters