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Awake In The Dark
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 09:12 AM   #16
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Director's cuts usually come very close to the original movie and maintain the integrity of the look and feeling of the original film. It can also be a way to get around the censors who limit what we are allowed to see in theaters. What Lucas did was clumsily dump updated technology on top of the original analog effects, drastically changing the look, and even some of the content of the scenes. This is a movie that is so closely tied to popular culture (and in my case, my own childhood) that the overall effect just stinks. I realize that in the end, it's just a movie, but at the same time it's one of the few pieces of art in our country that has had a near universal impact. It's really a shame that Lucas doesn't seem to respect that. Few filmmakers ever get the chance.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 09:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
Director's cuts usually come very close to the original movie and maintain the integrity of the look and feeling of the original film. It can also be a way to get around the censors who limit what we are allowed to see in theaters. What Lucas did was clumsily dump updated technology on top of the original analog effects, drastically changing the look, and even some of the content of the scenes. This is a movie that is so closely tied to popular culture (and in my case, my own childhood) that the overall effect just stinks. I realize that in the end, it's just a movie, but at the same time it's one of the few pieces of art in our country that has had a near universal impact. It's really a shame that Lucas doesn't seem to respect that. Few filmmakers ever get the chance.
First off, director's cuts are sometimes quite different from the version released in theaters. I've seen some that included extended scenes, changes in editing, characters that didn't exist before.

Second, since it WAS Lucas's movie, his own original creative vision, I think WE should respect his desire to improve what he thought imperfect.

I saw the original Star Wars at Grauman's Chinese Theater in L.A. the day it opened. I bought the original video tapes. When Lucas did his update, I watched it and, frankly, couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Hans Solo is a bit less of a mercenary brute and the special effects were more spectacular.

We could argue the Hans Solo bit, but overall, the new version WAS an improvement. Lucas owes nothing to his fans. He didn't ask them to become obsessed with the movie. He made what he thought would be a popcorn sci-fi serial that nobody would see and it just happened to catch on.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 09:59 AM   #18
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This topic has really been beaten to death here and elsewhere. We all have our own opinions and never the twain shall meet. Personally, I'm in Marco's corner on this one. I don't dispute Lucas' right to do whatever he wants with his property, but it just saddens me that he doesn't seem to "get it." I saw the original Star Wars in a theatre on the day it was released and sat through a second showing immediately afterwards. It made a lasting impression on me.

I'm sure I qualify as the last person on earth to watch the latest excuse for a Star Wars film - Episode 3. Picked up a copy a few days ago and started to watch it last night. After 3 minutes I was ready to give up, but hung in there for another half hour. I guess I'll get around to watching the rest of it later. I felt like I was watching a computer animation festival. I do 3d modeling and computer animation myself, and am really impressed with what they acheived here, but along with shooting the live action on video, it gives the film a comic book appearance that I find unappealing. It certainly isn't even the same genre as the original movie.

Really, all the sequels have been mediocre at best IMHO. The early ones are pretty much like what I'd expect from Hollywood sequels, but I really dislike the more recent ones. Bad writing, bad acting, excessive special effects/CGI. They seem to be targeted to kids. And they follow the theory that if it looks cool to blow up a spaceship, then blowing up 100 spaceships will look 100x cooler.

I know that some people like these movies, and that's fine; they just aren't for me. Lucas' earlier works were brilliant. These newer ones are just typical of the stuff Hollywood cranks out every day, and Lucas comes off as pompous and complacent in all the interviews I've seen. Too bad he didn't quit while he was ahead. However, I will give him credit for breaking new ground with digital production and that's something which will ultimately benefit the whole industry.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 11:53 AM   #19
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I think the new films have flashes of excellence -- like the Yoda fighting scene -- but are otherwise pretty bland.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 11:58 AM   #20
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Lots of filmmakers release director cuts, but Lucas is the only one who puts the original versions into deep freeze(until now-laser discs are better than nothing). It would make sense if there was a shred of proof that Lucas is a perfectionist but he is not. Not at all. He didnt even care that Yoda looked like Archie Bunker in the Phantom Menace. lol In fact, it is remarkable how indifferent he is to contunuity, storytelling logic etc. That is what makes his special editions all the more bizarre.

I give him kudos for his imagination--but it only works when filtered through collaborators..Spielberg, or Gary Kurtz etc. to make it comprehensible as a story. So he isnt like a painter-as he likes to compare himself to-unless you count all the artists and people who contribute to the vision as mere paint brushes.

He does listen to some critical response though. He had said JarJar would be prominent in all three prequels and he changed it.


I finally watched Revenge of the Sith last week. There are a few fleeting moments near the end where you almost felt you were watching a real movie--where the characters were talking to each other and seemed to have some emotional/dramatic investment but it only lasted a few seconds(i read that Francis Ford Coppola suggested Lucas get a dialogue coach since he was "so busy" with all the other aspects of the film--I guess sitting in front of an HD screen with 10 assistants can be draining). Otherwise the movie is no better than the previous two. They contribute nothing to the Star Wars movies. They should have remained a back story. If Lucas had tried to have continuity, then we couldnt have seen Yoda until ESB, we couldnt have known that Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader were the same people, Obi Wan Kenobi would have been "General Kenobi" etc.

Anyway--I would argue the legacy of the original films comes down to using A budget technology towards a b grade serial adventure story. The prequels do not have the same tone/style, a jarring contrast. Bit even as a slow political drama, the substance isnt there. And the fx sequences just dont have the sense of excitement. This may be partly due to the novelty wearing off(there is so much competition from other digital fx movies these days) but it isnt the only reason.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 04:54 PM   #21
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I just saw this over at thedigitalbits.com, it's alitle something about the up comeing starwars dvd's...hehehe
" By the way, I've learned that our very own Russell Hammond was at the Star Wars panel at Comic-Con on Friday, and his reaction was much like the others we've heard who saw the DVD clips. Apparently, Lucasfilm went to a lot of trouble to first show a doctored clip (supposedly from the DVDs) designed to look deliberately bad - something that they'd spent money to actually create! - in order to make light of the criticisms we at The Bits and MANY others have leveled on the forthcoming DVDs' quality shortcomings, and in order to make the actual DVD clips look somewhat better by comparison. In fact, Russell says that Sansweet's comments (that we posted earlier) were made right before showing the deliberately bad looking clips, as a way of playing up the joke. THEN he played the actual clips from the DVDs, and according to Russell, "It looked like crap too!" (Russell's exact words, spoken in an outraged tone to me this morning over the phone.) In other words, it looked exactly like we figured it would... soft, washed out, lacking in contrast and detail, etc... exactly what you'd expect from 15-year-old, non-anamorphic laserdisc transfers gussied up for DVD and blown up on a big screen. I'd like to refer you all to a lengthy post we made here at The Bits in May, which remains our definitive statement on this issue. In it, we point-for-point refute every single argument that Lucasfilm has made as to why this is the "best they can do." It was written by myself, along with our own Robert A. Harris, who is one of the foremost film restoration experts in the industry. I think you'll find it interesting reading, and we stand by it 100%. By the way, you'll find more fan complaints about the new DVDs here at OriginalTrilogy.com and a funny bit here at MSNBC."

check out the thedigitalbits.com , prettty cool site
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