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MattMahdi

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Members
Join date
1-Aug-2007
Last activity
3-Dec-2021
Posts
329

Post History

Post
#1460011
Topic
The Star Wars Holiday Special: Remastered and Restored (Released)
Time

It is a shock to see the Special in widescreen and the opening start destroyers so clear – and then to shift to a fairly muddy-looking main program. Not a bad shock, just a surprise – I’d somehow missed that word in the opening post.

As nobodybutjarjar42 asked a few posts earlier, which transfer did you use? The EditDroid transfer really is fabulous, and if you’re going to be cropping and zooming it’s probably the best place to start.

And if I may offer an opinion…

At times the widescreen seemed too severe. The moment that stuck out the most is when the Imperial officer’s transmission came in looking for the missing trooper. It seemed so HUGE that I wonder if it might have been wiser to aim for an aspect ratio of 1.78 (plain old widescreen TV) rather than the 2.35 you used. Just as pan-and-scan of an old movie to a 1.33 screen was a sad thing once upon a time, here you’ve lost almost half the original image if I’ve done my maths correctly.

That said, a great experiment.

Post
#1459558
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

Class316 said:

Take for instance, the social media site GAB. They essentially refuse to moderate any content that is legal speech under US law. Unlike the Facebooks and Twitters of the world that censor viewpoints they don’t like. For this stance, credit card companies deny them service. Google and Apple deny them a spot on their app store. Obviously there is a pc police. People get fired for posts on twitter. Again, pc police. And so on and so forth.

“Ideas have consequences”, Frank Herbert said (and I’m sure many others have echoed him).

If my choices make credit card companies unwilling to associate with me, whether for their own reasons or because of perceived backlash from their stakeholders then that is MY problem.

That said, there is always collateral damage. Living in WA state, I’m reminded of when marijuana was legalized and banks would not deal with companies that sold the stuff because their national standing as corporations put them at potential risk with the federal government. Unintended consequences of well-meaning people who had the neat idea of legalizing the stuff.

I can see your point about a PC police. Things do get taken too far with cancelation culture.

And I also wonder if what we’re doing is, in fits and spurts, trying to work our way into a better world.

We won’t get there by rewriting our pasts, though, a la 1984, but by acknowledging them and moving beyond them.

Post
#1456781
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

1. Apologies for a long post.

2. Please understand that I know and love many people who are fundamentalist Christians and wonderful, positive people. When I describe Yancey’s negative upbringing in a fundamentalist church, his experience was the cliched light years away from theirs.

Philip Yancey was born in 1949 in Atlanta, GA. I say that for context.

The quote is from his recently published memoir Where the Light Fell, in which he recounts his disturbingly fundamentalist upbringing and eventual experience of grace.

This is what he experienced one year at church camp (page 145):

Then Ruckman grins and moves from behind the pulpit: “Have you ever noticed how Coloreds make good waiters? Watch them sometime. They swivel their hips around the chairs and hold those trays high without spilling a drop.” He does an exaggerated imitation, and the campers laugh. “Don’t you see, that’s the kind of job they’re good at. But have you ever met a Negro who’s the president of a company? Have you? Name one. Every race has its place, and they should accept it. We can get along fine as long as we stay separate and don’t mix.”

He was raised believing this. He was taught about the Curse of Ham being the cause of dark skin.

Even as a child he noticed that the “doctrine” of the curse of Ham didn’t make logical sense – at the very least it was Canaan who was cursed, not his father Ham, and that it was a drunk Noah who cursed him, not God (page 66). But he believed – because he had no reason not to believe except for the camp cook – that people with black skin were truly inferior in every way to people with white skin.

The KKK was a strong force where he lived.

There was some applause in his high school when it was announced that President Kennedy had been shot because Kennedy had been sending federal marshals to enforce racial integration in the South (page 167).

And this is why the Sunflower scenes make me queasy. I think they’re important as a cultural artifact, but they’re definitely not something to be celebrated as a triumph. We can view the uncut Fantasia as a reminder of how far we’ve come as a nation – but we still have so, so far to go as the news can remind us almost any day. I can watch it uncut, and at the same time I don’t know that I’ll be watching the restored version near so much as I’ll be watching the censored one.

Which may just be because it causes me less feeling of White Guilt.

Yancey’s story is one of metamorphosis, as the title suggests, and as I already indicated he did eventually discover grace instead of a harsh, vindictive, and vicious religious upbringing.

A few years after the camp incident, but before Kennedy’s assassination, when he was in high school and excelling in science and maths, he applied for and won a summer internship at the CDC. He was going to be working under a Dr. Cherry, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from an Ivy League school, and he was nervous going into the situation. He studied and studied a paper Dr. Cherry wrote that was “way over my head” in preparation (page 160).

When I show up for work the first day, I get a photo ID badge and am escorted to Dr. Cherry’s office. The security guard knocks on the door, hears “Come in,” and opens it. I nearly drop my pack of papers on the floor.

Dr. Cherry is a Black man.

In one second, something cracks inside me.

Post
#1455344
Topic
Info Wanted: "The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)" - youtube copy
Time

Judging from the length, I’d guess it’s one of the hybrid discs that a few people put together a few years ago. Zion did one, Gormaanda did another, someone else did a third. Each one was trying to find the best combination of stunning video quality for the program joined as gracefully as possible with the WMAR commercials.

The WMAR transfer itself is only 1:56:46.

Post
#1454703
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

In a way, I’m sad about the banning. Is it permanent or a lockout for a period of weeks?

Please understand: I cannot and will not defend his personal attack nor his choice of language.

And at the same time, he raised points that would have been great in a constructive dialogue. Unfortunately, those got swallowed up in his vitriol.

Post
#1440881
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

This floated up in a recent eBay visit: “Star Wars Holiday Special 2020 EXTENDED CUT (Blu-ray SPECIAL EDITION 1978)”

https://www.ebay.com/itm/363476765732?hash=item54a0e74c24:g:LcIAAOSwGpJg8YE3

The word “extended” seems to refer to this: “As a special treat a new opening theme was created with an introduction that is exclusive to this release.”

Although it sounds intriguing a) I’m never going to pay for another copy of the Special (made that mistake twice 20+ years ago before I discovered this group and a wonderful online community) and b) I would never want to enrich someone on eBay who’s hawking something that shouldn’t be sold anyway.

Post
#1438734
Topic
Info: Recommended Editions of Disney Animated (and Partially Animated) Features
Time

Earlier it felt like too much work to go in the next room to grab a DVD just to check the same scene. (Still does, actually: who wants to watch a DVD in an age of HD and above?)

But I just realized that I still have a copy of your project on my hard drive, and spinning that up in VLC took no time at all.

So now I’m certain instead of merely believing that I’m right.

The knee that you worked so hard to restore is again absent in 4K.

Post
#1419159
Topic
POLL: Disney scanning
Time

Interesting idea. My only fear – and I did just vote in the affirmative – is a completely closed system. I know that there have been times at OT when I have arrived just in time for projects such as would be featured here, and others where I have just arrived too late and that was that. I’d hope there would be a way for new enthusiasts to occasionally join. (Thinking of a certain private torrent site, frequently mentioned here, that’s been devoid of any invitations for years.)

Post
#1409351
Topic
Info: Recommended Editions of Disney Animated (and Partially Animated) Features
Time

That IS true. Amazing the level of outrage you can get at a knee beneath a cassock.

I seem to recall that the uncensored footage was on one of the supplementary materials – but rotated slightly?

I was (and am) thankful for both the restored sound and visual. Your disc sits in the shelf alongside the other four Mermaid DVDs (1999, 2006, TLM II, and the prequel).

Post
#1409308
Topic
Info: Recommended Editions of Disney Animated (and Partially Animated) Features
Time

MANY years ago – he mentioned on the first page of this topic – Doctor M did a Restored Theatrical Version of The Little Mermaid by pairing the video from the 2006 DVD with the audio from the 1999 DVD. He was that impressed with what Disney did to the audio with the 2006 two-disc release that he decided to remake their disc as something better.

As someone who adores The Little Mermaid, but whose ears aren’t near what they could be, I’m curious what the audiophiles of OT think of the soundtracks on the Blu-ray and 4K discs that followed in 2013 and 2019, and how they compare to the DVDs. I’ve trolled this thread for quite a few years, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the question raised.

If it has then, of course, my apologies.

Post
#1408344
Topic
Yet another Holiday Special cover.
Time

Oswarez, that’s some disc you created!

I downloaded the copy that Rikter shared and I’m impressed. I saw detail in the Cantina scene that I’d never seen before.

…it took me quite a while to watch it because my wife LOATHES the Special and I wanted to be able to watch and listen to the commentary. Which was an odd one, with the viewers at times listing what else they could be watching but weren’t, but it was a good listen. And the supplementary materials were well chosen.

Ultimately, thanks for your hard work. Nicely done!

Post
#1408063
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

I’m not sure how I feel about an uncensored Fantasia.

Getting back to the original film, without a number of digital enhancements, is unquestionably a good thing. But I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I actually see Sunflower present in the film itself instead as an excised curiosity.

Thank you, though, for your perseverance. I’ll look forward to seeing this!

Post
#1363400
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

Sighted over on a torrent site called M_S_l_e_ (and it’s taking genuine effort to avoid correcting the typo in the fifth line):

The Star Wars Holiday Special Bonus Disc 2.1


The first version of this disc was a single-layer DVD in 2012. Thw update is
a dual-layer Blu-ray just to be able to fit in all the material.

Version 2.0 had such a limited release that it almost doesn’t count. There was
just enough space to add one more item without removing anything which brings
us to 2.1.

The disc was created with Nero Video. Everything has been upconverted to HD –
even if it was standard definition or below – because I found two instances
where YouTube-sourced videos would lock up my LG player when encoded at their
original resolution. (Thanks, Nero.)

Material new to this disc is marked with an asterisk (*) and reprise material
with a dash (-).

ANIMATION

  • EditDroid transfer
  • HD version from 2011
  • Animatic reel
  • Interview with Boba Fett animator John Celestri
  • Boba Fett animation roughs
  • “Bucket Head” from 2002
  • Boba Fett costume test (post-dates the SWHS but fits thematically)

MUSIC

  • Christmas 2008 and 2009 (animated from Star Wars Galaxies)
  • “Christmas Tauntauns”
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Spike TV commercial
  • Weird Al’s “White and Nerdy”

INTERVIEWS

  • Bea Arthur (The Archive of American Television)
  • Anthony Daniels (Digital Spy)
  • Carrie Fisher (Dragon*Con)
  • Carrie Fisher (Celebration VI)
  • Carrie Fisher (a Time interview)
  • Harrison Ford (Conan O’Brien)
  • Harrison Ford (“Cowboys and Aliens” junket)
  • Mark Hamill (FanExpo Dallas)
  • Peter Mayhew (a MURKY convention panel)
  • Peter Mayhew (“Bring Back Star Wars”)
  • Bruce Vilanch (The Archive of American Television)

REFERENCES & ALLUSIONS

  • The Colbert Report (2012.01.10)
  • Community (S03E10)
  • The Goldbergs (S04E10)
  • The Richard Pryor Show
  • Robot Chicken
  • Transylvania TV (2009)
  • Transylvania TV (2012)

ANALYSIS & COLLECTING

  • Honest Trailer
  • Star Geek: The 40 Greatest SWHS Moments
  • Star Geek: The History of Life Day (seems to be sourced from Wookiepedia)
  • Vox: The SWHS Explained
  • FanX Salt Lake City Comic Con: Forty Years of the Holiday Special
  • Star Wars Celebration 2019: Special Collections: 40 Years of SWHS Collecting

WORDS & PICTURES

  • Blue Milk Special (first of forty strips)
  • The Kashyyyk Depths (Russ Manning’s nine-part newspaper strip from 1979)
  • Star Wars Galaxy (three trading cards + one)
  • Story Treatment
  • Trading Cards
  • Twisted Toyfare Theatre
  • The Wookiee Storybook
  • Wookiee Tree (cutaway view from Complete Locations)
  • xkcd: So Bad It’s Worse
  • You’re Barred!

MATERIAL NOT DUPLICATED FROM THE DVD

  • Media coverage: Fox News, TV Land, Nightline, TV Guide
  • SciFi Department
  • The People vs. George Lucas (excerpt)
  • I Grew Up Star Wars
  • Nostalgia Critic
  • Anthony Daniels on Captain Cosmic
  • Carrie Fisher on Opie and Anthony [audio]
  • Bruce Vilanch on Feast of Fun [audio]
  • Remastered KCCI animation
  • Unused animation commercial placeholder
  • DLD Conference: Trans Media
  • Two scenes cut from Star Wars and recycled
  • “Hey, CBS, what’s coming on?”
  • Animated introduction to the RiffTrax commentary
  • “Chewie Chewie” by Ohio Express
  • Fighting the Frizzies
  • South Park: Fighting the Frizzies
  • Venture Brothers: Very Venture Christmas
  • The TRON Holiday Special
  • The Glee Holiday Spectacular (excerpt)

FINAL THOUGHTS

The scans of “The Kashyyyk Depths” were done by an anonymous person years ago.
For those intrigued by the story, IDW has published a three-volume set
compiling the entire five-year newspaper strip as part of The Library of
American Comics. HIGHLY recommended, and these nine pages appear in volume one
in much better quality.

Blue Milk Special has published parody strips for the entire original trilogy,
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Shadows of the Empire, The Star Wars Holiday
Special, and are currently working through Heir to the Empire. Reproduced here
is just the first of forty SWHS strips, and they skewer every aspect of the
Special. Hilarious and also highly recommended.

Matt Busch’s painting “Encounter on Panna Prime” (background for the animation
screen) still had a few copies left in his online store when last checked.
It’s even more gorgeous in real life.

Post
#1360265
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

For those interested in the animated segment, I came across two videos that address it.

An interview with John Celestri; SWHS mention at about 39 minutes:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WUdivyH3E0Q&t=69s

And his Boba Fett animation roughs:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WUdivyH3E0Q&t=69s

(From the URLs, I guess it’s obvious that I’m on my phone.)

Post
#1357376
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

Need a bit of help.

I’m trying to collect a few more video interview clips if I can find them.

There are lots related to Star Wars – but few about the SWHS.

Here’s what I have:

Bea Arthur on Archive of American TV

Anthony Daniels on Captain Cosmic

Anthony Daniels on Digital Spy

Carrie Fisher from Dragon*Con

Carrie Fisher from Celebration VI

Carrie Fisher from Time’s 10 Questions

Mark Hamill at FanExpo in Dallas

Harrison Ford on Conan O’Brien

Harrison Ford on Digital Spy

Peter Mayhew MURKY convention Q&A

Bruce Vilanch on Archive of American TV

Anyone have a treasured bit that I’ve missed? Thanks