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S_Matt

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5-May-2011
Last activity
18-May-2011
Posts
77

Post History

Post
#500266
Topic
The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie. Or is it?
Time

This one's usually quoted as being the best of the series (and I personally think it is) but I still think that the adulation for it is a wee bit out of proportion to the actual merits of the film. There is an element of hyperbole to statements concerning the quality of this film.

I like Empire the most but one can't ignore the fact that it was the previous film that invented *everything* about the look and feel of the Star Wars universe. Star Wars exists without Empire. Empire could not exist without Star Wars.

Discuss.

Post
#499900
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

Close Encounters of the Third Kind also has three distinct versions of the film on one disc. I think three versions is probably as complex as you'd probably want to go though.

The Star Wars blu ray release is a terrible missed opportunity for this kind of package. But then I think Lucas has always been a proponent of a streaming/download/non-physical media future for entertainment (shudders) which is why the Star Wars films always arrive on a new physical digital format *years* after it is introduced. I personally think they intended to try bypass blu ray alltogether but eventually it made too much business sense to put it off any longer. But like on the 2004 DVD I think this set is being done with the bare minimum of effort and expense and once again includes a token set of bonus materials that at first glance might appear rich but on closer inspection are actually just filler.

Lucas used Star Wars to get away from a studio system he felt was exploitative, technologically backward and artistically compromised. But who has a better track record of quality, richly featured and timely home video releases? The studio system.

Post
#499710
Topic
Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes
Time

Harmy said:

they show you the shot from inside the cockpit of Luke's speeder flying under the AT-AT from the original version and point out how it's transparent and then go on to talk about how they recomped all those shots in a computer and "eliminated all the transparency" and then they show you the same shot from the SE, which is darker and bluer but just as transparent as the original.

 

 

I must say, having just watched the GOUT version of Empire, that you can't really see the transparency (unless you really really look for it) in the unaltered version of the shot anyway.

Post
#499707
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

So if they were forced to use a secondary but "intact" source for a restoration (like say, a print in somehow miraculously good condition) I'd imagine you'd rather see the overall picture quality take a bit of a hit as a price that had to be paid for the actual "original" version that never had any recompositing or anything of that sort done to it, restored to a reasonable level of quality?

I know that 99% of people, even many OOT experts, might not even notice that a "fake original" wasn't really entirely the actual thing, but for you I can see its the principle that is more important. I think I'm beginning to understand (but not completely agree with) your point of view here.

Only thing is, how would *you* ever be convinced they weren't pulling a fast one?

Post
#499701
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

Harmy said:

Well, in order to do that, he could basically do what I'm doing and make a fake original by just cutting the scenes that were changed into the SE, leaving the re-comped shots in there, which would mean they'd have to scan and clean up about half of the shots they'd have  to to make a proper restoration that way (not to mention scanning and restoring the whole film, which would be optimal but most complicated and expensive) and that's what I'm afraid might happen :-(

 

If it did happen that way though, could you accept it? What if they left the recomped shots of the SE in but didn't recomp anything else? A form of "damage control" as it were. With the requirement that they don't claim it it be the "original" and label it as the "1977/80/83 release edit conformed edition" or what have you.

I mean, it looks like the scenario you've outlined here is perhaps the *only* plausible route left open for the "original" version? A semi-original might just be the only thing one could in fact reasonably expect at this point - because nobody's going to cut the SE changes that only feature recomped shots, they'd be focused on returning the editorial to its original state. Which is all I really care about anyway - the STORY in its unaltered state. Because I think it worked best like that. And I don't care if the color timing isn't exact so much as I care that it looks natural.

All of which is hypothetical anyway as I severely doubt it'll ever happen trough the official channels.

Post
#499696
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

Erikstormtrooper said:

If Lucas released what Matt_S is proposing, my guess is that 99% of Star Wars fans would be cool with it. The 1% that still clamored for a pure unaltered release would look pretty ungrateful to the other 99%. Regardless of right or wrong, I think that's a valid observation.

 

Its an observation I regret having made though because as folks like Harmy have said in this thread, the easiest and best option is to simply release a restored, cleaned, completely unaltered version. It leaves no room for argument or interpretation and nobody would have to look ungrateful.

Post
#499672
Topic
Anyone hate Return of the Jedi?
Time

danny_boy said:

As for Jedi:

We had the Rancour eating a gamorean guard,Jabba being strangled by Leia, Implied murder of Botham spies,Ewoks being killed(Ok not on any grand scale),the death of Yoda which is as touching as anything seen in any of the 3 films and the bad guy ultimately dying (both Vader and Palpatine).

So there is stuff there.

I do have to agree with Anchorhead that the films did kind of shift in tone and that kind of does hurt the continuity of something intended to be a single story split into different chapters.

 

Post
#499649
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

I never tied to get anyone to agree with me, I only defended my position on the issue and attempted to explain that position. You've put forward your position on the issue too explained it likewise. I thought that was how debates worked, unless I missed something?

I asked what everyone thought a restoration should entail and I got my answer. I just think that slavish restoration isn't always in a film's best interest actually. That's an opinion. I'm not trying to pretend its a fact.

And of course the technology to allow Orson Welles to shoot Citizen Kane in color certainly did exist in 1941 its just that he either didn't have the budget to do so, or even if he had, it could always have been an artistic decision.

And for the last time - I'd be over the moon if a 100% dictionary-definition restored version of the SW Trilogy was released.

Post
#499596
Topic
Star Wars coming to Blu Ray (UPDATE: August 30 2011, No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!)
Time

That begs the question of where did they get those good prints from if Lucas insists the films are in irreparable condition? 

 

Lucas is just banking on the lack of knowledge among the public about how films are archived, handled, assembled and processed. Anyone who does even a little research into the topic will find out that an original negative is not the only source for a film.

In any case, they have the SE negatives with all the changes baked into them so its not impossible to imagine them rescanning those, chopping out the footage that contains SE changes, and then dropping in original version footage. Because these would all be realtively short isolated sections of footage they could pick and choose sections from any number of sources on a case by case basis to do this. This is how The Godfather was restored. They used as much original negative as they could but where it was too degraded they chose footage from other sources to fill in the blanks, in some cases going as far to rotoscope good footage into degraded scenes. The SE negative apart from the specific SE-altered scenes *is* basically a restored copy of the original.

Post
#499525
Topic
Anyone hate Return of the Jedi?
Time

CO said:

You gotta relax, I can only tell ya what they told me:)  Its not my opinion as I love ESB!

Sorry about that - didn't mean to bite your head off for relating a personal anecdote about perceptions of the films.

As for Jedi - I think if Lucas had stuck to the original plan to use Wookiees instead of Ewoks then there wouldn't be this nagging voice in the back of the audience's heads saying "Some stone age teddy bears defeated 'an entire legion' of the Emperor's 'best troops' - yeah, right"

I would also have meant that the accusations that the film was compromised creatively by the need to work in merchandising opportunities would have been less, or even nil.

While Wookiees achieving the same function in the plot as the Ewoks did might not have been entirely plausible either at least its not so implausible you reject entire premise.

So Jedi's problem, in a nutshell, is it breaks the suspension of disbelief that the first two films sometimes merely stretched.

Post
#499513
Topic
Anyone hate Return of the Jedi?
Time

CO said:

S_Matt said:

It is extremely difficult to imagine that there are some who dislike Empire, one of the finest science fiction films ever made.

As for disputing the plausibility of Vader being Luke's father... SERIOUSLY?

 

 SMatt, you're not thinking like a 'casual moviegoer' you are thinking like a SW fan.

Now my brothers friends think ESB is a good movie, but most casual moviegoers don't like sequels, (Hence why 99% of sequels gross less then the original).

These are casual movie goers who aren't SW diehards like us, so they don't care about the Saga, or the Classic Trilogy, they just went and saw the movies in 77, 80, 83 like most people, and that was their opinion.

Check out the grosses of the SW movies (adjusted for inflation and without counting re-releases), SW'77 outgrosses Empire and Jedi by a large amount.

Don't patronize me - I know a bit about film grosses. But I don't think sequels gross less because people don't like them - its just that you can never recreate the novelty of something like the original Star Wars. And its understandable why Empire would have taken less - its not exactly a cheerful, feel-good movie like the first one. Its substantially more cerebral and existential too, rather introspective in tone and visually subdued. Of course these features are what make it so well regarded these days. 

And well, Jedi made the least because it was bit of a drop in quality story wise and the third one out, and repeated two of the principle locations and main plot direction from the first film and of course, by 1983, big budget fantasy and sci fi extravaganzas were commonplace so Jedi was less distinctive in the market than Star Wars had been 6 years earlier.

In any case, in the last decade it has become increasingly common for sequels to outgross originals.

And to my mind, I feel that casual moviegoers who have less investment in the story are less likely to question plot developments than those who do. They wouldn't care enough about the movie to care whether Vader was Luke's father or not.

My challenge to those who don't buy Vader being Luke's father is to actually come up with a good argument against it, and you'll have to do better than "But Obi-Wan said" or "George Lucas never intended".

Post
#499458
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

To tell the truth, had George Lucas limited the 1997/2004 SE work to cleanup and subtle enhancement of the existing effects elements but still suppressed the original films I'd probably have absolutely no problem with that. In fact I reckon I'd have been happy with the 1997 SE on blu ray - apart from Jabba in ANH and "Jedi Rocks" I don't really find those versions to be terribly offensive. 2004's changes are what pushed me over to the other side.

Post
#499408
Topic
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed?
Time

skyjedi2005 said:

Have to disagree here models look real and cgi looks fake.

 

Well, it doesn't always look fake - its just a case of how much time was allowed to do the job - usually, not nearly enough time. In CGI all the realism you get for "free" on a model has be be very carefully and painstakingly incorporated into a CG effect - In most cases its just easier to build a model and go shoot it in fact. But the flexibility of CGI effects has been deemed more important than out and out realism. I believe you can find a good middle ground personally but in hollywood schedules get shorter and shorter so its kind of a losing battle.