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captainsolo

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13-Mar-2009
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29-Dec-2019
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Post
#1313815
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — * <strong>SPOILERS</strong> *
Time

I wasn’t going to go. I didn’t want to know anything post TLJ.
But after hearing the rumblings so far I was a bit curious. Today I had some spare time and went to the local independent theater to rip the band aid off in hopes that maybe just maybe it was at least-at the very lest able to work on a serial adventure style level.

What I’m the world did I just sit through?
It’s not “slap in the face infuriating and insulting” like TLJ was but much more akin to the empty vehicle making you feel dead inside TFA-except that it is nonsensical to the extreme and decides to lift most of its plot structure from ROTJ and continually go off track whilst cramming in virtually any callback possible whether situational, visual or audible.

I lost count of how many times I audibly groaned, facepalmed, laughed to myself in anguished WTF ness and had my mouth fall open in pure “it doesn’t work that way!” astonishment.

The length is ridiculous for the incredibly small plot and if one were to remove every unimportant scene it would run about an hour tops.

As usual it feels even more of a waste because the actors are on the whole quite good but literally are archetypes who do what the committee direct them to do.

I could rant and rave but overall it really is a trainwreck that manages to feel like a bit of both previous Disney main releases AND simultaneously the worst “let’s wrap this up” aspects of ROTJ all the while being astonishingly uninspired.

Nothing is really answered. Nothing seems achieved. What was the point of these? They really had no game plan. That’s the most stunning thing.

Sure they’ve got problems, sure we love to riff on those issues, sure they needed naysayers and more time and more drafts but the prequels are so excruciatingly more on target that it hurts.
AOTC is Shakespearean in comparison to this release. Even ROTS, which I think is the worst of the prequels, is light years ahead.

Well…at least ROS is better than TLJ…but that’s not saying much…and it is nearly as bad but just empty instead of insulting.

I am very happy that it’s over and Disney has fallen on their rear end. They needed to after this so called trilogy attempt.
This will not work like the Marveldom releases they keep cranking out. They found out he hard way it won’t fit through their preconceived holes. Thus the focus is now on tv streaming releases and not features.

Post
#1313577
Topic
Star Wars 1977 70mm sound mix recreation [stereo and 5.1 versions now available]
Time

With receiver and surround setup it all depends on the room and listening environment. Mcacc sounds like a version of audyssey etc. which should adjust your receiver to your correct room parameters.

You should be able to fine tune as needed and yes do go ahead and disable any extra sound functions in the receiver. Your sub performance will also depend on if you are sending it just lfe if you have full range main speakers or are using a crossover point which sends it some of the speaker low end bass content as well. You’re on the right track and will have to test some audio and self adjust and tweak from there. The sub should never overwhelm and sadly most people simply crank it up for the booming effect.

Center adjustments should be in receiver options on a single dB level. You’ll have to have a track playing and play it by ear with adjusting until it’s at a sensible level.

I would also suggest to toe in your main l and r channels toward your listening position.

In terms of best surround moments it will be more limited with the OT mixes due to their vintage. Overall you get so much more of the correct ambiance back in a HT setup that its hard to pick just one moment. You’d notice surround much more on the 97SE mixes which are great for their time. Easiest would be the prequel audio to get a sense of fully utilizing your setup. TPM’s theatrical Dolby EX audio is a must in the main sequences and will phantom center the rear surround behind your head if your surrounds are correctly placed.
I love the AOTC mix which is the best part of the film. For surround the no. 1 choice would be the Geonosis asteroid field with Jango’s seismic charges.

Post
#1312071
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order</strong></em> (Video Game)
Time

I realized the main problem was that I went to the wrong planet first…whatever you do when first given a choice don’t go to Dathomir like I did. You get to a point you can’t pass and the enemies are far harder for the start of the game. So now I’ve gone back and gone to the other planet and everything is much better.
I don’t know why they give you that option. It’s like someone saying: hey, here’s level 5 you can do a third of and die a lot if you haven’t leveled up.

Post
#1311933
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

I started my yearly Xmas season rewatch of Capra classics leading up to It’s a Wonderful Life.

American Madness (1932)
Ever wonder where the Capra film we all think of that culminated in IAWL originated? Look no further. This is the film where Capra and Robert Riskin hit upon that particular blend of populism, individualism, integrity, spirit and stories that would make Depression era audiences feel as if they were finally being heard.
As an early talkie the technique on display is frankly astonishing. There are moments of overlapping dialogue that would have made Howard Hawks sit up and take notice. Many of the themes that turn up later in the other films first appear here in a different variety with the big centerpiece being the run on the bank.
Without a doubt this is a great film of the 30’s, another of the Capra canon that is horrendously unknown and a release way ahead of its time in presentation.

It Happened One Night
Simply put-if you haven’t seen this then you’re missing out. It is that important of a classic title and one that has inspired so much in competition that many of its elements have sunk into to popular consciousness. What remains however it its Depression era roots and innate grittiness that gives the film and its central romance a certain reality which is driven home by Capra’s ability to make every moment so believable.
this time I watched the Columbia spiffed up Laserdisc version and it’s a very nice presentation despite not having the gorgeous 4K restoration Sony allowed Criterion to release.

Post
#1311931
Topic
Last Album Listened To
Time

For those who haven’t heard it yet, The Who’s new album (WHO) is really stunning and their first full length release of new material since Endless Wire back in 2006. Unlike that album which only fanboys like myself defend, the new album has gotten great reviews across the board and track for track is amazingly solid.

Of course like everything today it’s mastered too loud but is still surprisingly listenable. But it does get my highest recommendation. For longtime fans there are feelings and vibes on here reminiscent of WHO ARE YOU, FACE DANCES and some nice referential bits that range from the early days to even a tinge or two of QUADROPHENIA.

I really am enjoying the deluxe edition and think some if not all the three bonus tracks should be on the standard 11 track album.

Post
#1311929
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order</strong></em> (Video Game)
Time

I must be the odd one out. I’m finding it a really frustrating experience so much so that I’ve cranked down the difficulty. On PS4 it is filled with stuttering and occasional glitches. I’ll admit the games it apparently references in style aren’t what I usually play but I would consider myself an experienced gamer for many years and I’ll be darned if I don’t find myself dying over and over seemingly for no reason. Then having to endlessly backtrack and redo the things I just did time and time again is infuriating.
It feels to me like a modern game given a Star Wars skin. Overall I am reminded of the rebooted Tomb Raider games with perhaps a dash of Jedi Outcast in tone. It’s also one of the SW games that makes the lightsaber more like a general baseball bat style weapon that apparently everyone can magically repel.

Am I doing something wrong?

Post
#1311925
Topic
How many times have you bought the movies?
Time

1995 faces VHS box
1995 widescreen vhs faces boxset VHS
1997 gold SE VHS set pan n scan
1997 silver widescreen SE VHS set x2
TPM VHS + clamshell case with lenticular cover
AOTC VHS

Bought the 2004 DVD set day one September 2004. I felt destroyed inside after watching them which set me on a lifelong quest for proper film presentation. I finally gave the set away to my sister a few years ago.

Fox Special Widescreen edition Laserdiscs for ANH, ESB and ROTJ
Technidisc reissue pressing of ANH
JSC for ANH
Definitive Collection Boxset complete, no rot and with Leia welding
ROTJ Faces
TPM Japanese exclusive LD theatrical cut and Dolby EX audio

DVDs for TPM, AOTC, ROTS

I finally picked up the 2011 BD set in a local used shop for the extras discs as it was literally dirt cheap. Only downside is it’s missing the one film that actually fine on BD which is ROTS.

Until there is OOT on disc or something better than the 2011 release with actual new extras of importance then I’m done for now. I would like to get the other two JSC discs, the other two Faces discs, some of the earlier pan n scan VHS and LD releases and perhaps even the widescreen pre Faces VHS release.

Post
#1311921
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

You’d be surprised how many things either do or don’t get DCPs made-and then its a crapshoot if they ever screen them anywhere. On the flipside many things exist in 4K DCPs or restorations and never get a disc release such as Disney sitting on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for seven years.

I’m quite surprised that these aren’t merely the 2011 BD masters tweaked a bit. I’m not going to get Disney+ but it does seem like they at least used 97SE materials as a base source to make a higher res scan and this is likely the Reliance stuff we’ve been debating over for some time now finally getting its first appearance. The color in the shots posted so far is remarkably improved and closer to theatrical presentations that we are aware of.

I’m almost positive this is what will show up in new BD/4K releases. Still no OOT for now but if that does happen at some point it will likely be treated as a limited exclusive in a boxset release and be a non-researched presentation that will re-open the GOUT floodgates. What would the sequel be called? DisGOUT, GOUT+, MouseGOUT…possibilities are endless.

Post
#1299601
Topic
“The Ride of a Lifetime&quot; - book by Bob Iger. Lucas mention.
Time

True but that doesn’t stop them from doing lower res scans back to digital or not so good DIs with inherent limitations before making the final DCPs to be shown on screens where the digital playback system isn’t the greatest etc. Additionally most modern film stocks bend over backwards to mimic digital instead of playing to their strengths and even more heartbreaking is the very small amount of people who accurately know how to work in the analog domain.

It’s all down to the entire chain not being up to a good standard simply due to the industry wanting to keep costs down across the board. Ironic for a series that wound up spearheading the THX process which was supposed to combat this problem.

Post
#1299598
Topic
Your DVD Collection
Time

I need to find a good site to organize my DVD and Blu-ray collection.

But LD on the other hand…
I forgot to post a link in here so here goes:
http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?action=list&user=sdraper

I’ve documented my Laserdisc collection in video form on my regular channel…it’s really weird to think I’m now close to 1,000 titles! These are the additions for last month:
https://youtu.be/rruLkbbFHzk

Post
#1299151
Topic
“The Ride of a Lifetime&quot; - book by Bob Iger. Lucas mention.
Time

Oh yes, George admired Disney for sure and was at Disneyland either on opening or close to opening as a kid as evidenced in the recent Jones bio.
The foundation was laid with Star Tours, Captain EO and the SW licencing at the parks. Everyone involved should have realized this was not the same kind of deal. It killed me enough that Disney sold SW like crazy in the parks back then but now its just soulless.

Post
#1299150
Topic
Lucasfilm: Beyond Star Wars and Indiana Jones
Time

This all ties back into the notion of how George wanted to build up the ranch and company to be the ultimate anti-establishment filmmaking collective to do what Zoetrope couldn’t achieve and then got lost in the interim and forgot why he was making films in the first place. I think Zombie in SECRET HISTORY was the first to really delve into this wholeheartedly and show just how far back this problem ran. The recent GL: a Life biography by Brian Jay Jones does a great job at setting all of this stuff in a historical context in one place.

We all talk about the loss of guiding voices plus filters of dissenting opinions and this is absolutely true.
This is why projects never happened or eventually did and thus for example RADIOLAND MURDERS was finally done in the early 90’s over-managed by George and turned in to a partial tech showcase.

Eventually the paradigm switched from telling great stories and trying new things to simply building and always fortifying the company. Thus nothing happened post Indy outside of Willow. Every other thing was revisiting the past while playing with new tech toys and methodologies. Young Indy in many ways was the groundwork and dry run for the Prequels and has most of the same inherent issues.
Jympson was the original editor and the issue was that he cut everything in a traditional assembly manner which made everything run long and not work whatsoever.

To be honest I’ve never seen Willow in its entirety. The OOP status kept me from doing so for a while and I never watched the LD because its rot city. I need to finally sit down and watch it.

Post
#1299143
Topic
“The Ride of a Lifetime&quot; - book by Bob Iger. Lucas mention.
Time

Indeed he should have stipulated in the deal. It seems to be a matter of wanting to keep a controlling hand while not having to do the work akin to not directing yet trying to influence ESB and ROTJ.
The best time this worked was the EU where George was consulted but as long as things were in parameters and had context most was fair game. Over time with the films the problem became that all of the filtering voices of dissent dropped off or were abandoned so that by the time of the prequels everyone had to work with what was given and there were no revisions done-largely AT ALL. That’s where the problem lies.

He should be saying Disney does nothing new story wise. The bigger problem is a complete lack of story context with anything SW related. The new films really have nothing to do with the original series as conceived outside of brand iconography. I don’t blame George for anything and never have. I think he got focused on building up the company instead of telling great stories and this is where everybody’s paths diverged.
The only thing I truly regret is him selling out to the very thing that represented what LFL was founded to rebel against.

And the whole going back to film is a misnomer generally used for marketing. Everything is done digitally in effects and post anyway outside of a few exceptions and the film shoots will do a immediate scan back to digital where everything is manipulated to within an inch of its life thus making the original capture methodology null and void.

Post
#1299142
Topic
Small details that took you <em><strong>FOREVER</strong></em> to notice in the <em>Star Wars</em> films
Time

Well when you hear Dr. Evzan’s amazing original voice it is understandable why they felt the need to re-dub certain performers…that said I adore the vocal performances of the entire original finished mix. The upper crust narcissistic self absorbed tonalities of Motti against the slightly raspy and justifiably concerned Tagge etc…maybe I just think about this too much. 😉

I was revisiting MONA LISA recently and in the emotional climactic ending suddenly notice the street performers on the pier and loudly shout “OMG IS THAT KENNY-THAT’S TOTALLY KENNY BAKER AND JACK PURVIS!”

Post
#1299141
Topic
Best viewing order to introduce Star Wars to children?
Time

Start with Star Wars in whichever closer to original video version or one of the projects you desire. Then let them discover the stories for themselves.
I think it works best this way and thus they see the OT in order and then go further with the prequels and then if necessary can delve into the Disney stuff if curious.
And yes I think all kids naturally gravitate towards ROTJ and then over time becomes less attached to it. I did, and we all seem to have!

Ultimately try and make it something fun and enjoyable that can be a fond shared experience. For me Star Wars was a solitary engagement as a kid because no one in my family liked sci-fi or adventure whatsoever but I can imagine it being a real keepsake memory for kids these days just getting started.

And if they get really, REALLY hooked perhaps dabble in the good ol’ EU. And especially the radio drama!!!

Post
#1299140
Topic
George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator &amp; Time Travelling Revisionist...
Time

I can’t remember specifics off the top of my head that aren’t already covered here but the Jones bio is great for getting everything laid out in a historical context. The biggest draw I’d say is probably detailing the notion of giving up control is perhaps something hard for George to do and this caused issues in the sequels while he tried to distance himself from stress. I think it’s a great book and something everyone on here should read at least for better understanding because it isn’t afraid to address the negatives.

Now with the chapter in Bob Iger’s new book detailing how George felt betrayed on Disney not using his treatments it doesn’t surprise me a bit that he felt left out.

Post
#1296966
Topic
Anyone else think Empire Strikes Back's Special Edition is actually better than the Theatrical Cut?
Time

No.

The ESB changes are detractive but in more subtle ways than the other two films. The worst is the change in Vader’s line reading but worst of all is the wrecking of the climax’s pacing in order to shove in the new shots of Vader’s shuttle and then a shameless recycle of a ROTJ shuttle shot.

The Wampa addition is fine but the limitation of the original has more suspense and plays better.

The effect cleanups were one thing but many were recomposites if you check 005’s exhaustive thread. I really wish they would have left it alone despite fixing inherent issues like the see through snowspeeder cockpits. It should be as it was just like the rods/armatures left in King Kong. And NONE of us noticed the Wampa arm rod until a couple of years ago.

The 2004 DVD Emperor scene and Jango redubs were yet another twist of the knife and wholly unnecessary. I could understand the logic in each but neither is effective at anything other than taking you out of the film.

The Bespin flythrough is needed but doesn’t do all that much. It also sticks out as a new shot and in comparison the simplistic landing of the original is a better choice in terms of direct pacing.
The interior and Leia viewport shot are better in the original because they are intrinsic to the original composition whereas the new additions do not always mesh perfectly with the original photography.

I grew up in the years of renting various tapes so at times it was SE and not SE. The scream is fine until you realize it’s Palpy’s scream and that the fall does work better in silence.

Mostly the SE 1997 mix actually adds some things from the mono mix and is both bombastic and respectful to the original 1980 mix intentions. It does revert back to the scripted “lucky to get out of there” but that’s fine. In the SE track there are some nice alternate effects in the Bespin duel from the mono I prefer and still think of: chiefly Vader’s exclamation when knocked off the platform by Luke. In the 1980 mix it’s a simple :“Aarh!”. whereas the SE mix had a much more impressive: “Oooohhhhhh!”-this came from the mono and is one of the things the SE pulled in.
The stupid choice was the “alert my Star Destroyer” line from an ANH outtake that is emotionally out of place in that scene.

In ESB it shows yet again unimportant and incessant tweaking for tweakings sake. Each of the ESB changes are undoing pieces of the original film and it really should have been left alone.

Post
#1296839
Topic
George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator &amp; Time Travelling Revisionist...
Time

He did call Steve up and had him over to play chess as well.

I’m currently reading the newish George (the title is Lucas: A Life) biography and it’s nice to have everything lined up in one place chronologically. So far I’ve only gotten to the ROTJ period but it doesn’t sugarcoat stuff and the SW section does cover some similar ground to Zombie but of course in far less detail.
I’ll be interested to see how the rest goes. Again it does refute the on and off revisionism in a lot of places and for once its a book that describes how all of the film school buddies were on and off again-especially detailing the George/Francis relationship which no one ever seems to go into all that much.
Admittedly It is SO much better than the older “everything was great” style bios.

Has anyone else here read it?

Post
#1296838
Topic
Small details that took you <em><strong>FOREVER</strong></em> to notice in the <em>Star Wars</em> films
Time

The gaffes, errors, problems and shortcuts in SW are all due to Fox nickel and diming everyone the whole time and then the final rush to get shooting finished with everyone bicycling between stages and multiple units going at once.
And that’s a big part of why it is great. And a big chunk of what the SEs remove.

Here’s one of my favorite “how did I not notice before!!”
I never realized it was Shane Rimmer who asked about Artoo in the Yavin hangar for the longest time-then suddenly my Bond fan radar went off into overdrive and I shouted HOW DID I NOT SEE HIM?

Also it took me forever to notice Vader’s helmet hood actually moving during the wind tunnel and climax of the Bespin duel.