Author Topic: Tom's Star Wars marathon  (Read 8573 times)

Offline Tom

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Tom's Star Wars marathon
« on: December 07, 2008, 05:08:40 PM »


Title: Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope
Year: 1977
Director: George Lucas
Rating: FSK-6
Length: 120 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Surround EX , German: Dolby Digital Surround EX , Commentary: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Commentary, English, German, Turkish

Stars:
Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Peter Cushing
Alec Guinness


Extras:
Commentary
DVD-ROM Content
Scene Access
THX certified

My Thoughts:
The original trilogy is always a pleasure to watch. This first movie has had great impact on popular culture and that deservingly so. It still holds up even 30 years later.
By the way: I have been to the Mos Eisley set in Tunisia :)

Rating:

Now some remarks to the changes done for the 1997 and 2004 re-releases. Although I am opposed in general to changes done many years later to old movies, I can still enjoy them sometimes. I have mixed feelings about the Star Wars changes. On one hand I enjoy some, on the other hand I loath some of them. Especially those which are done only to match better with the inferior prequel trilogy.

Changes I enjoy:
- Replaced static dewbacks in the background with moving CGI dewbacks.
- blur under the landspeeder removed
- Improved take-off of the Falcon in the Mos Eisley docks
- improved Death Star docking bay
- changed writing on the Death Star tractor beam control
- added sound effect when the stormtrooper hits his head. I like it, that they did not try to get rid of this blooper
- Improved corridor depth perception over the original matte paintings
- improved take off of the Rebel fighters


Changes I can tolarate:
- New exterior of Ben's hut
- CGI Jabba scene. Although not quite the Jaba we know from Return of the Jedi, it is interesting to see, how they integrated a previously deleted scene, which was shot with a human Jabba at the time. Also the 2004 version improves the texture of Jabba.
- Greedo and Han shoot simultanously. Although I like it better, when Han shots first, we have now a compromise between what George Lucas wants and what the fans want.
- Han Solo chasing stormtroopers does not result in a dead-end with few stormtroopers

Changes I hate:
- Additional dewbacks in the scene where the storm troopers search for the droids
- additional joke characters added in the Mos Eisley arrival scene
- Not as much as hate, but I enjoyed the original explosions of Alderaan and the Death Star more, than the new ones with the "Praxis" effect.
- Unnecessary change of the sound Ben Kenobi makes to chase the sand people away

Overall, the changes for the first movie do not offend as much as the ones for the other movies (especially the third).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 07:18:44 PM by Tom »



Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 05:17:03 PM »
I didn't like the Jabba scene because Jabba looked to fake and to less like ROTJ Jabba. I also found it inapropriate that Han would walk over Jabbas tail and is allowed to live.

I still don't like the shooting scene because it would be impossible for Greedo to even miss Han much less than shot nearly half an metre off.

When I watched the trilogy recently, I watched the "bonus material" original theatre version. I don't care that it's not polished up but at least it's the original version, especially of ROTJ.
Karsten

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Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 07:27:02 PM »
When I watched the trilogy recently, I watched the "bonus material" original theatre version. I don't care that it's not polished up but at least it's the original version, especially of ROTJ.

I have the first release DVDs, so no original treatment of the trilogy. I don't like to double-dip. I would have done it probably though, if the original version would have been anamorphic.
How is the picture quality? I was pleasantly surprised, that my Star Wars DVDs had a great picture and sound quality on my new TV.
I still have the original version on VHS, but no VHS player to play them on. I will have to ask my mother to transfer them to DVD-R on her VHS/DVD recorder combo. Sadly the audio is the German dub on those. But luckily the German dub is not bad as far as I remember.



Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2008, 07:49:13 PM »


Title: Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Year: 1980
Director: Irvin Kershner
Rating: FSK-12
Length: 122 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Surround EX , German: Dolby Digital Surround EX , Commentary: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Commentary, English, German, Turkish

Stars:
Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Billy Dee Williams
Anthony Daniels

Extras:
Commentary
DVD-ROM Content
Scene Access
THX certified

My Thoughts:
This is the best one of the bunch. The performance of the Yoda puppet is particularly great. It holds up better than any CGI creature ever did.
What I forgot to mention in my Episode 4 review: John William's score is such a big part of these movies. I think they would only be half as good if it weren't for his great score.

Rating:

My comments on the Special Edition changes:

Changes I like:
- the clean up of the Hoth battle sequences. I always found it a little annoying that we could see through the cockpit of the fighters.
- the scene were we get to see the ice creature in full
- the exterior shots of the cload city (outside and from the inside looking out). Especially that they fixed the blooper, that the room they were staying in had obviouly a glass ceiling. With the old exterior model shot this didn't match.
- the re-shot emperor scene. Although I do not like additions which are done to better suit the prequels, this one is an exception, as the actor also played the emperor in Return of the Jedi. But I could have done without the additional dialog which has been added.


Changes I can tolerate:
- the additional digital hatch in the Falcon, which glosses over the blooper with the bright looking hatch in the exterior shot, when Lando is picking up Luke
- replacment of Boba Fetts voice with the actor of the prequels. As I saw the original trilogy in English on DVD first, I don't miss the original voice. Though I have heard a soundbite of the original version on the internet once, and I agree with the once defending the original voice, that it was better.

Changes I hate:
none. This one is the movie they didn't quite mess up as the others.



Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2008, 07:57:26 PM »
How is the picture quality?
It's mildly ok, it can compete with a VHS but not with an average DVD.
Karsten

Abraham Lincoln once said The trouble with quotes from the internet is that you never know if they're genuine.

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Najemikon

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 08:45:37 PM »
I replaced my DVDs with the new two-disc editions so I could compare the original releases. They really did just dump them on a disc! So adequate, as Karsten says.

One thing that's always amazed me with Star Wars, considering all the tweaks they made, is one I think they missed. Early in the film, Vader is in the... erm... meeting room(?)... oh I don't know what to call it! He's with Peter Cushing anyway and discussing how he feels the change in the force, and then you see the others barely tolerating the old religion. At one point Vader is waving his arm around like he's still talking, but the James Earl Jones voiceover has finished. Always looks a bit daft to me. Maybe he was playing "rock paper scissors"... :P

Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 09:15:31 PM »
Maybe he was playing "rock paper scissors"... :P
Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-TheForce where the Force always wins.  :devil:
Karsten

Abraham Lincoln once said The trouble with quotes from the internet is that you never know if they're genuine.

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Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 10:30:10 PM »


Title: Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Year: 1983
Director: Richard Marquand
Rating: FSK-12
Length: 131 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Surround EX , German: Dolby Digital Surround EX , Commentary: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Commentary, English, German, Turkish

Stars:
Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Billy Dee Williams
Anthony Daniels

Extras:
Commentary
DVD-ROM Content
Scene Access
THX certified

My Thoughts:
A great conclusion to the Star Wars saga, though one may argue, that the Ewoks do not fit here. I think they can be tolerated and it is fun, that the big evil empire is been brough down with the help of furry little creatures.
I find it funny that they build up the Boba Fett character so much in the prequels and here he dies in such a stupid fast way :laugh:

Rating:

This one is the worst offender in regard of special edition changes.

Changes I like:
- the matte line around the rancor monster is finally gone. It always stuck out negatively for me
- removal of Sebastian Shaw's eyebrows in the scene Luke takes of Vader's mask. For some reason these eyebrows never made sense to me and didn't fit

Changes I can tolerate:
- Han's line change "It's all right, I can see a lot better now" rather than "It's all right, trust me" is a bad choice. The original line was better, but I am not strung up on this change

Changes I hate:
- the Jedi Rocks scene. Though I agree that the singer needed update. The puppet for her was one of the worst made creatures in the original version. But to extend this scene with a rock sequence with a Joe Cocker like second singer is just a bad move
- the pit monster gets a snake-like mouth and tentacles. The tentacles I can tolerate, but the mouth is just plain wrong. For me the pit itself was always the creature
- replacing the fun ewok celebration song with the CGI shots of the prequels and extended universe locations.
- the most offending change: Replacing Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen in the ghost scene. With this change, Lucas has really gone overboard.



I hope to continue this marathon with the prequel trilogy next weekend.



Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2008, 12:51:04 AM »


Title: Spaceballs
Year: 1987
Director: Mel Brooks
Rating: FSK-12
Length: 92 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 , German: Dolby Digital 5.1 , French: Dolby Digital 5.1 , Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 , Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 , Hungarian: Dolby Digital Mono , Commentary: Dolby Digital Stereo , Commentary: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: Commentary, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish

Stars:
Mel Brooks
John Candy
Rick Moranis
Bill Pullman
Daphne Zuniga

Extras:
Booklet
Commentary
Featurettes
Interactive Game
Outtakes
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
Fitting for the original trilogy, I have watched Spaceballs now. I must confess, that when I have first seen Spaceballs, I haven't seen any of the Star Wars movies yet.
I had enjoyed Spaceballs very much in the past. It doesn't quite hold up now, but I still enjoy it to a certain degree.
This is one of those movies, where I had seen the German dub so often, that I miss some of the German joke translations when watching it in English.

"Möge der Saft mit dir sein!"

Rating:



Offline Achim

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2008, 12:22:50 AM »
Enjoyed the reviews. looking forward to the second batch.

- the Jedi Rocks scene. Though I agree that the singer needed update. The puppet for her was one of the worst made creatures in the original version. But to extend this scene with a rock sequence with a Joe Cocker like second singer is just a bad move
The original singer was agreeably terribly executed by the old song was definetly much better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iZFZRCCLIU
Please pardon the AR... :bag:

Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 10:52:10 PM »


Title: Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Year: 1999
Director: George Lucas
Rating: FSK-6
Length: 130 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Surround EX , German: Dolby Digital Surround EX , Commentary: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Commentary, English, German

Stars:
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Jake Lloyd
Ian McDiarmid


Extras:
Commentary
Deleted Scenes
DVD-ROM Content
Featurettes
Multi Angle
Music Videos
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
Storyboard Comparisons
THX certified
Trailers

My Thoughts:
I haven't seen this movie for a while and I had hoped, after seeing it now, I will have a better appreciation for it. Sadly I found it even worse than in the past.
There are so many things which have gone wrong here:
- bad acting by some
- very bad screenplay with a lot of plot holes
- a lot of things which do not fit with the original trilogy.

I can understand to some degree, why kids of today find it so good. Funny creatures (which only get on the nerve on those who have grown up with the original trilogy), fart jokes and so on.

Even such a bad movie has some good things. Qui-Gon Jinn was a quite interesting character. The fight with Darth Maul is nice to look at.

On a side-node: This 2001 DVD release has IMO a really bad picture quality. What difference a few years make. The 2004 edition of the original trilogy has a much better picture quality.

Rating:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 10:54:02 PM by Tom »



Najemikon

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 11:18:05 PM »
I thought the fight with Maul was more than interesting! I loved that bit. Probably the only decent bit in the whole sorry affair. It just feels so damn awkward.

Did you ever see this thread? Not sure if it was "before your time"... ;) It was instigated by the age-old argument that the original films were in fact no better than the new ones and it's just nostalgia talking. Rubbish, of course! Original Trilogy versus Prequels

Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 11:50:55 PM »
Did you ever see this thread? Not sure if it was "before your time"... ;)

It was before I became a regular poster here. My time here really took of with this post. I have kept my promise  :laugh:

But I think I had read that thread then. I agree with all your points (and much better put then I ever could).



Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2008, 05:11:55 PM »


Title: Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Year: 2002
Director: George Lucas
Rating: FSK-12
Length: 137 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Surround EX , German: Dolby Digital Surround EX , Commentary: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Commentary, English, German

Stars:
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Hayden Christensen
Christopher Lee
Samuel L. Jackson


Extras:
Commentary
Deleted Scenes
DVD-ROM Content
Featurettes
Music Videos
Outtakes
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
THX certified
Trailers

My Thoughts:
Better than Episode I but far from the greatness of the original trilogy. The action scenes work well but the story holding the action scenes together is weak. The weakest is the romantic storyline between Anakin and Padmé.
The movie feels like big video game. A lot of the action scenes even look like they were made to have a game level based on the movie with typical video game elements (the droid factory for example).
Also the backgrounds are as fake-looking as the backgrounds of Full-motion video cutscenes of games.

Rating:
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 10:03:03 PM by Tom »



Offline Tom

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Re: Tom's Star Wars marathon
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2008, 05:43:29 PM »
For those interested, here some pictures of the Mos Eisley exterior set from my vacation in Tunesia about five years ago.