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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 5:31am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Last night the Lucasized version of the original STAR WARS was on TCM. TCM! Which shows OLD movies. And, at 42 years, STAR WARS is an OLD movie.

sigh

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 6:13am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I was flipping around and saw the end of the trash compactor scene. At least that part hadn't been changed. Everybody looked so... young! When the movie came out, I thought Alec Guinness was an old man. And now I see him in his 62 years looking quite well! Of course, I'm not that much younger today than he was then!

A draft from the fountain of youth, somebody, please...


That TCM showed the Lucasized version is really truly awful. AWFUL. I count on TCM, all the time, to set and keep a standard. Damnation!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I watched a few minutes, having surfed into it unawares. I tried to recapture in my mind how it was that first time in the theater, when everything on the screen was brand new, so much of it things we had never seen before.

Unfortunately, every time I approached that zen state some "remastered" crap would come up, and I'd be yanked out of the experience. Storm Troopers riding giant lizards that actually walked around. Mos Eisley a sprawling CGI landscape. Creatures everywhere.

I wonder if Lucas has any sense, since all of these effects are so commonplace now, that what he has succeeded in doing is making STAR WARS ordinary. The "Wow Factor" is gone.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 6:53am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I'm no STAR WARS scholar, so I couldn't say how much Lucas was responsible for the original film. But I'm a very big fan of AMERICAN GRAFFITI, and that film and STAR WARS succeeded in capturing a kind of passionate innocence that hits your heart in just the sweetest spot, and I think that's because both movies allow the characters the space (no pun) to develop in a way that is, so to speak, pure and clean. "Creatures everywhere"! Indeed, both literal and metaphorical! The sheer clutter in virtually every way imaginable of what Lucas did to the original and then in sequels and prequels is staggering -- and totally other to what was essential to STAR WARS.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 6:57am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

CNN is currently showing a documentary series called The Movies, which runs through cinema decade by decade, in the same vein as other Playtone docs they've shown in the past. This week was the 70s and, of course, they had a segment on Star Wars. Quite amusing to hear Brad Bird talking about his experience watching it for the first time on original release, saying how the opening shot of the Star Destroyer chasing the blockade runner resulted in spontaneous applause from the audience, then not two minutes later Darth Vader appears on screen. The audience didn't know who he was from anyone, he said, but immediately they started booing and hissing as if they were watching an old silent movie.

Edited by Peter Martin on 01 August 2019 at 6:58am
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 7:54am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

One issue with replacing older shots with newer ones using "cutting edge" technology is that, by its very nature, the technology doesn't stay cutting edge for long. 

The awful added Jabba scene in the 1997 Special Edition looked slightly improved in the 2004 Special Edition. But even that's 15 years ago. And it shows. The scene makes the Greedo scene redundant, so it just slows the movie down. And presents some horrible GGI in the process. 

Some of the changes don't bother me, but they're usually ones that take out elements, not add them, such as removing the matte lines and "see-throughness" of composite shots. The removal of the cobra's reflection in RAIDERS was fine. But adding entire characters (or scenes!) simply because you didn't have the resources previously mostly serves to diminish the work, not enhance it. 

 "Art thrives on restrictions." Nicholas Meyer has said this often (but not always) in reference to THE WRATH OF KHAN, and how its tight budget was not necessarily reflected on screen. I think this was true for the original STAR WARS. Also, JAWS. Productions plagued by challenges, both by situations and finances, and yet, look at the final products. Becoming not-so-final can be problematic. 



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 01 August 2019 at 12:12pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Totally agree about the Jabba scene. Not only does it look bad, but -- as you say -- it simply repeats a load of stuff that we just heard in the Greedo scene (which were added to the original precisely because they removed the Jabba scene) and it therefore just slows the film down.

Star Wars was a masterwork of editing. Tampering with it as a one-off 'hey, look at what we can do, it's kewl' was dumb but excusable. Producing a permanently tampered version was folly.


Edited by Peter Martin on 01 August 2019 at 8:00am
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Tim O Neill
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply



I watched the TCM airing as well! As much as we are in a
streaming world and I even have the film on DVD, I still
enjoy when my favorite channel shows a favorite movie.
Maybe it's the communal aspect that I grew up on.

I realized I haven't sat down and just watched this one in
some time. I enjoyed watching very much.I get the same
feed as the east coast, so the movie ended at 9:30 or so
and the next film they aired was STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF
KHAN. I stuck around and had a great double feature.

Interesting to remember how I reacted to these movies at
the time of release . STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES
BACK made me a STAR Wars fan, but RETURN OF THE JEDI
dampened my enthusiasm. I thought I had grown out of it!

The Star Trek movies led me to the original TV show and
TNG, and a love for the characters that continues to this
day.


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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

TCM has been on a Sci-Fi run and while I missed STAR WARS, I did run across some fun movies. I caught a bit of Andrei Tarkovsky's SOLARIS which makes me want to watch it in its entirety. The "Lucasization" of STAR WARS really did rob that movie of its legacy. Instead of being an old movie that can be viewed through a "classic" lens, we get what looks like a poorly made modern movie. I have some great memories of the trilogy, but all of them revolve around the original releases.
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 10:17am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The Sci-Fi run looks like it took some effort to put together. In addition to Paramount for Star Trek, and Fox for Star Wars, they got Columbia's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. I should have recorded that to see if it was the "Special Edition." (but, at least, that still would have been an '80s release)

The 'Fifties night that had the zoomed-in THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD also had Fox's THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, Paramount's WAR OF THE WORLDS, Universal's IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, and Columbia's EARTH vs. THE FLYING SAUCERS - in addition to MGM's own FORBIDDEN PLANET, of course.

As I see more and more lazy use of clips of CGI X-Wings in discussing Star Wars in the context of the '70s, and the Enterprise in discussing Star Trek in the context of the '60s, I anticipate and dread seeing Hikaru Sulu referenced as one of the early gay characters on television. Would it be worth retitling Orwell's book to 2084 to make it seem more relevant?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I remember picking up the videotape release and chuckling to note a chapter number and title had been added to the opening crawl, never dreaming that a decade or so later I would find myself online and arguing with clods who insisted both had “always been there”.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 01 August 2019 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I often check TCM's listings, but didn't realise they were showing all these great films. Will be perusing the channel tonight...
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