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From One SF Filmmaker To Another

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I am not particularly looking forward to the DVD release of STAR WARS next month. I have so many issues with the Special-er Editions that it’s hardly worth getting into (although the soon-to-be-posted Jedi Council will do exactly that). Right now, what I’m really curious about is the new Director’s Cut release of THX-1138. I’m going to a theatrical screening of it next week, and I must admit... I’m excited. If nothing else, I’ll close my eyes and bask in the soundscape that Walter Murch created, an absolute master’s class in the use of sound. That and THE CONVERSATION really woke me up to the potential for making your soundtrack an important part of the overall experience in the theater, something that could be as impressionistic and emotional as the visual imagery onscreen.

Scooter McCrae, a truly outrageous underground SF filmmaker who I had the pleasure of meeting in Montreal last year, managed to see the new THX already, and he sent me this report, which certainly makes me even more curious to see what George is up to...

George Lucas, where did our love go? STAR WARS was probably the single most important experience of my youth, the movie that got me interested in filmmaking. From this single flick I developed a voracious appetite for cinema from all over the world, no matter what the genre, as long as it was good, interesting, unique or special in some way. Not even the diminished returns of the numerous sequels have quashed my determination to receive a joy of some kind from each and every entry in the series, as I’ve always been able to find at least a spark or a moment of inspiration tucked away in the heart of all of them. When the time came for me to go back and examine your previous works, such as AMERICAN GRAFFITTI and THX-1138 it was rewarding to discover that you were in fact a legitimate director who was capable of working with actors on material that was both intriguing and challenging. Like another American original, George Romero, you not only wrote and directed your films, you even served as your own editor, which added yet another dimension of personal signature on the work, another level of authorship that marked the rugged individuality of your early films which were trendsetters in their own, special way.

THX-1138 (1970) has been a special favorite for me. In the midst of all the usual dystopian paranoia and sci-fi trappings you were able to shoehorn a level of self-aware and pitch black humor that raised the film far above the standard, humorless and straight-laced dunderheaded science fiction of the time. Sure, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) may have graced the screens two years earlier and changed the shape of speculative films to come for all time, but THX-1138 brought the future to us in a palpable way that Kubrick’s attempt to drag us kicking-and-screaming into his future could not. The layering of sound and image was richly experimental in both tone and it’s attempt to tell a fairly linear story in as non-linear a way as possible while still maintaining coherency. The committed performances of all the performers and the truly striking choices as concerns camera composition makes even the most potentially mundane moment feel special and “futuristic” even as two people sit on the floor of a bare room and embrace (as David Cronenberg’s STEREO and CRIMES OF THE FUTURE shorts also do). The melding of sound and image grabs normalcy by the scruff of the neck and projects it head-first into the visionary future of a defamiliarized here and now.

But you had to go and fuck it all up, didn’t you? Seriously, pal; I don’t know who you’re hanging out with these days and how far they’ve allowed you to jam your head up your own ass, but you took the jewel of your empire and treated it like toilet paper after a particularly rough night of Taco Bell indulgence.

I’m referring of course to the Director’s Cut of THX-1138 I saw digitally projected last night for what I hope will be the only time I will ever have to suffer the indignity of watching a classic film gang-raped by underage hooligans in public.

It’s all over, George. I’ve been rooting for you ever since I heard you were restoring the damn thing. I remember hearing the first rumblings about changes being made and CGI effects being added to open things up a bit, but mentally I stood by your side and said to myself that you’re a smart guy and that since this was your first feature and (to me, arguably) your best film, the choices you made would be tasteful and augment what was already there. And when the first frame grabs of the changes were leaked, I balked at a few of the decisions reached, while other images raised an eyebrow and made me think that some improvements might actually be made. So it was with that (relatively) open mind that I excitedly attended the screening last night.

As the screening began, and the first images of THX-1138 unfolded with a sharpness of image and clarity of soundtrack that I’ve never heard before, I was elated as I noticed little details in the frame that I’d never seen before and also picked-up on some dialogue that had always been just a little bit to muddy for me to decipher. You really had me going there, George; even the first epic CGI shots of a grotesquely overpopulated future world, which were intrusive to someone who knows the film as well as I, were forgiven and shrugged off as an unnecessary but not horrifying addition. I felt good about myself and my ability to adjust my expectations, to trust in you as an artist who still had some integrity and not just some desiccated old-man running an empire on autopilot; not some King Lear, victim to the whims of his own infirmities and the connivings of his underlings.

But then, suddenly, when LUH (Maggie McOmie) tells THX (Robert Duvall) she thinks everyone is watching them as they engage in illegal drug evasion and sexuality, you really do cut to a series of faces that appear to be watching them (re-edited from a much more subtly evocative moment from the original version). And now SEN (Donald Pleasance) is watching them have sex on his viewscreen as well?!? Could you please connect the dots for us any more? Someone asleep in the balcony might have missed that. Worst of all, defying the wonderfully paranoid logic of the original version just to make a plot point more clear for today’s “dumber” audience, when THX turns in SEN for his crimes, the act is now not the furtive scribbling of the illegality on a card in an empty hallway – an illicit act filled ripe with paranoia, as it was in the original version. Nope, now we get a CGI added viewscreen above the box THX is writing his card on so we can clearly see what he’s writing and the fact that he’s turning SEN in to the authorities. What was implied, very clearly, in the original is now punched into our heads with no subtlety whatsoever. Worst of all, it defies all logic for THX to turn in SEN if he knows that it’s not an anonymous process (as in the original, ala the boxes outside the firehouses in FAHRENHEIT 451); who in their right mind would issue a report on anyone if they knew they were being recorded while doing it?!?

There’s more; oh, so much more, so I’ll just jump to the other worst offenders. Like why, in god’s name, did a more elaborate scaffolding set-up (complete with extra people on it) for THX to drive through need to be added to the already exciting tunnel scene? Was it for the ha-ha moment where a worker jumps to safety just before it collapsed beneath him? Jeezus, did Greedo REALLY shoot first?!? And worst of all, the fuck-it-all-I-just-give-up moment of all film history for me (really, this was the moment that enraged me the most) was creating CGI versions of the shell-dwellers, which were originally played by little people, who briefly attack THX just before he escapes. They look awful, everyone in the audience (rightfully) laughed at it (not with it) and it’s the most jaw-droppingly embarrassing moment I’ve experienced in a movie theatre in a long time. And let’s face it, this summer has given all of us ample opportunity to feel embarrassed sitting in a theatre.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have been rooked, and let nobody tell you otherwise. The next time someone moans about how audiences have gotten stupider and that’s why it’s harder to see good, intelligent cinema at the local Cineplex anymore, you just point them right at this Director’s Cut of one of the smartest sci-fi films of it’s era and tell them (in your best Norma Desmond voice) that it’s the producers who got stupid, not the audiences.

(As a footnote, a super-special “fuck-you!” is in order for the MPAA, who saw fit to retrofit the film with an R-rating. What the hell is wrong with you idiots? No obscene language, brief frontal nudity from a hologram and some people in the far-off distance. It’s a sci-fi flick about people trying to escape the drugged-out stupor of their addicted society and you don’t want high school age kids to see this? Please just die, Jack Valenti, and soon. You are a further pox upon the movie-going public. Do everyone a favor and take a dip in the tar bath with the rest of the moronic ghouls you work with; consider it recycling, and the best thing you can do for the people of the United States.)

-Scooter McCrae

Wow. One of the things that has become apparent to me is that it’s less about the changes Lucas makes to the films and more about the idea that he refuses to make both versions of a movie available that creates such angry reactions. I think the very definition of irony is his reaction to the colorization of old Three Stooges shorts this week. CLICK HERE and ask yourself how someone who feels that way could ever alter a film and then bury the original theatrical version.

One thing’s for sure... I am positively hyper about seeing this one as soon as possible, and on the best screen I can.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:55 a.m. CST

    CGI

    by Redfro

    Why CGI when you have man in suit? Gotta love that man in suit.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:56 a.m. CST

    C'mon, did you HONESTLY think he wasn't going to fuck it up?

    by Grando

    Sheesh......

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Another rape

    by Mr_T_Rulez

    At least when George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead was destroyed with additions and moronic subtractions, George could say, "I had nothing to do with this." Now George Lucas has created his own retarded son and it is nobody's fault but his. No finger pointing or excuses. He fucked himself this time. When will he learn?

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Do you think maybe he did not like it?

    by Mars1

    I'm old enough and ugly enough to say firmly that that movie was a finished product that did not need any d**n help. It was a gorgeous job. Clean it up a bit, yes-God, someone needs to get Lucas treatment for his OCD!!!Ooops, I don't have opinions on Talkback, sorry...(limps off, muttering to self)

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Enough Already

    by pammybabe

    What next George? Those old familiy films? 'My parents home videos were fine for the time considering the primitive technology they had to work with' said George recently 'but I had always envisaged a whole CGI alien invasion going on it the background of the film of our trip to Florida. Now that will be possible!'. Idiot.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:17 a.m. CST

    This is a real shame. Luckily I have a really good VHS release o

    by trouserpress

    But I'll probably still get the DVDs as well, just so I can be completist, and also to hear the commentaries. I guess that's what George is counting on.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Hey, Scooter...

    by Some Dude

    Tell Pinky Francais and RA hello. I wish I was still in NYC. Thems was some fun times.

  • Yup, that says it best-Thank you, John!Say "Hi" to Marlon for me...

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 5:11 a.m. CST

    THX shoots first

    by CuervoJones

    does this version include a digital anus?

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 5:50 a.m. CST

    Not so invisible rabbits.

    by The Reef

    When I heard that THX was getting the 'bucket of unnecessary changes' treatment from George (who everyone should now refer to as Eggore - his own name being overdue for an update) I knew that a long loved classic was going to be doubleplusuncrafted forever. This 'version' will soon be the only print available, and future film lovers will read the description of the original and wonder if we were all concussed when we described this film as a human scale lo-fi paranoid classic. I have thus sourced a copy of the original film (to replace my original worn-out tape) and a copy of the book (written by Ben Bova, who I'd like to thank for signing it) and I intend to keep them pristine so I can remind people that GOING BACK AND EDITING CLASSICS IS A STUPID IDEA!! (Sorry). What's next - A CGI rabbit inserted into 'Harvey' so the modern audience can understand what is going on?? We can only wait and see...

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Excellet Review!

    by Evil Chicken

    He needs to come out of his shell, though, and say what he really means. ...Excellent points.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Idiotic post of the week as brought to you by LordEnima(not a ty

    by Drunken Fugitive

    'Colourizing the Stooges has nothing in common with changing a movie into something you always wanted it to be.' .... idiot, and Han shot first in the original, Lucas said he didn't want Han portrayed in a bad light so he changed it, if Greedo had alway's shot first why would he change it, there'd be no reason to!?!

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 8:30 a.m. CST

    They're not just Lucas's films...

    by RenoNevada2000

    My whole bone of contention with Lucas going back and reworking his older films with exciting new bells and whistles is that it pisses all over the accomplishments of all those who worked hard and poured their heart and soul and sweat and blood into crafting them. Lucas going back and deleting that work is the equivelant of you working hard all year at your job, putting in extra hours and developing ideas that make the company tons of money only to be told at your annual review that your best wasn't good enough and you're not getting a raise this year. These people did work that not only won them awards (Heck, EMPIRE and JEDI even won special Oscars for their effect work, placing them above the other films in competion for visual effects those years) and created new technologies for filmmaking but also inspired literally a generation of filmmakers. These films have become more the just "Lucas' films" a long time ago. They are an historical document of what filmmaking could achieve at that point and should always be available to be viewed in that context. Otherwise, Georgie's disapproval of the recently colorized Three Stooges shorts looks like nothing more than hypocrasy. Sure an artist can rework a cnavas to his heart's content; he's the only one involved in the creation process. But film is a different medium, one that is driven by collaboration, whether it's between a director and his production design, set construction and effects crews or even between the director and the audience. I've never completely subscribed to the auteur theory and with Lucas' continued antics, I'm not about to now.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 9:02 a.m. CST

    George Lucas raped my childhood . . . again!

    by ATARI

    Just die already!

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 9:03 a.m. CST

    You know, Lucas has directed five movies...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...and only ONE of them has not featured midgets. Isn't that a little odd? sk

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 9:08 a.m. CST

    "But PJ did it!"

    by Monkey Butler

    Suprise suprise, some apologist comes along and says "but you let PJ do it!!"... That's completely different, morons. PJ has said that he likes the TE's better (otherwise he would've edited them differently) but he made the SEE's to cater for the fans who wanted more stuff from the books, or at least a more fleshd out (if badly paced and overlong) version of the films. He didn't go back and add CG shots in the background just for the hell of it (the only one I can think of was adding Minas Tirith into the background in the TTT SEE, but that's because it was MEANT to be there), and he didn't add in any new "zany" CG cameos (like the robots in Mos Eisley in the New Hope SE). Face it, Lucas is just doing it for the money, and he really doesn't care about how good the movies were or are... And if Greedo ALWAYS shot first, why was the shot altered for the SE?

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 9:42 a.m. CST

    AND NOW, A "GEORGE LUCAS RAPED MY CHILDHOOD" SONG

    by cinematt

    Note: This sung to the tune of "Camptown Races"........................................................................"GEORGE LUCAS RAPED MY CHILDHOOD, DOO DAH, DOO DAH, HE MAKES BAD WHAT ONCE WAS GOOD, OH DOO DAH DAY, WHY CANT HE JUST DIE, CAUSE HE MAKES ME CRY, FUCKS AROUND WITH HIS OLD MOVIES, OH DOO DAH DAY!!!!".........................................EVEN HULK HOGAN WOULDN'T WANT TO PLAY ANYTHING IN A GEORGE LUCAS MOVIE, "SHOVE IT, BROTHER!"

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 10:13 a.m. CST

    stoopid-

    by RenoNevada2000

    Lucas is free to do whatever the hell he wants to do to his films. Cut `em up and make guitar pics out the prints. I just think that Lucas is a big fat hypocrite when he says on one hand that Three Stooges shorts shouldn't be messed with because of their historical value, yet he won't allow the original versions of his own films be seen or released, when arguably these films have had a bigger impact on culture around the world than the Stooges ever did.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Get Over It

    by Funketeer

    They're just movies guys. Get over it. If you don't want Lucas rediting your "childhood" then don't buy them when they come out. He'll get the message soon enough. The sad fact is though, you'll all be first in line at the store the day they come out because as much as you all like to bitch, none of you actually has any willpower.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 11 a.m. CST

    I guess this means the clock is ticking down now until Lucas doe

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    It's his only remaining major classic film that he hasn't changed. Should we start some kind of AICN betting pool on how long it takes until Lucas announces it? I can't imagine he'd leave that movie alone after changing all the rets of them.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 11:29 a.m. CST

    THe only thing I'll be lining up for on September 21st

    by RenoNevada2000

    Is to see GORILLA AT LARGE at NYC's Film Forum in its original 3D. I have my LD burned to DVD copies of the one true STAR WARS trilogy. I don't think Lucas will miss my money too much...

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Might it be possible that Lucas simply really does just hate his

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    The charge against George Lucas is that he is merely out to make a few more bucks by changing his films, but what if he really does in fact hate his original movies enough to want to permanently change them and eradicate the old versions? That's an intriguing aspect that I haven't heard much discussed anywhere. I'm not trying to justify Lucas' actions nor argue that he's right to do them; I'm merely exploring the possibility that he has other motives. It isn't unheard of for a famous artist to hate his own work no matter how popular the art work is, nor how rich and famous the art work made the artist. For example, I've always heard that Kurt Cobain hated and was tortured by his success with Nirvana because he felt it came at the price of him personally selling out. I've also read that Tchaikovsky absolutely hated his own Nutcracker Suite composition as being too plebeian. In Lucas' case, he has never made a secret of the fact that he always felt heavily constrained by the budgetary and technical limitations of the pre-CGI movie industry. Is it possible that Lucas has always hated his films and viewed them as inferior compromises because of it? I don't know for sure, but it is entirely plausible. He might honestly just be trying to correct what he sees as inherent flaws in the films, despite of their success and fame, and be destroying the films for us in the process. Maybe Lucas never was that good a director in the first place, but circumstances helped him along a bit. Maybe if Lucas had come along first as a director in the 1990's instead of the 1970's, he would have just only been another average filmmaker who relied too heavily on fx. And maybe, we all just got lucky that he came along in the 1970's when he did; where he couldn't totally rely on fx, and where he had to be creative in other ways to tell his stories.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Already did an American Grafitti SE.....

    by Shaner Jedi

    It came out in '98 and had a ILM matte painted cloudy sunset in the opening Mel's Diner shot.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 1:02 p.m. CST

    It's not "irony," it's called "hypocricy" you illiterate cretin

    by poopy-pants

    blah

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the correction, Shaner Jedi

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    I hadn't realized that Lucas had changed anything for that edition of the movie. Was the sunset his only change, or were there more changes than that? I'll have to get a hold of a copy and check it out. Thanks again.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 2:28 p.m. CST

    This Lucas Bashing Has Grown Very Stale

    by vash666

    Moriarty, you are a clown for talking the shit you talk on Lucas. I know you fancy yourself a writer and I know the cum stain whose review you published fancies himself a filmmaker but really, give this shit a rest. Neither of you have or will ever make the contributions to cinema Lucas has made so let it go. All you have accomplished is a site that panders to the lowest mentality of losers and whiners who have spent the last two decades jacking off to their own opinions of what Star Wars should be. You have problems with the SE? Tough shit. Guess what? The films are his. You and the rest of the "fans" need to either accept this or find another obsession to unleash your pathetic, self-indulgent anger upon. The SE were released in '97 and this shit is officially ancient news. The tweaks being made to the DVD set, despite your whiny protests, appear to bring continuity to the franchise and if you can't respect what the man is trying to do then by all means go and venerate some other film. Considering some of the festering shit this site has endorsed, I'm sure you will have no problem finding something to latch onto. Also, there is a rather significant difference between Lucas rallying against colorized Stooges and what he has done to his own work: the Stooges are dead and have no say in the tweaking of their work. Lucas is changing HIS work, though I agree with the person who mentioned that the originals should be released to preserve the integrity of the original special effects. However, getting the originals released isn't going to happen by a group of rabid fans declaring war on a filmmaker because they feel slighted. My advice to Mori and the rest of you is to shut up for a while and let the man finish his franchise and get this project completed and out of his system. I wouldn't be suprised to see the originals eventually released at a later date, though it may take some patience on your part. But that's part of the problem, isn't it? Anything related to this guy demands immediate slander from a legion of posers who combined have perhaps a 1/100 of Lucas' skill, inight, and vision. What is even worse is that you assholes don't have an original thought among you. Empire is the best of the films? Says who? Dialogue in a Kevin Smith film? You know what's really funny about that scene in Clerks? Almost everybody who quotes this film totally misses the point of that reference. When Dante expresses his opinion that Empire is the better movie, Randall proclaims "blasphemy". The only reason Dante likes Empire more is because the film is a downer, a negative, depressing cliffhanger that reflects the sad, futile state of his own life. The fact that he likes Empire illustrates that he is depressed and unhappy with his current situation. Randall on the other hand is more upbeat and positive and thus he prefers Jedi. That scene was not endorsing the notion that Empire was better but is rather suggesting that a certain mindset would make Empire the more appealing film for some. What really kills me though is how much awsome cinema goodness Lucas had given us all over the years and how quickly some rabid assholes turn on this man like he is the Antichrist. It's fucking weak. I always get angry when I see Lucas get ragged on like this, yet the truth is I pitty most of you for being this narrow minded, Mori included. Personally Mori, I think your Jedi Council is a complete waste of time, the witless banter of fans who never were talking about a man who is artistically superior to them in every way. Buy hey, post what you will, and bash away. I personally cannot wait to see your film project torn to shreds and shit upon by a bunch of basement dwelling virgins. Do me a favor bitches, stay home when EP3 is released so I don't have to wait in line.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 2:36 p.m. CST

    stupid- it makes no difference if the director is alive or dead

    by RenoNevada2000

    What I'm arguing is that film is an historical document. And Lucas is saying the same thing in reference to the Three Stooges when he says in the AP article "But by putting it in black and white, it puts it in a context where you can appreciate it for what it was." By not allowing the original versions of the OT to be released simple on the grounds of the fact that he can do better NOW, Lucas is flying in the face of what he said about colorizing the Three Stooges shorts. Therefore, he is a hypocrite. QED.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Stoopid- sorry,

    by RenoNevada2000

    I spelt your name wrong in my last post. Wasn't meaning to be insulting, just the spellcheck in my fingers got the better of me. Though, you are the one who choose the name... ;)

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 2:55 p.m. CST

    SUPER TERRIFIC HAPPY EDITIONS...

    by StudioPlant69

    Jar Jar Binks will be digital inserted into every other scene and do something really funny cause he was the breakout star of the Star Wars Abominations, er I mean Prequels. GL should just insert Shaft, I mean Sam Jackson in all the scenes and have lay the smackdown on everyone for just being there. Where is my super suit? There is a bomb in Hulk Hogan's ribcage that has a beer and cheats on a dead raped deer. Oh yeah, Harry this site has looked the same for like 5 years, redesign the damn site you fat bastard!

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:09 p.m. CST

    If it ain't broke...

    by splbrg75

    I don't think the big problem here is that Lucas changed THX-1138, but that he will no longer make the original available. If we need to piss and moan THAT is what we should be pissing and moaning about!!! At least when Spielberg took the guns out of E.T. he gave the option to own both versions on DVD. Now honestly, who's watching that new version? Anyone?

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST

    stoopid- believe me I'm hanging on to my original editions

    by RenoNevada2000

    on VHS as well as the DVD versions someone burned for me from laserdisc. I don't think Lucas is going to send around MPAA Gestapo units to confiscate copies of the OT from people's homes that aren't th SE version. (I hope) However, Lucas' contention is that these versions "don't exist" and will never be released again. And that's a damn shame.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST

    This is the best review I've ever read on AICN.

    by Johnny Smith

    It's blatant honesty is just a part of it. You can feel his rage. I was never a big Star Wars fan -- I mean, I always thought they were kinda cool, but I never really went beyond that in liking them -- because something was in THX 1138 that was missing from A New Hope, Empire and Jedi (don't even get me started on the prequels). Something more pure, more moral, something more, well, honest. Something uncorrupted. So, needless to say, I knew something like this was going to happen. The fact that Lucas has done this shouldn't blow my mind, but it does. He's taken his best film -- and one of the best films of the seventies, along with The Conversation, Taxi Driver and A Clockwork Orange, if not of all time -- and butchered it, cut it up, eviscerated it like the Sci-Fi Channel viciously murdered Farscape's future. I recently saw Michael Winterbottom's Code 46, which reminded me immediately of Lucas's freshman effort, in many more ways than one. The influence of THX 1138 is still felt today, in films like Code 46, The Matrix trilogy and Michael Haneke's Time of the Wolf. For Lucas to influence an entire generation of filmmakers -- virtually everyone that came after him -- and for him to murder his own works of ART is a spit in the face to his fans, his fellow artists, the film industry as a whole and anyone who may have even respected him just a little bit. THX 1138 is one of my great childhood memories and, fortunately, one that can still be salvaged by tracking down a VHS copy or (and I don't usually support this, but in this case it may be necessary) a bootleg DVD. Needless to say, I won't be giving Lucas my 12 bucks or howeverthefuck much movie tickets are these days. Join me next week as I discuss my new plan of sneaking into Revenge of the Sith without paying for my ticket.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:05 p.m. CST

    "I'm not sucking Lucas's cock but..."

    by minderbinder

    Yes you are.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:14 p.m. CST

    This just in from Hollywood...

    by Johnny Smith

    ALL CLASSIC MOVIES TO BE RE-EDITED Hollywood (AP) - According to a source deep within Tinseltown, all of the major movie studios are planning to dust off all of the old films no one watches anymore -- with unpronounceable titles like "Citizen Kane", "Casablanca" and "Do the Right Thing" -- and re-editing them so that interest will be revived in the modern viewing public in a world where brilliant films like "2 Fast 2 Furious", "Van Helsing" and "Honey" have revitalized the once-boring film industry. The source, who wishes to be known only as "Sulac", has gained the rights to the three old films listed above that nobody knows anything about, as well as dozens of others. "I'm starting with 'Do the Right Thing'," Sulac said, "because the ending is simply too violent in a post-9/11 world. The idea that a block of New Yorkers would riot against one another is offensive now that we know they would actually band together in times of stress. So I've replaced the final confrontation between Sal and Radio Raheem and all that follows with about half an hour of white noise. Everyone who's seen it agrees that it's better." Sulac continued, "Now that I have the rights to 'Casablanca' too, I can finally fulfill my own fantasies by having Ilsa decide to leave Victor and stay with Rick, only for Rick to run off to the moon Endor and live with a bunch of furry tribal midgets. I think that makes more sense. I mean, she's supposed to love him, right? [In the original version,] why does she leave? It makes no sense." Sulac claims that, of the 150 or so films he's gained the rights to, that "Citizen Kane" needs the most work. "The film is completely inaccessible to modern day audiences. Who gives a crap about sleds in this day and age? So now Rosebud's his first computer. Also it's going to be in color." Among the other films Sulac has gained the rights to are "Serpico", "Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", "Planet of the Apes", "Superman", "It's a Wonderful Life," "Metropolis", "Sunset Blvd.", "The Godfather" Trilogy, "Raging Bull" and "On the Waterfront". When asked if there were any films he hadn't acquired yet that he wished to re-edit, Sulac set his gaze eastward. "I hope that Kurosawa guy lets me work on some of his films," he said, "because as it stands, his 'Seven Samurai' is too similar to my next version of 'Star Wars'."

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Excalibur......

    by Shaner Jedi

    ......the sunset was the only change. Really small ILM crew did it. Just find a 25th Anniversary Edition. That's the one.

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Alternate versions of movies have been around forever

    by Wormie

    While I am strongly in favour of the original versions of the original trilogy being released on DVD, it's worth noting that movies have pretty much always been released in multiple versions - i.e. different versions for different territories, TV versions, special editions with restored footage, etc. There are several versions of Metropolis. Kubrick cut a lot of stuff from 2001 after its initial release which hasn't been seen since. Close Encounters, Superman, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Blade Runner are not available in their original theatrical versions. Those recent Hobbity films were each released on DVD in two editions just a few months apart (a fairly dubious scam IMHO). Like I said, I really hope the original versions of the OT are released on DVD at some point, but Lucas has hardly fucked his movies up with these special editions. The stories and characters are the same he's just added some extra visual pizzazz (check out the ANH screenplay - Jabba, the Dewbacks, there were always meant to be there.)

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Let's get philosophical about this for a moment...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...not that I'm defending Uncle George, but in a way his strategy is perfect for geeks. He gives (after)birth to his Special Editions, which legions of geeks hate. The only - and exceedingly easy - way to obtain the OT is on OOP VHS, LD and bootlegged DVDs. If you can overlook the minor irritant of having to give Uncle George money for the Special Editions (which most of us will), there is much satisfaction to be had spending cash on the bootlegs, the profits from which Uncle George will never lay his sweaty hands on. Completists get to own ALL versions of the films (as well as the Holiday Special), yet can cheat Uncle George out of half the overall geek-money spent in purchasing said movies. Surely that must put at least a smile or two on your faces, yes?..... On a related side note, it's a well-known fact that Uncle Orson wanted to reshoot a number of scenes for The Magnificent Ambersons in the early 1970s, with the same actors, but in their natural older state, as opposed to the earlier scenes where they were forced to wear old-age make-up. (Un)fortunately he was unable to raise the funds for this project. Uncle George is not really revolutionary in this respect. I'm just sayin', is all!

  • Aug. 12, 2004, 6:42 p.m. CST

    best review I've read here in a long, long time

    by beamish13

    thank you

  • Aug. 13, 2004, 7:26 a.m. CST

    stoopid- so now I'm just a whiney 30 something?

    by RenoNevada2000

    I tried to engage in a rational debate (YEah, I know that was my first mistake here...) and you try to end it by calling me a whiney 30-something. Nice. Why don't you just pull the sma ecrap the Bush Admin does and call me an Unpatriotic American because I disagree with you. Stop living up to your username.

  • Aug. 13, 2004, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Maybe it's time to grow up, guys...

    by Eugene O

    Maybe you nutty fans should consider that PERHAPS your sense of AWE about the original STAR WARS was mostly due to immaturity...the same kind of immaturity that makes someone tie a towel around their neck and pretend it's a cape; it seems like a good idea at the time, but when you get older it just doesn't mean the same thing anymore.

  • Aug. 13, 2004, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Stoopid, you live up to your name.

    by IAmJacksUserID

    Everything you have said has been complete bullshit. Lucas doesn't owe us, the money-tossing audience, anything?? Well, funny, we are the ones that give him money to buy houses and cars and clothes. We are the ones that support him and make him what he is today. We are the ones that spend time and money on his product. And he doesn't owe us anything?? WRONG! He owes us his best effort. He owes us the original versions of his past vision. He owes us choices. I for one have given up on Lucas. He is suffering from the same complex Hitler suffered from. Men in power believe they are always right. And since they believe they can do no wrong, they believe every decision they make is the correct one. And since they believe this, they believe they can only make the right decision. So Lucas believes since he is Lucas, he can do no wrong. Too bad for him. And since no one dare tell him how lost and idiotic he has become, his delusion is reinforced. And his past achievements become cast down into the abyss as his current exploits become what he is today. Lucas has totally gone Colonel Kurtz and someone needs to take a machete and...well...

  • Aug. 14, 2004, 1 p.m. CST

    O.K. someone needs a better hobbie!!!

    by jayce76

    Did I really need to read this ......For once I thought this would be a no spin , calm and rational review ,.....but instead all I get is a crazzed -36 yr old , who still lives in his mothers car and takes flinstone multivitamins,... going on and on like someone rapped his dog!!!!! damnation!!!you want to watch the original theatrical release ,go rent the damm thing, or freakin buy the dvd on e-bay!!!!

  • Aug. 14, 2004, 1:03 p.m. CST

    by jayce76

    ACIN ,....you have about as much class as a 45yr old hungarian hooker on crack!!!!!

  • Aug. 14, 2004, 4:56 p.m. CST

    I already have a copy of the old version, why would I want to bu

    by watashiwadare

    Since I'm not trained by Miracrap to do so.

  • Aug. 15, 2004, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Well, let's see now...

    by DragonHeart

    ...what're the issues? As I see them: One - Director's Editions. There are uncounted examples of films released to DVD in two forms: the Theatrical Release, and the Director's Cut, wherein footage that was cut from the theatrical release (for whatever reasons) is put back in to present us with the directors original vision of the story. I've no problem with that - the whole point of moviemaking is to tell the story and often times the DC is better than the TR. That Mr. Lucas has used CGI to create the DC of THX MAY be nothing more than him using technology to tell the story that he couldn't tell (back in the day), because the tech just wasn't available. It's his story, he can tell it the way he wants. "Old - Better, New - Worse" is just how it sits on the tongue. The problem, IMHO, is that oft times the story we're being told ISN'T the story we hear - isn't the story we remember. Which leads me to: TWO - Not leaving the original version of the film available. That's just wrong. That smells like "Instant Collectible" or "Let's not water-down the legend by having two versions of it. We'll just reissue to a younger market by having kewl fx because we haven't had a new idea in decades."