AICN-DOWNUNDER: Geoffrey Wright's MACBETH, A POSEIDON Sinking, A STAR WARS Letdown, And More!!
Here's Laturo with a look at the world of entertainment (Australian style), including one of the funnier reviews I've seen of POSEIDON.
I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.
It's not the edgiest thing in the world to have a rant against George Lucas. Everyone does it, and everyone's been doing it for about seven years now. No, saying negative stuff about Lucas is as cliched as, say, George Lucas doing things that piss off fans.
There are going to be very few of you who have missed the furore, but it happened something like this:
- Lucasfilm announced that, despite years of foot-stamping denials, it will be releasing on DVD the original STAR WARS trilogy as it was presented over twenty years ago in cinemas - Fans are cautiously happy - More details about the DVD set emerge, and fans stop being happy
What the hell happened? Well, I'm first going to direct you to two much better monologues on the subject: the first is here, by Bill Hunter at the Digital Bits (scroll down to 5/19/06); the second is right here on AICN, and was written by my lord and master, Quint Quintofferson. They'll give you a more detailed look into what happened.
The short of it is that Lucas hates the way the original trilogy appeared back in the day, and appears to hate the fact that most fans prefer it that way. So, when he did those new SFX versions in the late nineties, he "taped over" the original negative. So how are they going to do a DVD transfer? Well, they're copying it directly off the Laserdisc copy they made way back when.
The DVDs are coming packaged with the newer versions; you cannot buy the originals without buying the "spiffed up" versions of the Episodes IV, V and VI. The reasons for this are obvious. For one, Lucas doesn't want to risk the embarassing possibility of the old crappy versions outselling the brand new ones. Second, he's almost certainly hoping that people will get fed up with the poor quality transfer of the original originals, and decide to pop in the other, crisper disc instead.
It's a pretty poor thing to do the people who made you what you are, especially considering (as Bill Hunt points out) "Even if it's true that Lucas and his staff destroyed all of the original negatives, it's unlikely in the extreme that they also destroyed all of the interpositives, all of the separation masters, and all of the release prints. In fact, we know that they didn't."
George, I actually feel sorry for the legacy you're setting in place for yourself. Your behaviour is petty and more than a bit insulting. It's why I've completely given up on STAR WARS altogether.
That's a pretty big statement, I know, but it's true. The films I loved when I was growing up now represent something else. Take a look at it like this: if you watch the films in episodic order, the Empire comes to power, and is later destroyed by the rebels. However, that's not how they were made. Watch them in chronological order, and the Empire wins. For some reason, I find that very telling.
You took something I loved and bastardised my memory of it so often and in so many ways, that I've now moved past the stage of anger; simply put, I no longer care.
According to Variety, Russell Crowe is bouncing in and out of Baz Luhrmann's SPEEDILY-CUT ROMANCE FILM. Both Crowe and Nicole Kidman were attached, possibly hoping for some success after the disaster of EUCALYPTUS. Apparently, Crowe's desire for script approval was getting up Baz's nose a bit, so he offered the role to Heath Ledger... who turned it down. Then Crowe apparently tried to get the role back by forgoing script approval, but Baz and Company weren't having a bar of it. Who's going to get the role? Personally, I'm betting on an actor.
Luckily, Crowe does have a project to help pay the bills. He's appearing next in TENDERNESS alongside recently-cast Jon Foster. Crowe plays a cop trying to discover whether a teenager murdered his own family or not. The film will be directed by Orstralian John Polson.
Ledger is also keeping busy after knocking Baz back. He will be playing Bob Dylan in the new Todd Haynes-directed biopic, alongside Cate Blanchett (Bob Dylan), Christian Bale (Bob Dylan), Richard Gere (Bob Dylan), and Julianne Moore (Bob Dylan). This is what happens when casting directors go mad, people. Ledger replaces Colin Farrell, who was apparently going to be playing "Bob Dylan". Heath's significant other Michelle Williams will also be taking a role, but which role? Your guess is as good as mine.
Can't get enough of Ledger this week, it seems. Phillip Noyce (local boy made good) will direct Ledger and Rachel Weisz in an adaptation of "Dirt Music" by Tim Winton. The "psychological love story" set in Western Australia will shoot in just under a year's time, and centres on a love triangle between Ledger's loner, the wife of the region's most successful fisherman, and (presumably) the region's most successful fisherman. I still haven't recovered from studying Winton's "That Eye, The Sky" in high school, so I'll temper my expectations for now...
This was actually corrected by Quint in this article here !!!, but it turns out I was fairly incorrect about Weta Digital working on the New Zealand Sam Raimi-produced vampire flick 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. I was corrected by a Mr Mark Wilcox who runs Black Magic, a website I can't believe I haven't heard of until now. Mark's got so many scoops, he makes a third-tier web-writer like myself feel a tad insignificant. Pop over there for a look; I have a feeling I'm going to be directing you to his news items at least once per column from now on...
AWARDS, FESTIVALS AND SCREENINGS
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
Rolf de Heer's TEN CANOES picked up the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, thus confirming what we all suspected: the film is, at very least, better than ALEXANDRA'S PROJECT. Right off the win, Palm Pictures bought the rights to the North American release, so expect to see the film Stateside later this year.
I'll finally be catching X-MEN 3 on Sunday, but those who loved all three might want to do some cinema searches. Looks like those all-night screenings that some cinemas (including Greater Union) do, playing three films in a row, will soon feature all three X-MEN films back-to-back! Sounds pretty cool. A bloke called Craig dropped me a line because, "Who wants to watch this kind of thing in an empty cinema when you can have heaps of other real X-Men geeks getting to watch the first X-Men again on the big screen, cheering when Xavier comes out on top etc." Wanting to share the experience with a group of other film geeks? This is what fandom is all about.
THE GARTH METHOD
Gregory Pakis's THE GARTH METHOD has already picked up awards at festivals in Australia and the US, so why haven't you seen it? And why aren't you giving more money to charity? These seemingly unconnected questions can both be taken care of if you go the Old Colonial Inn at 127 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy (that's in Melbourne, btw) on either Saturday June 10 at 5:30pm, or Sunday Jun 11 at 6:30pm. You can drink beer whilst watching Garth's antics, and the tickets are by donation in support of Sophie Delezio and the Day of Difference Foundation.
FREE TALK WITH CHRIS WHITE FROM WETA
You guys in Melbourne get all the cool stuff. There's me, for example. Probably other things as well. One of those other things has turned out to be Chris White of Weta, who did a whole lot of visual effects work on KING KONG. On June 26, he'll be giving a free (that's FREE) lecture at the University of Melbourne, thanks to NICTA. You'll need to RSVP by June 19 though, so head HERE for more info. Thanks to Melinda.
The mutants managed to knock Ron Howard's crapfest off the top spot, but don't fret! Hopefully, this won't be the last we see of powerhouse duo Akiva Goldsman and Dan Brown! I'd be surprised if we saw another MISSION IMPOSSIBLE entry, as the film only made a zillion dollars, and the studio was clearly expecting 1.3 zillion. That's Hollywood for you.
1. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
2. THE DA VINCI CODE
3. TAKE THE LEAD
4. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III
RELEASED THIS WEEK
Costra-Gravas remakes (for all intents and purposes) MAD CITY, the novelty of releasing a film on 06/06/06 wears off before the title even comes up, Brenda Blethyn is cool, Wolfgang Peterson posits a powerful "What if?" scenario ("What if we spent two hundred million on a crap film and nobody came?"), and Barry Levinson's appeal for release from Director's Prison is refused.
ON A CLEAR DAY
Two reviews for you today. The second one is me going on a rant about POSEIDON; before that is what I believe to be the first review of Geoffrey Wright's MACBETH (I certainly haven't found any others floating about). I have actually spoken to people over the past few months who have either worked on it or seen early screenings, and I'd heard a lot of good things. But, according to Mr Underhill (er, the reviewer), this may not be the case. Oh, and as everyone's started referring to this film as MACBETH, I'm going to assume that it's officially dropped its initial German Expressionismistic title of "M".
GEOFFREY WRIGHT'S MACBETH
Reviewed by Mr Underhill
I recently had the chance to attend a preview test screening of the new Australian film MacBeth and thought I'd pass on my thoughts. The concept of the film is pretty simple: Take the Bard's classic story and set it in the Melbourne criminal underworld. Nice, I thought. This could work. However, about 60mins into this 2 hour film I was very bored and if I hadn't been promised free movie tickets for watching it would have walked out there. This film is excruciating and probably one of the worst films I've seen.
The test screening was for people between 16 and 25 and if this is the target audience I doubt the film is going to work. The writers have chopped the play down to fit it into a much shorter time frame and the choice to use the original dialogue does not work a bit. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, which had a sort of timeless feel to the setting, this film is very much set in the now and hence the dialogue looks way out of place and the actors have no idea how to deliver it, leading to many, many awful performances. Which brings me to the next point, the direction. I think the "whoa cool we're making a film aren't we great filmmakers" vibe clouded everyone's view from seeing what was right in front of their nose, there is zero direction, of anything. Many of the choices were questionable and the huge emotional vacuum one feels at the end of the film is only filled by frustration at ones self for having wasted the time with this film.
Don't be swayed by the cool looking stills people this is a stinker!
Reviewed by Latauro
Pop quiz: who directed DAS BOOT?
If you answered "Wolfgang Peterson", then your name is probably Wolfgang Peterson. Either that, or you're so gullible you actually believe what film credits tell you.
Am I being harsh? Or not particularly clear? I was one of the defenders. I was one of those guys who would dismiss Wolfgang's latest piece of shit as an anomaly in an otherwise sterling career. Then, one day -- I think it was around the time TROY came out -- I started to question my Wolfgang love, or, at least, my Wolfgang appreciation. The list of anomalies was growing ever-steady, the list of classics was getting harder to recall, and the Sherry Lansing jokes were gaining in frequency (both regularity and, for some reason, pitch). A perusal of his filmography reveals a lot of German-language TV movies that would have interested me greatly during my early DAS BOOT years. I mean, if Wolfgang had become the director BOOT suggested he would, then tracking down his early work would be compulsory.
Unfortunately, we're now talking about the man who, over the past decade, made AIR FORCE ONE, THE PERFECT STORM and TROY. That's not an impressive list. Maybe some of you hold one or more of these films close to your heart, but I found them all to be exceptionally tedious. Impressively, POSEIDON leaves them all for dead.
POSEIDON -- or HOW TO GET RID OF ALL THE BLACKS, HISPANICS AND NON-WHITES IN SEVEN EASY EXPLOSIONS -- is what happens when you show an alien race a disaster flick from Earth and then get them to make one of their own. It's a bad impression of a film, and that's partly to do with the fact that nobody associated with it possesses any kind of emotion. I'm not talking about the emoting on-screen; I'm talking about makers of the film. The guys who probably saw Data's emotion chip on "The Next Generation" and tried to find one on eBay for themselves. These guys are robots. How else could they completely misunderstand how humans operate and interact?
First of all, we begin with the usual girl-likes-boy, girl's-father-doesn't-like-boy setup we're used to in this kind of movie. I mean, the entire Kurt Russell/Emmy Rossum/Blonde Guy story is so blandly familiar, I'm thinking that perhaps all the guys who wrote ARMAGEDDON should consider a class action lawsuit. You know what's coming. Okay, fine. It's an action film. We're going to get the cliched disaster-bringing-us-closer plotline, and I can live with that. No, the problem here is that screenwriter Mark Protosevich seems to think that as well, and puts zero work into developing the characters. I know this sounds like a dumb criticism for an action film, but when it's clear the writer's given up by the time the first line of dialogue is spoken, you get a little pissed off.
Then we get to the deaths. The systematic knocking-off of the characters one-by-one. The first one, the death of Freddy Rodriguez's Hispanic Waiter, is about as contrived as they come. Waiter, who is only going along with them because Kurt Russell promised him a lot of money, decides at the very first Obstacle of Danger they come across that he's going to insist everyone else goes first. He selflessly insists everyone get across the Elevator Shaft of Death before him. Then the thing breaks and he's hanging onto Richard Dreyfuss's foot for dear life. But the elevator is about to fall, and so Josh Lucas tells Dreyfuss to shake him off. Wait a second... is this an interesting moral dilemma? What's it doing in this film? Suddenly my interest is piqued, and I wait eagerly for the characters' reactions. "Boy, that was close! Where to now?" they practically say.
If only they'd been consistent with that idea; that killing those around is okay so long as you survive. But no, Hispanic Woman suffers a bizarrely-uninspired death, and suddenly everyone is too choked up to continue. All the tough men are crying and gripping each other for support... you'd think their mothers had just died. Why were they so upset? Um... 'cos people sort-of cry and stuff when other people die... right, Wolfgang? Pity that only occurred to you when you were shooting that one scene.
If I'm being a dick about it (and I know I am), it's because there is not an ounce of character continuity throughout the entire thing. Josh Lucas is a Loner, so he tells us, but when the others insist they're going with him, suddenly he's risking life and limb to save them. That's not character development. That's establishing someone as one thing and then having them do the opposite so your cast can talk about how rare it is to find an action film with interesting characters when they're doing the interview circuit.
If you don't believe me, look at Kevin Dillon's character. Basically playing a rich version of his character from "Entourage", Dillon acts like a complete arsehole at every turn. When Our Heroes are providing him with a means of rescue, he delays his Climb To Freedom so he can randomly insult them for two minutes. Then Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell grin at each other for some reason, and let him cross. What happens next? A big flaming thing drops and crushes him to death. I think that was when we were supposed to cheer. Look, I've met arseholes in my life, but this is just about the worst-written character I think I've ever come across. I'm almost tempted to show him to my students as an example of what not to do. It's really that bad. Meanwhile, I'm trying to work out how Kurt and Josh were able to intuit the flaming pillar of death. Bizarre.
Yeah, I'm nitpicking the film scene-by-scene. I just sat through this tripe, and I need to get some pleasure out of it. In this case, my pleasure comes from pointing out how fucking retarded almost every moment of this bullshit is. And I haven't even reached the thing that pissed me off the most.
POSEIDON has the honour of displaying the least amount of regard for human life since Michael Bay's unwatchable BAD BOYS II. I can just imagine Wolfgang at parties and shopping malls, looking at the crowds and thinking, "How cool would it be if these guys all exploded?", because it's been a while since I've seen anybody get so much pleasure from corpses (the best necrophilia joke in the talkback wins a jpeg of steak knives). It's one thing to have a high body count; in a situation like this, of course you would. It's another to display each and every death in the most sensationalist way possible. And, I suppose, it's fine to have sensationalist deaths if you're making ZOMBIE CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, but you're not. You're making the Summer Tentpole Popcorn Action Whatever, and even if you're only pretending to have believable characters, treating their deaths the way you do simply makes you look like an unfeeling hack. The most horrific of these is Kurt Russell's big death scene, in which he drowns in the most graphically horrific way possible, moments before his corpse comically hits a button that saves the day! Someone actually wrote this.
I was wondering why you'd want to remake a film that had just been remade... particularly if it had been done as a sub-standard TV movie. The TV movie had the advantage of featuring Steve Guttenberg! What do you have? Oh, an incredibly large budget? Okay, what are you going to do with it? Lots of explosions. Great. I wouldn't even mind if the explosions had appeared to be caused by anything, y'know, explosive. Instead, they go off at random intervals, or whenever the film gets "slow". It'd make a great drinking game.
Look, I'm getting sick of having to put the "I like an action film as much as the next guy!" disclaimer on reviews like this, and I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to qualify my dislike of a big SFX film, but I'm sure this review will end up in the "Critics hate action films" pile anyway. Still, I'm hoping some people avoid the film based on this review. Then I'll know I've done my job.
- NBC to re-jig its flailing sitcom output by producing a new sitcom about five Scottish musicians who make cool rock albums and hang out in New York cafes, "Franz"
- Felicity Huffman to reprise her character of "Bree" in the new cross-country Marvel spinoff, EX-MEN
- Ron Howard reveals that ANGELS AND DEMONS will not actually require a script, as he will be literally filming each page for a minute a piece and then putting them in numerical order
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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June 3, 2006, 10:21 a.m. CST
Got Four Stars in Empire UK. Then again, the guy had just done an interview with Kurt Russell, so I think there was some behind-the-scenes ballbusting.
June 3, 2006, 10:50 a.m. CST
Did you even bother reading they're response? Lucas doesn't view the O-OT as the 'authorized'/'approved'/'definitive' version. Therefore, LFL isn't going to bust their balls by trying to restore something that their boss doesn't want. The O-OT are *BONUS DISCS* and, as such, don't have to be anamorphic. As one TBer corrected myself and some others - that is the industry standard, to not have anamorphic bonus features like this. The restoration, time, and money went into making the SE versions. As the O-OT isn't 'The Definitive Version,' they ain't gonna sink money into it, especially as the originals are so badly degraded. If ya don't like it, then fuck you and go pop in your THX laserdiscs (like I do from time to time) and shut up and quit worrying about it. I've also got bootleg DVDs of the O-OT ported from the same laserdiscs and they look great on my normal, 36" TV.
June 3, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST
Best comedy of the year! When the kid in the movie jumps from the piano into the curtain, and it's obviously a large stuntman in oversized clothes, I laughed so hard I knew this movie was a bust. At first my wife was shushing me and trying to get into it, but then the flat-head screwdriver/cross came into play and that's where it lost her. Seriously, look at that cross; part of it is a flat-head. I could go on and on, but ultimately this movie has one fairly dramatic scene and the rest is just comedy gold.
June 3, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST
wow....sounds like there was more character development in "The FJ Holden"....probably better action scenes too.......
June 3, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST
Bitch bitch bitch.
June 3, 2006, 11:15 a.m. CST
What does that even mean? Seriously? You'll purposely avoid all things Star Wars? How dramatic and brave of you! Wow, Lucas must be shivering in his boots. My guess is that you, like all the other bitchers, will be the first in line to purchase these "inferior" versions of these films. You know you will.
June 3, 2006, 11:17 a.m. CST
I snuck into Poseidon the other day (suckers pay for movies) and couldn't believe how craptacular it was. Even without paying I want my money back.
June 3, 2006, 11:24 a.m. CST
bitching on a forum about someone bitching about a film on a site created to bitch about films, and now I'm finding myself bitching about someone bitching on a forum and...........damn, this cheap ass beer is screwing with me.....GODDAMMIT I want those "Ginsu" knives!.......
June 3, 2006, 11:40 a.m. CST
by Rowley Birkin QC
The only thing worse than George Lucas right now is the tired pathetic melodrama of disgruntled geeks: "I've completely given up on STAR WARS altogether... You took something I loved and bastardised my memory of it so often and in so many ways, that I've now moved past the stage of anger..." Pass the vomit bag.
June 3, 2006, noon CST
I actually appreciate an Australian take on news. If some of you Yanks are tired of seeing the occasional blip of 'old' news, simple- just keep quiet and go somewhere else. I don't want to start any fights but you guys are a terrible waste of bandwidth. And skin.
June 3, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST
"There's Got to Be a Morning After", from the original film? If not, fuck this sinking piece of turd. Oh yeah - Chris Walken in SW:EPII...I'm surprised that post hasn't 'mysteriously' been deleted. I hope Harry fired that 'spy.'
June 3, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST
by Lazarus Long
I love reading Latauro's reviews and Down Under news, and thought he'd be the last guy to get all whiny about the Star Wars DVDs. This Lucas apologist laughs heartily every time another fan claims betrayal and vows never to return. Dude, don't let The Force hit you on the ass on the way out.
June 3, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST
Fans have been up in arms for about a month or so about the Laserdisc transfers to DVD. The news came out about a day or two (if that long) after Lucas announced the original trilogy would be released as an "extra" on the re-release DVD of the 2004 "redo" of Star Wars. This release is just testing the waters. If numbers are better than they were for the sales of the repackaged 3-disc edition of the 2004 4-disc edition, then they will probably spend money on enhancing the original versions for another DVD release in a few years.
June 3, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST
Why post Box Office results for last weekend THIS weekend? No offense, the the news this week is how Jennifer Aniston knocked X-Men out of the top spot on Friday. (according to early estimates)
June 3, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST
Grow the fuck up and get the fuck over it. Anyone who uses the words "You took something I loved and bastardised my memory of it so often and in so many ways, that I've now moved past the stage of anger" with a straight face deserves to be fuckin' bitch-slapped with a full can of Fosters. Listen here, Crocodile Dundee - how you feel about Star Wars is how I currently feel about talkbacks, thanks to whiny-ass crybaby tittysuckers like you. So fuck off, mate.
June 3, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST
That would be cool shit!
June 3, 2006, 2 p.m. CST
by Azlam Orlandu
Latauro thanks for bringing nothing to the table. I could have read that same rubbish anywhere else on the tissue for Star Wars fans called he internet.
June 3, 2006, 2:50 p.m. CST
And this post was intended to be posted about a month ago. They need to realign their crystals an' shit. I've eaten 'roo before. Good eats.
June 3, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST
I mean, come on! It has all kinds of better stuff like cloud city, the sarlacc, dewbacks, the list goes on. HOWEVER, since I got my first widescreen TV set I now understand the frustration of getting a movie out that isn't anamorphic. Once you add the black bars on the side and top of the screens, you're using about 40% of your screen for actual picture! It's retarded, and why? Because someone was too cheap and lazy to enter some computer code making the DVD transfer anamorphic? Bah. If Anchor Bay had the opportunity to release these discs, you'd get an anamorphic transfer with new anamorphic extras to boot, instead of a "fuck you" to widescreen enthusiasts, the type of people that made THX big in the first place. Now, I couldn't give a damn about the Un-special Editions, and I'm not going to buy or rent them, but all those ass pirates who are pseudo-sentimental and pretentious enough to waste good money that could be saved for future Snakes on a Plane screenings, at least deserve a print that'll fit their 16:9 screen, just because it's the right thing to do.
June 3, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST
For my brother, the final blow was experiencing "THE PHANTOM MENACE" ...and he has since no longer watched another Star Wars flick, new or old. Not on dvd. Nothing. And that, I feel, is sad. It's just a sad thing.
June 3, 2006, 3:52 p.m. CST
by Monkey Butler
In Australia, the movie has only just come out. Fucking idiots. Yeah, laugh all you want about us getting films later than you, but y'know what? It really doesn't make any difference. I'm fairly certain that there isn't a person in the country that cries themself to sleep at night because we didn't get Poseidon at the same time as the fucking Yanks. Enjoy your shitfest a month earlier and for twice the ticket price. And about Star Wars? It's funny, I felt a similar kind of thing... 7 years ago when TPM came out and I realised that at 12 I was too old for this pathetic shit.
June 3, 2006, 4:16 p.m. CST
by Darth Kong
"Twice the price"? Do your research,.....you prat.
June 3, 2006, 4:23 p.m. CST
It's amazing how being in one critically acclaimed movie and suddenly you're hot property. He's still the worst actor I've ever seen.
June 3, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST
What was the point of my editorial rant? Not to piss of George Lucas or Lucasfilm or any of those guys -- I honestly don't think they'd be reading this column, let alone caring about its contents. No, I was simply saying that I've lost the energy for it. Lately, every time someone mentions the words "Star Wars", it's in relation to some stupid decision ("He's deleted the original negative", "Han no longer shoots first", etc etc), and I'm getting tired of it. And, by the sounds of things, so are all of you! My point was that so long as we remain angry, at least we still care. I have stopped caring. That's all. No one has to get up in arms about it, nobody has to give two shits, but for those that enjoy reading my little editorial writings (at last count there were OVER seven of them!), it's a slightly-different perspective on the situation. For the love of Joss, please don't let it upset you. I'm sure you have better things to do with your time than get angry at somebody expressing their opinion. (Also, a note to the people who think the Poseidon review is a month old, or that the Box Office results are out of date: there's a clue in the fact that this column is titled AICN-Dwonunder... think about it...)
June 3, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST
If you were from Australia, you'd be an asshole too. It was originally a big penal colony, remember? Nothing but Dingos and Steve Erwin down there these days. Surprised the suicide rate isn't higher than it already is. To be fair, however, pretty much ALL of the news in this article is old, whether it be a month or a week. So it certainly does deserve some degree of ridicule.
June 3, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST
June 3, 2006, 6:54 p.m. CST
First things first: Fans of the original cut to not outnumber fans of the SEs. This is a fact that exists in the fantasy minds of so-called purists. Second: The new packaging is NOT to stave off the original cut from 'outselling' the SEs. This is more wishful thinking. The SEs are preferred by the general public--hands down. No argument. This is not accounting for taste, however. And if we like the matte lines, haloing, grain, crappy edits, bad sound and cameras reflected in C3PO then--we should be happy.
June 3, 2006, 8:16 p.m. CST
Any of you that prefer the SE's to the original versions are either very young or very stupid, or both. Whoever said the general public prefers the SE's is a moron and needs to be banned from speaking in public ever again. As for Latauro, people in this talkback have been pretty hard on the guy, but he gave good reviews and should not be blasted for seeing movies when they come out Down Under. And yes, it is a shame what Lucas is doing to SW. More than a shame, really. If Star Wars is one of the great stories of our time, then it should be available for people to watch and enjoy -- the GOOD version. Not the version where Greedo shoots first, Han has no reacton, silly CG lizards walk around, goofy robots beep, silly CG muppets sing, and Darth Vader only finds out Luke is his son in a terribly re-done scene halfway through Empire. Now flame away if you will, but if you do you're an idiot and I will have no regard for what you say. Now a note to George: turn away from the Dark Side! Turn away from yes-men and self-indulgence! Respect your fans! Respect your original vision! Okay, enough exclamation points. And sorry about the ran, but somebody in this talkback needed to start talking sense, even if it has been said before and better. Later.
June 3, 2006, 8:17 p.m. CST
I'm just sayin'.
June 3, 2006, 8:40 p.m. CST
by Monkey Butler
So I'm gonna reply. My comment about ticket prices was an exagerration. I didn't realise how much of an exaggeration until I saw just how shit your dollar is doing. I apologise. As for the founding of our country, I'd rather live in a country founded by convicts who worked their way peacefully and democratically to independence, rather than in a country founded by religious fanatics running away from their problems.
June 3, 2006, 8:50 p.m. CST
by Monkey Butler
How does anyone fuck up Macbeth? Seriously, it's one of Shakespeare's best, how do you make it boring? And Lat, read The Turning by Tim Winton.
June 3, 2006, 9:50 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
I think I'm going to buy the DVDs and either leave the SE disks right there on the counter when I leave or send them back to Fox. Ether that, or I'll just not buy the new disks at all. The Pirate Bay is back up, suck hind tit Lucas!!
June 3, 2006, 9:57 p.m. CST
How the hell can you come to the conclusion that the Empire wins if you watch Star Wars Eps.1-6? Does Anakin not still throw the Emporer down the reactor shaft and FINALLY bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith? Does the Rebellion still blow up the Death Star and restore FREEDOM to the Galaxy? What about that scene where people knock over the statue of the Emporer like American Forces knocked over the Statue of Saddam? *Art (preemptively) imitating life or Life imitating art- Discuss* If anything the prequels (and I know I'm going to get flamed for this) make the other 3 make more sense! A few minor flaws in Revenge of the Sith didn't keep it from being one of the best movies I've ever seen, a movie so good it redeemed the "problems" with the other prequels. I just watched them all back to back the other day and they're better than I remembered them to be and not deserving of any of this bullshit that keeps on coming out of you guys' mouths. Some fanboys aren't satisfied with anything! And you call Lucas petty! Get a life, find Jesus, get a girlfriend, get a boyfriend, whatever its going to take to make you stop bitching about everything that isn't exactly the way you want it to be! There's nothing wrong with an intelligent, well thought critical analysis but this rediculous! Maybe if you guys started accepting things for the way they are instead of always wanting them to be something they're not you might actually find something that makes you happy.
June 3, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST
This isn't news to me. I knew these DVDs were coming before it was posted here. Really, I was kidding; but your post seriously was just you bitching for the sake of being a bitch.
June 3, 2006, 11:10 p.m. CST
We can agree on that at this point right? Because that's pretty much prevailing opinion of the planet Earth....Oh c'mon people let's be pragmatic here.
June 4, 2006, 1:12 a.m. CST
WTF??? Tricked into thinking that us fans were finally getting what we wanted, only to find out that what we're getting is nothing more than 40 bucks that could have been spent on copy purchased on eBay. What a fuckin' cop-out.
June 4, 2006, 1:22 a.m. CST
by Liberty Valance
I give you 10,000 angry internet fanboys convinced they speak for 100 million Star Wars aficionados. The fact is that 99% of consumers could give a fuck if they ever see the Vaseline blur under Luke's landspeeder or the scratchy white dots taking off from Tatooine again. Mr. & Mrs. Average Moviegoer care fuckall about your nostalgic desire to briefly recapture the innocence of your youth in your increasingly cynical adulthood. "Purists," you don't speak for the masses. You speak for a tiny online minority. If Threepio were here, he'd say you're all suffering from delusions of grandeur.
June 4, 2006, 1:30 a.m. CST
I have no doubt that "most fans" have no fuckin' clue what the difference is, because "most fans" are not reading the Internet forum whinefest. You can be correct if these new releases outsell the last DVD release. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.
June 4, 2006, 3:21 a.m. CST
from the same guy. Also I have no clue what the fuck he's talking about. Ok I do...but i'm not sure he's on the same page as everyone else.
June 4, 2006, 3:32 a.m. CST
as if he were your dad? Telling the story from a George Lucas point of view saying what he does and doesn't have to do. I don't really care about the "George Lucas point of view". As a consumer I care about the "get the most for my money" point of view. And since that isn't happening I have every right to bitch. And yeah I know don't but the product but sometimes that doesn't send hte message and since this shit is coming out at all apparently Lucasfilm in some small way must be listening to fans gripes. I mean why defend Lucas on this? he's a billionaire sitting somewhere releasing mediocre products and making bad films. I mean is that cool with some of you? Do you like billionaires who shun you to take advantage of you? Is loving "the man" the new "sticking it to the man"? Did I miss hte memo on that? There is absolutely no logical point on not being on our side and asking for a better product as a consumer. You people must have alot of self loathing inside. Really what is to defend? He is no artistic or moral authority. He is releasing a mediocre product and you yell at us for being angry. You aren't supposed to ever thank multi billion dollar companies for pulling that shit. What kind of capitalist are you?? Sheesh!
June 4, 2006, 3:47 a.m. CST
by Darth Maui
Probably not going to buy the new SW DVDs, not because they're not perfect transfers, but because the SE's are fine by me. Not going to shell out money (or put effort into procuring them in any manner) just to show others what a purist I am, especially when nobody else really cares.
June 4, 2006, 3:55 a.m. CST
Make Episodes 7, 8 & 9. and fire Supershadow. That guy is a fucking Nutbreak.
June 4, 2006, 4:04 a.m. CST
They are better overall than the original originals. Flame all you want but I'll take new Emperor, Bigger mos-eisly, spacious cloud city, & orchestral closure over yapping ewoks anyday. But there were some BIG fuckups along the way, to be sure. personally, I would love to see a full anamorphic transfer with all the cigaret burns and jumps and skips. that shit really gets me hard.
June 4, 2006, 4:31 a.m. CST
I used to be into Necrophilia and beastiality. but after a while it was just like beating a dead horse. Where's my jpeg bitch? firstname.lastname@example.org
June 4, 2006, 5:15 a.m. CST
If you no longer care about Star Wars than you could get over your petty complaints about useless bullshit and just watch the movies...but you do care so you still sound like a desperate fucking Star Wars nerd. So truly get over it and stop pissing on my good times by bitching about this!
June 4, 2006, 5:26 a.m. CST
yeah, I'll take the half second of Greedo and Han shooting at the same time and a stupid musical number if that means a better ending to Return of the Jedi, a better exploding Death Star, a Rancor without the black lines, a Cloud City that actually looks alive and so on...I like having the originals so I know my childhood is safe but in all honesty, the new ones are better...sorry, but for the sake of history and being able to view Star Wars as a film of the 70's I am glad that the untouched version will be able live on after my VHS copies have rotted away...but man, it would suck if they re-made JAWS with a CGI shark (cartoons are not scary!)...than I could understand the rage! I don't know, I see where everyone is coming from, but really...shut up.
June 4, 2006, 6:16 a.m. CST
by Harold The Great
But I too, like being angry at Lucas. So fuck him.
June 4, 2006, 6:30 a.m. CST
Was I the only one who knew Vader was playing along with Palpatine in the redone scene? Hell no, cause it was that obvious. Vader had the plan of taking Palpatine out before he wore the mask, but he couldn;t do it by himself, which is why he fought Obi Wan, he wanted Obi Wan to join him. At the beggining of Empire Vader was obsessed with finding Luke cause he knew he was his son and he had his overthrow plan of Palpatine in place the whole time. Even without the SE's it was obvious. I just wish in Empire they added a scene with Vader finding 3P0 in Cloud city and letting the troppers take it to the wookie. Cause as a person who grew up with Star Wars I and countless others wondered why a damaged 3P0 was given to Chewbacca in the cell. And some people call themselves fans, lol
June 4, 2006, 6:50 a.m. CST
Vote with your bucks. I'm sorry but the special editions do suck major ass. Except the spiffy new FX. Episode 4 - Han shot first thus setting up his eventual redemption.. Episode 5 - Luke jumped. and didn't go "wheeeeee!" on the way down. put that boy on suicide watch. Episode 6 - The spirit of the real Anakin joins the other dead jedi. not some pouty girly boy. Actually its only really the Han thing that bugs me. "Lets change a character fundamentally" was never a great starting point for a revision to a classic film. Also Greedo missing looks like the shitest thing ever.
June 4, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST
I remember doing one last burn to my memory before watching the SE that opening night and I must say, i was REALLY disapointed that there weren't MORE re-done VFX. Most of the shots were all exactly the same with maybe a few touches added. And I couldn't believe my fucking eyes when the death star blew and it was the same fucking shot! With a shock wave ring. what really bugs me is that Lucas was so obviously influenced by Star Trek ringed shock wave explosions. I think with a bit of imagination any one here could imagine a truely breathtaking detonation of the death star.
June 4, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST
I wanted the battle over Yavin to be sped up and more battle shots. What was done was a cool and was an improvement, but he could have done so much more. Bah, now some fanboys are going to put a hit out on me.
June 4, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST
Some changes would be okay -- improving the FX, removing the squares around the TIE-fighters, that sort of thing. Even adding in scenes like Han and Jabba in Ep 4 would be fine -- if done well. But they weren't. The same mind that created Jar Jar was fully in control during the making of SW:SE and so we have that metality at the helm, and that sucks. Would you want the guy that invented Jar Jar to redo your favorite movie? I hope not. And no, I don't consider it the same mind that existed in that same skull twenty years ago. A lot went on in that skull in those twenty years, and I can only assume it wasn't good. I just wish there was enough left of that old George to respect what he had done before -- like in Flowers for Algernon when at the end the guy knew he had once been a great intellect but was now reduced to his original self. But at least he respected and admired who he had been. Not so with George. No flowers for George. Sigh.
June 4, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST
by Fenton Meiks
One thing bores and annoys me more than both George Lucas and the "will he won't he release the original versions" saga. The sad morons (Doctor Sin, and the rest)who feel the need to berate fans of the originals for wanting them released in a decent form. OK, we get it. You love the soulless new trilogy, and get moist over the fact that CG creatures now inhabit the original trilogy at every pointless opportunity. Fair enough, I don't have a problem with that. The difference is, you can watch any of those films, in shiny, pristine anamorphic splendour, anytime you want. If it wasn't for those like myself, who paid their money and turned Lucas into the fat-walleted, goitre-necked tyrant he's become, you wouldn't have the Phantom Menace et al, which you love so much. Is it really too much to ask for those that prefer the original theatrical versions which lined Georgie's pockets to be rewarded with a bit of respect and at least given a proper dvd version, not a cynical, lazy, half-arsed laserdisc transfer? People of my generation who are Star Wars fans will always want a proper release of the films they grew up loving. Not one person my age I've spoken to about it prefers the Special Editions, therefore there will always be a clamour for the originals' release, even if we have to wait until Beardo pops his clogs. And if you can't like, tolerate or understand that, Doctor Sin, then in your own words "Fuck you".
June 4, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST
i don't really give a flying fart about the guy. but who really wants to watch old crappy versions of the movies? if you were in a band and made a really sucky album then learned how to play the guitar and rerecorded that same album, wouldn't you rather have people remember the GOOD album instead of the craptastic one? george would just rather have people remember star wars as an epic great movie, instead of a campy 70's attempt at epic.
June 4, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST
who'd rather watch the old crappy versions? they make me laugh. and not in a good way.
June 4, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
It's pretty simple really, do you want to see all classic films redone with CGI? Do we want James Cameron to do an SE of Aliens? The robot vs. the queen would look fucking sweet in CGI, but fuck that shit. Some scenes do look better in the SW:SE, others are absolute abortions and completely overwhelm any good things that that they actually did accomplish in the SE. Greedo first, the original CGI Jabba (yikes), musical number in the palace, Hayden as a ghost, the ROTJ shot used for Darth boarding the Star Destroyer, erasing the body explosions, extended Mos Eisley is good but we don't need those ASS droids, and the list could go on. The point is that there are eye rolling grown enducing changes that are re-fucking-tarded and should have never happened. Keep out the Ewok song, I'm okay with that, but the obviously bad choices ruin the entire SE and make them unwatchable.
June 4, 2006, 2:49 p.m. CST
I think people are more pissed that Greedo fired first the second time around than they are about the revamped VFX.
June 4, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST
by Mister Man
June 4, 2006, 5:10 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
Oh no, someone named "ThaSithMaster" has called us dorks and 40 year old virgin fanboys, whatever are we supposed to do? You must be right there Mr. Sith, you are after all a "Master".....Geezus, why don't you go stick your Padme bubblebath dispenser up your ass, your opinion means little to nothing when you actually have some gay ass Star Wars reference in your screenname, Darth Fucktard.
June 4, 2006, 7:35 p.m. CST
I agree with Hairy Nutsack. There's a sentence I never thought I'd write. Anyway, Hairy, I suppose SithMaster likes Jar Jar, too, probably has some Jar Jar pajamas. Anybody that has the bad taste to prefer SW:SE must be a Binks man. Mesa no likey. Sure, SithMaster, the SEs looked crisper and spiffier, but Mike Meyer's Cat in the Hat looked crisp and spiffy, too, and that sucked ass. But I don't think very many fanboys would mind if George corrected the FX from the OT and cleaned it up a bit. But actually altering the basic substance of the characters? I mean, having Han shoot first was what made him so cool. And yes, that's a big deal. And I'm married with a decent job.
June 4, 2006, 8:51 p.m. CST
Is if Lucas dies and then someone else with some fresh ideas and has a base in fandom takes over the franchise. Personally, I want to see more movies, maybe like 3 a decade or so. I would definitely love to make some films myself which are in my mind a lot more grand in terms of scale. I always wanted to see a hot, female jedi take center stage as the main character in a trilogy. How awesome would that be? Character development would be just as important as FX and there would be absolutely no cameos from movies past. A fresh canvas to paint on, so to speak. The only links to earlier films would probably be tech and vehicles, depending on the time frame. Ahhh to dream.........
June 5, 2006, 12:08 a.m. CST
...hate it so much that I read every column just to reinforce how much I hate it, and to say so again in the talkback. And to blame Latauro for the fact that films are released later in Australia. If I had half a brain I'd stop reading columns I don't like. Fortunately I don't.
June 5, 2006, 3:21 a.m. CST
If you watch the films in episodic order, the Empire comes to power, and is later destroyed by the rebels. However, that's not how they were made. Watch them in chronological order, and the Empire wins. For some reason, I find that very telling... It tell's me your a fucking idiot!
June 5, 2006, 6:58 a.m. CST
Nope...you didn't do your job. Saw it. Liked it. Sorry. Maybe next time. But probably not.
June 5, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST
Where are your god damn manners?
June 5, 2006, 9:46 a.m. CST
by Childe Roland
...comes from, man. I really do. I felt the same way during my post-viewing analysis of The Phantom Menace. After my anger had subsided. I went through Clones and into Sith completely numb. But Sith made me angry again. Because of all the prequels, it came closest to being a good movie. So close, in fact, that if I had access to an AVID edit suite and some talented mimics (who could redo Christensen's and some of Palpatine's and Obi Wan's dialogue), I could fix it. It makes me furious that nobody ripped that turd out of Lucas' hands prior to release and polished it up so it wouldn't leave such an evil taste in so many fan mouths. So I guess Lucas succeeded with Sith in that he got me to care again. But not enough that I even considered buying yet another set of discs.
June 5, 2006, 10:10 a.m. CST
Im sorry but every freaking one of you was into the SE when they re-released it back in the day. Every fucking threater was PACKED. Im sick of the purist bitching myself, the SE is far superior to the original, even with some of the questionable changes. I happened to have the original on tape and threw it in just to remember what it looked like and I couldnt believe how BAD it looked. It was awful, especially IV. VI wasnt too bad, but then it was also the one that got the least amount of changes. V was so so (see-thru speeders, nuff said) I think the problem is of course rose colored glasses. Most of the original lovers saw the original when they where like 8, they dont realize how BAD they where now. Same thing with Star Trek TMP, until the directors cut, the people who loved that movie (and still do) just didnt realize how BAD that movie was graphically and diolog wise. The directors cut of that improve the movie a hundred fold.
June 5, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST
by Fenton Meiks
Sorry Falcon, but you seem to be confused. You're mistaking how a film looks with how good it is. OF COURSE the SE DVD's look better than dodgy old VHS copies of the originals. My flatmate's DVD copy of Anaconda looks better than my VHS copy of The Maltese Falcon. Doesn't mean it's not a stinking serpent-sized turd by comparison. Also, while you're probably correct in assuming that most OT fans went to the cinema to see the SE when it was released, that does not mean they preferred it. I went along to see the SE of Star Wars, blissfully unaware of the unnecessary CGI shitfest that awaited me, and left the cinema perplexed at what had happened to one of my favourite films. I didn't go to see the others after that. Just because the cinema was packed has no bearing on how good the film was. The cinema was heaving for The Phantom Menace, Pearl Harbour, and The Matrix Reloaded, and they stunk like a nylon bag full of rotting corpses on a hot summers day. Rose-tinted glasses or not, the fact remains, cleaning a film up and digitally enhancing it is one thing, but when you make unnecessary changes to a film then call it the "definitive" version, you shouldn't be surprised when people are pissed off. For the record, Star Trek TMP was and is so bad, it almost makes the one Shatner directed look like a classic.
June 5, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
The only thing you're right about is that we all went to see the SE, what your wrong about is that we liked them. In fact, after the abortive 'Darth returns to his SD' scene I didn't bother to see ROTJ:SE, and thank christ I didn't. ROTJ was already criticized for being the Muppet Show, and what does he do? (the answer is he added more Muppets BTW) When I watch the originals with my 5yo son I never see "bad" in the same way that when I watch my original cut of Raiders I don't see "bad", what I see is a fantastic film that is a product of its time. So I'll keep wearing my rose colored lenses and you keep enjoying the Dirty Sanchez the Goiter gives you everytime you watch the SE.
June 5, 2006, 6:43 p.m. CST
by Lone Fox
Get the fuck over it. You're the ones who've been bitching about Lucas since Jedi, now you think he owes you? He's self-financed every film he's made since the original SW made its money. If you've been unsatisfied for the last 20 years and are STILL handing over your hard-earned, you only have yourself to blame.
June 5, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST
"Would you want the guy that invented Jar Jar to redo your favorite movie?" Think about this quote for a minute... Then think about it a little longer... Getting a headache yet? That's because there's absolutely no logic involved with it, espeacially when you realize thats its a reference to George Lucas and the Star Wars special editions. Yes, George Lucas created Jar Jar. But he also created Star Wars! And besides, he didn't redo someone else's movie he redid HIS movie! If you haven't realized it by now, you might need me to point out that he's a very "hit and miss" kind of guy. Its very frustrating at times. Most genius' are frustrating people in general but at least Lucas has always tried to give us something new and different. I think in time people will realize the cultural significance of all of Star Wars beyond lunch boxes and toy lightsabers. Maybe then they'll understand why its more significant to call yourself "Jedi Sean" or "The Sith Master" instead of "Hairy Nutsack". Oh and btw, a guy that calls himself a reference to any part of the male genetilia should never call someone else gay! Sigmund Freud would have a field day on you Hairy!
June 5, 2006, 10:49 p.m. CST
JediSean81, I'll forgive you your idiotic post because you obviously have no reasoning ability and should not be held accountable for what you say/write. If you did, you would have read my entire post and would have understood what I said about the mind that created Jar Jar. Go back, read it again. I explained it pretty clearly. And at least Hairy Nutsack has some balls.
June 6, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
The name started in on-line gaming. Messages like "Bob got blasted by Pete" made me want to come up with a name that inspired "dread" in my victims, what's the last thing I'd like to get killed by? And so, after several test names, Hairy Nutsack was born. No Freudian nonsense, just plain old humor. The name has followed me around on-line for quite a few years and it's just easier to stick with it, but thanks for trying to psychoanalyze me. I would suggest that anyone with a Star Wars reference in their screename is wholly unfit to have an opinion in this debate. Talk about bias.*****Thanks GreatWhite LOL!
June 7, 2006, 8:08 p.m. CST
jedisean81: you need a girlfriend. And no your blow up doll doesn't count. THE MOVIES AREN'T REAL. Unfortunately your pathetic life is. I liked the review. How this shit turned into a life and death struggle for dominance about who knows more about Star Wars, WHO GIVES A FUCK.
June 8, 2006, 10:48 p.m. CST
The original film for the "holy" trilogy of Star Wars films is being preserved by the National Archives. So much for the "taping over" story. Plus, the restoration project that scrubbed clean the trilogy with 600 PowerMacs to make way for the DVD release cleaned up the "original" negatives. So again, this does not wash.
June 8, 2006, 10:49 p.m. CST
Why buy these? There's obviously already 1080p editions waiting to be deployed on whichever format (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray) prevails...
June 12, 2006, 7:40 a.m. CST
Hey dood, I saw the screening too. I thought it was fuckin cool man. I might be younger than 30 but i understand the shit. Reckon its good that we can do this shit too. I'm into Macbeth Geoff Wright go man.
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