The People Vs. George Lucas (11/28/12)

The People Vs. George LucasMovie two Hundred Seventy Four

The People Vs. George Lucas covers the intense feelings towards George Lucas over the years.

This documentary, loosely in the form of a courtroom debate, gives both sides of the debate about George Lucas’s recent changes to the  beloved Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Many die-hard Star Wars fans abhor the changes made to the original trilogy and also the newer prequel trilogy, but some fans argue that Lucas has artistic license to make these changes. The film also gives a brief biography of Lucas himself and the release of Star Wars.

I am a huge Star Wars fan, my basement is littered with memorabilia and I’m not ashamed of it. Since I grew up with Star Wars, many assume I hate the prequel trilogy which isn’t true. Yes, they are disappointing films and pale in comparison to the original trilogy in my mind, but I’m not going to get worked up about it. Same goes for the changes made to the original trilogy over the years. Do the changes ruin the film? Not for me. However, at its core, what The People Vs. George Lucas is really asking for is the release of the remastered original trilogy in their theatrical forms and this is a viewpoint I share.

The People Vs. George Lucas is fairly interesting, as a Star Wars and Indiana Jones fan, but for non-fans I’m not sure it would be much more than “wow, look at those nerds get so angry about nothing”. Well, even I was kind of thinking how I was glad I wasn’t at that level of nerdiness that I would throw a tantrum just talking about George Lucas. The back-and-forth between differing viewpoints in The People Vs. George Lucas is interesting and works really well given the largely strong contrast between opinions but the entire thing goes on slightly too long and the filmmakers opinions start to become evident through what is portrayed.

The only people I would recommend The People Vs. George Lucas to are fellow Star Wars nerds. The downside is that we all have our own opinions and the film does nothing to persuade, only presents the opinions on both sides. It’s interesting, for sure, but it’s probably a limited interest group that would care to watch The People Vs. George Lucas.

I give it 3 HAN SHOT FIRSTs out of 5.

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (2/23/12)

The Empire Strikes BackMovie Thirty Five

Ah yes, another original Star Wars movie down…One to go.

Since I covered my thoughts about the current state of the Star Wars universe and the awesomeness of the recent Blu-Ray releases in my review of A New Hope, I won’t double-dip. The Blu-Ray release of The Empire Strikes Back is flawless.

Considered by many (including me) to be the best of the Star Wars films, Empire is chock full of movie goodness. There’s action, romance, double-crossing, evil, heroes, plot twists, humor, great writing, superb characters, and excellent directing. The writing and directing portions are crucial to making Empire the best Star Wars movie – George Lucas did neither.

For some reason, Lucas handed off the reigns for directing and took a backseat on writing this movie and Return of the Jedi. I’m not sure if he thought he had something to prove by taking the reins again to do the prequel trilogy, but I really think that is why the newer movies simply aren’t as good. Lucas created a fantastic universe, but apparently isn’t equipped to make great movies anymore.

Before I get too far off on a nerd rant, watching The Empire Strikes Back is something I could probably do every week for the rest of my life and never grow tired of it. I still noticed new things and appreciated just how good of a movie it is. It truly is a great movie, not just a great Star Wars movie.

I give it 5 bounty hunters out of 5.

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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (2/17/12)

Star Wars: A New HopeMovie Thirty

I think the original Star Wars trilogy should be required watching at some point in every single person’s life. I hope that everyone reading this has seen A New Hope at least once. When the entire Star Wars film catalog was released on Blu-Ray last year I was back to being an excited little kid. I decided to watch the films in order of episode number, starting with the Phantom Menace. The reason for this was wanting to get through the prequel trilogy as quickly as I could.

I savored every single second of A New Hope in amazing high definition. The film looks incredible on Blu-Ray and is still as enjoyable now as it was when I was in elementary school. Many of my fellow Star Wars geeks condemn George Lucas’ alterations to the classic films, but the changes do not bother me, despite how much I love the movies.

There is not much to say about A New Hope that hasn’t been said millions of times before, probably more eloquently than I could hope to do. Even if you skip the prequel trilogy, the original trilogy Blu-Ray set is definitely worth owning. The extra features are bountiful and well worth watching, even for a more casual fan.

Star Wars has helped shape me and has been a large influence on my life and I am not alone in that. There is a magic to the universe that Lucas created and that magic is still every bit as endearing today as it was in 1977.

I give it 5 Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes out of 5.

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