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A Few Words About A few words about... Star Wars on DVD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Along with a few others, I picked up a widescreen boxed set of the Star Wars Trilogy yesterday at my local Sam Goody, after wending my way around and between life size cut-outs of virtually every character in every film emblazoned with signs which read "I'm for sale."

    After finding the box in question and making my way (again) around the various human-sized bits of cardboard, I was greeted by a sales clerk, who wondered "Don't you want any of the other Star Wars stuff? 20% off."

    I didn't. I simply wanted the DVDs.

    "You don't want the CD?"

    I didn't.

    "How about the X-box game?"

    I didn't.

    It was one of those experiences like placing an order at a fast food window when you've got to get back to the office and being required to go through the litany of obligatory questions...

    "Can we 'biggie' that for you? "Would you like an apple pie?" "Arsenic with your meal?"

    When I finally made it back to the office and dropped the DVD of Star Wars into my player and viewed the image on my monitor I was pleased.

    Later in the evening I sampled a number of different scenes from different discs on a larger system, and also was pleased.

    I've been reading about some technical issues which I didn't notice, as I don't know the films as well as many.

    But those issues aside, Fox seems to have done a very professioinal job wiith the trilogy.

    There is no debate about what they are.

    These are not your father's Star Wars trilogy.

    They are different films.

    Updated. Re-modeled. And changed to fit the desires of the filmmaker.

    And I'm certain that Fox and Lucasfilm are aware, newly copyrightable works, good for another 95 years of protection as new editions.

    Which is what they are. New Editions.

    Like any number of the classic Disney animated features, which have little in common with their original release versions in a physical sense, the Star Wars films are new and different.

    And I don't see that as a bad thing.

    They're going to be viewed by newer and more sensitive eyes to special effects, unborn when the films were released. The effects might have looked imperfect had they not been re-made.

    The films are pretty.

    They are clean.

    Mr. Lucas is happy.

    While there may be some technical issues still be to attended to, this is a superb product.

    I'm fine with it. The first three Star Wars films for under $50 total.

    Had I only been able to simply go into the store and buy them.

    RAH
     
  2. KyleC

    KyleC Well-Known Member

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    I was also pleased with what little I saw the other day. I watched the attack on the Death Star and god it was so clean! I keep telling people it looked like it was filmed this summer. The only problem (and it's not really one) is the bass is too high! lol I love bass my poor little sub can't handle the lower frequencies. However, it sounds phenomenal!
     
  3. Anthony Clifton

    Anthony Clifton Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure there are plenty of people on here that will argue that those types of things mean nothing to Lucas and friends. I'm not one of those people. [​IMG]

    My question: does the 'new copyright' affect the old versions? That is, would the originals enter the public domain later because of the new versions? Or do they remain totally separate?
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As far as I understand the world of copyrights, one would not
    affect the other.

    Unless, the copyright laws are changed again, you'll have free use of the original Star Wars in 2072.

    RAH
     
  5. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Well-Known Member

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    2072? I better break out the Geritol and the wheelchair, 'cuz I'm gonna need 'em! I hope I'm just as spry at 105-106 as I am at 38 when I watch 'em again on whatever new high-tech format the late 21st century unrolls! [​IMG]
     
  6. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Well-Known Member

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    [c]Madacy Entertainment
    is proud to present
    THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY
    restored to its full-screen glory![/c]


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Well-Known Member

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    HAHAHAHAH!! Randy that is classic!! And maybe THIS will be a Star Wars thread in which I can read more than four entries before feeling saddened and repulsed by the human condition!![​IMG]
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Well-Known Member

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    Robert Harris,

    I have a question for you. I understand that the folks at LOWRY DIGITAL wished they had more time to work on these films. To my eyeballs, it looks like every bit of dirt and dust, and all scratches and other flaws, have been removed. The prints look practically flawless. My question is this: What, in your opinion, could Lowry have done had they spent more time on these films? In other words, how much room for improvement is there on these discs? (I'm talking solely about the restoration by Lowry, not the effects touch-ups by ILM or any sound issues.) I would appreciate any thoughts you have on the matter. Thank you.
     
  10. Stephen J*

    Stephen J* Well-Known Member

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    I wish they offered me 20% off the XBOX game...but then I wouldn't have as much free time to enjoy my Star Wars DVDs (again).
     
  11. Stephen Brooks

    Stephen Brooks Well-Known Member

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    For one thing, the "color drift" problem in ANH is still present. It's nowhere near as bad as it was in the Special Edition, but they didn't take care of it completely. Watch the opening desert scenes in particular....as R2 and 3PO are walking down a sand dune, the scene shifts color 3 or 4 times at least.

    There are also several scenes, particularly in Jedi, that look a bit soft and could use some sharpening up. Other than that, the image is pretty flawless. There's still the "Emperor slugs" and a few lingering matte boxes that I imagine either Lowry or ILM could have erased if they'd wanted to, but I guess it wasn't a priority for this release.
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    To Rob Gardiner...

    I've not a clue.

    RAH
     
  13. David Williams

    David Williams Well-Known Member

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    I definitely noticed this. It some shots the desert looks like a rich gold and in others it's flat like khaki. This is just a minor problem... I was blown away by how beautiful the film looks. Kudos to Lowry and all the great people who slaved to create these discs. [​IMG]
     
  14. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Well-Known Member

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    re: copyright,

    Since Disney et. al. seem to always get their way with continuous and everlasting extensions of copyright, you can bet that when your grandchildren will be ready to avail themselves of a public domain copy of Star Wars, Congress will pass another extension.

    Seriously (as if I wasn't), the new editions and the originals are separate works, and their copyrights will expire at whatever the expiration ends up being for the date each was originally copyrighted. I won't get into the actual date, since that will change before we get there.

    An interesting book on the subject is
    Free Culture
    by Lawrence Lessig

    Oddly, this copyrighted work is available free (legally) under the Creative Commons license, in PDF form.

    http://free-culture.org/freecontent/

    Back on topic:
    Thanks Robert, for your initial impressions.
    I picked this up on Tuesday, but I honestly don't think I'll have time to put it in my player until... Sunday, if I'm lucky.

    -Scott
     
  15. andrew markworthy

    andrew markworthy Well-Known Member

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    Mr H

    Thank you for restoring my sanity. I've been happily watching these discs and thinking how good the picture and sound were and enjoying the movies themselves, but given the general fuss about the releases I was wondering whether my critical judgement had taken a major fall. Apparently not, given your (and on a separate thread Ron E's) comments.
     
  16. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Well-Known Member

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    Stephen Brooks:

    Are you suggesting they should've added edge-enhancement in order to make soft shots on the original negative look "sharper"? Maybe the "softness" was intentional. Removing dirt and scratches is one thing, electronically "sharpening" shots that are intentionally soft is another.

    Vincent
     
  17. Stephen Brooks

    Stephen Brooks Well-Known Member

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    Vincent, Lowry claims to have sharpening tools that don't add edge halos or other artifacts. I don't know exactly how it works but they said it was used on these masters, which appear to be mostly free of "edge enhancement" (something I never cared about or even knew EXISTED until I read these forums, thank you all very much! lol).
     
  18. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Well-Known Member

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    Stephen:

    Fair enough re: Lowry's sharpening tools that don't add edge halos, but my point re: intentionally soft images being "sharpened" by a video transfer technician still stands. Given that they had access to those sharpening tools for the ROTJ transfer, the fact that there are still "soft" shots tell me that this was an artistic decision on the part of the filmmakers.

    Vincent
     
  19. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Well-Known Member

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    My wife pre-ordered my disks from Amazon for my birthday. Even with the Free Shipping (USPS) option, they arrived yesterday and were available for viewing when I got home from work. I was at first dismayed that I may have to wait a while for my disks, but was then pleased when they arrived in such a timely fashion. I am now, also pleased that I didn't have to endure the sales gimmicks. Oh yeah, I have only watched about 2/3 of A New Hope, and I am really impressed with the picture quality.
     
  20. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Well-Known Member

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    At last a breath of sanity regarding the Star Wars release.

    Having watched ANH in it's entirety and marvelled at how great it looks and sounds overall, I was frankly getting very angry about all the nitpicking going on.

    I didn't notice any music flipped in the surrounds, no matter how hard I tried. I'm sure it's there, but it just is not the huge deal so many make it out to be.

    I think everyone involved in the production of this set deserves to know that this customer is perfectly satisfied and appreciative of the work that went into this.
     

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