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A few words about... Star Wars on DVD


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#1 of 71 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 23 2004 - 02:32 AM

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

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 71 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted September 23 2004 - 02:43 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Anthony Clifton

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Posted September 23 2004 - 02:46 AM

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

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. Posted Image

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 23 2004 - 02:51 AM

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

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#5 of 71 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted September 23 2004 - 02:57 AM

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

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! Posted Image
"I have in my heart what it takes to run with the big dogs in this life, and nobody can say otherwise."

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#6 of 71 OFFLINE   Randy A Salas

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Posted September 23 2004 - 03:26 AM

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


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


Posted Image
Randy A. Salas
DVD Columnist & Feature Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper

#7 of 71 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted September 23 2004 - 03:57 AM

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!!Posted Image

#8 of 71 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 23 2004 - 04:08 AM

Quote:
Madacy Entertainment
is proud to present
THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY
restored to its full-screen glory!

Posted Image

#9 of 71 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted September 23 2004 - 04:25 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Stephen J*

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Posted September 23 2004 - 04:51 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Stephen Brooks

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Posted September 23 2004 - 05:43 AM

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.
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#12 of 71 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 23 2004 - 05:47 AM

To Rob Gardiner...

I've not a clue.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#13 of 71 OFFLINE   David Williams

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Posted September 23 2004 - 06:04 AM

Quote:
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.

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. Posted Image
"Only two things are infinite––the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe." ––Albert Einstein

#14 of 71 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted September 23 2004 - 06:08 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 23 2004 - 06:52 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted September 23 2004 - 06:54 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Stephen Brooks

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Posted September 23 2004 - 07:44 AM

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).
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#18 of 71 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted September 23 2004 - 09:29 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Jeff_CusBlues

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Posted September 23 2004 - 09:38 AM

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 of 71 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted September 23 2004 - 01:53 PM

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.
Steve S.
I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.


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