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HTF MINI-REVIEW: Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 2

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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted December 12 2005 - 06:01 AM


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STAR WARS: CLONE WARS
Volume Two





Studio: 20th Century Fox
Year: 2005

Rating: NOT RATED

Film Length: 64 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure/Animation

Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.78:1 enhanced widescreen
Colour/B&W: Colour

Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround[*] Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround[*] French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned: Yes
SLP: US $19.98





Release Date: December 06, 2005.



Entertainment Rating: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Voices of: Corey Burton, Anthony Daniels, John DiMaggio, Nick Jameson, Tom Kane, Mat Lucas

Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky



This is the second volume of the Emmy Award-winning animated shorts that help bridge the story between Star Wars: Episodes 2 & 3. The first volume featured more shorts at a 3-minute length and focussed mainly on the Clones Wars. Extensive war footage not included in the theatrical film can be viewed in animated form on this first collection. When watching them all at once, there is little storyline to follow and it can be slightly fatiguing after 30 minutes.

Volume 2 takes a different approach. These shorts are now much longer; anywhere from 12-15 minutes each and present a story that resembles watching an entirely new Star Wars story. When watching these in a “play all” scenario, this is a mini-movie.

I forgot that I was watching animation. I watched the story of how General Grievous gains power among the Separatists, the kidnapping of Senator Palpatine, how General Grievous got his cough, and, most importantly, the moment Anakin Skywalker is knighted a Jedi.

These moments in Volume 2 provide necessary background information that we just had to take word for during the opening credits of Episode III. These shorts are good, despite being slightly “cartoonish” in it’s themes and presentation, but highly recommended for viewing as a bridge story between Episodes II & III.


Posted ImageVIDEO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


The colourful image is outstanding on this disc but falls short in quality from Volume 1. On this THX-approved transfer, compression artefacts are noticeable and distracting during the scenes in outer space. Aside from that, the image is impressive in contrast and colour. The aspect ratio is 1.78:1.


Posted ImageAUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

WOW! These shorts are now upgraded to 5.1 surround sound in comparison to the previous volume’s 2.0 surround soundtrack. There are MANY improvements in the audio. First: there is bass – and lots of it (and in EACH channel including the surrounds!!) The previous volume had virtually none and made it disappointing. You WILL NOT be disappointed here.

But bass isn’t everything, is it? In each episode you’ll experience a wide soundstage and full use of the 5 full-range channels in your system. The audio is always spread and panned around the soundstage making for great direct and phantom imaging.

The dialogue is forward and doesn’t integrate well all of the time, but at least it doesn’t suffer from the nasty distortion that plagued the first volume. Dynamics, overall, feel compressed too.


Posted ImageSPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

The one feature that will be of interest to most people is the Connecting the Dots featurette. The director and some of the crew talk about the approach taken with this second volume of shorts during the story design. They worked with information received from LucasFilm about Episode III and was left with the creative options for making the story (and that shocks me considering the iron-fist control Lucas loves to have on Star Wars projects). At about 20 minutes, it’s worth the watch.

Also included is an audio commentary from Tartakovsky and his crew, two art & storyboard/sketches galleries, plus trailers for LucasArts videogames and a playable Xbox demo of two levels of Star Wars: Battlefront II. I would have loved to give it a try, but for some reason my Xbox games are making me feel very nauseous leaving me with a headache for hours. Weird.

Also, be sure the check out the trailer for LEGO’s Revenge of the Brick. It’s a 5-minute Star Wars short as LEGO if you haven’t guessed yet.


IN THE END…

In short: I recommend Volume II of Star Wars: Clone Wars. It answers most of the questions you may have about Star Wars: Episode III and I found it entertaining. Don’t be fooled, I think this is more of a movie then a bunch of shorts. For this Christmas season, this will make a great gift for a friend in the office or a stocking stuffer for your Star Wars obsessed kids – or yourself!

Michael Osadciw
05.12.12

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#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted December 12 2005 - 11:00 AM

Aha! The missing Bass from Episode III...! We found it!
TOTALLY kidding! Nice review. I liked Vol. 1 alot and haven't seen these yet so this sounds pretty sweet. I wonder if they'll up rerelease Vol. 1 in 5.1 ever?

Posted Image d

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   CoreyII

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Posted December 12 2005 - 05:49 PM

Great Review Michael, I like volume one much more than volume two because it is more action oriented and gives you more of the clone wars which is talked about in films but never really shown in its entireity. Plus with volume one you really can't go wrong with chapter 13 where Mace opens up two sixpacks of whip ass on the battle droids.

Volume two is really well done, but the part where Anakin must help that race of creatures (I don't know their names)tends to get boring. Anyway I'll definitely be picking up volume two in the not too distant future.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   RogerH

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Posted December 12 2005 - 11:30 PM

I liked Volume 2 alot more than Volume 1 (but Volume 1 is still very very good). While I liked all of it imo the last few chapters really step it up a notch. I look forward to seeing this again.

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Joe D

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Posted December 13 2005 - 05:20 AM

I'd really like to pick these up, but $15 for only 64 minutes?

Anyone know if there will be a box set or a single disc down the road with all 3 volumes which won't be so darn expensive?

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 13 2005 - 05:48 AM

Each one is about $12 on Amazon. If this was a 90 minute movie, you'd probably pay another $5 to $8 more than that price so the cost is more or less the same as the average DVD.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 13 2005 - 06:13 AM

Well, it's a high quality 64 minutes Posted Image
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted December 13 2005 - 07:36 AM

I wouldn't have passed this up for the world! I never considered the saga complete until this was in there...now it is. Posted Image

Favorite moment, besides Anakin being knighted (loved how Master Yoda cut off his Padawan lock), was when
Anakin had his vision and we got a quick glimpse of Darth Vader's face on the cave wall!

Posted Image
"That's Jack Bauer!!!!!! He's coming for me!!!!!" - Charles Logan

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 13 2005 - 08:32 AM

My favorite part was in the invasion of Coruscant when
Yoda used the Force to make the Trade Federation landing ships collide with each other.
God, that rocked! Posted Image

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 13 2005 - 08:51 AM

You pansies. My favorite part was the Hammerhead Jedi. Sounds stupid, be he oozed cool with no lines. Even when pushing an elevator button. Loved him.

Roroon Cocobb (Ron Cobb) forevah,
Chuck
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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted December 13 2005 - 10:02 AM

One minor negative observation about this series, while I absolutely LOVE the concept and execution of it all, I would have went with better renderings of the characters, i'm not a big fan of how they look with the hard edges and sometimes bizarre features.

Mace Windu being one of the worst one's, his head has a wierd shape to it that sort of takes me out of it a little.

Anyway, this is all excusable enough because they are so much fun to watch and really do feel like the films. Posted Image

BTW, was anyone else a little put off by C-3PO's "stripping" for Anakin and Padme' to show off his new gold plating? :b
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#12 of 15 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 13 2005 - 11:11 AM

Quote:
was anyone else a little put off by C-3PO's "stripping" for Anakin and Padme' to show off his new gold plating?


Yeah, that's probably the one thing that I didn't enjoy in this run of cartoons. I like that they tried to inject some humor (which is sorely lacking in nearly all of the SW EU stuff) into the cartoons but the C-3PO 'striptease' was just weird. Posted Image

Chuck, the elevator button pushing was a great joke. Maybe joke isn't the right word but it was still funny.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted December 14 2005 - 12:05 AM

I like the style of animation. Reminds me of classic space age-era design.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted December 14 2005 - 04:28 PM

I'll agree with disliking the striptease and the Hammerhead Jedi vocal chords was a great idea!

Mike

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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Jim Smith

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Posted December 16 2005 - 04:47 AM

Star Wars Clone Wars is definutly one of the best cartoon based on a movie ever. It is absolutly fantastic. The action is amazing and the story is the perfect set up for Revenge of the Sith. Picture and sound are great but it is a shame these weren't released as one set since they could have easily fit on one disc. I still recommend this awsome set for all.