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Author Topic: Star Wars reviews
Paul Konen

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:27 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Since we got to screen last night as part of our job requirements, let's put our
comments here.

Paul Konen

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:28 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I thought it was pretty good. I'm not a fanatic but I did think it was good.
After watching it though, I felt like I wanted to watch the original just to see
how the story was lining up to EP-4.

Jar Jar was a bit annoying at times and also hard to understand but yet was a
great comic relief. Pod racing was great and so was battle scene.

I would rate about 3+ stars.

We got 4 prints for our Dallas Theatre. Interesting side note, 2 of our print
numbers were 1136 and 1137. My booth manager upon discovering this
hoped that, he had hoped for 1138 which has some history with Lucas and
his first THX film?

And of course,
May the Force be with you all and no brain wraps.

Which we have discovered a way to prevent it with SPECO platters.

Brad Miller

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:29 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
You doing the old trick of sticking a 2 inch trailer core on the full speed
bumper in the brain? Re-aligning the magnet so there is no 100% position?

I'm curious as to your method.

Paul Konen

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:29 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Use masking tape and double side it so no sticky is exposed.

Attach one end to the closest brain roller and the other end to the payout
arm. You have to crimp it inwards along the tape or the payout arm will not
go to 0 and will "speed wrap" after you have threaded the platter.

It worked real well when our print of Entrapment became stretched and
would have constant static.

Joe Redifer

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:30 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I thought the film was OK at best. The effects were good, but there was
waaaaaaay too much CG. And most of the CG looked fake. And Liam
Neeson (sp?) could never look the CG characters in the eye when he was
talking to them, because they weren't there. The acting was stiff. I did like the
pod race and the last lightsaber battle had good choreography.

The film has phenomenal sound! Lots of tight subs and the voices are not
harsh at all (assuming your auditorium is EQ'd properly, you can easilly run it
at 7.2 or higher on the fader). We have both EX and ES. The DTS ES
sounded just a teeny weeny bit better than the more expensive EX unit, but I
felt that both were rather unimpressive. I don't have an ear on the back of my
head! EXTENDED SURROUND is not worth the price, believe me. It's not
something that will make customers keep coming back again and again (but
they will anyway if you already have great sound).

Jar Jar was annoying, and the plot was boring. I looked at my watch, counted
ceiling tiles (the ones I could see), and stuff like that. Definitely not an instant
classic like the REAL Star wars movies were (except Jedi which is
questionable simply because of the ewoks and for no other reason).

Ian Price

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:30 AM            Edit/Delete Post 

Hey Joe!

Isn't getting old a bitch?

Erika Hellgren

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:31 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
You have a point, Ian. When I saw the original Star Wars, I was a kid ... I'm
not a kid anymore, so I didn't enjoy the movie at all. If I had a little brother or
sister I would recommend it for them.

Aaron Mehocic

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:31 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I won't say that I didn't enjoy the 45 minutes of film that I saw, but the
underwater city scene immeadiatly following the invasion of Naboo was
pathetic. The reason I left the screening was not out of disgust, but out of
respect for a good night's sleep. Our entire projectionist staff save one was
there anyway, so my eyes and ears were not as important. It was difficult for
me to keep thinking I was watching "Star Wars" since the old characters such
as Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and the like were all missing. It was heartwarming
though when C3PO and R2-D2 met. Tonight at 12:01, we are having a
public showing (the showing I planned on attending for the past week), so I
will see it in its entirety then.

Brad Miller

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:31 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I actually saw it a few weeks ago (and have been sitting idle quietly for
fear of the Lucas goons...haha)

I really wished the Jar Jar Binks would've bit it, but I knew he wouldn't. I
couldn't stand the slapstick crap of his, such as during the final battle where
he got caught up in the droids and kept accidentally blasting other droids. It's
too "silly" for me.

It definitely dragged during the middle for a good long while. Lots of looking
at the watch, but I must admit, I didn't actually count ceiling tiles.

The end battle with Darth Maul was very well done! Why oh why did we
have to keep jumping back to the Ewoks of Episode 1 during that scene???

Oh well, I actually liked it more the second time I saw it. Probably from all
the over-hype the first time.

Joe Redifer

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:32 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Brad that it gets better the second time around. And I also agree
that it is annoying that it cuts back to the "ewoks" of Episode 1 during the
awesome lightsaber battle! Actually I noticed this in Jedi as well. You were
really interested in the dual between Vader and Luke, but it kept cutting to
scenes that you just simply didn't care about! Very annoying and distracting. I
felt the exact same way during the lightsaber battle in EP 1, I didn't care
about the princess's battle or the CG Braveheart wannabe battle scene with
Jar Jar---I just wanted to watch the awesome lightsaber scenes!

Still, the sound is some of the best I have heard in a movie, and I will
continually watch certain parts of this movie just for the sound.

Ken Layton

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:32 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I saw Star Wars Tuesday night and the only real impressive part was the
sound. I didn't have to touch the fader once! And yes, the pod racing was
very good---showed off the surrounds quite nicely!
Crowds I've seen so far have been so-so. No sell outs and it could be a
one week wonder.

Ian Price

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:52 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Ok, I have now seen Star Wars. Here are my thoughts. The Acting
sucked. The two characters I enjoyed the most get killed in the end. The
characters I liked least get to live on for the sequel. The good news is that
there will be a new actor for Anakin Skywalker. Did anyone else think the
Jedi council was lame? Just who is the guy with the long neck? I’d like to
see him in a light saber duel. Who knows? If all the Jedi’s die except Yoda,
perhaps we will get to see those characters fight. Think Samuel L. Jackson
in a kick-ass fight.

I loved the art direction. I liked the cities and the towns of the movie. I
liked the costumes. I didn’t like the pod racers much. I really didn’t like the
Queens ship. It had no detail. It must be a Lexus. Did anyone else notice
that here ship looked like a highly polished SR71 spy plane?

Like the critics said, there is no fun and frivolity in the film. I miss the
irreverent Hans Solo.

How many scenes were the same as in the original Star Wars? Princess
Lea running through the death star with her blaster. Queen Amedala
running through her temple with her, ever so slim, blaster. The end of the
film we have the happy natives partying. I think they even had horns like the
Ewoks. We have the Queen / Lea standing on the steps in victory. We
have two scenes where our hero Hans / Leam battling to board his
spacecraft. We have the same shot of the back of the villain’s head, Darth
Vader / Maul as our hero speeds away. Can anyone else come up with
other similarities?

Does anyone else think it is strange that R2D2 and C3PO existed 36 years
earlier? I have to replace my computer every five years. I have to replace
my car every 10 years. Their technology doesn’t seem to progress as fast,
as ours does in a time of war. They do seem to have a whole new theory of
space flight. There are no ships in this version like in Star Wars. Shouldn’t
we see a freighter like the Millennium Falcon in better shape? Think about
it, the Air Force still flies B-52s. You would think that there would be
similar war spaceships.

The plot points were predictable. But I guess familiarity breeds contempt. I
didn’t want to rag on this film. I actually was trying to be open minded
when I saw it. But ragging on it is fun. I thought John Williams score was
uninspired. I would have liked to have had a newer, fresher composer on
this film. Perhaps we could have had a different director. I like Lucas’
vision but his exicution suffers. We needed fresh direction.

This movie is starting to look like a money grab. Lucas made 1.2 billion on
merchandising agreements before the film opened. I heard that he charged
1.2 million for one screening in Denver for a company to see his film. I
went to a 6:45 showing of the film on Thursday night. It was at one of
Denver’s newest and well put together theatres. This theatre does very
good business. The parking lot only had a hundred cars in it. The 6:45
showing in their small auditorium was only half full. The ones in their large
auditoriums were 80% full. Except for Denver’s one premiere house I
don’t think it will be problem getting in to see Phantom Menace. I guess
those people who waited in line for a month just wasted their time.

I watched the projectionist run a loop of RP40 to make sure the lens was
focused. He checked all the sound channels with a DTS test disc. They
really try to give a good presentation there. I have some problems with the
film. I thought the sound was harsh in the high frequencies. I notice this a lot
with digital sound. Is it just me? There was richness to the 6-track magnetic
soundtracks that the digital doesn’t have. It could be a form of distortion,
but I liked the way mag sounded. I heard the mag master for Dracula at an
unmarried print screening. One week later I heard the Dolby Digital track
and the mag sounded better. Granted the Mag track was only hours old
when I heard it.

Since so much of the film was CG I noticed some of the edges of the CG
effects weren’t a nicely done as some I have seen. There was an overall
softness of focus to the film. Every item looked IL defined. Some of the
CG effects were not that good. There must have been a B team at ILM.
When the Jedi jump out of the vent at the beginning of the film, it looked
fake. Some of the light saber duel looked fake. Even more than Chop Suky
movies with their wire flying. The fights in the origional movie looked better.

I told someone last night that I didn’t have anything new to say in reviewing
this film for the Film Handler Forum. I guess I was wrong.

Brett Rankin

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:53 AM            Edit/Delete Post 

Yes, I was disappointed too. But could they really have made a prequel
that would come even close to the original trilogy? All of the familiar
characters are gone, replaced by ones that can't act, and just the look and
feel of the movie was completely different. The two things that annoyed me
the most in the movie were Jar Jar Binks and that alien Viceroy (picture
below, not sure if you can see it). Jar Jar needs no explanation, as Lucas's
vain attempt for comic relief came off as little more than annoying in a very
unfunny way. The Viceroy just looked so obviously fake that it didn't blend
in with all the CG effects of the movie.

What made it fun for me, though, was the fact that I saw it at the Mann's
Chinese theater on opening night. A friend of mine's father knows the
manager, and he was able to get us in without waiting in line a full 20
minutes before everyone else got in. The enthusiasm from all ythose people
who had been waiting in line for a month was unparallelled. The auditorium
didn't quiet down until well into the first reel of the movie, with constant
booing throught the trailers, especially DiCaprio in the Beach). My only
dissapointment there was that the most famous theater in the world wasn't
running 70mm, as I had expected.

I disagree with you in regard to the composer- John Williams is the only
person who can do Star Wars. He wrote the theme and the other great
music fron the original trilogy, and Jerry Goldsmith or David Arnold or
Hans Zimmer couldn't do any better. Wiulliams IS Star Wars, and they
can't replace him.

Well I'm done. Anyone else?

Christopher Seo

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:53 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Since I've only seen the movie in bits and pieces from the projection booth,
I can't comment on the plot that much. So I'll have to just make general

First of all the technical aspects. I simply don't like the idea of digital
effects, although I like both computers and film. I was pleased to note that
CG characters still look fake. Muscle movements are too smooth and their
whole movement is too sluggish and fluidlike. Real animals (including
humans) move more abruptly than that. The CG settings (i.e. all of the
settings, I guess) were pretty good but anything CG suffers from not being
able to appear to reflect light convincingly--i.e. from that alone you can tell
they aren't "real". For all these reasons, it's painfully obvious when real
humans are supposedly talking to CG characters, which seems to be about
every other shot.

They seemed to have kept the real Yoda puppet... I wonder why? Perhaps
Lucas is conceding that Yoda just wouldn't be Yoda if he were
computer-generated? It certainly couldn't be a cost issue.

As for picture quality... I was under the impression that Lucas wasn't
interested in striking any 70mm prints. He seems much more interested in
adding one more channel to Dolby Digital than improving picture quality.
Anyone know more about this?

As for the non-technical aspects... I agree that perhaps we shouldn't
necessarily have expected the simple feel-good entertainment of the original
Episode IV. The title of this episode is after all "The Phantom Menace" and
not "The New Hope". The next episodes, which will presumably detail
Annakin's turning toward the dark side, probably won't make for a lot of
laughs unless the actor playing him is really bad. And, I might add, the
acting of the other Star Wars movies was sometimes dorky, which was
part of the charm.

From the parts I heard the music is okay... at least, it's appropriate to the
plot. I agree that it's nearly unthinkable to replace Williams, but he is more
or less known for those lively, simple, repititious and VERY addictive
tunes. This is somewhat different music, of course. I don't think anyone will
be humming the dark chorus strains, though.

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