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    Star Wars: A New Hope (Special Edition)
    Stars:Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Chewbacca, The Droids, etc.
    It is unusual for me to write a review for a movie I've seen no fewer than 87,216 times, and while some might say I'm biased, I think that any movie critic not giving Star Wars four stars (or whatever their respective maximum score is) has some serious problems. George Lucas' genius is as evident today as it was twenty years ago.

    I saw the original Star Wars twice in the theater, but since I was only 1 year old, I don't remember all that much. How nice it is to see it on the big screen once again! Since I, unlike other movie critics, review the entire moviegoing experience, I'm going to start out this review with a little story. It is a story of three tragically cool guys going to see an insanely popular movie: a movie so popular that all theaters in central Colorado sold out absolutely all shows by noon, with people camping out in line just for the sincere pleasure of seeing it on its opening day.

    Along with my two companions, I'll call them Shawn and Kevin because those are their names, we planned on seeing this movie but we were unfortunately tied up at work. Shawn got off work at 1:00, and headed straight for Cinema 70, the largest theater in southern Colorado. The line stretched completely around the building. Completely. Disappointed, as were we all, Shawn almost gave up on the apparently futile task of finding tickets. Almost. In the neighborhood of the Chapel Hills Mall, on Kevin's suggestion, Shawn decided to see if there were any remaining tickets. The time was now 2:30 in the afternoon. Things looked hopeless as Shawn neared the ticket counter. Just as he approached it, the manager of the theater came out and announced that eight tickets for the 7:00 showing were available! The only possible explanation was that they had undersold the theater. It was obviously our destiny to see the movie! On my way down to Kevin's apartment at 5:30, I got a call from him stating that we did, in fact, have tickets! Unfortunately, rush hour traffic was upon us, so we didn't get to the theater until 6:00. We thought for sure we would be suck on the ass-end of the line. But we weren't! As if that weren't incredible enough, they started seating after we stood in line for but five minutes, giving us Choice Seats in the center of the theater!

    The Force was definitely with us. We had surpassed the insurmountable odds of getting tickets late in the afternoon, and furthermore, got some of the best seats in the theater. Obi Wan Kenobi couldn't have done better. So there we were, anxiously waiting for the lights to dim. In the interim, we found out that this guy sitting next to us got what was thought to be the last two tickets available that day - at 11:30, a full three hours before Shawn got our tickets. Shawn is da man! Anyway, an hour later, after listening to some moronic rumors from the losers sitting behind us (like Harrison Ford was going to be at this showing, and that the movie was 2:45 long), the show was starting.

    And now, on to the review. In spite of our Jedi Skills in getting to see the movie, we were seeing the movie in a crappy theater. It's a brand-new theater, but had its share of bugs. The treble of the sound system was turned much to high, to the point that every time R2-D2 beeped, our ears hurt. The bass volume was equally faint, destroying much of the THX enhancement to the film. About ten minutes into the movie, the sound started screwing up, causing a rapid intermittent blanking of the audio, which produced an irritating and disturbing effect. They had to stop the movie and turn on the lights in order to fix it. Then, an hour later, the screen messed up such that it was split in half: bottom half on the top and vice versa. There was obviously nobody from the theater staff watching, because it took five minutes to get it fixed. I swear, the guy sitting in front of us was so pissed that I thought he was going to whip out his lightsaber and start hacking people.

    After that, the movie played normally, and what a sight it was! There were two major sequences that weren't in the original release, and tons of little snippets and additions throughout. The whole Mos Eisley scene was very cool, although some of the computer-generated humanoids moved awkwardly. The CG additions were sweet, but obvious. The best part is that the CG's enhanced the setting without causing a distraction. The best use of the new effects, however, came in the space scenes, in particular the Death Star attack. I always thought the Death Star explosion was a bit bland, but not now. The explosion of Alderaan was also much much better.

    Unfortunately, some things that I would have liked to see added were not, like the lightsabers, which were left as they were originally done, including this one brief shot when Ben Kenobi's lightsaber is seen as nothing more than a thin stick, just like in the original.

    I suppose there might be those who feel that all the touchups and added effects ruined the original, but I disagree. They only improve on the vision of George Lucas. And then there are those who never liked Star Wars at all. To those unfortunate losers I have only to say, "WAKE UP!" Star Wars is perhaps the single greatest movie of all time! This re-releasing was one hell of an idea. Bravo, George. You made me feel like a kid again.

    On an odd side-note that only I would thing of, why didn't Lucas use these great computer effect to fix those horrible 70's hairstyles? It's no wonder the Empire lost the battle at Yavin. All the top brass had big-ass sideburns! Who could take them seriously?

    Appendum: I went to see Star Wars again in a different theater. It was much more enjoyable this time around, although there was this woman sitting next to me. She laughed at everything except things that could be remotely considered funny. Darth Vader walks in, she laughs. Luke runs to see what his Aunt Beru wants, she laughs. The "walking carpet" line, no laugh. Luke says, "I only wish Ben were here." and she was cracking up as if it were the funniest thing she'd ever seen! I couldn't believe it! What the hell was wrong with her? I mean, enjoying the movie is one thing, but when you laugh at Luke switching off his targeting computer, it's time to seek professional help. There were many other instances, but I don't want to waste bandwidth!

    Anyway, on further inspection, the computer-generated people and monsters looked more realistic, even down to the glare off of a stormtrooper's helmet. I also really got into the Death Star trench run this time. How many movies can you see 87,217 times and still feel the adrenaline? That's something special.

    Comments? E-mail movies@aldebaran.net