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.
|Star Wars: A New Hope (Special Edition)|
|Stars:||Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Chewbacca, The Droids, etc.|
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
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.