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Old November 25 2010, 07:13 AM   #811
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

264. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [A]
265. Star Wars [A]
266. Contempt [B+]
267. The Night of the Hunter [A]

I'll skip THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, since I recently saw both.

STAR WARS: As much fun to see now as it was when I first saw it as a child (sometime in the early 90s, which is approaching two decades past). This time, however, I caught the (in?)famous fan-edit by Adywan. I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, the subtle changes he makes are brilliant: color-correcting all kinds of mistakes on the DVDs, fixing mixing issues from the DVDs, using digital effects to iron out production mistakes and gaffes, etc. Some of these changes work better than others (some color correcting of the escape pod in the beginning looks fake, and the 1977 audio for Aunt Beru makes her performance inferior to that in the dubbed version), but mostly, they work really well. They remind me of the slight alterations that are all over BLADE RUNNER - THE FINAL CUT.

On the other hand, Adywan makes some big chances that don't work nearly as well. Adding the imperial march to a few scenes seems excessive, and the new Obi-Wan/Darth Vader duel, with much quicker edits and "The Battle of the Heroes" from REVENGE OF THE SITH added, is an awful change. It tries to turn a slow duel into something it's not, and when we cut away to Han, Luke, and the others and the music is still playing it totally ruins the scene. Add to that the final battle (which has so many digital changes and additions that the original is barely left over) and this version still goes a little far.

Still, it says a lot about the (lack of) quality control at Lucasfilm that this is still probably the best release of STAR WARS, technically, and it's not even official!

CONTEMPT: About a third of this film is a brilliant movie about the deterioration of a couple (illustrated by the long, but essential 30-minute apartment sequence). About a third of this film is a brilliant deconstruction of the world of filmmaking, particularly international co-production (with Fritz Lang as himself, and Jack Palance as an absurdly over-the-top producer). About a third really mixes the two, and is less successful. Still, it's in gorgeous cinemascope, and is far from boring, despite what some of my classmates seemed to think.
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