Tag Archives: Disney

Original, Unedited “Star Wars” on Blu-ray: Will Millions of Voices Suddenly Cry Out in Ecstasy?

Star Wars Limited Editions

UPDATE 2/18/16: Sorry folks, this appears to be completely unsubstantiated. 18 months later, I have heard virtually nothing else about this. It’s a rumor that appears to crop up occasionally, either by bloggers hoping for an easy viral post or by overeager fans searching the depths of the internet for any possible edification of their hopes and dreams. I assume this because, a year and a half after publishing it – even taking almost a year off posting altogether! – this post still gets one or two hits almost daily. And as an overeager fan myself, even though I was skeptical, I was clearly duped enough to write a whole post about it. But if you, dear reader, ever hear of anything more concrete on this matter, please post about it in the comments section. Until then I will join the rest of you waiting with baited breath for Disney and Lucasfilm to come to their senses.

ORIGINAL POST 8/16/14:

Disney is apparently planning to finally release the unedited, non-Special-Edition versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy. The news comes from an “Exclusive!” article just published by Comicbook.com. If this is true, it’s wonderful news… IF it’s really true. Somehow, I get the feeling that “if” is a little too big for comfort.

The general consensus among those old enough to know the original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi from before the late 90’s – when Lucasfilm began releasing the “Special Edition” versions into theaters – is that all the new scenes, altered scenes, and computer-generated special effects ended up replacing much of the heart and soul of what made the film so beloved in the first place. While the decidedly one-sided “Han shot first” argument may never die, I personally feel the real tragedy was in replacing gritty, home-made environments and practical puppet aliens with the SE’s overly clean, incongruous computer generated characters and images that pulled the viewer away from the story just to ogle some (not-that-)pretty pictures.

After the prequels were released Lucasfilm decided to make even more changes to the originals, most famously replacing Anakin Skywalker’s aged ghost the end of Jedi with an image of the younger Hayden Christiansen. Besides not making a lick of literal sense, even within the fictional realm of the Star Wars universe, it further served to infuriate fans. Even the casual, not-so-die-hard-fanatic viewers were incredulous. But the studio stuck to their guns and released the DVD’s anyway.

In 2006 however, in one of their very few not-so-terrible decisions of that time, Lucasfilm decided to give in and give their fans what they wanted: Limited Edition DVD’s of the original trilogy in which each film included a second DVD containing the original unedited versions of the films. It was a very limited production run, but at least they placated the fans (slightly). Placated, that is, until Blu-ray became a big hit. Ever since, the heat has been on among Star Wars nerds to convince the studio to release an HD version of the unedited originals.

Which brings me to today’s news. While I have no reason not to trust Comicbook.com – a blog I’ve never actually read (I’ve nothing against the comic book community, but my own geekery has never really gone far in that direction) – my journalistic Spidey-sense is tingling. I may not have much training or experience with investigative journalism, but I’ve seen enough movies about the press to know that you should always check your sources. When I post news articles or other interesting online curios to this blog, I always try to link to the original source.

Unfortunately, in this case at least, Comicbook.com is not so diligent. The most they offer up for proof of their “Exclusive!” is this line:

Comicbook.com has now confirmed with two independent reliable sources that just such a plan is under way.

The author refers to “our sources” four more times in the span of two short paragraphs, but never gives any hint as to what those sources might be. Of course if this release doesn’t happen, their tracks are conveniently covered:

Our sources indicate that the project has been under way for quite some time, but it’s been challenging because of some damage to the original negatives they are utilizing… Our sources did not have an exact date as to when the original cut of the Star Wars Trilogy would be released on Blu-ray, due to the challenges Disney has encountered in pulling everything together.

I don’t know. Perhaps true comic book fans know this blog as a trusted source of reliable journalism. But how hard would it have been to give a little proof of this really incredible claim? It just makes me skeptical, is all.

Jarwalker

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GrabBag – The Positive Effect of YouTube; also… Game of Thrones Movies?

grabbag

Yet another Friday, yet another GrabBag…

  • …And yet another “Let It Go” cover, this one with impressions of various Disney and Pixar characters…
  • Every now and again, it’s nice to be reminded that YouTube can be a very useful and valuable resource for people who actually really need it. This street musician was filmed by a YouTuber, who made ad revenue from the video. In return, he not only gave the revenue back to the musician, but helped him set up and use his own account so he can continue to make revenue.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers take some technology from the Sochi Olympics ceremony and turns their court into a screen with some pretty impressive graphics.
  • And finally, well… there’s really nothing that needs to be said about this one. Just bask in the glory…
avengers cats

Source: Imgur

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend!

(GrabBag is a weekly column published every Friday.)

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Old vs. New in Latest Maleficent Trailer

The newest Maleficent trailer (we must be on #4 or 5 at this point) focuses on juxtaposing the original Disney animation from Sleeping Beauty against new footage from the upcoming live action update. Is it just me, or does Angelina Jolie look almost as CGI-enhanced as her character from the motion capture animated Beowulf (2007)?

…aaand I was just about to click “publish” on this post when, what do you know, another new trailer arrives. This one seems to give a better sense of the plot…

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GrabBag – Oscar Weekend!

grabbag

It’s Oscar Weekend, folks! I’ve spent the week focused on my 6-part Oscar Predictions series (now complete!), so today’s GrabBag may be a bit less thought-out than usual. Still, you need your weekend fix of internet links, so here we go…

  • Kids reenact Oscar nominees…
  • Fandor has a series of video essays on who “deserves” to win. (I haven’t had a chance to watch these yet, but they are high on my to-do list.)
  • In case you haven’t been paying attention to the season, check out In Contention’s 10 Things You Need to Know About the 2014 Oscars. While I may not agree describing last year’s show as “terrible,” these are the most important facts to keep in mind leading up to the big night.
  • Moving away from Oscar for a moment (I know, right?)… The real backstory of Andy’s mom make the Toy Story films that much more endearing.
  • Speaking of Disney, the folks behind Frozen release a Deleted Scene. (Good thing it was deleted.)
  • And speaking of Frozen (I’ve had a lot of Frozen-related links in these GrabBags recently, haven’t I?): My apologies to your eardrums, but this is pretty hilarious. “Let It Go” as sung by, who else, Mr. Freeze…

That’s all for today. Enjoy your Oscar Weekend! Oh, and Mardi Gras, too. Yeah that’s happening, apparently.

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GrabBag: Valentine’s Edition – Princesses and Romantic Video Games

Heart with Question Mark copy

Happy Valentine’s Friday! In lieu of a card or teddy bear, I present you with this GrabBag of screen-related bon-bons…

  • Up first, The Onion’s “Starfix” gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Colin Farrell’s “lack of preparation” for this weekend’s big romantic release, Winter’s Tale
  • Oscar’s telecast producers urged winners to give speeches “from your heart, not from a list.” I can get behind that. Who cares about a list of agents and producers? The speeches we remember are those that take the opportunity to really say something.
  • Speaking of Disney, the cast of Frozen reunited for a live Cabaret night. I wish we got more than 18 seconds of footage from it.
  • And finally, Hoth should never have been chosen to host the Winter Olympics

Hoth olympics

(Source: Imgur)

OK that’s enough candy for today. Time to go buy some real sweets, whether you have a sweetie to share them with or get the whole box to yourself!

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