Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Star Wars; Episode IV: A new hope for an end of the awful exposition

We're here, the original Trilogy, and I do mean it this time, although I could easily do a review of Star Wars Rebels, and here I will restate that I'm reviewing the Special Editions, and will do a retake review of the originals when I can do so legally and the majority of people can get it LEGALLY. For now, we do really have to go somewhere a long time ago, to the 70's in fact.

So what's the plot. Thankfully, much, MUCH simpler this time. It's a hero's journey story. The empire has built a super weapon, and a member of the rebel alliance, Princess Leia, has hidden the plans on a robot, reffered to as droids in this universe, called R2-D2, one of the few characters who also appears in the Prequel Trilogy. Eventually, the three main characters of the story, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, all meet on the the super weapon known as the Death Star and I now realize how redundant of a paragraph this is turning out to be because I'm almost certain that every single person who has access to film and movies or the internet knows the plot of this movie. Now I will say, I MUCH prefer this plot over the plots of the three, and the acting is better. HOWEVER, unlike what many Prequel haters may say, this movie is not entirely free from those problems. It has more of an excuse as it has more to set up, this was the first movie in the franchise to be released after all, but there are times when the acting comes close to being as stilted as in the prequels.
Look at this kids, model ships being used in a movie

Ho boy, the visuals. This is when the major problem of the special editions comes into play. The movie dates itself visually because the Special Editions edit the base movie, and not like a screen resolution update, more then that. I hope you weren't missing that CGI. Now to add fuel to the fire of hate that I'm probably getting from some of these reviews, I'll defend some of the edits, SOME.  The space battles do look good, and the establishing shots of areas like Mos Eisley, those I'm fine with because they look fine, along with giving the Light Sabre blades colours (when they aren't changing colours, look at Luke practicing to use a Lightsaber as a case in point). For me, that works. What doesn't work, is everything else the CGI adds in, mainly all the alien creatures that, at the time, looked ugly, and it obscures the camera at times so it never feels natural. I'm not going to hate on directors adding enhancements post release, just as long as they fit into the originals naturally, such as the Light Sabre colours. However it could have been worse, such as if he added in CGI light sabre battles. Though with the advances in CGI now, I wouldn't be opposed to it if it was added in now. Food for thought. My other gripes with the visuals can be chopped down to "It's the late 70's". The sets, while memorable (and actually there), are dated if you compare it to sets of today, that's just a sad fact and one that will take people out of the experience. As for the music, insert my comment from the rest of the live action movies.
This is the kind of addition that I think works, its subtle, and it works well

A New Hope is regarded as a masterpiece of cinema, and is a movie that film students study. While I see why it gets those praises, and see why it's studied, I don't give it the title of Masterpiece. This is probably because the only version I've seen is the Special edition, with all the CGI, so my view of the movie is clouded but that. At the same time, I can't help but compare it's action scenes to more modern action scenes, and in my mind I know its the limitations of the time, but even I can't control what I've been introduced to over the years, even I have a limit to how much of a bias I can remove to give anything a fair review. If you can accept the time the movie was released, then you may not have that problem, however you'll probably have a problem with the amount of CGI post release edits, trust me, you can't miss them. Come Friday, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.

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