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Old 09-10-2004, 03:00 AM   #58
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here are some reviews...

The Digital Bits has posted their exhaustive review of the SW DVDs coming in a few weeks from Lucasfilm and Fox. Here's a clip of their research:

Simply put, the Star Wars films have never (and I mean EVER) looked this good before. The films presented on these discs absolutely sparkle, in all their anamorphic widescreen glory. The folks at THX and Lowry Digital worked for months to create new high-definition digital masters of these films, transferred directly from the original negatives. Once the films were transferred, painstaking efforts were made to clean the digital masters of dust, dirt, scratches and excessive grain. To give you an idea of just how much work was involved, more than 100 bits of debris were digitally removed from EACH FRAME - ultimately entailing the removal of over 10 million such blemishes in all over the three films combined. As a result, you will not find a single speck ANYWHERE on any of these films. The snow-white slopes of Hoth and the sand-baked dunes of Tatooine have never looked so pure.

Because the transfers were done from the original negatives, you're going to see detail in these films that you've never seen before. You'll notice this right from the opening shot of A New Hope, when the Star Destroyer chases its quarry over the surface of Tatooine. Just look at the subtle swirl of cloud patterns on the planet below - astonishing. Best of all, not a lick of added edge enhancement was required to bring out this detail. What else is good? The color palette here is more lush and accurate than ever before. You're going to be blown away by everything from subtle flesh tones to the vibrant gold plating on C-3PO's chest to the bright orange flightsuits of the Rebel pilots. Contrast is also spectacular, with deep detailed blacks and clear, accurate whites. All three films in this set are just going to absolutely blow you away, and the bigger your screen the better it gets. The Star Wars Trilogy on DVD is the best excuse you're ever going to have to go out and buy yourself a good anamorphic widescreen display. Until true high-definition arrives, it just doesn't get better than this.

Justin points out Time Magazine for more on the SW DVDs:

In the documentary Lucas speaks of perfecting "things that I had to give up on because I just didn't have the time or money or the power." The DVDs have even newer shots that tie elements of Lucas' first trilogy and his more recent one you may be able to spot a cameo by a current star who was in diapers when Jedi was made to make the grand story line flow more coherently.
This kind of coherence begets controversy among the caretakers of movie tradition. For them, New is never Improved, and Lucas' decision to release the updated films without the cherished originals is sacrilege. (Steven Spielberg, who updated his E.T. in 2002, issued a DVD with both versions.) "Sure, the effects work isn't up to today's standards, but it's the effects work that we saw," says Harry Knowles, geek in chief of the movie website AintItCoolNews. "It's about the preservation of the original art."

Old-school fans will definitely remember Red5, right? The webmaster of that classic website which has long since been laid to rest resurfaced today, posting his review of the SW DVDs on Nice work, Steve!

This time around the changes a minor in scope yet major in impact. In Star Wars we have a better rendered speeder enter into Mos Eisley and a new model for Jabba the Hutt used in the restored scene with han now casting more obvious shadows onto the slug. Han and Greedo now shoot almost simultaneously with Han saying "Yes, I bet you have" as in the original. Leias gunshots are proper laser shots now and Obiwan and Vaders lightsabers have more color in them yet still suffer from strobing issues. Empire now has Ian McDiarmid playing the holographic Emperor and the voice of Boba Fett is now that of Temuera Morrisson, Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. Jedi rounds off the changes with a shot of Naboo in the final celebrations as well as Hayden Christensens head replacing that of Sebastian Shaw in the final group shot of the departed Jedi. Decide amongst yourselves the merits of these changes.

As for this DVD boxset release itself, the long wait has certainly been worth it and the jewel in the crown of what DVD was originally intended for has finally arrived. Enclosed in this beautifully crafted box are the three original movies in their Special Edition formats with yet further special(er) edition tweaks.
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