Sunday, October 30, 2011

The People vs. George Lucas (2010)

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe. 93 min. Documentary.

A documentary solely made for Star Wars fans. It very clearly shows why Star Wars is so important, and why it is ingrained in so many aspects of our lives. Then, it shows why the multitude of re-editions and the new trilogy created such major disappointments among fans - most points of which are right on target (although I'm glad the film's only criticism to my own beloved Episode III was bogus). At the end, with all their ups and downs, I'm sure we would all salivate at the news of another trilogy, if Lucas decides to embark on another.

Mo says:


  1. I will have to see this one, I only really loved the original movie. The second trilogy pretty much left me cold although it did have some excellent sequences. I think they were too hung up on merchandising the franchise and appealing to kids. Jar Jar Binks was an embarrassment that made my toes curl :(

  2. Toast,

    If that's the case, then this movie will be a major delight to you, because they just rip Jar Jar Binks apart here ... together with every other element of Episode I - which I believe was the weakest of the entire saga.

    Although many believe Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back) is artistically the best episode, I agree with you on which is best: my personal favorite is still the original, Episode IV.

  3. I finally got to see this documentary and I loved it. I am a fan of the original movie but these guys are extreme. Some of the fan-made stuff looks brilliant!

    I think he is within his rights as a director to improve the quality of the old film stock and I don't mind the special effects being updated but changing Han's killing of Gredo so that Gredo shoots first makes no sense to me at all. The original versions should be kept and made available on DVD for those who want them. At the end of the day though, no matter what the fanatics say they are only movies.

  4. Exactly. I have no problem if Lucas wants to clean up the visual aspect of his films and make them just "look" better (just as he does for other older films), but changing the basic concepts (like the Han Solo-Greedo shootout, or by diminishing the Force by the midichlorian fiasco) is what really bothers me. It's like taking away the childhood innocence I've clung onto via these films through all these years - as bad as directors changing the endings to beloved masterpieces they made years ago.

  5. I know I'm a little late to the party, but I just saw this movie. I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud. Awesome. I think everyone would agree with the guy who said that if da Vinci somehow managed to transport forward in time to today and wanted to "touch up" the Mona Lisa, he wouldn't be allowed near it. I feel I must also make the point that the extensively discussed "Han Shot First" theory is patently false. There was, of course, but one shot fired.

  6. You're definitely missed around here, JZ.

    In terms of cleaning up the movies (i.e., just making the visuals look better, and not adding or altering the scenes), there's two ways I look at it.

    On one hand, I recently bought the Blu-ray edition of "Wizard of Oz", and I absolutely loved how beautiful the remastered images looked.

    On the other hand, we have another masterpiece in"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", which was intentionally filmed to look grainy, to somehow give it the authenticity we expect from an event occurring in the South. If that movie is "cleaned up", it would ruin the whole feeling.

    Maybe a cutoff about which movies should be cleaned up and which shouldn't, would be whether the movie came out when "we" were around or not - making it a completely subjective concept (after all, they did touch up/restore Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel years ago, and it does look better now). It's good that Lucas remasters the audio and visuals, but at the same time, the shiny images take away the old-looking authenticity Lucas himself correctly claims to have made his movies famous. His stories are happening "a long time ago", if you know what I mean.

  7. I got the impression that his cleaning of the negative was to restore it to it's original visual quality, but maybe I misunderstood. Not that I would know the difference. If you want something funny: I had a bootleg copy of the original which was taped from inside a theater. We had one of the early VCRs and I had this copy years before it was released. It was such a novelty that I must have watched it over 100 times. But it was so low in quality (dark) that when I saw the official VHS release it looked like a different movie, particularly the cantina scene. For this reason I'm more intimate (if you will) with the sound of the movie than the imagery. Clean up? Fine. Enhance? ...(wait for it)... Noooooooooooo!

  8. Wow. I'm trying to imagine how fun it must have been to watch that bootleg copy indefinitely.

    If you like that, you're gonna love this: when "Return of the Jedi" was out, being the ending to the saga and all, we were in Iran, and videotapes and VCRs were illegal (videotapes are still illegal now, unless they're "edited" by the government). So when we finally rented ROTJ from an illegal peddler, after screaming our head off from excitement, we were devastated that we would have to return the movie in a week. Solution? We didn't have video copying equipment, so we recorded the entire movie audio on two 1-hour audio cassettes ... and later listened to THAT 100 times.