Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions: STAR WARS BLU-RAY

FACT: With the long-awaited release of the STAR WARS saga in (glorious) blu-ray just a few weeks away, some early screenings/pressers have revealed some interesting facts:

-The blu-ray transfer is nothing short of spectacular. For instance, the minuscule-detail in the models from the Original Trilogy can finally be seen.

-Issues with the audio in the 2004 DVD release have been corrected; most notably John Williams’ magnificent score in EPISODE IV, which was buried and often sounded muddy.

-The EPISODE I Muppet-Yoda has been replaced with a CGI-Yoda (not 100% confirmed, but still worth speculating).

OPINION: Let’s start with the 900 year-old Jedi Master issue. In EPISODE I, the Muppet-Yoda was met with a lot of jeers for looking too much like a muppet, and just not looking right overall. ILM responded with a heavy hand in EPISODE II, replacing latex with digi-bits and making him CGI. Fans groaned again. Not because he looked bad (he looked fine), but because they chose to follow some damn-fool idealistic crusade that it was blasphemy to have nothing but a muppet in that role. Ultimately, ILM and George Lucas made the right decision; having a muppet perform a swordfight would have looked like a scene from TEAM AMERICA.

Aside from that, there is a lot to get excited about concerning the look and sound of the films in (glorious) blu-ray. The reviews are reflecting that they have never looked better, and that likely means many, many repeat viewings.

What say you?

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