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Old 09-17-2007, 09:23 PM   #481
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I'd say sometime in the late 80s when he realized that the VHS set of the OT was still selling like it was brand new, and that he could basically print 'Star Wars' on anything and it would sell the same.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:25 PM   #482
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It had to have been before Return of the Jedi when he replaced Wookies with Ewoks to sell more merch and completely pussy-whipped Han Solo and that's Sellout Point #1.

Then there's Temple of Doom... which is almost like the Jedi of the Indy series.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:27 PM   #483
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Does it worry anyone else that the guy who wrote the dialog for the 'love' scenes between Anakin and Padme in the PT is the guy that basically said 'no' to the first Indy 4 script because he didn't like the dialog?
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:31 PM   #484
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What? When did this happen?

The dialogue in the original trilogy wasn't exactly Shakespeare either, but it was the charisma of the cast, mainly Harrison Ford, who could sound legit with those ridiculous lines.

It doesn't hurt that I believe Alec Guinness has ever said.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:34 PM   #485
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Star Wars and American Grafitti are lame too. Outside of some fairly impressive feats of student filmmaking in Star Wars, Lucas was never more than a decent director in those days.

Since then he's reached horrifying levels of ineptitude and insanity.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:35 PM   #486
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I swear, I remember reading that when Lucas/Speilberg/Ford first agreed to do a new Indy film, that the first step was settling on a script, and that since Lucas owns the rights to Indy, he basically had the final say, and he said no, and the script had to be changed before he agreed to it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:45 PM   #487
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Wait, the original Star Wars film is lame?
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:51 PM   #488
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Frank Darabont wrote a treatment for Indy IV, and Lucas rejected it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:53 PM   #489
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto
Wait, the original Star Wars film is lame?
Pretty much. I've grown out of it, and what's left is impressive if not great filmmaking and little more.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:54 PM   #490
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It still sucks me in after watching it about 50 times.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:56 PM   #491
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Pretty much. I've grown out of it, and what's left is impressive if not great filmmaking and little more.
You've grown out of the original Star Wars film, or Star Wars films in general?
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:43 PM   #492
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Quote:
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You've grown out of the original Star Wars film, or Star Wars films in general?
Just the first one really. The prequels don't count, because they blow. Return of the Jedi still does it for me, because despite not being a great film, it still has a enough interesting scenes to keep me entertained.

I personally think The Empire Strikes Back is the only truly great film in the entire franchise, and I can still watch that one from time to time and leave fulfilled.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:29 PM   #493
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It appears I'm late again. Allow me to step in here as a Lucas apologist and put my two cents in. First of all, if all Lucas was concerned about was money, he could have released Star Wars on DVD a lot sooner. There was NEVER a VHS or DVD release of any Star Wars material that didn't incorporate some significant technical improvement. You have the original individual releases, the first trilogy boxed set, the THX boxed set, and then the special edition boxed set. That's it for VHS. The special editions have been issued ONCE on DVD, and the original cuts ONCE on DVD. Yes, tons have money has been made off of merchandising--like any other fucking genre film in the last 30 years.

Secondly, I take issue with the notion that Lucas is a bad director. Getting good performances out of your actors is certainly not something that Lucas excels at--seasoned actors tend to fare a lot better. But to me, a rate a director primarily on his visual skills, and in terms of frame composition, Lucas is up there with anyone in cinema today. He has a classic style inspired by Ford and Kurosawa, and knows how to fill a widescreen shot. Granted, the prequels often feature too much clutter in these frames, but the compositions themselves are first rate. He's also a great director of action scenes, despite relying too heavily on cross-cutting in ROTJ and Episode 1. I'll grant you that the original Star Wars doesn't feature very interesting filmmaking, but considering the man had already made the extremely sophisticated THX-1138, it's clear to me this was the intended style. The prequels, by comparison, are much more sophisticated than the originals in terms of their compositions and montage.

Peter Jackson, on the other hand, relied way too heavily on sweeping overhead crane shots for LOTR, and that awful Zombie Cam crap with the altered shudder speed. Total amateur hour technique. He's a great director of actors and a great storyteller, but the images in LOTR triumphed more because of the art department than any superior shotmaking skills of the director.

All this SW and Lucas hate is coming from a James Cameron fan? You talk about the prequels being terrible but Jedi watchable because of great individual scenes? The Phantom Menace may be a mess but it has a wealth of great scenes and moments. The same goes for Clones, and Sith I don't even feel like I need to defend. You may not agree with the man's vision, but it is HIS, and there are plenty of ways he could have gone the cheap moneymaking route had he wanted to, instead of waiting for technology to catch up to his ideas.

A gallery:











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Old 09-17-2007, 11:30 PM   #494
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and a few more...









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Old 09-17-2007, 11:44 PM   #495
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I see what you're saying lazarus, but I respectfully disagree. Direction, as you surely know involves a lot more than composition and framing, and while he's capable at that, and can produce some entertaining action scenes here and there, his Star Wars films just don't come across as very good movies, I'm sorry. The flaws are just too overbearing, that any of the things he does right, simply aren't enough to carry the film. As pretty as the prequels are, none of them tell a compelling story, and the performances are mostly atrocious. And if I really don't care what's going on at all, the prettiest photography in the world isn't going to save the film for me.

As for his visuals, I respect the man for his pioneering of special effects, and he certainly has an eye for the frame, but a lot of scenes in his films are rarely exceptional in those respects, just better than average. And the ones that are, come so infrequently or are spoiled by awful acting or writing, that it hardly matters to me.

That said, I think we hold Lucas up to higher standards than most directors, perhaps unfairly. I know I do. But when you create the single most popular entertainment franchise in modern history, that kind of thing can happen. I just wish the man would stick to executive producing most of the time.

But, I must give him credit for pushing digital filmmaking into the mainstream. Even if I couldn't stand the film.
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