Thursday, September 20, 2012

Movie Review: Star Wars Saga on Blu-Ray

O.K., fine, so I haven't exactly watched ALL of it yet. There's like a solid WEEK of features, if I watched it from the bathroom and watched Star Wars instead of sleeping! Which I am no longer willing to do.

Like that crazy old wizard out beyond the Dune Sea, I'm getting too old for this sort of thing.

But what can I possibly say that anyone who knows me won't expect? Episodes 6, 4, and 5 are my top three favourite movies OF ALL TIME. Episodes 3,2, and 1 are inching lower with every revision I make to my TOP 100 List, but I should point out that they are still in my top THIRTY. Take that, Hitchcock's Vertigo! (Not under consideration)

So what would surprise you? Because this blog has been lying nearly fallow all year, I should mention that I bought a BLU-RAY player, after avoiding it as utterly unnecessary for quite some time. And it still is. But it's SOOO SHINY!!!

Sooo... I bought the Star Wars movies. Used. $72. Then, over the last few weeks, I watched them. They are wonderful. Worth every damn nickel.

The first thing I checked out was the Nelvana Cartoon with the first appearance of Boba Fett. Go, Canada! Dripping with nostalgia, I can tell you it is a rare delight. Since I'm not a child anymore, I can't bounce off the walls with glee. Except in my heart!

Then I watched the deleted scenes: Biggs and the Anchorhead Chums, Wampas Amok, and the much-too-unfinished and now unfunctional Sandstorm Farewell scene. Wizard!

Also a 2.5 hour scene called 'The Phantom Menace' which I hear everyone on the Internet wants deleted. Me? I'm fine with it. Episode One Yoda looks much better in CGI. But is it too late to colour over Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christiansen?

I couldn't spot any tweaks at all in 'Attack of the Clones' or 'Revenge of the Sith'. But they are better than ANY TEN OTHER FILMS!!! Well, maybe not ANY. But most.

There is no reason at all to change the sound Kenobi makes to scare off Sand People, but George did. Maybe it's the sound his tummy makes when he's full of cheese bought with his billions?

Greedo and Han shoot nearly simultaneously, but Han's split-second flinch looks a little less dodgy, pardon the pun. The albino dianoga is keen. 'Empire''s AT-AT's  and 'Jedi''s rancor are exactly as they should be, classic stop-motion but with black matte-lines removed. Freakin' sweet, is the term, I believe?

I still love the 'Return of the Jedi' Special Edition, Joh Yowza, 'Weesa FREE!', and all. Only now Wicket and the Ewoks blink. It's simultaneously adorable and unsettling. In other words, PERFECT.

There's still lots to enjoy and explore. I'll get my money's worth in the years to come. Thanks to Carlos for loaning me his copy for the nonce, and (paying it forward), you're all welcome to borrow mine. When you pry it from my cold, dead, Jawa hands!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan


I'm really going to miss him.

You'll have your favourite performances from Mr. Michael Clarke Duncan. Me?
I thought he was awesome as the Kingpin. AND as Green Lantern Kilowog. He was the bright spot of plenty of popular, GOOD movies also.

I always enjoyed hearing his booming voice: whether in Kim Possible, Teen Titans, or Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. Probably you'll know him from 'The Green Mile', rather than as Starkweather Two Delta in 'The Island'.

But despite who I am, namely a Sci-Fi otaku with a thing for comics and cartoons, it was for a non-genre t.v. program that I admired him most:

His role as Leo Knox on 'The Finder' was my favourite. He played the rational sidekick or more correctly handler of the quirky lead character. He was wise and kind and powerful. Like a Big Black Florida Gandalf.  It was a brilliant show that ended too quickly. And I'm so sorry we lost the man so early, too. Michael Clarke Duncan was more than a figurative giant and our fantasies are going to be less safe without our biggest bodyguard.