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Return of the Jedis?, ‘The Hobbit’ & ‘Black Swan’

The last time a new Star Wars trilogy was announced, I was still in college and could not be more happy for its return. But just a short time later, the absurdly bad “The Phantom Menace” was released and my disappointment could not have been measured. Yet, I was still confident the prequel trilogy could be rescued by the next two films. I was wrong. Although, a bit better “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” both featured muddled plots and hollow, lifeless acting.


Now, there’s a report from IESB.net that Lucasfilm is planning another Star Wars trilogy. The series would apparently fit some time after “Return of the Jedi”, but would not focus on anyone in the Skywalker clan. Instead, it would be a whole new set of characters that would not have to “fit” with the current mythology. According to the report, the new movies would not come out until after ALL of the 3D re-releases were completed. That puts the release date around 2017/2018 if the 3D re-releases come out one a year as previously announced. So, not any time soon. And all that being said, Lucasfilm has denied the report. But that doesn’t really mean anything.


Since, the prequel trilogy has left me extremely skeptical, I’m not super-excited at the prospect of a new set of films. Sometimes less is more and this pony has already trotted out some pretty good tricks. However, if the concept is right, I may jump on the bandwagon.

A few suggestions: Make it less about special effects and more about the characters. It can’t be another Rebellion versus Empire film. Maybe the Jedis take a back seat to another idea. What if it focused on the Sith? Just throwing out a couple of thoughts. Lucasfilm if you are looking for a writer, you know where to find me.

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The fate of where they will film “The Hobbit” could be decided this week. Warner Bros. executives will travel to New Zealand to discuss the current standoff between the actors’ union and director Peter Jackson. Essentially, the union wants the actors to get a bigger piece of the pie. But Jackson feels they are being compensated fairly. Most film workers in the country want the enormous production to stay in New Zealand since it will infuse millions and millions of dollars into its economy. Thousands rallied this past weekend to lobby for the film and made this video. Check it out below and here’s hoping for the people of New Zealand they can work things out.

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I’m still desperate to see what Darren Aronofsky has done with “Black Swan” and if this new viral site is any indication, it’s going to be a pretty good trip. Ijustwantobeperfect.com reveals snippets of the upcoming film. I don’t really understand what it means, but it’s interesting nonetheless. You can also follow Natalie Portman’s ballerina character on twitter @theswanqueen and go to the IJWTBP Facebook page.

The film goes wide on December 3rd.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Star Wars,The Hobbit and have No Comments

May the 3D Be With You…

Just call it the “Avatar” effect. The 3D monster descended on this planet about a year ago and has since devoured the minds of Hollywood. And that now includes one of its best, George Lucas.

The “Star Wars” movies are once again coming to a theater near you, but this time in 3D. Normally, I slam Lucas for his constant tinkering with the films and apparent disregard for fans of the the original trilogy. But I’m not going to do that this time. Why? Because with this move, I think I finally get it. Lucas is a businessman. Bottom line. And I can respect that. I don’t have to like it, but I respect it.

Over the past 33 years, the universe he created has expanded and morphed into a juggernaut cash cow with aging fan boys willing to fork over their life savings for anything Mr. Lucas decides to throw at them. But his marketing genius doesn’t stop there. When he re-released the movies back in 1997 with new CGI and scenes that didn’t make the cut the first time around, it wasn’t just to grab nostalgic fans. That also introduced Star Wars to a whole new generation of children. Most of those people are probably in college now, but for them it’s been a different experience all along. They have never known that Han shot first. They have never known the Death Star exploded in a starry-blast, instead of a giant ring. And they have never known Jabba was not always entertained by unrealistic computer-animated jazz singers.


And the same thing happened with the prequels. There’s no Stormtroopers, there’s Clone Troopers. Yoda isn’t a sage-like puppet living in a swamp, he’s a swashbuckling whirling dervish who takes on Darth Sidious. And Darth Vader, well he’s just a whiny kid who lost his mother to the Sand People then blamed it on Obi Wan instead of being a galaxy-ruling, force-choking killer. But, none of the plot holes or horrible acting matters because kids don’t care about a storyline and Lucas understands that. It’s all about the visuals.


That’s where 3D comes in. To me, it’s just a bit of depth perception provided by some cumbersome, clunky glasses, but for the younger generation it’s probably akin to seeing “Jurassic Park” for the first time back in 1993. At the time, I thought that was the best movie I’d ever seen. But looking back at it now, the acting is weak and the mistakes are many. But it goes back to the visuals, which were amazing. It’s the same situation with “Avatar.” I could have written that movie on my lunch break.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is this. 3D is not the answer…for me and millions of others. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or in this case, one kid’s three-dimensional Jar Jar is another man’s Han Solo. Good luck, Mr. Lucas, you’re gonna need it.


Here’s Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll talking about how the conversion to 3D will happen.

The first one to get the 3D treatment will be “Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” You’d think Lucasfilm would start with one of the best films not the worst, but what do I know. Here’s the trailer to refresh your memories of this disastrous movie. It’s actually much better the film itself, barely shows any scenes with Jar Jar or young Anakin. Good work marketing department!


posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Avatar,Star Wars and have Comment (1)

Update On the Lost ‘Jedi’ Clip & is 3D Already Dead?

Yesterday, I speculated that the deleted scene shown by Lucasfilm to tease its upcoming blu-ray release may not be as advertised. See my comments below.

And for the “seemingly” part. It looks legit and probably is, but there is part of me that thinks that clip was not filmed in 1982. One, all of the Darth Vader lines are virtually ripped from “Empire” and two, you never really see Mark Hamill’s face, just his chin. Like I said, I always thought this scene was never actually shot. Could this just be a ploy to get fans excited about the blu-ray discs and spend more money? I doubt it, but it makes for a great conspiracy theory.

Now, there is further evidence that, at the very least…it’s not what it appears to be. The clip below reveals that Mark Hamill never filmed that scene. So, the actor under the cloak is not him. Take a look.

I realize many shots in movies are body doubles, not the real actors. But, most of that is for scenes involving stunts, shots from behind or close ups. It seems this type of important establishing shot of Luke that was supposed to be at the beginning of the movie would be the real actor. I know I’m obsessing over this a little, but it would be a huge cheat if this were not filmed in the eighties.

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And now to my disdain for 3D!

If television news is correct and they are never wrong! 3D is already losing steam and credibility with moviegoers. Many studio big wigs will tell you different, but that’s because they’ve invested millions in this gimmick that didn’t work in the 50’s or 80’s.

Check out the CBS story below.


posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Star Wars and have No Comments