In my last post, I compared the many wonders of my shiny new Blade Runner Four-Disc Collector’s Edition with the trauma caused by attempting to purchase a DVD of Star Wars to begin the indoctrination of the children (who are currently attempting an escape from their room — just a moment — there we go), due to the hundreds of bad reviews of every DVD version of Star Wars available.
Having actually watched the “theatrical release” version on DVD yesterday with the kids (at least, with the Princess — Junior decided that if he couldn’t talk at the top of his lungs and jump up and down on the sofa during the movie, he didn’t want to watch it), the Mrs., my father-in-law, and my brother-in-law (yes, I married into a family of Star Wars fanatics), I have come to one conclusion:
When it comes to Star Wars, just ignore the reviews.
The same could probably said of any blockbuster. Did you really wait for the reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? The people who are reviewing the Star Wars DVDs aren’t reviewing the movies themselves (“Low budget, cheesy effects, stiff dialogue, and my God! What did they do to Carrie Fisher’s hair?”). They’re reviewing the DVD, and clearly, the people who wrote the reviews I saw must have been watching the movie on a theater-sized screen, because it looked just fine to me, and our TV isn’t small.
Yes, Edward, I know, it’s smaller than yours.
The point is, when the review is being written by fanatics, it probably isn’t going to be terribly objective. When it is being written by fanatics who have been burned by the creator of their faith (and Episodes 1, 2, 3 certainly constitute “being burned”), I think it’s safe to say that the reviews might be more than a little picky. I saw one technical issue with the print they used for the theatrical release version on the DVD (slightly discolored rectangles around the TIE fighters in the fight scenes with the Millennium Falcon and at the Death Star). Other than that, it was fine, and certainly in better condition than some of the prints used at the theaters where I saw the movie originally in 1977. It wasn’t enhanced, it was simply, as advertised, the theatrical release.
Princess loved it, and Junior is pretending he loved it (although clearly, it’s no Batman). We all had a great time, and now Mrs. Unfocused and I can bask in the warm glow of having imparted the important messages of Star Wars (believe in the Force, close your eyes before you shoot, talking robots are really annoying, some people won’t stop giving you advice even after they’re dead, light sabers are cooler than blasters, and so on) to a new generation.