Tag Archives: Star Wars

Follow up to On Christmas: in which I discover that the fanatics writing reviews on Amazon have their heads up their asses

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.

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On Christmas: in which I completely geek out

Day four of not going into the office. You’d think I’d be more rested.

Mrs. Unfocused and I were up until 2:45am last night, wrapping and tagging presents for the kids, and Princess was up at 7. It was all worth it, though, watching their happy faces as they opened their presents. Princess, two months shy of turning 7, opened her gifts in approximately 3.4 seconds, a new record. Junior is still young enough to want to play with his presents as he opens them, and the second package he opened was the Geotrax train set he has been lusting after for months. He liked his other presents, but the train set was really all that mattered, and you could tell that even when he was opening another present that he liked, he still wanted to go back to the train set.

I’m sure he’ll become interested in the bike in the spring.

The Mrs. even liked her gifts, which I always worry about. This year, I had her with the new L.L. Bean slippers — everything else was gravy.

As for me, in addition to several surprises, Santa (or, more precisely, Mrs. Claus) brought me exactly what I asked for: the new Blade Runner Four Disc Collector’s Edition DVD package, with the original 1982 U.S. theatrical release, the 1982 international theatrical release, the 1992 director’s cut, and the 2007 “Final Cut.” I’m in nerdboy heaven, and will be scheduling a screening soon.

I can’t have the Blade Runner screening until after we have the official first viewing for the kids of Star Wars, which we may do tomorrow. Not the new stuff – Episode Four, Star Wars 77, A New Hope, the original. At least, as close to the original as Lucas will let us get on DVD. Check out the reviews of the various DVD versions of the original Star Wars trilogy on Amazon.com to see what the complaints are all about (essentially, the remastered versions have new material added, and the “original” version available is not remastered or even from a particularly good print) and you’ll see the contrast with the new Blade Runner collector’s edition.

Princess asked me if she could watch Blade Runner. She’s a good kid, but I don’t think I’d be doing her any favors by exposing her to Philip K. Dick at this tender age, even filtered by Ridley Scott. I told her that she had to wait until she was at least 7.

I don’t mean to imply that the whole day was about presents. We had a great afternoon and evening with family, a wonderful Christmas dinner, and watched a couple of classic Bugs Bunny cartoons for the edification of the children. Very low pressure and nice. Also, did I mention the new Blade Runner set I received?

I hope your Christmas was as nice as ours, whether you celebrate it or are simply an innocent bystander, that the coming year brings peace and prosperity to you and your family and, most importantly, that you too receive the Blade Runner Four Disc Collector’s Edition.

Merry Christmas.