Pulp Empire

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9.9
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I'm a big fan of njvc's Where The Wild Things Are, as well as a fan of TESB, so expectations were high for this. And truthfully for the first ten minutes or so I had concerns. I wasn't sure about putting the Dagobah scene first, and although I enjoyed Kill Bill-style Yoda, hearing Frank Oz's grunts and sighs were disconcerting and made me concerned that the whole edit might be a great concept but done a little half assed. And then the first few minutes of Hoth were "relatively" unchanged and felt not as Tarantino-y as I was hoping, which reinforced my concern.

But from the moment Vader is introduced Pulp Empire kicks into high gear. The Hoth battle is totally and utterly awesome. The split screens, slo-mo, music, pacing. It works like gangbusters. And really from that moment on this edit worked for me with hardly any complaints.

Initially the Bowie montage was a bit WTF! But in hindsight it was just what was needed: the music was starting to get a little samey and a totally different style of track couldn't have been timed better.

Then the real WTF moment: the cave scene. I was just thinking at the start of that scene how amazing TMBTM's version was in War of the Stars Part 2, and how the one thing missing from Pulp Empire, by comparison, was something new and truly unique. The cave scene certainly ticks those two boxes. Honestly, I don't really 'get it', I assume that was Anakin (I don't watch the show), but it was a cool fusion of music and image and fit the tone.

I've been working on a rescored TPM for a couple of years now so I appreciate the enormous headache and heartache involved from an audio perspective in a project like this. I was expecting lots of bleed but apart from two or three scenes (and one moment in the otherwise spell-blinding climax) njvc does an exceptional job of hiding the old music.

The Joni Mitchell Bespin flyby is wonderful - and of course Lando fits perfectly at home in a Tarantino Star Wars movie.

While using the blu-ray as source fortunately Morrison's Fett voice was not used (which is my least favourite of the many terrible changes Lucas has made) - and for that I am enormously grateful.

The last few minutes are really special. The black and white is a great choice, the montage including young Anakin and Padme is unexpected and superb. I had started to get concerned towards the end that all the musical choices would be too light and would stop the edit going to more epic, emotional places. Fortunately I was completely wrong, and the last two songs are perfect. Old Man in particular is IMO the highlight of the whole edit - it works stylistically and emotionally, and I'm delighted njvc didn't just do "TESB with Tarantino flair", but created something original. The ending is greatness.

No doubt everyone will download this. But for the two people at the back unsure if they should: do! You won't regret it.

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(Updated: May 13, 2013)
Overall rating
 
9.2
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9.0
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9.0
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8.0
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8.0
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10.0
Side note: I've watched this fanedit as a previewer but I think the "final cut" is about the same.

This is a very good fanedit. Strong concept, well done and with a passion.

I will not repeat too much of what the other reviewers said. I wanted to focus my comment on the audio side of this edit.
The audio aspect of it is its stronguest point (great choice of songs, great timming, fits the project perfectly) and possily its lowest too (some original music bleeds occasionally, but I know too well how it is difficult to remove Williams music from this movie!, volume levels could be adjusted here and there etc.). That's why it's difficult to rate the audio here. It's not perfect, it maybe could have been (a bit) better in places, but it simply cannot be perfect as the goal here was to remove all Williams music (something I did not even dare to try in both of my War of the Stars edits). There is enough heavy work done here on the audio side of things (lots of sounds reconstructions) to fully enjoy the edit without being too much of a nitpicker. Very good job.

To me the narration flows well. I understand some people saying that there are nice scenes that are missing. But my guess is that some of them are missing because the music could not be removed. There are some fanedits where your main goal dictates your cuts and you have to play around it. That can be frustrating for the faneditor, but it's also, ironicaly, what is fun!

The "Tarantinish" mood is fully exploited and the enjoyment was exactly what I hoped it would be.
(I wonder what the people who understand what Yoda is saying now will think of the edit, haha).

Thanks for this edit.
It's one to keep and to share with people to show what fanedit can create.

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Yes
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Overall rating
 
9.9
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
I loved this edit. Picture quality was gorgeous and the edit had some very creative effects. Empire Strikes Back has always been a huge favorite of mine, and I don't feel it crapped on it in any way. It was just a different spin & a very fun watch. I'm NOT a Tarantino fan per se, but had no problem seeing all of the obvious similarities, and thought they were very well done. Most fun I've had since watching a fanedit since Jaws: The Sharksploitation Edit. Great stuff.

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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
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10.0
So at the end of the day I'm a huge Star Wars fan and my friends would say I'm biased towards anything Tarantino does film wise so to say I was pumped for this edit would be an understatement.

Firstly I think most movie fans would agree Tarantino is a master of music selection and puts great thought into how a song will play with a scene... I'm currently writing a horror movie script and I'm using the same thought process going as far as writing two entire death scenes based primarily around the music so I was very intriqued on how the music would play out throughout Empire... I was very impressed with what music (both Tarantino and Non-Tarantino) that NJVC selected and it played out better than expected... The music played to each scene with perfection... I can't think of a single instant where it didn't play to the scene in question... I also found the Death Proof car driving audio whenever the Falcon was on screen was a nice touch...

I enjoy how the edit was put together with the title cards and jumping back and forth like a typical Tarantino movie... so much more as Dominic mentioned in his review was taken from Tarantino from the slow motion to the split screens... It was a hell of a fun ride to say the least...

I didn't have any real overall audio issues with the exception of the music levels in a few instances but not enough to take you away from the overall enjoyment... The odd orginal score being noticeable didn't take anything away from my viewing enjoyment...

The only thing I didn't much care for although I realiaze why it was there and for what purpose was the animated flashback scene... It just felt out of place IMO...

Overall thoughts

Everything from the music selections to the Yoda voice over worked extremely well... Minor issues with the audio... I dug the editing and how NJVC edited the final product together...

This edit embodies what a fun popcorn fanedit flick should be... leave your opinions at the door and just enjoy the ride cause it's super fun and NJVC should be proud of what he set out to AND accomplished with this edit!

I may or may not have geeked out a bit at the end credits when my name appeared in the special thanks section... lol

Check this out NOW and ENJOY!

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Yes
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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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8.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I said God Damn!

I was fairly certain going into this that it would be the most bad ass fan edit of all time, and let me tell you, NJVC did not disappoint.

"Empire" is essentially my favorite film. So typically an edit of it would make me leery, but this is not a typical edit. Quentin Tarantino is one of my all time favorite filmmakers, and I think one of the most enjoyable aspects of his films are his musical choices. In fact, I love his musical choices so much that I take musical inspiration from him whenever I edit one of my own short films. So imagine my pleasure when I learned that NJVC would be doing that same Tarantino musical treatment to "the Empire Strikes Back!"

Of course the Tarantino inspiration doesn't stop there. He's got character title cards, subtitles, black and white segments, an animated segment, chapter splits, split screens, slow motion, fades, montages, and whatever have you. Basically all the things that make my spine tingle whenever I see a Tarantino movie. And they're all used perfectly.

But how is that music? It's awesome. It's just seriously very awesome. Pretty much perfect choices all around. Being familiar with the music in Tarantino's films, on a number of occasions a song would come up, and I would realize what NJVC was about to do with it, and I wouldn't be able to keep myself from smiling (the use of the Mercenary soundtrack in the carbonite scene comes immediately to mind).

Now for the negative, unfortunately. Like I said pretty much perfect choices all around. The songs make perfect sense for their respective scenes. But they don't always work together. This is probably more true for the Battle of Hoth chapter than the others. It's just that, in that chapter, there's little flow between the songs. It's not as cohesive as one might hope, though on the other hand, some have argued that Tarantino's use of music isn't cohesive either. Anyway, it's really only a problem in that second chapter, other than that it more or less works.

Unfortunately there are sometimes, when you can hear John Williams, but I know how hard it is to replace a SW movie score, and I think NJVC did an impeccable job working around JW. There are also some scenes where I do wish the replacement music could have been louder, but I was happy for the most part.

The real issue with the edit is the narrative. I really do love the non-linear story, and the flashback montages to the previous films. The story, however, seems like it could be rather confusing. And by that I mean, I wonder if I would understand it had I not seen this movie previously. Of course, it's hard for me to know for sure what this theoretical version of myself would and wouldn't be able to understand; but watching this edit it just felt like the narrative wasn't all there. What I did love is how the film almost feels like it's telling two parallel stories, the hero in one being Luke, the hero in the other being Han. (I suppose the original film is the same, but I just never looked at it that way. This edit actually made me notice a lot of things I never though I hadn't noticed in a film that I've seen a million times). What's also interesting is that these two heroes barely even share a scene together in this edit.

Few other thoughts:
- I liked the animated sequence, but there is a little bit of a what the hell factor to it Though this is probably intentional, I kind of wish Yoda would acknowledge it or something.
- Like others said, this edit starts slow. It really does get awesome as it goes along. If I were to rank the chapters, it would probably start with six and go in descending order down to one. Which is awesome. I love movie that get better and better as they go along.
- I'm flattered to see that I'm in the credits! Thanks NJVC!

Anyway, the negative thoughts are more or less nitpicks. I keep using the word awesome and there's a damn good reason why: this edit is awesome. Watch it now. Seriously, do it. I'm thinking about doing it again right now. And then again later with my friends. Great stuff NJVC.

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