!This review contains massive spoilers! So up to you if you want to read on that's your call.
Okay before I start, I made a pledge last year to be totally honest in my reviews, even if it was very negative. Previously I just choose to never write the review, which I thought wasnt being honest. So I'm not going to sugar coat this one. Sorry...
Audio/Video Quality - 7/10
Most of the source material is decent looking HD but some material is jarring sub-SD. I also cannot fathom why this edit is based on the 2011 SE and not something like Harmy's DE? So yes this has a wierd pinkish hue and bizarre CGI additions. There is often the use of slow-motion but it is very jerky and unnatural looking. Some scenes featured a wierd blurring round the edges that appeared then disappeared. There are also a couple of aspect ratio problems where the image bled from scope into the 16:9 frame.
Visual Editing - 2/10
Almost all of the edits here are done by quickly fading in and out of black (Accomapnied with a harsh audio silence). Fades to black (Even well executed ones) are the mark of lazy editing in my book. There is no effort to colour grade the different "planets", add establishing shots or make the disperate elements gel in any way whatsover. The trims to ANH itself are brutal and obvious with nothing done to make the cuts match or smooth over the audio gap. The worst bit though is actually the lack of edits...
e.g. Christopher Lee is still called Rasputin instead of Vader??? (So was Christopher Lee supposed to be Vader or what? It wasn't very clear) when the name could have been removed, we are forced to watch 7 seemingly unedited minutes of Kwai before Guiness even features and 20 minutes of Kwai with little or no tangible connection to Star Wars. Again the Navarone footage goes on and on and on with just Ford's presence to link it to SW at all.
This edit is almost 3 HOURS LONG. You really need to justify this ammount of someone's time. At least try to make it as short as is practicle to spare the audience. But there was no attempt to make any part shorter than it could have been. This aspect of the edit made me a little angry if I'm honest.
A warning: Although this should be a family friendly Star Wars edit, don't show the family as the bizarre decision has been taken to make Greedo swear several times in his subtitles (I added the *) e.g.
"..and put a f*cking bolt in your brain here and now"
This bit ^ made me wonder if this was supposed to be the fanedit equivelant of 'The Room'. A fanedit so misjudged it becomes unintentionally funny. Lastly there is an obvious error in the fanedit credits at the end.
Audio Editing - 3/10
Most of the audio features sudden and very harsh audio fades or no fades at all, the audio just cuts out. At points the audio was badly mis-matched to the video but I'm not sure if this was a "deliberate creative choice". Music qeues start and then stop dead, no gradual fade out or fade in, they are there and then they are not. There is almost no attempt to match the soundtracks of the added footage to the SW universe. Even a little JW music here and there would have helped.
The total failure to make any effort on this front meant the sudden dubbing of blaster sounds over one scene in the middle genuinely just made me laugh. Also many SoundFXs are missing or mis-timed. The deleted ANH footage is the worst with no additional FX added to complete the largely incomplete soundtrack.
Narrative - 3/10
Scenes follow no logic order, or character arc. Characters are bitter enemies and then quite friendly one cut later. There are many pointless minor characters that get loads of screen time for no reason. Either plot elements are introduced with no resolution, or explanations for later events are removed. If you know Star Wars I'd call the narrative incoherent, in the unlikely event you don't know Star Wars, I'd imagine it would be baffling in the extreme.
Enjoyment - 3/10
First off the few highlights: The Emperor redub was a lot of fun. The new Cantina music was groovey. The ending montage was quite well done. The cutaway to the Death Star during the bridge chat was cool. That's it I think.
In conclusion, this is only for Star Wars ADDICTS who have limitless reserves of patience and a high tolerance for poor editing. The ambition is Epic, but the execution is most definitely not. This is the worst fanedit I've so far watched and 3 hours of my life I won't be getting back.
Again, I'm sorry for the harsh review but I'm just being honest.
Just when I thought everything that can possibly be done with Star Wars has been done, T-Bone has delivered something wholly new.
Primarily sourced from Blu-Rays and high quality DVD releases, this 720p release looks great. Some high resolution but unrestored deleted scenes are also included. Some less-than pristine footage from DVD and archival sources is used as well. However, the editor has incorporated them in a very natural manner, adjusting the adjacent high-quality footage to ease the transition to and from such footage. It is obvious what’s sourced from what, but it is never (unintentionally) jarring. Some slow motion sequences use artificial frame interpolation to create the illusion of high speed photography. Whether this is visually unappealing is subjective. I wasn’t bothered by it. The stereo soundtrack is mixed well. One early sequence may seem to be problematic at first listen, but it’s actually a rather clever intentional alteration for artistic purposes. I won’t spoil the reason for and meaning of it, however. It’s much more fun to think about it, let it click for yourself.
Good skills on display here. Besides successfully combining a variety of sources, the editor has combined and altered many film sequences in a variety of ways. It’s always convincing, and handled more than competently. There’s one particular moment that was so seamless that I didn’t realize how significantly it was altered until after the revised scene had played out. My brain just accepted it as a natural sequence of events, when it most certainly wasn’t in the original film. Also, there’s at least one chilling subliminal message I caught in there. There may be more.
Very good work here. Smooth crossfades when needed. Almost flawless dialogue replacement in a few spots. No obvious music bleed, if any. A few instances of well-executed music replacement.
This is where the project really shines! This is a radically different story. “A long time ago, in the not too distant future” – indeed! The galaxy is a very different place than the one we’re used to. Technological gaps vary from planet to planet. There are some nice lore references in the location names. If you know what Korriban is, you’ll get just a bit more out of this. If you don’t, you won’t be missing out, either. The primary motivation for the conflict appears to remain religious, but no longer between the Jedi and Sith. It would seem that at some point Earth got tangled up with the Galactic Civil War. And that point happens to be the mid 20th century. Rasputin’s influence is present. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type when talking about Star Wars! Furthermore, it would seem that the Axis Powers are Imperial puppets in this world, with the Allies siding with the Rebels. Also, I’m pretty sure Obi-Wan is a Communist in this version, disillusioned with the Alderaan monarchy. It isn’t entirely clear – in a good way. Much like George Lucas, T-Bone has crafted a large story in an even larger universe. There’s a much bigger story that we’re only getting glimpses of. However, the glimpses make sense. In terms of plot, thematic elements, and imagery everything has meaning and joins with the Star Wars elements in a way that that shouldn’t work, but does. Eventually. Clocking in at just under three hours, this is a slow paced project. Slowly paced – but not poorly. Everything serves a purpose, and pays off in some way. However, it doesn’t become recognizable as version of A New Hope until about the ninety minute mark. You’ll need patience for this one, but it is most certainly worth it.
The setting has changed. The plot has changed. The sequence of events has changed. The characters have changed quite a bit, both in terms of backstory and personality. Star Wars is a sci-fi/fantasy adventure influenced by pop culture of the mid-20th century. Star Wars: The Epic Picture is a war movie, influenced by the tragic history of the mid-20th century. It isn’t deathly serious, of course. It carefully balances just the right elements of humor and levity with the heavy stuff.
It really feels like watching something new, for the first time. That’s what this is all about. Strongly recommended.
This is an edit that took me a little while to absorb, but when I got into it and began to understood the intent...to tell the story of people clutching onto to 20th century ideology as the years of galactic conflict shape them in different ways. There are some inspired visual and audio editing in this trim, particulary at the begining with the World War reels and a rather amusing exchange between the Emperor and Vader. I was told by the editor the intent was to make this film appear more and more dream-like as it went on and the narrative absolutely conveys that as it has a variety of visual styles and surreal moments. Everything does make make cohearant sense despite these turns and when you sit through the story, you feel like you may have actually learned a bit, you could actively debate this film in college or university. This editor trusts his audience for this kind of thing, and it's given him the confidence to dare to be different. Very strong, thought-provoking and mind-bending work
Mixed bag for me.
I found the bookends - opening and closing - truly inspired.
Scenes of walkers superimposed against WWII stock, that took my breath away.
Creative idea of what an Empire invasion would resemble.
The ending with the Death Star was brilliant, as well.
Where I had problems were the additions of Bridge Kwai, Force Navarone, and especially Rasputin.
None of those worked for me. Different tones, different looks. Like mashing country and rap.
Took me right out of the narrative and I found myself impatient for them to end.
Also the black out segues between scenes grew noticeable after a bit.
And three hours?
Matrixgrindhouse gave this a nice review, which was what lured me.
I can see what T-Bone was aiming for, and to be honest, he did a great job.
I can also see where other viewers will enjoy this and give it raves.
By all means, check this one out.
Star Wars: The Epic Picture... where do I begin
This edit had SO MUCH potential and SO MANY interesting aspects but the way it was executed... ughhhhhh
The plot to this movie... I don't even know what it is! You have a bunch of unrelated war movies and Star Wars, then you just kind of cut them together... what? I found certain parts to make sense, funny and unexpected things happen, but still aren't well edited together. This edit seems like a "first cut" of the project, so many things need to be revisited, rearranged, and fixed!
Fine, nothing noticeably bad here other than star wars deleted scene film scans but that isn't the editor's fault.
Oh my... the fade-outs! The dreadful fade-outs! So many choppy cuts! Almost unbearable at some points.
Don't even get me started, this is NOT a cohesive story, this is NOT multiple cohesive stories, this is a complete and utter mess
Story Analysis: HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW
The movie starts off with an intensely christian Ian Mcdiarmid getting lit on fire by a demon (darth bane?). Then the movie moves on to a bunch of other world war two movies for quite a while, also every once in a while cutting back to Darth Vader for no apparent reason. The movie drags on for quite a while, then Darth Vader talks to the Emperor and has a ridiculous vision of how Christopher Lee and Ian Mcdiarmid are partners and how the emperor is deformed from being burned (refer to scene at the beginning) and how Christopher Lee had the plague but was saved by becoming Darth Vader, this montage was easily the most entertaining thing about this edit but doesn't actually serve a single purpose for the story. Many scenes in this movie just seemed straight up pointless, there's a scene where Harrison Ford and his group of soldiers try to convince a Nazi soldier that they are holding medecine (why?) and another scene where a woman bathes and then makes love to a German Soldier (whyyyy?). Halfway through the movie, A New Hope starts, and runs for pretty much the rest of the edit, this is just a shortened version of Star Wars, and actually works due to the fact that it serves a purpose. The movie ends with the death star destroying a planet while the trench run happens, then it just cuts to a bunch of previously shown characters looking sad. I don't even know what to say about this... what. a. mess.
This edit could have been much better if the stories were all intercut and came together but they just didn't, it made no sense. John Williams' score is only present in the Star Wars scenes, and should have definitely been used throughout the entire film to provide the same atmosphere and emotion. What a disappointment, I'm sorry T-Bone, but this is a complete failure. :(