July 07, 2012
April 26, 2012 @ 11:19 pm
WARNING — There may be mild SPOILERS in the following…
BOLD. INNOVATIVE. REFRESHING.
These were the first words that popped into my mind after watching TMBTM’s The War of The Stars Part 2. It takes what you think you know about The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and twists and contorts them into something completely fresh. Which brings me to the next word that describes this edit…
The new storyline is so damn smart. In many ways, smarter than the originals they are based on.
–Han’s attack on the Endor base seems more realistic.
–Lando leading the assault on the Deathstar with a full crew.
–Luke’s training to become a Jedi.
–even all the new footage of lesser video quality is never a distraction because everything used is there for a purpose and drives/supports the story!
And much more, in particular the last act, but I don’t want to give too much away.
TMBTM has also created I believe over 90 new special effect shots for this movie, which I must admit made me very nervous upon hearing. If one is going to attempt something that massive, you hope they are going to work or you will lose your audience really quickly. But it turns out I had nothing to fear. I watched the edit on my 60inch Plasma and I would say 95% of the new F/X look amazing and flawless. Very impressive!
There is so much more to say about this edit, not certain where to stop and start as I can not remember being this invigorated after watching a fan edit in a long time.
I loved opening titles, and how TMBTM brings Vader back after killing him in his previous edit.
Boba Fett is used brilliantly and has never seemed more menacing.
R2D2′s subtitle zingers had me laughing throughout (though I did spot a couple of typos).
The Wampas subplot is great and very funny, who knew C3PO could be so clever!
The introduction of Yoda is inspiring.
Luke’s vision–exceptionally clever.
The new music fits perfectly.
And again, so much more. Every scene has something new in it, making it almost a completely fresh viewing experience.
Now as much as I love this edit (I do plan on giving it a Perfect 10 for entertainment alone) not everything quite worked for me.
Humor is of course very subjective, so some of it works better than others. Not all the shifted around/new dialogue fits perfectly with the lip movement or with character reactions. The Han/Leia Hoth hallway scene did not work for me. But these are tiny quibbles.
The overall tone of the movie is a bit perplexing at times for me… not quite a grindhouse movie, not quite a full out comedy or parody, and not quite a dark drama….
…and it is this darkness I want to address.
First off, I loved it! It was a BOLD direction to go in. I actually wish there was even more of it.
But at times, it felt at conflict with the other material. As Luke’s journey becomes darker (the sibling subplot is deliciously taboo and perfectly exploited!) sometimes the humor is a welcome tension relief (ie. R2D2) while at other times it felt weirdly forced, my main example would be Vader. In the first movie, his outbursts of dialogue from other movies was hilarious, but here, in this much darker story, he comes across as less funny and more as a schizo-lunatic. But maybe that is intentional, after all he goes through in the Opening Titles, I would be a wee bit cuckoo too.
I think I just found the final act so dark, unflinching and refreshing, part of me wished the entire movie was like this right from the beginning. But then that would be a completely different movie, wouldn’t it?
As for this movie, I was immediately engaged and thoroughly the ride! TMBTM has delivered a masterpiece of entertainment! In my opinion, it is even better than Part One.
I highly recommend it.
Thumbs (and toes) way UP!!!