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  1. #1

    THX-1138 "Special Edition" coming. What the...?!?

    OK. I read about it, and now I've read about it some more. At first I didn't really believe it, but now it seems to be a fact. They're going to put out a "Special Edition" version of THX-1138 with some digital enhancements, additions and alterations.

    WTF?!?

    I remember making a joke about this a while back, (when the debate about the OTSE was getting hot and heavy.) I remember flippantly saying that Lucas would probably CG hair on all of their heads or something.

    No doubt not many people, in general, are big fans of this 1971 film. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of comments about how cheesy it looked and how a remake sounds like a fine idea. A lot of people looking at it from a strictly current perspective and thinking about it only in relation to today's films. When I watch it -- and I'll admit, I first saw it in the mid-eighties and even then it looked dated -- I try to look at it from the perspective of a film viewer in '71, as well as someone today. I try to appreciate the film in relation to what I know about how, when and where it was made. I really love looking at it and seeing so many elements that Lucas snatched from other Sci-Fi films, as well as recognizing those story and visual ideas that he later used time and time again. To me it's like seeing an artists sketchbook from before they painted a series of brilliant paintings.

    No doubt, there's gonna be a few (OK, maybe lots of) people that simply say, "So what? That film sucks. Who cares if he messes with it?"

    Well, I suppose I care. I suppose I'm just not sure why he would bother to fiddle with this film and then put it out on DVD. To me it's looking like either greed, vanity or simple stupidity is serving as motivation here. I'm a little disappointed.

    I dunno... I don't get it. Anyone else have any thoughts?
    plasticfetish.net

  2. #2
    Yeah, I'm with you. It's been awhile since I've seen it, but I can't imagine what "enhancements" he might make. It's not like any of the FX stood out. Not even sure there were any beyond practical mechanical stuff or a small bit of pyro. Weird.

  3. #3
    I don't think it's going to be too bad. I think he just wants to tweak a few minor things that bugged him. And I'm always accepting of an artist that feels his work needs a few more brush strokes to make it more in line with what he originally saw in his mind when he made it.
    Here's a bit of info from industry sources that's likely to get the undies of some fans all in a bunch. Word is that George Lucas' THX-1138, which is currently being prepared for DVD release later in 2004 by Lucasfilm and Warner Bros, is going to feature more than 100 new visual effects shots. Look for digitally-enhanced skylines and other additions and alterations.
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  4. #4
    Why doesn't he remake Electronic Labyrinth and then turn it in for a new grade at USC?

    I dunno, there really is a limit to how long an artist has before it's no longer acceptable to go back and fiddle with their work. In this case, it seems like grave robbing to me... this sucker's long over. I could see a complete modern remake as being acceptable, but not this.

    Gee... why not leave it as it is, and then in the future, let some new director take a shot at a remake. In the mean time, go make a NEW film.
    plasticfetish.net

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticfetish
    Why doesn't he remake Electronic Labyrinth and then turn it in for a new grade at USC?

    I dunno, there really is a limit to how long an artist has before it's no longer acceptable to go back and fiddle with their work. In this case, it seems like grave robbing to me... this sucker's long over. I could see a complete modern remake as being acceptable, but not this.

    Gee... why not leave it as it is, and then in the future, let some new director take a shot at a remake. In the mean time, go make a NEW film.

    That would mean he'd have to hire somebody to write it. Or, god forbid, he'd have to write it himself, and we can see how great those results have been. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Ironically as one of the only truly wealthy indie filmmakers alive, he is forsaking his freedom in favor of typical studio mentality that is grounded in fear. This THX re-deux is further proof that he, like the studios, have no faith in new material and would rather rehash the tried and true.

  6. #6
    This going back in and tweaking stuff long after the fact is really inane. The piece should stand on its own and if it's not up to par with the artist's more recent work, that is how it should be. An artist should be growing and moving forward. All this, if only I had the technology then that I have at my fingertips now, correcting is unneccesary. If Roger Corman were so inclined, should he go in and replace all the low budget Paul Blaisdell monsters from movies like "It Conquered the World," and "The She-Creature?" Should Ray Harryhausen revisit "Jason and the Argonauts" because he wished he could include more skeletons, and now with CGI he can?

    What Lucas is doing is the equivalent of a novelist going back to something they wrote 40 years ago and rewriting the book, inserting new characters and settings, tweaking dialogue, all because they are a better writer now than they were when they were 20. What they really should be doing is writing a new novel.

    George should spend more time on his scripts and preproduction work so that he's able to get the movie right the first time. Does he tell his actors, "Don't worry too much about this scene, because in 20 years I can go back in and fix it digitally."

    He's worn the same shirt, beard and haircut for almost 40 years now without feeling aneed to alter his look, why can't he leave his movies alone?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by B'Omarr Monkey
    Should Ray Harryhausen revisit "Jason and the Argonauts" because he wished he could include more skeletons, and now with CGI he can?
    Yeah, it really is like that. And you have to ask, was it the original style and effects that made it so charming in the first place? By "upgrading" the film, do you end up simply whitewashing it and covering up the characteristics that made it special? It makes me think of when you hear those antique appraisers on TV say that an old piece of furniture is worth a lot less, if it's been re-varnished or had the hinges and handles replaced.
    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    Ironically as one of the only truly wealthy indie filmmakers alive, he is forsaking his freedom in favor of typical studio mentality that is grounded in fear. This THX re-deux is further proof that he, like the studios, have no faith in new material and would rather rehash the tried and true.
    Yeah, I'd have to say I agree with you.
    And even more so I think that in the long run, having created this sheltered environment up there in the northern Marin hills, that he's really gone too far in that direction. I mean, I used to live there... I used to live in a town called Lagunitas a few miles from the ranch... it's very isolated. This whole ivory tower thing seems to have petrified his imagination. At the very least, I think that we should be seeing a larger variety of projects than we do. I don't hate what we've been offered (like some people ) but I'd like to imagine that the LFL machine could and should be able to churn out a great deal more.
    plasticfetish.net

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticfetish
    And you have to ask, was it the original style and effects that made it so charming in the first place? By "upgrading" the film, do you end up simply whitewashing it and covering up the characteristics that made it special? It makes me think of when you hear those antique appraisers on TV say that an old piece of furniture is worth a lot less, if it's been re-varnished or had the hinges and handles replaced.
    Dude, that is my pick for quote of the day! You just took the entire argument against "Special Editioning" (especially SW for me) and summed it up with a good point and a great metaphor.


    As for THX-1138 itself, Lucas shouldn't even bother monkeying with it, if he has ideas for the concept, he should pull a "Rollerball" and put out a revisioned new version (and like Rollerball's remake, it'll probably suck hard and bomb at the box office).
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

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  9. #9
    Geez. Rollerball.
    I love that movie. I never saw the remake... I can't even think about it.

    That's really why I think if you're gonna go back and remake something, it should really be for a good reason. It should be for d*** sure, done really well also. I keep thinking about Planet of the Apes and how I love Tim Burton, but that thing tanked because it was pointless. The entire reason that the original became anything, was because it delivered a moral message in a unique way. I dunno what Burton was trying to deliver with his film.

    If Lucas wanted to revisit the THX idea, it'd have to be for a solid reason and he'd have to NOT wimp-out on the message behind the story. But... I dunno... his messages have been kind of wimpy lately.
    plasticfetish.net

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticfetish
    That's really why I think if you're gonna go back and remake something, it should really be for a good reason.
    I think the only reasons should be that the original had a good idea but was poorly executed or that due to the original's budget, or available technology, could be improved by making it now. Remaking a movie that was already good seems pointless to me.

    I enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake which really was more of a "re-envisioning" than a remake vs what "Planet of the Apes" was, and I'll go see Peter Jackson's King King even though the original is perfect and the FX still hold up today, but the whole remake thing has gotten out of hand. They're remaking "The Fly" again!



    There's plenty of crappy film noir thrillers and clunky Sci Fi and Horror films from the 50s that were made for no mone--and looked it, but had great ideas in them. Remake those.

    It's also sad that the films being remade are more and more recent. I guess it's true that people now really won't watch anything that's more than a few years old. The Best Buy where I live reflects that. If the DVD has been out for more than 2 months (unless it's something like SW or American Pie) its not kept in the store, which aggravates me to no end whenever I go there to buy something.

    Peter Jackson's reasoning for remaking King Kong is along the same rationale for why they did a shot for shot remake of Psycho, only in color. He feels that the original is a great movie, but that kids won't watch it because it's in black and white, so he's trying to recreate that same excitement in color. If kids won't watch something because it's in black and white, they probably don't deserve it.

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