Category Archives: Entertainment

All things movie, video and music….

George Lucas Strikes Back

I wrote a few days ago that I was a little worried about what the new Star Wars box set might hold. My concerns were vindicated last night.

Sio, Beck and I sat down to watch The Empire Strikes Back, and I noticed a few things here and there, but the most glaring thing I noticed was the scene with Darth Vader communicating with the emperor. The more I looked at the face in the shimmering holographic image, the more I realized it looked like the emperor from Episode 2!

Being the creative, industrious person I am, I pulled out my Star Wars: The Definitive Collection laserdiscs out, fired up The Empire Strikes Back, and placed the DVD and laserdisc feeds side-by-side on the jumbotron. Sure ’nuff, the old emperor was gone. Long live the new emperor.

I’m sure this was just the most obvious change in what is, I guess, the third “official” version of the original Star Wars trilogy. I guess that means that my copies of The Definitive Collection and Special Edition on laserdisc will need to be converted to DVD one day. Glad I hung on to them!

The Cat’s out of the Bag

So Cat Stevens is now a terrorist-linked person, and persona non gratis in the States, eh?

Yesterday, he was diverted to Maine (which must be the northern version of Guantanamo Bay, since we diverted an alleged terrorist-linked person there), along with a planeful of people who will probably never buy another Cat Stevens CD, shipped to D.C., and then deported.

Rats. I had front row tickets to the Cat Stevens concert next week! 😉

Revisionist History

Tonight, Beck and I sat down to watch the new Director’s Cut of THX 1138. This is George Lucas’ first real film, and one of my favorites.

However, something wasn’t quite right….. And as I watched, I realized George Lucas has revised my past… again! The “officers” that THX is working on suddenly look like C3PO, the shell dwellers are no longer dwarfs and midgets, but are some kind of CGI feral feline-primate beasties and even some of the car scenes looked “new” to me.

I understand a Director’s Cut being an opportunity to tell the story like it was supposed to be…. including pieces from the cutting room floor, for example. What I’m beginning to not enjoy so much is George’s predilection toward turning some of his film projects into on-going projects.

Perhaps Robert Duvall wasn’t his first choice for THX? Maybe it was David L. Lander (“Squiggy” from Laverne and Shirley), and now the technology exists to insert Squiggy in the film, replacing Duvall.

I’m suddenly (and sadly) reminded of 1984, and revisionist history-makers in that film, and I shiver at what could be waiting for me in the Star Wars box set come Tuesday.

If you wanna see the details of these changes, there’s a real good blow-by-blow of the changes (at least the first nine minutes!) at DavisDVD. And boy, are the fans ticked about it!

So….. When is George Lucas gonna revise my old versions (not just my memories, like he is now), and make me a rich guy with the looks, house, cars, etc.? 🙂

Guess I need to find a copy of the original on tape, and convert it to DVD for my viewing pleasure.

Purple Rain

Today, I picked up Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon. Purple Rain was an anniversary edition just released, and Under the Cherry Moon has finally been released on DVD.

Purple Rain was a seminal film for me. I first saw it during its theatrical release around 1983, and it was a distant echo of a tulmultuous time that I was enduring at the time. Broken relationships, hurt that felt like it would never end, and the crushing of my little fragile self by someone I thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life with.

Twenty years of hindsight tells me that that would’ve been a bad, bad, bad relationship to grow into a marriage. I would’ve been far too…. young… to have pulled that off.

Forever linked at the hip will be that time and this film for me — nothing much I can do about that. However, distance and time have made my view of the film and that era more nostalgic, and less like a raw wound.

Time is a good thing, after all!

Under the Stars

Last night, Beck and I went along with Elma and Jules to see 42nd Street at The Muny.

I’d never seen this play before, and was utterly amazed at the all the tap work in the production. I absolutely don’t understand how those folks can possibly do that kind of dancing — especially that much of it! Years of practice is, I’m sure, the right answer, but still it’s impressive.

This was only the second time that I’d been to The Muny — the other time was about seven years ago to see Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) star in The Wizard of Oz. The biggest difference between that show and this was one was the weather. It was sweltering those years ago, while last night was a sweater night.

Sweaters in August? This summer has been unusually cool, with the last week or two sporting highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s. I’m hoping that Mother Nature is tipping her hand a bit for the fall and winter, and hinting at a cold, snowy fall and winter. I just can’t get enough of that stuff!

Last night was also closing night for this season at The Muny, and, as is tradition, they closed the season with a sing-a-long of Auld Lang Syne. What a fabulous tradition to carry through their 86th season.

As I sat there under the stars, in the oldest and largest outdoor theatre in the country, I couldn’t help but feel humbled to be so blessed to live in a country where a few thousand folks could gather together on an unusually chilly August night, and enjoy a terrific production, laughing and singing together. What a tremendous reminder of why we fight so hard for our freedoms!