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|Index||1323 reviews in total|
The very first note of John Williams's horn-blaring score as the film's title in thousand-foot-high block letters flashes on screen is the very moment when American film-making turned inexorably to big-budget, grand-themed audiovisual extravaganza strung together with simple stories, snappy catchphrases & cutesy jokes. But if George Lucas decided to follow Henry Ford rather than John Ford, he built a Shelby Cobra & left Pinto-making to his many, many imitators. Ironically, he himself remade one of the finest works of film master Akira Kurosawa, the Western-themed "Hidden Fortress," with one scene (the fight in the bar) lifted from "Yojimbo." As a result, "Star Wars" has a bit of the jittery discomfort of characters trying to fit into a story that wasn't quite made for them, like people with past life experiences that intrude into the present. Kurosawa's hero is split not into two but THREE heroes in "Star Wars" (four if you include the princess, who has a more prominent role in "Star Wars"). Hamill's Luke is often overshadowed by Kenobi (Guinness, whose skill had aged better than any fine wine) and Solo (Ford, in the role that deservedly made him a star), though he often holds his own as the clueless but determined farmboy-turned-hero. In less than five minutes, "Star Wars" sets the standard of outer-space audiovisual special effects that the industry was bound to follow from then on, forever sweeping away the earnest, toylike realism that Gerry Anderson was then giving us in "Space: 1999" in favor of exhausting but beautiful orgies of fast, violent, sweeping movement culminating in explosions of bright color & blaring sound. No wonder there's never any sex. "Star Wars" is science fiction only because it's set in outer space, by which standard "Dirty Harry" is a detective story & "Last Tango in Paris" a romance. Little attempt is made to explain the technological wonders depicted (we never find out why light sabers never have to be recharged or get even a cursory explanation of the Death Star). What little science there is can't be counted on, as when Solo extols the drag-racing abilities of the Millennium Falcon in parsecs, which are units of distance, not elapsed time. But Lucas never means to educate, only to entertain. Solo is a smuggler, not a science officer, while the others are not doctors or engineers but warriors, royalty or villains. Lucas's hammerhanded excess works because it never lets up & never goes for the cheap & easy. Though the heroes are unconvincing, "Star Wars" creates an array of badguys in the Galactic Empire that remain unsurpassed in cinema, headed by Darth Vader, who makes the Wicked Witch of the West look like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. In another irony, the most memorable scene in "Star Wars" is the motionless roundtable conference chaired by Tarkin (Cushing, in the greatest role of his long career) which yielded phrases long & gleefully repeated by a delighted America ("This station is now the ultimate power in the universe!" "This bickering is pointless!" "I find your lack of faith disturbing"). Perhaps, with the space program petering out & the hard realities of nuclear energy coming home to us, our fascination with scientific exploration was wearing thin. In the 1960s it enabled the cast of "Star Trek" to bring the writings of sci-fi geniuses to life with cardboard & aluminum foil. Never again. What better honor, or infamy if you like, could there be to "Star Wars" than that the "Star Trek" movies of the 1980s followed the simple themes, cuteness & spectacular effects of "Star Wars," turning their backs on their own heritage of awed exploration? Perhaps that first detractors and then supporters of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative nicknamed it "Star Wars" so convincingly that the original name was quickly forgotten. The film might be a bit dated with its holistic, New Age mysticism (feel the force FLOWING through you!) which likely owes more to Jack Kerouac than Musashi Miyamoto & which became more difficult to depict with a straight face the farther the sequels & prequels went. Nevertheless, it was a worthy successor to the Code of the West, especially in contrasting Darth Vader with Luke & Kenobi. "Star Wars" can't really be judged by the standards of other films, partly because it reset the standards & partly because it became, most unusually, the fourth in a series of six! But there's no doubt that it's a heroic sensory extravaganza that will leave the viewer at once exhausted & exhilarated--and will do it over & over again, without offending, condescending or making one think too hard. If you just want to escape to a galaxy far, far away, jettison all skepticism, lower your shields & prepare to make the jump to hyperspace.
It is a shame that not any other of George Lucas's films were as fun
and inspiring as his unforgettable epic "Star Wars: A New Hope". It was
a film that has since been spoofed and ripped-off in many forms of
media. It has five sequels, and has many branch-off television series.
And it is undeniably one of the most financially successful and
definitely one of the better science-fiction films of this or any other
"Star Wars" has one of the most brilliantly constructed and detailed alternative reality settings ever. Literally everything in it makes the "galaxy" seem like a real place. Not only is there civilizations of humans, but civilizations of other creatures, and there are livestock and other creatures like in our world. Names such as droids, banthas, and wookiees work out. But I do feel that the "sandpeople" could've had a more compelling name. The concept of blasters and lightsabers were pure genius and the effects used on these weapons were state-of-the-art for their time. The props and CGI used for the other creatures, such as Chewbacca, may not be acceptable if "Star Wars" came out today, but were great for back then. Costume design was magnificent, especially the great details put into the villainous character of Darth Vader, who is perhaps the most memorable movie villain ever. Although he wouldn't really make his terror so profound and complete until the first sequel "The Empire Strikes Back." The concept of the Death Star is also a fine one.
But while "Star Wars" most certainly looks great in terms of detail and special effects, and even moreso on the entertainment level, there are some details that I have a really hard time accepting. Mostly, it's concerned with the screenplay. George Lucas is truly a great screenwriter when it comes to developing story, but when it comes to dialogue, he's not the best there is. Some of the dialogue in the film, mostly the lines spoken by Princess Leia, make me wince. For example her quote "I should have known it was you holding Vader's lease. I smelled your foul stench when I was brought onboard." What sensible person would even think of saying a line that dumb? I also personally felt that Luke Skywalker asked WAY too many questions and too many times. In the Tatooine part of the movie, he asks "Do you know what he's talking about?" numerous times, more than necessary. And all of the lines featuring the word "sandpeople" just seemed weakening to the script. The "sandpeople" were suppose to sound frightening, but they just sound pathetic.
Basically, the one and only thing that I have wrong with "Star Wars" is its dialogue sequences. And that is because George Lucas's weakness at writing is dialogue, which he freely admits to. But that does not make "Star Wars" a bad movie. Perhaps I was disappointed with it, but it's still a great movie to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was a significant part of the childhood of almost every American born in the later third of the 20th century. This doesn't change the fact that Mark Hamil's acting is simply terrible and the action scenes are simply atrocious. There is no explanation as to why the Storm Troopers cannot aim their guns to save their lives. I don't understand why Obiwan is considered a crazy hermit, when the uncle knew him to be a Jedi knight. I still don't get the flashing lights and buttons on Darth's chest, why didn't Obiwan just use his force powers to switch off the power on the jump suit. Also it is supposed to be about twenty years from episode 3 to episode 4 but Obiwan ages like 40 years. Whats up with that? That whole suicide by Vader thing is incredibly lame, too. Don't get me wrong parts of the movie were absolutely brilliant (esp. acting by Harrison Ford), but it definitely leaves a lot to be desired.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before I say anything else I need to point out I liked Star Wars. As a movie by itself it was a good sci-fi flick that opened new vistas in special effects and scope of story; quite literally an entire new universe was opened before our eyes.
That said, no other movie did as much to bring the "blockbuster" mentality to Hollywood, where the moguls realized it was possible to make so much money on one movie that they could not only retire but buy that island they always had their eye on. It also brought the idea of movies as franchises to the fore, where now the movie came not only with toys but books and games and fast food meals.
Sadly it seems "Star Wars" and "Empire Strikes Back" were the best of the movies, as we found out first we were starting out in the middle of the story and later we got the prequels that were supposed to expand the plot but instead only muddled it. (And they were so bad! on top of it.)
Star Wars was a cinematic nuclear bomb for 1977, and brought with it the moneymaking mess we now call Hollywood.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
''Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope'' is the first movie from the old
trilogy. I will always prefer the old Star Wars' trilogy than the
modern one, and watching again this movie makes me feel very good! It
is a period of civil war,since an evil Empire controlled by Darth Vader
and the Emperor has the control of all the galaxies. Rebel bases
finally had their first victory against the horrible Galactic Empire,
and princess Leia, who is part of the Rebel Alliance is made a prisoner
by Darth Vader, since she refuses to say where are the plans of the
lethal weapon called 'Death Star'', who were stolen by the rebel spies.
The Death Star is a big space station,capable of destroying an entire
planet if it's owner desires. Darth Vader also wants to know where is
the secret base of the Rebels to destroy it.
Since Princess Leia is a clever girl, she placed the plans of the Death Star in R2-D2, and send him to a special mission with C3PO in Tattoine, where he needs to finds where Obi Wan Kenobi is.
R2 and C3PO arrives in Tattoine with success, but after a time they are kidnapped by the Sand People, who wants to sell them; for their luck, their buyer is Luke Skywalker and his uncle Owen. At the same time that Lukes discovers that R2 needs to show the message for Obi wan, Vader's army went to Tattoinee to find R2 to recover their stolen plans. R2 goes after Obi Wan, and C3PO and Luke go after him. After being attacked by the Sand People and saved by Obi Wan, Luke tells him about the message in C3PO. All this time, Obi wan was hidden in Tattoine as a hermit with the name of 'Ben Kenobi'. Obi Wan then tells Luke many things about his past as a Jedi, and the fact that he was a friend of Luke's dad, Anakin. He also gives Luke a light saber that once belonged to Anakin. The Lars knows about the truth behind Luke's past, that's why specially uncle Owen never let him leave Tattoine.
Worried that the Imperial troops are searching for R2 and C3PO, Luke runs in his home's direction, but he discovers too late that his uncle and aunt were killed by then. Sad and without any attachments in Tattoine, Luke decides to go with Obi Wan to Alderaan to help Leia.
They two meet Chewbacca and Han Solo, who can take then to Alderaan. Once the money payments is sealed, they enter in the ''Millenniun Falcon'',Han's ship ,and they go to Alderaan's direction. The problem is: Alderaan is not there anymore. The ''Death Star'' destroyed Leia's native planet,since she refused to say where the rebel base stays.
Once Luke,Han and Obi Wan comes to save Leia and they succeed in their mission,they know will have other problem: destroy the Death Star.
Ps: I think that Obi Wan's death is too weak!
Ps2: How does Luke understand what R2 says to him?
After seeing all six episodes of the Star Wars saga several times
apiece, I still think this initial entry is interesting but one of
weaker ones in the series. Perhaps that's because by now, the
special-effects look primitive but also because it's a little slow in
parts, slower than the other five films. Sometimes, though, it's nice
to have more lulls as these modern-day action films many times overdo
the violence. This one, however, is just a bit too slow overall.
The first hour of this film sets up the second hour plus the two sequels that followed in the 1980s, showing how the principal characters were united, who they are fighting against and what mystical powers they have at their disposal. Note: it was even interesting to watch this film decades later after the final installment, episode 3, was viewed. It made this first entry make a little more sense, knowing the complete story (who was related to whom, how some died, etc.). It was also a shock to go back and see the special-effects in here after viewing those final three films issued in recent years.
I always got annoyed, to be honest, at two things in this initial Star Wars film I felt were overdone: the "Rambo" mentality in which hundreds of shots are fired at the good guys and never hit them and the constant arguing between Carrie Fisher ("Princess Leia") and Harrison Ford ("Han Solo"). By the third film, thankfully, that bickering stopped and everyone was "on the same page."
Despite how old this film is, it's a "must" for this collection since it sets up so much of what is to follow. It's also kind of fun to look at this again and see how young everyone looks!
I was never a "Star Wars" guy growing up. I wouldn't say that I was a
"Star Trek" guy growing up either ("Doctor Who" was my sci-fi franchise
of choice growing up, and still is, even though I'm not a big fan of
Russell T. Davies' version of the show), but I would definitely choose
my favorite episodes of the original series or "Deep Space 9", "The
Wrath of Khan", and "The Undiscovered Country" over any "Star Wars"
film. I've seen the original trilogy a couple of times previously, once
as a kid, once in my mid-teens, and now I sit down to watch "Star Wars"
again, having been inspired by catching half of "The Empire Strikes
Back" on TV recently and being enthralled by it.
The first thing that struck me is how great the opening shot is, just after the scrolling text that is. The rest of the movie was pretty much how I remembered it being- a collection of great set-pieces and memorable characters, and a great mythology, but with a story which wasn't nearly as grand and great as "The Empire Strikes Back". Although a point of criticism aimed at "Star Wars" by its (relatively few) detractors is that it doesn't quite match the real feel of a 30's/40's serial, I think that it really does, and not only in the way it is shot and the transitional wipes and all that, but in the writing, the acting, and just about everything else. It has that same sense of adventure, and although this particular film is nowhere near as good as some of my favorite serials, it remains something which very accurately captures the feel of watching one of those, and its popularity (and the popularity of "Raiders of the Lost Ark") is hence quite understandable, as very few of even the big summer blockbusters have the same sensibility and sense of adventure, and well, fun.
Watching "Star Wars", in spite of it not being my favorite of the original trilogy, serves as a reminder of the talent which George Lucas had at one point. I don't think this film is as good as his previous effort, "American Graffiti", which is the greatest 'coming of age' film I've ever seen, and one of the most beautiful films ever made from a visual standpoint, but it's still got spirit and energy which his later efforts just don't. It's quite sad, really.
There's really nothing I can say that hasn't been said already (which is true, certainly of many popular films, but this is freakin' "Star Wars", so trust me, I have NOTHING to add to what has already been said). There are "Star Wars" devotees who swear it is the greatest of the trilogy and one of the best movies ever made, there are detractors who think it's cheesy nonsense, and then there are others like me who like it quite a bit, but aren't sure where all the extravagant praise comes from. "The Empire Strikes Back"... Well, that's a whole other story.
Filled with great characters and a fun story, Star Wars is well
deserving of its reputation as a classic. John Williams score alone
makes this a film worth seeing. The characters are unforgettable and
the special effects impressive for its time, but very outdated now. The
different alien species are one of the best things about the film. The
Cantina scene showing an array of Lucas' creations is particularly fun.
I give this film a 7/10. Looking at it subjectively, it isn't a really good film. A lot of clichés, bad dialogue, cracker jack philosophy, and unimpressive acting. Yet, for some reason, I find it hard to say anything bad about this movie. My favorite film as a child, and one I still enjoy, mostly for nostalgia.
I was actually born about a year after this film first premiered, but
a member of a family that was the first on the block to get such things as
the VCR and the proper Hi-Fi system allowed me to catch this film in a
number of different formats in the years ranging from 1982 to 1997. I
it is safe to say that without this film, I would have had no idea how
evil a thing Pan And Scan is, or why multi-channel audio is such a damned
important thing to have in the home theatre environment.
Of course, I also knew that the film wasn't perfect. I could see a number of small problems where Lucas' budget just didn't quite go far enough, or where there just wasn't enough time to accomplish what was wanted. So when the announcement was made that in 1997, each film would be presented with improved special effects and footage that could not be integrated in the original cut for reasons of budget or practicality, I was excited.
For the most part, I was overjoyed to see the new footage or effects. Mos Eisley now looks like a real city or port of commerce, without the viewer's sense of disbelief at the seemingly deserted streets needing to be suspended. The flight of the X-Wings towards the Death Star in its original form was very good, a marvel of its time, but when George finally got to show it the way he wanted to, it was almost the equivalent of watching the helicopters of Apocalypse Now decimating the village to the tune of Ride Of The Valkyries. The wonderfully composed tracking shots especially made the battle look almost as if it really happened and Lucas was just there to take pictures. And Jabba? Well, he doesn't look all that real, granted, but it was just nice to have that one piece of footage in order to make the appearance of Boba Fett in Episode V and the entire prologue of Episode VI make a bit more sense, especially to dullards.
Unfortunately, there are a number of times when Lucas just goes too far in his quest to improve his work. Sometimes you can only do so much to anything before it starts to look overdone. Of course, I am talking about the scene between Han and Greedo in the cantina. In the original version, we are led to believe Han is a scoundrel who only cares about himself, giving us one of the best character arcs in the whole trilogy. It is also a great tribute to Sergio Leone, a nice reference to when Tuco shoots a potential assassin from his bathtub and tells the corpse "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk!". Modifying this scene so it looks like Greedo shot first is an insult on a few levels. It insults Greedo as a character, making him look like one of the most incompetent bounty hunters in the galaxy. It insults the audience, who even at the age of six should no that you'd have to be blind, drunk, brain-damaged, or all three, to miss from that distance. Lastly, it insults the character of Han Solo by destroying a vital piece of said character arc. Watching Han go from scum to a leader of men, a space-age version of King Aragorn even, was one of the best things about the original Star Wars trilogy.
The story itself is the stuff of classics in that it shows the most unlikely of heroes doing things that everyone else claims to be impossible. What Lucas got right in terms of pacing and plot here is exactly where he went wrong in the prequels, in that he makes the jump from location to location seem important to the plot and totally natural, rather than forced and choppy. The story and sense of adventure makes one forget that there are really only three major locations other than the inside of a space ship.
Overall, the original Star Wars rates an eight out of ten. If Lucas had applied some common sense in conjunction with his rampant desire for revisionism, I would give it a ten, but as one critic who is famous for his negativity once said about Episode II, when was the last time anyone told George Lucas no? Still, this is a classic that should be shown to future generations as an example of how an imagination and enough literacy to realise it will open doors for you when nothing else will.
There are only a handful of movies I've given a perfect 10 out of 10, and Star Wars is in my opinion one of the best movie of all time. It is a movie with non stop excitement that will make you want to watch it over and over. The original Star Wars is an instant classic. If you haven't seen this movie, you have to go find some one who has it, and watch it. The amazing space story has original ideas and now in days I can relate a lot of action scenes back to Star Wars. Remember the opening scene of Man of Steel, when Jor-El was fleeing from General Zod's army. It looked like something straight out of Star Wars. I loved Man of Steel as much as the next person, but Star Wars is that original sci-fi adventure that you will love for ever. This first part of the original trilogy will set up two more movies that will lead to one of the greatest trilogies of all time. Please take my word for it and if you haven't seen it already go watch this movie as soon as possible. For the sake of your movication (yes I'm quoting Pitch Perfect) please watch Star Wars you will not be disappointed
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