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Ringmaster (1998)
2/10
Trashy comedy knocks itself out of the ring
18 December 1999
You don't need to write a script for this trashed outrage! You just sit back and watch a pair of moonshine women and guests duke each other out before a riotous audience exposure at "The Jerry Show"! Violent and obnoxious, this cash-in on the real Jerry Springer program reveals everything that the over-rated hyped talk show doesn't show to you on the air - - unless you have a collection of uncensored videos made by the producers of "Cops". Even the outside world of Springerland reveals the most amateurish acting of the decade! This goes to show you that THE GONG SHOW MOVIE had a central character in a motion picture turkey. Change the channel! REJECTED
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The Crush (1993)
5/10
As the height of suspense draws closer, the excitement falters
11 December 1999
Nick moves into the neighborhood until 14-year old girl Darian becomes strongly infatuated with him, and takes the consequences. Silverstone, in her first major film vehicle, proves sensitively capable for her young age in this uninteresting thriller that inheritedly reverses the gender frame when it comes to natural suspense. The compelling premise that tries to aim for Hitchcock discouragingly wears thin after the first run-through, and a shallow distinction is all that's left.

RATING: * *
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Wild at Heart (1990)
7/10
Inventive, bleak romance drama has power
11 December 1999
A real stimulatingly offbeat exhibition from Lynch is the dark and wild backdrop of a romantically engaged traveling pair: "Sailor" who is on parole after committing a brutal murder, and "Lula" whose mother demands her to return from a spoiled trip to Texas with help from a detective. It's a twisted, artsy journey that is often repulsive and long to boot (and certainly not for the squeamish!), but fares inventive at a certain degree and boasts some of the strongest performances ever worked on a Lynch film, perhaps even in 1990. Cage's concert act and the magically rendered semi-ending are two classic acclaims put together in this moving cinematic collage.

RATING: * * *
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Exit to Eden (1994)
2/10
Exit this film immediately!
29 November 1999
When two undercover cops investigate Iman The Terrible, they're in for a romp of pleasure. This may go down to being a milestone as one of the sickest American comedies ever produced, where plenty of S&M is the biggest swap for light-hearted fun. Forget the entire cast that includes Dan and Rosie, because they all possibly wished they hadn't appeared in this picture ever since its first shooting. Best of all, you can forget this movie all in one piece. REJECTED.
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Woo (1998)
2/10
Can you say "WOOops!" and feel guilty about seeing this movie?
28 November 1999
So a psychic predicts that "Woo" is going to have a good-hearted man for the hot night, right? Well, Jason predicts that you're not going to get a single laugh nor thrill from this wasted, inept, trashy, short urban comedy where there are plenty more apartment buildings and nightclubs to shoot a picture. Ms. Smith is one good actress they've wasted there, but rest assured that all of the acting (as well as the diversion) is to blame. Forget a "one-star" review, or even a halfsie; this one is absolutely, positively REJECTED.
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Psych-Out (1968)
6/10
Wickedly good fun from the era of Flower Power
21 November 1999
It's a rock band - hippie gang trying to protect a deaf runaway girl while on the search for her missing brother, but instead, they're taking The Trip to nowhere. Director Rush, who gave pony-tailed Nicholson some star treatment in HELL'S ANGELS ON WHEELS, delivers this pretty good view of offbeat, sublime hysteria pertaining to the drug frenzy that popularized late 60s culture. One troubling factor, though: it was made to immoralize society as we once knew it. Just say "wicked", and you'll enjoy this cinematic acid trip that isn't half-bad. RATING: * * 1/2
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3/10
Tempting title in a poor drive-in excuse.
21 November 1999
Our story concerns a pack of females known as "The Mini-Skirts" and their accompanying rough riders in mountain terrain looking for trouble against an innocent trailer couple. The only things you'll appreciate from this hopelessly dated film are some nice pairs of legs and an appearance by Harry Dean Stanton as one of the rodeo rednecks. Everything else, the bad lighting, the fragmented story, leaves an awful lot to be desired, and even the title of this "biker" picture doesn't fully live up to anyone's expectations. To add even more scorching embarrasment is the opening theme song by Patty McCormack, also one of the gang members. Those who are looking hard to find this hidden cult movie will see the light as a limited cable TV offering, but remember, you get what you deserve! RATING: *
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Dark Star (1974)
5/10
Unpleasant space spoof is memorably amusing.
20 May 1999
DARK STAR is a worthy, yet often worthless classic for the John Carpenter archives, and although you will plan on turning this off, just sit back and gag over its cheap parodic thrills. The elevator scene stands out as highly memorable, but the movie runs its course into an awful bit of conversational dialogue that gets irritating until it swells. Each crew member of the spaceship is assigned to do some boring things to make the experience very unpleasing. A cast of four apartment junkies explains why, and what a huge mess of hair they're having! This may not be John Carpenter's best or worst, but a fairly good try for the first time. One should take notice of how the director revolutionized the cheapies for his next feature known as ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.
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WarGames (1983)
6/10
Temptation is the only way to play this hi-tech thriller.
19 May 1999
Is it a game or is it "only a movie"? (Keep repeating!) WARGAMES is best classified as a cyber-espionage thriller that surrounds us with paranoia of the Cold War and World War III, tensions that flourished in the 80s. This is a very entertaining film that spawned the whiz-kid craze. Trouble kid Matthew Broderick hardly ever does enough acting, but when it comes down to his expertise of thinking with computers, we finally came and saw a new and talented star in movies who has charisma. The results are downright chilling and near-damaging as expected. Still, it isn't so different enough to have a plot that challenges everyone to save the universe. With its finest addition of high-tech vaporware, the movie has (or had) the appeal, but this display of classic teenage nostalgia only means that even the greatest of trends come and go. Above average 80s fodder.
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Space Raiders (1983)
5/10
Another average STAR WARS rip-off for the average viewer.
17 May 1999
SPACE RAIDERS ought to make a good old fun-filled Saturday morning staple for the baby-boomers who remembered watching "Jason Of Star Command" on CBS many years back. As all is said and clear, this is shades of Roger Corman's previous sci-fi efforts, and it looks so terribly dark that the same old tiring explosions make up for the poor planning. The dialogue contains plenty of unfittingly abusive words every so often, but you've got to giggle over Flightplan's spoken line, which is incredibly campy: "Robots. I can't sense robots." Leave it to the spaceship fights and 'bot blastings for your enjoyment. They're not great, but they're worth the movie alone. Who could ask for anything more? No other sci-fi saga, past or present, can dethrone or even match the legendary STAR WARS!
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The Mechanic (1972)
6/10
Shallow action film is deep on the Bronson touch.
17 May 1999
THE MECHANIC is best noted for Charles Bronson's trademark character as an anti-hero, and an assassin who gets the job done right. Was this Michael Winner's inspiration for DEATH WISH? Perhaps so, because the depth of the story is what counts, but it feels like putting off sensitive action buffs is the easy part. While more action would be a blessing, the best interest lies within Bronson's partnership of Jan-Michael Vincent. There is one simple solution to appreciate this: save your appetite for later. The events that surrounds "The End" will never be the same once you experience it, and it's worth the entire movie all in one piece.
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5/10
A mighty rewarding little adventure...and mighty overblown!
16 May 1999
Remakes such as MIGHTY JOE YOUNG are cashing in on past glories, and the hi-tech age has nowhere else to go but advance forward. A couple of bright spots help out this KING KONG rehash with a touch of heart. Paying homage to the long-gone B-movies comes a feeling of likelihood with the black ape, who may seem perilous at times, but keeps his heart in place as a trusting hero, and a naturally redeeming character of hope, love, and friendship. Truly, these details make a "family" movie by providing simple lessons. Even though the minutes lasting to the end is always worth the money, it sure didn't have to be THIS violent! What is happening to the moral values of wholesome "family" entertainment? Surely, if this was indeed another G-rated show, we'd been under more fire after the cataclysmic atrocity of BABE: PIG IN THE CITY. Either this is a simple heartwarming film, or just another pre-millennial drive-in flick, the movie doesn't always keep its balance. Disney knows how to create a lightweight movie, but they've run off the tracks this time.
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Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985 TV Movie)
6/10
Visuals add more sparks to this Ewok follow-up.
15 May 1999
This steady-going follow-up is simply both more and less. Even though the stop-motion effects look out of date, the visual quality is an improvement over the previous Ewok adventure. You won't be seeing too many strings attached anymore, and the costume appearances are much cleaner. What it lacks for the continuous thrills and excitement of the last one greatly gains in the characters including "Cindel", "Noa", and the stellar cast of Ewoks. Both movie adventures aren't too shabby when it comes to George Lucas' imaginable sensations, but does this mean they're an absolute must-have for every STAR WARS collector? Hmmm....
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The Ewok Adventure (1984 TV Movie)
6/10
Another kids' adventure film on the other side of the galaxy.
15 May 1999
These furry little bears known as "Ewoks" had been related to the STAR WARS legend, but this made-for-TV concoction (and the one following this) has nothing to do with the legendary movies. It is, of course, an expansion of the STAR WARS universe that reaches into the realms of mystical adventures, while still holding on to the familiar science fiction theme that George Lucas once created.

THE EWOK ADVENTURE isn't going to win any awards for its basic storyline, plot, and acting routines, and it may remind some of us about the silly live-action Filmation programs that once dominated Saturday mornings in the 70s. The leftover sets from JEDI and its costumes are a real help along with Burl Ives' narration. Don't expect BIG results here; it's VERY predictable! While its fun for virtually all ages, leave this to the kids.
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3/10
Eastwood in the biggest mistake of his career!
15 May 1999
If there had to be one way to go for Clint Eastwood, it's down. Way down! You wouldn't want to see an all-time action film legend star in a cornball comedy that delivers plenty of bad taste. John Wayne probably went through the same situation, too. No wonder why this one did some outstanding business at the time of its release. A hefty abundance of C&W music meant that the culture was into a growing popularity by the late 70s, which brought in more country cornpone to the theater screens. It appeared that we wanted to see Clint do a comedy, but he sure wasn't the right man for the job. So what happened to the script? Our man Clint is in love with the Palomino country singer Sondra Locke (he was with her in several more of his Malpaso productions). That's the whole story, and it all goes every which way but loose until there's a big knot where the entire movie itself becomes nothing more but senseless junk. The orangutan made the perfect pairing for the guy who carries a .44 Magnum.....what an embarrassment! And then there was a sequel! Clint, how can we ever forgive you?
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4/10
A fine heartwarming premise destroyed by mediocrity.
14 May 1999
Whether or not you're familiar with KAVIK THE WOLF DOG, you will know that John Candy makes an appearance starting at the Gulf station (the video box fails to mention his name!). Still, this is a mighty rare "family" movie, but even the rarest of the rare can have the hiccups. The story involves a twelve-year old boy who finds and cares for a prize-winning companion. Redeemed by a life-death learning situation, a couple of miracles, and a dealing with loss, the movie suddenly gets into a flat sheet of frozen ice. Is this the next excuse for another WILD AMERICA episode with Marty Stouffer, or is it the director's fault? The midsection is a terrible embarrassment for the heartwarming and gentle story that teaches a lesson. It feels like you're at the drive-in theater, which was a host to several cheap wilderness flicks. This is exactly one of them, but check this out only if you like John Candy to appear in something different rather than comedies.
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7/10
Wild "musical comedy" offers long-lasting fun and excitement.
14 May 1999
What an impressive following this large movie is recently having! It would've been just another cult classic to begin with! THE BLUES BROTHERS is easily the best film collaboration with Dan ("Dry White Toast") Aykroyd, and John ("4 Fried Chickens & A Coke") Belushi. While it gets too overly far-fetched with the action plot, there is reason to sit back and chow down on the comical hilarity and nonsense thrills that only John Landis can master perfectly into a comedy.

This is such a big deal after all because it offers a walloping combination of soul tunes, car chases, special effects, and crazy characters like female assassin Carrie Fisher and Nazi leader Henry Gibson. Put everything else together and you have one of the wildest experiences ever. If you want to know why it's so wild, the supporting cast of dancers, prison inmates, and law enforcers really shows that the movie itself is very hard at work! The music was supposed to be the main attraction in the first place, with real-life singers James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway. They add to the theme of this "bluesy" movie with their own style of performing familiar tunes. The real stars are Aykroyd and Belushi who can be both funny and talented on and off the stage. Probably the duo's all-time best performance is the singing numbers. But after the singing, we await the sudden amazement of car crashes and smashes that make up the excitement, with the largest impact ever since the 1974 cult classic GONE IN 60 SECONDS. It certainly has "Made In Chicago" stamped all over this picture! There are tons of entertaining moments that never go blind. Just sit back and watch it all go boom!

Aykroyd and Belushi would have fared well in GHOSTBUSTERS had there been more movies produced, but this remains to be THE comedy classic for the wild SNL pair. DVD owners must not miss this one as it makes a valuable addition to your library. It's not really the masterpiece of a genius, but it is a good-natured effort in using different film genres in one complete package. Definitely recommended for Landis lovers out there.
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8/10
First-rate thrills and suspense take the spotlight of this incredible classic.
14 May 1999
Could this be the film that inspired endless numbers of productions that deal with hijackings? One example is the made-for-TV film DETOUR TO TERROR starring O.J. Simpson (remember this one?). PELHAM 1-2-3 might have been ahead of its time for packing up the heavy adrenalin. The hair-gripping suspense is the major element for this type of film, and it may last more than an hour to prepare for the unexpected to happen. Robert Shaw ("Quint" from JAWS) has done fine performances, and his part in leading the hijacking quartet is a sensible role. Little do we know that these "villains" are more stylish and handsome in description, rather than the tackiness. But hang on for the climactic section of the Pelham subway train; the fast-paced editing meant new creativity in 70s movies. I appreciated the comedy relief being added to this exciting film because the feeling turns more episodic for its increased value, and this special blend of formula works. It might actually mistaken the careless viewer for blaming on the corny dialogue spoken by many of the actors! Since PELHAM 1-2-3 continues to receive high praise after twenty-five years, a special collector's edition would be a strong possibility. Highly recommended!
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6/10
Classic knights-in-armor tale offers so little that's new.
13 May 1999
I can recognize the name PRINCE VALIANT in the Sunday comics, and this is the movie adaptation which is based from. As if I've had enough of these Camelot stories, the swift pacing turns it on for supplementing the royal action, which is interesting to keep you tuned in. This latest version nearly captures the lively HERCULES & XENA look that continues to popularize the culture here in the States. It's a pity that these routine battles lack a solid punch, turning this into a mild consequence. For a new and younger generation of PRINCE VALIANT followers who dismisses the 1954 original film because of its age, this new and improved edition will certainly be it. There is a sacrifice of royalty that made the black-and-white classics sweet and tangy. The best you can really do is keep on reading the comic strip because several movies based on original counterparts (including TV shows and cartoons) fail to recapture a certain essence that was once made to be original.
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The Fugitive (1993)
8/10
Ford runs this explosive facelift of the old TV series.
13 May 1999
Not so many TV-to-film transfers can live up to greatness, but THE FUGITIVE can prove that enhancing an original plotline with a right edge can turn into a super movie. The added suspense lives up to calling this just another mega-thriller that differs the original black-and-white series. Both Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones are fully demanding in giving this the raw energy a simple cat-and-mouse story needs. For interesting terminology, the leading characters are on opposite sides of their personalities, with "good" convict Kimble evading the so-called "villainous" U.S. Marshal who is out to capture him. Ford uses the old INDIANA JONES trick in a couple of the riskiest stunts performed on film, but he keeps the action moving. One drawback is that you're now beginning to notice his recent characters a bit more worrisome than heroic, but Ford gets the job done as usual. Much of THE FUGITIVE displays continuous action and suspense until the rousing climax. Look for a hospital nurse that appears in the form of Julianne Moore. This will most likely end up as one of the Top 10 action thrillers of the decade before the 90s is through.
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6/10
A cute little animal adventure strictly for the kids.
11 May 1999
As the sensible alternative to the first BABE movie, this one offers a lively storybook feeling through Dudley Moore's clear narration. This is just for the young children who will enjoy the lovable all-animal cast, with savoringly fine performances from our cat-and-dog duo. Best part: Milo, in his lonesome survival. Worst part: the excessive perils that keep on popping up quite often. Perfect as the big bedtime snack for the wide-awake, it's a clever and simple little kid's movie to last a good 75 minutes until the big drift-away to Dreamland.
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4/10
Annie steals the wheels from this dreadful movie.
11 May 1999
Mark Hamill should have felt mighty embarrassed with CORVETTE SUMMER! This time, he uses a new kind of "force" to regain the possession of his dream machine, a bright red 'Vette. It looks like another sour teen-age flick the first half-hour and does a U-turn in heading for the wrong direction. The writing and directing jobs are dreadfully done, with a few scenes you can't hardly take. You're expecting this to happen anyway, and you're also sniffing the smell of late-70s hodgepodge. Only a former newcomer like Annie Potts would easily steal the show and save this poor movie from the repo creeps! Her impractical but delightful personality holds on to your interest for good, and this is the finest chance to see her in a swimsuit. Hooray for Annie! Sorry, Mark! I guess the Force wasn't with you this time around.
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8/10
The most revealing chapter of STAR WARS, if the least.
10 May 1999
The saga continues, and our brave cast of rebellious fighters has got older! No offense please! In the three years apart, something new has to come along. Once again, their performances are true to the series in itself, with RETURN OF THE JEDI as the final (and I do mean FINAL) episode in the STAR WARS legend. Either more or less, it's still heavily balanced on plot and is backed by George Lucas' technical and imaginable wizardry. If you STILL haven't seen the previous two in chronological order, then you're suddenly lost without the Force! Then, a giant pack of Ewoks will come out running after you!

If there had to be one litle thing I would disgress on the trilogy, it's the cute-and-cuddliness of this third installment. Almost everywhere is a big puppet, and that's saying much for the children who has endlessly loved the STAR WARS phenomenon. Ewoks included, the puppets and heavy costumes were the most creative and lively characters ever since the first film (not counting C-3PO and R2-D2). It feels like you're watching a Jim Henson masterpiece, though. The disadvantage is that it loses much of its epic splendor that was present in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, but it is gracefully made up by the greatest climactic conflict between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. This IS worth seeing the whole 6-7 hour saga in the anticipation of a captivating and powerful premise. You've got to see the first STAR WARS...first!

We go to the movies to see special effects, and there has been much more done. Without them, there would be no signs of real life! Just remember to hang on tight for the "air ski" sequence which was amazingly well done at showcasing a little speed for the ultimate thrills. The Special Edition gives us an ending that must be believed. It was a desperate need in front of the unsentimental one the original version had. Long live Lucas!

No matter what striking events there may be, the best recommendation lies upon the original STAR WARS TRILOGY (1977-83).
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9/10
The next STAR WARS chapter improves over the previous one.
10 May 1999
The very first STAR WARS movie changed the way we looked at motion pictures, and this second feature is a BIG significant improvement. It is the best in the trilogy, hands down. Regardless of watching another mega-classic, I'm not going to write up a skyscraper-high comment for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK because this only makes one-third of the legendary saga.

It looks like we have another director in charge: Irvin Kirshner. But it is still George Lucas who's in full command. Key elements are (or were) beefed up to maximum "force", which is very noticable throughout. The simple layout of the story is still STAR WARS, now with a plot that thickens into greater epic dimensions. Continuing the story in motion is a brilliant thought. You just never call this a sequel! Characters have much more to their integrity than the previous film, with Yoda as a new addition. Luke Skywalker remains the powerful hero, but his interest with Yoda adds to his legacy along with the revealing truth about Darth Vader. Han Solo and Princess Leia have some touchy chemistry in-between the action (finally!). R2-D2 remains likeable, but you've got to look at C-3PO! What happened to him? We've come to know more about the cast, that is if you aren't careless to see EPISODE FIVE for the first time in your life.

Like I said before, this next installment has much more. More speed, more intense combat battles, a more thundering orchestrated soundtrack by John Williams, and more special effects. Sights of objects that float in the air looked unbelievable (for the time). The biggest achievement goes to location filming under adverse conditions (the scene of Hoth), adding life to the story.

George Lucas' script was of extreme brilliance in the first STAR WARS that only some further polishing would make his follow-up more revolutionary. Which is the one and only improvement in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Once again, please don't forget the Special Edition; no major movie classic has ever been updated in style thanks to Lucas' ILM team. Will EPISODE TWO live up to this?
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8/10
STAR WARS--The Original American Film Epic
9 May 1999
A long, long time ago, I was never familiar with STAR WARS until this familiar sound of music played on the radio. Later, visions of action figures on TV commercials dominated my Saturday mornings. This sure was a completely giant success story that even I couldn't understand way back in my pre-school years, but it was just happening. It took years of waiting experience to get a new VCR, and I finally took advantage of the Force. If you were like me, your early childhood days have been rough because you never got to see the STAR WARS trilogy. Fascinated by flying spaceships, bold warriors, and especially C-3PO and R2-D2, the days were a joy to behold. George Lucas' sci-fi epic that includes this first original movie is a timeless treasure, thanks to his establishment of a fantasy adventure that goes galactic. He's not just an ordinary director, but a director of technology. The excitement of its epic combat battles are worth infinite viewings, and was destined to blow away the audience with a rapid-fire force of impact. And this revolutionary piece led to numerous imitators!

You can very well remember how George Lucas and the whole ILM gang made this trilogy through its history of complications. The original STAR WARS was a terrible undertaking for Lucas because he wanted a movie that feels true to realistic. When JAWS was playing in 1975, it showed off some new special effects technology of a great white shark, and managed to achieve in editing. That hit film was released at a time when production values remained tight, which they were often called "B" movies. STAR WARS has been the same thing, and it wasn't exactly clear that high-quality visuals would ever be possible. It would take more than the entire National Football League to create a 70s masterpiece. Lucas tried, and won by displaying a thrilling speed of action with a lightning fast pace. One example is the brief "hyperwarp" scene, where one blink of an eye ruins your day. When you have an incredible view of the fireworks, there's always a big plot to make more excitement. Like the movies themselves, one good story leads to another.

Without characters, there wouldn't be a movie at all. Make them appealing and then everyone can enjoy the fun. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) lives the adventure; Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is always the bold type; Chewbacca The Wookiee adds to the chemistry with his furry appearance; likeable droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are loved by the kids. But there's always the villain, Darth Vader whose familiarity would still be hated through fun, but always recognizable. This first installment actually serves as an introductory platform for the characters and their potential of things to come. We know them well, but this is only the beginning (in Episode four!). Keep in mind, though, that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has always been the central hero of the series. Pretty fascinating!

Always take notice of the 1997 Special Edition. This is a mandatory must for STAR WARS newcomers who still haven't taken advantage of the Force in all these years. The myth is that there aren't a whole lot of changes. The truth is that they're saying quite a lot because the editing of these enhancements is phenomenal, and hasn't been done before. It's a remarkable achievement in modern film technology, and the scene with Jabba The Hut explains why. Remember that some of original pieces of footage remain the same with a certainty of noticeable glitches, which is still a minor offense. Add to this some incredible restoration and we still have a sci-fi gem that will stick around longer while the new trilogy slowly builds on. Think of this, you're watching an entirely new movie!

I hope this original movie and the whole trilogy in itself doesn't fall victim to a terrible amount of backlash when EPISODE ONE arrives. That one will do excellent business based on our cravings for special effects; they actually sell the movies! Should it happen, this would be a fatal blow to preserving a quality image to American cinema, past or present. We must take for granted that movies are essential as entertainment, and how the many possibilities can be discovered. Judging a movie's popularity against the odds is only going to hurt it. It is currently being demonstrated with E.T. (1982) and TITANIC (1997), two highly acclaimed films that are receiving tons of negative criticism and scrutiny from the public. They do this by pushing popularity off the wall. At least we know how to handle STAR WARS movies carefully, and while we enjoy science fiction as a make-believe cushion, it's important to know that it took a genius like George Lucas to create a universe where excitement exceeds the imaginable. Without him, the movie industry would be in deep space beyond the far reaches of our galaxy. The greatest movie ever made? Only on a cult level; it is the best one for the crowd, but consider this a fine American piece of movie art for all.

The Force will be with us.....always.
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