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Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews > Star Wars The Complete Saga (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review
skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:06 PM 09-20-2014
Is it just me or did they encode the Phantom Menace disc using the wrong video levels? Blacks look so washed out and even brights too. I almost feel like applying a second level of levels expansion makes it look more normal and more like it did in the theaters. Playing other discs in the same setup with the same software I don't notice this, the blacks get crushed to a huge degree and the white utterly blown if I apply a second levels expansion.
I swear they encoded Phantom Menace in closer to 32-219 instead of 16-235 or at least closer to 32-219 than to 16-235.

Maybe they made a mistake for early copies?
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skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:08 PM 09-20-2014
Originally Posted by chitchatjf View Post
Perfection with a few exceptions
a) Where are the deleted scenes from the DVDs of 1-3?
Exactly! I was shocked. They said they took forever for this release to make sure it was the full, complete everything release.... and then they leave out most of the extended and cut scenes even from the DVD releases for 1-3! Including most of the best and most interesting ones! How in the world can they have left out so many deleted scenes from the DVDs???? I thought we'd get MORE as promised and instead we got far, far less.

And the Phantom Menace transfer still seems weak to me. Waxy at times. And for some reason it seems to insist on playing black with very faded blacks and weak whites for me even though every other disc plays back normally for me.
skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:11 PM 09-20-2014
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post
At least 7 or 8.
I first saw it at 7 and loved it beyond belief. A neighbor saw it at 5 and totally loved it. 7 or even 8 is pushing things way higher than needed.
skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:15 PM 09-20-2014
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post
Being that I grew up in the 70's, class of 1980 High School, and bought countless Star Wars versions on VHS, then DVD's and now this Blu-ray set, needless to say I've seen them 100's/200's of times been a while.

Well, with my 11.3 HT set-up "done", decided to watch them in order starting tonight, I thru VI, with my 3 kids ages 11, 9, and 7 of course
Just to experience them in full 11.3, they are "new" again!

My 4520 DTS Neo:X™ processing did great job up-converting the 6.1 DTS MA to 11.3, truly love the added surround sound experience.
Really, the LFE is quite decent on Episode I - The Phantom Menace, especially the pod sequences.

I found myself also "looking into" scenes, past the main part of the scene at either foreground or background, kinda let the eye wander.

I searched "easter egg" in this thread but nobody posted it, so w/o looking on the broader web here is what I noticed earlier tonight:
This looks like that small dude "Willow" from movie same name, though it's been 1+ year since I saw it via On Demand.

And these gotta be ET's


I'll purposely not search Easter Eggs as I go thru these to see what else I just happen to notice....

btw, I was 14 1/2 in summer of 1977, saw the movie 3 times that summer, bought the comics brand new myself.
Ha, my friends and I were so geeked by the movie we were convinced we could build a blast gun like Han Solo's, really no BS.
So, we went to gas stations and gathered 2 buckets of used lead wheel weights, and then garbage picked at least 4 TV sets.
We began to de-solder all the electronic parts we could, and of course needed the lead wheel weights as thin shielding to mold as alloy for the radiation that our blast gun would emit.
Worked on that for 2-3 weeks, then as I turned 15 and entered High School that fall, cars and girls overtook my desire to build a blast gun

Here is a picture Feb-2011, the day I got my iPhone4, and my kids were looking thru my SW comic collection, the very 1st picture taken with that iPhone4 - which I still have and use today.
Yeah the ETs and Warwick and some known Easter Eggs. Warwick also played an Ewok in ROTJ. Lucas's daughter I think appears a couple times, even Lucas I think for an instant, a potato in the ESB asteroid belt, 1138 from THX1138, and on and on, lots of Easter Eggs all over across the films.
skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:17 PM 09-20-2014
Originally Posted by RobLee View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by batutta

Lucas seems to forget that an audience viewing it for the first time doesn't know Han was a hero. Having him dispatch Greedo like that adds dramatic tension, as Luke and Ben just handed their lives over to this morally questionable person who "drops his cargo at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser". The whole point of Han's character is that he was a somewhat amoral loner only out for himself who, at the end, decided to make a moral stand and fight the empire. Removing that shading undercuts his arc.

Again, he's altering character development, as mentioned a few posts back. It may be hard to swallow, but what is one to do? Just accept it and be glad you remember a slightly different telling of the tale. Those who refuse to buy anything SW that isn't unadulterated aren't hurting anyone but themselves.

I'm not a musical theater fan, but every time I hear Phantom of the Opera, ALW has changed the lyrics again
I never really saw it as Han being amoral anyway. It was made pretty clear to begin with that Greedo was about to fry him, so it was clearly self-defense even shooting first. Waiting to shoot second jsut makes Han look like a foolish amateur, as the chance Greedo would miss on his first shot from that range....
skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:54 PM 09-20-2014
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by stepyourgameup

Episode I was unwatchable period.

I forgot how painful Jar Jar Binks was. Also some other things in that movie can be a little painful as well. But it's all good. A lot of people seem to have problems with George Lucas this and George Lucas that. I believe, though, that all of the Star Wars movies are meant for the young crowd and therefore I understand why silly things that do not need to be said by the characters are indeed spoken, and other painful things and that may be why many adults do not like Episode I, for example, . But I am a fan of the series and if they add to the story then I'm watching it.

I got my complete Saga in on the 16th and watched Episode I as well. I have always liked the Pod race scene very much for some reason. I enjoyed it in DTS-HDMA in my home. I will most likely fire that scene up again for demoing purposes.
I think he gets way too much flak for 1-3.

The films probably got hurt a bit by arriving at the end of the 90s when we'd had nearing half a decade of hardcore rap and grunge music and and darker more violent films dominating pop culture. In the brighter, more upbeat, more ridiculous 80s I think they would've landed better.

That said, he DID make a few mistakes. Star Wars ANH was a film that was great for kids but it was not written down to or at kids. Most of the greatest children's literature was not written down to them and works well for adults as well. He fell a little bit into the old Disney/80s Saturday Morning Cartoons trap with Episode 1 and he became too afraid to have aliens speak in actual alien languages with farts in the face and silly baby talk and such. Captain Tarpals was right out of the worst of the cheap Saturday morning cartoonsand lines like "yousa in deep doo-doo", in particular, and "ouch time!", coming from a tough army guy were absurd. There are a good ten lines that he put in TPM that were a bit cringe-worthy and seemed like the sort of cheap dreck from the 80s Saturday morning cartoons and not worthy of Star Wars and a little bit of an insult to the level of even the youngest kids. The final land battle in TPM had a few too many jokes and seemed a bit too clean and bright. If he had just left out/altered so few as ten lines, that alone I think would have had the film land much better.

Jar-Jar was probably a little bit on the too much side of things, although kids actually did seem to really love him, so I could live with Jar-Jar. And he didn't appear much in 2 or 3 anyway. It was more the lines like "yousa in deep doo-doo" a few times here and there, by others, that were really bad. And maybe joking around with him too much in the final battle. But I'm good at instantly tuning that out and forgetting and enjoying all the great stuff and there really was a lot of really good stuff in TPM. The bulk of it was very good and quite a few parts were fantastic.

There was nothing wrong with TPM coming from a very child-like and innocent place. If you can put aside being such a 'bad-ass' for a second, maybe you can enjoy a lot of it?

I was amazed that so few people could see what he was doing and the extreme juxtaposition he was setting up for part 3. And it's not like any reviewer didn't know part 3 was coming.

There actually was a lot of great stuff in TPM never mind AOTC and ROTS.

Some short cuts and bits in TPM were even almost like flashbacks to his '77 ANH cinematic style. You could see many glimpses of his exact directing style from the 70s.

People rant about oh too much politics, he would have never done that back in the 70s or 80s. What? First of all, what did you want, some non-stop blow-em up fest like Marvels Avengers? How was that deeper?? The politics and plotting added so much to it. Also you can read interviews with Lucas from the early 80s where he specifically said that 1-3 would have a lot of politics, maybe even so much that there would barely be any action other than for a couple bits here and there (lava pit fight and clone war). If you read his early interviews, if anything, it seems he added more adventure to 1-3 since back then. So who are these fans saying the politics made no sense and were just some nonsense from 'ruined' modern day Lucas? I mean he flat out talked about it all decades ago. A real Star Wars fan should have not been surprised in the least.

Then some say oh it's so dumb and trivial and simplistic and then two paragraphs later they are saying that the plot was 'hopelessly confusing' and that the politics made no sense. Haha, really? So you were not able to understand and follow the film (and really it was not that hard to follow) and yet it was dumb and trivial and beneath your intelligence level????

And when TPM came out some said it seemed too light and innocent and that it just seemed to end without having gotten into things more. But how did they not get the basic point that he was setting things up for a truly dramatic and painful fall a couple episodes later? Or that TPM did just kinda end because it was just the prologue! Yet people expected it to be the entire book? When it was part 1 or 1-3 (and ultimately 1-6)! Who says a movie can't play as just a prologue? Heck, look at ESB? Did that have a finish? And it was the greatest of all in the eyes of many! What are you so stuck in hard and fast rules?

And some said oh look at Anakin. He wasn't a bad seed, born evil, a vicious brat. How could Lucas have gotten the little kid Anakin so wrong?!?? He didn't! How boring would it to have been to have him been born some psychopathic sociopath little brat?? Plus how could he fall if he was born utterly evil and vicious through and through? What would there be to see of the Emperor turning him? Why would Obi-wan have ever called him a great friend when he first knew him? How could he have been redeemed at the end of ROTJ??? I mean come on people, think before you bash Lucas to pieces and insult his intelligence and call him names.

And then they are like Natalie Portman was (or was forced to be, whatever, various complaints) so wooden when she played Amidala. Duh! In TPM, she was like a 14 year old queen, of course such a young queen will act all stiff and regal, having to overcompensate for age to be taken remotely seriously!

And yeah maybe they had some slightly goofy or stilted dialogue between her and Anakin here and there in AOTC, but this was in another age and time, not today's teens and twenty-somethings, and the characters had been fairly isolated. She was a queen at 14 and then shipped off to the adult world of galaxy-wide politics and he was a little slave kid and then isolated in the Jedi temple. Would it be shocking if some of his romance with her came across as a touch dorky or this or that?

And some said, oh everything looks too shiny in 1-3. 1-3 doesn't have the same feel. Lucas lost the plot. No he didn't. What did you expect! 1-3 was at the decadent height of the Republic! 4-6 were after the fall. Look at things after communist U.S.S.R. take over, like 4-6. Look at the decadent height of the British empire 1-3. Of course things will look and feel different. Plus, in 4-6 you had a small rag tag rebellion, of course it will have a more swashbuckling different feel than movies showing the plotting and scheming of an evil politician during the height of a grand Republic. And again, read old interviews with Lucas and way back in the early 80s he said 1-3 would have a totally different look and feel, shiny, etc.

And then some went nuts over midichlorians. Why? They fit in 100% with things said in 4-6, about how Vader having lost part of his flesh became weaker in the force, etc. But a bunch of people went nuts because what? The force wasn't something you could pray and then gain or something? Because now there was no hope you could become a Jedi???? Are we living in the real world or some la-la land? YOU WERE NEVER GOING TO BECOME A JEDI EVEN BEFORE YOU FOUND OUT IT TOOK A HIGH COUNT OF SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T EXIST, MIDICHLORIANS. Wow. And for people to go literally rabidly nuts at Lucas over that. Wow.

etc. anyway this getting to be too long. But I will say that that guy who spoke in that weird tone and made those hour long videos 'shredding' 1-3 for having done this and that thing in a dumb way or an incorrect way, etc. well a lot of his complaints can actually be objectively proven wrong and a lot of comments just showed up his own lack of intelligence and understanding.

And some of the whole "he 'ruined' my childhood" crowd are now even trying to be so revisionist that they now claim 3 arrived to terrible reviews and acclaim, when part 3 actually got pretty solid reviews and even won over many the naysayers back then.

And don't forget they only did like a billion dollars business each, including TPM.
skibum5000's Avatar skibum5000 07:58 PM 09-20-2014
Originally Posted by skibum5000 View Post
Is it just me or did they encode the Phantom Menace disc using the wrong video levels? Blacks look so washed out and even brights too. I almost feel like applying a second level of levels expansion makes it look more normal and more like it did in the theaters. Playing other discs in the same setup with the same software I don't notice this, the blacks get crushed to a huge degree and the white utterly blown if I apply a second levels expansion.
I swear they encoded Phantom Menace in closer to 32-219 instead of 16-235 or at least closer to 32-219 than to 16-235.

Maybe they made a mistake for early copies?
I guess it s not quite that, as I did find some parts where double expansion clips all black detail. But they did a terrible transfer job all the same, the blacks just don't have punch and some of the rich colors are so faded compared to how it looked in theater. I saw it in digital a few times in theater and the colors and punch were way more vibrant and the detail far more biting than this waxy, faded look they gave the blu-ray. The digital theatrical release had so much punch. The orange robes of the hand maidens had intense saturation, some of the scenes of Amidala and Coruscant behind her had a lot more pop. Maybe they got the gamma of the transfer wrong??

I know there are a few scenes in TPM that have terrible quality intrinsically, they had blown highlights and other issues, but only a few. The rest looked good and much better and different than on this transfer. I think even the DVD got some of the saturation and punch better from what I recall. And much better detail as well, some of TPM disc is almost as waxy as the poor DVD transfer. No grain to be seen and no skin texture or any texture at all even in parts where they definitely did not do the new digital camera test.
Tags: Blu Ray Movies , Star Wars The Complete Saga Episodes I Vi Blu Ray
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