THE GRAPES OF WRATH (DVD) – Replace “Okie” with another other derogatory name, and this could nearly be happening today. Presenting your papers and undergoing inspections on the roads into and out of Arizona, this is a vision of the Good Old Days that I think many on FOX NEWS might be up for – tin-star wearing thugs with pick handles beating up people looking for fair wages and treatment. Well, until they arrive at the government run and the Tea Party instigators show up at the dance…
STAR WARS IV: A NEW HOPE (DVD) – A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, as you can tell primarily by Aunt Beru’s outfit – mid-70s fashion is far far away, and that’s why she had to die.
I forgot how much of a coward Obi-Wan really was… hiding out in a cave on a desert planet like anti-establishment terrorist types seem to enjoy. While this is the film that I think I remember most from my childhood, it’s not my favorite; the actors are too green, and the story is a bit cheesy… things were finally really in place for me with RETURN OF THE JEDI. On its own, A NEW HOPE just isn’t a fantastic film, but it is a decent Act One.
I watched the 1997 version where George Lucas had to go back and “fix things” by adding something like 37 seconds (one frame here, 6 frames there… ) corrected compositing and adding background CGI. Some of the additions are Jar-Jar bad. Cleaning up effects and hiding wires, etc, is fine. Adding in extra elements is fine, even adding in new scenes like the one with Han and Jabba is fine, but do them WELL. It’s like Lucas setup shop in The Uncanny Valley in the 90s and never left. The prosthetics and props from the 70s, even the worst least lifelike of the creatures from The Cantina, are better than the
12 ANGRY MEN (DVD) – This is the 1957 version with Henry Fonda versus Jack Warden for a good chunk of the film. This is the second film today that’s over 50 years old, that could have easily happen today; bigotry and horribleness never goes away, it seems. I do like how one by one, most of the other jurors get up one by one and turn their backs on 10 as he goes on his rant about Those People and what They get up to.