18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2007
After reading the reviews I decided to buy this one as a 'tester' like Alex from Melbourne. I can't vouch for plasma/LCD/widescreen/HD TV's but the original looks excellent on my TV (59cm CRT, and yes, laugh if you must). I think if the new editions had not been done then there would not be so many negatives toward the DVD version of the original. Sure, the sound and picture quality isn't as good compared to the new editions but if I bought any other DVD and got the same picture quality as the original then I would be more than happy.
What I like best is that it actually has that old school feeling about it, just as I remember as a kid. And not being a full on star wars geek I completely forgot about Han shooting first. This is way better than seeing Greedo shoot first and miss at point blank range. And as for the scene with Jabba, C'mon!
Now I'm looking forward to purchasing the other 2 and seeing the original ending in Jedi.
Being the cynic I am, I know that they will release these as remastered versions sometime down the track (and I will buy them) but in saying that, it's great to see the movie as it originally was. Oh and don't forget the HD/Blu Ray versions are still to come, GL must be rubbing his hands together!
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2007
I don't often review products on Amazon but I had to write this and respond to just a couple of points raised by a previous reviewer.
"George Lucas would be turning in his grave if he ever saw what they'd done to the original version of his film"
- George Lucas is alive and well and it was HE who decided to re-release the original trilogy as Special Editions closer to his vision. Cynics would say the unnecessary digital tweaking was a dry run to prove that the technology was capable of producing the level of digital effects he wanted in his new trilogy, and as a marketing campaign to renew interest in the franchise prior to releasing the prequels.
"Lucas first introduced the world to Darth Vader in 1975 (when Star Wars hit cinemas)
- Star Wars received a US release in December 1977. Quite what philandering Darth Vader was upto in the meantime is anybody's guess.
"Cushing turns in a rounded and absorbing performance and if one considers that the actor was in his mid nineties when he made the film, it is an achievement to behold"
- For a man born in 1913, starring in a film in 1977, I would say he makes a suitable achievement for a 64 year old.
The quality of the acting by Cushing and Guinness though did elevate the film above a typical space opera and, compared to some of the performances in the prequels that would follow, revisiting these films highlights just how much presence these actors had.
For those who haven't seen Star Wars (shame on you) then the Digitally altered Special Editions are probably the best films to watch. The quality of print and sound on the theatrical releases are far below outstanding and does spoil the viewing experience.
However for the purists (i.e. anyone who grew up with Star Wars and has seen the films many times) this is the only chance to own these original editions, free of George Lucas' additional (and most would say unwelcome) scenes.
We've had the Special Editions, now the Original Theatrical Editions.
How hard would it have been to have had the digitally improved Theatrical Editions without unnecessary scenes?
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2006
A few reviewers have mentioned that this isn't the original theatrical version, despite what it says in the tin. It's true. The film on the second disc seems to be the same as the THX digitally remastered version that was released on VHS in, I think, the mid-late 90's.
There don't seem to be many differences between this one and the original 1977 effort - a couple of tiny alterations of the 'blink and you'll miss it' variety, but the sound & picture quality are certainly improved.
Like a lot of people, this is the version I bought the DVD for and after having some misgivings after reading the reviews on here I have to say I am very pleased. It is in widescrren format but I haven't had any problems with that. The picture quality is great, although maybe more VHS than DVD but again I'm not complaining. I've not noticed any grainy images yet - that's not to say they aren't there, but they certainly don't distract from the enjoyment of the film if they are.
Sound quality is very good, too, and the soundtrack (voices, music etc) has obviously benefitted from some cleaning up.
There are no extras included with the 1977 version - it in itself is regarded as a 'bonus feature' but the 1st disc includes some commentaries, including one by Carrie Fisher which could be interesting.
I have to admit, though, that I didn't buy it for that version.
This is the film I remember watching from being little - nothing has been added and nothing has been taken away, or very little! If you want the film as it should be seen, buy this! If you're after bundles of extras, however, you may be disappointed.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2007
I don't normally criticise other reviewers personally but seeing as how Ken Weir has already unjustly slated another reviewer (B.Abraham), I feel the need to step in and correct the situation.
Ken, you have completely missed the point. B.Abraham was not saying that his DVD included a scene that yours does not, he was merely implying that the addition of the CGI Jabba The Hut to the `Special Edition' of Star Wars Episode 4 was completely unnecessary, along with the absurd `Greedo firing first' scene. It's a perfectly valid point and one that many fans, myself included, are known to agree with. If you like the scene with Jabba, then fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion.
However, the meeting between Han and Jabba did NOT appear at all in the original theatrical release, either with Jabba as a human or otherwise, and if you did see the scene in the theatrical release, then it must have been some sort of unedited bootleg copy. The `Jabba' scene was actually filmed but subsequently ended up on the cutting room floor. It only came to light when it was reinstated for the original release of the Special Edition and had a CGI Jabba superimposed over the original human actor. The only way you would have ever seen the scene played out as originally filmed is by watching one of the `Making Of' documentaries regarding the Star Wars Special Editions, where the scene is often shown first with the human actor, and then again with the CGI Jabba super imposed on top of him how to demonstrate how the effects were done for the Special Edition movie.
To use such a flawed argument as an excuse to attack another reviewer and give an otherwise enjoyable film a dismal 1-star rating and knock it's overall rating down is pathetic. Do your research properly next time, Mr. Weir.
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2006
Finally, finally! Just bought these and watched them again - god it was good. Spaceships look real rather than CGI animated because they are real. The effects ILM used back then were done with real models and explosions, but done so well you couldn't tell they were models. So, so, so much better than CGI animation that just looks like a computer game. I trawled the charity shops a few years ago to pick up the originals on VHS, knowing every time I watched them it could be the last given VHS's abilty to be chewed up. Finally I don't have to worry about this any more!
And I know these are kids movies, but when I first watched them, I was a kid - watching them again now takes me back in a way to those first magical moments and that is why this film is so well loved. It's also the fact that Star Wars tells a classic story which taps into the basics of good story telling. Sure, I love the Godfather too, but I'm not so lifeless I can't enjoy moments of childish glee when the fantastic John Williams score kicks in or when the Millenium Falcon blasts out of trouble just in time!
And directors who use CGI, please could you take note of a little film called Jurassic Park. 1993 it was made and it still is one of the best films I've seen which obviously uses CGI but still manages to make it look real. It's been nearly 14 years now and we still get films which don't use the technology half as well as they did back then!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A long time ago in a childhood not too far away......
Princess Leia is captured and held hostage by the Imperial Army as it seeks to rule the Galactic Empire. An old Jedi Knight by the name of Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi may just be her's, and the rebels only hope. Teaming up with farm boy Luke Skywalker, scoundrel Captain Han Solo, and a couple of quirky droids, Kenobi sets off on a mission that could well shape the destiny of the Galaxy, and all who dwell within it.
Back in 1977 I was but a wee 11 year old boy, weened on films from all genres by my movie loving parents, I had no idea that Star Wars was to have the same impact on me as Jaws had two summers previously, where yet again I found myself queueing around the block for two whole hours to see a film in a one screen theatre. My love of cinema firmly cemented, Star Wars was the start of a love affair that lasts to this very day.
As the years have rolled by and my love of cinema has taken on more in-depth and serious tones, I have come to realise that Star Wars proves to be a far from flawless picture. Certainly its detractors do point to some frayed acting and call the plot structure a jazzed up good versus evil axis, while the charge of George Lucas referencing many prior pictures most assuredly stands, but really do those things matter? No they do not, because Star Wars opened up a new world of cinema, something of a portal to youngsters such as I, it got people talking and debating about the merits of model work in films (which is of an extraordinary high standard here), it nudged film makers to explore being bigger and bolder in their approach, and crucially, above all else, it got film goers hungry again, a hankering for more please if you may. Now it has to be said that all that followed 20th Century Fox's historic blockbuster didn't run with the baton, in fact most pale into comparison on impact value, but for better or worse (depending on the discerning viewers peccadilloes), Star Wars stands as a bastion of adventure laden entertainment.
It is by definition one of the most successful films in history, George Lucas perhaps didn't know it at the time, but in what was to become an almost operatic anthology, he didn't just make a movie, he created a whole new world seeping with style and rich texture. Almost as amazing as the success of the series, is how it has become part of modern day pop culture, anything from religion to everyday speak has at some time or another referenced Lucas' baby. Ultimately, though, it's one single thing that made (and still does make) Star Wars so great, it's that it has the ability to lift the audience into a rousing united feel good cheer; and that is something that few films can ever lay claim too. In 1977 it was an awe inspiring event to watch in the theatre, now here in my middle age it's an event that is like hugging a dear old friend, a friend that I know will never ever let me down no matter how many times I turn to it. 10/10
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2009
I have finally decided to watch all six films (in order of release dates) and see what I make of the finished article that is George Lucas's Saga. I saw all the prequels at the cinemas. As I'm only 18 just now I hadn't seen any of the originals other than on the old VHS tapes and then on the 2004 edition DVD's.
I must admit that this first film has a fantastic 'feel-good' factor about it, and that is right from the start. You get sucked straight into the action from the beginning between the Empire and the Rebellion and that incredibly gloomy entrance made by Darth Vader for the first time is simply spell-binding. By no means can I ever see any future villain in the science fiction genre be as powerful or strong as vader was, if there were any contenders then it would certainly be very difficult to topple vader in my opinion. The Death Star is another powerful presence that most certainly works in this movie and Grand Moff Tarkin played brilliantly by Peter Cushing leads this film along with Alec Guinness who plays Obi Wan.
The feeling of this movie is light in tone but thats the whole magic of the thing. Don't get me wrong, this is not a PERFECT movie. Contrary to it's incredible success in 1977 when cinematically realeased it does have little problems which George Lucas tried twice I believe to perfect (1997 and then again in 2004) the trilogy in time for the much glossy, polished prequels. If you haven't seen any of Star Wars movies then A New Hope is actually a great place to begin you Star Wars experience. The logical place, I know, is Episode I and I know most people would recommend that. In my opinion however I believe Episode IV is the best place to start if you are completely new. This way you can marvel at a great old movie that was ahead in leaps and bound back in '77.
I would like to conclude that A New Hope is the most special, most gracious adition and I am really looking forward to sitting down and watching Episode V. As Vader so said "The Force is strong with this one!"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2009
The first Star Wars film (despite it's billing as episode iv), A New Hope is just a stunning piece of cinematic escapist entertainment. The only film in the sage that can be watched on it's own without having to see any of the others, it's the purest, most enjoyable and darn-right fun of all the 6 films. You know who the good guys are, you know who the bad guys are, the plot can be followed by anyone over 5, the special effects still stand up today, the characters are hugely likeable and identifiable, almost every line of dialogue is memorable, and it has a great feel-good ending. Okay, watching it today it can sometimes come across as a bit cheesy, and there's no real depth to it (the next film was the real masterpiece) but for pure, fantasy escapism, it doesn't get much better than this. And this DVD thankfully has the original version of the film as well as the 'tinkered with' version (why can't you leave them alone George?). Needless to say, the original version is the one you should watch - CGI will date much quicker than the old style effects here.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2015
Giving this one star as I thought from the reviews it was the original cinema release. However, it was the newer one with all the unnecessary George Lucas added bits in (eg fake cgi everywhere, the new jabba scene, etc, etc).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2009
I watched this iconic film on my home cinema and was very impressed with the absolute brilliance of George Lucas's first film in this classic series pitting good(Luke Skywalker) against evil (Darth Vader). I am looking forward to watching epidodes V (The Empire Strikes Back)and V1(Return of The Jedi). The special effects in this movie are still superb even after over twenty years. "May The Force Be With You"