11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Empire
It's great to see what people can do when they shout loud enough, in this case to get Mr. Lucas to release his orginal theatrical cuts of some of the most popular films in cinematic history.
The Empire Strikes Back has always been my favourite film of the trilogy as it has all the elements needed for a great film with a touch of magic too. When Mr. Lucas...
Published on 20 April 2007 by Geoffrey McCarthy
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series in another poor transfer
NB: As is their wont, Amazon have bundled together reviews for various editions of this title. This review refers to the two-disc DVD release including both the original theatrical cut and the special edition.
Watching the original versions of the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD is like travelling back in time - not so much to the innocence of youth but more...
Published on 25 Sep 2006 by Trevor Willsmer
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5.0 out of 5 stars star wars,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back [DVD] (DVD)1 of the best films ever made!! Defo worth a watch 10/10. No really need to go into to much detail :)
5.0 out of 5 stars The one true work of excellence,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)`Empire' remains the lynchpin of the whole Star Wars series; the one that has allowed the franchise to derive so much sustained adulation and largely unmerited critical kudos. Watching it over 30 years on from its initial release reminds you not just of its individual excellence but just how ordinary the others in the series are by comparison.
`Return of the Jedi' has long been regarded as a weak conclusion to the first trilogy, and the modern prequels are largely dismissed as boring and uninvolving. Even the original Star Wars now appears barely written and often sloppily made; but for the arrival of Han Solo and the attack on the Death Star it would be difficult to get beyond the first 45 minutes.
But `Empire' is different, even with George Lucas's endless minor tweakings over the years. It has a cracking story and screenplay, full of surprises and unexpected twists that Lucas appears hell-bent on destroying through his over-revelatory prequels. Everything happens in the wrong sequence and yet it all works. The major battle is at the beginning, a major character is dispensed with prior to the climax and the film ends with no conclusion at all. Yet it's the sheer unexpectedness of proceedings and the absolute refusal to follow formulaic patterns that keeps you entranced.
Three things in-particular help `Empire' stand out. The first is the hiring of an actor's director in Irvin Kershner, who puts some real spark into the performances and finds interesting ways around the screenplay's more leaden dialogue. Second, the film is distinctly dark and adult in its themes, happy to explore unrequited love, jealousy, betrayal and disillusionment. Third, the story is smart enough to feature the series' two most interesting characters, Han Solo and Darth Vader. With his endless jibing and bragging at the other characters Solo comes perilously close to being disagreeable, but this helps create tensions and acts as a catalyst through which the essentially one-dimensional heroes take on hidden depths. Similarly, Vader moves from being an impressive but largely comic-book heavy into a far more complex and mythic figure, a villain of truly epic proportions but also one who's final revelation, in one simple line of dialogue, moves the whole series into the realms of dynastic saga.
Technically and artistically, Empire keeps the surprises and innovations flowing throughout. Who before or since has staged a major sci-fi battle in a sub-zero wasteland? Yoda's swamp world harks back to King Kong's dense prehistoric jungle and Cloud City looks like it came straight out of Flash Gordon. Even most of Lucas's later tinkerings actually work - especially his decision to open up the vistas of Cloud City which add some real visual delights.
As the mid-point of a trilogy `Empire' is inevitably dependent on what came before and after; but it is the glue that holds this often shaky cinematic phenomenon together. It is the one example that Star Wars junkies can always point towards as an unconditional example of greatness. And what, in retrospect, would the entire saga be without it?
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)Hard to come by as a single DVD, now only seem to be sold in sets so very pleased to find this new, unopened copy.
4.0 out of 5 stars Easily the high point of the original trilogy,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)'The Empire Strikes Back' easily bests the original Star Wars. The film moves fast, has very few lulls, the Special Effects are more impressive, and the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader remains a dramatic high point. The wise Yoda is introduced and his scenes with Luke are still worth watching. As always, Harrison Ford dominates the film. This was truly a star-making trilogy for him. Hamill is average as an actor. The droids R2D2 and C3PO are fun and their antics remain watchable especially for kids. This film is easily the high point of the original trilogy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Irvin Kershner Saved Empire Strikes Back,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)I was channel-hopping and caught Empire on ITV1HD just as the AT AT walkers began their assault on the Rebel Base in Hoth and ended up watching the whole film. And it was just sooooooo good. Compare Empire with any of the Prequels and you can't believe the George Lucas who scripted Empire was the same George Lucas who scripted the prequels! It makes you recognise the significant impact Empire director Irvin Kerschner (the late, great and much missed director) must have had to that movie. In fact the excellent book "The Making of Empire Strikes Back" by J W Rinzler provides insight into how Kerschner provided the humour and drama which is completely lacking in the Prequels. It was Kerschner who gave those great touches like Han Solo giving the Falcon a thump to start the engines and having R2-D2 stand on tiptoe trying to peek into Yoda's hut on Dagobah. One cannot help but wonder what films we would've had if only George Lucas allowed someone else to direct the Prequels, thereby allowing their creative input to tweak the scripts (and boy do those Prequel scripts need tweaking).
The film shown on ITV1HD I believe wasn't true HD (it was merely upscaled) but it still looked great - Luke's lightsaber never looked so blue. I'll definitely be purchasing the Original Trilogy on Blu-Ray and maybe wait for the Prequels to be discounted before getting those discs.
And I learnt something new from the latest viewing of Empire. Admiral Ackbar was not the first character to say IT'S A TRAP! In fact Princess Leia says it first to Luke on Bespin when she catches glimpse of him as they were being led away by stormtroopers. Must say though that Admiral Ackbar says it a lot better (although I wouldn't like to see him wearing the slave outfit worn by Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi).
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Film - The Best of the Originals!,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back was an incredibly powerful movie which took the Star Wars methology to a whole new level. The thing I did notice in this movie was the evil Vader whom makes a much darker appearance in this second original movie (fifth chronologically). In Episode IV Vader seemed to be pushed around like a lost muppet but this time around he's the one making the orders and no admiral dare stand in his way. The revelation at the end between Vader and Luke was powerful as well and reflected the darkness of this film which makes Episode IV look like a christmas fairytale. This doesn't mean the movie is "that" dark through. It has plenty of comical moments that keeps the movie toned down a little so it could still make a successful impression among younger audiences. The very nature of the film is that it is the middle chapter of a trilogy so it does tend to set up much of the events of the next movie. The one thing I like about this movie is that at the end the Empire have almost swiftly beaten the Rebellion to a point where they are a desperate people.
I would probably say this is the best movie of the original trilogy. It is the darkest but it is the most successful and most believable entry in my opinion. Its got FIVE big stars from me!
Watch this, "It is Your Destiny!".
4.0 out of 5 stars ......" You must unlearn what you have learned "......,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)The Star Wars saga continues with Darth Vader regrouping after the destruction of the Death Star to find new ways of pursuing his dominance. The main characters split and go their separate ways. Hans Solo finds that he cannot escape the plight and is further hampered by the malfunctioning of his ship. Luke Skywalker follows the force to meet a mysterious master Jedi (Yoda) in order to carry out his training.
This sequel is almost separate to the first film and can be (or should be) seen in it's own right. It is bloodier, grittier and definitely darker both physically and in theme. We get a more evil, remorseless and shinier Darth Vader, who has more dialogue to his name. The story is continued by showing Darth Vader as a more prominent figure, an iconic image defining the whole series and popular culture. There is also the introduction of Yoda who is instantly likeable and makes the story more interesting.
Despite the differences to the first film, The Empire Strikes Back is still fast paced and full of action. One of the major battle sequences takes place during the first half an hour. Even though this is a more serious film, the humour continues especially where Hans Solo's ship is persistently breaking down and C3PO becomes more sarcastic and opinionated. There is a good flow and balance, and the film manages to cover a lot of ground.
Middle films in trilogies are always tricky but history has proved that they end up being the best ones out of the three. This is because the main crux of the film is in the middle order and if the Director fails; then the whole series collapses. This theory is tested here as Kirshner brings out the most important parts of the series which includes an unexpected twist and an ending which leaves us on knife edge.
The Empire Strikes Back is presented as a re-mastered version on the first disc. The second disc contains the original version of the film which does not have improved picture and sound quality and apart from a Director's commentary there are no other extras in this two disc DVD package.
The Emperor Strikes Back is as good as the first film, even though A New Hope was more of a spectacle and easier on the eye. A New Hope introduced us to a new concept, but the Empire Strikes Back ensured that the whole series remains credible. It's not just a summer blockbuster, it's stronger than that and even though it has a sense of Lucas missing (you can feel it in the air), it's like Star Wars has grown up.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Masterpiece of the series,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)Easily the greatest of the Star Wars films, Empire is just brilliant from start to finish. I can't think of a single fault to pick with this one. A much darker tone than the previous film, and it's so much the better for it. The battle on Hoth is fabulous and still looks incredible today, same goes for the asteroid chase - a superb piece of effects work that hasn't dated at all, and Luke's climactic battle with Darth Vader is the best lightsabre duel out of all the 6 films. The film looks fantastic, with the icy landscapes of Hoth, the misty wet swamps of Dagobah and the beautiful skies of cloud city being a feast for the eyes (and all before CGI!). The film also has the best soundtrack of the series and the best performances (Ford, Hamill and Fisher all have a great chemistry that is at it's best in this film). Ignore the pointless 'tinkered with' version, the original still stands the test of time. Magnificent.
5.0 out of 5 stars The force is strong with this one!,
This review is from: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)Brilliant film! Hasn't really dated at all and I would recommend it to all sci-fi people.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
This review is from: Star Wars Episode 5: Empire Strikes Back [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)The 1980 film, in its original release, remains truly outstanding and worthy of Distinction. It is a classic, as recognised by the American Film Registry. There is much beauty in each cinematic shot, and excellent characterisation and acting.
The Limited Edition DVD is out for a 'limited time only'. This DVD contains two discs: the main feature being the original 1980 version -much anticipated, and a 'digitally remastered movie'- in which many areas of the film are digitally remodified, recreated, re-rendered, extended, and even overembellished, all for various reasons - all the details of which have been much commented on elsewhere on the internet.
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Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition) [DVD] by Irvin Kershner (DVD - 2006)