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September 11th, 2004 · No Comments · Movies

I saw the rerelease of George Lucas’ THX-1138 last night. Ol’ George has tried (and failed) to accomplish the “seamless integration” of new digital content into old films in the past. His efforts with THX are no different. In a film where 90% of the story takes place in a completely white room, suddenly adding in loud, colorful digital images is pretty damn distracting. Though, to be fair, it doesn’t seem like he did any “Greedo shoots first” rewriting of the original, so it could certainly have been worse and he did add in a “futuristic masturbation machine” that is pretty entertaining to watch as it goes to town on young Robert Duvall.

Overall, I must say that THX is not the most riveting film experience I’ve ever had. It’s well filmed and the design is very, very cool. The acting is excellent and the use of sound is impressive. But the story is just sort of… there. This can work well, as it does in films like Citizen Kane, but in this case the look and feel are simply not enough to hold your attention and really immerse you. My friend Ben sums it up nicely:

“It was like 1984, but with all of the interesting parts cut out.”

On our way in, there was a small group of Storm Troopers outside, handing out posters and posing for pictures - or they would have been if anyone had actually WANTED to pose for pictures with them.

Aren't you a little short to be a Storm Trooper?

Before the film started, the manager of the theatre brought them in front of us, I guess so we could applaud for the fact that they’d dressed up like characters that don’t actually appear in the film at any point. Their “leader” informed us that they were proud members of the “501st Storm Trooper Legion” - specifically, the “Old Line Garrison.”

After the film, as we were getting in our cars, we saw the members of the fightin’ 501st walking through the parking deck, sans costumes, but still wearing their Storm Trooper backpacks. There’s probably some profound, possibly ironic lesson there, but I have no clue what it might be.


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