Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My review of the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special DVD epilogue




I just realized (if anyone is reading this or cares) that I neglected a couple of things in my two-part 'Robot Chicken Star Wars Special' DVD review-- I mentioned how much I love 'Robot Chicken' but made no mention of how much I love 'Star Wars'... shame on me...

I was born 6 years after 'Return of the Jedi' came out, but nonetheless I grew up on 'Star Wars'. I can't remember when I first saw 'SW', but I do know that when I was 4 I had dubbed VHS copies of all 3 films and watched them a LOT... I know that because when I was 4 I got hit by a car and spent awhile in the hospital-- I remember asking for my portable TV/VCR combo to be brought in and as far as I recall, I only wanted four movies: 'The Princess Bride' (shut up, that movie rocks) and the 'Star Wars' trilogy. Over the years I have watched each at least 200 times always loving every second.

Then around '95 I recall seeing commercials for the newest release of the trilogy on VHS... what particularly caught my attention was the announcement that this would be the last time the original versions would be available. That scared me and I begged my mom to buy them for me and she did-- BUT she got me the full frame version instead of the wide-screen... I'm still irked about that, but that is neither here nor there.

A year or two later the special editions hit theaters and I was so excited-- not because they had changed things (lord knows I still can't deal with Greedo firing first or the fact they cut out footage to add new stuff), but because I would finally get to see 'Star Wars' on the big screen. I bought advanced tickets and opening day I was there smiling... and I walked out disappointed. I enjoyed the experience, but not what Lucas had done to the film. Later I watched 'The Empire Strikes Back', but I never bothered with 'Return of the Jedi'.

I started to get the special editons on VHS (just to complete the set) but I never could find them in wide screen when I had the money. When they later became available on DVD, I bought them just to find they weren't actually the special editions, but new versions where Lucas had changed even more stuff... But luckily he had the sense (and want of dollars and cents) to release the original versions on DVD so once again I bought them, and loved them. 8 or 9 years after announcing they would never be available again, I got the real deal, "my Star Wars"... and finally I got my wide screen...
Not even going to get into the new trilogy-- that sort of rant deserves it's own series of blogs...

Oh, the other thing I didn't cover in the other blog(s) was why even though I love 'Robot Chicken' I have a deep resentment of it... I used to have a fascination with editing movies and videos... I spent many hours hooking two VCR's together and making my own cut of movies. I reduced 'Titanic' from 3 hrs 15 min to about 20 minutes and still retained all the character development, special effects, credits and even a chunk of Celine Dion's song. I also edited the first three 'Highlander' movies into one more coherent (if less linear) movie. I was watching the Steve Martin movie, 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid' one day and admiring the work-- not that the movie itself is all that wonderful (but it is fun), but the fact that they edited together several older movies and matched footage of Steve Martin to them to make a new tale. I wanted so badly to do that, but the more I thought about it, I realized I couldn't accomplish something that ambitious, but it got me thinking about making my own movie instead... I got an idea for a stop-motion animation film using action figures and such. I bought a video camera, spent probably a couple grand on props and toys, wrote a script, shot some test footage, and after about a year or so was ready to go... it was going to be a parody kung-fu movie where characters from comic books, cartoons, TV shows, movies, etc. popped up and did silly things throughout. And just as I was putting the finishing touches on the platform I was going to be filming it on, I saw an ad for a new TV show coming on Adult Swim called 'Robot Chicken'... the show did exactly what I had in mind-- even used some of the characters I was going to use and very similar gags. My bubble burst. I knew I couldn't make my little film now because even though I had been working on it for over a year, it would take me months more to complete and by the time it would be done, anyone I showed it to would think I was inspired by or outright copying 'Robot Chicken'... so I put everything away and haven't even touched my camera since. So, you see I both love and resent 'Robot Chicken'... but much of life seems that way...
I just realized I did a 'Star Wars' blog trilogy... sort of. If I had known that would have happened I would have given each a cool sounding subtitle like "Revenge of the Blog" and such... oh well

3 comments:

Rene' said...

Hi, I'm Rene, Booksteve's wife. He told me all the things you were into and said, "See, dear, she's one of us!"

I remember the jump my heart took the first time I watched the Millenium Falcon go into hyperspace. I was hooked.

Since you're into claymation, are you familiar with Wallace and Grummet? They are wonderful.

Have fun with the blog.

Lisa_mynx said...

Hey, Rene, nice to "meet" you.
one of us... one of us... one of us...
I am familiar with 'Wallace and Grummet' but I must admit I've never really seen it

Lisa_mynx said...

So if he is BookSteve and your young'un is BookDave (I think), how come you don't get to be BookRene?