Tagged: George Lucas

Star Wars on Blu-ray Details Unveiled

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment took advantage of yesterday’s International Star Wars Day to formally announce the details surrounding this September’s Blu-ray debut of the original Star Wars trilogy along with the more recent trilogy. The six films are accompanied by three discs of extras totaling a stellar 40 hours of material – some new, some old.

Here’s the formal release with the details. Begin saving for this event, although let me caution you that the original versions of the trilogy won’t be here. George Lucas has previously indicated the film is in no shape for high definition conversion.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (May 4th, 2011) – Bring home the adventure and share Star Wars™ with your whole family – when Star Wars: The Complete Saga comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment! To be released beginning on September 12 internationally and on September 16 in North America, the nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments – in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Dive deeper into the universe with an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted by never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives.

The comprehensive collection also features numerous deleted, extended and alternate scenes, new documentaries and a cross-section of the countless Star Wars spoofs that have appeared in pop culture over the past three decades. Marking the first time ever that the full Saga is available in one complete collection, Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray also features a coveted peek into the making of the Saga with vintage documentaries, audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, prop and costume turnarounds, retrospectives and more.

Episodes I-III and IV-VI will also be available as distinct Blu-ray Trilogy collections.

Fans will get an exclusive first look at some of the collection’s extensive special features at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International – which marks Lucasfilm’s 35th anniversary as a Comic-Con presence. In 1976, the fledgling film company was looking for innovative, grass-roots ways to promote its underdog release, a film no one expected to succeed – a space opera known (at the time) only as Star Wars. One of the first film companies to reach out directly to core audiences by way of fan conventions, Lucasfilm will return to the venue to showcase the full evolution of the epic story with a special first look at Star Wars: The Complete Saga. (more…)

WonderCon Friday Programming Cancelled; Relocation to Skywalker Ranch For Rest Of Weekend

WonderCon Friday Programming Cancelled; Relocation to Skywalker Ranch For Rest Of Weekend


Image via Wikipedia

Renovation work on the Moscone Center in San Francisco has forced WonderCon to close Friday, and possibly for the rest of the weekend. The move was a precaution after the discovery of asbestos on  the convention floor during routine testing. Follow up tests are planned before that part of the building can re-open.

This is a precautionary measure; should asbestos be found, it permeates newsprint, such as in most comics and bristol board. Any comics and original not slabbed or similarly protected could conceivably require disposal.

“It’s almost inconceivable this could happen,” said Jack Napier, spokesperson for the Moscone Center. “You expect disasters like this on Friday the 13th, not April Fool’s Day.”

The current backup plan is to take everybody to Skywalker Ranch in nearby Marin County, by force if necessary. “We were considering taking them to the Lucasfilm facility at the Presidio, which is closer… but we could get more fans motivated to move if we dangled the place that they’ve heard of in front of them. Besides, fanboys need the fresh air and sunshine.”

When asked if George Lucas had been consulted about the move, Napier said, “No, but he owes me and the fans a visit for what he did to us with The Phantom Menace, dammit.”

In recent years WonderCon has grown from a highly successful regional show to the first large national show of the comics convention season. Hollywood was supposed to have a major presence at WonderCon this year as well, with Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard; Cowboys And Aliens director Jon Favreau; Henry Cavill (until recently, the newest Superman); V‘s Elizabeth Mitchell, Priest‘s Paul Bettany, Super‘s Rainn Wilson, Human Target‘s Mark Valley, and Breaking In‘s Christian Slater. The guests are all being polled to see if any of them know George Lucas, and if so, can ask for a really big favor and have a few thousand friends over.

The updated WonderCon programming schedule is available at http://www.comic-con.org/wc/wc_prog.php.


‘Star Wars’ Collection Comes to Blu-ray

‘Star Wars’ Collection Comes to Blu-ray

George Lucas may never finish tinkering with his Star Wars series. At the Consumer Electronics Show today, the anticipated announcement was officially made that the six movies will be collected in a nine-disc box set. The original trilogy will be making their Blu-ray debut — but these are the special editions. Apparently, the original elements from the first releases are fragile and need to be recreated or cleaned to properly reproduce in high definition (yes, meaning another opportunity to sell us product).

All the usual websites are now taking pre-orders but the disc won’t be out for months. Here’s the formal release:

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 6, 2011) – The most anticipated Blu-ray release ever – the Star Wars™ Saga – emerges from light speed this September 2011. For the first time, all six of George Lucas’ epic films (Episodes I-VI) are united in one complete set. Fans worldwide are able to pre-order now with online retailers.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Star Wars in three distinct sets to meet the needs of every Star Wars fan:

–    Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray (9-disc Set includes all six films)
–    Star Wars: Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes I-III)
–    Star Wars: Original Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes IV-VI)

STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY will feature all six live-action Star Wars feature films utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation, along with three additional discs and more than 30 hours of extensive special features including never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes, an exploration of the exclusive Star Wars archives, and much more.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray will be available for $139.99 US/$179.99 CAN and the Star Wars: Trilogy Sets for $69.99 US/89.99 CAN.  Pricing for each set will vary by international territory.

Flanked by a  legion of his finest  Imperial Stormtroopers, Darth Vader himself joined Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment President Mike Dunn at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to announce the release, vowing  “The forces of the Empire will be at your disposal to assure the success of this endeavor.’’

“The Star Wars Saga is the most anticipated Blu-ray collection since the launch of the high-def format,” Dunn said. “The epic franchise pioneered sound and visual presentation in theaters and is perfectly suited to do it again in the home, with a viewing experience only possible with Blu-ray.”

“With all six episodes available for the first time in one collection, this is a great way for families and home audiences to experience the complete Saga from start to finish,” said Doug Yates, Vice President of Marketing, Online, Distribution, Lucasfilm Ltd. “And with the quality of high-definition, Blu-ray provides the most immersive home experience possible.”

“The Star Wars franchise has been one of the most anticipated Blu-ray releases by Amazon’s customers,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of Music and Video at Amazon. “We think that Star Wars will be incredibly popular with our customers, and we expect pre-orders to be very strong.”

Knock me over with a feather: ‘Star Wars’ in Blu-Ray in 2011

Knock me over with a feather: ‘Star Wars’ in Blu-Ray in 2011

Wow. Who could have foreseen that George Lucas, who has skillfully exploited every single new video format to come along in the past 33 years for maximum financial gain, would release Star Wars on Blu-Ray sometime in 2011 with even more clips that we never saw before? And only as a box set for all six, so you can’t cherry pick your favorites?

Impress me, George. Put both editions of the original trilogy on there.

Sheri Kaplowitz, 1967-2008

Sheri Kaplowitz, 1967-2008

Sheri Kaplowitz, a.k.a. Tia Cultir, consultant for Lucasfilm, passed away today after a long battle with complications from multiple strokes.

She often couldn’t talk much about the work she did for Lucasfilm, due to the incredibly comprehensive non-disclosure agreement. I always envisioned her as part of George Lucas’s personal Jedi Council, and for all I know, she was.

Services will be held next Sunday in Boston. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Harrison Ford says 5th Indy Being Planned

Harrison Ford says 5th Indy Being Planned

After the critical drubbing George Lucas has received as a writer and storyteller, the news that he’s conceiving the plot for a fifth Indiana Jones movie must be met with skepticism.  Still, Harrison Ford told The Los Angeles Times that Lucas has a plan. "It’s crazy but great," Ford said. "George is in think mode right now."

While Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull may have grossed $318 million domestically and $770 million worldwide, it was also poorly reviewed noting it lacked the spark and originality that fueled the franchise earlier.

"It’s automatic, really, we did well with the last one and with that having done well and been a positive experience, it’s not surprising that some people want to do it again," the 66-year old actor told Geoff Boucher.

He spoke further about franchising the character in other media and said outright he would never consent to voicing an animated incarnation. "I’m not philosophically against doing animation roles but not for Indiana Jones," Ford noted. "I’d hate to see it reduced in any way from the movies that we have done and the way we have done them."

While the DVD will be released on October 14, it may be the last time to watch Indy for a long while.  Despite talk for years, the fourth film was a stop and start process for over a decade as they ran through numerous writers then had to wait for the stars to align to allow Lucas, Ford and Steven Spielberg to be free at the same time.

George Lucas Hangs Up The iPhone

George Lucas Hangs Up The iPhone

Those who own or know people who own an iPhone have probably come in contact with an application that has been on the iTunes top 25 applications since the birth of the App Store, and easily one of the most entertaining. The PhoneSaber app is a very simple yet enjoyable application which uses the accelerometer of the iPhone, turning the phone into a makeshift Lightsaber, sounds and all – minus the ability to cut off your bastard son’s hand.

Well, it looks as if Star Wars creator and ultimate ruiner of all things good George Lucas has expressed that he is not pleased with the fact that there is a Lightsaber application, seeing as how his video game developer, LucasArts, along with sister company THQ, have all the rights for handheld Star Wars video games. This coming on the heels of the I Am Rich App scandal, Apple has pulled the popular PhoneSaber from the App Store.

There are currently talks about LucasArts retooling the application under thier name to coincide with the "Unleashing the Force" iPhone game later this year, with better functionality (and a price). Either way, if you own the application, and don’t feel like spending $4.99 in six months to buy the exact same thing, make sure you don’t delete it in a fit of rebellion.

Indiana Jones and the Godless Commies, by Dennis O’Neil

Indiana Jones and the Godless Commies, by Dennis O’Neil

Now we know. That Indiana Jones still swings a mean whip.

I liked the new Indy flick better than the critics I read, all of whom said something like, well, okay, it was all right but not up to the earlier entries in the series. Which makes me wonder: what would they have thought if this had been the first Indy flick, instead of the fourth. It’s like those clichés in Hamlet – they weren’t clichés to the greasy-chinned groundlings at the first (or fourteenth, or eighty-third) performance of Shakespeare’s story of a screwed-up kid with severe mama issues. Way back in 1981, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and a platoon of talented collaborators took elements from Saturday afternoon serials, silent comedies and maybe a few other sources and combined them in the right proportions to create entertainment that was not only right for the time, but provided a template for a lot of entertainment that followed.

Was the fourth as good as the first (or second, or third?)? That’s me, scratching my head and muttering, I dunno…And, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Years and years ago, a brilliant science fiction writer told me that Goethe’s criterion for judging art was found in two questions. To wit: What was the artist trying to do and did he succeed in doing it? I’ve never found a good reason to argue with Herr Goethe and by his criteria; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a success. We entered the multiplex hoping to be amused, hoping to forget Bush’s ongoing follies and the Democrat’s internecine dogfights and – voila! We were amused and we, temporarily, forgot. Value received. Money well spent.


Paramount Announces New ‘Indiana Jones’ DVDs

Paramount Announces New ‘Indiana Jones’ DVDs

Even though Paramount already released a superb DVD box set of the Indiana Jones Trilogy back in 2003, they’re doing it again. This time around, the new DVD releases of the classic trilogy will be available individually instead of as an exclusive box-set like before and will be released on May 13th — just in time to whet your appetite for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘s opening on May 25th.

These "Special Edition" DVDs, as they are being called, boast new features and exclusives not found in the earlier box-set releases. According to Paramount, some of these features and exclusives include interviews, discussions and new documentaries about the making of the three films that give audiences a new insight and appreciation for these classic films.

Examples include:

Indiana Jones: An Appreciation– The cast and crew of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull pay tribute to the original trilogy
The Melting Face–A recreation of the amazing physical effect of the villain’s melting face in Raiders of the Lost Ark, including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas commenting on the evolution of visual effects and CGI
Locations–Travel across the world to discover where the films take place and where they were shot
Friends and Enemies–Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Indiana Jones writers discuss how they created the most iconic characters in film history, including a look at new faces in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Women: The American Film Institute Tribute–The three Indiana Jones women (Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody) reunite for a discussion
Interesting note: There’s been no word yet on whether these new Indiana Jones DVDs will get the Blu-Ray treatment. They’ve already been shown in HD on the HDNet Movies network, so why not release them in Blu-Ray now that the "format war" is over?
For a complete list of all the special features and other details about each of the three new DVDs, check out the official Indiana Jones site.
Back To Da Grind With Mix #46

Back To Da Grind With Mix #46

Let us help you slide back after the holiday with a nice pile of new comics & DVDs to ease the pain – plus news on DC’s plans for the fall, George Lucas encourages to do you own STAR WARS sequel & a little ditty from a guy who had The Beatles as his opening act!

If you PRESS THE BUTTON – Rosie will never come back to THE VIEW – we promise!