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Revisionist Film Making: Good or Bad?
I'm ok with it as long as the original is available to me 94%  94%  [ 15 ]
I don't care what the circumstances are, it's just wrong 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Newer is always better, if it was done it needed it 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Don't care either way 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 16
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 Post subject: Revisionist Film Making
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:42 am 
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A lot of people, more notibly 2099net(sorry to draw the attention to you again dude), are opposed to revisionist film-making, you may be one of them but I ask you to ponder this before making your final decision on the matter:

-You as a loyal fan may love the film as is and do not want it to change, you may think that is how it is meant to be, but what if it is not what the creator envisioned. For my example I use Star Wars. In another thread I believe some people where miffed about the SE and all the changes to the film, but I do not believe Lucas did it just because he could, well not just because he could. I believe that is probably how he first envisioned it, and made it the best he could with the technology available at the time, but when the tech came that could fully bring about his vision he used it.
Another example is BATB. Human Again was meant for the film, but did not work at the time, so when they finally realized they could make it mwork they put it in.

-Also fans of the movie sometimes want to see something in it they didn't see before, or maybe there was something that just waswn't working that they could fix.

I'm not saying edit/butcher the films, but as long as (And only if) we get the originals as well, what difference does it make. I really hope the original cuts of the movie make it on the DVD's I don't see why they wouldn't. If they are not included, then that would be a real crime. I also want to see the original 3 Pigs and the un-cut/edited Pastoral Symphony.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:57 am 
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I agree with ya on this one. I don't mind special editions as long as the originals are available. I loved Star Wars special edition... of course there were a few things I wouldn't have changed (Greedo shooting first), there were many other changes that were needed and were a vast improvement. I look forward to see the final versions, they are taking their time with them a little bit more so I know they will be even better. Still, I'd like to have the originals on DVD, bootlegs are okay but official releases are generally better.

So, when Disney adds their extra scenes like 'Human Again' or 'Morning Report', its okay as long as I get the original version too. I didn't mind 'Human Again', it was okay. So far I am not too fond of this 'Morning Report', as long as its just an option though, its okay but ultimately not necessary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 2:40 am 
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Maerj wrote:

So, when Disney adds their extra scenes like 'Human Again' or 'Morning Report', its okay as long as I get the original version too. I didn't mind 'Human Again', it was okay. So far I am not too fond of this 'Morning Report', as long as its just an option though, its okay but ultimately not necessary.


That about sums it up for me, too.

In some ways I think it's just as much about showing what you are capable of doing...like putting an extra (deleted) scene into a cut of the film and making it appear as a flawless addition...if that makes any sense.

Anyway as long as the original is still there to enjoy I have no problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 2:44 am 
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Indiana, you forgot to vote :evil: . NUMBERS I NEED NUMBERS!!!! :oops: uh...









:lol: (My sense of humor is questionable at times. It even scares me sometimes :lol: )


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 2:53 am 
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Done :up:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:48 am 
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I went with the first option, but I'd like to say I have different views on different "revisions".

1) Additional Scenes - Sometimes when a filmmaker goes back and adds scenes in to make a longer SE or Directors Cut, this is fine. As long as we can still see the original, I sometimes like to see more footage from my fave films. Sometimes these scenes can be redundant, but only the most cynical person could claim they don't get a kick out of seeing something new from a film they've seen a million times. A recent example I have enjoyed was the Blues Brothers.

2) Star Wars style revision - This I don't like. It is not just the fact Georgie boy has disowned the original versions - I mean there was a reason we liked these in the first place right? - but he has actually altered scenes that already existed, while at the same time adding nothing new. I did like the extended ending of Jedi where we saw the fall of the Empire, but pretty much everything else that was done to those films was pretty terrible.

3) Directors Cuts - Sometimes when a film is made, the studio does not allow the director to make the cut they wanted, and virtually take the film off them. Such as Brazil, or Highlander 2. The recut versions of these are superior to the originals in many cases, plus these revisions are actually more like 'corrections' to past wrongs. In other words, it not only meets the directors approval, it is what they wanted to do in the first place. Lucas claimed this is what he was doing with the original trilogy, but if his 'original vision' consisted of a few extra jawas dangling from a rope, making Han shoot last and adding a godawful CGI band to Jedi, then perhaps his vision needs glasses. However, in many cases, the new cut has given us a new appreciation of the film. For example, Bladerunner.

4) Restoration - I think the wonders of technology have allowed us to preserve and restore some films that might have otherwise died horrible deaths. Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, and reportedly Casablanca have all been lovingly restored. To me, not using this technology to restore films is simply denying we have these tools at our disposal. Some people might argue that 'oh, they didn't have Dolby 5.1 EX in 1965'. Ok, sure - that's true. But we have it now. And although have a large vinyl collection (and still buy), sometimes that 'digitally remastered collectors edition with hardcover booklet and bonus disc of b-sides and outtakes' just rocks. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:07 am 
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Lots of points here:

Firstly no film is going to be like the director intended. Not one single film. There will always be something that they will want to change in the future. I do websites for a living and I'm always wanting to go back and change them and my knowledge or technology improves - but as somepoint you have to let go and move on That's what directors used to do in the old days - move on and make new, more exciting films rather than continue to trade on their past successes.

Also regarding intent - it was the creators' intent to remove the Human Again sequence from Beauty and the Beast because they couldn't get it to work. Adding it into to the film for the "special edition" release had nothing to do with completing the film. Beauty and the Beast was supposed to start with an animated opening showing the Prince's transformation into the beast rather than the static windows and voice over used on the final film. Does that mean in the future you will all support a further special edition release (A Super Special Edition) which includes this? I'm sure that there's lots of other things that they had to remove or re-edit. How about a third "Super Dooper Special Edition" for it's 30th anniversary? See how such a trend could quickly become a parody? *cough*Lucas*cough*

The Lion King's Morning Report is even worse. How was including this song anything to do with the creators original vision when the song wasn't even written for the movie? It was simply added in an attempt to get more bums on seats (or in this case DVD sales).

A film is a piece of history - it's as simple as that. As well as telling the fictional story of the film, it tells us the story of it's creation. We can follow the progression of a director's or actor's talent. We can follow the fortunes of a studio by seeing how well the film was budgeted. We can follow the development of special effects over the years (strangely nobody seems to mind the original Star Wars trilogy effect apart from Lucas. In fact there is more complaints about the effects in the ongoing new trilogy from what I've read). As I've said before, nobody can rewrite history, and only the vain and egotistical think that they can. Which probably explains why this revisionist trend only seems to have caught on in the motion picture industry - home of the vain and egotistical - and no other art form.

Oh and Loomis, I'm all for keeping studio imposed cuts and re-edits. These too tell the history of the film - but I'm happy for the director's cut to be released as long as it also includes the original released version. I actually like the Avengers film. I do! But you know what, I also have the original script in a book, and it's a vast improvement - virtually all the complaints about plot holes in the movie were addressed in the original script. So while I would be interested in seeing the proper script (apparently most of it was filmed) I also want to edited version to remain avaialble as the prime viewing option, as this is the film the reviews, gossip, interviews, studio sackings etc of the time are addressing.

My parting words on this will be to those of you who own the Mickey Mouse in Black and White Treasure tins. Watch those cartoons. They only cover a few years (seven I think off the top of my head). Now compare Plane Crazy with Mickey's Service Station. The difference in huge. You would never suspect it covers just 7 years.

How would we be able to assess and enjoy the development of the Disney animated art form if Walt Disney kept on insisting on enhancing the existing Mickey Mouse shorts? In fact, if he did, would the art form have developed as quickly as it did?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:30 am 
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2099net wrote:
.Oh and Loomis, I'm all for keeping studio imposed cuts and re-edits. These too tell the history of the film - but I'm happy for the director's cut to be released as long as it also includes the original released version.


I couldn't agree more, 2099. That is why I think that something like the Criterion Brazil box set is brilliant. You have the studio imposed version, and Gilliam's reedit version. The box tells the complete history of the film. I wish every DVD set could be as comprehensive as that (and if the DVD market was not driven by the family market, we just might see a return to this type of set).

I have to agree with many of 2099's comments. The history of film does tell a very distinctive story, and it is an important story to be told. That is why I am always outraged by the suppression of 'Song of the South' and edits to the known Disney films.

There is a point where the filmmaker has to let the film go. That is why I do not like Star Wars style edits. However, there are some cases where a director's cut has improved the original, but the original has still remained. Revision has its places. Actually, I'm all for restoration, I just don't like pointless tampering.

Ok, so what am I saying? Some revision is not bad in and of itself, but keep the original available. Which brings me back to my initial comments and my attempts to justify my vote :)

I'll shut up and let someone who can string two words together type.

I had an exam this morning, after going out to a Jason Mraz gig last night and getting in at 1:30am, and my poor little brain hasn't recovered from the combined effects of the two.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:32 am 
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Couldn't agree with you more 2099net! You really explain it well for all those "other people" who like the additions.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:29 am 
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Loomis,

Its fine you may not like SW Special Edition, but you mentioned only a couple of the most obvious changes. You said: "but he has actually altered scenes that already existed, while at the same time adding nothing new."

There were reasons for the alterations, especially in the first film. Compare the X-Wing attack on the Death Star. They redid a lot of those shots because the original version had matte lines galore around the ship. Plus the ships were pretty static, not a lot of movement there. The SE version was a vast improvement there. The landspeeder through Mos Eisley was redone in places due to the fact in the original there is a shot of it with a large purple blob beneath it. That was vaseline on the lense, trying to blur out wheels underneath the vehicle. So, there were a lot of improvements there that had to be made if it was to be reshown to a modern audience.

Back in 1977 there was nothing else like it and we were all blown away, but now we've had 20 yers of big budget scifi extravaganzas, so it needed some tweaking. Again, especially the original one since it was really a fairly low budget film, approx $11 million, and they were developing technology during the making of it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:53 am 
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So, there were a lot of improvements there that had to be made if it was to be reshown to a modern audience.


Sorry Maerj, but I don't agree with this. The argument of showing it to a modern audience can be made for any film with regards to Special Effects. It can also be made about other aspects of the film - political references, use of slang, pop-culture references. And besides, why did Star Wars have to be shown to a modern audience in the first place? (or more to the point re-released in cinemas) Everyone was familiar with it from television, video or pay-per-view showings.

I would expect most of the modern audience would realise it was a 'dated' film and treat it as such (nobody seemed to mind before the special editions were released). Using your logic, Universal should re-do effects work on their 1930's Dracula, Frankenstein and Invisible Man films. Where does updating one become necessary to appeal to a modern audience and not ruining a classic?

The only reason it was re-released in the first place was because Lucas spent so much time dithering before starting work on the prequels (because according to him they did not have the technology to live upto his visions) that he's basically produced only a handful of films since Return of the Jedi was released.

I'm not a big Star Wars fan (in case you haven't guessed) and I'm certainly not a Lucas fan - the guy is just become a self-created parody of a filmmaker IMOHO. He can't even stop fiddling with his films from cinema release to DVD release! But I'd rather he made Episodes I-III ten or so years ago with the technology of the time, so we could be enjoying Episodes VII-IX now. You don't need all the flashy effects to enjoy the films.

I've more respect for Tom Green as a director because he made Freddy Got Fingered to his vision within the constraints he was dealt and stood by his final film.

Quote:
and they were developing technology during the making of it


They won a Special Oscar for the effects. Isn't this more of an argument to keep the originals - not only did lots of talented people give 110% on the effects, but Star Wars is a piece of movie history now due to all their hard work and technological developments.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:26 am 
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Maerj wrote:
I don't mind special editions as long as the originals are available.


I feel exactly the same way. I like to watch the alternate versions of films. I think it is interesting to see what could have been, but I think the original version should always be available too. As much as I like seeing additional scenes, there is usually a good reason why the additional material was not included in the film to begin with. :)

Loomis wrote:
style revision - This I don't like. - I mean there was a reason we liked these in the first place right? - but he has actually altered scenes that already existed, while at the same time adding nothing new.


I never saw the revisions to Star Wars but I agree in general about those types of changes. The only thing that really annoys me is when someone goes back and alters an existing scene. :P One example that comes to mind is in E.T. when they changed the federal agents guns to walkie-talkies. I think that those types of alterations are ridiculous and should be avoided.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:50 am 
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I can't think of any instance of revisionist filmmaking that has improved a film. The Star Wars Special Editions made some interesting additions, but they mostly didn't fit or add anything to it, and in the case of Greedo shooting first, took away from it.

Changing the guns to walkie-talkies in E.T.? Pointless.

Adding 50 minutes of crap to throw off Apocalypse Now's pacing? Bad.

Tinkering with the animation in Lion King + adding Morning Report? Ugh.

But I basically feel that if it's their film, they can do with it what they want...as long as the original cut is widely available, which means that "Original Theatrical Cut" of The Lion King means "Original Theatrical Cut."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:28 pm 
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2099net wrote:
Quote:
So, there were a lot of improvements there that had to be made if it was to be reshown to a modern audience.


Sorry Maerj, but I don't agree with this. The argument of showing it to a modern audience can be made for any film with regards to Special Effects. It can also be made about other aspects of the film - political references, use of slang, pop-culture references. And besides, why did Star Wars have to be shown to a modern audience in the first place? (or more to the point re-released in cinemas) Everyone was familiar with it from television, video or pay-per-view showings.

I would expect most of the modern audience would realise it was a 'dated' film and treat it as such (nobody seemed to mind before the special editions were released). Using your logic, Universal should re-do effects work on their 1930's Dracula, Frankenstein and Invisible Man films. Where does updating one become necessary to appeal to a modern audience and not ruining a classic?

The only reason it was re-released in the first place was because Lucas spent so much time dithering before starting work on the prequels (because according to him they did not have the technology to live upto his visions) that he's basically produced only a handful of films since Return of the Jedi was released.

I'm not a big Star Wars fan (in case you haven't guessed) and I'm certainly not a Lucas fan - the guy is just become a self-created parody of a filmmaker IMOHO. He can't even stop fiddling with his films from cinema release to DVD release! But I'd rather he made Episodes I-III ten or so years ago with the technology of the time, so we could be enjoying Episodes VII-IX now. You don't need all the flashy effects to enjoy the films.

I've more respect for Tom Green as a director because he made Freddy Got Fingered to his vision within the constraints he was dealt and stood by his final film.

Quote:
and they were developing technology during the making of it


They won a Special Oscar for the effects. Isn't this more of an argument to keep the originals - not only did lots of talented people give 110% on the effects, but Star Wars is a piece of movie history now due to all their hard work and technological developments.


Yes, using my logic, if there is a flaw in a film or if a special effect can be fixed, then fix it! The trillogy was re-released to celebrate it's anniversary, just as many other films are. (E.T., Grease, countless Disney films, etc.) And why SHOULDN'T it have been shown to modern audiences? It is a lot cooler to see it in the theaters than at home on a tiny television.

I STRONGLY disagree with not needing the "flashy special effects" to enjoy the films. They are scifi/fantasy! Yes you DO need the effects for that type of film.

And I never said anything about getting rid of the original films. If you read my other posts instead of just flipping out at a positive mention of Lucas or the Star Wars films you would know that I support changes only if the originals are still available. Yes, the effects were a historical landmark for films, I don't deny that. I fell in love with the movies when I was very young. But, there are things there we didn't notice at the time like the matte lines. As I already mentioned, I don't like it when plot points get changed (Greedo shooting first, walkie talkies removed in ET) but if you can make something look better, why not? Another example, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, rumor has it that they are going to get rid of the glass during the snake pit scene. When Harrison Ford falls, you can unfortuantely see a pane of glass between him and the snakes. Why WOULDN'T you want that removed??

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Last edited by Maerj on Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:46 pm 
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I agree with you Terry! if the special effects didnt look good on the first fix it! nothing wrong with it. why would someone like to watch outdated special effects in the first place? unless there stupid or something. pass me the English Tea! they should fix the brady bunch movies too cause they suck with their special effects :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2003 3:55 am 
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MickeyMouseboy wrote:
I agree with you Terry! if the special effects didnt look good on the first fix it! nothing wrong with it. why would someone like to watch outdated special effects in the first place? unless there stupid or something. pass me the English Tea! they should fix the brady bunch movies too cause they suck with their special effects :lol:


OK then MMB, if you think it's "Stupid" to want to watch an older movie as it was originally released rather than have it 'improved' (so it appeals to an ungrateful and unappreciative modern audience) let me ask you a question:

Would you rather see the early black and white Mickey Mouse shorts as they are presented in the Mickey Mouse in Black and White Treasure set, or would you rather Walt 'fixed' them at some point.

You know, Walt hated "rubber-banding" on arms and legs. So that would be a prime candidate for "fixing" once Disney got the more realistic, jointed limb animation nailed. And some of those backgrounds are a little plain. Especially when scrolling - they just keep repeating. Perhaps those could be "fixed" too? And what about Mickey and Minnie? They look nothing like Mickey and Minnie. Perhaps everytime the design model for the characters was updated, Walt could have gone back and updated their apperance in all the previous shorts Disney had released? And some of that music that is being played is rather dated now isn't it? No young, dynamic, modern audience listerns to Jazz anymore. So why don't they alter the soundtrack to put some rap or grunge in there instead?

Or perhaps you would prefer the colorised "Absent Minded Professor" to the original Black and White one? And when they release films Pan and Scan on home video, aren't they (supposedly) "improving" them for the modern television audience?

If you honestly cannot see why updating special effects is just as disruptive to the history of both the film itself and the history of filmmaking in general then we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this.

And Maerj, I don't think Sci-Fi/Fantasy films need state of the art effects. It's always good for people to have to use their imagination a little bit, you know? I'm sure the cheap, dated effects of It's A Wonderful Life or The Wizard of Oz don't take anything away from your enjoyment or emotional response to the films for example. Plus I know we were talking about Dr Who before - not a programme known for it's special effects :lol: but still enjoyable. And if you're telling me people only like the Lord of the Rings films becuase of their effects, then really the films are getting a following for all the wrong reasons.

This is only my opinion - so please don't jump down my throat - but I think Lucas made better films when he had to work around the contraints of the effects than he is now, where he can apparently do anything he wants to.

You may only approve of updates if the original is still available (which is commendable), but Lucas has gone on record many times saying the original films will never be re-released. I may pick on Lucas a lot when other filmmakers are doing their own updates too, but I think singling out Lucas is valid when he refuses to release the original films. That's why revisionist filmmaking is bad - because no matter what the intentions are when the revision is first approached the temptation to withold the originals is always there once the revision has been made. In all fairness, this decision may not even be the decision of the director, but the studio itself. And don't kid yourself either - if DVD technology didn't exist, the Special Editions of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King would be the only versions you would be able to buy from this point on (as seen by the Special Edition only releases of these films on VHS).

I think I offended you somewhat with my dismissal of Star Wars but liking or not liking Star Wars has nothing to do with it. Well, in fact perhaps it does, because if I really did like Star Wars I would be even more against updating the effects. Now I'm at a point where I couldn't care less being as I don't really care for the films. All I know is I love lots of films - Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, the Universal Horror films of the 30's and 40's, the Goonies, It's A Wonderful Life... the list goes on and on. And I would be devestated if somebody took it upon themselves to "fix" the effects in any one of these films.

Again, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this. There's no problem with that. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:42 pm 
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I LOVE the BW Mickey Mouse shorts, and the color ones on vol II, but the BW ones more...

It is the one thing that Donald doesn't have in his favore, because even though I really like him, maybe more than Mickey (I don't know, but I prefer Mickey shorts, maybe this will change with the new DD treasure set :donald: )

I think Star Wars would have been fine, without the extra effects, but that was what Lucas, the creator wanted, and I do think that it added to the film. Though I will not be pleased if the older versions do not appear anywhere, because it is wrong to deny trhe fans, or future fans, those pieces of film history. I don't think every old film should be revised, but I think if there is a big demand for something, like Frankenstein (i think this was used as an example) then I think it should be re-made for a newer audience, because people want to believe it is real, they don't want to see something so obviously fake, unless it is just for fun :) .

Any way that's just my take on it...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2003 1:52 pm 
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2099,

What you are talking about and what I am talking about are two TOTALLY different things. I don't support the colorization and I wasn't discussing altering animation.

Here are some examples of what I was referring to:

In Wizard of Oz there is a scene or two where you can clearly see a string holding up the Lion's tail. THAT should be digtially removed. Why? Because it was never supposed to be there, it is a mistake.

The pane of glass is reportedly being removed from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Why? It was a safety feature for the actor and was never intended to be seen by the audience.

The main reason for redoing SW? To eliminate excessive matte lines that show up on around most of the spaceships, the purple blob under the landspeeder, etc. I said that I disagreed with the plot changing additions. Fixing up mistakes is different.

When audiences watch a film, even if it's a great film, if they see a string, or whatever, they always walk out saying things like "Oh great movie... except for that STRING hanging down!" I know I said it when I saw Dark City, which was a great movie, but in the one shot of the main guy falling out the building there is a huge rope tied around his waist! Very distracting. That is the type of things that I am talking about removing. Why leave something like that if you don't have to? Yes, if it was up to me, I'd have a team go back and eliminate all that stuff from all movies for their DVD releases. But I will restate yet again:

THE ORIGINALS VERSIONS SHOULD BE INCLUDED FOR HISTORICAL REASONS AND FOR THOSE WHO WOULD RATHER SEE THEM!

So, in a way I do agree with you, which I have now stated several times. But I see no problem in trying to eliminate mistakes if it is possible, with the original version included in the DVD set as it was in E.T.

And the thing about the special effects... ugh. No, I don't think the effects are the only reason people like the LOTR movies, but if they didn't have them people would take one look and say "This looks fake and cheap!" and would walk out. The effects are there to help place the veiwer INTO that fantasy world. Why do you think it took so long to make a live action version? To do the story justice they needed the technology to create those fantasy worlds! Film any of the Star Wars films, Potter, LOTR, or the Matrix movies in downtown Philadelphia with no special effects. Sure the stories would still be great, but it wouldn't exactly be placing you into a fantasy world would it? That's because fantasy worlds are... FANTASY! They need to be created through cinematic trickery, or what we like to call Special Effects.

As far as the b&w Mickey cartoons go... I would digitally clean them up, getting rid of scratches and excess dirt. Clean up the soundtracks and thats about it. If there are frames where someone forgot to color something in, or left something out, I'd fix that, sure. That's about it.

Finally, I am not trying to jump down your throat. You can feel however you want on any subject, even Lucas and SW. But comparing Lucas to Tom Green with Freddy Got Fingered (budget: $15 million)? Come on, that's BS. SW was made for $10 million, then Lucas put in a million himself to finish the effects, which he was never satisfied with even at the time, but that was the best that could be done back then. In fact, after the movie first came out he said his least favorite scene was the Cantina. At that point he had already redone the scene twice. He was so stressed that he had a heart attack in the middle of production of the film. So, there was some difficulties in the making of the film and Freddy Got Fingered is nowhere near the scale that this production was.

So, yes, I agree to disagree with you. :D

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