Tag Archives | Science Fiction

The New Rankin-Bass Hobbit DVD Is a Fraud

Famously, when the DVD version of the 1977 Rankin-Bass Hobbit was released, the soundtrack was missing lots of sound effects that had been included in both the original broadcast version and the VHS release. You can probably still find a correct version (with video from the DVD and audio from the VHS) downloadable online under the title “Hi-Fi Hobbit.” The sounds make a surprisingly large amount of difference to the ambience of the film; it’s especially noticeable in the Erebor flashback.

When a “remastered deluxe” edition of the DVD was announced this year, I naturally assumed that the soundtrack screw-up that fans have been complaining about for years would be fixed. I mean, isn’t that what “remastered deluxe edition” suggests?

Guess what? Not so much. The new edition has not restored the missing sounds. Remastering, my ass. They’ve just given us the same old crappy screwed-up soundtrack as on the previous DVD release. Just with uglier cover art.

Continue Reading · 2

Bad Dad

So Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd is reportedly being cast as a young Princess Leia in Star Wars VII. There’s been no official confirmation of this yet AFAIK; and always in motion is the future.

Carrie Fisher, left; Billie Lourd, right

But suppose it’s true. That probably implies a flashback. (I say “probably” because it could always be a holo-recording or something.) So the question is: why do the makers of this film want to include a flashback, and in particular one focusing on Leia? I offer a hypothesis.

Of all the Star Wars characters who are a) extremely popular, and b) not still alive in this movie, which would audiences most like to see in a flashback? Surely the answer is: Darth Vader. A Star Wars geek like Abrams would presumably love to direct a scene with Vader; and the suits at Disney would doubtless love to see Vader using his money-attracting powers in their new film. Hence the attraction of a flashback in a series that has not heretofore been big on flashbacks.

So where does Leia come in? Well, in the original movie when we first see Vader confronting Leia, he says, “You weren’t on any mercy mission this time,” implying a previous interaction. (A 1981 Star Wars radio-play even dramatises that previous interaction.) Might Abrams’ flashback be to that purported “mercy mission”?

“Plotting to overthrow the government, young lady? You are grounded!”
“But Daaad …”

If so, it’s possible that Tarkin will be in it too, since Leia’s words “I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash; I recognized your foul stench when I was brought onboard” suggest both that she’d met Tarkin before and that he’d been in Vader’s company when she did.

Why, diegetically, might there be a flashback in Ep. VII? Perhaps as part of some Jedi meditation trance on Leia’s part. (And if they want to have a meditation flashback for Luke too, well, Abrams can always just clean up and enhance the deleted Tatooine scenes from Ep. IV. Maybe Koo Stark will finally have her Star Wars moment on the big screen!)

Continue Reading · 4

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes