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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

BLU-RAY NEWS UPDATE...



Here's the cover for the latest issue, out now, of the UK's SCI FI NOW magazine, devoted to STAR WARS and the Blu-rays. We hope that its promised "first look" at the Blu-rays is actually comprehensive and not full of material we already know about. I'm intrigued to see if they've actually and fully seen the films in the new format and will talk about the apparently "re-revised" Original Trilogy changes that are said to have taken place...

A link to the magazine, which also contains an interview with FX genius Phil Tippett:

CLASSIC IMAGE: A JEDI AND HIS BOGA!


A cloaked Obi-Wan and his trusty mount, the inspired Boga creature-surely one of the CGI Prequel universe's best creations- make their way into the heart of the Separatist controlled areas of the Utapau sinkhole city.

STAR WARS: The Complete Saga auf Blu-ray: HD Clip Episode III: BOGA MIT OBI-WAN - YouTube

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

SPECIAL EDITION CLASSIC IMAGE: BEN'S HOME


We continue our series of 1997 SPECIAL EDITION fixes that actually work and enhance the Classic Trilogy films with this great ILM matte painting/ model combo of "old hermit" Ben Kenobi's home out in the dangerous climes of the Dune Sea on Tatooine. I love the original close-in 1976/77 shot of the small real-life fisherman's hut representing it in Djerba, Tunisia (with the Landspeeder parked outside) but this new addition, with the accompanying lone moisture vaporator, works well, I think.

Monday, 29 August 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE STH EMERGE...


Filmed against Blue screen at LEAVESDEN, Ray Park makes his first crowd pleasing appearance as the fearless assassin Darth Maul, albeit via hologram, for EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE.

CLASSIC IMAGE: ROYAL PRISONER


Within her palace in the city of Theed, the young Queen Amidala looks away from the majestic Throne Room window, as silent horror and personal grief are brought about from the invasion of the Trade Federation. A classic moment from EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE SEARCH BEGINS...


Imperial Sandtroopers, with a far distant Patrol Dewback (a huge specially built prop with limited movement rather than the 1997 SPECIAL EDITION CGI creature), search for their new quarry: droids, in this slightly different image by photographer John Jay for the original STAR WARS taken on location in the deserts of Tunisia.

Beasts of Burden: The Last Original Dewback | Prop Store – Ultimate Movie Collectables

CLASSIC RAIDERS: A FIGHT FOR LAUGHS!


Before the Tunisian rots caught up with him and the rest of the RAIDERS filming company, Harrison Ford was able to partially film a little bit of the ambitiously scripted and planned whip confrontation against a deadly sword wielding bad guy (played by stuntman Terry Richards, who, prior to the shoot, had trained extensively for the sequence. Richards had also played the Wampa in several deleted scenes from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK). Eventually, with illness getting the better of him, the actor, in talks with Spielberg and Vic Armstrong, came up with the now inspired idea of Indy just whipping out his gun and shooting him!

Every time I see that classic RAIDERS moment, with family or friends, it still gets a laugh-one of cinemas greatest scenes ever!

As a nice look back at the making of the film, check out this recent interview with British producer Robert Watts, which he did at the recent EMPIRE magazine BIG SCREEN event, in honour of RAIDERS Thirtieth Anniversary: Big Screen: Memories Of Raiders Panel | Movie News | Empire and here:  Empire Big Screen – Interview with Raiders of the Lost Ark Producer Robert Watts «

Saturday, 27 August 2011

AFICIONADO REVIEWS - AUGUST 2011


Brave young Jedi Nuru Kungurama must face up to a deadly Mandalorian assassin in Ryder Windham's third book in his young readers BREAKOUT SQUAD series: DUEL AT SHATTERED ROCK. Check out our review here: DUEL AT SHATTERED ROCK


Also, for the younger ones on THE CLONE WARS front is the recently released BATTLES OF THE FORCE storybook. Check it out here: CLONE WARS 2010/11 BOOKS

REMEMBERING "THE TUNES" VADER ADVERT...

Stephen Calcutt as Vader in the classic nineties advert for TUNES cough lozenges.

One of the best STAR WARS related commercials I've seen on British television was from the late nineties when the cough sweet manufacturer TUNES, deciding that Darth Vader needed some throat lozenges, brilliantly recreated the Motti strangling scenes from the original STAR WARS (right down to the sets and costumed extras), though with a more friendly advice giving Imperial officer going just a little bit too far...

Here's the advert: Star Wars Tunes Advert - YouTube

A terrific recreation of the DEATH STAR briefing room set.

British Classic STAR WARS TRILOGY stand-in/background actor Stephen Calcutt (doubling on set for Peter Mayhew and Dave Prowse) played Vader in the commercial and was very proud of his work in the costume. He recalled to AFICIONADO contributor Ian Trussler a few months back, during a UK convention, that he got paid more money for that one advert than he ever got working on all the original three films combined!

For more on this commercial and some of Vader's greatest film and non-film moments in multi-media, check out the picture/info packed feature here: DARTH VADER LIVES!!

Another Imperial bites the dust!

Friday, 26 August 2011

SMALL WONDERS! "THE CLONE WARS" SEASON FOUR PREVIEW...


Looks like the classic tale of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS will be getting a whole new STAR WARS spin involving Threepio and Artoo in this fun new image from the upcoming THE CLONE WARS Season Four, back on US TV HD screens in a few weeks time. Check out the gallery of intriguing new images from the series here: IGN: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Screenshots, Wallpapers and Pics

BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE: DAGOBAH DAYS!


Yoda operator Dave Barclay holds onto the Yoda puppet whilst Mark Hamill lifts himself up for some more Jedi training filming as Luke Skywalker, on the misty and murky Dagobah set towards the end of the main studio principal photography for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK at ELSTREE, circa August/September 1979.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

BLU-RAYS: NEW SNEAK PEEKS/CLIPS...


Above is a shot from the new Yoda footage for EPISODE I originally done by Rob Coleman and the ILM animators as a rehearsal for their Yoda work in EPISODE III (the footage may also have undergone further refinements for the Blu-rays). Looks great, eh?

Equally impressive stuff here- some other great Blu-ray footage that's now been revealed from overseas- EPISODE ONE looks absolutely superb in its new conversion. There's also going to be some controversy with scenes from the 2004 versions of the Classic Trilogy films also on the Blu-rays.

UPDATE: LUCASFILM have put their STAR WARS MOMENTS/VISUALIZER area online here:
Star Wars: The Complete Saga | Visualizer

Prior and continued thanks to "R2D2" and the other dedicated fans at ORIGINALTRILOGY.COM for their heads up on so many good things Blu-ray related...


EPISODE I CLIPS:


"There’s always a bigger fish":

Shield generator has been hit - R2's heroic moment:

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate:

I will come back to free you mom, I promise:

Activate the droids:

Obi versus Darth Maul:

Anakin, Anakin, drop [lightsabers]:

Republic credits are not good out here:

Clumsy Jar Jar at the pod:

Pod-race:

Jabba also gets a revised make-over for the new Blu-ray of EPISODE ONE.
EPISODE II CLIPS:
Speeder chase:

Anakin leaving to find his mother:

Yoda teaches class - "Lost planet Master Obi -Wan has":

Jango versus Obi:

Obi at Kamino:

Yoda versus Dooku [lightsabers]:

Geonosis - battle scene:

geonosis - arena battle scene:

Obi versus Jango Fett - space chase:

Geonosis - another arena battle scene:


EPISODE III CLIPS:
Stupid little astro droid:

Kashyyyk - battle:

Order 66:

After the attack of the Jedi Temple:

yoda versus Darth Sidious [lightsabers]:

In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic [lightsabers]:

The Council wants you to report on all Chancellor's dealings:


EPISODE IV CLIPS: 
Vader kills Antilles:

“We seem to be made to suffer”:

“Your fathers lightsaber”:

Cantina:

Holo-chess game:

“Better her – than me”:

“Shut down...”:
Come here you big coward, Chewie come here:

"Use the force Luke, let go Luke":


EPISODE V CLIPS
You could use a good kiss! video:

Tauntaun opening video:

Rebels prepare for AT-ATs:
Han and Leia kiss video:

Being Watched:

That is why you fail:
Lando’s welcome:
I love you:

“I am your father!”
“I never doubted you for a second – wonderful”:


EPISODE VI CLIPS
Emperor cross sabers !!
Emperor’s DS arrival:






Explosion!:

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

SCENES WE WANT ON BLU-RAY 9: LOBOT'S DUTIES


In one of the Art Deco corridors within the Bespin Cloud City, Lando Calrissian's aide, Lobot, as played by the late John Hollis, awaits further instructions. As well as having his few lines of dialogue removed - a decision made by director Irvin Kershner to make the character more interesting on-screen, he also lost several other intriguing filmed scenes, including his monitoring of the repairs to the Millennium Falcon (a sequence seen at the time of release on several ESB cards and stickers), and his final moments, where he is captured by Stormtroopers for termination (a scene Hollis himself recalled filming in an interview with STAR WARS INSIDER some years back. Cut, he thought, because it might scare young children). This latter scene will be included on the upcoming Blu-ray.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

BLU-RAY UPDATE...


The first part of Home Theater Forum website's exclusive access to certain aspects of the STAR WARS Blu-rays, plus a transcript of the US LUCASFILM presentation are now online. Definitely worth checking out.

Link: Lucasfilm on Star Wars the Complete Saga Blu-ray: Hands on Report

UPDATE 22/8/11: Here's a very encouraging perspective on the press event from THE DIGITAL BITS website (which has more features and insights on the Blu-rays to come): The Digital Bits - The 2011 Star Wars Saga Blu-rays - First Insights

Friday, 19 August 2011

STAR WARS BLU-RAY NEWS! MORE DELETED SCENES INFO...

As Royal Guards help him deny admittance to the Emperor, Moff Jerjerrod feels the Force from Darth Vader in a sequence cut from RETURN OF THE JEDI. But will it be amongst the Blu-ray deleted scenes?

Yesterday/today word leaked out via Korea that the following deleted scenes will be making their debut on the STAR WARS Blu-rays. And there's some real goodies in there that should be very interesting to see.

Here's the info:


EPISODE I

Trash Talking Droids
The Battle Is Over
Anakin's Return
Battle On The Boarding Ramp
Extended Podrace Wager
Bail Organa of Alderaan

EPISODE II

Extended Speeder Chase
The Lost Twenty
Anakin's Nightmares
Anakin and Ruwee
Raid On The Droid Control Ship and Extended Arena Fight

EPISODE III

Elevator Antics
Escape The Hangar
Changes To The Constitution
Utapau Chase Animatics
Mustafar Duel Animatics
Mustafar Duel
Lava River Animatics
Kashyyyk Attack and Order 66 Animatic
Anakin kills Shaak Ti
Jedi Imposters at the Temple
Senate Duel Anamatic
Yoda Communes with Qui-Gon

EPISODE IV

Tosche Station
Old Woman on Tatooine
Aunt Beru's Blue Milk
The Search for R2-D2
Cantina Rough Cut
Stormtrooper Search
Darth Vader Widens the Search
Alternate Biggs and Luke Reunion

EPISODE V

Han and Leia: Extended Echo Base Argument
Luke's Recovery
Luke and Leia: Medical Center
Deleted Wampa Scenes
The Fate of General Veers
Yoda's Test
Hiding in the Asteroid
Alternate Han and Leia Kiss
Lobot's Capture
Leia Tends to Luke

EPISODE VI

Vader's Arrival and Reaching Out to Luke
Tatooine Sandstorm
Rebel Raid on the Bunker
Jerjerrod's Conflict
Battle of Endor: The Lost Rebels

Thursday, 18 August 2011

CLASSIC ART: McQUARRIE'S DAGOBAH


Here's some intriguing ideas from the master STAR WARS visualist for a far more unusual and alien environment for Yoda (originally known as Minch Yoda in late 1978) on his sanctuary world of Dagobah. The little Jedi's hut/home would basically stay the same for its eventual on-screen appearance (if a little smaller), though I think its time THE CLONE WARS adapted the rest of the environment for one of its alien planet fall episodes-it would look great.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

SCENES WE WANT ON BLU-RAY 8: BERU'S KITCHEN CONVERSATION


With homely Beru Lars appearance in EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES cut down so savagely during the film's later post production editing (she has just one line in the finished film: "Hello"!) and followed by later re-shoots of material on Anakin and Padme, it would be nice if the upcoming Blu-rays could have Luke Skywalker's adopted mum to be's deleted scene with Padme, where, in the famous Homestead kitchen (painstakingly recreated by the films production designers to match the original environment conceived in 1976 by John Barry), she briefly talks about life on and outside of Tatooine...

"Would you like some blue milk?"

The Blu-ray Prequel deleted scenes for the new release total around 45 minutes, so that's probably 15 minutes for each film. A shame it all couldn't be longer, really, as there's at least 30 minutes of deleted scenes footage alone from ATTACK OF THE CLONES that is yet to be seen, with much of the final third of the film having been changed/re-worked/re-filmed in the post-production process.

OF MEN AND MONSTERS, "COWBOYS & ALIENS"!

Independence Day in the Wild, Wild, West! COWBOYS & ALIENS arrive. Images: UNIVERSAL/PARAMOUNT.
COWBOYS & ALIENS leads the battle charge into British cinemas with its full country-wide release from today, and here's some more fun links you might enjoy:

Clips via SFX magazine: Cowboys & Aliens: Clip And Featurette | SFX

Harrison Ford interview: Harrison Ford interview: "I like dressing up as somebody else" - Movies Interview - Digital Spy

Daniel Craig answers fan questions on the COWBOYS & ALIENS UK FACEBOOK page: Videos Posted by Cowboys and Aliens UK: Daniel Craig Answers Your Questions! [HQ] | Facebook


Harrison does the same: Videos Posted by Cowboys and Aliens UK: Harrison Ford answers your questions! [HQ] | Facebook

SYFY channel talks to the cast:

Interesting chat by SUPERHERO HYPE with the film's co-writer Roberto Orci: Exclusive: Cowboys & Aliens Producer/Writer Roberto Orci | Superhero Hype


Official COWBOYS & ALIENS website interviews by Jon Favrea with Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Harrison Ford: Cowboys & Aliens Movie Directed by Jon Favreau - The Interviews with Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Steven Spielberg and more.

YAHOO interview with Jon Favreau: "Iron Man" maker rustles up some "Cowboys & Aliens" - Yahoo!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

OF SUBMERSIBLES, SLAVERS AND SITH LORDS! "THE CLONE WARS" SEASON FOUR

Towards his destiny...Anakin Skywalker in Season Four of THE CLONE WARS.

A new extended trailer for Season Four of THE CLONE WARS debuted today and it was fabulous -
The Clone Wars Season 4 "Battle Lines" Trailer - YouTube - full of incredible imagery and action/adventure. Plus more of the baddies we want to see (alongside lots more new ones), and not necessarily fighting against the Republic, more Obi-Wan, more Mon Calamari, more new worlds and creatures, and, most importantly, a lot to come on the Dark Side of the Force and its relationship to Anakin Skywalker, as we finally get to see his anger come out of its bottle regarding slavers-perhaps one more scheme pre-EPISODE III designed by Darth Sidious to get Anakin closer to the Sith.

We'll find out more from September 16th in the US, and probably October in the UK.

Here's some more great images from the trailer...

Sidious launches a new scheme of terror alongside Count Dooku.
New look Clone Troopers in action.
New laser whip wielding baddies for the Jedi to deal with... 
Ahsoka and Artoo-always ready to help!
More great space vistas.
Ventress and the Nightsisters fight back.
More explosive action for the Clone Troopers.
Ahsoka mans the speeder bike turret! Dig those glasses once more!
Always the best man to have on your side: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jedi mission: liberate the Togrutan slaves.
Fight! Grievous versus Ventress!
Time for another Anakin/Ahsoka explosion!
Those Death Watch warriors rear their heads once again.
A world under siege from the Death Watch.