Thursday, March 27, 2008


Following on from my last post about Star Wars Revisited I wondered what peoples thoughts were about film restoration. Films could be left alone but that would leave to very bad prints etc... in the future for some films. I prefer films to be restored in terms of cleaning up scratches, keeping colours timed etc...
Some films such as Blade Runner has had the odd tweak but there's never been whole scenes replaced or added that alter the film much, say besides the losing of the original happier ending.
Then we have films where FX scenes have been redone or whole new scenes added many years after the film has been released, such as the Star Wars films, and I suppose that since their 1997 Special Editions they were altered again for the 2007 DVD release. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy have had 2 versions but we were told from the off that there would be a longer cut on DVD. I'm talking more about taking a film such as Jaws and adding a digital shark, should Jaws just be kept as is as long as the prints are kept new and clean looking for future generations or should we get rid of the old shark and go for a more realistic effect some 30 years after the fact ?

Film Restoration
Left alone as they were made.
Kept restored upto a certain standard.
Don't mind the odd change made.
Like to see new stuff added to films.
Don't mind films been changed again and again. free polls


DanO said...

i just have to be an absolutist on this. i watched Aliens the other night and it hit me that the movie was made with ZERO computer effects, and yet the visuals are convincing, compelling and scary as hell. lately i'm of the opinion that CGI has ruined the sci fi and fantasy genres in film. for evey one instance of the effects capabilities allowing a movie to be made(the LOTR trilogy) there are 50 instances where a dumbass director goes overboard like a 14 year old kid. less is more.

my favorite opinion on this is the commentary by John Milius and Arnold from the "Conan The Barbarian" DVD. they comment on the burning Thulsa Doom palace at the end of the movie and how they actually built a temple in the middle of the desert and brought all of those extras there... but its believable. if it was today the temple would be CGI and have Death Star proportions and the stinky sheen of CGI with computer fabricated crowds that extend to the horizon. the actors would be left to imagine what it would look like and the performances would stink.(the fact that Arnold delivered as competent a performance as he did can be credited to real sets and real crowds of extras.

/end rant.

Dylan said...

I think I prefer just a clean up of the print, especially if it's a film I know really well as I just want the chance to see the film the way I remember it.
Sometimes I don't mind the odd extra scene but it would be much better if more people followed Ridley Scott's lead. i.e. that all versions of the film be made available and all at a decent quality.
one of my pet hates is sound fx "funking up". I bought the Terminator dvd a couple of years ago but rarely watch it. The picture quality is brilliant but they have messed about with all of the sound fx and I find it too annoying to watch. The lasers at the start have all been changed to sound like those in T2 and all of the other gun sounds have been changed, i don't really understand what the problem was with the original sounds.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Dylan it's funny you should mention Sound FX, I always loved the sound design on the Original Star Wars Trilogy and the Indy films etc... I really hated the Sound FX on the prequels, they seemed dull and electronic, the ones in the earlier films seemed to have a real world feel to them, I know they did go out and recored a lot of real world sounds to help create them, I assume that later films do a lot more stuff purely electronically,they have lost the organic sound that those movies had.

Fraser Lovatt said...

It depends.

I liked what Ridley Scott did to Blade Runner - that is probably about the best example of when a restoration and tweak really does add to the original. I was less impressed with his tweaks to Alien - I didn't like the shortening of scenes to "tighten" the pace, and thought the addition of the Alien to the swinging platform just before Brett's death was unnecessary. It was interesting to see the excised footage in-situ, however.

I thought Robert Wise's revisit of Star Trek the Motion Picture was interesting, but nothing else.

The eight or so versions of Close Encounters are just tinkering. I don't think they add much.

For some reason, I'd like to see Lynch's Dune cleaned up. I have no idea why. Maybe they could cut out all that Weirding Module nonsense and tidy the editing - include some of the plot elements they shot but took out and make it a little uneven. Oh hang on - it would still probably have Sting in it. Forget it then.

If anyone touches 2001: A Space Odyssey, I will cut off their toes and stamp on them. You heard me, Peter Hyams.

paulhd said...

Generally I'm happy if things are just cleaned up, but I guess there are exceptions, a film that's been mucked up due to studio interference for example. Cut scenes and all that malarky can just go on a disc of extras for me.

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Mark Stirton