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The People vs. George Lucas
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Does Star Wars ultimately belong to the fans or to the creator? Is it right for an artist to rework his art, over and over, despite multiple and never-ending outcries of the hardcore fans to stop doing so? I find it interesting how Lucas himself had spoken out against the editing of films (colorizing B&W films) and also pointed out that FX is just a means of telling a story and not the story itself. My, has he ever changed as a filmmaker/film lover.
This documentary is fast-paced and bounces back and forth between snippets of interviews and fan films. Personally, I prefer the extended interviews in the Special Features section more. The docu itself is sharply edited (parroting the original SW editing style) and tries to be non-biased on the subjects raised. That being said, by the end it's very clear that the film's overall message is directed at Lucas: please listen to your fans!
I bought this film on DVD because I was unable to find it online for free. I looked everywhere--and I mean everywhere--and it was nowhere! Its producers have certainly worked very hard in keeping this film off the Internet so that if we want to see it we are forced to buy it. This is rather ironic: forcing the SW to come up with cash for it during a time of a `global recession'. Does SW belong to the fans?Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Lest this sound like a downer of a film, The People vs. George Lucas is also a celebration of the entire Star Wars franchise; there are interviews with fans, fan films (some good, some...not so good), fan videos, fan writings (Wookie Poetry!), and fan appreciation for everything George has given us. Director Alexandre O. Philippe (in his first major film) has given a good portion of runtime to defending Lucas and his creations (well, except for Jar Jar Binks). Interview subjects run the gamut from writer Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere) and producer Gary Kurtz (The Empire Strikes Back), to casual fans and fan filmmakers, all offering their personal opinions on the subject. While I wouldn't consider this an exhaustive dissertation on the Star Wars universe, it's certainly a fun look at how fans feel about Lucas and the decisions he's made.
When the dust finally settles, The People vs. George Lucas doesn't really provide any rock solid answers. Some think Lucas is the devil, while others hold him up as a film God to be revered for all eternity. While everyone seems to want the original movies as they remember them, the idea of art vs. its creator muddies the issue. Fans will find this love/hate relationship core of the film fascinating, no matter what side you fall on.
The People vs. George Lucas is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer looks good, but is understandably uneven; some footage is reference quality (like some fun animation sequences), while others look mediocre (mostly the off-the-cuff interview segments). Considering the genre, fans won't likely have a problem with the image quality.
The audio is presented in Dolby 5.1 Surround and, much like the video transfer, the mix is neither exceptional nor poor. Dialogue, music, and effects are all easily heard without any defects or interference. Also included are English and Spanish subtitles.
Bonus materials are slim, but should satisfy fans. The best is a screen-specific audio commentary with director Philippe, cinematographer Robert Muratore, and editor Chard Herschberger; the three presenting a lively discussion of the production. We also get bonus interviews with producer Gary Kurtz, deleted poetry slam footage (yawn), a comment on the forthcoming 3D versions, and a music video for the subtly titled song "George Lucas Raped Our Childhood."
-Full review at dvdverdict.com
The considerable portion of the film's running time is spent on interviews with "Star Wars" fans and the "fan film" footage. And it seems most fans interviewed here are disappointed and even angered by the reissued "Star Wars" trilogy, and their prequels. It is easy to dismiss their complaints as nit-picking - "Who shot first - Han or Greedo?" - but the film suggests that there is something more to the voices of the disenchanted fans. What it is, however, "The People vs. George Lucas" does not tell us much.
Another disappointing thing about the film is that we are not allowed to hear much from the creators and artists. Not surprisingly George Lucas seems to have refused to be interviewed (he only appears in archive footage), and those who agreed to appear - including the writer Neil Gaiman and the "Star Wars" producer Gary Kurtz - reveal little, and is very guarded about what they say.
If nothing else, the film will be a visual record that will remind us of the excitement of the time when we first saw "Star Wars" back in 1977, and then "Episode 1." It was a massive cultural phenomenon, something we look back with nostalgia.
*Also try - Captains & Fanboys
This documentary brilliantly illustrates the disillusionment so many of us have felt over the last fifteen years. From the poorly made judgment calls in the "special editions" to the introduction of midichlorians and Jar Jar, it's been a rocky number of years for us folks who remember how important and significant his little space opera was to our generation. This film speaks to us and, surprisingly, FOR us. The film acts as an advocate for the disillusioned, but also as an advocate for the man who is "the creator". It does a great job of playing devil's advocate and is surprisingly balanced as well. It's not 90 minutes of Lucas bashing....it clearly illustrates the love/hate relationship we have. It's almost like the parental love/hate relationship. I've always loved my parents...but there were times I truly thought I hated them as well. The point being......he gave me some of the best memories of my youth. The original trilogy, Indiana Jones, a truckload of REALLY fun toys, and the desire to let my imagination fly to galaxies far far away....all thanks to him. Can I really bring myself to loathe him for letting Greedo shoot first??? The answer is yes....and no. Like any loving relationship, there are tons of grey areas. This film cleverly (and lovingly) sorts through those grey areas and provides a loving and light-hearted tribute to a creator/visionary, and those of us who love/hate the hell out of him.
Certainly a must see for those of you who cringed when the fridge was nuked, or cried out loud when Greedo shot first.
Darkwater, HIRAM & thetraveler333 have the more in-depth reviews. Anything else I would write would echo most of what they wrote.
I did like the easter egg extras more then another reviewer did, particularly the fan reaction to the 3D versions. If there's one thing I would say that I would've liked the makers of this movie to delve into, possibly as another easter egg, is the expanded STAR WARS universe (Tales of the Jedi, the various novels, Legacy era, & soon the upcoming MMO) & how it relates to what Lukas has been doing. Hows the reaction on peoples ends on that equasion?
Regardless, if you're a STAR WARS fan, particularly if you're old enough to remember even 1 of the original movies (long) before Lukas began with the changes then you do yourself a disservice by not seeing or having this film in your collection.