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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early genius
Be forewarned: THX 1138 is not for all Star Wars fans. This is hard sci-fi, like the kind Kubrick used to make. There are no cute furry Ewoks, there is no villain, there is not much in the way of heroics. This is a dystopian future brought to you by the once-brilliant director, unhampered by his own commercial drives. This is as pure a vision as it gets...
Published on Feb. 8 2010 by LeBrain

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1.0 out of 5 stars 2 BRD sets Defective
After looking forward to see this early George Lucas film again, this time in high definition, I was disappointed that the Blu Ray Disc got stuck in "loading" mode. Amazon quickly replaced the defective disc with another one. Sad to say the second disc performed exactly the same way. (I tried a number of other BRDs to make sure it wasn't my player, and everything played...
Published 5 months ago by genreguy


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early genius, Feb. 8 2010
By 
LeBrain - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: THX 1138 (The George Lucas Director's Cut: Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)
Be forewarned: THX 1138 is not for all Star Wars fans. This is hard sci-fi, like the kind Kubrick used to make. There are no cute furry Ewoks, there is no villain, there is not much in the way of heroics. This is a dystopian future brought to you by the once-brilliant director, unhampered by his own commercial drives. This is as pure a vision as it gets.

One viewing is not enough to digest THX1138. There is not much in the way of dialogue, or exposition. There is no traditional music, and the story plods along in a very Kubrickian fashion.

It is the future, and humanity now lives in a vast underground city, so vast that nobody ever ventures out to its superstructure where malformed, monkey-like "Shell Dwellers" remain. Perhaps they are mutants, victims of a long-forgotten nuclear holocaust. It is never explained and it's never supposed to be explained. Humanity lives in a sterile, pristinely white city that resembles the dullest of shopping malls. Every word spoken is monitored, including at strange Catholic-looking confessionals, where one prays to the State and the Masses and a weird Christ-like face. Children are taught entire school courses via a chemical IV. Sexual activity is forbidden unless you are scheduled to produce a child. Sedation by drugs is compulsory. Failure to take your medications will result in drug offences and rehabilition. Some humans are deemed defective and left to themselves in a strange white prison, an asylum that seems to go on forever.

Our protangonist is THX-1138, called "Tex" for short. He is played by the young Robert Duvall. He does not feel well. He feels sick, shaky, because he is off his medication. Feelings of love and lust are stirring for his roomate, LUH. The lack of medication has allowed him to feel these feelings for the first time. It has also, however, affected his work, and one error is all it takes to clue in the powers-that-be that THX is a drug offender.

Many themes turn up again in Lucas' later films. A totalitarian faceless government, complete with faceless law enforcement, in this case, robot officers. Staticy background dialogue makes up the most of the soundtrack to this film. Remember how the Stormtroopers sounded when they spoke? Imagine that, constantly, in the background. Lucas has taken sound effects and used them as music, yet they still convey information crucial to the plot. Some shots are duplicated almost perfectly in Star Wars, see if you can spot them.

Some scenes are chilling. THX is channel surfing and comes upon a program of an officer beating a human repeatedly for no apparent reason. This is the entertainment of the future. In another scene, two techs are tormenting THX's body, but their dialogue betrays absolutely no connection whatsoever to the human being they are hurting. "Don't let it get above 48," says one, as THX is writhing in agony. "Oh, you let is get above 48, see, that's why you're getting those readings."

The theme of escape, which was common with Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars, is what is driving THX. He eventually finds an ally in Don Pedro Colley, a "hologram" who he meets in the white asylum. SEN (Donald Pleasance) is suitably creepy as a man whom seems obsessed with THX and LUH. Together, can they escape the city and see what is beyond?

Lucas loves tampering with his films and THX is one of them. CG race cars and cityscapes enhance the film, while CG Shell Dwellers look phony and out of place. I would have preferred the original Shell Dwellers, but in the cityscapes, the new effects certainly add depth and believability.

DVD bonus features are awesome, including ample documentaries. The main feature for me was the original black and white student film that Lucas made: THX1138-4eB - Electronic Labyrinth. See how his vision survived intact to the big screen, and see how ideas such as dialogue acting as the soundtrack was present in the original short.

A fantastic visionary sci-fi film, and a warning to us today. We must not allow our society to become as controlled as THX's. Not for everybody. Only for those who like thinking man's sci-fi.

4 stars. Near perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie with remastered, Dec 8 2013
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This is a great movie. It was remastered with discretion. If you haven’t seen the original, you cannot tell what was actually modified. The only problem is the complex menu. I had to plug a USB stick in my brand new Blu-Ray reader to provide additional memory to the machine. Otherwise, the disk would not start.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the future..., Dec 19 2013
By 
Simon Bergeron - See all my reviews
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The movie may date from 1970, but its message is far more significant than a far echo of its decade.

Not as smart as "Solaris" or "2001: A space odyssey", it nevertheless captures human determination, and the sheer will to be free, no matter what's sent our way. Robert Duval plays his role (THX-1138) to a degree of perfection: introvert, yet boiling with an inner rage at all time. This rage, he uses to exact his plan to try and get out of this futuristic hellhole, and with some added CGI (Lucas, can't help himself), the movie actually benefits from having a nice scope and greater visuals, though I wonder what the original film looked like.

Special features are very entertaining, insightful and come in great numbers, culminating to almost 3-4 hours worth of visual documentaries, plus a commentary track. It is hard to ask for more in this case.

Not the "be all end all" of sci-fi movies, THX-1138 has enough smarts, ingenuity and pacing to be called a film. And a classic film, at that. Its message will most likely be as resonant 50 years from now as it felt 40 years ago.
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1.0 out of 5 stars 2 BRD sets Defective, Nov. 9 2013
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After looking forward to see this early George Lucas film again, this time in high definition, I was disappointed that the Blu Ray Disc got stuck in "loading" mode. Amazon quickly replaced the defective disc with another one. Sad to say the second disc performed exactly the same way. (I tried a number of other BRDs to make sure it wasn't my player, and everything played fine.) So it seems like the Canadian pressing of THX 1138 may well be defective.

**My low rating is not for the film, but for the manufacturing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little known fact..., March 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Thx-1138 (VHS Tape)
Remember the scenes of the robotic-like cop beating the human? Well, those sounds are used to start off the first track of the Nine Inch Nails album "Downward Spiral." Pretty cool, huh?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the 'afficiandos'..., Jan. 23 2007
By 
This review is from: THX 1138 (The George Lucas Director's Cut: Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)
Some reviewers after citing their many qualifications (having seen some Italian/Japanese films etc) lambast this film for being dry, slow, not action packed enough or not original enough...

I have seen enough film now that I will award a film merit based purely on the originality of its ideas. Science fiction is nothing if it doesn't suggest alternatives to our current understandings and this film presented (to me) an interesting posssible future. Is it entirely original - no. Is it derivitive and unworthy of merit - far from it. Stylistically bold I would hate to see what Lucas would have done with it (as one reveiwer suggested) with the budget and resources of todays films.

I'm not impressed when vintage cinema is 'updated' with CGI that does not meld with the original material. So I would prefer if no such visuals had been added to this edition. Star Wars having strong compositions destroyed by the addition of new background CGI is a good example of a director undoing his own work.

This is Science Fiction. George Lucas was responsible for Star Wars and is most well known for it. He has written/directed several such adventure movies but just because he found commercial success with films like Star Wars/Raiders that doesn't mean he would have done ANYTHING of the sort with THX 1138 (if his budget had been expanded). This is not Star Wars - get over it. The simple fact is this film would not have been made by an older, wiser and more business savvy Lucas.

This is Science Fiction. It presents a stark, cold, clinical, depressing, claustraphobic future. This is the story of a man who finds his existence at odds with his nature. If you want wookies and dogfights look elsewhere - maybe the kids section.
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2.0 out of 5 stars brilliant when I was young, dim and boring now that I know better., Nov. 28 2011
This review is from: THX 1138 (The George Lucas Director's Cut: Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)
this movie was shot as a "day in the life" from the future, that on it's own is ok to a point, the nice thing with getting no information is that the viewer will fill in the blanks on their own and it'll be plausible to them because they fabricated it.

with this in mind if you watch this movie only and never view the bonus features it's slow, boring, but overall good and with a real uptick in value from the middle to the ending..... BUT DON'T EVER VIEW THE BONUS FEATURES!!!! because they mention where the movie is supposedly taking place.

the updated version is better than the original, the CGI additions fit seamlessly and improve the film.... except for the tunnel monkeys but they on their own don't kill it.

Spoilers DON'T READ ANY FURTHER.

as a day in the life you get the impression the society is like Communist Russia at it's most oppressive... this is plausible, the comparison are easily identifiable but the explanation given in the bonus features is the exact opposite, the bonus features claim the world is based on extreme capitalism.... so why no choice, why no freedom, why nothing to buy worth mention, why no variety which is at the heart of consumer choice even if it's only an illusion and why is no one buying anything other than an empty red cube?

this movie may have been George Lucas's best work, the budget was minimal and he did a lot with it, I can't fault him entirely because he readily admits all the time that he can't write to save his life but to be so very accurate is really still quite disappointing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The future, Sept. 26 2011
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This is a great movie if you "get it". I do but not everyone does. Check it out and make your own decision.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THX 1138 George's Cut, March 3 2009
By 
This review is from: THX 1138 (The George Lucas Director's Cut: Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)
This is the only movie from Lucas that is well directed. The new version has some extra footage and a lot of extra CG digital work that actually enhances the film (same as the star wars redos).
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money., Jan. 16 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: THX 1138 (The George Lucas Director's Cut: Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)
Sometimes a movie is better left alone, away from the attempts of the Director to change it for a newer, more sophicated audience. A brilliantly minamalist film in it's original form, the Director's cut has been ruined with cheesy special effects and oversimplicification in an attempt to explain both plot and characters. If you have the opportunity to see both the original and the Director's cut you may agree. The original THX 1138 is difficult to find even in VHS format, but the search is worth it.
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THX 1138 (The George Lucas Director's Cut: Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]
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