My parents and I have watched a lot of very bad movies. And when I say “a lot,” I mean a lot: we must be past dozens and into the low hundreds. Movies so bad that they kind of paralyze you into watching them — you know the ones I mean. Where you finish it and turn to the other people in the room as the final credits roll blissfully past and say, “Why did we watch that?” Movies like Quigley Down Under and Species and Twister. Okay, maybe not Twister for which I have a sneaking fondness based largely on Bill Paxton and the nifty-shit aunt who gets her house destroyed by the F4 or whatever the fuck it is.
Anyway, my point is: I watched a lot of bad movies with my folks when I was living at home. And I’ve watched a lot of bad movies since — sometimes, I search out bad movies: movies with disappointing CGI, poor casting decisions, bad use of documentary footage, or movies that are simply a bad idea. Some of these movies turn out to be joyous little slices of deliciousness as in the wonder that is Shark Attack in the Mediterranean, a German attempt at Jaws dubbed into English which takes place in what may or may not be Majorca and the climax of which features Ski-Doo racers being stalked by a genetically recreated Megalodon with the accompanying soundtrack of a cheery little pop-song that I swear to God is unironically and with no apparent attempt at family-unfriendliness or sarcasm called “Do the Sixty-Nine.” Sheer glory, I tell you.
Over the years, though, my parents and I have learned that there’s this great thing on the remote to help you deal with bad movies: it’s called the “stop” button or the “power off” button. It really works like a charm — and I want all the Star Wars fans currently bitching about the Blu-Ray release of the movies to learn the fuck about it.
Don’t like it? Don’t freakin’ watch it.
There’s an “off” button, people — better yet, keep your damned credit card in your wallet and don’t shell out in the first place! It’s not like Lucas isn’t a multi-zillionaire nine times over at this point; I don’t think he’s hurting for your $59.95 or however much the Blu-Ray set costs. I myself own the original trilogy in two different formats at least 3 times over, the new trilogy — I think only once. I’m happy with the edits I own: I was happy when Lucas brought out the original edits of the first trilogy on DVD; I bought the box set; and I stick with it. I have the circa 1998 edits, too, because I happen to like a lot of the changes he made to Empire.
And while we’re on the subject, please, for the love of heaven, stop going on about how Lucas is ruining his own story. It’s his story, folks, his. Not mine, not yours, not anyone else’s. Okay, it’s moderately Joseph Campbell’s, but we’ll let that slide since he didn’t seem to mind. And I hate to tell you: but as long as that copyright is in Lucas’ beflannelled little hands, he gets to do what the fuck he wants with it and maybe, just maybe, at this point, we could all just shut the fuck up about it. The man is a compulsive re-editor; we’re just going to have to live with that. Yeah, he does shit we think is stupid; who doesn’t, really?
And on the whole, I am still far more grateful to him for putting the story out there in the first place than I am niggly about different audio cues or actors edited in to places they shouldn’t be.