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Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:00 pm

Just like every other "Star Wars" geek, I was stoked when George Lucas recently announced that the original trilogy was being released on DVD in its unaltered form on September 12. And, just like every other DVD aficionado, that initial elation was deflated by feelings of disappointment and disgust when I learned that the original versions will not be made available in anamorphic (that is, HDTV-friendly) widescreen transfers - meaning the films that revolutionized the world of visual effects will not be seen with the same crystal clarity most DVDs offer.

If there were still any doubts, this latest stunt proves that Lucas simply wishes to hoard his billions and manipulate his cash-cow franchise with absolutely no regard for the opinions - or pocketbooks - of his most dedicated fans. Despite claims that an anamorphic transfer simply isn't possible (which sounds suspiciously similar to the filmmaker's previous - and now disproved - claim that prints of the original versions no longer exist), it's my guess that Lucas will recant his decision several years down the line and approve yet another re-release of these films, this time with anamorphic enhancement. And then again a few years after that, this time offering them with some kind of 3-D enhancement. Then again later on as part of a huge 24-disc mega-pack with the "ultimate" editions of all six "Star Wars" movies.

I, for one, refuse to be jerked around by the likes of Lucas, and I hope that enough would-be owners of this appeal to rightfully disgruntled fans see the light, and ensure that this release is a resounding failure.

BEST. TRAILER. EVER: I enjoy well-edited, adrenaline-pumping previews as much as the next movie-goer, but how often do standard trailers give an accurate representation of the movie they're advertising? Unfortunately, most of these previews give false impressions, often even going so far as to fabricate chains of events and exchanges between characters in an attempt to make the scene in question seem more exciting or funny than it is in the finished product.

That's why the preview for "The Devil Wears Prada" may be the best, most refreshing movie trailer I've seen in years. Instead of dazzling us with quick, meaningless cuts or giving away so much of the story that we feel no need to see the whole thing, 20th Century Fox chose to present audiences with a scene from the movie - or, at least, what appears to be one. Not having seen the film (starring Meryl Streep as the editor of a fashion magazine and Anne Hathaway as her new assistant) I cannot say for certain that the scene is complete and unedited. But what I can say is that the integrity evident in such a preview has made we want to see a movie in which I would otherwise have little interest.



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