Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Movie of the Week - The Empire Strikes Back

This week’s movie is The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

The film is the second in the Star Wars Saga (and no I do not count the new films), finding Luke pressuring his Jedi training while Darth Vader hunts down his friend in a bid to capture Luke. While the story for the film is by George Lucas, who also executively produced it, the screenplay is by Leigh Brackett (one of the last things this fantastic screenwriter worked on) and Lawrence Kasdan (who would become a big Hollywood player in the 80s) and directed by Irvin Kershner. Also new to the franchise were excellent cinematographer Peter Suschitzky (who now shoots David Cronenberg’s stuff) and production designer Norman Reynolds (his first PD job). John Williams provides a wonderfully iconic score (which I think is even better than the first film’s). All the stars are back: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, and the voice work of James Earl Jones. The film introduces fan favorite characters as well: Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), Yoda (Frank Oz) and of course Boba Fett. What makes this film great is that it is not afraid to have an unhappy ending (which many fans believe makes it the best in the Saga). While the first and third films end with miraculous triumphs for the Rebels, this one sees everything in disarray and defeat. I assume everyone has seen this, but if you have not – what are you waiting for? The Star Wars Saga changed movies forever, making it a must for cinema and genre fans. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and to Rent

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