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DVD ReviewThere aren't nearly enough film parodies these days. Sure we get the occasional Scary Movie or Don't be a Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (both of which are pretty lame, considering), but we rarely see anything on the level of something like Young Frankenstein or Airplane! anymore. So, I was happy to hear that film parody had suddenly become the new fad for people wanting to make an easy, good, short film. One of those projects, which you have no doubt heard about, is Joe Nussbaum's George Lucas In Love, a short work designed to satire the film Shakespeare In Love as well as make a big joke about how filmmaker George Lucas came up with the idea for the Star Wars series.
Now, despite all the fantastic hype this film is getting, it must be made very clear that, despite being pretty darn funny, it is only 8 minutes long. Actually, shorter without the credits. In the 8 minutes, though, the filmmakers and writers managed to put together a very entertaining work that's not only witty, but also shows they have a good deal of talent in their style and direction. This fictional story of George Lucas is told with the idea that everything he put into the Star Wars movies was actually taken from aspects of his everyday life. In order to see these things, though, he had to be shown them by his romantic interest, Marion (Lisa Jakub), who looks just a bit like a certain space princess.
It's no small secret that with all the awards and acclaim this film has gotten, it has obviously circulated back to "the man" himself, George Lucas (or 'flanneled one', 'bearded one', etc..). Thankfully, he has given his approval and doesn't mind the poke to his ego and career. That's really what the short comes down to: it's a funny satire, but doesn't get malicious or mean-spirited towards Lucas. My personal opinion is not to bother with the awkward, internet video presentations of this short. Just rent or buy this disc for the best presentation of it and I don't think you'll be disappointed. You also don't really need to have seen Shakespeare In Love to appreciate it, either.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A
Image Transfer Review: Though the entire disc runs at a very high bitrate, the video doesn't quite match up. George Lucas In Love looks pretty good (about 'A-' quality), with no artifacts or other flaws, but the other short films on the disc are extremely grainy and pixelized, bringing the overall presentation down a bit. There is no anamorphic enhancement, but each short is presented in its original aspect ratio or matte presentation.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: Lucas In Love uses a Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix, as does the other material. It sounds very good and is extremely clean, but it isn't anything that will blow the room away. There's no specific directionality or surround usage, and it basically just serves the general audio purpose. The musical score sounds very good, though.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Joe Nussbaum, Joseph Levy
This is followed up by a 9-minute "making-of" featurette that is mainly interviews with the filmmakers. Here they discuss how the project got off the ground and how it was originally going to be a different film, 'Joe Eszterhas In Love', which, frankly, I think I would have enjoyed even more.
There is a "pop-up" version of the film also presented. Various tidbits of trivia and subtleties in the film are pointed out. Obviously, you'll want to avoid this version until you're satisfied you really need all the jokes in the film pointed out to you.
The "Secret Bonus" is a pretty cheesy way of trying to get you to visit the Media Trip.Com website (as if the dozens of ads for the site all over the disc weren't enough) in order to obtain the code. By entering the special code ([cough]1138[cough]), you'll get to see...well, I won't spoil it, but it isn't THAT big a deal.
The disc also has 3 additional short films, also parodies. Topping them is the 6-minute long Film Club, a satire of the trailer for Fight Club which does a brilliant job at getting laughs from people who've seen the movie (and you do have to have seen Fight Club to get the most out of it). Evil Hill is a humorous look at the life of a young Dr. Evil (from the Austin Powers movies) as placed in the context of the movie Notting Hill, although you don't really have to have seen it to appreciate this quirky short. Lastly is a satire of the trailer for the film Swingers if it had been made with the main character from Sling Blade (which actually started as a short film Sometimes They Call It A Sling Blade). The short is called Swing Blade and is humorous, but my favorite is definitely Film Club.
Last, but not least, there are weblinks to Media Trip.Com's website, in case you missed the 1,000 or so promos for the site. A keepcase insert provides some minor information about the material contained within.,br>
And hey—visit the website.
Extras Grade: B+
Final CommentsThis disc is worth picking up in order to have these great shorts in your collection, but hopefully it'll rent as well. Highly recommended.
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