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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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91
My check was cashed last week, so who knows what will actually wind up happening.  I haven't even seen anything from wave 7 show up (and none of that "You're just not looking frequently enough" as I'm in these places every day and there aren't even remnants of the case; stuff is just not shipping to retail PERIOD), so I don't know if the wave with the actual labels/forms will even show up before the offer expires.  Typical Hasbro, though, to change the requirements several times after people have placed their orders.  At this point, I fully expect them to say they will only accept payment in the form of seashells and you have to send 5 hands (one from each action figure) in order to get the Fett.

On a semi-related note, I was able to order a Sideshow exclusive edition 12" Boba Fett on Friday within three minutes of logging on to Sideshow's site.  No issues putting anything in my cart, no issues checking out, and no issues with late email confirmations or confusion.  And especially no issues with a slow site or "underestimated demand."  Not directly related to the mail-away Fett, but it bears repeating that some companies obviously know how to handle online transactions.

92
Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 18, 2011, 12:01 AM »
Okay, so the two day film marathon is now officially over, after having watched Empire and Jedi back to back earlier this evening.  As promised, here are my thoughts on the final two films as they are presented on BR:

-Empire looks and sounds AMAZING.  The sound during the Battle of Hoth is so full and immersive that it's almost like a totally new film.  And, mercifully, Empire is the one film of the six included in the set that has the absolute least done to it.  As in, "If I didn't know ahead of time that they'd fixed the Wampa puppeteer arm thing, I'd think they didn't do anything at all."  There is nothing noticeable in terms of alterations in Empire (that hasn't been in previous alterations; the new Wampa, Palpatine hologram, and silly "Alert my Star Destroyer" shuttle montage are still included).

-On the other hand, Jedi comes across as the film that LFL totally half-assed in this set.  The picture quality (and this may just be my perspective) is lower than any of the other five films in the set, and vacillates between pristine to cloudy.  It's almost like LFL made it through the restoration and upgrades on SW and ESB only to say, "That ****'ll do" on Jedi.  Disappointing.

-And, again, as the opposite of Empire's BR presentation, Jedi has the most alterations but, again, several of them seem really half-assed.  Everyone knows what most of them are already, but here's a rundown for those who missed them:

1.  Jabba's got a big(ger) ass door now.  The problem is that while it's big on the outside, it's the exact same size as before when the shot is looking out (as it does when Threepio and Artoo enter, and when Luke enters). 

2.  A randomly wandering Dug apparently had to go to the bathroom while everyone else was asleep just before Luke walks down the stairs into the throne room.  I actually would have been okay with this had the Dug actually stuck around in the background, but it's literally him walking across the screen and then you never see him again. 

3.  The famous Ewok blinks.  The photos we've seen are all of Wicket, and for good reason, since (outside of a single shot of a Wokling blinking) he's the only Ewok that blinks.  Yes, tons of close-ups of Teebo, Paploo, even Wompus, and none of them blink at all.  But Wicket does.  Now, when Wicket (and Wokling) blink, it's done so well that you'd think it had been there since 1983; the problem is that (from my viewpoint) if you're going to make an Ewok blink, make ALL the Ewoks blink. 

4.  Darth Vader says "Nooo.  NOOOOOOOOOO!" prior to throwing Palpy down the reactor shaft, true, but in what is either a giant step forward in picture quality or another alteration that hasn't gotten much publicity due to the "DO NOT WANT" utterance, Vader's skull is MUCH more visible and defined during his electrocution than I recall it in earlier versions. 

5.  Little things that I had hoped would be fixed (Fett's flopped rangefinder, Lando's flopped holster) remain as they have always been: obvious and annoying.

6.  In the pinnacle of half-assedness, the much ballyhooed improvements to the lightsaber color corrections are totally random on Jedi, with Vader still having a pink saber with no white core in many shots.  It's like LFL saw people complain about the "crossed sabers" shot and corrected that, plus another few here and there, and said, "**** it, don't we have an episode of Clone Wars about poisoned school soda to work on?"

So yeah, out of all 6 films, here's my rating:

The Phantom Menace:  Video-4.5 (of 5); Audio-5 (of 5)
Attack of the Clones:  Video-5 (of 5); Audio-5 (of 5)
Revenge of the Sith:  Video-6 (of 5; best of the bunch); Audio-5 (of 5)
Star Wars:  Video-4.5 (of 5; mainly due to source material); Audio-5 (of 5)
The Empire Strikes Back:  Video-5 (of 5); Audio-6 (of 5; best of the bunch)
Return of the Jedi:  Video-4 (of 5); Audio-4.5 (of 5)

Will be cracking into the prequel bonus features tomorrow, although I did watch the Grievous/Obi-Wan chase animatic that Spielberg assembled/directed.  Really wish that was how it played in the film, as it was, to be quite blunt, pretty ******* awesome.

93
Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 17, 2011, 03:15 PM »
Okay, so I just finished watching Star Wars (or "A New Hope" as you young'uns like to call it), and wanted to give some quick thoughts and clarifications:

-The music has been restored to its original glory!  No more mixed channels, no more "deliberate creative decisions", and the fanfare as the X-Wings descend on the Death Star is BACK!  Great news for film music fans, John Williams fans, and fans of Ben Burtt having the reins pulled in on his ego a bit.

-SW is always going to look a little out of place among the other five films (given the technical limitations of the time and film stock used), but this is probably the best it has ever looked.  Aside from a few minor issues (Luke still has a white lightsaber at two points on the MF, although he thankfully no longer has a green one in that same scene), the whole film looks like it's been color corrected from top to bottom, and it just looks amazing. 

-The only obvious visual/auditory changes I noticed (aside from the aforementioned music correction/reinstatement) were R2's hidey-rocks (which seem to come and go depending on the angle) and Obi-Wan's Long-Duk-Dong-esque "Hello sexy Tusken!" wail, which is even more ridiculous than it sounded online.  Same noise, just hearing it in 6.1 DTS surround makes it even more fabulous!

-Sadly, the changes I would have liked to have seen (new holograms of the Death Star plans, R2 having blue panels in the space scenes at all times, the headstones at the Lars Homestead) weren't there.  Something for the eventual "Ultimate We Swear We're Done Milking This" box set of holograms and live performances somewhere down the line, I guess.

I still plan on watching ESB and ROTJ later tonight, so I'll check back in with further thoughts later.

Oh, and before I forget again, the subtitles (for example, when Greedo or Sebulba are speaking Huttese, or when Poggle is speaking Geonosian in their respective films) are the original font and are part of the print itself, not player generated.  Meaning, for the first time on DVD/BR, we're seeing the subtitles as they were originally included theatrically.  I find that very cool, personally.


94
Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 16, 2011, 09:03 PM »
Was planning on getting the set at Target anyways, but don't like the fact they put those "don't steal me" devices on there which damages the packaging..oh well.  I guess I should be more concerned with the movies instead.

If it hadn't been for the fact that Target put the only two copies of the Complete Saga they had in those oversized boxes instead of the Iron Man chest reactor thing with wires, I wouldn't have gotten it there either.  When the last two Harry Potter Ultimate Edition BRs came out, I made the Target electronics woman go into the back storeroom to get me two non-reactorfied boxes, as the ones on the shelf had huge divots dug into them on each of the four edges.  I also don't buy any BRs with those cardboard outer sleeves at Target, as the security boxes are too small for them and Target just crams them in and/or pulls them out indiscriminately, ripping the sleeve in the process.  If I'm going to pay for something, I'd prefer it not to be damaged before it even gets in my hands.

Okay, back to the BRs:  I have now watched AOTC and ROTS (in addition to TPM; yes, I watched all three prequels in one day because I had a day off from work; no, I do not live in my parents' basement; and yes, I have known the touch of a woman), and here's the rundown on what I could notice different in those:

AOTC:  Audio of Shmi screaming for Anakin to help her has been added to Anakin's dream on Naboo.  I would assume this is to tone down the Oedipal creepiness of the original version, when he's laying there with his hands under the sheets saying, "Mom, no" over and over.  It works.

AOTC:  A major change that is extremely jarring and pretty much leaves you thinking your BR/DVD player is ****** up occurs near the end of the film.  An entire 30-second time period has been reedited from the point that Dooku topples the tower over on Obi-Wan and Anakin and Yoda catches it, and the point where Padme and the Clones come in the hangar. 

ORIGINALLY:  Tower topples, Yoda catches it, Dooku runs onto Solar Sailer, Yoda moves tower away, Solar Sailer takes off, Padme and Clones shoot at Solar Sailer, Dooku goes into space, Anakin gasps, Yoda looks concerned, Anakin and Obi-Wan get up, Padme and Clones run in, Solar Sailer approaches Coruscant

BLU RAY:  Tower topples, Yoda catches it, Dooku runs onto Solar Sailer, Yoda moves tower away, Anakin gasps, Yoda looks concerned, Solar Sailer takes off, Padme and Clones shoot at Solar Sailer, Dooku goes into space, quick shot of Yoda looking concerned again, Anakin and Obi-Wan get up, Padme and Clones run in, Solar Sailer approaches Coruscant

This might not seem like much on paper, but IT SUCKS.  And what makes it worse?  The music isn't even reedited to match the transitions, meaning the scenes themselves have just been reassembled with the audio intact, which makes it extremely jarring to hear and see.  It's like turning an FM radio dial from one side to the other really fast, but with Yoda and Natalie Portman and you can imagine John Williams punching the wall.

ROTS has no really obvious changes, although I did notice that there is a great deal more Clone chatter when they first arrive on Utapau (during Obi-Wan and Grievous' duel).  This may have always been there and was just buried in the mix, but either way, it was much more noticeable this time around.

Tomorrow is OT day.  Will update with whatever changes I see when I finish watching them.



95
Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 16, 2011, 12:41 PM »
I'm doing the nerdy thing and watching the six films in order, then the bonus features.  I just finished watching TPM, and I'm thrilled with how good it looks.  I don't remember it looking this good in the theater, and certainly not on VHS/DVD.  I'm not talking about the uptick in quality that Blu Ray has over other format, per se, but the attention and care given to the look really improves the visual presentation.  The DVD looked like crap to me and it really stuck out like a sore thumb, quality-wise, alongside the other two PT films and the OT DVDs.  That has now been fixed.  There is a slight dip in visual quality during the "extended" pod race scenes (i.e. the additions made to the DVD release are of lower quality than the theatrical material), but overall, TPM looks incredible.

(Cue the comments about "Well, The Phantom Menace sucked anyway!"  I'm not talking about the content of the film itself; just the visual presentation.)

The only real noticeable change is the CG Yoda (which looks great, again), although I did notice two other changes: the first is that the Neimoidian viewscreen looks redone (I just confirmed that this was altered on MF.com) when Nute and Rune are watching Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escape the Droidekas, and the Senate no longer chants "VOTE NOW!" after Amidala makes her motion for a vote of no confidence in Valorum.  Weird.

I bought my set at Target, btw, and got my set of lithographs, although I had to ask for them, as they hadn't put them out.  They were part of some display drop, and the guy working electronics said that they only got 10 sets for the whole store.  Something tells me they won't last.  I just couldn't get excited about that ridiculous poster of Boba Fett riding a Varactyl at Wal-Mart; if it had been Han Solo fighting that Otter thing, maybe. :)

96
12" Figures / Re: 12" Militaries of Star Wars Bly
« on: September 16, 2011, 12:31 PM »
The UPS guy rung my doorbell just as I was finishing up watching TPM on Blu Ray.  Bly is very nice, to say the least.  My only problem is that the ROTS helmet head doesn't fit as securely on the neck post as the other two heads do; it's due to the flared sides of the Phase II helmet touching the pauldron.  Still, display-wise, it's an outstanding piece, and will look good next to Cody on the shelf.

97
LEGO / Re: Legos
« on: September 10, 2011, 03:31 PM »
The whole "dot code" thing on the packaging is really difficult on my eyes, so I've gone back to the Mr. Whipple-ire-inducing method of squeezing the packaging (thanks for reminding me of that commercial, Jesse).  So far, I've been able to get all but one of the minifigures using the feel-around method.

The easiest ones for me to locate in this latest series are Cleopatra (due to the fact that her lower body is an angular brick as opposed to legs) and the Palace Guard (due to the big, textured hat).

Oh, and in case nobody's noticed it yet, the Boxer has a reversible head (the first for the minifigure series, I believe) with a "happy" side and an "I just got the brick kicked out of me" side with a bruised eye. :)

98
The Vintage Collection '10-'13 / Re: JD Hasbro Fans' Choice 2011 Voting
« on: September 10, 2011, 03:23 PM »
01.  Yak Face
02.  Cliegg Lars
03.  Nikto
04.  Han Solo (Carbonite)
05.  Jabba Palace Ishi Tib
06.  Lumat/Wompus
07.  Sergeant Doallyn
08.  Nien Nunb
09.  Sim Aloo
10.  Treva Horme

99
The Clone Wars '08-'13 / Re: Recent Clone Wars Finds/Purchases
« on: September 10, 2011, 03:16 PM »
My TRU got the shipper thing as well.  Good thing, too, since otherwise I have no doubt they wouldn't have gotten any basic figure cases in otherwise.  Four-sided, with the Seripas wave of CW, the exclusive Stealth Ops Clone, and the "newest" wave of SL on one side; vintage (wave 6, complete with pale lightsaber Dagobah Luke and yellow helmeted 212th Clones and Stormtroopers) on another; lightsabers and vehicles on another.  So yeah.  It got put out Thursday, and all that was left by yesterday (in the CW figures) were multiples of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Cody, and a single Saesee Tiin.  But hey, I guess Hasbro knows those case assortments better than anyone. 

So yeah, anyway, I picked up 1 each of Seripas (one of the best CW figures Hasbro has done), the new Rex (great update), the non-exclusive Stealth Ops Clone, Tiin, and Cold Weather Kit Fisto, along with another SL Stormtrooper, and the Republic Artillery Cannon thing (which is very cool).


100
The Vintage Collection '10-'13 / Re: K-Mart Vintage Collection B-Wing
« on: September 5, 2011, 11:17 AM »
Finally got around to opening the B-Wing last night, and noticed that the rear section of the cockpit (the one on the other side of the ring that holds the cockpit assembly) seems to be misaligned.  I don't have a camera, but essentially, the blue stripes (that run from the front of the section to the back and *should* be on the top, bottom, and sides) are placed at 10-2-4-8 instead of 12-3-6-9. 

It definitely adds some variety to the decos I already have on the shelves, but the rear section already has a small tapered area (above the screw hole) and having it positioned like this throws it off somewhat.  Again, it's more of an aesthetic thing, but does anyone know a quick/easy way to fix this so it's aligned properly?  And yes, I am completely insane. :)

101
Hi, just new to the forums. I guess the target  star wars displays are coming down in some stores to make way for nerf. And the clon wars sale ends this weekend. :-[

And, as is the case with TRU's front of store display, my Target put absolutely nothing out on this special display for the entirety (3 weeks) of its existence.  They just moved a couple of Dengars over from the regular section to the four vintage pegs (1 on each peg) and called it a day.  So I can't say I'm disappointed that the display is disappearing so soon, since nothing was even done to it outside of some product relocation to begin with.

102
The Vintage Collection '10-'13 / Re: 2011 "Vintage" Collection Wave 9
« on: September 5, 2011, 11:09 AM »
Wait, there's a wave 7?  I thought the vintage stuff stopped after the repaint/retool wave?  :P


103
The Clone Wars '08-'13 / Re: Recent Clone Wars Finds/Purchases
« on: September 5, 2011, 11:07 AM »
My local TRU reset last week, but essentially moved everything from the regular spot in the action figure aisle into the front of the store.  This means that there are still only about 8 vintage figures (3 of them ROTS Clones and 1 Sandtrooper), at least 8 each of both CW Obi-Wans, and about 12 total Saga Legends figures.  A lot of empty space to say the least, and given how infrequently they've been stocking over the last year, I can see the display coming and going with nothing new even being trotted out for the reset.

They did, however, check their computer to see if/when they would be getting the TFU/RC five packs, only to find that they weren't scheduled for their next truck and they still didn't know if/when they would be getting them in.  It turns out that another TRU about an hour away (which I was going to be driving by on a trip later in the week) had them on the shelves, so the manager at that TRU was kind enough to pull and hold one of each for me.  When I showed up at that TRU, they had the same abysmal basic figure selection, but they did have the Commander Blackout figure, so I grabbed him along with the two five packs.

On a final note, along this road trip, I stopped at:

-4 Wal-Marts
-2 Targets
-2 Toys R Uses
-2 K-Marts

The thing that I found fascinating was that ALL of these stores had essentially the same figures as the ones before it, and all of them were there in abundance.  Tons of SL Anakins, Obi-Wans, 501st Clones, ROTS Clones, AOTC Clones, and Hoth Hans; tons of CW Obi-Wans (both styles), ARF Troopers (white), Cody, and Rex; tons of vintage ROTS Clones, AOTC Obi-Wans, Sandtroopers, and the random yellow-helmeted Utapau Clone and DSE Luke.  All the pegs were jammed full of these figures to the point that the stores couldn't stock new waves if they wanted to, and many of those figures are STILL shipping in newer case assortments, thus adding to the glut. 

After that long trip, I walked into a local WM yesterday and found the first Savage Opress wave of CW on the pegs.  Proving once again that you can go a thousand miles and find what you're looking for right on your front door.

104
At least you guys get coupons at all from TRU.  I never get any email coupons from them, and the ones that I used to get through the mail (the RewardsRUs program) are not showing up at all anymore, even though the site says they've been sent out.  Then when they finally do send me coupons, it's always for Beyblade or Barbies.  :-\

105
LEGO / Re: Lego 2012
« on: August 21, 2011, 01:38 PM »
I'm kind of underwhelmed at this list, especially given how interesting this year's crop of SW stuff was.  Maybe they're holding back the really neat stuff for the mid-year release in 2012.  There doesn't seem to be any truly new ship/vehicle among this list (with maybe Anakin's green JSF being the exception), and that Geonosian Cannon looks like it might be the "isn't this way overpriced for the number of parts?" culprit of the wave.

I have to say, though, that depending on execution, the mini-vehicle/minifigure/mini-planet idea could be a really good way to get more cost-prohibitive minifigures into more people's hands.  I'm figuring the "new" TIE Fighter will be at least 50 bucks, and with Sebulba currently only available in a 90 dollar set and the Naboo Pilot only currently available in a "special edition" exclusive set for 50 bucks, this does seem like a good idea, if only for the economics of it.

I am curious as to where the Queen Amidala minifigure shown at SDCC is going to show up, since she's not included in any of the sets on this list.

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