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.