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IFDB Review: Pulp Empire:

MCP

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I said God Damn! I was fairly certain going into this that it would be the most bad ass fan edit of all time, and let me tell you, NJVC did not disappoint. "Empire" is essentially my favorite film. So typically an edit of it would make me leery, but this is not a typical edit. Quentin Tarantino is one of my all time favorite filmmakers, and I think one of the most enjoyable aspects of his films are his musical choices. In fact, I love his musical choices so much that I take musical inspiration from him whenever I edit one of my own short films. So imagine my pleasure when I learned that NJVC would be doing that same Tarantino musical treatment to "the Empire Strikes Back!" Of course the Tarantino inspiration doesn't stop there. He's got character title cards, subtitles, black and white segments, an animated segment, chapter splits, split screens, slow motion, fades, montages, and whatever have you. Basically all the things that make my spine tingle whenever I see a Tarantino movie. And they're all used perfectly. But how is that music? It's awesome. It's just seriously very awesome. Pretty much perfect choices all around. Being familiar with the music in Tarantino's films, on a number of occasions a song would come up, and I would realize what NJVC was about to do with it, and I wouldn't be able to keep myself from smiling (the use of the Mercenary soundtrack in the carbonite scene comes immediately to mind). Now for the negative, unfortunately. Like I said pretty much perfect choices all around. The songs make perfect sense for their respective scenes. But they don't always work together. This is probably more true for the Battle of Hoth chapter than the others. It's just that, in that chapter, there's little flow between the songs. It's not as cohesive as one might hope, though on the other hand, some have argued that Tarantino's use of music isn't cohesive either. Anyway, it's really only a problem in that second chapter, other than that it more or less works. Unfortunately there are sometimes, when you can hear John Williams, but I know how hard it is to replace a SW movie score, and I think NJVC did an impeccable job working around JW. There are also some scenes where I do wish the replacement music could have been louder, but I was happy for the most part. The real issue with the edit is the narrative. I really do love the non-linear story, and the flashback montages to the previous films. The story, however, seems like it could be rather confusing. And by that I mean, I wonder if I would understand it had I not seen this movie previously. Of course, it's hard for me to know for sure what this theoretical version of myself would and wouldn't be able to understand; but watching this edit it just felt like the narrative wasn't all there. What I did love is how the film almost feels like it's telling two parallel stories, the hero in one being Luke, the hero in the other being Han. (I suppose the original film is the same, but I just never looked at it that way. This edit actually made me notice a lot of things I never though I hadn't noticed in a film that I've seen a million times). What's also interesting is that these two heroes barely even share a scene together in this edit. Few other thoughts: - I liked the animated sequence, but there is a little bit of a what the hell factor to it Though this is probably intentional, I kind of wish Yoda would acknowledge it or something. - Like others said, this edit starts slow. It really does get awesome as it goes along. If I were to rank the chapters, it would probably start with six and go in descending order down to one. Which is awesome. I love movie that get better and better as they go along. - I'm flattered to see that I'm in the credits! Thanks NJVC! Anyway, the negative thoughts are more or less nitpicks. I keep using the word awesome and there's a damn good reason why: this edit is awesome. Watch it now. Seriously, do it. I'm thinking about doing it again right now. And then again later with my friends. Great stuff NJVC.

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