Transcript of 70mm’s THX 1138 (1971) Episode.
SLIM Hiii, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers just like you. Every Monday I chat about recently watched movies with my close friend and artists, Danny Haas.
DANNY I don’t know. What if George continued just to kind of creating these sci-fi movies? Where would he be now? Would he have only directed like a handful of movies? Or would he be in the same boat that Spielberg is with 40 movies under his belt or something like that?
SLIM And our spiritual adviser and movie insider, Protolexus.
PROTO I feel like I’m missing something — either I’m missing something or everyone else is suffering from international mind control. And it might be that, because I just don’t get Kyle. I wish I did. I just don’t get him.
SLIM Our featured discussion later in this episode is Danny’s pick for Lo-Fi sci-fi month, George Lucas’s first film THX 1138. If you’ve been enjoying 70mm consider rating us on Spotify or leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, as it helps new friends discover the show. Is THX 1138 Lucas’s Blade Runner before Blade Runner? Or should it have stayed a short film? Let’s find out… together.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
PROTO Let’s get into it. Slim, you decided this week that you are dropping star ratings completely from now into the foreseeable future, you committed. How’s that feel, that change?
SLIM First of all, that’s not true.
DANNY Talk to us.
SLIM You’re paraphrasing on a review that I left. What was that movie for? I don’t even remember. Was it Vampires? Trash movie.
DANNY Oh gosh.
SLIM John Carpenter, maybe his worst film? I don’t know. We did an interview with K. Austin Collins, a movie critic, and this was like his number one in his four faves. So I had like a crisis —
DANNY Number one? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Yes! But it was a great interview because he has like this list that he made of formative movies from his childhood. So we had like a really cool conversation about what makes movies that we see when we’re kids better, or like why do we hold them up to a higher standard than if he saw them as like adults, like they become formative movies. And he was talking about how he doesn’t leave ratings, because it’s like when someone asked him what his favorite movie is, he just has so many, he like doesn’t want to kind of like put things into boxes. And then I was like, man, do I need to…
DANNY No, Slim…
SLIM Do I need to retire from star ratings? Like he was selling me on the idea in this conversation? I feel like Proto has talked about this in the past too.
DANNY He’s a snake-oil salesmen. [Slim laughs] He’s getting you! It’s a pyramid scheme!
PROTO It’s a fun idea, but you are legally required to give ratings on the show.
SLIM That’s true. I wouldn’t stop doing it on the show.
DANNY I will take you to court.
SLIM Paul says what’s happening? Is LB crumbling? That’s the beautiful thing. You don’t have to give ratings. You can leave that like, you know, you can leave a review.
PROTO This is, he found a loophole. He’ll say I’ll give ratings for this show. But all other movies…
SLIM What if I only give five star ratings? You know, and the rest is up to you to figure out based on my review where I talked about how many boner jokes I heard in the movie.
PROTO Sounds like fear of conflict to me. You living in fear of conflict?
SLIM Don’t throw this therapy mumbo jumbo at me! Fear of conflict, I’m not buying it. So that’s where I’m at right now. Okay?
PROTO Okay. Fair enough. And we’ll see, I’m just in the exploratory phase. Doing research. Speaking of of exploratory phase, we’re going on vacation at the end of this week when this episode drops.
SLIM 99% of the people at our vacation are also podcasters now, in the last year. [Slim & Danny laugh] The percentage has continued to go up every vacation that we have.
DANNY Whole trips a write-off.
SLIM You know what? That’s true. I think it is, actually, mental note for our accountant later.
DANNY Thank you.
SLIM So we’re going on a break, we’re not recording, when this episode posts we’re not recording this week, but we will have an episode out the next week. So we’re not skipping a beat. Okay? We’re not skipping a beat. And we’ll be announcing that episode later tonight. It sets the stage for two separate months, October and December, Proto. How are you feeling about those months? Right now?
PROTO I feel great. You know, when we came up with these ideas, they feel like they’re fittin’ like a glove, if I can say. If I could be honest.
DANNY Oh, goodness.
PROTO I’m looking forward to what we have planned. Big.
SLIM I’m rattling off emails to Apple about December.
DANNY Oh gosh.
SLIM I’m rattlin’ off emails.
DANNY Rattle them.
SLIM Get in on the ground floor. It’s my subject line. [Slim laugh]
DANNY Snake oil.
PROTO Do you want in on this? [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Oh my god, we’re gonna have such a great vacation. If people can see the DMs —
DANNY No. [Slim laughs]
PROTO No, they can’t.
DANNY Legal on the horn.
SLIM Leave it up to the imagination. Danny has been working hard for Halloween. You’ve been doing wooork this week.
DANNY A little bit, okay? So the pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks. And I had to get ’em and I’ve had like 10 this week.
SLIM My god! [Slim laughs]
PROTO That’s like 80 bucks.
DANNY I know. This is a write-off for me.
SLIM Diabetes write-off.
DANNY So I’m getting into the fall mood and I’m ready for it to be Halloween time. I just needed to get into the vibe of it. And so I’ve just enjoyed starting off my spooky season with Disney’s old cartoons, The Skeleton Dance from 1929, Ichabod and Mr. Toad from 49, The Lonesome Ghost from 1937 and Tricker Treats from 1952. These movies really get me into like the fall Halloween vibes and I just, I had to watch them this week, so I threw them on and enjoyed myself. Had some good Halloween Disney fun.
SLIM Sorry… [Slim laughs] Kurtz posted a photo that’s cracking me up. [Danny laughs] Kurtz has been MIA for several weeks.
DANNY He doesn’t miss a live recording.
PROTO Somehow Kurtz came back!
SLIM Somehow Kurtz has returned. Kurtz will be at our trip.
DANNY Who can say?
SLIM Who knows? He’s been very vague about his availability. We’ll see.
SLIM Yeah, I’m excited for Halloween. Best season? Confirmed I feel like.
DANNY It’s close.
SLIM Proto, you ready to take the kids out at noon? [Slim & Danny laugh]
PROTO Stop! Stop!
SLIM Longest running joke in show history, Proto taking the kids out for trick or treating at noon? 2pm? New Jersey just hits different I guess.
PROTO It hits different. I’ll tell you how it goes.
DANNY You don’t want to return run into that Jersey Devil out there, when the sun goes down.
SLIM So are your kids all dressing up, Danny? What’re the girls doing?
DANNY I have no idea. They haven’t even talked about it, what they’re going to dress up as.
SLIM That’s a problem for me.
DANNY So I don’t know. It’s always last minute and it cost us $1,000 because it’s last minute cost shoe shopping. So I don’t know.
SLIM The Spirit Adventure has been amping up their licensed products in the last few years.
DANNY The what?!
SLIM Isn’t that the local Halloween adventure, it’s called Spirit Halloween?
DANNY Did you say adventures?
SLIM Spirit Halloween?
DANNY I thought you said Spirit adventures.
SLIM Spirit Halloween.
PROTO It’s one of those combinations of words.
SLIM It’s like three different words that are interchangeable.
SLIM Anyway. Last year, they had a ton of Stranger Things merch, but they also had I guess they got the Beetlejuice license and Ghostbusters. So they had some pretty cool looking stuff.
DANNY I think this year they got a lot of the Disney’s haunted mansion stuff in there.
DANNY They have the Haunted Mansion tabletop bust.
SLIM Oh god. Yeah. I need to alert Amanda to this ASAP.
DANNY Look at that Michael Myers statue.
SLIM What’s that company that makes those like, stand up dolls with the big heads?
DANNY Funko Pops?
SLIM Is that a Funko Pop?
DANNY No, I don’t think so.
SLIM They’re big right now.
DANNY Yeah, they’re just starting to get big.
SLIM Anyway, I’m very excited for Halloween. Very excited to fire up the 4K Beetlejuice this year.
DANNY Are you a Beetlejuice fan?
SLIM Oh, that’s a five banger. Instant five.
DANNY Oh really?
SLIM Yeah, yeah, yeah I think.
DANNY Interesting. I don’t have a love for it, but I don’t hate it, I just haven’t seen in years.
SLIM Really? It’s one of Amanda’s favorite movies.
DANNY Is it? Maybe we can get her on the show.
SLIM Can someone post the pig flying photo in chat real quick? [Slim & Danny laugh] Boy a boy. Yeah, no, I don’t know. I feel like Beetlejuice has hit like a certain level of love that no one talks about if it’s a good movie or not. It’s just like exists. It’s a thing. It’s like Beetlejuice. But I think it’s great. Proto, did you watch anything this week?
PROTO I did. I got to a few movies. The one I’d want to talk about is I saw that a movie that’s been on my watch list for a long time, popped up on streaming that would be Blue Velvet from filmmaker darling. David Lynch can do no wrong. Everyone loves David Lynch. I think I think I think at this point in my movie watching career, I have a relationship with David Lynch in the way that I do with Werner Herzog, where I love I some of the things they do in their movies, and I want to love them more, but they just don’t get me there. But to be fair, I haven’t seen, I wouldn’t say I’ve seen in probably enough of David Lynch to have formed an opinion. But there’s so many of his movies that aren’t streaming. Like I would love to watch Lost Highway or some of those other ones but they just never seem to be available. Anyway, I watched Blue Velvet because that was available. I gave it three stars. I did enjoy the movie. I thought it was a good time. It’s very strange. When you read when you read the summary on letterbox. It’s I mean, it’s it sounds pretty bizarre. It starts with the discovery of a severed human ear in a field. And then it leads this this guy played by Kyle MacLachlan on this investigation, this vigilante quest with us encountering a psychopath played by Dennis Hopper. Terrifying performance but really interesting movie. Um, yeah, there’s parts of it that I love that David Lynch does, but then some of it it just like leaves leaves me shaking my head.
SLIM Tell us about Kyle, your thoughts on another darling, Kyle MacLachlan?
PROTO I feel like I’m missing something — either I’m missing something or everyone else is suffering from international mind control. [Danny laughs] And it might be that because I just don’t get Kyle. I wish I did. I just don’t get him! And I don’t know if I started at the wrong place. You know, I’m starting in fourth gear where I need to, you know, I maybe need to I maybe need to recalibrate on my experience with Kyle. But yeah, he didn’t really do it for me in this movie.
DANNY Have you ever seen a Kyle that’s not in a Lynch film?
SLIM Does he do anything else?
DANNY I don’t know. I’m just asking.
PROTO Uh, maybe I’d have to look. I’m not sure. I’m not sure. I haven’t seen a ton of his work.
SLIM What do you think of his little chicken walk?
PROTO The chicken walk threw me off. Yeah, I was surprised to see that. It’s very strange moment in this movie. People are raving about it. People you know, they can’t, you know, Blue Velvet, “Ah, the chicken walk, ah, yeah the chicken walk.” So yeah, that did happen.
SLIM The MacLachlan truthers are in chat. They’re not too happy with Proto’s comments, but they are pointing out that he’s in Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven. And that was the start of the Man Ass list that I made, because his stunt double bore all and he had one of the best asses I’ve ever seen.
PROTO Oh man, that’s an all time review from you.
DANNY It was a stunt double ass?
SLIM There’s no way that was Kyle MacLachlan’s ass in that movie.
DANNY I don’t know!
SLIM No way.
PROTO Slim’s Showgirls review, two and a half stars, “Kyle MacLachlan’s stunt double has an ass that won’t quit.” [Danny laughs] That’s an all-time opener.
SLIM Trash movie, but A+ A in my opinion. Anything else, Proto, you want to spotlight?
PROTO You know I also watched a movie that popped up on Shudder, this was the. I don’t know how to pronounce this movie, but Saloum? Is that it?
SLIM I think it’s Saloum.
PROTO This was the movie, I noticed that I think you watched it last year. This was like a little indie movie that was made by Jean Luc Herbulot, possibly. The story it says three mercenaries extracting a drug lord out of Guinea Bissau are forced to hide in the mystical region of Saloon in Senegal, really cool movie The super stylish the it was beautiful the locations where it was shot. I had a great time watching this, I gave it three stars. You can watch it on Shudder.
SLIM Actually wasn’t last year, it might have been two weeks ago when I watched that movie feels like a year ago. Yeah, I love that this hit Shudder. It hit like limited, I think it was like New York City la theaters and then in the next week it hit Shudder. These are the kinds of movies I want more of on Shudder.
DANNY Is it horror?
SLIM It’s like loosely, it’s just got some kind of like supernatural aspects to it. So this is like I want shutter to like experiment more with these kind of movies —
DANNY High-brow Shudder.
SLIM Yeah, yeah, I mean you can I’ll say this to everybody. You can’t trust Shudder’s rating system. You got these Shudder hardcore fans rating some Argento POS five skulls and I get roped into it and it’s just awful. You can’t trust the skull rating system. It’s a joke.
PROTO I don’t trust skulls. There’s no way.
SLIM But yeah, I love this movie. It’s a lot fun.
PROTO You did log this August 29. How did I think this was a year ago? That is so weird.
SLIM We should say hello to some new patrons that joined at 70mmpod.com or patreon.com/70mm. Enrico, Dora, Crystal, Trish, Eve and Grant. Another Grant. All joined this week. Got access to the VHS Village Discord, discounts on Danny’s prints and access to the VHS village 70mm vault, exclusive episodes just for supporters. We just started up the Pilot Season, did an episode on X-Files, Lost, maybe some more coming soon.
DANNY We’ve only done two?
SLIM Yeah, we’re due for another one. Is there anything I want to talk about? Let me look at my list here.
SLIM Let me take a peeky poo. The custom poster feature finally launched on Letterboxd for Patrons.
DANNY Oh my gosh…
SLIM Choose your own posters for your movies that you see on Letterboxd, for Patrons only. I saw Danny updating your four faves over there.
DANNY Oh my gosh, I had to! Put up a new Raiders, I put up a new Psycho poster, a new Maverick poster. It’s a fun feature.
PROTO I don’t think I have the energy to go in and just like update movies. But it is really fun to review a movie and then be able just to even look at all the posters right there in the app. That’s what I love. That’s like the new I feel like the new tradition. You review the movie, you check out the posters, you maybe update it. Feels great. Feels great.
SLIM I changed the THX one. I think the current one is not exciting. I don’t know if that was like the special edition poster which is the ear tag…
DANNY We’ll get into it.
PROTO I didn’t see the one you picked, I like this. Am I taking this?
DANNY What’d you pick?
SLIM I picked the one whether embracing under the cop.
DANNY Oh of course you did.
SLIM All robot cops are bastards. [Danny laughs] ARCAB.
DANNY ARCAB 1138
SLIM Here comes another one star, woke twat Slim at it again. We should give out a free year of Letterboxd Pro though we do that for folks that share the show on social media gets rid of ads, no access to custom posters but you to get access to stats and see more movies or streaming. Disclaimer, I work for Letterboxd I want to call out I think they’re in chat LP underscore focus for that call iTunes review. They left I’ll just read a brief piece I’m not going to read the whole thing. Let me see in giving us a five star rating. The podcast is a majestic radiant lighthouse in a sea of boring ad filled soulless podcasts. The hosts Slim, Daniel Haas and Protozoa bear their souls each week by deeply engaging with the selected movie spirit and heart to the analyze each frame and dissect every line of dialogue know do they remember Steve Buscemi his name when they are trying to remember that quote? One actor and all those Adam Sandler movies? No. But do they make you laugh and bring a smile to your face? Yes. And that’s what makes us human and not robots. So for your letterbox Pro for you, my friend. All right. Should we get into our featured Perez? Oh, for closing out Lo Fi sci fi month? We’re still waiting on that shirt.
DANNY I tried today too.
SLIM You’re busy. You’re very busy. Let’s try it on Thx 1138 The first time I even saw the movie title for this episode 20 minutes in, that’s our feature. The free one is asleep. This was Danny’s pack Peck for Lo Fi sci fi month closing things out proto. What’s this movie about?
PROTO In the future humanity is controlled entirely by the state, emotions, relationships, sex and autonomy are prohibited. The population is controlled partly by a robotic police force, and primarily by prescribed drugs that make for compliance among the masses. Thx 1138 is a factory worker who begins feeling the forbidden when his roommate secretly swaps out his medication with her own. His reality unravels as his humanity is no longer suppressed and begins a journey away from his confinement to what lies beyond Thx 1138.
SLIM Thank you for those opening credits. Gorgeous started it all. You know a little buck
PROTO rogers clip there too at the beginning
DANNY background is trailer. Yeah, that was a 2004 addition to the movie. Oh, really? Yeah, that was that was a special edition edition.
SLIM Interesting. We’ll get into that very shortly. Just right around the corner. We’ll get into that part of what’s your backstory with Thx 1138 Is there any for you and Lucas?
PROTO This is just another one of those blockbuster covers that fascinated me. I’d see it every time I go in there and be like what is this movie? Because it was in there I you know I remember seeing this movie all the way back then it was like always in the blockbuster whenever I would go in so always curious of it and I honestly I have no idea why I never watched it you know George Lucas Star Wars has you know, early movie it’s it seems up my alley you know sci fi the elements in it. But I think I might have like shied away because of just the story seemed I don’t maybe not as interesting or something I heard before. So I just never really checked it out until now.
SLIM I think it was the same for me. I always knew about it. And how Lucas did some kind of weird, low budget science fiction ish movie before Star Wars, but for whatever reason, I never watched it. Never thought to seek it out. And just I wonder why this isn’t on Disney plus, I guess I didn’t buy it. And by this.
DANNY I mean it is Lucasfilm. Right. I mean, is it? Yeah, it’s got to be Lucasfilm. I don’t know. Like
SLIM Scott says WB and Joe. It’s yeah, the Warner Brothers interesting. What about you, Danny, what’s what’s the what’s the connection?
DANNY Well, Star Wars would be the connection. I sought this film out a while ago. And I don’t remember when but it’s been here since I’ve seen it. But I mean, it’s THX is deeply ingrained. And Star Wars still, I mean, it’s still easter eggs throughout all the movies, and even into Indiana Jones movies. There’s THX references and it’s kind of hard to miss. So I’ve just kind of I remember liking it the first time I watched it a little bit bored at the time. But yeah, it’s just it was George’s first movie. So you had to see where he started.
SLIM We should call out that there’s multiple versions of this movie. We’ll get it. We’ll get into that. We’ll get to that real quick. There’s a special edition, which I think is the Director’s Cut 13,004 version that you mentioned. And there’s in a, quote, original version, available on archive.org. So if anyone is fluent in archive.org, you can watch you know, like a VHS edition widescreen Believe it or not have the original version of the film theatrical I would presume who knows. So in this segment, we’ll go around the room, we have some notes that we take that we want to mention during our discussion, then we’ll give our letterbox rating I’m legally obligated no matter what happens with how I use my own letterbox to give a rating. And I’m just covering my bases here. So this is Danny’s pick. Let’s start with Danny, what’s your what’s your first note?
DANNY My first note is to talk about George and his direction and where he started with this film. I think it’s a pretty Um I think it’s a pretty cool thing that his his college final project which won him the award that year whatever you want to call it at USC was given I mean the award was given to him by Irvin Kershner which is pretty cool why USC and then it also I think if I remember correctly it gave him like a free kind of ride to Warner Brothers to make a feature film and so he when he wanted to do this it was either Francis or someone else told him he should he should flesh this his college movie out a little bit more and make it his first feature. And so there’s the college version which I don’t think that’s even remotely possible to watch and then you have this his current one and I just I am when I watched it this time from I guess the perspective of you know, someone reviewing movies now I really was kind of shocked on how much I felt like it kind of not only shaped how he made Star Wars but even how it affected other movies because I felt like so much of this reminded me of Blade Runner a lot of the time and I think in protos review your your quick one shot you talked about George if you could have like made other star like continued with making not Star Wars movies or something along those lines. And I really felt that watching this because while it had like that, the a lot of reference, like I felt like a star wars like prequel like leading up to it there was so much George was doing that he did do in Star Wars. A lot of it felt very artistic and I don’t feel like Star Wars is very artistic when it’s shot. Some of the shots of it just feels very, you know, generic when it comes to this didn’t nothing about this really felt generic. I felt like it was someone really trying to make a statement. And I and I really felt that watching this. I’m like, what if George was given? I don’t know. What if George continued just to kind of creating these sci fi movies? Where would he be now? Would he have only directed like a handful of movies? Or would he be in the same boat that Spielberg is with 40 movies under his belt or something like that? So it’s just I wonder if the if the the blockbuster that was Star Wars, was almost like a hinderance to his directorial career.
PROTO Yeah, yeah, watching this, I was struck to by how, you know, seeing this, and then just knowing what he created with Star Wars, how it felt like, he really is a visionary in terms of creating a world within a movie. Like he’s very good at that. And he’s, he’s such a good storyteller through the images, maybe not like, I don’t think his strength is maybe like, you know, exposition, or, or characters or dialogue, but the way that he creates a world, especially, most of the stuff in this movie, you can, you know, you can record you can just tell, well, of course, it’s like, you know, it’s a student movie, the budgets really low. But these are just like actual locations, but he was able to take all these places and put them together to create this other world. Like, it just seems like you know, I read a few things because there’s an amazing scene with like, this giant computer room with like these I don’t know what they even are like, they look like giant transistors maybe. And then the scene where he these THX is controlling the the, he has like the control apparatus that’s like an actual thing that exists. Like that’s not a set that’s an actual location. So the way that he was able to bring all these things together and just make this compelling world, I was really blown away by and that’s why I wrote my review. I was just thinking, wow, like, imagine if George didn’t have Star Wars consume his career. And Regis just made good, you know, just great movies and was able to, like continue on with that, like funding just to create these original stories that he could come up with. Because anything that George create, I mean, he came up with Indiana Jones to you, right, like these ideas that he had are brilliant, and they’re blockbusters and they’re classics now.
SLIM Yeah, the visual nature of the movie. I don’t know how much it goes to the cinematographers. I think there were two but it definitely is probably the best looking George Lucas movie or cinch. Like probably buy a lot. Maybe just because of the way characters are shot and the set pieces. The jail the prison like the white eye guess you could say a lot of that could have been budget constrained forced ideas, but it looked great. You know, like even this, the cops, the robot cops on the motorcycles in that tunnel. And that’s the frickin stunt that one’s thumb or the Yeah, flew off the bike. A lot of that stuff looked great. That made us elite into my first point, lead us, I think the special edition of this movie should be in jail. I, I’ve been giving him more leeway as we’ve watched Light And Magic, you know, hearing his description about how he was so upset with the original Star Wars trilogy. And I kind of felt for him a little bit. But the additions in this one really took me out of the entire viewing, like you’re watching a movie from 1971 It’s really It feels low budget, even like the HD version or whatever that we watched. And you feel like the you almost feel a lack of money. And it’s like endearing to it. Right. But then you get this 2004 era CGI added in and I’m like, What is going on here? It took me out of the whole movie. Like the when he’s doing they’re like they’re building the cops. And he has that like radioactive that plutonium or whatever. I ended up finding some of the clips on YouTube to like, have it so I like I replayed the movie and had the YouTube version while I was watching it. Like that mind. What do they call that when they like play the line loss mind lock. So I had both of them up at the same time. And I don’t think the original version looks bad. Of like the computer circuits in the cops face. It looks like it’s from 1971 with a constrained budget and like I don’t mind that it feels like it is right and that’s the way it should be. And then there was like the scene with the chimps. There’s the scene of the city skyline the chimp scene looks like a ps1 cutscene it needs to be deleted from the internet immediately.
PROTO I was really fine with I think most of it. It definitely you know it takes you out of it for sure. I liked some of it though. Because I watched both versions this week. I think this stuff at the beginning as the movie goes on. I liked it last and that scene at the end with with the monkey Yeah, it was it was really bad.
SLIM What’s in the original version? Is that scene even in it
DANNY It’s a little people in costumes. So I don’t know that either add there because actually,
SLIM You’re right because they get that one inmate in the cell and I just felt like entirely uncomfortable even in that that was kind of rough.
PROTO Yeah, but I liked like I felt like the hologram stuff. I actually thought it kind of fit and looked.
SLIM I know how it kind of stuff is in the original. Not all
PROTO of it though. Like yeah, like the dancer is but then the other scenes some of that was added in it was just like extended.
SLIM I tried to find a YouTube of like compare the new scenes of THX and I actually couldn’t there wasn’t like an easy video that someone had done or maybe you’re taking this on
PROTO or you’re taking on this project. So I’m thank you
SLIM I still have to finish my Last Action Hero video where I delete the kid from the movie for Pardo it’s taken me three years almost to finish that project. Danny, what do you think about the CGI the special dish?
DANNY I mean, for what? I’m an apologist when it comes to his special edition work for Star Wars. I don’t mind. I mean, it’s what I it’s what I learned Star Wars on so it doesn’t bother me in this. It’s it’s jarring. It really is jarring. It’s like you said it’s this 1971 film I didn’t expect to see so much CG in this. And it’s really it’s it’s fine. It’s not great. I would rather be taken out and giving us like a 4k release of just the theatrical release of this movie. And I know once again it’s like George is butting heads with the studio’s him and Francis FOTS keep the original cut Warner Brothers cut like five minutes of it. And then when Star Wars happened again, George rereleased THX into theaters with the added five minutes back to be like whatever. To Warner Brothers and then in 2004 is when he did he brought ILM in to do the CGI stuff.
PROTO Is there another director that is this obsessed with like returning to earlier and work no doing this? Not at all? Like I’m not
SLIM each with dune it’s those avocets
DANNY Producer like Georgia is such a producer like that’s really what his his, you know, Crown should be it’s not really in directing and we in error, at least screenplay writing, we know how that kind of pans out. But he really is the ideas guy and I can understand from creating art and finishing a project and then looking back at it and being like, I should have done this, or now I have the knowledge of being able to do this and wanting to revisit art and fix it. And I understand that draw, like I get why he could do that. And when you’re the someone like George who can do it, I’m not surprised that he does do it. I mean, I would do it.
SLIM I remember reading if it was like a wizard magazine or Toy Fair magazine before the prequels had come out where there was, you know, they were talking about potential titles, and they were talking about how it seemed maybe for a brief time that it sounded like he wasn’t going to direct them. And he was going to have other people come in to them. That would have been pretty insane. Looking back. Part of what’s your number one?
PROTO My number one is the amount of yes Star Wars that’s in this. A lot of the effects that exists in here. Mostly the audio stuff I found so cool. Hearing like Red Leader over the comms. You know, so cool. I felt like I heard see three POS voice at one point. And just seeing Yeah, like all those little things that remind you of Star Wars of just seeing the Yeah, like the buds of ideas that started in this movie that he eventually fleshed out in Star Wars is really really cool. As someone you know, we’ve all seen Star Wars countless times so familiar with that. So anything in this that that you would see it just kind of just like stood out like a sore thumb and and it was just so much fun to see all those.
DANNY I loved how I think for me the most the closest direct reference is the cops comparing them to the Stormtroopers. I feel like that is like such a direct pull from this movie, especially when there’s like they’re either being stupid or they’re being outmaneuvered by some small detail or when he’s like walking into the wall. I mean, it’s just these like little comedic beats that these guys have that I think definitely transferred over to Stormtroopers.
SLIM Danny, what’s your number two for THX?
DANNY Number two, this viewing I was really surprised on how much I love to Robert Duvall is performance in this movie. And when we’ve set we just did the godfathers and I feel like my knowledge of Robert Duvall is small. So I don’t know if there’s a lot that I’ve missed of him. Performance wise, but this felt really good. And like I was really loving him in this film. And he he’s just, he’s great. He really reminded me of dinero and this a lot with the shaved head. But there’s something about his performance. That’s it’s just really good. It’s really special.
SLIM I love Duvall. Love them. Right. I wonder Yeah, I wonder what this movie would be viewed like without Duvall. Do we know if there were any other actors in consideration? Because it’s pretty bonkers. Look back like, we know George Lucas is now but like his debut feature has devolved Pleasance in this thing.
DANNY Yeah, there wasn’t there really wasn’t any more. I think George was George was initially going to be a documentary filmmaker. And so well, that’s what I mean. A lot of his plans were so he was shooting a documentary on a movie being made the rain something which had Robert Duvall in it and so he became friends with Duvall on the set of that and so when he was developing 1138 He wanted Robert to be the lead and I think I think at the time Robert had not been a lead in any movie and so I think him and Francis kind of drew him over right away.
SLIM He did the Godfather The next year, after paychecks
DANNY When was Apocalypse Now?
SLIM I think that was years later and see Apocalypse Now. He was 79 Big decade for seven years were big for Devo, the godfather to the outfit the conversation network. The eagle has landed their invasion the Body Snatchers he was in I don’t remember that. Gather we did that episode.
DANNY What an episode like a decade ago movie was the decade it was our 70s
SLIM My number two, the masturbation machine. This special edition. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing there. So he’s he’s back after hard day’s work with his roommate, Liu H. And he’s just relaxing. And he’s watching a hologram of a nude woman dancing. The music strangely reminds you of Star Wars this is like this weird mental yeah block that I was getting. And he’s sitting backs heads pop back and then he’s got this like, robotic machine going up and down over his groin area off screen. I couldn’t believe it. 1970 Oh, George. And it’s, I don’t know, I just really just took me out of it. But in the original version, that machine is not there. It’s the same scene he’s watching the hologram. But that up and down thing is not there. Per your thoughts in the masturbation machine.
PROTO I mean, we’ve seen this before, what’s that movie that Robert Pattinson movie space, High Life was that I know maj to THX Yeah, I mean, that’s an element of this movie that you know, kind of caught me off guard. Yeah, and there’s a lot of there’s a little I think there’s a lot of scenes in like this, like these little one off scenes and like the humor that it has, as well in certain points. It George has like this way of like keeping this tone within this movie that I really enjoyed that that scene is kind of bonkers. The way it goes along with this hologram at this nude woman dancing. I was like, wow, George. Okay, George was pretty. I mean, he wasn’t PG back in the day. No, no, he was he was going for he had a story and a message that he wanted to wanted to tell. And that’s what I’m saying. Like, I’m just so curious of what where else George could have gone.
DANNY I don’t think the the masturbation machine was in the original cut, though. I think he had the you had ILM make that up.
SLIM Yeah, you see I eat you need never seen a flashlight. Just put that on the ceiling.
DANNY George asks his questions and answers his own questions. That’s what I love about him.
PROTO George? I don’t think we can do that. Think about it.
DANNY Make a stop motion. Masturbation machine.
SLIM Casey in chat. Let me see if I can find that comment. Did George Lucas invent sex toys? I mean, it’s a rare visit, so to speak.
DANNY Have you seen our two d two?
SLIM Proto, what’s your number two?
PROTO Number two, a scene that I love. You mentioned earlier the the mind lock scene? Oh, yeah. So THX he’s, yeah, he’s he’s got he’s a factory worker. He is dropping what looks I don’t know, like plutonium, nuclear energy, something rods into these androids into their skulls. They need this. And he’s got, he’s got these dinky little, you know, claw machine controllers to drop this thing into it. And so he’s sweating. He’s having a tough day at work. And he, he drops it. And then at the same time, he has a violation come up, or he’s not on his drugs. So they have this way where they can take a worker and mind lock them basically, like, turn off their brain. So they do this while he’s working. And they cause an accident. Just the visuals in that just the way it would flash to like the command center and to Robert Duvall. His eyes rolling in the back of his head. I actually did like all the special effects that Georgia added to the scene. I thought they were cool. I mean, they do they they are very noticeable. There’s almost it almost looks like motion smoothing and some of that through it. Yeah. But I was I love that. I was just I found it’s so compelling and interesting. And all these things, these different elements that he was able to pull together and that scene was just really cool.
SLIM This is one of those rare movies that perto posted to his IG stories. So trying to like triangulate potential rating from proto for presents that he’s posted on his IG. I think Tony Leon was the last one that was in there on his boat boiled over that gif, he got some good mileage out of that thing.
DANNY I love that mind lock scene I like I like how it’s also showing like the human error that still exists because that the female like operator should not have mind locked him while he was operating the machines and oh, yeah, you see that? She makes that mistake and I don’t know I really said that is that is a great scene. It’s a chaotic scene.
SLIM Airpoints out Homer Simpson is based on THX 1138 I mean, yeah, it was homers job for or at least in like the intro the
DANNY whole intro is based off
SLIM There are some some pretty solid THX references in The Simpsons over the years for sure. Danny number three?
DANNY Probably my favorite part of this movie is the final chase scene with the cars and the tunnels. I like I’m a massive car nut especially when it comes to move it this Lola T 70 modified for this movie is one of my favorite movie cars. It is absolutely gorgeous. And it’s sitting next to that Ferrari I mean you can think that Ferrari was taken if I remember correctly, it’s it the one in this movie is in the Ferrari Museum in wherever Italy anyway, that whole chase scene is insane all the shots of up close of Duvall driving the car the car overheating the motorcycles chasing him. It is such a well shot scene that I it only got me to the point was like I can’t believe people forget about this movie. I really don’t think of it when it comes up as talking about sci fi because that car scene a kid you I feel like I’ve done years ago, I would just Google top 10 car scenes and movies and it’s always gone in 60 seconds or Fast and Furious and the DeLorean and all this stuff, but never is the scene talked about and it’s so good. The other escapee crashing his car and that shot of the smoke. Are you kidding me? Yeah, like incredible shot, man.
PROTO Give him that crash because I thought it was so funny. It is insane.
SLIM Man, even at a crash. Is it
DANNY strange enough? Will you see that red Ferrari Oh my god. Anyway, I love this scene. It’s it’s incredible.
SLIM I mean, that screenshot that Paul posted. I know he compared it to Blade Runner, but this is 11 years ahead of Blade Runner. Right? Some of the shots and the chase scene. Ignoring the CGI, we’re just talking about the original version. It’s stunning. I feel like there’s no alanine
DANNY the CG shots of the car. They’re doing 140 miles an hour down that tunnel. And the guy that does the stunt on the on the bike went too far. Like he hits the car if you with you watch it. Yeah, that’s an actual stunt the guy’s doing it’s insane. I mean, that’s. It’s incredible stuff.
SLIM Yeah, my jaw was a gape. Get a job via gate, my mouth was a gape. At that degree. It was a great stuff. Great stuff. My number three we’re drifting into honorable mentions. But I do want to touch on the motion smoothing aspect of this. I thought my TV was like on the wrong setting a few times. Now I’m not sure if it’s the way it was filmed on like, it looks like some scenes were filmed on videotape. And maybe the frame rate change or something. But I was like, hit my remote. I was like I’m not on sports mode. Am I? So I definitely noticed the thing that Pablo mentioned about some of those CGI scenes. I guess I’ll talk about the Buck Rogers aspect. Like I love that that clip is in the front. And it might even be I think it’s in the front of the archive that org version two, not clean, not super cleaned up. But oh, okay. I love that. He puts that in there. And you can kind of see the inspiration and how important Buck Rogers. and things of that ilk are to George. And he keeps that in mind. And like you see that I think famously, he tried to get the rights to Buck Rogers and couldn’t so he made Star Wars again. It’s like the paraphrased version maybe. But I love that. I love that he keeps it true to himself. He puts it front and center. And here’s, here’s what inspired me and this is what it inspired me to make. I love that. People should do it more often.
DANNY Yeah, I mean, he’s pretty famously quoted saying that he is making movies for himself, he’s not making them for anybody else. He’s making his art for himself, and he’s gonna do it however he wants to do it, and it shows, whether it’s the right process or the wrong process. But honestly, I respect it. I really do.
SLIM Respect the hell out of it.
DANNY Where would we be without George Lucas?
SLIM I don’t want to think about it.
PROTO While you remember what I said about seeing Tom Cruise in that, like astronaut suit and Top Gun: Maverick. God, I would love a like a buck rogers movie. That aesthetic, like the fear agent, you know, got a backpack on astronaut suit. Step up to the plate, please.
SLIM I mean, there’s that caulk that Kompakt I think we’ve all read Starlight where that’s like, like, essentially Buck Rogers. It’s like this guy gets transported to another dimension. And it’s like, essentially, Buck Rogers, he saves the day becomes a hero to this universe, this planet. But he gets back to Earth. And he lives another life for 30 years. And he’s older. And then he’s kind of like bored with his life. He wonders if maybe my life wasn’t so great after all. And then someone from that dimension appears and they’re like, We need you back. And now he’s back Jack gotta go back to the past Samurai Jack. And he goes back and older man and older buck rogers to see if he can save the day again, and it’s an amazing comic book. Pretty sure it Starlight dread Mike, Mark Miller, Gore on par love, but I think Netflix might have gotten the rights to it. And nothing has happened since unfortunately. But it’s a great idea for a movie. Come back as much George we need to oh my god one final time. Can you imagine?
DANNY Oh, my one last ride George.
SLIM George. There it is. It is Starlight from Image Comics. Proto, number three?
PROTO Yeah, we didn’t really talk to about the story that much. I think that’s one of the reasons maybe I didn’t dive into this because when I what I knew of the story it felt very like Brave New World. Kind of like that dystopian future in 1984 Fahrenheit 451 Maybe like I’m familiar enough with this story that it didn’t really grab me. So I think that’s one of the reasons that I never really dove in and felt like I needed to watch it but I was I think it is of like that ilk right the story set in the you know the future work humans controlled by drugs and one guy stops taking his meds or whatever. But there’s so many elements in it that were just really compelling and the way George approached those different ideas the why love so much like when it happened when he goes into the phone booth slash confessional with the robot. Jesus on the wall with that voice. Oh my god, I was like, talking about a game my mouth was a gape. Watching that I just I just love George’s George’s approach with all this different kinds of stuff and like just the way he envisioned this future and this, this this world. I just found it so compelling. So that’s the thing I really loved and like that whole spiel like they’re like Robert DePaul. It’s like, something’s wrong with me. I need help. And he’s like, Yeah, trust the police and be happy. That voice is amazing.
DANNY And like, I was like, automated to where he’s still trying to talk and it talks over him like it’s not even Yeah, it’s amazing. I’m
SLIM gonna get up face deep of 000 but it’s part of his face.
DANNY I mean, it is an actual painting I forget the artist right?
SLIM Well, doesn’t Donald Pleasance Sen walk into like the set at once by accident. Yeah, for the robot Jesus here
DANNY and then he like, pile drives a nun or whatever that
SLIM Was a monk and trips and dies fall on their butt and they’re dead. One shot they all had enough film for one shot and that was it. Danny honorable mentions final thoughts for THX?
DANNY Honorable mentions, let me see. I love Oh, this the gel the the like white room jail prison where they could just walk as far as they could in it until you know you found an exit. I don’t know why I love that seed. But it looks incredible. I am of the cult of loving this film. I really do enjoy it. I think George for his first film was really cooking with gas and I honestly I’d hadn’t really thought about it much until protos review like were like, what like the what if comic of George? Like what if he didn’t create Star Wars and he could have just kept making these movies and his vision. I mean, it’s something that’s crazy to think about because this film honestly I think it’s great. And I’m I’m at five stars for.
SLIM Wow, five stars. There it is. Wow, wow, wow. Okay, let me see if I missed anything. The web logo kidding me right now. Discovery Are you listening? You want to get some brownie points just go back to that logo ASAP rapes thought that was like a new like redesign in this special edition but it’s in the OG two looks great, great logo motorcycle audio is amazing. I thought this visually was tremendous. And there’s so many ideas in here that I agree I would love to see George have drifted into and maybe he had no desire to maybe the Sci Fi thing was like That’s it. That’s all I wanted to do. There were the Star Wars battle of the wills whatever the hell he called it on. I’m gonna three stars for Thx 1138 I dug it. didn’t love it, but I dug it. And the special edition is trashed. Don’t watch it. Watch the archived roof Pro.
PROTO I’m not a hater of this special edition I think I don’t think it’s necessary. But I can I think still appreciate it. Honorable mentions some I read some reviews, someone was blast and George for his his his sex scene in this between THX tags and l u h. I actually thought that was good though I thought like those elements of trying to portray these characters, and just this world that they’re trapped in. And, you know, here’s here’s Robert Duvall, his character experiencing these feelings and these emotions for the first time but like you’re confined within this space that is so bizarre. And just like what does it even mean to be a human or like doing this work? It just I wanted to know more about this world. And I think in that case, I think George succeeded you know if he has me wondering and believing in it and wanting more of it, then like it was mission successful like I you know, I believe that all of this and yeah, I’m I’m really impressed by all of this. I was blown away by I think the like the artistic vision in this, how real and grounded it felt. But just using you know, practical real world stuff, especially when you go to something like Star Wars where like, it seemed like every set is handcrafted. Just to kind of use the environment and George being able to find these places. So I had a great time I’m at four stars I had the thought
DANNY while I was watching sweating
SLIM that like oh this this might have made a great short film. Like when I was watching it that was like my entire vibe watching. And you know the rest. Okay, we have a VM. Let’s see if I can pull it up here and you can leave us an email voicemail Voice Memo using the links at 70mmpod.com Look at this one minute 29 from okay well done. Let’s let’s hear what is a special version?
VOICEMAIL Hey guys, it’s KK. I am reaching out to do the unthinkable to defend George Lucas’s decisions in the Director’s Cut of Thx. I’m not defending all of them. Because as I’m sure you know, the like the rim dwellers or whatever, excuse me, wrap people at the end where they don’t need to be defended. That was about choice. George, also the question mark him, whatever you want to call it. That also is a debatable choice. But what I would like to defend is the fact that in so many of the edits, they are subtle and add a huge sense of scale to the overall world. I’m specifically thinking about some of the edits that he made in the garage that you otherwise wouldn’t notice. But when paired with the original cut, you can see that he essentially extends the field of vision. It gives you a sense of a mega structure. Mega structures are what I’m looking for. You can also see this in what was originally a close to the ground shot, you would see him extended upwards and then draw back the roof. He did a lot of crazy things with editing that honestly makes it look so much more imposing. So I can’t defend all of it, but I’ll defend George for what I can. That’s all
SLIM Finally, someone steps up to defend George Lucas.
DANNY I’m happy.
SLIM Yeah, the shots still pretty cool. But there’s a few other shots that don’t look very cool. The chimps in particular, I think Van Helsing ps1 cutscene 2001. Both should have been cut out.
DANNY We didn’t talk about the ending either climbing out of the hole the shot at the sunset. Oh,
PROTO Yeah. And the music the score at that point.
DANNY Gorgeous score.
SLIM Mentioned if you saw two sons.
PROTO George, why didn’t you edit that?
SLIM Homage to a new hope for all right, that is the end of Lo Fi sci fi month. We did it. Some very successful in my opinion. Very successful. Yes. And next week, we we had to do something big. Something major. We had a look towards the two of the biggest stars in cinema to prepare us for October. For the month of Halloween. I’ve been workshopping a lot of names for how many of you? Yeah, drop a couple. Maybe I’ll save it for next week. I have I have four or five names in here that Oh, not. I’m not really sold on so I’m taking suggestions. thing Don’t worry, darling. We already know what the next episode is for live listeners. So we’re also preparing for December because we said we’re recovering avatar. So streaming for the first time that I’ve ever seen it. We will be doing James Cameron. Jamie Lee Curtis Arnold Schwarzenegger, True Lies streaming on Hulu. That’s our next episode next week. Hmm, Proto finally gets his wish to cover Arnold again.
PROTO We have to go back Arnie.
SLIM What was the last was t to the last URL that we did or was Last Action Hero, the last Arnie who can say? But there’s always like once a month pro would would say something you know want to be great if we did another Arnold. Wouldn’t it be great? Here we are.
PROTO And we do a good one.
SLIM So next week, True Lies, and we’ll talk about our theme for October. Probably pretty easy to guess. But successful month for September next week. True live streaming on Hulu. Arnie, Jamie. Jimmy Peroni closing thoughts this week?
Yeah, this week, I did it again. I started a sourdough starter. No, it’s not march 2020. All Over Again, making bread but I wanted to get into that Jenna asked me she was like, Hey, can I get a loaf of bread? I was like, Well, I’m gonna have to do some sourdough starter again. And I’ve never really had much success with this. And I never want to always do it. Because it’s, it’s a 10 day process to get it to mature before you can make some bread with it. So it’s an investment, you know, you got to remember to feed it and you know, cut it and all that stuff. But you know, as I was doing, I was thinking, you know, movies, movie watching is kinda like that, you know, you got to watch a lot of movies sometimes to mature in your own understanding of who you are, and what you even like and movies, or how to appreciate movies. And I feel like I’ve come a long way in these past three years. I’m a different movie watcher now than who I was at the beginning of the show. And I think it’s just you know, it takes time. It takes a lot of movies. So if you’re feeling down right now maybe about watching movies. You had some stinkers, you’re lost. You don’t know what to watch next. Believe me, you’ll get through it. Just keep powering through those David Cronenberg’s know, you’ll find greener grass.
SLIM We’ll see everybody next week for True Lies.
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