Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (USA, 1977)
Directed by George Lucas
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
IMDb Top 250: #16 (20/10/12)
Trying to imagine filmmaking without Star Wars is like trying to imagine pop music without The Beatles: it simply isn't possible. The proliferation of Star Wars into every conceivable corner of our culture makes discussions of its legacy either pointless or severely tainted by the weight of history. But just as The Beatles were capable of writing bad songs (quite a lot of them, in fact), so we shouldn't blindly praise Star Wars simply in light of what it's left behind. While there is much in A New Hope to appreciate and enjoy, it's hardly as perfect as has been claimed.
Dr. Strangelove and The Omen: Taylor rejected many of Lucas' lighting decisions and resented said director's desire to control every aspect of the production. There were frequent prop and costume malfunctions, as the newly-formed Industrial Light and Magic struggled to keep pace with all the ground-breaking special effects shots. The crew looked down on Lucas for his inexperience and for making what they saw as a "children's film". And the cast objected to both Lucas' vague direction and the script, with Harrison Ford remarking: "George, you can type this shit, but you can't say it!"
Logan's Run - all were interesting and ideas-driven, but also ropey, cheesy, ponderous or naff (Star Trek at its worst being guilty of all these).
Logan's Run all but vanished shortly after its release.
my Phantom Menace review. The success of Jaws and Star Wars not only cemented the summer blockbuster, it made it possible for B-movie material to be made with A-movie budgets.
Flash Gordon is better than Star Wars, and here's why. Both are from the sillier end of science fiction and fantasy, with broadly drawn characters, clear divides between good and evil, and an emphasis on spectacle rather than character development per se. The difference is that Flash Gordon openly acknowledges its ridiculous nature, and embraces it. It laughs at its plot inconsistencies, camp action and ripe dialogue, and encourages us to laugh with it.