Pulp Empire

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(Updated: March 14, 2016)
Overall rating
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
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8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
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9.0
*Review and Rating updated (because this edit has grown on me)

I just finished watching the final cut of Pulp Empire. I had previewed an earlier version, I think it was just the draft before the one njvc ended up releasing.

I'll start by saying that with an edit of this kind it is pretty much impossible to please everyone, similarly chances are not everyone will agree on the creative choices made by the editor. With that said. A lot of what I say in this review is not about the technical quality and the editing, but rather the creative choices, what worked and "felt right", and what didn't work for me and in my opinion didn't "fit". So a lot of the review is going to be ("music cue, i liked" "i wasn't 'feeling' this") so not the most articulate review ever!

I must admit I was a little biased going in as a result of watching some of the sample clips that njvc posted (i.e. Darth Vader - Hugo Stiglitz is GENIUS).

DVD Design etcs:
- professional menus! really slick

- awesome intro scene and opening credits, music worked, and black and white made it feel like the opening to Kill Bill

Chapter 1
- awesome music cue with "like we're being watched!"
- Pai Mei, mixed on this, good idea, and an Asian master kind of fits with yoda's zen jedi master, but i dunno, i guess mentally it was a bit incongrous to me with yoda's grunts and hmmms, and the pai mei voice
- music cue "you know him?!", excellent

Chapter 2
- music cue, for me it didn't work, when he cuts himself free from the ice cave
- freeze frame character intros, i liked it!
- Bernard Herrmann Taxi Driver score! njvc must have decided to pander to me for a good rating ;), this was a sexy choice IMO
- music cue "well i'll see you in hell" excellent
- Imperial probe droid music cue, awesome
- Darth Vader Hugo Stiglitz FAVORITE PART OF THE ENTIRE EDIT, awesome
- split screen works surprisingly well for the battle
- sneaky job of sneaking in a clip of luke in the death star trench!

Chapter 3
- i was a fan of using the Death Proof car sounds for the Falcon
- music cue when the "cave" is shaking and then collapsing
- music cue for "apology accepted" good stuff
- Boba Fett "intro" was cool

Chapter 4
- the David Bowie training montage has grown on me as I've watched this edit a few times since my initial review
- music cue when going into pit was cool
- anime scene another sequence that has grown on me in subsequent viewings and the music that goes along with it is good
- "decide how you must serve them best" music cue is excellent there

Chapter 5
- Joni Mitchell, i knew exactly what njvc was going for (a la Jim Croce Django) and this really worked perfectly for me
- and awesome music cue, getting out of the millenium falcon to lando intro
- across 110th street, i like the song anyway, so i liked that you included it
- music while leia is worried about 3PO,not sure if this was intentional but i liked that it sounded as if it was playing on the radio in the room
- perfect music cue, with Vader at the end of the table and Han starts shooting at him
- i liked the music cue when darth vader overseeing carbon freezing
- music cue, "I love you, I know", (and parallel between Han being frozen in carbonite, and The Bride buried alive in Kill Bill Vol 2 excellent! not sure if that was intentional or not)
- music cue, Lando's security taking away storm troopers, enjoyed this


Chapter 6
- quick elapsed time progression matched with vader's breathing was a nice touch
- i initially liked the ecstasy of gold remix, but then went it shifted in fatboyslim/chemical brothers (the brother's gotta work it out) remix, for me it just didn't fit with the scene
- but excellent spot to stop/pause the music as vader falls over the edge
- Awesome O Fortuna! Really liked this choice
- crescendo matching with Luke getting his hand sliced off, very nice
- im probably the biggest neil young fan on the forums, (only TMBTM surpasses me), i didn't like Old Man at all, the slideshow, and especially the inclusion of prequel footage, although luke's screams of "noooo!" sort of matching up rhythmically was a nice touch

End Credits
- I liked this, title cards intercut with some more footage

Features
- loved the split screen comparison special feature, "about this edit" (also gave some more insight into some of the creative choices you made!)

Some General Thoughts/Comments
- partially out of chronological order narrative, I get it, cause Tarantino's narrative is often this way, but for me it didn't completely work (the 1st chapter with yoda, maybe cause it gave the edit a bit of a slow start, but you can argue its stylistically like Reservoir Dogs which has just a bunch of dialogue in that opening diner scene)
- overuse of slo-mo, there was a lot of it, but i guess it was necessary as a kind of editing shortcut/trick/work-around, but at the same time because of how much it was used it became a part of the style of the edit


So what more can I say. njvc is a bold, brave, risktaker IMO. This is what fanediting is all about, simple fanfixes are entertaining but projects like this are almost always more interesting. I have a lot of respect and admiration for this sort of outside the box thinking. I have some idea of what a huge rescoring/audio editing undertaking this was and how challenging it is to rescore a movie like the Star Wars for nearly the entire movie (impressive, most impressive).

This edit may not be for everyone. I could definitely tell that njvc had a ton of fun making this edit and that he was, first and foremost, making this edit for himself.

I'm going to show this edit to some of my friends who are big time fans of both star wars and tarantino, so I'll be interested to see what they think.

User Review

Format Watched
DVD
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Overall rating
 
8.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
5.0
(this review might sound a little harsh so before I start off I just want to say that in no way whatsoever is this a personal attack on the faneditor. I have full respect for njvc and I can just imagine the work that went into making this fanedit. But I have to be honest. I just didn’t like it that much)

Okay so I finally saw it, with 19 reviews in the can and an overall score of 9.0 I thought to myself “wow this might be like just as epic as TMBTM’s grindhouse movies! You know, just epic man, just epic!” I was wrong...

The fanedit starts of really nice and I’m thinking here we go. But then it just turns into a recut version of Empire strikes back, with added slow-mo and a soundtrack instead of film score (and too many fades) that was not what I had expected. What did I expect then?
I don’t know, just more. Tarantino’s movies are more than just flash you know.
But how could you possible recut a Star Wars movie into a Tarantino movie, other than just add some Tarantino trademarks? And what could have been better?
I don’t know...This was just not what I expected and I wasn’t that much entertained to be honest (when Solo and co: was taken hostage I went into the kitchen to find something to eat, movie running. That normally never happens, I always pause)
...Speaking of Tarantino’s movies, I wouldn’t call this fanedit “a Tarantino inspired Star Wars mashup and remix.” Instead I would call it “a Kill Bill inspired Star Wars mashup and remix.”
That pretty much what this is; Kill Bill. And it doesn’t sync with Star Wars. I thought it would, but it doesn’t. And I’m sorry I have to say that. I was really looking forward to this. But all fanedits can’t be for everyone I guess. So again, all creeds to njvc for making this fanedit and I’m sorry I have to write this review but I feel like I have to be honest you know. I thought this was going to be like TMBTM’s Jaws The Sharksploitation Edit or War of the Stars. Just really really entertaining. But for me it wasn’t.

Btw I watched the mkv 720p version and everything looked super nice. And the audio a lot of people have complained about I have nothing bad to say, didn’t noticed any of the things that have been brought up, but I didn’t turn up the volume that high anyway so maybe that’s it.
All in all 5 out of 10. Not bad but not something I got much enjoyment out off either. So there you go.

User Review

Format Watched
Digital
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(Updated: May 16, 2013)
Overall rating
 
8.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
njvc breathes new life in an all to familiar fanedit with pulp empire as star wars meets tarantino. for a film i'm all too familiar with i was impressed that njvc managed to cut a lot from the film without the overall narrative to the story being effected. the flashback scenes were a nice touch in filling in the gaps what with empire being the middle film to the trilogy. i really liked were njvc placed the animated segment and the newly voiced yoda is a real scene stealer

as others have said the battle of hoth with it's spilt screen and use of music is nicely done, though for me the highlight of the edit was the battle between vader and luke while njvc further cements boba fett as the coolest bad-ass in all the galaxy. others have comment that the original score can be heard while you can hear it faintly in the background at times it's never a distraction. i could only imagine the hours spent in removing the best he could, and in removing john williams score njvc has made this edit his own with the songs selected

however at times i felt the music was over done and would have preferred the music not to be playing but i'm guessing that it used to cover up the original score when ever possible. i also feel the music could have been used more as background music, such as the radio station announcer we hear from reservoir dogs could have played in the background of the millenium falcon. at times the music didn't feel like it was adding anything to the visuals but rather just playing over the footage.

i personally wouldn't have opened with the yoda segment, it seemed a little off seeing luke talking to someone who we haven't meet nor do we see on screen. the engine effect on the millenium falcon seemed some what out of place for me, there are some funny moments (yoda voice being dubbed and having luke understand every word he says) but i wouldn't say this was a comedy fanedit in the vain of TV's frink star wars edits. it just felt like the only part of the edit that was done to raise a laugh. the slow mo effects at times felt a little overdone and became tiresome after a while.

overall an enjoyable fanedit, the question i guess one must ask is will this be vol 1, as the story has only been half told? i wouldn't seeing vol 2 some time in the future.

User Review

Format Watched
Blu-ray
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(Updated: May 10, 2013)
Overall rating
 
7.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
I've been a fan of Star Wars since I was but a boy, and a fan of Tarantino since I was but a teenager. So, naturally, when I saw this I was instantly excited.

The quality of the MKV I watched was really, really nice. I didn't notice any blocking or anything of that sort. The audio was good, too. There were a few times that I had trouble hearing dialogue over the music, but that could have been the set up I was watching on. More on the audio later.

The visual aspect of this edit was nearly perfect. Not a single rogue frame to be found. I'd have to say my favorite sequence was the duel with Darth Vader at the end. It was incredibly well done and worked well with the music you selected. The splitscreen were also great to watch. They worked quite well at compressing time! I did have a few minor peeves, first being that the slow motion effects weren't always that smooth. I understand that you can only slow down 24fps so much (which is to say not a lot) before it starts looking kinda derpy, but I feel that it was overdone a few times throughout. The second was that during a number of the fades between shots was that the scene that was being faded out or into would change shot midfade. I found it to be a mite distracting, and it's something that I try not to do while editing.

The music selections were pretty good, however, there were a few instances where I felt they didn't quite fit. For example, when Han is getting frozen, the music used was from the scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 where the Bride is digging herself out from the ground. It's a rather upbeat and almost heroic piece, and it doesn't quite fit with the action on screen. There were also a few times when the music faded out to nothing, not quite suddenly, but it didn't particularly sound right, either. That said, I really enjoyed hearing the Pai Mei dialogue dubbed over Yoda. The lipsync on that was spot on. Very clever, very well done.

The narrative, I felt, wasn't quite cohesive. There's one instance when Luke is rescued by Han that we see him recovering in the bacta tank, but we don't get that scene afterwards where Han and Leia ask him how he's doing. It's an important character moment that helps to build Han and Leia's relationship. My main concern for this edit is that it was a lot more style over substance. The addition of a sixth chapter felt wholly unnecessary - that bit could have very easily been woven in with Chapter Five. And while I enjoyed the character title cards that introduced Luke, Han, and Leia (Darth Vader's was great, by the way!) I was half expecting a second credits sequence. In a Tarantino-esque edit, character should be numbers one, two, and three. While his ecclectic music selections are certainly memorable, they play to the characters, not just because they sound cool (although Rule of Cool is always a consideration).

If you plan on revisiting this (which I do hope you do - revision is always a good thing) try to give the story a bit more time to breathe. A few times it felt like things were rushed along to try and keep the length short. Don't worry about how long or short it is. Remember, a great film will always feel too short, and an awful film will always feel too long. I do hope you don't feel as though I'm poo-pooing your edit. It was a marvelous technical achievement, it really was. I look forward to seeing what else you produce in the future!

(and, for what it's worth, this has inspired me to do a similar type edit for Return of the Jedi)

User Review

Format Watched
Digital
Owner's reply May 11, 2013

Thanks for the review! With regards to your inspiration for a Return of the Jedi idea, awesome! Although, you'll have to take it up with Neglify, he has already claimed copywrite to the prequel/sequel/reboot of this one ;)

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Overall rating
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
Overall I thought it was a good edit. Some great ideas and good editing there but also a fair amount of bad choices (based on my opinion), with some ideas i didn't really dig. But despite that i enjoyed it and i am glad i saw it. it was a bold edit from njvc and i congratulate him for his effort here.
The split screen in many scenes was nicely done and well implemented. Yoda speaking Chinese (or whatever it was) was really awesome and seamlessly implemented as well. Vader gave me a 70ies porn vibe that for some reason worked great and gave his character a nice new twist. Also i loved the use of the clone wars animated fight in the cave scene! A moment of brilliance there by njvc and easily my favorite moment of the entire edit. Also sound replacement was done great, and the music choices were really cool and really fitted the Tarantino vibe.
On the bad side, many scenes felt very much like a music video montage, instead of part of an actual movie. They gave a very video-clip/youtube-tribute kind of vibe. They contributed to the edit not having a good story structure at moments when it needed it and instead it could even feel kind of random. And another contributing factor to that was the non-linear structure of the edit. The first black and white vader-luke clip was nicely placed at the very beginning building up nicely the rest of the movie, but after that, the whole chapter-thingy felt unnecessary and in my oppinion it didn't help the story in a good way, and it made some things confusing. I think a straight narrative would have made the edit stronger, the story more focused and more to the point.
Some minor criticism is that njvc uses too many fades. Some of them made sense in places like the flashback introductions, but others felt completely unnecessary and distracting. Also not exactly a criticism but at many parts the edit was border-lining to going into Tarantino parody territory. I know the point was not to make a Tarantino Star Wars movie, but more of a tribute to him and his style. But at points the edit felt that it was pushing it too much or trying a little too hard.
I probably have gone a little overboard with all my negative comments, but don't get me wrong. This is not a bad edit. Far from it. Is it a classic though? Nope. But it is a Bold and Well made for the most part edit that i recommend to any star wars fan. I felt that for every thing that i didn't like there was always something there good to counteract it and for me to enjoy. And for the majority of the edit it was the good thing that left the biggest impression to me.
Great Job njvc!

User Review

Format Watched
DVD
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