Posts for Tag: pixar

'Empire Strikes Back' director Irvin Kershner dies and why CGI is killing my childhood memories

Kershner said he had only one sharp disagreement with Lucas. The script originally called for the heroine, Princess Leia, to tell space pilot Han Solo "I love you" and for him to reply "I love you, too."

"I shot the line and it just didn't seem right for the character of Han Solo," Kershner said.

Instead, actor Harrison Ford improvised the reply: "I know."

We mourn today the passing of Irvin Kershner, the director of The Empire Strikes Back. Let's be glad that the above dialogue happened between Kershner and Lucas. That one line encapsulates the Han Solo character better than any I've heard. A big softy but also the biggest pimp in the Star Wars galaxy. Everybody wanted to be Han Solo even though Luke Skywalker was the protagonist of the series. And apologies to all Boba Fett fans but George Lucas pretty much ruined his machismo by showing him as a whiny little boy in Episode 2 (same for Anakin).

It's somewhat ironic that Spike TV was running a Star Wars marathon over the weekend and it always makes me cringe whenever I see Lucas' re-imagining of the series. The CGI ruins the entire series for me. Totally unnecessary. In fact, I can't really think of any movie I've ever watched that was made better by CGI (I'm not talking about movies shot entirely in CGI like Pixar films or Avatar). What happened to good old fashioned real explosions and huge sets? For me, it's the obvious artificial feeling of CGI that turns me off. It's like seeing a beautifully decorated cake and taking a bite only to find out it was cooked with Sweet'n Low instead of sugar. Bad taste in my mouth. That's the feeling I get when watching anything George Lucas has made in the past 10+ years. Episode 1-3, Indy 4, all poor caricatures of what came before. It always makes me sad that these movies can't live up to their phenomenal legacies. On a brighter note, guys like Christopher Nolan are making amazingly beautiful/engaging movies where CGI is in the background versus front and center.

Interesting opinion on the auto industry ... good intent, bad execution

Techcrunch has a guest post from Todd Dagres of Spark Capital. In it, he suggests that President Obama should get Steve Jobs to run a joint government bailed-out GM-Chrysler. Though I agree with the overall strategy of the article (firing the current auto execs and streamlining the product line), I don't think Steve Jobs is the best person to actually execute this. His other choices (should Steve not be available), John Chambers or Craig Barrett are somewhat more plausible, though not quite there.

It's a little simplistic to think that Steve can make everything he touches into gold. Though Steve has had great success at Apple and Pixar, the shear size of the auto companies dwarf even those two industry leaders. I think Steve could be a great product strategist for the auto industry, but I think it'll take someone with big industrial operational experience to execute on a new product vision. Maybe it's a tag team effort - Steve leading product development and someone like say, Jack Welch to run operations? I know Nardelli was a GE alum but I don't have much confidence in his ability to lead given his lackluster results at both Home Depot and Chrysler.  Perhaps the master can do better than the student.