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George Lucas's fascinating, almost art-house, film just took a quantum leap into the digital future. Never has the world of THX 1138 looked as bright, clear, and antiseptic as it does on this remastered version. It is equally impressive how far Lucas and the camera crew push the widescreen 2.35 aspect ratio, particularly on a film that emphasizes minimalism. For those that fault the film as being 'soundless, prepare yourself for a shock. The new 'THX enhanced THX 1138 sports a newly remastered DTS audio track that enhances every wonderfully subtle, ambient sound of Lalo Schifrin's soundscape. Complaints are likely to be aimed at the restoration. As many assumed, the newly restored (and retitled) THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut underwent a few CGI alterations. In one aspect, the computer graphics are stunning, they're not excessive, and they don't take anything away from the film's storyline. In some aspects the CGI scenes bridge some empty gaps. However, the modern effects do look a little out of place in comparison with the rest of the film. Though a futuristic sci-fi film, THX 1138 is still very '70s in its look and feel. When the newly added scenes appear, it is pretty obvious what has been added. Yes, the purists will cry 'Blasphemy! but in all honesty those new to the film may not notice the differences, and most viewers will probably not care.
THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut DVD set contains pretty much everything you could ever want with regard to the film. It includes the new documentary Artifact from the Future: The Making of THX 1138 (30 minutes) as well as the original production featurette Bald (8 minutes). There is also the excellent 63-minute documentary A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope, featuring Zoetrope founder Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, John Milius, and Walter Murch. The DVD's informative and entertaining commentary is a combination of separate tracks by George Lucas and co-writer/sound designer Walter Murch. Though not an action-packed thrill ride, THX 1138 is nonetheless a very interesting, meditative film that hits a lot closer to our home than a galaxy far, far away.