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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) => Topic started by: 1SO on December 16, 2016, 02:25:55 PM

Title: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on December 16, 2016, 02:25:55 PM
Some points to debate.


1. I didn't care much for the characters. Loved the cast, but wasn't involved with their journey like with The Force Awakens cast.
It's too early in Daisy Ridley's career to say Felicity Jones is no Daisy Ridley, but one of JJ's great strengths is setting up likable characters and getting us excited about actors we've seen little of before if at all (Lost, Star Trek, Force Awakens). Take Diego Luna. We see him commit some morally dubious acts, but he's such a nice puppy dog most of the time I never matched it with a person who would do bad things because of the greater good. It was more that the film wanted to set up the possibility that he was going to betray them all at some point.

2. The film doesn't reach the prequel pit of endless boring conversations, but not enough happens for much of the film. Many of the dramatic climaxes, especially the entire rain platform sequence, are drawn out too far and lack any emotional punch. There's just no connection between Mads Mikkelsen and Felicity Jones except for typical father/daughter dramatics. I felt nothing for these two characters because I wasn't involved in their personal stories. It isn't until the rebel X-Wings appear above the shield that this felt like a Star Wars movie. Until then, it was a SW fan film, set in the world but using tired characters and story points.

3. I expect a lot of negative comments aimed at Peter Cushing, but my glass is half full. I'm surprised how far the technology is coming along. I expected him to look more like Polar Express (and he approaches it in his 2nd scene), but the skin texture and small gestures are fantastic. I say passible enough where if I didn't know it was impossible I might've not noticed it all the first time.

4. Darth Vader is an interesting inclusion. Some of the best imagery of the film. His final scene was fan service, but it was so badass I liked it a lot.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on December 16, 2016, 02:56:07 PM
1. Agreed. I liked the idea of the characters, some work better than others, but the performances for the two leads were not there. I thought K-2SO (Your son, 1SO?) stole the show. Comic relief that never felt trite or pandering. Chirrut Imwe was also a cool force sensitive character. I was initally worried he'd be your typical annoying monastic Jedi figure, but he turned out to be sort of this odd sage character that wasn't quite like anything we've seen in the Star Wars films before.

2. There were a lot of emotional beats that fall flat because the film never does a great job of investing us in that father/daughter relationship. I thought the whole first act was a drag because of how much time is spent talking about characters we don't know anything about. I get dropping us in the middle of a story, but maybe you could have at least given us some bearings. Do I dare say that maybe this film could have used a text crawl?

3. I couldn't stand it. Took me out of the film. Looked too plastically. Would have been fine with either less of the character, or more creative shooting around showing his face.

4. Oh yea, that moment is total fan service, and it's exactly what I hoped they wouldn't have in this movie, but it totally works here. The second you see the red glow, you know ish is about to go down.

I'm going to try to write a full review soon. This film has a lot of rough edges, especially that first act, but once it gets going, it's super good. That final act is probably the best action setpiece of the year.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on December 16, 2016, 05:41:00 PM
I thought K-2SO (Your son, 1SO?) stole the show. Comic relief that never felt trite or pandering.
My wife thought they came up with him by asking "What if C3PO was autistic?" His speciality was blurting out whatever was completely honest but also inappropriate to say. I'm seeing that type of super-honesty is becoming the new sarcasm in movies, evidenced by the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer that preceded the film.

The biggest laugh for me was Donnie Yun's remark when they put a bag over his head.

Chirrut Imwe was also a cool force sensitive character. I was initally worried he'd be your typical annoying monastic Jedi figure, but he turned out to be sort of this odd sage character that wasn't quite like anything we've seen in the Star Wars films before.
dull, and again his relationship with Jyn Erso, with their conflicting takes on their past, was flat. I also don't know what they were going for with his final moment. Something off about Forest Whitaker's reaction. I expected something more zen or a feeling of relief. Perhaps a look that the future is something he never had to deal with. Reminds me of one of my favorite moments from Phantom Menace. During the Darth Maul battle, Liam Neeson is between laser doors and while Maul waits for combat to resume, Neeson meditates and calms completely down. That's so Jedi. This was not.


There were a lot of emotional beats that fall flat because the film never does a great job of investing us in that father/daughter relationship. I thought the whole first act was a drag because of how much time is spent talking about characters we don't know anything about. I get dropping us in the middle of a story, but maybe you could have at least given us some bearings. Do I dare say that maybe this film could have used a text crawl?
Can't say where the problem is having only seen it once, but there's the brief dream where we see Jyn with her parents on an Imperial ship. Some more of that is needed. Something where they're doing something not directly related to the plot. Even his nickname for her is an important plot point, repeated so you can't miss it.

That's what I mean about the story being tired. Like how at the very end, Krennic has the blaster on her and starts a conversation so you're basically waiting to see what's going to save her at the last moment. Considering how the film ends, why not have Krennic kill her and the plans still get out? Could've been more interesting.

New Point: this may be the worst Star Wars film regarding how bad the stormtroopers aim is, and that's because there are a number of times when the good guys are firing wild shots and killing with a single blast. Happens a lot in the city ambush. Cassian and Jyn both do this, but when a flock of stormtroopers appear and fire on them, nobody comes close. I thought of it again when the 100 Tie Fighters come out during the final battle. The rebellion ship has a giant glass window right at the front, and nobody takes a shot at it?


3. I couldn't stand it. Took me out of the film. Looked too plastically. Would have been fine with either less of the character, or more creative shooting around showing his face.
I liked the creative shooting for the first scene and would've been fine with more of that and with less of the character. They decided to go all in with the technology and they're going to suffer for that, but I still thought it looked better than I ever imagined it could. Same with the final shot.


I'm going to try to write a full review soon. This film has a lot of rough edges, especially that first act, but once it gets going, it's super good. That final act is probably the best action setpiece of the year.
Once it got going I was thinking "about damn time" and the best action setpiece this year is the airport in Civil War. I also prefer Dead Pool and Doctor Strange. This is about even with the best parts of Star Trek Beyond.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: saltine on December 16, 2016, 06:16:17 PM
3D or not?
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Junior on December 16, 2016, 06:32:24 PM
Didn't see it in 3D, but there are sequences that seem built for it. I'd try it out.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: smirnoff on December 16, 2016, 11:43:29 PM
Any comments regarding Michael Giacchino's contribution? I'm excited to hear someone else score a SW film.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Junior on December 16, 2016, 11:51:18 PM
I was quite positive on it, and excited to listen to it outside of the film.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on December 17, 2016, 12:06:41 AM
My initial reaction is that he makes the mistake of trying to honor the old themes too much in his new ones. I noticed a lot of places where the score sounded too Star Wars-esque, like a composer changing a few notes so they don't get sued by the original composer, and I'm not talking about the use of old themes directly at key moments, that was fine. I wish he hadn't played it so safe.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: THATguy on December 17, 2016, 12:20:14 AM
I feel like I'm way more down on this than anyone else.

To me, it felt like meaningless fanservice, a bunch of too talented to perform this script actors cosplaying as character types from George Lucas's 70s art design.

I also actively disliked the score, thought the film was overscored and derivative rather than an homage to Williams's work.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Junior on December 17, 2016, 02:37:15 AM
I guess I get some of the comments from earlier today about the lack of rewatchability. I don't know that you'd sign up to watch all the heroes die over and over again. I do, however, think it forms a really great half of a duo with A New Hope. Here's the terrible low point before things start to get better again. It makes the Rebellion into a real thing with real consequences. It also makes the Death Star cooler, more interesting. Now it's forever connected with this kind of tragic father-daughter story and the flaw becomes really interesting rather than a kind of silly feature of a kind of silly movie.

I do also agree, however, that there could have been a lot more as far as all the characters go. I wanted to know more about everybody. Other than Jyn, I couldn't name any of the new characters for you. It's stick guy, big gun guy, flying guy, killer guy. The only exception is the droid, who's great from the moment he appears to his last act. I like the movie a lot and, like sam, thought it got better and better as it goes along (I'd probably just start with the Jedha attack upon a rewatch, though I do like Mads vs. White Cloak Guy in that opening scene). But it could have been the best in the series if it had better character development.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on December 17, 2016, 08:34:56 AM
I guess I get some of the comments from earlier today about the lack of rewatchability. I don't know that you'd sign up to watch all the heroes die over and over again.
That's not it. It's the sluggish pacing of the first 90 minutes. It the way scenes are drawn out when the conclusion is inevitable. We never have reason to believe Diego Luna is going to kill Mikkelsen so the entire rainy platform sequence is dull, including the stuff that happens once he decides not to fire the gun. There's a major lack of popcorn escapism before those X-Wings pull out of hyperspace. The last 20 minutes is the best part.

I do love how this film solves the silliness of the Death Star having that one weak spot.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: philip918 on December 17, 2016, 12:43:25 PM
I do love how this film solves the silliness of the Death Star having that one weak spot.

I've never understood why this is widely considered so silly. I always bought that intelligent people who gained access to the Death Star plans find a critical weakness and exploit it. Thematically it also worked that a hubristic empire with an enormous battle station underestimates an attack from a very small force.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Junior on December 17, 2016, 12:49:30 PM
I guess I get some of the comments from earlier today about the lack of rewatchability. I don't know that you'd sign up to watch all the heroes die over and over again.
That's not it. It's the sluggish pacing of the first 90 minutes. It the way scenes are drawn out when the conclusion is inevitable. We never have reason to believe Diego Luna is going to kill Mikkelsen so the entire rainy platform sequence is dull, including the stuff that happens once he decides not to fire the gun. There's a major lack of popcorn escapism before those X-Wings pull out of hyperspace. The last 20 minutes is the best part.

I do love how this film solves the silliness of the Death Star having that one weak spot.

I can get behind that a little as well. As I said, I'd probably skip up to the Jedha City scene upon a rewatch because the build-up didn't do much for me. I didn't mind that assassination scene, especially the second half when the X-Wings show up. It does get better as it goes along. The Mads character really worked for me, but mostly because he's an amazing actor. This could have used just a scene of home-y bliss before shit goes south in the opening. Make that relationship more powerful, which would fix a lot of the opening half-hour where that relationship is the only thing keeping me interested.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on December 17, 2016, 07:31:38 PM
Any comments regarding Michael Giacchino's contribution? I'm excited to hear someone else score a SW film.
I thought it was rather weak. It felt like he wanted it to be John Williams style, but it all felt off. Too bombastic at the wrong moments. He did weave the old themes in nicely, though.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Totoro on December 17, 2016, 10:38:20 PM
I thought this was leaps and bounds better than THE FORCE AWAKENS. My only major gripes are that disastrous prologue sequence (which gives us a huge plot hole for the Empire - why do they think he won't screw them over after killing his wife, but I digress) and CG Grand Moff Tarkin who looked like a model from ANOMALISA.

I was never involved much with Rey or Finn, but I was very involved with Jyn, wished there was more about her upbringing before her parents pulled away from the Empire (if they had to have a prologue sequence, an extension of that flashback would've been better). The origins of the ensemble were barely touched upon through expository dialogue, it felt authentically doled out in pieces across the acts.

There's more to say about its many virtues (far less references to previous films than the last one and - when they're done - they're mostly pretty intelligent or in the background).
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: smirnoff on December 18, 2016, 12:44:35 AM
I do love how this film solves the silliness of the Death Star having that one weak spot.

I've never understood why this is widely considered so silly. I always bought that intelligent people who gained access to the Death Star plans find a critical weakness and exploit it. Thematically it also worked that a hubristic empire with an enormous battle station underestimates an attack from a very small force.

Plus it's a shot that very few people could potentially pull of by all accounts. All the pilots look around doubtfully when it's announced during that briefing. Even Wedge Antilles, who is the only other member of Red Squadron to survive the subsequent Battle of Yavin, and no slouch of a pilot himself, says incredulously "That's impossible! Even for a computer."

After it's done Han reiterates what a difficult shot it was. "Great shot kid, that was one in a million".

Why should the empire worry about it. They have a zillion tie fighters and turrets. And no reason to suspect that there is a weakness, or that anyone knows about it if there is.
Title: Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
Post by: Totoro on December 18, 2016, 01:02:12 AM
Rogue One
* * * - Okay

There will be much more to say once we've all seen it. For right now I just want to say re-watchibility is very low, which is out of step for a Star Wars movie. Even the prequels have more moments I would look forward to seeing again. The story takes over 90 minutes to realize it's Star Wars.

What does this mean to you?

Because I didn't feel that THE FORCE AWAKENS was "STAR WARS", but I definitely felt that ROGUE ONE was "STAR WARS" - from start to finish.
Yeah, I've been expecting this response, my comment was so vague. The world is definitely deeply dipped into Star Wars. This is The Hobbit, barely resembling LOTR. It has all the detail in the characters and production design. What I mean to say is, there is a serious lack of fun. It's not a dour movie like Nolan or Snyder, there are jokes and they're good ones, but there's none of the "yee haw" swashbuckling excitement that is the bedrock of the series until the finale. The tone of the adventure is more dramatic than any of the other Star Wars films (and I'm not referring to the end, but the first 90 minutes.) That's a way to tell it and something that will set the stand-alones apart from the main trilogies, but I'm not going to want to watch it again.


Ummm...

(http://38.media.tumblr.com/ea94fa4a4f00974405895b6a9fcefb32/tumblr_nfkm1cdFq11qlpaifo2_500.gif)

I feel you may have walked yourself into that one.  ;D

But no, there's always this lurking darkness to all of the STAR WARS films, it's often pretty muted, but that said darkness is generally the reason why EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is lauded as the best (I still prefer A NEW HOPE, but only slightly; they're both masterpieces) of the franchise. Here they externalize it A LOT but so? These are, after all, WAR films - I'd wager that its the fantastical elements of the wizardry that keeps it from being as "swashbuckling" as the previous seven - the film shows a reality that is generally swept aside in exchange for more spectacle.

Perhaps this is why - and excuse me for using this term extremely liberally - you dislike Italian Neorealism?  ;D All of the characters here live on the margins of the galaxy, they are almost instantly forgotten after they succeed in their mission. I was always ready for all of them to die.

Also, THE HOBBIT was never meant to resemble LORD OF THE RINGS, it's attempts to do so were the problem - it's more lighthearted in tone and nature as a novel than the film. That's why it should've only been two - TOPS - films.

I feel like this resembled the original trilogy far more accurately than THE FORCE AWAKENS did (which it obviously was trying to do) but I also feel it was different enough to justify its own trilogy (despite it being a standalone, which I respect). I told my friend that I was seeing it with that STAR WARS, to me, wasn't ever so much about the characters - the OT were more or less stock archetypes - but the plot and this one was aces. This is why I had such a problem with THE FORCE AWAKENS - it cared way too much about the new characters (who were ultimately still lacking in major development in order to provide necessary fan service for the older characters) and not nearly enough about the plot that drove them. I think with stories one often drives one more than the other, here all of the characters are driven by the plot - they ultimately have no choice. That lack of choice is what made A NEW HOPE so fascinating to me. At one point, Rey has a choice to go back to Jakku and makes it (despite the plot throwing its necessary/predictable curveball to have her stay). Luke has none because the Empire is such an oppressive force. Neither does Jyn. Nor does Anakin in ATTACK OF THE CLONES once his mother dies (another reason PHANTOM MENACE fails is because Anakin isn't an active protagonist, but I digress).

I hope all this makes sense!
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on December 18, 2016, 05:29:00 AM
Some points to debate.


1. I didn't care much for the characters. Loved the cast, but wasn't involved with their journey like with The Force Awakens cast.
It's too early in Daisy Ridley's career to say Felicity Jones is no Daisy Ridley, but one of JJ's great strengths is setting up likable characters and getting us excited about actors we've seen little of before if at all (Lost, Star Trek, Force Awakens). Take Diego Luna. We see him commit some morally dubious acts, but he's such a nice puppy dog most of the time I never matched it with a person who would do bad things because of the greater good. It was more that the film wanted to set up the possibility that he was going to betray them all at some point.

2. The film doesn't reach the prequel pit of endless boring conversations, but not enough happens for much of the film. Many of the dramatic climaxes, especially the entire rain platform sequence, are drawn out too far and lack any emotional punch. There's just no connection between Mads Mikkelsen and Felicity Jones except for typical father/daughter dramatics. I felt nothing for these two characters because I wasn't involved in their personal stories. It isn't until the rebel X-Wings appear above the shield that this felt like a Star Wars movie. Until then, it was a SW fan film, set in the world but using tired characters and story points.

3. I expect a lot of negative comments aimed at Peter Cushing, but my glass is half full. I'm surprised how far the technology is coming along. I expected him to look more like Polar Express (and he approaches it in his 2nd scene), but the skin texture and small gestures are fantastic. I say passible enough where if I didn't know it was impossible I might've not noticed it all the first time.

4. Darth Vader is an interesting inclusion. Some of the best imagery of the film. His final scene was fan service, but it was so badass I liked it a lot.

1. Those were all non-characters. I only remember Jyn's name and she is a completely empty basket. Whatever arcs there were I did not care about or felt undeserved. The deaths had no impact because everyone was such a disposable stereotype.

2. The plot is a lot of jumping around in space to get to the next important person they have to meet. The planets are as devoid of personality as the characters and mountains of time are lost in contrived going arounds that could have been better spent building the characters and creating more SW-feeling action.

3. I loved him and Leia for the proficiency of the technical achievement. I thought they both looked amazing.

4. The first time we see Vader is great too but the carnage is the best scene in the movie. Am I the only one who thought James Earl Jones' voice had changed enough not to recognise it ? I will be listening for that when I rewatch it.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on December 18, 2016, 05:47:05 AM
I feel like this resembled the original trilogy far more accurately than THE FORCE AWAKENS did (which it obviously was trying to do) but I also feel it was different enough to justify its own trilogy (despite it being a standalone, which I respect). I told my friend that I was seeing it with that STAR WARS, to me, wasn't ever so much about the characters - the OT were more or less stock archetypes - but the plot and this one was aces. This is why I had such a problem with THE FORCE AWAKENS - it cared way too much about the new characters (who were ultimately still lacking in major development in order to provide necessary fan service for the older characters) and not nearly enough about the plot that drove them. I think with stories one often drives one more than the other, here all of the characters are driven by the plot - they ultimately have no choice. That lack of choice is what made A NEW HOPE so fascinating to me. At one point, Rey has a choice to go back to Jakku and makes it (despite the plot throwing its necessary/predictable curveball to have her stay). Luke has none because the Empire is such an oppressive force. Neither does Jyn. Nor does Anakin in ATTACK OF THE CLONES once his mother dies (another reason PHANTOM MENACE fails is because Anakin isn't an active protagonist, but I digress).

I don't understand how a movie can care too much about its characters, especially when you're going to be following them for three movies. I am also more interested in characters who make choices than characters who are forced to do things. It's choices that make a character a hero, not being at the wrong place in the wrong time (or having the wrong family name in some cases).

Your comparisons are also a bit befuddling because the plot of TfA is ANH almost beat for beat, just with more fan service.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: MattDrufke on December 18, 2016, 10:27:51 AM
My only problem with Vader, and perhaps the only moment that took me out of this film, was when he said something like, "Be careful not to... choke... on your ambition."

Really? We're using clever wordplay now?

The only way I would've been taken out of the film more is if he then turned to the camera and said, "I guess you can say I'm quite the Pith Lord."
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Teproc on December 18, 2016, 03:50:55 PM
Some points to debate.


1. I didn't care much for the characters. Loved the cast, but wasn't involved with their journey like with The Force Awakens cast.
It's too early in Daisy Ridley's career to say Felicity Jones is no Daisy Ridley, but one of JJ's great strengths is setting up likable characters and getting us excited about actors we've seen little of before if at all (Lost, Star Trek, Force Awakens). Take Diego Luna. We see him commit some morally dubious acts, but he's such a nice puppy dog most of the time I never matched it with a person who would do bad things because of the greater good. It was more that the film wanted to set up the possibility that he was going to betray them all at some point.

100% agree, and I don't think it's too early to say Felicity Jones is no Daisy Ridley. She's a fine actress but has none of the charisma.

I think Tarkin ends up working pretty well (though it opens a whole ethical can of worms), but Leia is awful and we realy didn't need to see her face if we need to see her at all.

The film as a whole is... ok. It works thematically, which is more than I can say for most blockbusters, but it has big problems of pacing. I don't like the winking references either : if you're going to be derivative, I'd rather take the TFA approach of making it the whole point of the film, rather than random shots of sentries that are only there to say "hey, remember that shot ?".
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on December 18, 2016, 08:21:56 PM
The planets are as devoid of personality as the characters and mountains of time are lost in contrived going arounds that could have been better spent building the characters and creating more SW-feeling action.
I will say the look of the first planet really put me into the world nicely. I remember it being this black dirt with lush, tall green grass. Like no place on Earth I've ever seen.

Because they're building a universe of films, I'm left to wonder if Forest Whitaker is a character they're planning to explore in another film. (And that's bad for this one.) I want to know about what happened after he yelled down to Jyn. I want to know if his breathing apparatus is meant to mimic Vader's. I wish he was more fleshed out here instead of being left thinking we're going to learn more in another film years from now.


3. I loved him and Leia for the proficiency of the technical achievement. I thought they both looked amazing.
Seems we're alone on this one so far. The tech is not 100% there, but I believe that uncanny valley just got a lot smaller.


4. The first time we see Vader is great too but the carnage is the best scene in the movie. Am I the only one who thought James Earl Jones' voice had changed enough not to recognise it ? I will be listening for that when I rewatch it.
I noticed the dialogue wasn't as deep as usual, but I thought maybe they're trying to say this is Vader still learning to modulate his voice.

I also hated the wordplay, but I couldn't remember if he spoke a similar threat in the original trilogy. Maybe the line was right but the delivery was too drawn out. If he had had just said it like he didn't realize he was being punny it might've sounded better.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Junior on December 18, 2016, 08:25:08 PM
The planets are as devoid of personality as the characters and mountains of time are lost in contrived going arounds that could have been better spent building the characters and creating more SW-feeling action.
I will say the look of the first planet really put me into the world nicely. I remember it being this black dirt with lush, tall green grass. Like no place on Earth I've ever seen.

Because they're building a universe of films, I'm left to wonder if Forest Whitaker is a character they're planning to explore in another film. (And that's bad for this one.) I want to know about what happened after he yelled down to Jyn. I want to know if his breathing apparatus is meant to mimic Vader's. I wish he was more fleshed out here instead of being left thinking we're going to learn more in another film years from now.

He's actually a legacy character from one of the animated tv shows (http://www.slashfilm.com/who-is-saw-gerrera/). I doubt he'll be around again, so you might have to watch them if you're really interested in his story (which does sound pretty cool).
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on December 18, 2016, 10:32:03 PM
I thought K-2SO (Your son, 1SO?)
Even with this comment, the connection sailed right past me until my wife was looking at a shirt with the robot today. I thought you were referring to my overly-intellectual (robotic) way of watching films or my occasionally too direct manner. Now I wonder if future Filmspotters will think my name derives from this film or if someone who worked on Rogue One is/was a member having a laugh.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on December 18, 2016, 11:00:32 PM
Haha, if anyone is the robot here, it's me.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Totoro on December 19, 2016, 01:13:55 AM

I don't understand how a movie can care too much about its characters, especially when you're going to be following them for three movies.

We're talking about one movie, not one third of one.


I am also more interested in characters who make choices than characters who are forced to do things. It's choices that make a character a hero, not being at the wrong place in the wrong time (or having the wrong family name in some cases).


It's choices under pressure that make characters compelling. Why do I care about Rey if she's so quick to run away from the adventure? She's gone this far then turns and goes? She obviously cares a lot about nonexistent parents that aren't ever coming back, but the film is so shrouded in mystery that we are given nothing to know why we should also care. I never believed for a second about how or why she cared for her family, the film is holding that in for what I expect is a plot twist in 8 that I don't care for anymore. There's so little pressure in that scene that it feels like a rote "Hero is reluctant to call of adventure" but it's too late. You say THE FORCE AWAKENS is a clone of A NEW HOPE but the "Reluctant to call of adventure" beat happens in the first 30 minutes not roughly halfway into the film. Luke makes the decision because of immense pressure - he has lost his entire family, family - by the way - that we were given time to see, understand, and empathize with. There's nothing waiting for Rey back home, except a possibility of the warmth of a family we never see.

I don't watch STAR WARS for subversive character studies in adventure films, I watch STAR WARS for thrilling plot-driven fantasy. If you want STAR WARS with extremely compelling characters, you should petition for Mike Leigh to make the next spinoff. That said, even by traditional fantasy genre terms, Rey is a weakly motivated character, which is odd since, yeah, she's supposed to be the de-facto protagonist of the film.

Jyn, by comparison, is at first, forced into this adventure, but when she sees the hologram that her father leaves her, she becomes emboldened to live for a real meaning instead of just drifting across the galaxy. Cassian gives her the cliched but needed speech where he says that the mission isn't all about her. It may be a bit of a weakness of the film to not detail this moment more, but the idea is conveyed - Jyn has been only thinking of her own survival, she hasn't been thinking of the survival of the galaxy. She becomes a strongly motivated protagonist, she becomes an extremist, a true hero, a real rebel.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on December 19, 2016, 07:45:27 AM
The emotional weight of Rey's family is more real than Luke's. His surrogate parents are disposed off like last week's leftovers and he seems to have the ability to process grief instantly. The script doesn't give him an opportunity to mourn and Ridley is a much better actress than Hamill.

(By the way, is that Reedley or Ridley ?)
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Totoro on December 19, 2016, 04:09:14 PM
The emotional weight of Rey's family is more real than Luke's. His surrogate parents are disposed off like last week's leftovers and he seems to have the ability to process grief instantly. The script doesn't give him an opportunity to mourn and Ridley is a much better actress than Hamill.

(By the way, is that Reedley or Ridley ?)

...

You need to watch A NEW HOPE again. This is simply not true. The entire arc is about him overcoming the fear of death. He literally destroys the Death Star at the end. People always ridicule the scene where Leia is comforting him after Ben dies (she's been through hell) but that scene is important because Leia, since she has been with the Rebellion longer, has a tougher mental fortitude than he has. His Aunt and Uncle are brutally slaughtered - there's a lot of pain here that, of course doesn't come out in overdramatic fashion, but it's there, underneath the surface, and comes out in that scene between him and Leia. His aunt and uncle's bodies, then the first person that tells him he could be more than he could possibly imagine gets killed in front of his eyes. It also shows how far the Empire will go to find the droids. That scene where he finds them is a mix of shock, anger, and horror. It's just subtle which is among its virtues.

I don't care for Rey's parents because I am given absolutely no reason to care for them. The only reason I should care for them is because Rey cares for them but she never communicates more details than "they told me they would come back for me" which I feel more pity towards than empathy. As revealed, she's been on the planet, alone, for 10+ years. Why doesn't she have resentment? I'm down for more pathos to Rey but they never provide that. They had a golden opportunity to introduce the Max Von Sydow character as a surrogate parent who gets murdered which gives her a reason to fight against the Empire but oddly just avoided this for some reason?

She gives a fantastic performance with scant material. A good performance can't alone solve fundamental character shallowness.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on December 20, 2016, 05:55:15 AM
Mental fortitude is a big help when your friends die in front of you or when you get captured by space nazis. Leia witnessed a holocaust that included everyone she loved and was ready to provide emotional support a few hours later. It is a common unrealistic trait of action movies that their characters are able to shrug off horror and tragedy like corny insults in the playground.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: philip918 on December 20, 2016, 10:17:22 AM
Well said, Totoro. My thoughts exactly.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Bondo on December 23, 2016, 04:08:00 PM
The biggest laugh for me was Donnie Yun's remark when they put a bag over his head.

This was definitely the case for me. Probably the best character in the film.

Randomly tackling the points as I catch up on the thread. I agree with the assessment that these characters resonate less emotionally than The Force Awakens. Which is probably why I like that film more even though this I think does more novel work thematically.

About the Tarkin stuff...I guess I'm confused, he's credited as being played by Guy Henry, and my thought until my brother suggested otherwise after the film that it was CG was they just did a very good job with makeup to make someone look like the same character. So I guess the CG fooled me.

The main character I didn't believe was a real person was Forrest Whitaker's. Man is that a bad performance.

Haha, if anyone is the robot here, it's me.

Excuse me?

Anyway, Star Wars has always been a film that isn't afraid for there to be consequences, starting perhaps with Obi Wan-Kenobi's death in A New Hope. The people you side with and cheer for may die. Even if I wasn't as connected to these characters as much, it still had impact. We have made heroes of Leia and Luke and Han. This is the film where the non-heroes pay the steep price necessary for them to become the heroes we know. In a way then it works that they aren't quite as engaging, they don't have to carry the banner.

Obviously this story and this film was made before the election results, but it did feel a bit more resonant...the feeling of this dark force rising to throw off the remaining power of the Senate (i.e. democratic process).
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on December 23, 2016, 05:03:57 PM
Maybe it doesn't come across here, Bondo, but I'm not a very emotional person. I was called Spock/a robot a lot in high-school and didn't find it derogatory because it was pretty much true.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Bondo on December 23, 2016, 05:18:02 PM
I was throwing the gauntlet as most robotic here.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on December 23, 2016, 07:18:08 PM
Fair enough.  :D
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Melvil on December 24, 2016, 10:37:50 AM
I don't think the characters were super great in Rogue One, but they came across as more or less genuine, and fit the more grounded war story tone. I felt emotionally fulfilled when each completed their journey, and it was surprisingly moving to watch them fulfill their role and perish with only the comfort of knowing they helped fight for good.

It's interesting that they wrote in a good deal of ideas or concepts from early drafts of A New Hope that never made it into the original story. The kyber crystals are just a whatever minor plot device, but the Whills are a way to show us a new pocket of the universe and give us characters to keep us tied to the idea of the force.

There's plenty I didn't like, CG Tarkin at the top of the list. Impressive or not, it's still distracting enough that I feel like I barely heard any of the dialogue in his scenes. They could have handled it much more artfully, but it seems someone decided to go all in on trusting the VFX crew and I don't think it payed off.

There were far less unnecessary call-backs (call-forwards?) than TFA, but still a couple really cringe-worthy moments, the most offensive being the completely unnecessary Dr Evazan/Ponda Boba appearance. The last few minutes also felt really rushed and far too fan-servicey.

Pacing problems are a valid criticism, and I personally feel like Forest Whitaker and that part of the journey could have been excised without losing much. There were some cool pieces at play there, but I wish it added up to more. I got the feeling there might be a lot of vestiges of things that got cut or reshaped in the reshoots lingering there.

Ultimately the movie fits in to the OT story much better than I expected, expanding on how these events might have unfolded without really conflicting with the impressions that ANH gives you.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: don s. on January 03, 2017, 07:25:12 PM
Alan Tudyk should stay away from sci-fi. He always seems to end up with a big hole in his chest.


3. I loved him and Leia for the proficiency of the technical achievement. I thought they both looked amazing.
Seems we're alone on this one so far. The tech is not 100% there, but I believe that uncanny valley just got a lot smaller.


I saw it in IMAX, and if I hadn't been looking for it, I doubt I would've noticed that those weren't real actors' faces.

I was throwing the gauntlet as most robotic here.

A real robot wouldn't be so defensive.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Bondo on January 03, 2017, 11:41:58 PM
Too soon  :'(
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on January 04, 2017, 03:19:51 PM
Alan Tudyk should stay away from sci-fi. He always seems to end up with a big hole in his chest.


3. I loved him and Leia for the proficiency of the technical achievement. I thought they both looked amazing.
Seems we're alone on this one so far. The tech is not 100% there, but I believe that uncanny valley just got a lot smaller.


I saw it in IMAX, and if I hadn't been looking for it, I doubt I would've noticed that those weren't real actors' faces.

Is it time for a CGI human character cabale?
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on January 04, 2017, 03:22:39 PM
Is there any point in me writing a review of this anymore? I had a ton of things to talk about, but I waited till my rewatch on the 23rd and then got too busy to write anything. There is nothing to prevent me from doing it now, but it doesn't feel like there would be any interest in reigniting the conversation that would justify that time expenditure.

I was throwing the gauntlet as most robotic here.

Fair enough.  :D

You are adorable.

*computes derision*
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: colonel_mexico on January 17, 2017, 07:05:48 PM
Well, I have to say I was completely blown away. This is what TFA should have been and what I love about the darkness of Episode III and V, the empire striking back, the evil winning.  But here it's a muted hero's victory that explains the silly flaw of the Death Star, Orso's revenge. Finally, we have a film where a white man is not saving the galaxy, but a woman and a Mexican man as heroes, we've turned a corner, even with stereotypes abounding. I loved every minute of these films, and I didn't need deep introductions to these people having seen 7 other Star Wars films to get the idea of the common tropes. Jyn's choice on not joining the rebellion and letting the fight pass her by so she can live a somewhat normal life is something I find myself facing, so on a personal level I get it, do I sell out and enjoy the riches and banal pleasure that is the 'supposed' dream or do I hunker down with the others to fight for something that on some level I do believe in. Luckily for me my choice won't come for another 3 years. Absolutely loved Chirrut, the priest who believes in the force so strongly, even though not displaying some of the force powers that trained Jedi have. The possibilities of what he could have become...tantalizingly interesting. It felt like something from 13 ASSASSINS with these wayward characters trying to undue evil in the land/universe. Chirrut was funny, capable, and his reverence for the force was moving. I cried at the end of this, I haven't cried at a film since I can't remember when, even as the conclusion was so blatantly obvious. I was glad to share this movie with 2 children who are as drawn in as I was when I first saw A NEW HOPE, and the amazing Darth Vader destroying everyone entrance and ending into Episode IV were equally magical and enthralling. I would rank this in my top 10 instantly ever. There is no mushy romance, there is a friendship forged in fire and developed the way any soldiers would through the trials downrange. Magnificent.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: dassix on January 22, 2017, 05:39:26 PM
and the amazing Darth Vader destroying everyone entrance

This was my favorite scene in the movie. 
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: MartinTeller on February 21, 2017, 02:19:45 PM
Finally got around to this yesterday. Some thoughts in bulletpoints:

* Right off the bat I will just say that overall I enjoyed it a lot less than TFA.

* I managed to avoid learning much about the movie beforehand, so I thought they found some Peter Cushing lookalike actor. I did not know he was CG. So, they fooled me, although I was sitting in the front row so not the ideal viewing angle.

* Leia at the end, however, was completely distracting and in my mind, completely unnecessary. That moment would be much more effective if it happened in the background, from a distance.

* Too many fanservice moments. They felt fun in TFA, but obligatory here.

* This should be called "Noble Death Scenes: The Movie". So many leaden moments of poignant sacrifice it became laughable.

* Really not a fan of gritty bleakness in Star Wars. Some people love that, but for me, I go to this franchise for fun adventures. There was not much fun here. The first half was really dull, I was actually struggling to stay interested. Second half was considerably better.

* K2SO was great. Can't say I really cared much about any of the other characters. The only one whose name I can even remember is Jin. Blind Jedi was kind of enjoyable.

* Holy shit, blind dude's sidekick was Wen Jiang?? Mind blown. I hope this somehow results in Blu-Ray releases of Devils on the Doorstep, In the Heat of the Sun and The Sun Also Rises.

* I really like the idea of this movie. The notion that a lot of people died to get those plans is a throwaway moment in Star Wars, and I like the concept of exploring the story behind that. Had I known that that's what this movie was about, maybe I would have been more prepared for such a downer. Still, I think there could have been more fun in the course of the film while still having some dark notes.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 21, 2017, 03:50:44 PM
I'm not opposed to a darker Star Wars, just actually have interesting characters/good writing to go with it.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on February 21, 2017, 10:22:07 PM
At some point there should be an article about people who prefer the escapist fun of The Force Awakens (like Martin and me) and those who were let down by TFA and prefer the grit of Rogue One. It seems this is connected to what you want from a Star Wars film. Perhaps some want the swashbuckling adventure while others want to get as far away from the child-like escapism of the prequels, so a more mature Star Wars becomes the more appealing direction for the mythology.


Martin, is the theater for Rogue One still so crowded that the only seats available to you were in the front?
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Junior on February 21, 2017, 11:07:17 PM
I was thinking about that. Perhaps the weirdest thing is that I fall into your camp even though I'm no fan of most of the previous Star Wars movies.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Melvil on February 21, 2017, 11:15:23 PM
I don't think the reactions necessarily have to do with the tonal direction. Probably my least favorite thing about Rogue One is the gritty wartime approach. I definitely prefer for Star Wars to be fun and adventurous, but TFA was just for me a total disaster on every other level.

I am super not-excited about the Han Solo movie, so I think it is up to Rian Johnson to try and deliver something fun and new for me to get excited about. I'm just worried the foundation he's working off of is too shaky (IMO) for him to salvage it.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Bondo on February 22, 2017, 12:14:41 AM
I liked the tone of TFA and the tone of Rogue One. I preferred TFA because I just felt it built the characters better.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on February 22, 2017, 04:48:59 AM
I usually am all for grit. I will even defend Snyder's tone in the DCU movies. The new SW movies are more difficult to think about in this way, because although I did like TFA more, I am not sure if it is because of its tone, which corresponds to my expectation of a SW movie, or because the grittiness of RO is undercut by a lackluster script. In other words, would I like a SW a lot more if it were made gritty and dark with a competent screenplay? Considering that I am mostly positive on RO (I think) there is a good chance I would. That is taking into account that I agree with almost everything Martin wrote.

I don't think the reactions necessarily have to do with the tonal direction. Probably my least favorite thing about Rogue One is the gritty wartime approach.

Isn't that tone though? Or do you see that more as genre?

Martin, is the theater for Rogue One still so crowded that the only seats available to you were in the front?

My thought exactly.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Teproc on February 22, 2017, 06:34:25 AM
I'm not opposed to a darker Star Wars, just actually have interesting characters/good writing to go with it.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Corndog on February 22, 2017, 12:23:41 PM
I am super not-excited about the Han Solo movie

I'm super excited for that. Lord & Miller haven't disappointed me yet.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Totoro on February 22, 2017, 01:58:28 PM
If only it was just the escapist tone! If it was just that, the prequels would be, on a whole, hated far less.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Melvil on February 22, 2017, 03:13:27 PM
I don't think the reactions necessarily have to do with the tonal direction. Probably my least favorite thing about Rogue One is the gritty wartime approach.

Isn't that tone though? Or do you see that more as genre?

No, you're right. What I was trying to say is that despite that tone not being my favorite for a Star Wars movie, I am on the side of Rogue One more than TFA (which tonally I would prefer if I thought the movie was any good).

If only it was just the escapist tone! If it was just that, the prequels would be, on a whole, hated far less.

True enough.

I am super not-excited about the Han Solo movie

I'm super excited for that. Lord & Miller haven't disappointed me yet.

I'm pretty indifferent to their work overall, but their self-aware meta style is the last thing I want in a Star Wars movie. Even if they reign that in do we really need a backstory movie to go in and remove all the mystery from an already beloved character? How often does that actually turn out well?
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 22, 2017, 03:18:44 PM
Well, we already know Han's origin, or rather what it was before the EU reboot. I think it would be cool to see Han as an Imperial Officer and how he ended up breaking out of that life and becoming the rouge he is in the films. I want Star Wars films that don't revolve around Jedi.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Melvil on February 22, 2017, 03:42:27 PM
I have never given any real credence to the EU. Some of it is fun, but it's all basically fanfic, and much of it is terrible.

I just want Star Wars films that don't revolve around the same few characters.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: DarkeningHumour on February 22, 2017, 03:48:53 PM
Jedi are one of the my favourite things in the universe. I cannot not wish for them.

The entire EU has been scrapped off and I am pretty sure the Han Solo story was part of that.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 22, 2017, 07:36:57 PM
I just want Star Wars films that don't revolve around the same few characters.
I think we'll get there. They are just playing it safe for now.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: MartinTeller on February 23, 2017, 10:35:24 AM
Martin, is the theater for Rogue One still so crowded that the only seats available to you were in the front?

It was a small theater. And it was a holiday.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: shuabert on February 27, 2017, 03:14:46 PM
... I thought they found some Peter Cushing lookalike actor. I did not know he was CG. So, they fooled me, although I was sitting in the front row so not the ideal viewing angle.

* Leia at the end, however, was completely distracting and in my mind, completely unnecessary. That moment would be much more effective if it happened in the background, from a distance.


I really don't think there's a definite answer to this contentious question of whether the CGI recreations were effective or not. I had the opposite reaction to you in that Tarkin was very obviously CGI and jarred me out of the movie at first, while the one shot with Leia worked 100% and I wondered whether they were just inserting old footage into the film.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: philip918 on April 08, 2017, 12:33:09 PM
Finally saw this. What a mess.

Highlights:

- Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang were great.

- K2SO was okay, but maybe comes off funnier in a packed theater.

- The textures in the film are very good. Most of it felt grounded and dusty and dirty like the original trilogy. Except for the rainy planet and Vader's ridiculous stronghold.

Everything else suffered from odd storytelling choices that left most of the characters feeling empty. We don't see enough of Jyn and her father to really invest in their relationship. We don't see enough of Jyn and Saw Gerrera to be invested in their relationship. We don't see enough of Jyn in her young adult life to see how her past has really effected her.

CGI Tarkin and Leia were horrible. I honestly don't see how anyone could mistake these for real-life actors. Not even close. Leia was especially awful.

If you're going to use Vader at least have a major character interact with him. Seeing him wreck some random rebels really didn't do anything for me. It felt tacked on (apparently it was a last minute addition). Especially after the anti-climactic encounter with Krennic it would have been nice to see Jyn and Cassian have to deal with a more formidable adversary.

I liked the idea of each character getting a heroic death that also suggests the Force at work. Chirrut's is the only one that fully exploited this. After that Baze's death accomplished nothing other than taking out a few straggling Storm Troopers and he was also taken out the same way Bodhi was (grenade), which felt repetitive.

We are truly living in the 21st Century when the biggest obstacle in the film is the Death Star plans's file size.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on April 08, 2017, 12:55:23 PM
CGI Tarkin and Leia were horrible. I honestly don't see how anyone could mistake these for real-life actors. Not even close. Leia was especially awful.
Did you know about this going into the film? I think when you know it's not them, you're brain immediately reacts against it. This still image (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/w5YZoms2G78/maxresdefault.jpg) looks quite human, but I know it can't possibly be 2016 Carrie Fisher so my instant reaction is that it's horribly fake.

Even in today's cinematic world of digital creations, digital humans is something we revolt against, as if we fear being replaced by a computer. I read today about how 2/5 of the Guardians of the Galaxy are CG and it shocked me because I've grown used to creations like Rocket and Groot.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Teproc on April 08, 2017, 01:05:59 PM
Even in today's cinematic world of digital creations, digital humans is something we revolt against, as if we fear being replaced by a computer. I read today about how 2/5 of the Guardians of the Galaxy are CG and it shocked me because I've grown used to creations like Rocket and Groot.

I don't understand, did you think Bradley Cooper had metamorphosed into a racoon for the movie ?
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on April 08, 2017, 01:56:49 PM
I have an easier time accepting a walking, talking raccoon that sounds like Bradley Cooper than if a CG Bradley Cooper was used because the actor was unavailable.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: philip918 on April 08, 2017, 04:08:21 PM
CGI Tarkin and Leia were horrible. I honestly don't see how anyone could mistake these for real-life actors. Not even close. Leia was especially awful.
Did you know about this going into the film? I think when you know it's not them, you're brain immediately reacts against it. This still image (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/w5YZoms2G78/maxresdefault.jpg) looks quite human, but I know it can't possibly be 2016 Carrie Fisher so my instant reaction is that it's horribly fake.

That still looks like it's straight out of a video game. I don't think it's bias. I'd be happy if the CGI was good enough to fool me.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on April 08, 2017, 05:06:32 PM
That's my point. How could it possibly fool you when you know Carrie Fisher looked nothing like that during filming? You know this, just like you know Peter Cushing passed away years ago. You can't remove those facts from your brain to give the CGI a chance.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Teproc on April 08, 2017, 05:15:29 PM
I have an easier time accepting a walking, talking raccoon that sounds like Bradley Cooper than if a CG Bradley Cooper was used because the actor was unavailable.

Yeah, but I still don't get your comment about suddenly realizing Groot and Rocket were CGI ?

Of course the uncanny valley is a much bigger problem for human characters... which is why they shouldn't do it. Peter Cushing actually works for the most part I think, though it really bothers me ethically... whereas the Carrie Fisher thing is fine on that front, but just shoddily done.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: Melvil on April 08, 2017, 05:17:57 PM
I'm usually the resident CG defender around here, but 1SO's argument is assuming the CG characters were in the ballpark of convincing which in my experience they were emphatically not. Obviously different people have had different experiences though (IMO Tarkin was far less convincing than the Leia shot, though overall screentime certainly plays a part there.)

The slight is not against the CG itself, which is still incredibly impressive work, it's against the people who made the decision to feature the hardest possible thing to do in CG in such an unabashedly in-your-face way.
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: 1SO on April 08, 2017, 10:12:47 PM
Yeah, but I still don't get your comment about suddenly realizing Groot and Rocket were CGI ?

I'm engaged in the film to where I'm not thinking in terms of humans and CG characters. They are all the Guardians. When they're sitting around talking about "12 percent of a plan" there's no separation between the people on set and the CG stand-ins added later, just like I don't think about Zoe Saldana's makeup. Gamora is green, not a black woman in green makeup.

Compare that to 18 years ago and Jar Jar, where the actors are looking vaguely in his direction, sometimes through him like they're looking over his shoulder. It's a huge advance from that point and I think the unsung hero might be Where the Wild Things Are, which featured people in suits on set with faces CG'd in later (and the seams CG'd out)
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: smirnoff on April 09, 2017, 01:00:42 AM
It's kind of the equivalent of reading a book and fading out of being conscious of the book and turning pages and other things around you, yea? It's kind of fragile thing... since consciousness of it, disrupts it. It just has to be so damn enjoyable you aren't thinking of those things. :)
Title: Re: Rogue One
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on April 10, 2017, 04:19:04 PM
I watched it not knowing about the characters being CGI and Cushing immediately stood out as 'off.' I recognized him but couldn't remember who he was so real world knowledge wasn't a factor. It's very good CGI, I'd say it's past the uncanny valley in that it's not offputting, but it still rings false.