Author Topic: Star Wars: The Force Awakens  (Read 9256 times)

Totoro

  • Guest
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« on: December 18, 2015, 01:53:53 AM »
Okay, let's do it.

- The Starkiller Base is so bad. Second Third Death Star Confirmed. But now that it's gone, are they really going to do a fourth?! Loved Han's line where he's like, "So it's a Death Star."

- RIP Han. Damn. That was a gut-punch, the film's best moment. Harrison Ford gives a truly fantastic performance here too. He's totally back.

- Wanted more Luke. Maybe just a line? That last shot is absolutely horrible. Should have ended on the shot right before it.

- C-3PO's red arm. Shown but never explained. His first scene is a synecdoche of the entire film.

- Out of the new leads, Driver MVP. Ridley is charming and likable, but like Boyega, they're surprisingly not given a lot of backstory - they're pretty blank slates. Boyega gives it his all. I look forward to seeing him do more here.

- Dumb lame macguffin is dumb and lame. Thinking maybe Luke "awakened" R2 after feeling Han dying.

- Needed more Oscar Isaac.

Overall a lot of fun. More thoughts later.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9978
  • Eek
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 01:09:35 PM »
Here's a smattering of my thoughts:

-I was really excited about the casting of Max Von Sydow and going into it not knowing what role he was playing, but that was a seriously nothing part.

-Speaking of which, Captain Phasma was such a cool mysterious looking character. Too bad she did zero things work talking about, and ended up a punchline to yet another forced call-back.

-Jaaku is a dessert planet with moisture farming and a race of funny little scavenging creatures, but don't worry, it's totally not Tatooine.

-BB8, however, is definitely just R2. This I am fine with. He's cute and overall works just fine.

-The idea of Luke Skywalker being the macguffin of the story is actually kinda neat. Implementing it as an exact stand-in for the death star plans isn't. Somehow, despite being completely unrelated, completing their mission to deliver the plans will still lead to the third-act Death Star assault.

-And yeah, The Starkiller is just the dumbest. Not only didn't we need a third Death Star (or a second for that matter), this is a perfect example of the bigger is not better problem.

-The Force has gotten progressively stupider as the series goes on, and this movie is no exception. Kylo Ren has, intermittently at least, far greater power than Vader yet hasn't completed his training and still has an inferiority complex? And Rey becomes a skilled Jedi by touching a lightsaber (WE'LL TELL YOU HOW THAT IMPOSSIBLE ACQUISTION HAPPENED LATER, maybe) and then closing her eyes and saying "The Force".

-Han Solo as Malcolm Reynolds as Han Solo. Followed by an action scene with CG spinning tentacle monsters that is easily the dumbest thing in all of Star Wars.

-Domhnall Gleeson, maybe short of John Boyega, seems to be having more fun than anyone else. His character is ridiculous and the "First Order" fails to make any real impact, but he managed to bring a little spark of something that the movie really needed.

-Giant CG Andy Serkis might have taken a wrong turn while looking for a movie where Giant CG Andy Serkis is appropriate.

- Needed more Oscar Isaac.

I agree, I wonder if they cut a lot of his stuff? When he and Finn reunite it sure seemed like they knew each other better than the 4 minutes we saw of them together.

- Wanted more Luke. Maybe just a line? That last shot is absolutely horrible. Should have ended on the shot right before it.

You're right, it would have been a much better cut to credits without that weird helicopter shot. Luke looked pretty awesome though. Out of the three original characters he's the only one I feel like should actually have been brought back, so it's a bummer that he's not really in the movie.

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 27894
  • Marathon Man
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 02:01:38 PM »
Don't feel like jumping into the Spoiler discussion. I liked it, didn't love it. Will probably make my Top 10 of the year, but doesn't compare to the imagination and discussion points of Mad Max: Fury Road.

philip918

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3661
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 05:08:18 PM »
Bullet points for now:

Opening shot is ugly. Really ugly. Last shot is ugly. Really ugly.

Saw in 2D. 3D may have been better. Lots of motion blur that was distracting.

Liked Ridley a lot. Really liked Isaacs, but found his instant camaraderie with Boyega a little odd. Boyega was good.

Ford was really good. And now JJ Abrams will forever be known as the man who killed Han Solo. Ford's acting in the scene was good, the scene itself sucked.

Somehow the alien makeup effects weren't as good as what they did in 1977.

How do you put Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian in a movie and not have them do something that involves hand to hand combat? Instead you pit them against really, really, really dumb walking Sarlac pits.

Driver seemed too old for the part (even though he's pretty young). His emotional struggle felt very teenage to me. Very Harry Potter-esque.

Speaking of Harry Potter. What the heck is up with Snoke? Who in the world thought "Snoke" is a menacing name. I can't believe the actors kept a straight face even saying "Supreme Leader Snoke." His look was also very Voldemort-y.

Bigger stakes. Dumber solutions. That seems to be the general direction of most blockbusters these days.

Not-a-Death-Star planet is duuuuuuumb. I thought at least the idea was going to be they'd found a way to fire a weapon through hyperspace. Shoot here and hit a plant across the galaxy. Nope, giant point-and-shoot Death Star that literally kills a star to fire. How many stars can it pull from? It doesn't seem very mobile. Planets and stars are all extremely close in Abrams's versions of the universe.

The action sequences were entirely forgettable. The best moment was Ridley calling the lightsaber over Kylo Ren, but their duel afterward wasn't particularly gripping. And the CGI chasm that opens between them felt like the prequel visuals. Also, her saying, "Force." Like she needed to her Kylo say it to remind her that she could use it... What?

Luke. So, the moment I actually get a little emotional is Luke seeing his lightsaber after all these years. And then the moment goes on and on and on. Shot after shot. To the point I found it humorous.

RIP Han Solo. And screw that.
"If God gives you lemons find a new God."

Totoro

  • Guest
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 05:13:30 PM »
Abrams is damned if he takes a risk, damned if he doesn't.

I loved everything about killing off Han. It puts the plot in a VERY interesting place. A risk that definitely pays off well.

philip918

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3661
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 05:21:19 PM »
Abrams is damned if he takes a risk, damned if he doesn't.

I loved everything about killing off Han. It puts the plot in a VERY interesting place. A risk that definitely pays off well.

Does it really put the plot in an interesting place? He and Leia were basically over already. Everything was already leading toward Luke needing to lead Kylo away from the dark side. To me it's much more interesting if the non-Jedi is the one who is able to do that.

To me, death is not the most interesting stakes. It's quite far down the list really.
"If God gives you lemons find a new God."

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9978
  • Eek
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2015, 05:34:52 PM »
I think the problem is that this story took no risks. It's all extreeemly familiar. It took all of a scene and a half to realize they were putting Han in the mentor role just to kill him off at the end.

And he just isn't a relevant character any more, nor should he be. That's why he wasn't supposed to come back in RotJ, and had very little to do when he did. I'm glad that they found a reason to try and give him some stakes, but it just plays like a shallow repeat of scenes the series has already done.

The design of the chasm for the father/son climax even looked like the Cloud City one.

Totoro

  • Guest
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2015, 05:40:33 PM »
Abrams is damned if he takes a risk, damned if he doesn't.

I loved everything about killing off Han. It puts the plot in a VERY interesting place. A risk that definitely pays off well.

Does it really put the plot in an interesting place? He and Leia were basically over already. Everything was already leading toward Luke needing to lead Kylo away from the dark side. To me it's much more interesting if the non-Jedi is the one who is able to do that.

To me, death is not the most interesting stakes. It's quite far down the list really.

Why does it only relate to stakes? It informs Kylo a whole lot more and provides Rey a motive for revenge (which could tempt her to the dark side and probably will). Han was an important dynamic to have in the story as well. Without him, the other characters will have to provide some much needed levity as the series enter its likely darkest arc in the next.

As far as stakes go, it actually does make the next two films a lot more exciting because now they have a general sense of foreboding. It's an announcement. Now, anyone can die. There hasn't EVER been a character death as meaningful or shocking than this one. The only one that comes close is Obi-Wan, but he wasn't built up over several movies at the time. Maybe Padme, but we knew her fate from the beginning.

And besides, the point still stands. You dislike that Abrams didn't take risks then hate risk he does take. Han is the most liked out of the original three - also the best actor/strongest presence. He was hyped up in this film. He gives the film's best performance. Killing him off IS a risk for the series as a whole whether you guys like it or not.

philip918

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3661
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2015, 06:19:01 PM »
You dislike that Abrams didn't take risks then hate risk he does take.

Hence, not liking the film.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 06:21:17 PM by philip918 »
"If God gives you lemons find a new God."

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9978
  • Eek
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2015, 06:25:19 PM »
I don't know, turning Han Solo into a villain would have been shocking and risky. Killing a likable mentor character in the third act to propel your heroes journey forward is storytelling 101. Especially when you're specifically doing a story about passing the torch to a new generation. I respect that you had a different experience, but I have never been less shocked, and I don't think Abrams risked alienating anyone with such a worshipful treatment.

I'm surprised to hear you praise Harrison Ford's performance so much. I thought it was adequate but felt a bit like Ford playing at being Solo rather than actually being him. I'm sure part of that is the writing though. What did you think of Carrie Fisher?

 

love