Author Topic: The Last Jedi  (Read 2302 times)

don s.

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #80 on: December 20, 2017, 06:37:12 PM »
I laughed audibly at the steam iron gag.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #81 on: December 22, 2017, 06:54:06 AM »
The other was whether Luke's planets really had two suns. The only shot, as far as I could see, that had the two suns was the one where he was looking at them after doing the astral projection stuff and right before he poofs. All the shots around that one show only one sun at a time, and the same goes for all previous shots on that island. It's a nifty touch, then, because it comes out of nowhere and really hits that nostalgic button (I don't think most of the OT are that pretty to look at, but that one shot sure is).

I didn't even register this. You're right, it's a great little touch. The movie's full of them.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #82 on: December 22, 2017, 09:21:49 AM »
I hadn't realised TLJ was this raunchy.
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1SO

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #83 on: December 23, 2017, 09:13:11 PM »
The casino sequence is 17 minutes from the first shot of the yacht until Finn and Rose jump away. During that time there's a break in the middle to the other stories. I just wanted to time it since it's such a strong point of contention. Obviously it only takes a single terrible minute to ruin a film's momentum.

I still like that section. Even more the 2nd time since I knew none of the giant horses would be injured in the stampede. Still hated the kids who act like they're in a commercial for Christmas morning. That said, I didn't mind the final scene as much. Same problems, but I understood the message of hope it was actually going for.

So now Space Leia stands alone as the film's low point, though I liked the hint of things to come by the way her body goes through the center of the hologram of Snoke's ship. (Another problem is the film can't show how they get Leia from the room because the moment they opened the door, they would've all been sucked out into space. So Leia gets to the door and the next shot she's already inside.)

In the throne room - and I was just as excited knowing what was about to happen as I was when I didn't know - Snoke's dialogue of him seeing what Kylo was about to do, knowing that he's right, but has the intended target wrong, is another great moment to revisit.


Luke really shouldn't have left footprints in the salt during his showdown with Kylo. Would have been a good tease. Or was it there and I missed it?
When Luke first steps out, the salt has been blasted away and there is only red ground. So, there's no tipoff. However, once Kylo goes out to him, a layer of salt has returned to the ground and there are close-up shots of Kylo's feet exposing the red underneath his steps. Luke doesn't leave any prints, including a moment in the fight when he does a full spin on his knees under Kylo's lightsaber. They were smart to not give it away with a close-up, but it's a great detail for re-watches.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #84 on: December 23, 2017, 11:50:00 PM »
Well, as I talk to friends about the film, it seems a shared sentiment that none of us liked the humor of the film and I've heard a couple of people share my sentiments that it felt like a Marvel movie in terms of tone. I wonder if I'm just fatigued of that style of humor this year after 3 Marvel films, but then my roommate was watching Empire Strikes Back and it was the Luke/Vader sequence and I couldn't help but think how much more dramatic and exciting that scene felt and how it builds to this really dramatic character moment that is played completely straight and without humor.

The closest The Last Jedi gets to this is Kylo and Rey arc and then it's undercut by constantly cutting back to silly hijinks subplots and that one awful moment where Rey fires her blaster after this tense mind connection with Kylo and then all of it's sinister feelings are swept away by a joke with Muppets reject character design creatures.

I'm not against humor in my Star Wars, but if you go watch TFA, when the dramatic moments happen, the payoff isn't some dumb joke. We don't get some goofy bit of snark before Han is killed or a gag after Maz talks to Rey about her connection to the lightsaber. Those moments feel like Star Wars.

I'm not saying we can't have a jokey, Marvelesque Star Wars film, but when you have the darkest material the series has ever dealt with, you need a more somber tone. You've got child slave labor, gun running, a beloved hero who created the villain, and a general sense that the line between good and evil isn't nearly as clear cut as this series wants it to be. And I love all those ideas, I just wish it actually treated the film with the respect it deserves instead of feeling like it falls in line with the jokey wave of Marvel films that have come to reshape blockbusters as something that needs humor ever few minutes for fear of losing the audience. It's a huge tonal disconnect for me.


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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #85 on: December 24, 2017, 12:41:00 AM »
Star Wars is an adventure, not life and death. I don't want to see it give me a serious treatment of gun running, child slave labor, mass genocide, the growing class differences, or anything else. And if I had to rank Last Jedi against this year's 3 Marvel movies in terms of jokes, laughs or overall comic tone The Last Jedi would be a distant 4th.

You mention the death of Han in TFA and I would ask you to compare it to the moment in Last Jedi where we think Leia has been blasted into space. No dumb jokes or snark. It's taken seriously, as it should be, and it's all about the looks on Leia and Kylo's faces and his reaction to the tie fighters flanking him that open fire. Or the disappearance of Luke. His final moments upon the rock are done with majesty and respect.

Solid Blake

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2017, 12:52:38 PM »
Watched this for a third time today, this time in IMAX 2D and without any loudmouth kids in close proximity. This keeps getting better upon every re-watch and every plausible plot hole has been filled for me. ALL MY HOLES HAVE BEEN FILLED.  ???

Here's a couple things I really appreciated on this re-watch:

-Rashomon story sequences show how perspective can change an entire story altogether. The camera angles change subtly in all three sequences and they have incredible effect in illustrating the story teller's version of the truth.

-They did an amazing job at changing the visual makeup of certain set pieces. The red curtains burning down during the Rey/Kylo vs. Praetorian Guards, the burning/destruction of the docking bay during the Finn vs. Phasma scene, and, most importantly, the kicking up of the salt and following "saltfall" that shows how Luke's projection of himself isn't leaving footprints--very smart.

-Don't Join, aka D.J. represents our cynical/nihilistic attitude towards pretty much everything (e.g. Trump's presidency and our reluctant embrace of it), and Finn/Rose represent a society of hope/positivism. They may be seen as naive, but I'm looking for to D.J.'s character arc in the next film, as his "maybe" remark might come back to haunt him.

-This film is gorgeous. There are certain shots/sequences that give me goose bumps. Leia's distant stare across the salt flats of Crait, the slow-motion back to back fight choreography with Rey and Kylo, the island. It's pure cinematography porn and I love it.

-Rey's aesthetic transformation is cleverly done and pretty meaningful. When she falls through the "darkness" hole and goes under water, he iconic buns from The Force Awakens are washed away and he more serious The Last Jedi hair style is applied. This erases her whimsical character from the former film and sets up a more serious/conflicted Rey. It could seem like it's just hair/character design, but it really means something here.

-Poe's lesson is learned when he calls the ski-speeders to "back off" and not complete their "suicide run" against the miniaturized Death Star tech, which he would not have done if he didn't have learned from his mistakes with the bombers and the attempt at mutiny. "The greatest teacher, failure is. - Yoda

-On the surface, this film is The Empire Strikes Back on the surface level. Unlike The Force Awakens, however, this film subverts every expectation set up by the prior films juxtaposed to paying homage/reverence to it. Abrams is like a cover band, while Johnson is more a remix-artist, taking in the familiar and making something completely new. This doesn't detract from The Force Awakens, it only elevates The Last Jedi (for me).

-They finally brought intricate/metaphorical story telling about morally complex issues to a friggen' STAR WARS movie. It's no longer about light versus dark. It delves into the grey, and I can understand how this can be divisive. But Rian Johnson is spot on in stating that "... I do think the conversations that are happening (about The Last Jedi) were going to have to happen at some point if Star Wars is going to grow, move forward and stay vital." Amen, brother.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 03:18:56 PM by Solid Blake »

1SO

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #87 on: December 24, 2017, 01:16:03 PM »
Preach!

Solid Blake

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #88 on: December 24, 2017, 01:56:29 PM »
Preach!

Watching this again really crystallized why this film can be so damn polarizing. When you forget about (which you should) the frothing hardcore Star Wars fans who only care about the extended universe and how the films revolved around those "sacred texts" (Now that I think about it, you could correlate the sacred texts in the film representing Rian Johnson's view of the previously canonical extended universe)... the audience's expectations can essentially be broken down into two categories:

1. Those who wanted more answers to the mystery that J.J. sets up in The Force Awakens ( la LOST), and learn more about these seeds that were planted. There's nothing wrong with getting hooked with plot elements like these. It's a different style of story-telling and can work in every medium. These people are obviously going to be upset with this film, because Rian Johnson completely uproots all the seeds that J.J. planted. Snoke is dead, Luke is defeated, Rey's parents were alcoholic nobodies, there were no Knights of Ren and SURPRISE--none of it really matters. In the overall story of previous Star Wars films, there is a level of Nepotism fetishism: Everyone has to be a "chosen one," or the son of the son of that one guy. This is not that film. This is something different, which leads me to my second category.

2. Those who want a story where anyone can rise up and fight against evil. This is that film. It's a little blatant in the final scene, but this movie actually has the balls to delve into class categories, war economies, and personal ethics in war time. This movie states that an orphan from a junker planet can rise up, resist, and ultimately take down "chosen ones," surrounded by vanity and history. "Forget about the past, kill it you have to."--Kylo's words ring true in a lot of ways. This is a 2017 film writer/director's take on Star Wars, versus the mindset of a writer/director in the mid-70's. Society has changed since 1977. This is a fresh take on a story set in a revered Galaxy (far, far away) and one that we essentially need.

It's polarizing/divisive, and that's a good thing. I'm just hopeful that J.J. can take the reigns for episode IX with this same spirit in mind. Even if that doesn't happen and we just get another Return of the Jedi, I'm filled with a lot of optimism that a relatively "small time" writer/director can take a beloved franchise, under the all-seeing eye of mega-corporate Disney, and tell a refreshingly relevant story of his own--one that today's audience needs to hear.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: The Last Jedi
« Reply #89 on: December 24, 2017, 02:03:51 PM »
I want to see the best possible version of Star Wars, I want it to evolve and grow, and I think this film struggles so hard, but it's clear to me that Rian's view of what the film should be a Disney's structure of wanting to make a palatable and profitable entertainment series are at odds.

This was so close to a more complex, grown up and mature Star Wars story but it just feels like they added so much to make it appeasing to people instead of giving these subjects the gravity they deserved. I hope people don't take this the wrong way, but there was a point where I really grew to dislike the Star Wars films for having such a naive and infantile view of good and evil and the world.

This film and, to a lesser extent, Rogue One complicate this idea, but Rogue One didn't have the characters or story to draw us in. Now we have the characters and story, but the tone is completely wrong. If this is Star Wars growing up, then I think we're in the awkward puberty period. The humor is misplaced and topics are brought up only to be left by the wayside by the time the film ends.

Child slaves are bad but it's okay because we rescued those cute animals! It's a kind of emotional manipulation that tries to keep from making the audience too uncomfortable and I'm sorry but if you want Star Wars to grow up, there needs to be uncomfortable moments that don't get undercut by self-aware movie humor. But apparently that's what the kids dig these days and we sure want to make the kids happy so we can get that merchandise money! This does make me appreciate the slave child ending a bit more as Rian tries to draw the audience back to the fact that while these children are enslaved, at least the Rebellion gives them hope for freedom.

Maybe on a rewatch I won't feel like there's such a huge disconnect, I want to love what this film is doing but it squanders so much of potential by taking the tone of another jokey Marvel film. Just in the last two days I've talked to three more people who agree the humor is misplaced. Rian Johnson isn't a Taika Waititi or a James Gunn, he doesn't have the comedy chops that those two bring and I think that shows. If this had the tone of Brick or Looper, I could see this working so much better.

I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being pandered to and treated like a child by Disney while Rian tried his best to give us something grown up. Maybe I'm asking for the series to mature too fast, maybe this is the compromise we have to have if we're going to get a Star Wars film every year for the rest of our lives. I admire the hell out of this film's story, I just wish the tone didn't feel like every other major Marvel blockbuster of the past few years.