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January 5th, 2016

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10:22 pm - Movies in 2015 ...
Well, I'm cheating a bit, because I only saw one at the cinema, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but I want to note down a few thoughts I had on it ...

First, the nitpicks (and these are pretty small things):
1. At some point I started noticing the sounds of peoples' footsteps, and they were just slightly jarring - first because they sounded just like some of the footstep sounds used in some Star Wars games (thinking of Jedi Knight mainly), and second because right at the end, when someone is climbing stone steps, the footstep sound used is far too loud for the situation (I could go up similar stone steps in my stompy boots almost silently, and the character involved wasn't wearing stompy boots ... ).[1]

2. It was good that Poe gave Finn a name ... but maybe he should have asked Finn if he liked the name Finn, rather than just "assigning" it. As I recall the dialogue (badly !), Finn's reply wouldn't even have to change, Poe could have just said "How about 'Finn' ?" and it would have flowed on.

Now for other thoughts:
As many people better with words than me have noted, this film had lots of different audiences to attempt to satisfy, and lots of functions to fulfill. Yes, it played safe and had many similarities to SW IV, but it provides a good launching point for the next film. (Of course, if the next one(s) repeat plots from V & VI too closely, then I'll be somewhat disappointed).

For me, the film achieved something else - it made me want to read, play or watch something Star Wars-related afterwards, which is not something I've felt great drive to do in recent years.
I'm also considering seeing it again, which (with two small children in the house) is definitely saying something good about it.

Anyway, overall opinion is "thumbs up", definitely worth watching.

[1] There might be a bit of circularity happening here, as I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Jedi Knight games had some work done by ILM (and/or people who'd worked on the original trilogy), so maybe the games got the footsteps sounds from the movies in the first place, and VII is just re-using the same "soundscape".

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Current Mood: geekygeeky

(3 touches | En garde !)


[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2016 12:02 pm (UTC)
I saw it last night. My main thoughts - enjoyed it, although it was totally IV redux. I figured they wanted the fans onside after Phantom Menace and The Wooden Hayden Experience. ;-)

The writing and plot didn't hang together very well if you thought at all about it, and I have to admit one of my friends described it as "Star Wars VII: The Search For Spock" which made me laugh out loud. A lot.

I also may have rolled my eyes a lot when they said that the Republic had fallen (again? In 30 years?? Sheesh, people!) and that Luke had cracked the sads and gone off somewhere after everyone screwed up his stuff.

Also this universe people seem to have huge problems with understanding the concept of "balance" as in "balance in the force".

I liked having Han and Leia back, I hope Leia gets to do a lot more in the next films. Pity their son didn't inherit their genes, no wonder he chucked a hissy fit (did you laugh at the tantrums? I was giggling the entire way through, as was my friend who also has a 4 year old) after he realised he'd been hit with the... well, not the ugly stick, but the less genetically endowed stick.

I liked Finn and Rey, I would probably like Poe if they bothered to fill him out a bit more as a character. Ren and Stimpy (no idea of his name, the Nazi one) and Gollum The Overlord look like they could be interesting although I suspect that GtO will end up being under a metre tall and searching for a lost ring somewhere along the way. There did seem to be a lot of overcompensation going in that hologram.

I think my absolute favourite scene was the doctor treating Chewbacca though, that was just beautiful.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
Ugly stick? I know a lot of people who think he's extremely good-looking. To me he looked like the young man who played Young Sherlock Holmes or possibly a very young Benedict Cumberbatch. Very Byronic good looks.

Insofar as the tantrums -- the Dark Side is anger and so on. Slashing up inanimate objects is actually a more mature way of releasing that fury than killing the messengers. Kylo Ren didn't go around killing off his subordinates in fits of pique, unlike a certain OTHER Dark Lord of the Sith. (Note, I say "more mature" not "mature". But (A) he's still very young, and (B) it may be that the Dark Side really doesn't allow for maturity; you have to have more balance than that, and the Dark Side is very chaotic and impulsive)

The Republic was ALWAYS going to fall. One victory over the Empire and the Emperor might have broken the Empire as such, but the Imperial forces were still immensely larger, and even with a lot of defections... fact is, I don't think the Rebellion had had the CHANCE to think through how to consolidate, while the Imperials could quickly coalesce around someone who promised the same type of ... direction.

I also feel Poe was way too much of a background character for all the love he's getting. Though not as much as Phasma, who has a strong fan following and was in so few scenes, with so few lines, that those who AREN'T in the fan contingent may not even know who she was.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2016 01:25 pm (UTC)
He may well be good looking in other roles, but for some reason the costume did nothing for me in that role. I didn't think he was ugly, but we did think that Han and Leia would have really good looking children and he didn't quite match that (for us, obviously.)

I can see a younger version of Benedict Cumberbatch though now that you mention it. He'd probably look better in less black, heh.

I probably found the tantrums funnier than I should because my son is currently doing them on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I was happy that he didn't kill anyone but it was still highly amusing. And besides, if he's out to emulate Annakin... he'll probably get to the killing everyone who annoys him bit. You're right about the Dark side being chaotic, I hadn't really thought of it like that. Possibly describes my son's tantrums fairly accurately too.

I had no idea Phasma even had a name until I read the plot holes summary. Poe was barely in it, and seriously has a movie ever been so completely blase about a character being thought dead and then being found alive? It was really low key and kind of weird.

Wrt the Empire... I dunno. The original pre-Lucas-added endings I could see them rising without Vader and the Emperor quite easily ("we've liberated the forest moon of Endor! Yay!") but the additional bits made it clear that the idea was that the liberation was universal. How the Republic failed to notice a large snowy weaponised planet being built reasonably close to them though... well, they were obviously distracted by the need to rebuild civilisation and trade and trade disputes etc.

I kind of liked that the stormtroopers were back to being different heights though. :-) Not entirely sure what the narrative about the clones/stolen babies is going to end up being though. But I liked Finn, and if the Force Awakening means that some characters are being awakened without actually knowing why and how and what's actually going on... hey it works for me.

Actually now I think of it I really kind of want to know how Ren ended up with Darth's helmet. Seems like a weird family heirloom to hang on to, the symbol of your father's tyranny.

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