December 28, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


How best to put this?

Someday, I will ruefully look back on this post and realize that this is the day I became "The Other".

This was a serviceable summer blockbuster and was a decent, if uneven J.J.Abrams flick. I say uneven in part because while the first hour or so was sublimely paced and and at times as tight as a Swiss watch, the last seven and a half hours seemed to drag a bit. 

To be fair, this was a vastly better film than any of the prequels and I suspect that this alone accounts for some of the gushing over this movie. The film has some wonderful moments and introduced a genuinely interesting character,

There is much to like in the early part of the film but it still fell short.

 All in all, it was better than the prequels (but so was Battle Beyond the Stars) and in the same league as Return of the Jedi...which I confess I did not care for, and frankly despite some awesome early moments and glorious effects, this film ultimately ended up disappointing due to the draggy inchoate ending and what came off as the writer's laziness towards the end.

I said it.
Now flame away.

UPDATE: Ubu Roi has  a particularly good disquisition on the film including a focus on a speciffic characterization problem that I strongly suggest you read in full. I also note that I'm not the only person that the name "Darth Emo" occurred to...which probably means something.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 11:33 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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1 That seems to be the universal review, actually.  The Red Letter Media guys said just about the same thing.  It's better than the prequels, and seems better than it is just because of that.

Posted by: Ben at Tue Dec 29 09:57:03 2015 (DRaH+)


Ubu Roi didn't like it, either.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Dec 29 10:32:53 2015 (+rSRq)

3 I read a spoiler about the film and have one comment:

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Dec 29 11:04:30 2015 (+rSRq)

4 I just finished John C. Wright's piece on this, and he has some pretty good insights as well.

Posted by: Mauser at Tue Dec 29 12:58:35 2015 (5Ktpu)

5 My review isn't quite as harsh, but I certainly did feel that the first two-thirds or so of the movie was amazing, and then last segment was thrown together to add some meat beyond "the lead characters meet, escape danger, and travel to meet the brave resistance."  This is one way in which the original was superior, it had the pacing to do all that, all the stuff on the death star, and then get in the final space fight, without it seeming rushed.  This one didn't manage that.  I was also kind of upset by the battle planning session that might as well have been: "Oh look, another superweapon.  This could be serious, but hey, we all know how this works.  We send in the heroes to do daring things, then a couple squadrons of X-Wings to finish it off, and everyone is home in time for beer.  Any questions?  No? Ok, lets go."
Regarding "We can't be sure":

Posted by: David at Tue Dec 29 16:40:58 2015 (+TPAa)

6 Re: Steven's spoiler

Posted by: Ben at Tue Dec 29 17:56:39 2015 (S4UJw)

7 I kept thinking "Darth Snape." But although the physical resemblance is uncanny, Snape at his most emo was a lot more formidable person.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Dec 29 21:00:16 2015 (ZJVQ5)

8 Overall, I did like the movie. But I think it helped that my expectations were not high, and my inner seven-year-old was firmly in the driver's seat.

Battle Beyond the Stars! Fun movie!

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Dec 29 21:03:20 2015 (ZJVQ5)

9 For all you people griping about

Posted by: RickC at Tue Dec 29 23:15:23 2015 (FvJAK)

10 RickC - One of my problems with the expanded universe, and one of the main reasons I gave up on it early on, is because Jedi turned to the Dark Side if they had a bad day.  I know a lot of the stories were constantly retconned and overwritten, but I think Luke went evil 3 or 5 times before he was 60 in the expanded universe.

Posted by: Ben at Tue Dec 29 23:24:23 2015 (DRaH+)

11 Ben--that's not unreasonable.  I just wanted to point out, though, that some things that shocked people, well, it's not as if they were made up from whole cloth, and there are EU parallels.
I apparently missed most of the crappy EU books.

Posted by: RickC at Wed Dec 30 00:00:52 2015 (FvJAK)

12 I liked the film quite a lot, but I do not see how it's better than prequels. I never had a visceral reaction to Jar-Jar. So he's handed the by calling for . What's the big deal? Marco Rubio did the same, as did John McCain. Acting of Adam Driver was better than Hayden Christinsen's, perhaps, but the difference was marginal. It's in the same vein, IMHO.

I have one surefire prediction though (no need for spoiler, right?): considering how PC this movie is, you may bet on someone turning up transgendered in Episode IX. They already have . Next step, obviously . Remember, you heard it here first.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Fri Jan 1 18:12:27 2016 (XOPVE)

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