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Post Posted: December 16th 2015 11:21 am
 
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LOVED Rey!

I thought the score was well lacking.
Really disappointed in that.

Opening crawl the best ever!
Nearly peed my pants!


Post Posted: December 16th 2015 11:25 am
 

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Ternian wrote:
I thought the score was well lacking.

Now there's a surprise. What was lacking about it?


Post Posted: December 16th 2015 9:05 pm
 
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There was no memorable themes. It was just bland fodder.


Post Posted: December 16th 2015 11:21 pm
 
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as above it was FUCKING AWESOME!

my biggest/probably only gripe was that the main title theme was a bit lacklustre compared to previous recordings

AMA


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 12:38 am
 

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pjvader wrote:
my biggest/probably only gripe was that the main title theme was a bit lacklustre compared to previous recordings


I noticed that too on the soundtrack. Barely any lowend. It was recorded in LA for the first time and not in London. Big mistake IMO.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 2:51 am
 

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I've seen it twice so far: once in 2D, then in 3D.
The first viewing was quite surreal.
I was impressed, shocked and moved by what l saw and heard.
Without spoiling anything, l left the theatre stunned (because of SPOILER) but was better prepared for it today.
I think the second viewing was even more enjoyable.
There's so much humor and great chemistry with the cast. I really enjoyed it.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 2:53 am
 
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It was a totally enjoyable film but it was also a bit trashy. The 'Death Star' planet was stupid, rushed and preditcable. The rehashing of plots from the OT was stupid. Finn was horrible...and so was the Voldemort/Palpatine hybrid.

The stand-outs were Rey, BB8, Poe and the cantina owner and to a degree, Kylo Ren (I loved his inner conflict).


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 4:57 am
 
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Astonishingly good - fun, exhilirating, visual spectacular and old school. You can say the plot is a re-tread or you can say it's a pastiche of the original story but either way it's a very, very good film (and screenplay).

Highlight for me - while I mull over my blog review - were

The visceral and "real" feel of the film. The right balance between CG and real models really does make a difference.
The humour between the characters - this is definitely Kasdan's script.
The Freudian angst of Kylo Ren - actually this was one of the best things in the story and is enhanced by Adam driver's performance. He manages in select scenes what Lucas/Hayden Christensen failed in two entire movies. You genuinely feel his soul tearing apart.
The "vision" thing - you see the kinds of things in this you don't expect i.e. the Falcon getting pretty battered by the people piloting it, blissfully awe inspiring aerial battles. The best way to describe it is that the filmmakers have seen the Star Wars universe and those in it with fresh eyes for the 21st Century. And it's good!

The only thing I would question is Phasma - what was the point? The character served no purpose.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 5:03 am
 
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Oh - forgot to mention...

The 3D is immense. Best I've seen in a movie, but then I always figured 3D suited this genre better than most.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 8:12 am
 

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Just got out about 40 minutes ago, it's a lot to take in. It was such a great experience, I loved it. I hope all of you who see it enjoy it as much as I did.

I have two girls, one is 8 and the other is 5 and they were glued to the screen. It was like they were watching Frozen 2. That made it even more special for me, to see them be interested in the folklore and fantasy of the wonderful SW universe. I guess we all love to see ourselves when we first were enthralled and captivated by Star Wars. I did tonight and it was amazing.

Thank you to all at MF.com for the news and hype, you helped keep the force a live in this fan for the past decade. Again, happy viewing to all of you.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 11:53 am
 
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My review...

MAJOR spoilers if you've stayed spoiler free: http://jonrosling.com/eyefilms/?p=1547


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 2:47 pm
 
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I've seen it twice now in 3D so looking forward to my first 2D showing today.

It's criminal how good this movie is :)

The score was a little lacking so may have to have a listen to that on it own.

The entire cast was top notch with the Kylo Ren character a stand out.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 5:54 pm
 
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Some thoughts, I'm still digesting it all tbh:

Rey is cute as a button and the stand-out star of this movie.

Finn is solid, not horrible at all and very likeable for a stormtrooper.

Poe is Han snark-tastic! He's good and he really knows it.

BB8 is just awesome. Honestly I've read reviews saying he's childish and crap but I think he's one of the best things in this.

Kylo Ren is deeply conflicted but we're not really sure why yet, there's a lot more to discover about this character. I'm trying hard not to see him as a kid wrecking his bedroom in a temper but that's kind of what we're seeing. Too stubborn and immature for the training perhaps?

Maz Kenata, same species as Yoda?

Leia's face didn't move once :(

Supplementary : I am fairly certain I know exactly where Daniel Craig pops up. He's in it twice I'm sure.

Also, Chewie seemed to get over shit pretty quickly did he not? :chewbacca:


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 10:27 pm
 
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So the the New Republic was destroyed after 4 planets blew up? That part confused the fuck out of me.

Overall entertaining and was respectful of the saga as a whole.

Han dying was predictable, I'm sure Ford demanded this.


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 11:13 pm
 

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I liked it, quite a bit. There were a few bumps, but nothing that prevented me from having a good time, and the pacing was nice. The overall tone of the music was fine; it didn't hit me in the face the way the PT soundtrack did, but didn't grab me like the OT.

Things I enjoyed:
Articulated fingers for Chewie
BB8
Rey
Watching the Falcon in flight
Back alley style nasty lightsaber fighting
The final moments of the movie


Post Posted: December 17th 2015 11:54 pm
 
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I don't think that the Republic was destroyed with the four planets, dromag. I think Hux meant that the firing of the Starkiller weapon was the "beginning of the end of the Republic."

As a whole, my initial reaction to the film is about the same as George's. It's definitely fan service for OT pursuits. One one level, that's a good thing. On another level, the movie plays it too safe and close to the surface. (A few years back, I got to see the initial Savage Opress arch for TCW series in a theater. For now, I recall that screening to be a more satisfying experience than this one. I still have to process why.)

Even with the overall "very good" package, there are several things I loved. For one, I agree with Ternian about the crawl. I wanted to applaud after reading it. Everything having to do with Solo was also great. He's haggard, gruff, scheming, and more than a little sentimental. That's exactly how Han Solo would turn out. To me, the final minutes were a bit magical. Hamill doesn't need to utter a single line in the film. His face seemed to registered a full range of emotions.

In terms on the new characters, I also agree that Rey is handled the best. Her transition from likable action hero to emotional heavy is somewhat seamless. Technically and dramatically, the end sword fight was very smartly executed. (Oh, and Rey is probably Luke's kid. Why else would the Skywalker saber "call" out to her? I would almost put money on Felicity Jones' character in Rogue One as being her mother.)

I liked Finn a lot.
His enthusiasm is over-the-top in many ways, but I appreciate that approach. The same type of tactic was used with Luke and Hanin ANH, after all.

I also liked Kylo's fire and vulnerability.
Yes, its pretty obvious that he's Abrams re-imagined Anakin.

Gleeson's impression of McGregor doing an impression of Guinness makes Hux's heritage intriguing.

Snoke was fine, but no Sidiuos, Tyranus, or Maul (for that matter).

Phasma's screen-time must have been cut down in the final edit.
Why else would her character be such a non-entity?

Maz was quite good, and I'm hopeful that she will appear in the Anthology Solo movie.

Concerning music, the best part of the soundtrack was when William's briefly played the Rebel Alliance theme from ROTJ. The rest of the stuff was alright, which is disappointing by Williams' very high standards.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 12:21 am
 
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Holy beeping shitballs batman. It's awesome. That's my review.

I gotta see this again...


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 1:03 am
 
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I loved every second of it. I could gush for paragraphs on end, but I'd probably just end up repeating what's already been said here and elsewhere. Lifting story elements from A New Hope doesn't really bother me... ANH's story wasn't exactly the most original itself, but the film soared when everything else came together.

I agree with the first post about the music being kind of weak... not a lot of the new stuff was all that memorable - except for The Jedi Steps at the end of the film, a piece that I just love for how haunting and mythical it sounds. Opening crawl was terrific, and the pan down to the silhouette of the Star Destroyer was cool.

Regarding Starkiller Base's attack, I think Hux talked about destroying the Senate and Republic fleet, followed by a line (think it was in a Resistance scene) about Hosnian Prime and its system being wiped out. No way they could have completely destroyed the whole Republic, although now you probably have a bunch of worlds left to fend for themselves after what was pretty much a decapitation strike that took out the galaxy's leadership and military.

Edit: I should also add that the movie looks terrific in IMAX 3D. Great sense of scale in the landscape shots on Jakku, and there weren't a bunch of "Look, everybody! It's 3D!" moments.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 1:08 am
 

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I expected it to be good, but not that good.

Wow.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 1:52 am
 
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I'm processing still, but I'm afraid I don't share the outward enthusiasm of everyone here. The word I kept thinking of as I watched the movie was "awkward." I didn't feel magic or excitement, legitimate thrills or a sense of urgency. Some quick hits (good and bad):

• The actors were all great. The chemistry between them worked.
• The early scenes of Rey on Jakku are among the best of the movie.

• I don't think the wipes employed the right logic as it relates to how they were used in the rest of the saga. Typically the wipes transition plot beats but these came randomly. Minor nitpick, but I'm a Star Wars dork that likes attention to detail and consistency.

• I honestly think this should be Williams' last Star Wars score. He really let down Abrams in a bunch of scenarios that begged for something more uplifting, original and thematic. It basically broke the movie for me, and led to many of those "awkward" moments. Major disappointment.

• Liked the nod to the EU by having Kylo's name be "Ben." (I realize Ben was Luke's son in the EU)
• Loved Leia's reaction after Han's death (although this BEGGED for a dramatic musical cue that wasn't delivered)

• Snoke CG was very distracting, especially because of how grounded the rest of the creature execution was. I didn't like the design and his scenes didn't add much to the overall story. They would have honestly been better off not showing him at all in this movie.

• Dogfights were awesome, obviously.
• I thought 3D made the movie look worse. The shot of Poe's x-wing taking out a bunch of TIEs in a row looked like a pop out book.
• I'm shocked (in a good way) by Carrie's performance.

• Luke having 10 seconds of screen time, saying nothing and doing nothing kind of irked me. I had an idea this was coming, but the payoff could've been a tad greater. Why not have him pull his lightsaber out of Rey's hand at least? Nitpick, but if Kasdan and JJ really wanted to shoot "the most delightful thing that could happen in that scene" it wouldn't have been just having Luke stand there.

There's a lot more for me still to process. All I know is that I didn't leave the theatre happy or excited. I suppose by definition that leaves me disappointed. I've had a pretty stressful week, and haven't had a chance to properly get excited for TFA so that might have played a role in all this. I'm seeing it again tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be able to just relax and enjoy it. I want to believe.

EDIT:

Say what you will about Lucas - and God knows I've said lots about how much of a mess the prequels were at times - but he was able to clearly and cleanly advance the plot. He took me from point A to B to C with ease, even if each of those stops felt frustrating. I honestly could hardly follow what was going on in TFA and why characters were doing the things they were doing. The script (not the dialogue) felt messy, confused and rushed. I don't even know why the movie was called "The Force Awakens."


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 2:23 am
 
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CoGro - I agree with you on nearly everything. It was more Star Trek than Star Wars. GL, as much as his scripts were messy, really 'created' that galaxy far far away. JJ merely copied and pasted.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 2:32 am
 
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Was Rey overpowered? Luke is the son of the chosen one and he struggled to pull a lightsaber from a patch of snow after being trained by Kenobi, and studying to be a Jedi for 3 years.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 2:41 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
I didn't feel magic or excitement, legitimate thrills or a sense of urgency.


No, you're not alone. This film (particularly narrative) was a mess. I might have let myself fall for the hype. I refunded my second showing after the marathon and left the theater. I will share my thoughts about this and the saga as a whole after catching up on sleep.

Cogro put down words much more eloquently than I can right now. 7 star wars movies in a row is exhausting.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 3:05 am
 
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Topeka wrote:
7 star wars movies in a row is exhausting.


Yikes you did the marathon?


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 3:08 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
- I don't think the wipes employed the right logic as it relates to how they were used in the rest of the saga. Typically the wipes transition plot beats but these came randomly. Minor nitpick, but I'm a Star Wars dork that likes attention to detail and consistency.


Spot on. The use of wipes (or lack thereof) really stood out like a sore thumb.

I'm working on something much more detailed but here are my thoughts after my screening tonight:

Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens is the closest thing we’ll likely ever get to a cinematic greatest hits album. It’s almost cynically designed to act as a time capsule aimed at making you feel like a kid again and while the film works as confectionery and will likely succeed at rekindling a fondness for a galaxy far, far way for those who didn’t take to the prequels, it’s here in its dogmatic adherence to what Star Wars was that The Force Awakens ultimately fails in shepherding George Lucas’ groundbreaking space fantasy into new and exciting territories.

The Force Awakens is a great spectacle; it’s a movie with thrilling moments, a very, very bad man, heroes you root for and a message of hope. And yes, those are elements that are found within George Lucas’ Star Wars movies but Abrams and Kasdan merely skim the surface of what made his films lasting works while ignoring the meat and potatoes for pure and simple dessert. It got the heart racing and blood flowing but left my imagination floundering and soul empty.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 3:38 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
Was Rey overpowered? Luke is the son of the chosen one and he struggled to pull a lightsaber from a patch of snow after being trained by Kenobi, and studying to be a Jedi for 3 years.


This and Finn going toe to toe with Kylo left me scratching my head.

Rey is the equivalent of Luke in ANH yet she pulls off the Obi-Wan mind trick without any training.

Oh and not even a Lando mention by anyone? :(


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 7:07 am
 
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Did the marathon.

Profound life-affirming experience. Lucas is and will always be a mad genius.

Still processing TFA. Will likely see it again and have more coalesced thoughts about it. For the time being - holy fuck. :chewbacca:


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 7:16 am
 
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I saw it last night. Totally blew me away. For me, this is the best Star Wars movie since 1980. And I liked the PT.

It's a wonderful continuation of the saga, and now I can't wait for Episodes 8 and 9.

Calling this a "rehash" is like calling Shakespeare's Henry VI a rehash of Henry V. It's not a rehash by any stretch of the imagination.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 7:47 am
 
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Not bothered by the lack of leitmotif in the score.

That's why I prefer what Hans Zimmer did with Batman over Danny Elfman's earlier go at it. I personally find that, as enjoyable as they are, melodies sometimes limit and confine musical expression.

I think that the lack of a reliance on distinct, easily hummable melodies is totally intentional and not symptoms of an aging, out-of-touch Williams. It's probably Williams' preference too. After all, it's reported that Abrams gave him great latitude and freedom in composing the score. By the way, ever heard the maestro's non-film music? Ever listen to classical or jazz (where ol' Johnny Williams started)? There's so much more to music and John Williams than his almost signature and oft-duplicated incorporation of Wagnerian leitmotif in film.

Broaden your horizons, folks. Movie music is evolving.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 8:01 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
I didn't feel magic or excitement, legitimate thrills or a sense of urgency.

Topeka wrote:
No, you're not alone. This film (particularly narrative) was a mess.

I thought the plotting and pacing was one of the film's strength. It goes from point A-Z at just the right tempo.

I wasn't thrown-off by Rey's short learning curve. Each individual character has a different experience with the Force. Maybe she's just lucky or maybe the "quick leaner" trait isn't passed on from father to son, but to the third generation?

After a night's sleep, the film has grown on me. I'm glad some are very enthusiastic about the movie.

In my first post, I forgot to compliment Lord Psychotic. Save for "Grave-robber" Ren, there weren't many dramatic visual changes from the leaked concept art to the final products in the film. In a lot of ways, I felt like I was watching a lot of the images I had seen at this site come alive.

BTW, what happened to Constable Zuvio?


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 9:05 am
 
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The_Somnambulist wrote:
Broaden your horizons, folks. Movie music is evolving.

Yes. To the Somnambulist you listen. This score is wonderful.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 10:07 am
 
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Saw the film last night. My initial thoughts:

I found Finn to be a much more likable character than I anticipated. But was he a little *too* jolly and jokey for a stormtrooper who had just defected? And, given the wound administered to him by Kylo Ren, shouldn't he, ya know, have been dead? It looked like he took a saber blade up his spine.

Rey was terrific. Outstanding acting performance, a character that really allowed you to connect with her throughout her journey. Having said that, I had a hard time buying into her ability to beat Ren in a lightsaber duel with no training whatsoever, while Ren, at least up to a point, had specific Jedi training skills in his past. The only scene I can think of that can justify that fight was in the Jakku market when Rey takes out a bunch of thugs with her staff. If she's gone through some self-defense training, it gives her ability with a lightsaber a little more legitimacy.

And I'd be stunned if Rey isn't Luke's daughter.

I teared up upon seeing Han and Leia reunited, which surprised me. I've always been more attached to Luke and his story than the Han-Leia story, but Han and Leia were the emotional highlight for me. You really feel their tragic loss when talking about Ren. Harrison Ford was simply fantastic.

The pacing felt really disjointed. Some really great character-development scenes on Jakku, then it became a slam-bang one loud thing after another rush over the film's last 45 minutes, with the Han-Ren scene being the rare exception.

Captain Phasma was kind of a lame character, given her build-up, especially in the collecting world. Easily skippable.

I too, found the score disappointing and not Star Wars-like for my tastes. John Williams is absolutely beyond reproach, for all he has enriched us with over the years. He easily gets the benefit of the doubt. But Star Wars (and Indiana Jones for that matter) is made up of a musical fabric that calls for signature musical elements, either attached to characters or moments. The PT handled these moments perfectly, from the dinner scene in Anakin's house in TPM, to the epic Mustafar duel in ROTS. I felt no epic musical moments in this film, which when you align it with the other 6, is quite a letdown. I found Rey's theme enjoyable and very much in the Star Wars realm, but it wasn't communicated to us with nearly the frequency or effectiveness Luke's theme was in ANH.

The musical highlight for me, was the new rendering of the Star Wars main theme. That DID feel more epic and operatic, compared to the PT's versions.

The absence of "Episode VII" in any official materials in the lead-up to the movie honestly had me worried. I was greatly relieved to see that label applied to the opening crawl.

The opening crawl was flawless. Every word was pinpoint perfect.

The LFL publishing program HAS to start a series of novels set between ROJ and TFA. I mean, it HAS to. So much information to convey.

The setting of the finale with Luke and Rey was visually breathtaking. A very different closing shot, with the camera panning, at a distance, around the two characters before the iris out. That felt very much like a JJ moment, but still didn't feel out of place in the Star Wars visual style. Luke's mechanical hand made me sad, and makes me wonder what happened to him to forsake his prosthetic.

Overall, I'd rank this film 5th out of the 7, were a gun to my head. There are subtle touches of storytelling and the epic myth that are so unique to George Lucas, no one can replicate them. I thought JJ Abrams turned in a strong effort directing, and he clearly got excellent performances out of the actors. Ultimately, I am very anxious for Episode 8, which means The Force Awakens did its job properly.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 10:25 am
 
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Enjoyed it thoroughly, agree about Rey - really like how much emotional range her character shows in the film,

Finn was funny,
Poe was "ok" to me,
Hux definitely had touch of Ewan McGregor going on in his voice,
Kylo is good as a strong villain who is strutting around to compensate for his insecurities (good idea IMO),
Snoke was mysterious and I think much more to be seen of him to make proper assessment,
Han - EXCELLENT,
Chewie - GREAT,
Leia - good to see her but agree she was minimal in the film,
BB-8 is GREAT - nice to see a new droid as front and centre action droid,Luke - WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Definitely loving it,seen it twice now and it's awesome!!!!!!


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 11:31 am
 
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I am seeing it again today, but I honestly don't want to. My friends, co-workers and family (all of which know I'm the resident SW nut) are asking me for my reaction and I'm ashamed to even respond.

Right now, my gut tells me this is the worst of the Star Wars movies. I am trying not to say that hyperbolically in response to a disappointment. The acting is better than it was in the PT, the dialogue better, etc. but Star Wars is so about those magical moments - the complete experience - which is driven by pacing, wit, spot-on dramatic timing, and music, most of what this movie lacks.

Music in particular elevates emotion in these films. Star Wars Rebels handles music orders of magnitudes better than TFA does. It's unforgivable in my opinion and was catastrophic to my experience.

My opinion could change, but right now I rank it 7 of 7 based on the sole fact that this didn't FEEL like Star Wars to me. I desperately want this feeling to change (this movie has 95% on rotten tomatoes for hell's sake!).


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 11:51 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
My opinion could change, but right now I rank it 7 of 7 based on the sole fact that this didn't FEEL like Star Wars to me. I desperately want this feeling to change (this movie has 95% on rotten tomatoes for hell's sake!).


I've always respected your opinions, and respected your reasoning for your opinions, even if I disagreed with said opinions.

Can you give an example of "Star Wars moments" in the PT that you felt are absent from TFA? I'm very curious as to your viewpoints on what your definition of such a moment is. Is it purely visual? Musical? The marriage of the two?


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 12:00 pm
 
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CoGro wrote:
...Star Wars is so about those magical moments - the complete experience - which is driven by pacing, wit, spot-on dramatic timing, and music, most of what this movie lacks. .

And which I felt this movie nailed from start to finish. Different points of view, I guess. :?


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 2:28 pm
 

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Ternian wrote:
I thought the score was well lacking. Really disappointed in that.


Yeah, I found the lack of themes disturbing, lol! Although Rey's theme was great and I'm sure will become very memorable after a few viewings / listening to the OST. However, it shows how good John Williams and especially his Star Wars music is since if we were watching any other movie with this music we'd all probably be praising it as it's not exactly bad, lol!

JoRo wrote:
The only thing I would question is Phasma - what was the point? The character served no purpose.

The 3D is immense. Best I've seen in a movie, but then I always figured 3D suited this genre better than most.


Exactly. After all the in-your-face feminist "Captain Phasma is a big, strong, independent woman who kicks ass and is the captain of the stormtroopers so take that men and deal with it!" pre-release rhetoric (which I hate, the cultural marxist rhetoric I mean)

I was hoping she'd be the new trilogy's evil Boba Fett (I don't regard Boba Fett as evil exactly, just a bounty hunter with a chip on his shoulder due to his dad being killed by a jedi and all the other stuff that went down during the Clone Wars causing him to be less good than he otherwise might have been)

but the most significant things she did (that I can remember, after seeing TFA twice) were telling Finn off for taking off his helmet, mention that Finn was supposed to be sent for reconditioning but hadn't done anything wrong before and finally get captured by Han & Finn and forced to shut down Starkiller Base's shields. I'm hoping she escaped Starkiller Base at the end and will have a more significant part with more action in the sequels.

I'm guessing you haven't seen Avatar in 3D then?? (Especially IMAX 3D.) As that is by far the best 3D in any movie so far. I thought the 3D in TFA was mostly just decent, although it had some great moments like the "space-nazi rally" scene on Starkiller Base just before the super-weapon was fired and that shot of the star destroyer that looked like it was literally coming out of the screen! Finn's staff poking out from her speeder thing when she got on it was a nice little effect too.

I knew the 3D was unlikely to be the best though since it wasn't filmed in 3D just converted in post-production. Although it's possible that the CGI was all rendered in 3D. (I mean stereoscopic, obviously it uses 3D models.)

Evil_Elvis wrote:
Maz Kenata, same species as Yoda?

Also, Chewie seemed to get over shit pretty quickly did he not?


I don't think so. For a start she had more human-like fingers and possibly 5 fingers not 3 like Yoda. I think she's going to be this trilogy's equivalent to Yoda, although I'm hoping we get to see Force ghost Yoda at least once.

I don't think so. We see Chewbacca get mad and shoot Kylo and a bunch of stormtroopers, plus we briefly see him looking very depressed back at the Resistance base. The only other times we see him after Han dies (from what I remember) is piloting the Millennium Falcon to save Rey and co-piloting it with Rey to find Luke.

You can't really show Chewbacca mourning while performing those actions, unless they had made the co-piloting scene longer and have Rey comforting Chewbacca or something. I guess that could have worked, but JJ probably just wanted to get to Luke quickly at the end rather than having an extra scene beforehand.

Talking of Chewie though, it was awesome to see him in action and so heavily featured! (One of my complaints about ROTS was that there wasn't enough Chewie in action.) I was worried because of Peter Mayhew's limited mobility but when Peter & JJ said that there would be a "stunt wookie" for running around & stunts and that Peter would be used as much as possible for close-ups and all non-running action scenes/stunts.

I was less worried but still concerned that in the end he might just have an extended cameo. TFA blew all my concerns out of the water as I think Chewie was featured possibly just as much as any of the OT movies! :chewbacca:

dromag wrote:
So the the New Republic was destroyed after 4 planets blew up? That part confused the fuck out of me.

Han dying was predictable, I'm sure Ford demanded this.


Wasn't the planet we saw that had the people watching their planet being attacked Coruscant? It looked just like it and if it was then presumably that's where the New Republic Senate was so that means the galaxy's government has been destroyed. (Although personally I side with CIS on the issue of a galactic government.

In fact I wouldn't even want independent planetary governments but for a big sci-fi story that spans a galaxy it's obviously easier to have plantery governments story-wise than to have to talk about planets' countries and each individual country's government.)

Han Solo's death was absolutely heart-breaking. It was worse than if he had died at the end of ROTJ because then at least it would have been at the end of that part of the story and we didn't know when or even definitely if there would be a sequel anyway so easier to accept it.

Yet Harrison Ford played Han so perfectly in TFA and was a full-on co-star in the movie once he appeared, not just a glorified cameo, that it was literally like seeing an old friend that we hadn't seen for 32 years and then suddenly losing them forever only about 90 minutes later. :(

E_CHU_TA! wrote:
Gleeson's impression of McGregor doing an impression of Guinness makes Hux's heritage intriguing.

BTW, what happened to Constable Zuvio?


What? Hux was clearly channeling a (slightly less confident but more sneery) Tarkin with a touch of Hitler, lol!

I'm pretty sure Zuvio's the guy that Kylo kills in Rey's vision. It looked like him. I don't know if that vision is supposed to be the past or the future though, so we might see more of Constable Zuvio in the sequels.



I'm a bit exausted and in pain due to my health plus have to go out so can't write everything I was originally planning to so I'll just quickly say that I hope we see even more of Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb in the next movies as they were good but not in it enough.

Previously I thought Leia would end up a Jedi too and thought it was her with the lightsaber in the 1st trailer, but obviously that didn't happen. I also hope we see a lot more of Poe since his part was smaller than I thought it would be due to the marketing.

I'm wondering if his part was meant to originally be Wedge but when Denis Lawson refused to return (he said it's because the part wasn't big enough and he thought he'd get bored) JJ created Poe Dameron to replace him instead? Think about it, there's no reason Poe couldn't have been Wedge. There was nothing too physical about the role that might be a problem for an actor in his 60s. Han had far more action sequences including running about and Harrison Ford is in his 70s!

Rey was great, perfectly cast and hot too! ;) I must agree with what people said about her performing the Jedi mind trick (how did she even know to try it??) and being able to beat Kylo Ren in the lightsaber duel though. I guess she might have learnt some self defence like royalguard96 said, since she fought well with her staff, but it still didn't seem right since Luke obviously must have trained Kylo in lightsaber fighting.

Kylo should have been more badly wounded by Chewie and shown as really struggling during the duel, not just have a pain in his side that barely seemed to bother him more than a couple of times. If he was shown to have difficulty fighting then Rey beating him would have been a lot more believable. Also, talking of the lightsaber duels, I don't think they were filmed as well as in any of the previous movies. Hopefully they'll get better in the sequels.

Finn was cool and had some great comic lines or lines that were part of a comic exchange. Like talking to Han near the end about how they were going to shut down Starkiller Base's shields after he reveals that he had just been a sanitation stormtrooper (which was a funny revelation itself, since when he previously revealed Jakku was his first combat mission I pressumed he was previously a guard on the base or a star destroyer or something)...

Finn says "We can use the Force." Han replies "That's not how the Force works!" (Prefectly delivered.) The whole audience burst out laughing at that after already giggling at the sanitation part. Kylo Ren (apart from the mask, which I explained in another thread) was played really well, like ROTS Anakin at his most sinister and even more psycho like when he kept slashing up stuff with his lightsaber. I'm guessing we're going to see a reverse Anakin story. Kylo starts off bad and gets drawn more to the light side due to various events over the next 2 movies.

I've watched The Force Awakens twice so far. Once at a midnight screening on an IMAX screen (not the IMAX in London unfortunately, this screen is smaller, maybe even half the size, but still bigger than the other screen in the cinema) and once the next evening in 4DX. The 4DX version was great other than the screen is actually smaller than the other screens in the cinema for some reason. I'd already previously seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 in 4DX.

Here's a video about 4DX if you haven't seen/heard about it before:



Post Posted: December 18th 2015 3:31 pm
 
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CoGro wrote:
I am seeing it again today, but I honestly don't want to. My friends, co-workers and family (all of which know I'm the resident SW nut) are asking me for my reaction and I'm ashamed to even respond.

Right now, my gut tells me this is the worst of the Star Wars movies. I am trying not to say that hyperbolically in response to a disappointment. The acting is better than it was in the PT, the dialogue better, etc. but Star Wars is so about those magical moments - the complete experience - which is driven by pacing, wit, spot-on dramatic timing, and music, most of what this movie lacks. Music in particular elevates emotion in these films. Star Wars Rebels handles music orders of magnitudes better than TFA does. It's unforgivable in my opinion and was catastrophic to my experience.

My opinion could change, but right now I rank it 7 of 7 based on the sole fact that this didn't FEEL like Star Wars to me. I desperately want this feeling to change (this movie has 95% on rotten tomatoes for hell's sake!).


Like a fellow poster above, I have always respected your opinions on these films, and going back to the prequel days, you were the first poster I would read in a thread. But I disagree tremendously with your evaluation of the ranking of TFA.

I enjoyed the film as much as I've enjoyed any film in the theatre in my lifetime (too young to see OT in theatre). Objectively, I understand there are a handful of flaws, and am frankly surprised by the 95% RT. If you want to nitpick this one, there is some low-hanging fruit. Yet the things I would normally nitpick, I really didn't care about, and I didn't find they affected my enjoyment. The one area where I really wasn't loving it was the pacing. I felt a tension between Kasdan & Abrams. Kasdan writes tight stories. Abrams can write haphazard ones. Sometimes in TFA, Abrams got his way.

I work in video (and on one feature), and so for most films, I view them from a technical standpoint before anything else, especially when it comes to sound, editing and picture. I was able to avoid that entirely with this film. I was engrossed. That said, it means I have no technical evaluation of this film to date.

I really do love the prequels - they hold a strong place in my heart. But walking out of that theatre, I was left with the strong impression that the film I just watched was much better executed than any of the prequels. Even Revenge of the Sith. Now, the content of the story in ROTS is better, and I probably will ultimately rank ROTS ahead of TFA. But the scripting, the dialogue, and the directing was just much stronger in TFA. There was more heart, urgency, suspense, and emotion. From the first scene, there was always something at stake, and it never let go. It was not bogged down by walk & talk scenes and its exposition was efficient (Kasdan!). The characterization was so Kasdan too - he gives you all you need for the story and no more. I loved it. Poe, Finn, Rey - you know who these people are without them having to tell you. That's good storytelling.

And it's not to shyt on Lucas. Because where this film flawed, I bet Lucas could've helped out a lot.

I agree the music was lackluster. I can't remember a single cue from the film aside from reprisals of OT music. Williams is toast at this point. It was a mistake by Abrams to let him score this, it really was. But it still wasn't enough to diminish the movie.

I'd encourage you to see it again. What's the worst thing in the world, you waste 2 hours? I do that several times over a day. See it again and see what you think.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 4:30 pm
 
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royalguard96 wrote:
I've always respected your opinions, and respected your reasoning for your opinions, even if I disagreed with said opinions.

Can you give an example of "Star Wars moments" in the PT that you felt are absent from TFA? I'm very curious as to your viewpoints on what your definition of such a moment is. Is it purely visual? Musical? The marriage of the two?


First, I really appreciate that. + Manny

For me, movies are like colouring books. The drawings represent the action captured on screen with the soundtrack providing the colour. A bland musical score is like the equivalent of using a single colour to fill in every shape. The layered, textured, and thematic score provides the depth needed to make those images really pop and resonate. The better the music the more alive the pictures become.

Here are a few examples that come to mind:

• The mood of Darth Maul and Sidious chatting on Coruscant to the Emperor's theme. "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge" is a very strong moment. It conveys good v. evil and sets the stage/tone for the conflict of the entire trilogy.

• "It's working! It's working!" - not that the scene is good, but it's an example of how great music can lift a scene when there's barely something interesting actually happening.

• Darth Maul appears in the doorway just as Williams' duel of the fates kicks in. Maul slowly raises his head, revealing his face under the cloak. His double-bladed saber igniting to the chorus.

• Qui-Gon's theme that plays during the lightsaber fight on the desert, and pops up again as he's dying. Not that these are amazing scenes, but the music makes it feel "complete."

• The drum beats during the laser gate sequence.
• Kamino's haunting motif as Obi-wan approaches the city.

I can't think of many in AOTC, because that score was famously butchered.

I just got back from another showing in IMAX, will update thoughts shortly.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 8:41 pm
 
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JJ seems to have really capitalized on Lucas' directing mantra of "faster and more intense."

Seriously, this is one of the fastest paced films I've ever seen that doesn't rely on the crutch of narration.

It's a Jedi Star Wars trait.

And I don't mean to make this a circlejerk but yeah, CoGro's one of most substantial posters on this forum despite the occasional insults and disagreements.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 9:02 pm
 

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Did anyone get the impression that when Kylo slams his helmet down during Rey's interrogation that it is into something holding Vaders ashes?


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 10:03 pm
 
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Not sure how to feel about it. It's a serviceable popcorn flick and certainly didn't disgrace the series, but something seemed off. The story unfolded in a very brainless Star Trek Into Darkness sort of way. Don't ask questions. We don't have answers. Here are some more action scenes.

Opening scene was good. Loved Poe and the old man, the dialogue about Luke and the Princess, the arrival of the First Order and confrontation with Kylo. I even liked Kylo's voice, which sounded less like the Talkboy from Home Alone 2 in the film. Seriously, the guy they got for Poe was perfect. He started talking and I was like, that's Star Wars. He even looked out of the 70s. So much for those characters.

When the focus switched to Finn and Rey, I couldn't really care for them. They never did it for me. I could have cared less if Finn had died at the end, and that's pretty bad. When Rey suddenly has Force powers, her character is drastically altered without explanation and that kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

The villains, specifically Snoke, Cliff Huxtable and Kylo without his mask on didn't feel like Star Wars to me. They were like characters out of a Harry Potter movie in the wrong universe.

The new alien designs didn't feel like Star Wars.

Finn is given the lightsaber and, out of nowhere, a Stormtrooper instantly confronts him with a weapon that can deflect lightsabers. How convenient.

Han's unceremonious death was kinda goofy. I was hoping it wouldn't be. I was like, "Please, don't show an awkward facial expression and have him fall down a bottomless pit."
*cut to awkward facial expression and falling down a bottomless pit in slow motion*

The spaceship battles and action scenes were generally sloppy and unmemorable. A big fuckin' letdown. I didn't give a shit about any of those scenes. The Abrams Star Trek movie action scenes kick the shit out of these.


Post Posted: December 18th 2015 10:08 pm
 
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I have so many mixed feelings about this movie.

I had a BLAST watching it, but afterwards when the lights came on and I started thinking about what I had seen, things started coming apart:

1) The map to Luke - where did it come from? Why was it in Artoo? Who put it there? Luke? Why would he do that instead of just leaving a cell phone number? Why a map, why not coordinates? Why did Artoo suddenly wake up at that exact moment? Why did Lor San Tekka have the map in the first place? Everyone was acting like he and Maz were important characters and old friends. Why the hell didn't Leia go looking for Luke at the end when she's spent so much time doing so? Why did she just hug Rey, they hadn't even met? Why is it Rey who's the one who goes?

2) Kylo Ren and Rey - they're obviously close to the same age, yet Rey was left on Jakku as a very young girl, which means that either Kylo Ren wiped out everyone at the Jedi academy when he was 10, or he has very good plastic surgery to keep him youthful looking. Basically, the timelines don't add up. Also Kylo....Driver was great, but man, what an edgelord. I expected him to crank My Chemical Romance, start cutting himself, and yelling "how do you like me now DAD??" after he killed Han.

3) Rey - she was the character I had the biggest issue with. She's an ace scavenger, an amazing fighter, can pilot and fix the Millennium Falcon better than Han Solo, learns Jedi Mind Tricks on the fly, is an almost perfect shot with a blaster, suddenly becomes the best swordswoman around, beating a guy who's been practicing with lightsabers for years, is the best at the Force, everyone loves her instantly and is willing to die for her, and don't even think about thinking she would need rescuing or help because she can do it herself.....like holy shit, she's a fanfiction self-insert character. I hate to use the term Mary-Sue, but jesus. I get that she's probably a memory-wiped Skywalker, but even Anakin wasn't this perfect, and he was the Chosen One.

4) Coincidences - I know that Star Wars is based on coincidences, but they just seem to be too much of a stretch. Rey and Finn just happen to run by the Falcon, which happens to have its doors open and its keys in the ignition, then they just happen to be close enough to Han for him to register them on his sensors, Rey just happens to find Luke's saber at Maz's, who just happened to have it, Chewie just happens to find Rey and Finn in the middle of the forest, Artoo just happens to wake up at the end of the movie in time to provide his part of the map. Gah.

5) Rehashing. This movie went beyond "poetry". Just because you acknowledge something is a rehash in the movie doesn't forgive you from doing it (this is just like the Death Star). From the droid and hero on the dessert planet, to the Cantina scene in Maz's castle, to the frigging Death Planet superweapon, with an X-wing only trench run.....wew. Beat for beat, this movie was a New Hope redone. It also seems like the events of the first 6 movies were rendered inconsequential. There's still an Empire, there's still a scrappy and under-funded Rebellion at a secret base using stunt-fighters, Han Solo has become a smuggler again, there's only one Jedi alive and in hiding.....not only did nothing happen in 30 years, but everything was reset.

6) Luke Skywalker didn't say a word. Even worse, after waiting so long for a sequel, and hyping the return of the original cast so hard all year, they didn't even have the decency to give us ONE scene with Han, Leia and Luke reunited in it together. If there was ONE thing that every fan probably wanted, it was that. And now they never will. This pisses me off so much......

7) Snoke looked like Gollum, and Hux was a one-note.

This movie was fun, and felt like a roller coaster watching it. I thought Finn and Boyega were incredible, as were Poe and Solo. Leia seemed a bit rough to me.

Anyway, the more I think about it, the more disappointed I'm becoming. I wasn't even planning on typing out this much. Maybe a rewatch will help change my mind......


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 12:00 am
 

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CoGro wrote:
I'm processing still, but I'm afraid I don't share the outward enthusiasm of everyone here. The word I kept thinking of as I watched the movie was "awkward." I didn't feel magic or excitement, legitimate thrills or a sense of urgency.




I've been a long time lurker, and have always appreciated your opinions on Star Wars. I laugh because I'm a big fan of Undergrads and Gimpy too.

I agree with you about pretty much everything. But I'd say this was better than the prequels - it felt like a Star Wars movie. Just one I've already seen.

I really don't understand why they had to do yet another desert planet for our main character to start off in. Jakku could have been anything. The more I thought about it, the more I found it rehashes A New Hope. Droid carrying important info, desert planet, escaping on The Falcon, meeting Han Solo and Chewbacca, ending up with The Alliance/Resistance, old wise leader is killed, super weapon that destroys planets explodes.

Starkiller Base was a cool idea that should have been saved for episode VII or IX. I *hated* how they were on a timer because it was about to fire. That had been done before and it adds unneeded tension. We're smarter than that. We know it's going to be destroyed.

There's a reason why the scene in Jedi of The Emperor telling the Death Star commander to blow up Endor was scrapped. Not only was it dumb, but it was done in A New Hope.

Snoke looked like he belonged in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I'm glad he's probably not 7 feet tall and a giant like news stories and that hologram suggested at first (before we knew it was a hologram). I hope he ends up being an ancient Sith or something, but I don't know how well-thought-out the character is.

And Adam Driver reminded me of Snape if he at a My Chemical Romance Concert. With the mask he's a badass. Without he's too much like prequel Anakin. Pausing the blaster shot early on was such an amazing unique force power though!


You brought up a question of Rey being overpowered. I think she suffers from Legolas syndrome. Too OP and makes everyone else look weak. And because she's a woman I wonder if they'll even be willing to go so far as cutting off one of her limbs.

I'm going to see it again tomorrow and grab better seats. I saw it on the 17th but my friend was somewhat late to buying tickets (even though he bought them the day they went on sale) and we sat at the front of the theater. I ended up with a neck strain. Hopefully I enjoy it more the second time.

I'd give it an 8.25/10.

It's def Star Wars, but not the movie I really wanted.


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 12:41 am
 
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I kind of hated the lightsaber vision/Force calling to Rey thing. That was something else that felt like Harry Potter. Since when does the energy weapon do that? Why didn't it call to Luke or give him a vision in the original Star Wars? What the fuck is that shit?


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 2:47 am
 
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dromag wrote:
Yikes you did the marathon?

Yes.

Rewatching all three prequels together was eye opening. The Phantom Menace provides the strongest story but overall they don't hold up. Each is incredibly formulaic: intro, action sequence, exposition, action, exposition, action, conclusion. They're not timeless because it's not the coming-of-age tale it needed to be.

It's a hard jump from Revenge of the Sith to Star Wars. Classic coming-of-age. Characters we care about with a kumbaya ending.

Another hard jump to The Force Awakens. JJ took "faster and more intense," strapped that to a rocket and shot it off to hyperspace. That rocket wasn't constructed very well, however, and blew to pieces right after launch.

I boiled down my negative feelings to two categories: narrative structure and visual style. This was directed by JJ (Into Darkness) and not JJ (Super 8, Star Trek 2009). Somewhere around the time Rey meets BB-8 I realized things didn't feel right.

She wasn't in a bad place on Jakku. Her life may not have been perfect but she wasn't dreaming of the far-off day when she would escape. Her joining Finn and Han Solo was done through circumstance rather than conscious decision. In fact, Rey just wanted to return to Jakku, all the while becoming the reluctant hero effortlessly. Without a trial of character, there is no tension and no payoff when she does eventually succeed.

I'm not sure what purpose Finn had other than carrying the plot from Point A to Point B. This may seem a bit unfair but he is the Jar Jar of TFA. John Boyega did give an excellent performance with what he was given.

The Death Star Starkiller assault used to propel the third act would have been fine with me but for the complete lack of tension during the sequence. Visual style affected this with the quick cuts, dynamic camera and lack of clear framing. So much was happening so fast, I couldn't care about any of it. X-wings/explosives/Ackbar/running through the snow/ground collapsing/lightsabers... all of it meant NOTHING. I missed the tension, the need for payoff and the finale fell flat.

Of course I have some nitpicky stuff too. Snoke and Maz stood out in a film marketed as a return to practical effects. Ackbar and 3PO's voices were "off." Let John Williams retire and please give Michael Giacchino his chance to create Star Wars music. Captain Phasma was a wasted design and why bother casting Max von Sydow only to squander his talent? None of that stuff compares to my issues with the story. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver stole the show with their performances. I really can't complain about any of the new cast, just muddled characterization across the board.

Ultimately, I don't know where this leads us. The ending was left open ala The Empire Strikes Back but without the high stakes to leave me wanting more. I'm curious to get SOME answers (Luke, his lightsaber, Snoke) but an unstable Kylo Ren backed by his poor man's Empire is not a convincing antagonist for two more movies.

I need to watch it again to process my thoughts fully. Right now I feel it's a 4/10 film and wouldn't get such a pass without the Star Wars label attached.


Also of note:

The JOKES. I was not expecting this. Star Wars had some witty banter but this was the Finn Speed Talking Standup Special followed by the Chewbacca Hour of Mime. It all felt incredibly forced and often out of place. Captain Phasma was essentially a setup for a punch line.

NOSTALGIA. I knew there would be some callbacks but this was beaten over our heads. Hey, you like the seeker droid? - here it is. What about the chess game? - just a peek because it has no real importance to the situation. You remember R2-D2? - he's literally exposed from beneath a cloth. The Death Star was bad - look at how much bigger this one is!

The Falcon's introduction was clever, I liked that. :)


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 5:32 am
 
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Upon second viewing, I believe the whole 'death star' plot could have been cut out completely. It was useless, made NO sense what-so-ever, and made the whole film seem repetitive.

Finn is annoying. I wished he died completely. Phasma is a waste of time. Snoke is Voldemort.

Rey is bloody amazing. I actually see Padme traits in her (when she is on the Death Star and crawling down the side of the shaft = Padme in the Geonosian arena with her hair clip climbing up the pole), and Anakin traits (can fix things and is a good pilot).


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 5:45 am
 
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Topeka wrote:
She wasn't in a bad place on Jakku. Her life may not have been perfect but she wasn't dreaming of the far-off day when she would escape. Her joining Finn and Han Solo was done through circumstance rather than conscious decision.

In fact, Rey just wanted to return to Jakku, all the while becoming the reluctant hero effortlessly. Without a trial of character, there is no tension and no payoff when she does eventually succeed.

I found this an interesting aspect of Rey. Unlike Anakin, she has no real attachment. She doesn't seem to know who her family is - she is only attached the idea. The dream sequence shows her as a young girl being sold into 'slavery' like Anakin but she doesn't seem to know who her family actually are. She has no fear of loss, she only has 'Hope'.

She is one of the best characters in SW ever.


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 9:21 am
 
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3rd best movie of the series, behind ANH and Empire. You nitpicking haters have rose color glasses on for the prequels, apparently. All 3 were shit with horrible acting, horrible dialogue and dated special effects.

"Taxation of trade routes", PFFT!
“Ye gads, whatta meesa sayin’?” goddammit really?
"I’ll try spinning. That’s a good trick. Whoa-ah!” yeah, thanks George for making me look like an asshole for ever liking Starwars to begin with!

J J Abrams just gave fans of the original series the biggest Christmas gift ever, it's not embarrassing to like star wars now!


Post Posted: December 19th 2015 10:00 am
 
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Yeah,Prequels had way more cheesy nonsense in them than TFA did.


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