Friday, December 18, 2015

Did you Feel the Awakening?

There has been a lot of hype and mystery in regards to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (which I didn't get from the film why it is called that), so now that it has opened, is it worth all of the ardent chit chat has been given to it? Do not read any further if you have not seen the film and want to without it being dimmed or spoiled for you. Perhaps I will change my mind in time, but after my initial viewing of the film I want to strangle J.J. Abrams for what he did to it. Why, because it was like Star Trek with Star Wars elements in it as a general overview. First let me say what I liked the most; the characters. Rey played by Daisy Ridley was amazing; she was tough, funny, empathetic, smart, and just an amazing character played by a very talented woman ( iliked the British accent as well). Finn played by John Boyega was also great (probably had the worst dialog, and terrible implementation of his character, but he turned out alright). I liked the fact that he was a reluctant hero of sorts, like Han Solo from Episode IV, and he potentially has an interesting past which hopefully will be more explored in the future. Kylo Ren as Adam Driver was truly amazing, and possibly my favorite character from the film. He was brooding, powerful, but yet has empathy being Han and Leia's child that fell from the light to the dark. And yes I am always attracted to the darker characters. Poe Dameron played by Oscar Isaac was another favorite character of mine; great pilot, great actor, and a good agent; reminds me of Wedge Antilles and someone else all wrapped into a singular character. Obviously Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were great, as was Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels; Mark Hamill had about less than a minute of screen time so he doesn't count. I was disappointed with Gwendoline Christie's lack of role in the film as Captain Phasma, the cool looking Chrome Trooper. General Hux played by Domhnall Gleeson was also weaker as a character than I would have liked for a powerful....officer I suppose. I was thinking he was going to be like Tarkin in some way. Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke was....interesting, but I am uncertain where that could possibly go, but he did a good job, though it was unclear what he is exactly a supreme leader of.
Technically, the film was well done. Special effects were good, the cinematography was okay, sound design, costume design were also okay. I was particularly looking forward to John William's score....but I felt it was flat, definitely his weakest of the 7 scores. I heard a lot of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as well as some of his others scores, and there were no major themes, or grand, orchestral sweeping moments. I can't really remember any original musical cues that were composed specifically for this film. I will blame that on J.J. Abrams though, and the fact that George Lucas wasn't around to provide guidance. The action sequences were nothing new or dynamic really; all of it was basically taken from the original trilogy. This film was essentially an updated version of the old film, everything was reused; very little original plot points, designs or locations to name a few. It's difficult for me to articulate why I don't like this film that much; George Lucas had a very specific style that he did everything when he created and made Star Wars and anything that was a part of that universe since it all came from his imagination, he knew what worked and what didn't. Granted it was a good film and millions of people will love it, but it just isn't true Star Wars in my opinion because it is missing George Lucas' vision. Say what you want about the man, but when it comes to storylines, designs, cultures, ships, costumes, weapons, action sequences, and film technology that man knew what Star Wars was and not having him oversee anything I firmly believe ended the true Star Wars films. Oh, and the 3-D was boring, I don't recall anything really popping at all, and the lightsaber sequence while I'm at it, wow that was really unimpressive, not to mention very ridiculous. What was chosen to focus on as a story of all the things that could have been chosen and the approach to them that was taken, very disappointing and poor choices galore. And I will close on the terrible ending of the film, or rather boring, uneventful, and awkward as well a little. The film was entertaining, and interesting, but as a huge Star Wars fan I was not impressed. For me Star Wars just isn't about one trilogy or another, old versus the new, good action sequences or bad ones; it's about the mythology, the universe in which all of these stories are told, and I don't believe this story stayed true to the grand mythology that has become Star Wars.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens interviews

Independence Day Resurgence trailer (looks like it could be good)

Star Trek Beyond trailer (this looks good, but confusing)

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